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Beta Don

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Everything posted by Beta Don

  1. You might get lucky and they'll bolt right in - Even if not, it shouldn't be too hard to fabricate a bracket or two which would enable you to use the factory holes. If you can get a good buy on the seats, I'd say give it a go and see what happens. If you get them cheap enough, you could probably resell them if it turns out to be a bigger job than you want to tackle Don
  2. If you want a switch for it, then it would be easiest to tap a fuse on the inside fuse panel than to mess with going to the battery. They make a 'fuse tap' which replaces a fuse and still keeps the original fuse in the circuit as well as adding a second fuse for your new circuit. I bought 5 of them on eBay for less than $3 when I added running lights to my fog lights Don
  3. Is your '13 a passenger van or a cargo van? Don
  4. Welcome to the forum! Sorry to hear about your issue with the seats. I've got the leather power seat in my TC and never noticed my butt sliding forward . . . . and leather is a bit more slippery than other fabrics. Never had this problem in my MX5 either Can you add a spacer to the bolts which mount the front of the seat to get a little extra elevation? Probably would not take very much - Half an inch might make all the difference in the world If you do find anything which solves your problem, please post the solution here so it may benefit anyone else who might have the same problem Don
  5. Gen 1 or Gen 2? Don
  6. Your project is really coming along nicely! Way back when I rode a dirt bike down the Continental Divide from Canada to Mexico, I carried a self inflating foam camp mattress that worked very well. When inflated, it'a an inch and a half thick and when deflated it rolls up to be only 4 or 5 inches in diameter. To inflate it, you just open the valve and in 3 or 4 minutes, the foam expands and fills with air and then you add a few breaths of air to adjust it to your desired comfort and close the valve so the air can't get out while you're sleeping. To stow it, you open the valve and begin rolling it up slowly while the air is slowly expelled and then close the valve so no air can get in The following link isn't the exact one I used, but it's very similar and very affordable https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-Self-Inflating-Air-Pad-Regular/dp/B01928HSB4/ref=sr_1_13?s=outdoor-recreation&ie=UTF8&qid=1500162917&sr=1-13&keywords=thermarest+sleeping+pad Don
  7. I didn't have a clue, so I did a search. The 'skylight' is actually called the 'Vista Roof' and yes, it appears it does come with a sliding panel (a power one no less) to block the sun in the daytime http://www.buyford.com/carresearch/Vehicle-Quote.html/year_2016/make_Ford/model_Transit Connect/trim_LWB Titanium/id_32578/confid_buyford/section_Options/ Hope this helps! Don
  8. I suspect one of us (probably me) is having an 'operator error' when it comes to power seat adjustments In our XLT equipped with leather seats, as the seat goes back, it lowers, like it or not and as you move it forward, it raises, like it or not. Originally, this made perfect sense to me because a driver who needs the seat forward is likely a shorter person than one who needs it farther back, so raising as you move forward makes sense . . . . or does it? My shortish wife likes it up and forward anyway I would rate the leather front buckets about an 8 out of 10 for comfort - All we use our TC for is long road trips . . . . we have electric cars for shorter trips. The back leather 60/40 seats in ours are a bit on the 'firm' side - I suspect the XL cloth or vinyl versions would be more comfy Don
  9. That 'work around to avoid the tax' ended in 2013 Don
  10. You two guys need to get together! Park them side by side, do a little drilling and bolting, then shake hands and go your separate ways Don
  11. Assuming the opening in the body is the same for both barn door and liftgate models (which is not a given, IMO) changing from one to the other would involve cutting away hinges and welding new hinges to the body. I assume the hatch mechanism probably is in the same place for both models because on the liftgate version, the latch is offset to the left side where (I assume) it would need to be for the barn door version Long story short, without doing a bunch of welding and repainting I doubt it would be practical to change from one style to the other Don
  12. http://fordstnation.com/focus-st-tires-rims/8868-19-vs-18-rims-focus-st.html "Avoid 19's. Unless you live somewhere with ice sheet smooth roads. The 18's on this car are already a bit thin on sidewalls. I know a guy who has bent 4 wheels of the course of 1 year (normal street driving), and I bent one enough to where I replaced it. 17's are much nicer (I have those for winter)." If the 18's are that easy to bend on a Focus, they eon't be any less likely to bend on a TC 'Nuff said Don
  13. Need some context - Home solar? Solar on a trailer, boat or vehicle? I used a pair of 150 watt solar panels connected to a pair of 6 volt AGM golf cart batteries (200 AH rating) on my boat to run the DC refrigeration system. I got the panels for about $300 and bought the batteries at Sam's Club for $180 each If you don't need it to be 'portable' this represents considerably more power for much less money than the Yeti system you are considering Don
  14. That's a very high tech (and very expensive) way to make portable DC and A/C power. I'm sure it's the perfect solution to some portable power problems I guess the real question is - Exactly what do you want to use it for? Powering a small DC fridge? There are many cheaper ways to do that - The Goal Zero Yeti would certainly do it, but at $2K, with an expected lifespan of 10 to 12 months or 500 cycles before you'll have to replace those expensive 18650 cells, I think I'd be exploring other options Don
  15. For anyone who is into 'gliding' the Gen 2 TC's are made for hauling a pair of Segways. The tie down points are exactly where they need to be to strap them down. The front pair of tie points is spaced perfectly for the width of the Segs from the rear pair. One cargo strap across the front and one across the rear and you can cinch them down so tightly they cannot move at all. The two notched blocks of wood in the photo keep them from coming together when you tighten the straps Don
  16. interior dimensions

    The 2014 and newer long wheel base (LWB) models are very popular with campers. There are numerous threads here on the forum where owners have either gutted and completely rebuilt the back into a camper, or have made temporary modifications to enable them to sleep in a wagon with the seats folded down. With the LWB version, there's plenty of room for even a 6 footer to sleep Don
  17. What follows only applies to the 2014 and newer Gen 2 vans. IMO, which version you buy would depend more on the engine/transmission options than the cargo area dimensions, though your needs may vary. The Gen 1 vans come with a 2.0 liter engine and a 4 speed automatic, the Gen 2's have a 2.5 liter and a 6 speed automatic On the SWB, the rear seats are easily removable - Flip two little yellow levers and you can remove either the larger '60' side or the smaller '40' side or both. We frequently take out the smaller one and leave the larger one folded up against the back of the drivers seat. The seats are heavy, but they are very easy to remove and replace Also, the SWB has a lower floor, due to the way the seats in the LWB fold down. You cannot easily remove and replace the seats in the LWB version - They weren't designed to be taken out like the ones in the SWB model The rear dimensions between the LWB and the SWB are similar, except the LWB is about 16" longer and the SWB has a floor several inches lower than the LWB Don
  18. My 2014 XLT SWB with leather seats also doesn't appear to have a way to fold the passenger seatback forward. Wish it did - I can see where that would be handy I also have the 6 way power drivers seat which I really like, but not on the passenger side - It's manual Don
  19. First, I have zero 'paranoia' with upsizing to larger wheels - I've done it myself on more than one vehicle. So long as you stay with the stock overall circumference of the tires *and* you can find properly sized tires correctly rated for the vehicle you're driving there's no problem . . . . other than a rougher ride and the distinct possibility of bending a wheel All FWD vehicles use wheels where the spokes are about flush with the outside of the wheel and that makes the inside lip of the wheel very easy to bend. My daughter's Mazda 5 came with 205/50R17's and she managed to bend all 4 of the OEM alloys during the life of the OEM set of tires - None of them badly bent, mind you, but enough that the tire store refused to mount new tires on them. We bought a new set of Mazda 3 take-off wheels and she bent 2 of those with the second set of tires. Her car weighs 3,500 pounds and she never carries more than 2 or 3 people in it Gen 2 TC's are all rated at more than 5,000 lbs GVWR - I'm not sure of your definition of 'light vehicle' but ours are heavy enough that they require specially rated tires rated to carry the weight. Only a small percentage of the available 215/55R16's are rated for our vehicle and when you go up to 17's or 18's, the selection is even smaller. True, *you* can mount any tire you like, rated correctly or not, *but* you'll have to do a bit of hunting to find a tire store which would mount them - In the event of a fatal accident caused by the use of incorrectly rated tires, the store you bought them from would most certainly be held liable in the ensuing lawsuit You can take my word for it (or not) but the 18's from the Focus ST will be very easy to bend on a vehicle as heavy as a TC, so unless you have better roads in your neck of the woods than we have here, I would most certainly buy an extra wheel or two while you can find them - Likely you'll need one or two sooner than you think Don
  20. I would agree with you that the CVT is a good match for a small engine without lots of torque *if* it's in a small car that you won't use to tow anything. It's an even more appealing idea if you regularly trade cars well before they see the 100K mark on the odometer, as even the latest, greatly improved versions have a history of failure before 100K miles. After the warranty expires, replacing it will be very costly - Many really good looking cars in the boneyard have failed CVT's and the replacement cost evidently wasn't worth it to the owner I wouldn't want one in a heavier car, or with any engine which develops plenty of torque - You don't see them behind V8's and for good reason. When they fail (not *if*) they usually cannot be rebuilt and replacing the trans typically runs between $3K and $5K USD. I would not buy one in a TC if it was offered - Too heavy and towing 2,000 pounds with one would be an invitation to failure Don
  21. I replaced the headlights on my 2014 TC today. First, as a credit to Ford (and probably because our TC's were all built in Europe) every stock halogen bulb in my wagon was made by Osram, which in my book is the best overall OEM bulb of them all. My standard upgrade on my other cars has always been to order me a new set of higher performance Osram's straight from Germany - Beware of ordering them from China and if you buy them locally, check to see that they're not from China. Like many other brand names, there are both a genuine article and Chinese knock-offs which are always inferior. The ones that came out of the car say 'Germany' right on them Fifty150 ordered a set of Street Cat LED H11's from Amazon and they are unlike any LED replacements I've ever seen. First, they came with a 'driver' which accepts any voltage from 9 VDC to 36 VDC and outputs exactly the correct stabilized voltage and current for the LED chips, no matter how much the input voltage may vary. This has got to make for both a brighter, more even light and a longer lasting bulb. Second, his replacements have a built-in 8,000 RPM fan which cools the LED chips. Again, this has got to increase the life of the bulbs IIRC he got a closeout price on the 2015 version rated at 4,000 lumens and 6000K color which is bright white, but not too far into the blue spectrum. A standard halogen bulb is around 1,350 to 1,500 lumens and the color is quite yellow, usually around 3000K. I bought the 2016 version of the Street Cat H11's which are now advertised to use Philips brand chips and they are now rated at 4,800 lumens or a bit more than triple the amount you get from an equivalent H11 halogen bulb. This isn't to say that you'll have triple the light down the road because other factors limit the useful light, but they are noticeably brighter . . . . and whiter A link to the ones I bought - https://www.amazon.com/Headlight-Conversion-Upgraded-version-Philips/dp/B01LXO0W17/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1481579843&sr=8-2&keywords=street+cat+h11 They are not a 10 minute install, IMO - We spent at least an hour in total, but then I was changing both high and low beams. The space inside the dust cap is small and my fingers are large, but I managed to get them inserted correctly and my wife was able to twist them to lock them in the headlight. I mounted the little driver boxes nearby with double stick trim tape. Like Fifty150 I left the dust caps off - I think you could probably cut a notch in them to allow the wires to come out (necessary because the driver won't fit inside) and get the dust caps back on, but with them off the ventilation must be better and the LED assembly with fan is rated as waterproof For the high beams, which are 65 watt H-9's I opted to replace those with PIAA Xtreme White halogens. *Supposedly* these give you 120 watts of light from just 65 watts of power which makes it sound like they are almost twice as bright (I take that with a few grains of salt) and they are 4150K in color, which is very white for a halogen bulb. These are popular replacements because they are so powerful and so white, but in low beam applications many reviewers report they only last for a year or two. I don't think I would choose them for your low beams (They cost about the same as the LED's anyway) but for high beam use, they should last a long time. We'll see. They *are* quite white . . . . nearly as white as the LED's to the naked eye The LED's do light up the road much better - Low beams don't appear to reach much (if any) farther than before - It does look like I could raise them just a bit and I probably will, but the amount of light on the road in front of me is noticeably increased. The high beams are just . . . . WOW! They really do reach farther and are much brighter than before. They light up everything! I'll get some pictures from out on the road and post them in the next few days - So far I'm very happy with the upgrade. Probably the best $100 I've spent on it so far Don
  22. I did lots of research before buying our TC - The big question I needed answers to was did I want the 2.0 with the 4 speed auto or the 2.5 with the 6 speed. Hands down, that's a no-brainer, so we went shopping for a used 2014 or 2015 . . . . whatever we could get the best deal on - Once I did the research, we never looked at a Gen 1 We cruise at 2250 RPM at 70 mph and the torquey 2.5 can pull it OK up most hills without down shifting to 5th. 6th is a true 'overdrive' as 5th at 70 mph gets you 3,000 RPM and at that RPM it will pull just about any grade without needing to downshift again The fact that they advertise the transmission as 'maintenance free' is actually a good thing, IMO. If they don't expect transmission problems for those who bought the Ford extended warranty and don't do any maintenance, imagine how reliable it will be for those of us who are doing regular fluid changes. I do wish they had given us a dipstick to check the level though - The procedure we need to use is a bit labor intensive . . . . but then, it's only needed once every 25K The 6F35 was jointly developed by Ford and GM and it's an awesome transmission in my opinion. The ability to put it in any gear you like and keep it there has already come in very handy. Also, if you have the cruise control set and go down a steep hill, the computer will downshift automatically for more engine braking so you never exceed the speed you have it set for - I love that feature. I've never driven a better combination of small engine/transmission than the 2.5 mated with the 6F35. I'm 100% happy with it. I've driven several cars with small 4 cylinder engines mated to 4 speed transmissions and always found them lacking - You just need more gear ratios to get the best from small engines, even in small cars - Buying a 2.0 four mated to a 4 speed automatic in a 3500 lb van (maybe pulling a trailer, which we frequently do) would have left me kicking myself for not doing more research Don
  23. The 6F35 Select Shift 6 speed transmission used in the Gen 2's is completely different from the 4 speed in your early model. There isn't a transmission pan on the bottom that you can remove and the filter is buried deep within the trans so you cannot change it Supposedly it's a 'Lifetime Fill' transmission which requires no maintenance during it's 'lifetime' but if you want it to last as long as your TC, everyone (including your Ford dealer) recommends fluid changes every 25 to 30K and since fluid changes are so much less expensive than trans rebuilds, it's a no-brainer in my book - I really hate to throw away money on something that regular maintenance can prevent Don
  24. That sounds pretty doggone normal to me and likely not the fault of the bigger swaybar *If* you had lost traction due to the bigger front bar, you would have understeered off the side of the road - The bigger bar overloaded the front tires, they lost traction and you couldn't make the turn, but that's not what you said happened You spun out, which means the rear tires lost traction and that's what I would expect to happen, irregardless of what front bar you were running. You overcooked the corner a bit and then the decreasing radius made it obvious you weren't going to make it, so you lifted and trailing throttle oversteer caused the rear tires to lose traction (not the overloaded front tires caused by the bigger swaybar) and you spun out, as expected https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lift-off_oversteer Been there, done that a few times myself in my '94 Miata R package. It takes lots of practice to restrain yourself from lifting in an overcooked corner . . . . if you keep doing it though, the results will always be the same Don
  25. On computer controlled vehicles, you need that +12 volt wire because that's what provides power for the trailer lights - The little box js just a switch box . . . . it sends the 12 volt power to the trailer when the car's turn signals are activated. The cars tail light wires cannot be used to power the trailer lights directly, good ground or no ground Don