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Beta Don

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Everything posted by Beta Don

  1. They're not cheap, but the first time you use it vs paying the dealer $100 per hour, you'll get your investment back I managed to get a brand new copy of the electrical service manual which I think is about $75 from the dealer on eBay for $15 with free shipping. Keep an eye out there for a shop manual and you may find a 'bargain' Don
  2. The '14 SWB we bought sat on the dealers lot for more than a year - The salesman said evidently nobody wanted a SWB as they has sold several LWB models during that year. Eventually, the dealership titled and registered it and began using it as a loaner car for the service department when warranty or maintenance work was being done on a customer car. After a year and 13,000 miles as a loaner, they put it on their used car lot and it didn't sell quickly there either. By the time I found it (I was specifically looking for a while SWB XLT) they had already marked the price down a couple times and I made a deal, sight unseen over the Internet, to knock another $2,500 off their asking price. We ended up getting it for a dollar a mile off the sticker for the 13,000 miles it had on it I'm sure they got money from Ford every time it was used as a loaner - Wouldn't surprise me if they didn't get close to a dollar a mile - We were very happy to find exactly what we were looking for and at a price we were quite pleased with Don
  3. They're available on-line http://www.fleet.ford.com/fleet-manuals/?sg=commercial-trucks&yr=2017&md=TransitConnectCommercial&brand=Ford Don
  4. Unless you travel with 4 people, a SWB model might be all you'd need - I could easily get a pair of medium sized dog crates in mine. The rear seats in the SWB are split 60/40 and either or both fold flat and then tumble vertically so they rest against the back of the front buckets - You don't even have to remove the headrests. With the 60 side folded and vertical, there's lots more room than you would think and you can still carry 3 people Still not enough room? Either or both of the 60/40 rear seats can be completely removed from the van in less than 2 minutes - No bolting or unbolting and they have carry handles to use to tote them into the house. They reinstall just as quickly. Take a look at a SWB passenger van while you're looking to decide what to buy - You may be surprised! Don
  5. I did lots of reading on both engines before we went shopping. There seemed to be many more documented problems with the 1.6 than the 2.5, especially after the warranty period expires - Don't need any of that! Plus needing premium gas to make 5% more horsepower than the 2.5 made the decision easy for me - I don't want anything that needs premium gas as the cost difference VS the gain is too expensive for me. You buy the premium gas, but never get any real benefit from it other than the few times you actually stomp in it . . . . and at my age, I don't do nearly as much 'stomping' as I used to - Consequently, my tires, engine and transmissions all seem to last me much longer than they used to! Don
  6. We test drove a '15 TC with the barn doors first - We were 95% sure that's what we would want, so that's what we started off looking at. That first drive changed our minds completely. The vision obstruction where the two doors come together is much larger than I anticipated - Looking at the doors from behind, you'd never guess how big a deal this is. I could never get comfortable with what I saw from the inside mirror with that big obstruction in the middle After that, we only looked at vans with the liftgate. I'm 6' tall and it's virtually impossible for me to bang my head, unless I jump up and down I guess. We carry a pair of Segways in the back of our SWB and we love the liftgate, especially when it's raining - It's huge and really neat to stand under and stay dry when loading/unloading We had lifgates on our last two vehicles, a 2002 and a 2003 and never had to replace any of the lift tubes, and we were in and out of the back of those vehicles much more often than we will be using the liftgate in our TC, so I'm not too worried about failing lift tubes - I'll happily replace them in the unlikely event they eventually go bad Best advice - Drive one of each and evaluate the rear door(s) to see what works for you and what doesn't. If I was buying a vehicle with no glass in the rear doors, the barn doors would be OK (but I would still miss the dry loading/unloading) but if you have glass in the rear doors and are used to being able to see something back there, you probably won't care for the vision out the barn doors Don
  7. We don't carry passengers in the rear very often - I may wait until I have a problem before allowing the dealer to screw up the latches on it which work as they should right now. I called to see about getting the recall done and was told they needed a full day to do the work. Seems like a long time just to replace door latches? Don
  8. Granted, you do have to mount the battery so it cannot move around which might cause the terminals to come into contact with anything. A secure mounting system is always needed. Also, using protective terminal covers would be a good idea http://www.ebay.com/itm/Blue-Sea-4010-CableCap-Red-0-70-to-0-30-Stud-PVC-4-6-8-Cable-Sizes-Terminal-Boat-/292017687581?hash=item43fd9c4c1d:g:kzEAAOSwls5Y7t27&vxp=mtr With sealed AGM batteries, you can mount them in all sorts of unusual positions - Laying on their side, for example. The fact that you never need to access them for maintenance enables you to stick them in places where you won't have good access to them in the future Don
  9. With Optima batteries, you can mount them without using battery boxes. Just strap them down in any position so they can't move and you're good to go - Makes finding places that they will fit much easier! Don
  10. How so? It would seem to be a benefit - Taxes collected by the city don't have to be shared with a county, as is the case with most cities Truthfully, I did not know there was such a thing as an 'independent city' but reading up on the subject, it seems there are many - 38 in Virginia alone plus Carson City, Baltimore and St Louis in the United States, not to mention dozens in other countries. The concept seems to work OK elsewhere, what's so different about St Louis that makes it a burden there and not elsewhere? Many large cities are dying - Due to many thousands of automotive jobs eliminated over the years, Detroit has exactly what you describe, with inner city housing sitting vacant and looted, burned and being torn down, eliminating lots of tax base. What's different about St Louis and how are more CNG vehicles going to help the situation? I would think more EV's would help even more, if reducing smog will somehow increase the tax base Don
  11. You always pay more if the dealer you're doing business with has to go 'find' you what you want - Much better for you to do your own Internet search and find what you want and then deal directly with the dealer who has the vehicle. If he transfers it to another dealer, both he and the local dealer you buy if from get an extra chunk of $$$ . . . . and that comes out of your pocket I'm not sure that a 'volume dealership' would save you any money either - Maybe the opposite If you find a dealer that's selling lots of TC's, he may not be open to giving you a good price because if you don't buy what he has on the lot, several more potential buyers will be coming along right behind you. He's moving them without having to mark them down We bought our white 2014 SWB from a dealer in Georgia who doesn't sell more than one or two even in his best month. Our van sat on his lot for a full year (apparently few people wanted the SWB version and maybe they were not looking for white like you) and after that year, he finally titled it in June of 2015 to use it as a 'loaner' vehicle. Ford pays him money whenever he needs to use a loaner car for customers getting recall work done, so he was getting back some $$$ he had already lost by having it sit around for a year. After a year of use as a loaner, he put it on his used car lot and again, nobody seemed to be interested in it. He had marked the price down twice in the first 3 months and when I bought it, I got another $2500 knocked off it on an all cash deal. I bought it for a few bucks over half the $27K sticker price and it only had 13,000 miles on it and still had 22 months of the 3 year bumper to bumper warranty left on it. We hunted everywhere for exactly what we wanted - White, SWB, XLT (didn't like the black bumpers and side moldings) non-Ford Sync . . . . and really low mileage. I would much rather buy used a year or so old with 10 to 12K on the clock and save about a dollar per mile for every mile it has on it. We were elated to find exactly what we wanted and really happy with the deal we got, even though we drove 300 miles to get it and 300 back home - It was really worth the wait and the trip So - You might find the best deal at a dealer who has a few TC's and can't get rid of them. He'll mark it down more to get it off his inventory list (he's making bank loan payments on everything on the lot) where a dealer who sells a bunch of the may not be in an mood to make you a great deal Don
  12. Obviously, I'm missing something here - Not the first time I'll admit though. Many things which sound like a great idea to others don't make a lick of sense to me Why would anyone willing to spend $12K to $15K to convert an existing vehicle into a camper-van want to start with a 4 to 8 year old vehicle with (one would assume) 75K to 150K miles on it? Why not begin with a newer vehicle with 25K or fewer miles on it? I don't see how you would ever come close to getting hardly any of your $15K back when it comes time to sell if you spent that much modifying an older vehicle - Especially one with a history of maintenance problems like the Gen 1 TC's have. It would seem obvious (to me anyway) that these conversions would be much more practical for newer TC's rather than the old ones. Any plans to offer the service specifically for Gen 2's?? Don
  13. On two previous cars I've had, the OEM shift linkage was so imprecise that my very first mod was to buy a shifter kit and that improved driveability 200%. If it appears you're going to have to buy the OEM shift linkage, you might want to consider getting something better and it might even be cheaper than buying the factory parts - The last kit I bought (for a Mazda) was less than $75 Since we don't have any TC's this side of the pond with manual transmissions, maybe a few of our European owners who have manuals in their TC's could tell you what the factory linkage is like - Is it great, or do you wish there was something better? Is there a shifter kit available for a manual trans TC? What do they cost? Don
  14. The computer just wants the overall circumference of the tire to remain the same as the OE tires. You can install 16 or even 17 inch wheels so long as you adjust the tire size so the overall circumference remains the same For example, if you were to buy a set of 16" wheels, you could swap from your stock 205/65 R15's to a set of 205/60 R16's and your size would be less than 1% off the stock size and they would work just fine If you like any of the Ford OEM alloys, you could buy a good used set, or you could buy any quality aftermarket wheel and everything would work just fine. I recently put a set of 2012 Ford Focus alloys on my TC Don
  15. Thanks! I looked everywhere trying to find a photo of a TC with these wheels and had no luck. I went to the Tire Rack site and looked at pretty much every wheel they sell superimposed on a TC (they have a great program that lets you select your model car and color and puts the wheels right on the picture) but none of their wheel options looked that much like these wheels, so I still wasn't too confident I would like them on the TC I posted these pictures hoping they might help anyone else thinking of installing the same wheels . . . . I wish I could have found a few photos before I bought my wheels, but . . . . they did turn out looking really great on the van and they're still growing on me everyday! Don
  16. Been wanting to upgrade from my steel wheels to something nicer looking since the day after we bought the van. Preferred to stay with OEM Ford alloys, but if you want to stay with 16" tires, there are only 3 or 4 wheels to choose from. I didn't especially care for the look of the 5 spoke versions, nor those with 5 'twin' spokes so that narrows things down even more. Saw these on a car a couple months back and then began looking for a set I could afford. Not sure what model Focus they're from, but I think they were only found on 2012's. Eventually, this near perfect set showed up on eBay and the seller accepted my offer of $350 for them. They're 16 X 7 with a 50mm offset. Pretty happy with how it looks now One before and three after pictures. Had less than 20K on my tires, so I just had them transferred to the new wheels. They came with the OEM TPMS valve stems already in them. Just took a minute or two and one screw to transfer my sensors into the wheels. The tire guy was nice enough to keep track of which wheel went where, so no 'relearning' was necessary Don
  17. So . . . . a $200 factory option costs $500 if you buy it later from the dealer? I suppose this makes sense to someone, somewhere, but really??? Don
  18. NAPA does sell gasket material in sheets. Several times when I needed a gasket that wasn't available, I ended up buying a sheet of the correct thickness material and cut my own gasket using an Xacto knife Don
  19. That's the way I did it - Worked fine For anyone looking for the wiring kit, there are several on eBay. I bought this one for $40 http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vehicle-To-Trailer-Wiring-Harness-Connector-118613-For-2014-Ford-Transit-Connect-/142368810068?fits=Model%3ATransit+Connect&hash=item2125d7a454:g:GcgAAOSwX61ZB1hz&vxp=mtr If you really want the Kurt one, it's there too, for $54 with free shipping http://www.ebay.com/itm/CURT-Vehicle-to-Trailer-Wiring-Harness-56218-for-14-16-Ford-Transit-Connect-/361721642730?fits=Model%3ATransit+Connect&hash=item54384a3eea:g:vWkAAOSwgmJX0lt0&vxp=mtr Don
  20. I saw a 4' pair of universal roof rack cross bars at WalMart today for $79.95. They're designed to mount on cars which came with rails but no cross bars. *If* they'll adapt to your Ford rails, they may be the inexpensive solution you're looking for If you Google 'Walmart roof rack cross bars' you'll find they have half a dozen different offerings, all reasonably priced. The round ones were the ones I saw in the store, but there are other ones that look even more promising Don
  21. Is there a child safety lockout on the rear doors like many vehicles have? Don
  22. Yes, they do. The computer actually starts the engine and releases the starter at the correct time. All you're doing when you turn the key is telling the computer you want to start the engine. It should be super easy to add a pushbutton switch if you wanted pushbutton starting, though I don't understand the appeal of that personally Don
  23. You removed the console? Don
  24. Camp crazy said " I'm tall too (over 6') and the extra roof height of the older TC is a plus for that for sure. I also like that I can raise the seat height for a more comfortable ride with long legs and not feel like I'm sitting on the ground, yet no risk of hitting my head on the ceiling." I was just pointing out that with a Gen 2 there's no danger of hitting your head on the ceiling no matter where you have the seat adjusted, nor how tall you are Granted, the cargo area in the Gen 1's is taller and if you're using your van for work, that's a big plus, but for those of us driving passenger vans, it's probably not that important - The Gen 2 roof is low enough to fit in my garage (just barely) and that's much more important to me. Who wants to let a nice vehicle sit out in the weather 24/7?? Don
  25. I'm a big Yokohama fan too - Got them on all my other vehicles and will probably be putting them on my 2014 TC when the time comes too. They do make a couple different tires rated for use on the Gen 2's with 16 inch wheels, but Yokohama doesn't make anything 'legal' for the Gen 1's with 15 inch tires My advice would be to go to the Tire Rack website and enter your vehicle details and check for the tires that are rated for your van and not even think of mounting a lesser tire, just because the size is correct. The rating of the tire is very important. No good tire shop would mount any tire without the proper rating on your van - I'm sure you could probably find one somewhere who would, but if they would be willing to do that, IMO you should be dealing with a more reputable shop! There are only 5 or 6 'legal' tires listed on the Tire Rack website for Gen 1 TC's with 15 inch wheels. The Generals and the Michelins are there along with a Bridgestone and an Sumitomo, but they say the OE Continentals are the 'best seller' for your van - I would stick with one of those listed there for sure Don