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Beta Don

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Everything posted by Beta Don

  1. I don't have any problem maintaining the speed limit on any hill towing a 1500 pound trailer IMO, the 2.5L mated to the 6 speed automatic is an ideal combination with plenty of power yet it gets me 28+ mpg on the highway Don
  2. Larger Wheels

    I really wish 15's would fit all around on the Gen 2's for the same reason. I did that exact thing on my Mazda wagon, switching from 195/50R16 to 205/55R15 on wheels which weighed almost 5 pounds less than the factory alloys and boy, what a difference it made in ride comfort and I couldn't detect any loss in handling . . . . maybe even an apparent gain with the wider rubber on the lighter wheels Don
  3. Larger Wheels

    I think they *probably* will The rear rotors are smaller and on my van with 16" alloys, I can easily stick my fingers between the caliper and the wheel rim - It looks to me like there's a good bit more than 1/2 inch of clearance there and that's all you'd need Go buy a 15" steel 5 x 108 wheel at the wrecking yard and give it a try - They *might* even let you jack it up and try the fit before you buy it Don
  4. Wheel Size Question

    The owners manual doesn't seem to think that's what it's for - Under 'Principal of Operation' it says "If the wheels spin when accelerating on slippery or loose surfaces, the system reduces engine power in order to increase traction" - Wheels, not one front wheel vs the other The computer knows the front wheels are slipping because they're comparing the rotation speed of the front vs the rear wheels I don't know about Ford, but on my electric cars, a 2% change in tire size front to rear will disable both traction control and regenerative braking because the computer thinks the drive axle is traction impaired. At any rate, with a 7% change it would probably be a good idea to disable that feature New cars are sure much pickier about such things than 'old school' cars Don
  5. Wheel Size Question

    I have no doubt that "they can get them on there" but they're not going to perform very well - That size tire belongs on a 8.5 to 10.5 inch rim and squeezing them on such a narrow rim won't allow the tread to stay flat all across the width, so you're very likely to wear out the center before you wear out the edges Also, unless you are using a similar size (diameter) tire on the front , using a 7%+ too large tire on the rear is going to cause the traction control computer fits - You'll need to turn that off But . . . . it will probably look cool as hell - What else matters?? Don
  6. Wheel Size Question

    The rear suspension on the Gen 2 TC's is nothing like the 'solid axle' you'll find under other Ford trucks - It's actually much closer to a true IRS set-up than a 'solid axle'. There are no heavy leaf springs and the shock is outboard adjacent to the wheel where it belongs as opposed to inside the leaf spring as it is on a truck. Even the U channel which serves as the 'axle' which connects the wheels is not part of the unsprung weight. For a vehicle designed primarily for hauling a large amount of cargo, the rear suspension is actually pretty doggone modern and quite lightweight. If you admire the way an F-150 handles the rough roads, you're going to love the TC Don
  7. Transmission fluid change

    Good to know that my brown 25,000 mile fluid isn't that big a deal, I guess What blows my mind is that Ford considers this a 'maintenance-free, 100,000 mile transmission' and yet they didn't opt to go with synthetic ATF - Doesn't make too much sense, does it? Don
  8. Wheel Size Question

    Typically, the solid rear axle on most RWD vehicles also includes the considerable weight of the differential and half the weight of the driveshaft, which we don't have to deal with, so no big deal (IMO) if he were to add a few pounds to the unsprung weight of the rear axle - It's already super-light, by comparison I'm very familiar with lightweight wheels and the bad effects of high unsprung weights. My Miata has 9 pound wheels made by BBS in Germany and they are shod with 15 pound Bridgestone tires . . . . for a total of 24 pounds per corner. But the Miata is not a truck, and for all intents and purposes, my TC is Don
  9. Sounds to me like the 'standard' bad connection of the cables on the battery. This causes an intermittant high resistance connection which comes and goes. Buy a battery post brush, clean everything with baking soda and then use the wire brush to clean both the posts and the inside of the cable clamp. While you're at the auto parts store, they also sell little felt washers which you put around the posts before you put the cables back on. Those washers will keep it from happening again Don
  10. Excited owner of new to me 2014 Transit Connect XLT (SWB) wagon

    The engine, transmission and suspension of the Gen 2 TC's was taken from the Ford Focus and they use the same tire size we do, and they sold lots of those - Probably why Tire Rack stocks 58 different tires - Summer, winter, all weather and ultra high performance. Yes, all TC's are made in Spain and imported. This causes Ford some import duty problems - Google 'Chicken Tax' I agree a tire with a taller sidewall can give a significantly better ride and the TC sure can use that. On the Mazda I had before this, I swapped out the 195/50R16's for 205/55R15's and saw a marked improvement in the ride while not giving up anything in handling. The 'trick' is to find a replacement tire size that maintains the same overall circumference so the gearing and the speedo stays the same Since we share so many parts with the Focus, wheels are easy to find. On my 2014 SWB wagon, I swapped out the 16 X 6.5 steel wheels for a set of 16 X 7 OEM Ford alloys from a Focus - The TPMS senders transferred over with no problems. Kept the same tires as they still have many miles left on them I had no idea the 1.6 ecoboost was so rare in SWB vans. When we were shopping for our SWB I found 3 or 4 of them fairly close to home but based largely on the problems Ford was having with them (tens of thousands recalled for overheating issues) I had eliminated those from my search and was looking at only the 2.5 L models - I had to drive 300 miles to find the one I wanted Don
  11. Excited owner of new to me 2014 Transit Connect XLT (SWB) wagon

    Certainly 97H and better tires are readily available, but so are lesser rated ones which should not be used. Hard to know from here what they sold him . . . . especially if they convinced him that 215/55R15's are 'Hen's Teeth' so they could sell him a full set of 4 Don
  12. Excited owner of new to me 2014 Transit Connect XLT (SWB) wagon

    Hopefully they replaced your tires with a 215/60R16 rated at least 97H, the minimum required as shown on the driver's door jamb and not some lesser rated tires they just happened to have on hand . . . . . The old "I can't get you just one in that size, but I can sell you 4 new ones in this size" isn't that unusual to hear at some shops Don
  13. 215/55 R16 - hens teeth?

    I'd guess it all depends on where you got stranded Tire Rack shows 58 different tires in 215/55R16 If that's 'Hen's Teeth', that chicken sure has a mouthful! I hit a chunk of asphalt which fell out of the back of a dump truck while crossing a bridge and blew a front tire on my Mitsubishi EV. Limped into the first tire shop I found and asked if they could get me a 145/65R15 - Now, you talk about 'hen's teeth' and there you have them - There are only 2 companies who import that rare size into the USA The shop manager made a couple phone calls and just 3 hours later, I had a new pair of tires and was rolling again - This was in Biloxi MS, a city of only about 50,000 Don
  14. New 2018 FTC XLT Cargo Van LWB

    I'm *pretty sure* you're right. My 2014 didn't come with Bluetooth so those holes had tan plastic covering them. When I installed my Pioneer Nav receiver with Bluetooth, I mounted the microphone that came with it in the left hand one and it fit perfectly Don
  15. None of the cities along the Mississippi Gulf Coast have any meters, nor any way to charge anyone for parking - We must be missing out on tons of revenue When I think of a parking meter, I think back to the movie 'Cool Hand Luke' - Parking meters sure got Paul Newman's character into a TON of trouble, didn't they? Don
  16. leather seat covers

    Well, to be perfectly honest, not nearly as well as the car. I very seldom drive it any more and I really should sell it rather than just leaving it sit in the garage. It only has 60K on it and the factory OEM ragtop still looks pretty much new. When I used to drive it in nice weather, it sat in the garage 24/7 with the top down and if it even looked like rain, I drove something else. When the weather got 'iffy' I put the hardtop on it for the winter, so the ragtop has seen very little use over those 19 years At my age, my left hip is beginning to bother me and getting in and out of the Miata isn't nearly as easy as it used to be, so I always choose to drive something else. We have two electric cars in addition to the TC and all of them are so much easier to get into and out of and that's what makes the decision to drive something else - Usually one of the electric cars . . . . plus the fact that I have to move another car to get the Miata out of the garage The TC probably only gets driven once a month or less . . . . unless we're headed out of state. Probably why we're averaging nearly 28 mpg with it since we bought it Don
  17. leather seat covers

    Well, I bought it used in May of 1999 (it's a '94) and it's still in the garage, so we're coming up on 19 years Don
  18. Winter Tire Thread

    I guess it's what you're used to - We never have snow either, but I think I would trade 6 or 8 weeks of that for your bumper to bumper traffic 24/7 365 Don
  19. leather seat covers

    I think if you were to prowl around looking at old cars in a few wrecking yards, you might change your opinion - They are using some remarkable fabrics on car seats these days. My OEM fabric seats in the Miata looked better when they were 10 years old than my Katzkins did 5 years later - The seatbelts had nearly worn a hole in the leather side bolster . . . . right where you see it every time you open the door! Leather in cars originated exactly for the reason you gave - It lasted much longer than the old mohair upholstery of the 30's and 40's and it became a sign of a higher end, quality vehicle. But . . . . look at those seats after 15 or 20 years and a hundred thousand miles and it doesn't look so great any longer . . . . even without a clawed animal jumping in and out of it on a daily basis Don
  20. General Grabber AT2 upgrade

    WalMart has been a real stickler to exactly follow what's on the door jamb sticker for at least the last 20 years. I've got a Miata which came with 185/60R14 tires and back in the day, running high performance Bridgestone RE-71's (developed as an OEM tire for Porsche) in 195/55R14 tires was the 'performance upgrade' for those who occasionally auto-crossed their cars - A really 'sticky' tire. Because Bridgestone made that tire in that size specifically as the OEM tire for one of the little Japanese sport sedans, it was a really popular upgrade for Miata enthusiasts. Same load rating, same overall circumference, but WalMart would not mount them . . . . unless I brought them just the wheels and not the car! The next years Miata came out with super lightweight 15 inch wheels and 195/50R15's which are the same load rating and the same overall circumference as the 185/60R14's that came on my car. Since performance rubber in ANY 14" size was getting scarcer than hen's teeth, I 'upgraded' to the 15" wheels and the 195/50R15's, again hauling just the wheels and my new tires over to WalMart to get them mounted and balanced So long as I brought them only the wheels/tires and not the car, they were happy to mount them for me. *IF* there was ever an accident causing death which might in any way be attributed to the improper size or load ratings of the tires, the first company named in the ensuing lawsuit would be the one with the deepest pockets, namely WalMart, so they just won't do it - Probably as a direct result of a lawsuit in the past For your General Grabber AT2's, th load rating (98) is actually *greater* than the OEM Continentals (97) you took off - The only 'legal' stickler is the speed rating. The Continentals were rated H, which is 130 mph, while the Generals are rated T which is 118 mph Don
  21. General Grabber AT2 upgrade

    It'll be 70K before you'll know if the Generals were an 'upgrade' or not . . . . won't it? Hopefully they can reprogram the transmission shift points - That would be a bigger issue to me than the speedo Don
  22. if they're experiencing an epidemic of similar problems with many of them as they are imported, it would be much faster and cheaper for them to repair them all at one place and the quality control would be much better too - You newer know for sure what will happen when you farm our repairs or updates to the dealerships In the early days, all TC's were imported as wagons and then many were stripped out and converted to make them into cargo vans as soon as they were imported - This was Ford's way of getting around the 'Chicken Tax' (Google the term if you want the details) but the US government cracked down on Ford's evasive tactic about the time the Gen 2's became available, so I don't believe newer Gen 2 cargo vans are still being imported as wagons and converted any longer Don
  23. I agree - Things vary tremendously from dealer to dealer, state to state. Some sell only a few cars at a high mark-up and others sell dozens every week for only a few hundred over cost. I've seldom ran cross my 'best deals' really close to home, but driving a few hundred miles to save thousands has always been an enjoyable trip I actually hate to buy new and have only done so twice. Once was when we were stationed overseas and we bought a car through AAFES (Army & Air Force Exchange Service). We got a super deal ordering a brand new car about 6 months before we rotated back home and had it waiting at the dealers the day we got off the plane. The other time was when we bought a brand new EV which had only been on the market for a couple months. Other than those times, we always buy used, and usually with really low miles and lots of warranty left. If you search long enough, you can usually find your color and most of the options you want. I just love scrounging the Internet for super deals! Our TC was like that. Searched on-line for 3 or 4 months until we found exactly what we wanted from a dealer who was motivated to sell at our price - He came down more than 20% to get it moved off the lot and we bought it with only 12,000 miles on it for a little more than $12K off the sticker price. Had never been owned by anyone other than the dealer, who titled it when it was about 18 months old to use as a service loaner vehicle. We were specifically looking for a SWB with the removable rear seats and he had been trying to sell the one he had for more than 2 years - "Seems nobody wants short wheelbase vans" the sales guy said We had to drive 300 miles to go pick it up, but the $12K and change we saved by buying barely used sure made it worth the trip. It's a 2014, but we still have another 6 or 7 months of the basic warranty left I do admire the 'cost no object' order exactly what you want and wait for it people, but I've never been tempted enough to join their club. We just bought a 'new' French door stainless fridge from Lowes a couple months ago - 5 months old (they have a manufactured on date stamped on them) and we paid exactly half price. It's a hard habit to break! Don
  24. Has anyone ordered and installed the SS Grille kit from Eurocampers.com? Got any good pictures? Any idea where to find that uppermost grille bar which doesn't have the Ford emblem? Looks much better, IMO Thanks! Don
  25. Yes, it's double sided tape. The grille kit came with tape and a 'cleaning agent' which makes it stick to the plastic much better so I used some of that to clean the bumper and I had some 3M double sided tape I bought for a project on my boat and I used two full length strips of that on the license plate. I'll probably never be able to get it off without destroying it, but I really didn't want to drill any holes Don