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williaty

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williaty last won the day on June 9 2018

williaty had the most liked content!

About williaty

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  • Region
    U.S. Great Lakes
  • My. T.C.'s Year
    2014

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  1. Huh, that's a strange world to me! After working as a mechanic and even owning my own shop for a decade, I had no idea there was a union.
  2. Mechanics are unionized where you live? They aren't around here. There's absolutely nothing standing in the way of the dealership firing techs. Employment at will state, right to work state, and no unions means no protection of any kind for techs.
  3. Dealer problems ARE Ford problems. All of the makes are perfectly capable of forcing their dealerships to toe the company line on business ethics. When a dealer feels safe to pull a stunt like they're doing with you, it's because they know they won't face consequences from the mothership. It's been the same way with the Ford dealerships I've had to visit in the last year with this van. All of them know they can get away with ripping you off or just providing bad service. With my wife's current foreign car, a dealer tech screwed up badly though not as bad as your current experience. Without us doing anything other than saying "hey, there's a problem you created, we need you to fix it", we got a formal apology from the dealer, a formal apology from the manufacturer, a loaner car until the repair was complete, and the manufacturer paid 3 months of the loan off for us. The tech who did it was, of course, fired and the dealership lost whatever that make's equivalent for Ford's "certified Blue Oval" status was for a year before they were allowed to re-certify (though I STRONGLY suspect we were merely the straw that broke the camel's back on that one and they'd been naughty before).
  4. The more I hear about Ford and what they let their dealers get away with, the more sure I become that this will be the only Ford I ever own. I specialized in Subarus with my shop but I worked on most makes of Japanese vehicles from time to time. In working with the dealers and factory for parts and information, I NEVER ran into the kind of bullshit I have with Ford in just a year of owning my van. None of my customers ever had this kind of crazy story either. Sometimes a dealer would try to cut a corner but a call to the factory rep always brought down the wrath of god. Going from Japanese made vehicles to an American made (corporate culture, even though the van was made in Europe) has been a hell of a downgrade.
  5. williaty

    New Cargo Divider (Discontinued!)

    The shipping destination is Etna, Ohio 43068. The software may think the city is Reynoldsburg because we share the same ZIP code. Either one works and will get the package to me.
  6. williaty

    New Cargo Divider (Discontinued!)

    I'm willing to pay for you to box it up and ship it if you're willing to make the effort. I was interested in this before but I couldn't figure out how to attach it to my van since I don't have the upper hooks. At $250, that was too big of a gamble. If your'e just going to throw it out, I'll pay you to get it to me and then take whatever time is necessary to figure out what parts I need to buy and what holes I have to cut in my headliner to make it work.
  7. williaty

    Wheel Size Question

    The owner's manual is never a reliable source for technical information. It wasn't written by an engineer and wasn't even written by anyone who knows what an engineer is. I tested the TCS by putting the front end of the car on the dyno and it had no problem with the rear tires not rolling when the front wheels turned. No activation of the TCS system. I added a jack to one side to reduce the contact pressure on one front wheel and the TCS system freaked out the moment the lifted wheel started to slip. Ergo, it doesn't care what the rear wheels are doing but it cares intensely about the front. If I have to deal with the stupid crap the computer wants to do, I'll at least go to significant effort to map out exactly what it cares about and doesn't care about. Interestingly, I bumped the brake pedal while doing this and the ABS/VSC system instantly freaked out because it thought the rear end was locked up and sliding. I'm not at all surprised an electric or hybrid vehicle would do that. They're NOTORIOUS for being easy to get stuck because the moment one wheel slightly diverges from the others the whole thing shuts down and cries. We had a guy try to use his Prius for road rallies here. He kept getting stuck because putting the right side wheels off the road when he pulled over for checkpoints was often enough to freak out the computer and make the car refuse to move itself. It was ridiculous because you could push the car by hand about 6" to get all 4 wheels loaded evenly again and suddenly the car was happy.
  8. williaty

    Wheel Size Question

    The Traction Control System is primarily looking at wheel speed imbalances between the front two wheels (I did some testing to confirm this). The TCS is the one you can turn off via the menu system in the dash. The Vehicle Stability Control system is looking at what all 4 wheels are doing, plus steering angle, yaw angle, and a bunch of other stuff and, sadly, it can't be turned off in the Connect. I really, really wish it could be because it's a ball and chain around the ankle of a competent driver in the snow :( That said, I don't know if a 7% difference will be enough to piss it off. You can get a 7% difference in effective rolling circumference just by dicking with the tire inflation so it may be able to ignore things that small.
  9. williaty

    Wheel Size Question

    As someone who, until recently, designed suspensions professionally, even a few pounds of unsprung weight is a big deal. The fact that the solid rear axle design is slightly lighter than a solid, live rear axle design doesn't make it a good design. That's like trying to say it's ok because you caught the good leprosy. Unsprung weight is one of the few design factors where the ONLY correct number is 0 and anything other than that is bad. The farther you are away from 0, the worse it gets. It dramatically affects the ability of the tire to track the road which leads to big changes in road-holding. This is, obviously, a handling issue but what everyone forgets is that it's also a safety issue. Cars with well optimized suspension stop better, swerve better, and are less likely to roll over. All of these things may someday make the difference between avoiding a crash and being in a life-threatening accident. Simply put, cars with better performing suspension are safer than cars compromised in the name of cost (and under the shield of customer ignorance). If you guys remember when Ford brought out the new pickup trucks, they did a series of videos with Mike Rowe comparing the Ford to the competitors. They showed the trucks driving over various test tracks and real world scenarios showing how much better the Ford did than the competition. One of the big things that the videos shows was that (even though they're all using stone age technology) the Ford truck's suspension was better optimized and produced better real world results. So even in trucks, this stuff matters. For that matter, even without the pumpkin, the solid rear axle is an antiquated design that should have been abandoned for all non-haulage uses around the time we got rid of steam trains. Fully independent suspension should be the only default for a passenger vehicle (and remember, these things are basically a Focus with a box on top). The problem is that a solid, undriven rear axle is cheap. Ford made the gamble that most of their consumers are uneducated about basic engineering (which is definitely true. Americans love cars but know, on average, staggeringly little about how they work) and simply wouldn't know any better. You see the same cost-cutting design in other small, cheap cars. To bring this back to a context for this forum (though admittedly straying from the discussion of unsprung weight), the Connect has a solid rear axle while the... crap, whatever Dodge is calling the Fiat Doblo here in the US... has fully independent suspension. I was able to find a dealer that had both (company owned a Ford and Dodge dealership on the same parking lot) and test drive them repeatedly back to back in the hills of Appalachia. The Doblo's rear end was SUBSTANTIALLY better controlled than the Connect's and the Doblo also was much more comfortable to ride in (my Connect doesn't smooth out in the rear end until I get about 600lbs of payload in the back). From a ride quality and handling viewpoint, the Doblo was vastly superior to the Connect. However, the Doblo's windshield stopped so low that I couldn't see traffic lights when I pulled up to the stop bar, so the Connect won the shootout because of that.
  10. williaty

    Wheel Size Question

    Holy crap those are HEAVY! Most OEM 16x6.5 wheels that I'm used to working with are in the 16-17lbs range. I have never before heard of wheels that small weighing that much. I have to say that coming to an American car after specializing in Japanese cars is like taking a step back into the past. I'm constantly shocked by stuff like this. So yeah, you definitely got away with that without much penalty. 1lb increase in unsprung weight is actually a big deal but, after all, this is not a performance vehicle so the only downside is going to be the ride. Now... get a 16.5lbs wheel with a 20lbs tire and drop off about 10lbs per tire and I bet you'd actually notice a big improvement in the ride and handling! I know where to find cheap wheels that light in 5x100 but I haven't looked for them in 5x108 so I don't know if they exist.
  11. williaty

    Wheel Size Question

    Typically, sidewall and carcass construction change round about the 50 aspect ratio to cope with the considerably higher abuse that comes from running a shorter sidewall. Makes the tires less likely to stay on the wheel if you try to shoehorn them onto a too-small wheel. Why are you trying to go that wide on undriven wheels? You'll just be increasing the unsprung mass, which is always a bad thing, but is a REALLY bad thing on a solid rear axle like this.
  12. williaty

    Winter Tire Thread

    As soon as the weather turned, I swapped the stock crap all-seasons for the winter tires off the Subaru Impreza I had just sold. So the van is running Dunlop Wintersport 4D tires for this winter. Even with good winter tires on it, I am astonished how utterly useless this van is in the snow! It won't go, it won't stop, and it won't turn. It's so bad that, no joke, I can't even get of my own driveway in bad weather. The stability control system also actually prevents a good driver from being able to maximize his chances of avoiding an accident. I'm Moving past that, if you stay in the 205/55R16 size you probably stole off your Subaru, you have options like the Wintersport or other "high performance winter" tires if your local winters are mostly cold and dry, or rainy, with only a couple of snow days a year. If you have more frequent snow, the General Altimax Arctic are VERY good snow tires. They're a tire design General bought from Gislavd, so they're serious hard core nordic snow tires. They're what I used to use for our winter rally events. However, like the Blizzaks you're annoyed at now, the prices for near-invicinble snow grip is that they're like driving on pudding if the road is dry.
  13. williaty

    215/55 R16 - hens teeth?

    Yeah I just went through something similar. I looked at the really staggeringly poor options available in the stock Connect size (they're basically all all-seasons, which are universally crap) and gave up. I decided to switch to 205/55R16 which, since the Subaru Impreza has been using that size for close to 2 decades, there's a huge array of high quality tires available and they're widely stocked.
  14. williaty

    Front Wheel Bearings

    Not that I've used personally. The fab we contracted to do the laser cutting supplied the base stock. It looks like OnlineMetals will sell you small amounts of titanium sheet. I've never done business with them.
  15. williaty

    Front Wheel Bearings

    We only ever made them to fit 5x114.3 and 5x100 Subaru hubs. A quick Googling looks like the company has since discontinued them.
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