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Beta Don

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Everything posted by Beta Don

  1. Beta Don

    wanker starter problems

    The solenoid atop the starter motor does two things. It pushes a spring loaded copper disk against the two contacts to make the starter motor run and at the same time, it slides the gear along the starter shaft so it will engage the teeth on the flywheel or flex plate to turn over the engine. If there's a problem with the way the teeth engage, that might keep the copper disc from making a good connection to turn the starter motor I would check the teeth on the flywheel or flex plate (likely a flex plate on a TC as they're all automatics and the torque converter bolts to a flex plate, not a flywheel) and see what shape the teeth are in. Some engines come to rest in the same place every time you shut them off, so the starter ends up engaging the same few teeth every time you start it. Maybe those teeth are bad and the flex plate needs changing. Some starters need to be adjusted (usually with shims) to make the teeth on the starter engage the teeth on the flex plate correctly. One time, many years ago, I had an SS 396 Chevelle with was literally destroying starter motor every few hundred miles - It was actually breaking the starter motor shaft near the end where it mated with the flywheel. This baffled everybody who saw it or worked on it. Come to find out, a 396 expert told us that the starter doesn't just get bolted to the engine block, but it gets shimmed to work properly. Once it was properly installed, no more problems! Don't know that much about Gen 1 TC's or Focuses, but there are people who do and that's who you need to talk to about this. Obviously, starters last most TC's for 100K or more, so the fact that you are going through them every few hundred miles is an anomaly, and there *is* a unique reason why this is happening . . . . and it's NOT that the starters are using cheap metal in them Don
  2. Beta Don

    New TC owner building motovan

    He could register it in Mississippi, no problem. We have never had an exhaust sniffer test of any kind and a few years ago, they abandoned the $5 annual state test which only checked to see if your lights, wipers and horn worked, so now we have no vehicle inspections of any kind - Nada, nil, zero! Don
  3. The tail and brake lights in modern vehicles are very different from those on older vehicles. Used to be you could hook trailer lights direct to the tail lights on the tow vehicle and *maybe* you'd need to increase the fuse size a bit to account for the extra load These days, you can't do that any longer. Now the lights are powered by the cars computer and they *will not* stand for any extra load to be placed on them. Trailer tail lamps must be powered from a separate DC source, with it's own fuse and the vehicle tail lights just serve as a 'trigger' to turn on the trailer lights - You gotta buy a trailer light wiring kit with the switching circuitry to power the trailer lights Just mentioning this because . . . . maybe someone didn't do things right and that could be why the OP's tail lights are out . . . . ?? Don
  4. Beta Don

    Swivel Seats?

    There are companies that make aftermarket, bolt in swivels for van seats. I have a diesel Mercedes Sprinter based motor home and I know they sell the swivels for those, both passenger and driver seats . . . . and, they sell them for other makes and models too. Pretty sure they are DOT legal too, which is important. You can find them on eBay for $150 per seat or so Don
  5. Beta Don

    2010 XLT Slammed

    Why not forget about hydraulic power steering with it's pumps, hoses and belts and just install electric power steering like all the Gen 2 TC's have?? Hydraulic power steering is so . . . . yester-year! I have 5 vehicles in my garage and every one of them has electric power steering - Heck, even my little Kubota diesel garden tractor has electric power steering!! 😋 Don
  6. That would depend entirely on the physical dimensions of the sofa/recliner you're looking at - They vary all over the place, depending on the style and who made the one you're looking at - Kinda like asking "Will my boat on my friends trailer fit under the low clearance bridge near my house??" 😋 Don
  7. Beta Don

    Cylinder #2 Misfire

    Smart move replacing all the old hoses and gaskets - Big money now, but if you want long term reliability, it's the only way to go and it's pretty obvious you're wanting to drive this van for another 100k or more, so . . . . . smart thinking! Don
  8. With lots of stop and go city driving, I'd be more concerned with the health of the transmission than the 2.5 engine - You know the engine oil has been regularly changed and you also know the transmission hasn't been serviced, because Ford says that's not necessary because . . . . it's a 'lifetime' transmission' . . . . which may be nearing the end of it's lifetime with 70K of stop and go driving. The engines in the 2nd Gen TC's are considered very reliable, but there have been many examples of early transmission failures before reaching 100K. If I was going to buy this one, I'd get an extended warranty as part of the package. But, for what they likely want for it, I'd probably just keep looking. As an example, when we bought our 2014 3 years ago, it had 13,000 miles on it and we paid $13,000 off the sticker price Don
  9. You may very well be on to something there! My experience with rear drum brakes has always been with RWD vehicles which have long axles with heavy duty bearings which run in an oil bath - Rear bearing failures are fairly rare. In this case with a FWD vehicle which doesn't have long rear axles (I assume they're stubby little things with a bearing on either end?) virtually any play in the rear bearings could cause a very slight wobble which might exhibit the symptoms he's experiencing. It would be a very good idea to carefully examine the rear bearings and if they appear less than perfect in any way, change them. If he has a high mileage TC, it might be worth changing them just for GP. That just might solve the problem Don
  10. Beta Don

    Cylinder #2 Misfire

    Your mechanic should have squirted a little oil in the cylinder and ran the test again. If the compression went way up, then it's probably a broken ring and not a burned valve. If you've been driving on a broken ring for 3,500 miles, that cylinder is probably toast and you'd want another engine. If it's just a burned valve, I don't see any problem with a valve job - If that's possible - or a new/used head if it's not. A good head on an old engine shouldn't cause any problems But . . . . if it was my van . . . . with 267K on the motor I would either buy a good used, low mileage engine (something out of a wreck with less than 100K on it, or . . . . I would junk the van and buy me something newer. With 267K on it, it's going to soon begin nickel and dimeing you to death . . . . and after you spend $1K to $1,500 to get a newer engine put in it, you'd probably keep spending money on it for much longer than you probably should. There comes a time in every old vehicles life when it's time to stop throwing good money at it and move on to something better - If you're not there right now (I think you probably are) you're very close to it and now is not the time to spend a big chunk of change to get it running again Don
  11. Beta Don

    Can I put off trans rebuild?

    That depends on how much you hate to walk! No way I would have ever tried taking any vehicle in the condition you describe to Mexico . . . . but it sounds like you (barely) got away with it. You can get it fixed now, or . . . . do you feel lucky? By all means, keep a comfy pair of shoes in the van!! Don
  12. Beta Don

    Greetings from the Wiregrass!

    That hidden compartment looks like a great place to mount an AGM battery to power a Fantastick Fan mounted in the roof. A solar panel to keep it charged up and you'd probably be much more comfortable sleeping when it gets to be a bit warm outside Don
  13. When installing new shoes in drum brakes, it's important to arc the new shoes to fit the drum, otherwise all sorts of nagging problems like you're experiencing can happen. It's also a good idea to turn the drums so they are smooth before you arc the shoes to fit the drums. Both these procedures used to be SOP at any good brake shop back when drum brakes were more common, but now that 95% of vehicles have disc brakes all around, it's not so easy to find a mechanic who knows much about drum brakes, let alone one who has the tools to turn the drums and arc the shoes to fit them. Hope this helps you with your problems Don
  14. Beta Don

    Fuel leak

    He said it's a 2008, which is old enough for every rubber piece in the fuel system to be suspect I would imagine Don
  15. Beta Don

    Fuel leak

    Fuel doesn't leak from bolts . . . . but you should find where it is coming from and FOR SURE don't drive it until you've solved the leak
  16. Beta Don

    5W-30 Synthetic Oil Use

    Mobile is a city in Alabama . . . . and they never made nor marketed an oil for cars or anything else 😋 Don
  17. Beta Don

    5W-30 Synthetic Oil Use

    Don't tell us - Tell the person you sell the TC to what oil you've been running - They'd be much more interested than any of us An infamous person said, "I think we'll be fine - We'll see what happens" Don
  18. Beta Don

    5W-30 Synthetic Oil Use

    The second number in the oil spec - The 20 or the 30 in this case - Is how the oil behaves when it's HOT. 30 weight oil will not go everywhere it needs to go in these engines because the clearances are so much tighter than they were just a decade or so ago, so you're for sure not adding any 'extra protection' - Quite the opposite, you're shortening the life of your engine I'm 'old school' just like you and years ago, I used to run 15W-40 in my old engines which called for 10W-30 thinking (mistakenly) that I was doing the engine a favor by using heavier weight oil which wouldn't break down under extreme temperatures. Back then, it didn't really hurt anything, but these days are very different Modern engines run at about 220 degrees whether the outside ambient temperature is 40 degrees or 140 degrees, so a Las Vegas 120 degree summer day is no challenge for the engine at all . . . . at least not if it has the correct oil in it - The internal temperatures inside the engine are the same as if it was 40 degrees outside I would hate to buy a used car that you have traded in . . . . there are always those guys who think they know better than the engineers who designed the engines and it's unfortunate if you end up buying a car someone like that has basically ruined Don
  19. Beta Don

    Shelter In Place

    We've been home bound now for 3 weeks. Things are a bit different here in the deep south. People believed the president when he said we had nothing to worry about and one day we'll wake up and miraculously, it will just be all gone. Even some states around here which have issued lock down orders have made exemptions for churches. I guess true believers know God will protect them and they won't get sick . . . . and spread it to everyone else It's a great time to be retired, financially independent and have a super medical plan (retired military) I tell you. Millions of people are out of work and really hurting . . . . and it's only just begun. I'm afraid some form of all this will be with us throughout the summer Stay safe out there - Stay home if you can. If you're older or have underlying conditions, get someone else to get what you need from the store. We haven't been in any building but our home now for 3 weeks. We stocked up on everything in February and our son and his wife get us the few things we need when they make a trip to the store and they leave it on the porch for us. We are truly luckier than most . . . . but we sure miss hugging our 5 grand children Don
  20. Beta Don

    Hi from west Michigan

    Welcome! Nice rig, but you can keep that snow! 74 here overnight, 85 today Don
  21. Beta Don

    Can second row seats be installed in cargo models?

    I spent 3 years stationed in Germany - Automotive laws and inspections are night and day different from what we have in any state in the US One example - They have a law that the entire wheel and tire must be covered by the fenders. At the inspection station, they stand a yardstick beside the tire and if it touches the tire sidewall at the bottom and the top of the tire, but doesn't touch the fender, then the tire is considered not covered by the fender and the car fails. The car I drove while I was over there was a Datsun 240Z which had dealer upgraded alloy wheels installed on it when new (stock was steel wheels) with standard size tires on them. The tire did not touch any part of the fender or body, even when flexed to maximum . . . . the tire went up fully into the fender well without rubbing anywhere if you jacked any corner of the car. But . . . . when you stood a yardstick beside the tire, it touched the bottom and top sidewall and missed touching the fender lip by about 3/8ths of an inch . . . . so, it failed inspection. I got it inspected annually the 3 years I was there and I had to borrow a set of wheels and tires from a buddy to get it to pass inspection They test shocks, tires, lights and brakes, running the car on a dyno-like machine to test brakes. If one wheel has just a few percent more or less braking power than it's adjacent wheel, if fails. A rust hole the size of a nickle anywhere on the car, it fails. The inspector literally does a chin up hanging from your exhaust system to test the hangers. They plug up the tailpipe and the engine better die, or there's a leak somewhere. A car that passes a German TUV inspection is in pretty darned good shape . . . . and you're free to drive it 175 mph down the autobahn if you like. What you don't see over there are any junkers on the road and very few cars older than 8 or 10 years. To get an older car through inspection, you've got to be maintaining it extremely well Don
  22. Beta Don

    Auto Trans Issues Ever Corrected by Ford?

    What procedure are you using for flushing? If you're repeatedly draining and refilling, how many times and how many quarts in total? Don
  23. Beta Don

    Auto Trans Issues Ever Corrected by Ford?

    As with the automatic transmission in just about any vehicle, there are owners/drivers who can blow one up in relatively few miles because of the way they maintain them, the way they load their vehicle, possibly with what they tow with the vehicle and just the way they drive everyday . . . . and then there are people who plan from the start to make them last a long, long time and some of those get 250K to 500K without needing a new transmission. It all depends . . . . When I was 20 years old, I had a 1958 Corvette for about 2 years and I managed to destroy 3 transmissions, two engines and at LEAST 8 or 10 differentials. I also broke the welds where the spring perches were attached to the axle tubes and had to have those rewelded. But, I was having fun and had no other place to put my money other than into that car 😉 Don
  24. If what you say was true, then for sure there would be a max lifting rating stamped on the hitch also . . . . and there isn't. Bolt on hitches were not designed to support the weight of one end of the vehicle and should not be used as a jack point Don
  25. Beta Don

    2013/gen1 TPMS issue

    IMO, $60 would make a $200 improvement in the way they look on your van - As it is, they scream "SOMETHING IS MISSING HERE!!" Don