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Old 04-09-2009, 06:38 PM   #11 (permalink)
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ZJ - '95 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo Upcountry
90 day: 20.57 mpg (US)

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90 day: 33.46 mpg (US)

S'Crew - '02 Ford F150 Supercrew XLT
90 day: 16.4 mpg (US)

Ranger - '90 Ford Ranger
Last 3: 28.02 mpg (US)

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Didn't get so much snow this winter... But there is always the potential. Old timers around here point back to a time in the 80s when there was never less than 4' of snow in their backyards...

Thanks. It might be overkill for its intended purposes, but the price was just too good to let it go.

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Old 05-11-2009, 10:28 AM   #12 (permalink)
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ZJ - '95 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo Upcountry
90 day: 20.57 mpg (US)

Neon - '03 Dodge Neon SE
90 day: 33.46 mpg (US)

S'Crew - '02 Ford F150 Supercrew XLT
90 day: 16.4 mpg (US)

Ranger - '90 Ford Ranger
Last 3: 28.02 mpg (US)

Not the Jeep - '03 Dodge Neon SE
90 day: 34.11 mpg (US)
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I have this project complete now.

In the teardown of the trans, I found the overdrive planetary section had broken, and the forward clutch friction plates were all as smooth the steels between them. No metal chunks in the pan (well, a couple slivers from the the OD section that broke), beyond the normal wear and tear "fuzzy" magnet. The forward clutch failed because of a cut in the piston seal. Was it from the OD section failure? I do not know. I replaced the OD planetary, bands, torque converter (a HD replacement as there will be some towing with it) and a soft rebuild kit with steel and friction plates. THe valve body was cleaned thoroughly. and everything put back together. A couple of thrust washers were replaced with torrington bearings. Don't know if that will help FE or not.

Everything got put on hold when my wife fell ill and was hosptialized for a week. 4 days in the ICU with the first day the docs were not expecting more than a couple hours. She pulled through and is doing better. On O2 for a while and earned herself a handicap placard for the rearview mirror. She is doing better and improving daily though!

Finally got the trans back in the truck last week, and this past weekend we rolled it out of the garage and took it for a drive. I decided it was going to work, or I was going to kill it. It just seemed like it was holding gears against each other. In neutral, it would roll forward, but not backwards. When it shifted it felt like the brakes were grabbing, then it would take off. So I did the most illogical thing. I took it on the highway and floored it. Must have been an airblock of sorts, somewhere, because it sounded like high pressure air escaping (which made me think I killed it...). But then, it shifted smooth, no more feeling like the brakes were applied. In neutral, it rolled forwards and backwards. Reverse worked. And NO LEAKS!!!

So, we drove it around town for about an hour and just keeps getting better. My son and his fiance are happy, and can barely wait for me to release it to him. I'm happy it works, and now I can move forward on other projects (like the solid axle swap into the front of my Ranger)...

For a truck with 190,000 miles under it, it sure drives nice. Starts easily, doesn't smoke or make any odd noises. Doesn't have any strange rattles or other noises when going over bumps (interior plastic thats 15 years old does make some, but I'm not worried about that). Tracks straight with hands off the wheel. Brakes nice and strong but smooth. And it runs quietly. Now to put some new tires on it and give to my son. THe boy is setting a goal of 20 MPG with it. I'll let you know if he gets there.

I'm no longer afraid of automatic transmissions, but I'm not real sure I "look forward" to doing it again anytime too soon.
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Old 05-11-2009, 10:46 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zjrog View Post
I have this project complete now.

In the teardown of the trans, I found the overdrive planetary section had broken, and the forward clutch friction plates were all as smooth the steels between them. No metal chunks in the pan (well, a couple slivers from the the OD section that broke), beyond the normal wear and tear "fuzzy" magnet. The forward clutch failed because of a cut in the piston seal. Was it from the OD section failure? I do not know. I replaced the OD planetary, bands, torque converter (a HD replacement as there will be some towing with it) and a soft rebuild kit with steel and friction plates. THe valve body was cleaned thoroughly. and everything put back together. A couple of thrust washers were replaced with torrington bearings. Don't know if that will help FE or not.

Everything got put on hold when my wife fell ill and was hosptialized for a week. 4 days in the ICU with the first day the docs were not expecting more than a couple hours. She pulled through and is doing better. On O2 for a while and earned herself a handicap placard for the rearview mirror. She is doing better and improving daily though!

Finally got the trans back in the truck last week, and this past weekend we rolled it out of the garage and took it for a drive. I decided it was going to work, or I was going to kill it. It just seemed like it was holding gears against each other. In neutral, it would roll forward, but not backwards. When it shifted it felt like the brakes were grabbing, then it would take off. So I did the most illogical thing. I took it on the highway and floored it. Must have been an airblock of sorts, somewhere, because it sounded like high pressure air escaping (which made me think I killed it...). But then, it shifted smooth, no more feeling like the brakes were applied. In neutral, it rolled forwards and backwards. Reverse worked. And NO LEAKS!!!

So, we drove it around town for about an hour and just keeps getting better. My son and his fiance are happy, and can barely wait for me to release it to him. I'm happy it works, and now I can move forward on other projects (like the solid axle swap into the front of my Ranger)...

For a truck with 190,000 miles under it, it sure drives nice. Starts easily, doesn't smoke or make any odd noises. Doesn't have any strange rattles or other noises when going over bumps (interior plastic thats 15 years old does make some, but I'm not worried about that). Tracks straight with hands off the wheel. Brakes nice and strong but smooth. And it runs quietly. Now to put some new tires on it and give to my son. THe boy is setting a goal of 20 MPG with it. I'll let you know if he gets there.

I'm no longer afraid of automatic transmissions, but I'm not real sure I "look forward" to doing it again anytime too soon.

Glad to hear your wife is feeling much better, my best wishes go out to you both. Keep an eye on the front suspension and steering in those Explorers as they had a lot of failure/misalignment issues similar to the Rangers. Heh, I hear you on not looking forward to working on an auto trans rebuild or repair.
Good luck to your son and fiance, to your life, and the hopeful longevity of that Ford product.

(yeah, not a big ford fan, but there is always going to be the ongoing debate of ford vs chevy)
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Old 05-11-2009, 02:27 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Join Date: Feb 2008
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ZJ - '95 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo Upcountry
90 day: 20.57 mpg (US)

Neon - '03 Dodge Neon SE
90 day: 33.46 mpg (US)

S'Crew - '02 Ford F150 Supercrew XLT
90 day: 16.4 mpg (US)

Ranger - '90 Ford Ranger
Last 3: 28.02 mpg (US)

Not the Jeep - '03 Dodge Neon SE
90 day: 34.11 mpg (US)
Thanks: 7
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The Ford Twin Traction Beam arrangement is pretty reliable and rides nice as long as the truck is maintained and not abused. Gives some of the best of the independent suspesnion and some of the best of a solid axle. Still going to have its alignment checked, but the fact it has 190,000+ miles and it still rides nice says something.

Now my Ranger is another story, it has been abised which is why I'm throwing a solid axle under it...

Thanks for the well wishes. Always appreciated.

And the Ford vs Chevy debate rages on, Chevy, like a rock, heavy and immovable!!!
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Old 05-17-2009, 11:07 PM   #15 (permalink)
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ZJ - '95 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo Upcountry
90 day: 20.57 mpg (US)

Neon - '03 Dodge Neon SE
90 day: 33.46 mpg (US)

S'Crew - '02 Ford F150 Supercrew XLT
90 day: 16.4 mpg (US)

Ranger - '90 Ford Ranger
Last 3: 28.02 mpg (US)

Not the Jeep - '03 Dodge Neon SE
90 day: 34.11 mpg (US)
Thanks: 7
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So I got the Explorer on the street, got it safetied and tagged. Put about 400 miles on it during the week. As it sits, its getting a measely 15 combined. My tech friend thinks the catalytic is dead. It does have 191,000 miles under it and it looks original. It will be replaced.

My son picked it up today, drove it to see some friends (after being overseas for the lat two years), and then took it back to where he lives, Over 500 miles, and 16MPG. At least, it is rated average mileage. Not bad for a high mileage SUV. No plans to lift it, keeping it at original stock ride height. Since it doesn't leak, its next oil change will be with synthetic (on my nickel), and I already changed front and rear differentials with synthetic lubes and the transfer case too. After its got about 5,000 miles on the trans my son might swap the ATF fluid for synthetics, But it will get afilter change and some fluid swapped anyway.

I know an SUV isn't a popular vehicle here, but my son and his fiancee are pleased with the gift. I gave them both keys and the title. They are good kids, and the truck is a positive for them. Someplace for him to lock up and carry his construction tools, a 4x4 for camping, and bad weather, and enough HP to tow my tent trailer when they want it. We are hoping her parents pass the Subaru she currently drives over to them too. I've got some furniture for them as well for their future. Meantime, they are very happy, and as a parent, I'm very pleased.



A parent does what a parent can. This project is done. Next, the 4 cylinder 4x4 Ranger that I was getting 28MPG with a couple years ago before I took it off the street for safety issues.
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Old 05-17-2009, 11:28 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Blue - '93 Ford Tempo
Last 3: 27.29 mpg (US)

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90 day: 18.5 mpg (US)

Sport Coupe - '92 Ford Tempo GL
Last 3: 69.62 mpg (US)

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90 day: 33.65 mpg (US)

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I'm sorry, but 16 isn't "not bad". Full size V8 4x4 pickups get that or better, and the Exploder is quite a bit smaller than them.

Ya needs ta raise the bar!
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Old 05-18-2009, 12:16 AM   #17 (permalink)
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ZJ - '95 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo Upcountry
90 day: 20.57 mpg (US)

Neon - '03 Dodge Neon SE
90 day: 33.46 mpg (US)

S'Crew - '02 Ford F150 Supercrew XLT
90 day: 16.4 mpg (US)

Ranger - '90 Ford Ranger
Last 3: 28.02 mpg (US)

Not the Jeep - '03 Dodge Neon SE
90 day: 34.11 mpg (US)
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I know 16 isn't that great for todays trucks. It IS a 15 year old, high mileage rig, and it did sit for 2 years. As mentioned, the current goal is 20. My tech friend thinks changing the cat ought to get us there. Work continues. I've run Lucas conditioner through a tank to clean and lube injectors (one was ticking and it isn't now). More will be done. The roof bars are off, and we will replace the front valance with one that isn't cutout for foglights. My son is pretty good about wringing mileage from cars. So for its first drive in years, that isn't a bad way to start, delivering rated mileage. We will work at getting it improved.

No leaks, starts easily, idles well, no smoke out the exhaust at idle or off throttle. I didn't run a compression test yet, but imagine that it has even numbers across the cylinders. Little to no blowby, no oil in the intake. We will run Seafoam a couple times to make sure things are clean inside.
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Old 05-18-2009, 12:27 AM   #18 (permalink)
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ZJ - '95 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo Upcountry
90 day: 20.57 mpg (US)

Neon - '03 Dodge Neon SE
90 day: 33.46 mpg (US)

S'Crew - '02 Ford F150 Supercrew XLT
90 day: 16.4 mpg (US)

Ranger - '90 Ford Ranger
Last 3: 28.02 mpg (US)

Not the Jeep - '03 Dodge Neon SE
90 day: 34.11 mpg (US)
Thanks: 7
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Quote:
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I'm sorry, but 16 isn't "not bad". Full size V8 4x4 pickups get that or better, and the Exploder is quite a bit smaller than them.

Ya needs ta raise the bar!
Bar is raised... 20 is a goal. Higher if he gets 20 with a replacement catalytic.

Thing about those newer trucks and SUVs, they come with a high price tag and monthly payments and healthy insurance bills. For a young couple, starting out and making their way in the world, that is a lot to pay for. So even if the truck isn't a 30 MPG miser, they will still be ahead with NO big insurance bill or car payment ,as a nice tidy figure, I reckon this could save them over $500 a month at least. As a young couple still in college, thats a lot of money saved. Not to mention that I'm out less than $800 plus my time to get them rolling towards their future. Eco isn't always about mileage (but its nice when that is gained as well).
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Old 05-18-2009, 12:42 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Blue - '93 Ford Tempo
Last 3: 27.29 mpg (US)

F150 - '94 Ford F150 XLT 4x4
90 day: 18.5 mpg (US)

Sport Coupe - '92 Ford Tempo GL
Last 3: 69.62 mpg (US)

ShWing! - '82 honda gold wing Interstate
90 day: 33.65 mpg (US)

Moon Unit - '98 Mercury Sable LX Wagon
90 day: 21.24 mpg (US)
Thanks: 1,572
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My full size '94 V8 4x4 truck gets better than 16... last tank was 22... as you can see, it ain't any newer than the Exploder. BTW, it's parked unless something big needs to be hauled. I think that is the role of the large truck in this world. 20... well in this day and age, that's a pretty low bar for a dd unless you are hauling great gobs of stuff.

You sayin you couldn't find a nice GM sedan with the 3800 for cheap? Lotsa room, lotsa comfort, lotsa SAFETY SCHMAFETY, and up to 30 mpg to boot. Did you even look for something like that? Ya know, buying a vehicle cuz this or that "might" happen in the future ie carting a brood around is PRECISELY the reason we have millions of doofs in this country commuting in full-size 4x4s... they think that maybe, someday, perhaps, there's a chance that, oh i don't know but maybe, ya think? possibly... they'll need that capability someday. In the meantime they are quite happy to rack up hundreds of thousands of miles without using that capability in the least. It's kinda like bringing a Sherman tank to a knife fight.

I agree with you re: used cars. Nothing saves more money than keeping an old car on the road vs getting a new one. That 28 mpg Ranger- now that's more like it.

Last edited by Frank Lee; 05-18-2009 at 03:13 AM..
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:20 AM   #20 (permalink)
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ZJ - '95 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo Upcountry
90 day: 20.57 mpg (US)

Neon - '03 Dodge Neon SE
90 day: 33.46 mpg (US)

S'Crew - '02 Ford F150 Supercrew XLT
90 day: 16.4 mpg (US)

Ranger - '90 Ford Ranger
Last 3: 28.02 mpg (US)

Not the Jeep - '03 Dodge Neon SE
90 day: 34.11 mpg (US)
Thanks: 7
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Two of the guys I carpool with drive 3800 GMs, ones a Buick Regal the other an Exciting Pontiac Grand Prix... Barely enough room in the back for me, and my head rubs the roof. But they aren't bad on fuel I'll admit.

10 years ago I made fun of the SUV crowd that HAD to have 4x4 but never used it. I took my old minivan offroad to prove that you didn't NEED 4x4 to get most places. Amazing how defensive some folks got, but then missed the point entirely. On the other hand, we frequently go now where the old minivan couldn't dream of going. So our 4x4s do get a workout. I hope the Explorer can keep up. And my daughter's 1990 Cherokee 4x4 is a nearly stripped model, she has gotten a best of 23MPG with it. Again, a vehicle that didn't cost much to buy, has no monthly payments and cheap cheap for me to insure. Capabilities are used, not squandered.

As for the Ranger. Its a 1990 4x4 with the 2.3 and a 5 speed. It has a 6" lift and was on 31" tires. 75MPH is doable, but not comfortable. No need to rush in this truck. Replacing the original front suspension with a solid live axle so I can keep alignments longer and not tear up front tires as quickly. Also moving to 33" tires because it will be easier to get over obstacles. This is more trail rig than highway machine. It will still get better mileage than my Jeep, but we'll see how it does when it returns to the street in the next few weeks.

Yes, keeping an older vehicle on the road can be cheaper, but only if you do the work yourself. And you have to know when it is a lost cause as well. Which is how I sold my wife on the idea of buying my Neon brand new a few years ago.

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