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Post Number:#1  PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 11:10 pm 
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Location: Duvall, Wash.
This is where I'm keeping my maintenance log for this van.

Acquired late Spring 2007, ~163k miles. I've driven it maybe 200 miles since I bought it. It has a long list of needed repairs, but it needs to be whipped into shape to drive to LA in seven weeks.

Over summer 2007:
  • I got the remote starter and keyless entry installed and working, including programming switch and antenna.
  • Replaced aftermarket stereo with a stock unit that works much better.
  • Lobotomized the PRNDL/brake interlock so I can shift without regard to the brake pedal. The shift tubes are weak on the later ('92-on) Aero AT shifters, with every single one in the JY broken or gone. I've replaced a couple on clients' cars over the years, knew I didn't want the interlock because you yank on the shifter every once in a while and are pulling against the interlock.
  • Checked brakes: like new all around.
  • Changed engine oil/filter, greased front end.

This weekend (27-Oct-07, 163,752 mi.) I accomplished:
  • Replaced fuel pump & sender -- it was working OK but was noisy. Appeared to be Ford part, though there's evidence that the tank has been down before. Ford sure did improve the tank and shield mounting between '89 and '93: it's a much better thing to deal with on the later one. I had the '89's down three times, and I remember it well.
  • Replaced both u-joints with severe duty -- shudder on decel, found rear joint notchy. New joints have zerks on the cap ends, very nice.
  • Changed diff oil. Open diff. Some fuzz on magnetic fill plug and magnet on plastic cover. The cover is glued on and is supposed to be replaced when removed, but I've never replaced one yet. Four cans of aerosol carb cleaner to get the black off all exposed surfaces. Oil was clean before, surprisingly. AMSOil 75-140 Severe Duty oil, two quarts exactly. Eventually, I'll put the Trak-Loc rear end in, but it's not likely to happen in 2007 :(
  • Heated and pulled back into place the tailpipe. Someone had backed into something, pushed the tailpipe into the RR coil spring, where it was rubbing and making racket.
  • Drained & refilled cooling system many times, still getting brown paint out. The Prestone "heavy scale" remover flush wants 5-6 hours of drive time before rinse, so I need to get some of these other issues out of the way. Don't want to replace the heater core yet either, don't want to run brown paint through it. New radiator is waiting for same reason.
  • $10 at car wash, all in engine compartment.
  • Replaced LR bumper brace with JY part I picked up months ago.
  • Stared for a long time at the new Valley 73700 Class III receiver hitch I bought a long time ago. It's supposed to fit both std. and extended Aeros. Doesn't all that well -- I don't like how far to the rear it all mounts, it exerts force too far away from where there is more steel.. Will have to cut up the floor like on my old grey '89 and drop nut plates in to do a decent tie-in to the frame. Will get longer G5 1/2" bolts tomorrow.

====================================================
Maintenance Log
(for my own use)

167,651 = oil change, almost 4k miles on 5W30 AMSOil. I grease every-other oil change, so I don't have to grease this time.
PS fluid noticeably darker than new (4k ago).
Info: WP part No. on casting is RF-F57E-8505-CC
Replaced rear (trans) crossmember.

_________________
Regards,
Al S.

1982 Maxima diesel wagon, 2nd & 4th owner, 165k miles, rusty & burgundy/grey. Purchased 1996, SOLD 16Feb10
1983 Maxima diesel wagon, 199k miles, rusty, light yellow/light brown. SOLD 14Jul07
1981 720 SD22 (scrapped 04Sep07)
1983 Sentra CD17, 255k, bought 06Jul08, gave it away 22Jun10.


Last edited by asavage on Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Aerostars
Post Number:#2  PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 9:07 pm 
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Posts: 77
Location: Sacramento, CA area
Glad to get the Aero details, Al.
I had a 1991 Aero shorty 3.0 that I gave to one of my sons and have wanted to replace it since then, but the Chey truck overhaul got in the way.
Some time back I asked on the FTE site about a raised-top Aero for camping, figuring it would be an economical way to go. I did get info on one manufacturer that had gone out of business, not much else.
RecentlyI spotted an Aero with raised fiberglass top sitting in a thrift store lot--it had been donated. I got a chance to look inside right after a rain and there were no leaks. A slope had been built into the slider area, appaently as part of a wheelchair ramp, which is probably the reason for the raised roof. So far I can't get much info on it, though I did check the VIN, it's a 3.0, and it must be '92 or newer since it's a column shift. This thrift shop doesn't usually deal with vehicles and all I've gotten so far is that they need to get a battery in it & smog it before selling it--but they haven't made a move to do it for a month now. So I'm patiently waiting for some action if the price is right.
Ray Mac.


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Post Number:#3  PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 11:02 pm 
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Location: Duvall, Wash.
I am setting up to haul Dad's Genset to LA in seven weeks. I took the rear seats out tonight, am pulling the left side interior in prep to install factory tow harness from JY last summer. Not planning on towing, but must be ready just in case. New Valley hitch is temp mounted with two bolts, need to drill up into frame in six places for the other mounts.

Am pulling up carpet in rear right now. Will do like I did on my '89: cut access panel (three sided) above frame, drop doubler plate down in frame, use Gr8 nuts & bolts to tie it all together, fold floor back down, lay doubler sheet metal over cut areas and seal, put carpet back. Worked very well on the '89 shorty, but this extended van has different stuff back there, the hitch has more leverage on the frame than on the shorty, worries me.

Ordered 6x2x ~3/8" x 20' channel ($230), will be here tomorrow. Two 8' ramps. Brace across front of front seat bases, come-along back to genset tow hook, drag up ramps. Ramps are 8', inside from base rear of front seats to tailgate is 8'-5".

Lots of work yet. Inside wheel wells is only ~46", genset with outriggers attached is 48", so two "temporary" outriggers (for one side of the genset) that are 10" shorter get welded tomorrow (I cut & drilled the caster plates tonight, and the tubing; drop off at welder on my way to work in nine hours -- and I'm still at work!).

Biggest concern is the load. Genset ~1300 lbs on new frame. Ramps probably 250-300 lbs. May have to buy air shocks to temporarily boost load capacity, and stay on I-5 for the trip down (1200 mi.) instead of my usual meandering route.

Got to get out of here and get home and into bed . . .

_________________
Regards,
Al S.

1982 Maxima diesel wagon, 2nd & 4th owner, 165k miles, rusty & burgundy/grey. Purchased 1996, SOLD 16Feb10
1983 Maxima diesel wagon, 199k miles, rusty, light yellow/light brown. SOLD 14Jul07
1981 720 SD22 (scrapped 04Sep07)
1983 Sentra CD17, 255k, bought 06Jul08, gave it away 22Jun10.


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Post Number:#4  PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 9:44 am 
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Location: Sacramento, CA area
Al, if you hit the rest stops on 5 as I need to do frequently when going to Portland: as of a month ago when I drove to the Sacto Airport the rest stop near there was still closed (had been for some time).
So from near Dunnigan to south of Sacramento no quick and easy relief if it's still closed when you make the trip.
Ray Mac


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Post Number:#5  PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:05 am 
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Hesitate to teach grand(father) to suck eggs, but...

Thats more that just a big weight - it's the moveable part of a ram, the anvil being the front dash (or even further forward...) and the "work piece" being the driver!

Maybe you could rig an outrigger that would catch those wheel wells if it starts to move forward on you... Not much beef there, but I can't think of anything better without major surgery.

BTW. You are gonna mirror the site and give out passwords before this trip, right? <G>

Take care. Rufus


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Post Number:#6  PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:14 am 
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Location: Duvall, Wash.
Every year I'm gone a week. Sometimes the site stays up, sometimes not. It's a hobby, man!

The frame will be blocked every which way. I'll be safe unless it rolls, in which case I'll be in big trouble. Note to self: do not roll van with big generator in back not tied to anything.


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Post Number:#7  PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2007 7:46 pm 
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Posts: 200
Location: Florence, AZ
Hey Al, I don't know about the 3.0 liter gas engine in the Ford Aerostars but I just wanted to say that my mom's 1995 Ford Aerostar with the larger 4.0 V6 engine has 267,000 original miles on it. This is with no engine work or hardly any maintenence and tune up parts. I think the spark plugs may have been changed once in its lifetime, has had air filters and at least two fuel filters, and of course changing the oil and oil filter every 3,000 miles. That is one thing we've done religiously to the van and it has been very reliable past the fact that it doesn't get the greatest fuel mileage as we're used to seeing with the older, diesel powered vehicles that mainly habitat our house/property. She bought it brand new back in 1995 and it wasn't cheap I might add at about $26,000 I think. I have a one track mind and it is to own, look for, talk, and work on diesel vehicles and that's it. It's a topic I could talk about for an hour on end if you get me in the right mood and I'll usually be the opposite when talking gassers. But in the case of her Aerostar we have pretty much dubbed it a diesel with the amount of miles it has on it (just keeps on going and going). In general I think it's the best van Ford made and don't think it will be matched. Forget about a Windstar of Freestar, I wouldn't even take a look at one of those. Plus the body style of the Aerostar is quite unique, making it an even cooler choice for a van.

Salvy

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1982 Datsun Maxima diesel w/ 252k miles
*now off the road as a parts car*


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Post Number:#8  PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2007 9:29 pm 
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I got an estimated 331k on my '89 (three transmissions) and towed a lot with it the last 85k that I had it. Engine pretty loose though.

The 3.0l is wimpy but durable. The 4.0l is very easy to blow a head gasket on, and it's design started in about 1971 as a 2.6l ! They have great power (compared to the 3.0l) and decent mileage, but I don't like them -- reasonable or not, I have had to work on too many 4.0l and the 3.0l just run and run and run. And the 4.0l in the Aero is a real bitch, WRT access.

YMMV.

_________________
Regards,
Al S.

1982 Maxima diesel wagon, 2nd & 4th owner, 165k miles, rusty & burgundy/grey. Purchased 1996, SOLD 16Feb10
1983 Maxima diesel wagon, 199k miles, rusty, light yellow/light brown. SOLD 14Jul07
1981 720 SD22 (scrapped 04Sep07)
1983 Sentra CD17, 255k, bought 06Jul08, gave it away 22Jun10.


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Post Number:#9  PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 6:31 pm 
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> it's a hobby man!

Oops. Just tuggin' your cape about the safety stuff.

Cheers, Rufus


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Post Number:#10  PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:04 pm 
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Location: Illinois, USA
Hey Al, just read the generator thread, nice work! If you need any info on the Woodward governor let me know, I used to work R&D there and still know quite e few folks in the engineering group I can probably get you some info if you need it.

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Post Number:#11  PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 6:57 pm 
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Thanks, Phil. I have the PDF for it. It seems OK, though the stupid plastic housing/shaft bearing is some pretty lame engineering, if you ask me (hopefully not a reflection on your work). It looks like thermoplastic and with the cycle rate that that output shaft sees, there's no way this is designed for long life. More likely designed for a price point.

Plastic has its place -- mostly in the recycle bin, IMO. But it can be cast cheaply and machined less expensively than metals.

I have an old Pierce flyweight governor that is a simple machined aluminum casting, and it'll still be working years after this Woodward 125 has been ground up for the copper in its servo coils. Even the Barber-Coleman servo that came with the Onan is a much better looking unit (though they reportedly have short lives too).

I appreciate the offer of help, and I will keep it in mind, but if this 125 goes TU I do not think I'll be buying a Woodward replacement.

_________________
Regards,
Al S.

1982 Maxima diesel wagon, 2nd & 4th owner, 165k miles, rusty & burgundy/grey. Purchased 1996, SOLD 16Feb10
1983 Maxima diesel wagon, 199k miles, rusty, light yellow/light brown. SOLD 14Jul07
1981 720 SD22 (scrapped 04Sep07)
1983 Sentra CD17, 255k, bought 06Jul08, gave it away 22Jun10.


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Post Number:#12  PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 8:33 pm 
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I'm working on four major updates, but this is the one I have finished & written up:

I've had to replace the trans crossmember on one of my Aeros, and on a customer's Aero. On another Aero, I went to the trouble of removing a good tubular mount from one JY crossmember and installing it in another -- not recommended, it was more work than it was worth.

On the subject of the trans mount (the mount between the crossmember and the trans' extension housing), I have been experiencing a shuddering on deceleration (any speed above 30 MPH) on my '93 (which I rarely drive). Just replaced the u-joints a couple of weeks ago, no change. Tonight I replaced the trans mount.

Notice how much taller overall the new OEM Ford mount is, compared to the old one, and if you look closely at the relationship between the outers and inners, the rubber runs uphill on the old one and downhill on the new (or vice-versa, depending upon your point of view).

(click on any image for larger)
Image Image

Haven't had a chance to drive it yet, but am keeping my fingers crossed.

The OEM mount was under $40, maybe under $30, I don't recall. Yeah, aftermarket is cheaper, but I don't want to be guessing if the reason my shudder isn't gone is a difference in mount materials or construction, or a different problem altogether. Using the OEM mount, I won't have to guess (as much).


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Post Number:#13  PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 8:36 pm 
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Location: Duvall, Wash.
Bowed Air filter box repair

I've had two Aero air filter boxes that were bowed out in the center, making it difficult to install an air filter and have the rubber edges of the filter provide an adequate seal. I've done this repair on three boxes now.

(click on any image for larger)
Image Image Image Image

A bit of 1/4" all-thread, a few acorn nuts & washers. Now I have parallel box sides again, and fitting the air filter is a breeze.

One tip: make sure you position the rod low enough in the box so that the filter media clears it. I drilled one too high once a couple of years ago.

Another hurdle is that the 11mm nuts that retain the box to the chassis sometimes do not let loose. It is sometimes easier to remove the lower nuts from the tire side of the fenderwell than to try to remove the upper ones inside the box. If you have a nut that's rusted badly and try to overpower it, the rubber mount under the box breaks


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Post Number:#14  PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2007 11:55 pm 
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(originally posted at FTE, I built upon "Torsen Rick's" swap of early (to-'91) sealed-beam HLs into the later ('92-on) flush HL front end.)

Rick, you showed the way, and I finally got around to duplicating your mod last week. I was able to retain the newer plastic horizontal aiming gearbox with one add'l mod.

I started with wanting to have the glass sealed beam lamps (like on my grey '89) on my '93.

(click on any image for larger)
Image Image Image

I picked up a pair of the sealed-beam bucket assys and surrounds late last spring:

Image Image

I also picked up some Hella replacement lamps . . .
Image Image

. . . but decided I didn't like them, so ended up installing regular old Syvania H6054 halogens from the JY.


This is before starting:
Image


Here's the nasty fastener that must be removed. There are two of them per side, one upper that isn't too bad to remove, but the lower can be a bugger. One, I had to drill the head off and pry it out. Unlike Rick, upon reassembly I put both back in (JY parts) because the surround would not install even with the grille without all four of those plastic threaded fasteners installed.
Image Image


Removing the surrounds . . .
Image Image Image


This could be ticklish. I used needle-nose pliers and a 00 screwdriver to remove these plastic sockets from the old buckets.
Image Image Image


A hooked tool is very useful for removing and reinstalling this spring.
Image Image


The upper adjuster requires a bit of squeezing and force to remove. It's not too bad on the passenger side if the air box is removed, but the battery has to come out for the driver's side. I just pryed on it, I think -- it is not needed or re-used.
Image


The old HL bucket removed. You can see the upper hole where the newer-style vertical adjuster just came out of, and below it is the square hole that the older adjuster will pop into. Nice!
Image


Old & new side by side (one is from left, one is from right):
Image



Here's the first real problem: the plastic socket used by the horizontal adjuster on the newer bucket does not mate with the older sealed-beam bucket.
Image



But look what happens if you remove the socket . . .
Image Image

Nothing is needed on the back side of the bucket, because in the OEM design, spring force on the other side of the bucket insures that the bucket is always pushed outward on this side. The screw's ball just floats nicely in the old bucket's slot.


With the old-style upper adjuster popped into the radiator support, and the spring installed on the inside (lower right corner of this pic), the bucket sits there like's it's made to :)
Image


Unfortunately, as Rick explained, even with the horizontal adjuster's gearbox set to pull the screw all the way in, the bucket still aims slightly "cross-eyed".
Image

What to do?

Remember this pic? See the three white plastic pads around the center hole? Those are the bucket glides.
Image


My addition to Rick's excellent instructions involves shimming the inboard glide out to correct the HL buckets' astigmatism (hey, it beats the fix for the Hubble telescope, at least in cost!).
Image


The glides are somewhat brittle after all these years; you may want to pick up a couple spares from your donor van when you get the old buckets.


Carefully work on the back of the inside of the inboard glide to free it of the radiator support, then find some suitable slippery material that is about 1/4" thick. I Dremeled a chunk of my old air filter housing ear off which was "perfect".
Image


I used epoxy, but failed to prop the glides flat while curing, so they both slid off-center overnight. No problem, this is not a critical alignment part.
Image Image Image



Glide reinstalled:
Image Image


Next is the electrical bit. As Rick mentioned, if you get the HL connectors from the old donor van, the wiring colors match, old & new. Cut the loom of the van to expose more lead length, then I wiped the wires down with a paper towel soaked in aerosol carb cleaner.
Image Image Image Image Image Image Image


Grease up the contacts, or they corrode. Dialectric grease isn't necessary, but it's mostly silicone so it's fine if that's what you have. Anything oily will work here. I used Tri-Flow silicone/teflon grease here:
Image


HL retaining ring installed, checking for cross-eye: all gone!
Image Image Image


Install the surround (two Torx on the outside, two plastic swear-at-its on the inboard side). Fit seems good to me, but I forgot to look at the clearances of the old flush HLs, so maybe one of you who have a '92-on rig can check to see if the space above the surround looks somewhat like this?
Image Image Image Image Image Image



The HLs are not precisely centered in the surrounds, but are close enough for me. How does this fit compare with a "real" '91-and-older?
Image Image



I have not driven this yet -- it's in the shop for other repairs than only this mod -- but there seems to be plenty of adjustment, I can even adjust the HLs "out" a little bit, which isn't really necessary but is nice to know. It looks great to me.
Image


Thanks again, Rick!

_________________
Regards,
Al S.

1982 Maxima diesel wagon, 2nd & 4th owner, 165k miles, rusty & burgundy/grey. Purchased 1996, SOLD 16Feb10
1983 Maxima diesel wagon, 199k miles, rusty, light yellow/light brown. SOLD 14Jul07
1981 720 SD22 (scrapped 04Sep07)
1983 Sentra CD17, 255k, bought 06Jul08, gave it away 22Jun10.


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Post Number:#15  PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 11:17 am 
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Posts: 77
Location: Sacramento, CA area
Great job, Al. I'd also seen it on the FTE Aero site even though I don't have an Aero at present.
I have the same cloudy headlight problem on my '92 Ranger 2.3, but will probably try the polish route.
You may have seen my recent one-man fuel filler hose R&R post in the FTE Ranger and B-Series section, hard job for an old guy.
Ray Mac.


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