Installing an Aftermarket Stereo
Originally by Brandon Coop
Updated September, 2013 by Todd Waite (PM: deadbird on NATO Message Board)
You'll need the following items:
A Generic stereo wiring harness adapter that you can get somewhere like Wal-Mart for a few bucks, get the one
for Ford that covers your year car, it will have black and grey connectors. You do not need the dash kit.
In my opinion it is worthless. The key to making this work is to disable all of the factory Premium sound
equipment (except the speakers), otherwise you WILL NOT get it to work. The first thing to do it take the
dash apart to get to the stereo... unscrew and unplug the stereo, and the equalizer. Wire the aftermarket
stereo harness into the adaptors you just purchased (match the colors). There will be several wires you
do not use unless you are putting subs in.
Installation with Equalizer:
If you follow the two cables that were plugged into the stereo (which are black and grey) back into the dash
a bit, you will see that one of them is plugged into another cable.
This is the KEY - unplug that connection - plug in the Wal-Mart adapter that fits into THAT connection,
not the identical one that you unplugged from the stereo. Now you still have that other plug from the stereo,
it's not really an issue, just plug the other adapter cable into that one and wire it to your stereo's harness.
Don't forget to reattach the ground cable to the center post sticking out of the back of your stereo!
Congratulations, you just completed the hard parts.
Installation without Equalizer:
Follow the wiring coming off of the black connector until you see a second black connector that's not plugged into
anything - that is your target. Use that connector and the gray one that came from the back of the radio. Make sure
you also reattach the ground cable to the center post sticking out of the back of your stereo, the new one will come
with a post to put there.
Go to your trunk. There is a factory amp in the trunk that needs to be unplugged or you'll overload it and it will
all sound like crap or it will not work. Take the black cardboard backing out of the trunk to get to the back seats.
To take it out, there are three push style plastic pieces at the top lip of the trunk opening; take them out and
you can remove that cardboard. Once it's removed, you'll see two aluminum pieces mounted to the back of the seats.
One on the left, and one on the right. Look at the top on them for the white plastic piece with the bolt on it holding
them upright (they are hinged at the bottom) Take that one bolt out and that aluminum piece will drop down on the left.
Once it has dropped down, you will see the amp mounted to the back of it, it is silver with two square plugs on top.
Just unplug those - BOTH OF THEM. You may want to wrap the ends in electrical tape to be safe. Once you're done with
that, fold that panel back up, reattach it, and put your trunk back together.
Installing the Stereo Head Unit in the Dash:
If you did get a kit, try to follow the directions. If not, try this, it works better for me:
Take the silver brackets off of the side of the stock stereo. Put the brackets in the dash and
screw them in. Put the metal bracket that came with the stereo in between them (it's a tight fit
and will stay for the moment). Now measure how far out you want the stereo to come out and mark
where the brackets sit - You may want to test fit the trim around it. Once fitted, take it all out
and drill holes into the new metal bracket that match with the old holes. Use rivets to secure them
in place. Install your new custom bracket, plug all the wires in and secure the head unit. If the
bracket is too tight you can enlarge the stud holes on the bracket a bit.
BEFORE YOU BUTTON IT UP!
Double check all connections, check all the cars fuses and turn
it on to make sure it works.
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Engine bucks/jumps few mins. after
startup then runs fine
by Nate Killmon & Jeff Korn This is a fairly common problem and usually results from a
TFI/PIP problem, either one, or a combination of both. PIP's wear with mileage and as the sensitive
electronics degrade with heat and time, they start to have problems. Checking codes is the first
step however keep in mind that sometimes a bad PIP / TFI will set a continuous memory code (but not
always), the only way to tell is to remove and inspect/measure it. Look for a continuous memory code
14 (intermittent PIP failure) or a continuous memory code 18 (intermittent IDM failure). Also check
the electrical connector to the TFI, as they tend to get dirty, and the pins tend to pull out.
Sometimes, if you are lucky, removing the connector and blasting it out with electrical contact
cleaner will cure the problem. If it is indeed the PIP than replace it and the TFI at the same time,
they work in unison and changing one without the other will cause your problem to worsen, or the
problem may go away for a short time, and then return. Some have found that it is just as cheap to
replace the entire distributor that comes with a PIP already, as opposed to buying the parts and
having a shop replace the PIP. The distributor drive gear has to be pressed off/on to replace the
PIP. The TFI does not come with the new distributor so you will need to purchase one and ONLY!!! get
FORD brand. Most all other brands to date have been known to have problems and fail within a short
time frame. KEM also makes a high quality TFI, but it costs about as much as the Ford TFI. Another
thing to note is that a PIP code may not indicate a bad PIP either. I had a rather frustrating
experience with Bosch plug wires, somehow they tripped a PIP code 14. After tracking the problems of
missing under hard acceleration to the Bosch wires, removing them, clearing codes, the PIP code has
never appeared again.
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Electrical Ground Locations
This list is from the 1988
EVTM * LH fender apron near battery * At rear window defrost grid * lower RH side of engine * near
battery * On RH floor pan * RH floor pan * lower RH cowl, near EEC (computer) * LH rear of engine *
RH rear of engine * RH fender near MAP sensor * RH side of trunk * at rear center of trunk * at LH
rear of engine near brake control unit * Under center of instrument panel * In trunk at radio
amplifier * trunk, at radio filter * in trunk at amplifier * Upper LH rear of engine * LH center of
dash * Lower center of instrument panel * under center of IP * above LH headlamp assy * above RH
headlamp assy * at LH rear of trunk above wheel house
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Brake Booster Relay Diagnosis
- by Jeff
Korn Find the relay with the T/Y, GY, GY/R, GY/Y, PK/LB wires. Remove the relay from its socket, and
jumper the T/Y and GY/R terminals together with a heavy gauge jumper wire. Turn the key to run. You
should be able to hear the hyd. pump running in the ABS unit. If you hear it run, but don't let it
run for more than 10 seconds or so. If you hear it run, turn the key off and put the relay back in
its socket. Now, turn the key on, and depress the brake pedal several times and see if the pump
If it doesn't run, probe the PK/LB wire (stick pin thru wire, etc), and, with key on, ground this
wire. Pump should run. If it does, the relay is good, if it doesn't run, but ran when the T/Y and
GY/R wires were jumpered, then the relay is bad.
Be sure to check out the Technical Article
Electro-Hydraulic Braking System 87-88 TC's
written by Jeff Korn which also covers the relay
diagnosis and much more.
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How to Check distributor cam wear with a timing light
Article from Equus Tech Tips http://www.timinglight.com/resource/techtips.cfm
Perform this test after the timing has been set and the timing mark lines up with the reference
pointer for the No. 1 cylinder.
Connect timing light to spark plug wire directly opposite (180 degrees) of the No. 1 cylinder on the
Start engine and aim timing light towards timing mark. Reading should be the same as when timing
light is connected to the No. 1 cylinder. (Timing mark should line up with reference pointer). If
reading IS NOT the same, you may have a worn distributor cam or bushing, or a bent distributor
shaft. Repair as necessary.
NOTE: Distributor rotation is clockwise.
Picture courtesy of Brian Leavitt.
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87-88 Rear Brake Caliper Braket and Slider Pin Kit Part No's:
- by Gary
Schweikert The following part numbers are for the rear caliper brackets and pin kits.
RIGHT SIDE: Bracket.....F1DZ-2B511-A
LEFT SIDE: Bracket.....F1DZ-2B512-A
You need one pin kit for each side, Pin Kits include the pins, grease, rubber boots, and caliper
Back to Top
- by Jeff Korn Only one thing triggers the check turbo light: the overboost switch. If the
light stays on all the time, either the overboost switch is bad, or the wiring between the light and
switch is shorted to ground. Pull the electrical connector off the overboost switch (on back of pass
side strut tower, has only one vac line to it, and a single elect. connector) and see if the light
goes off. If it does, over boost sw is bad, if it stays, on you have a short to ground. If the
switch is bad, I would just leave it disconnected.
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(Blow Off Valve)
- What's the difference
- - by
BPV (ByPass Valve) - vents boost (high pressure air) back to the intake system before the turbo and
after the air meter when you close the throttle under boost. BOV (Blow Off Valve) - vents boost to
the atmosphere when the throttle is closed.
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- John Draxler / Thunderbird Ranch http://www.tbirdranch.com
There are many
things that can cause overheating. Most of you can list all the usual ones, and pretty much correct
them. However there are times when you have done all these things and still have a problem.
Overheating can be caused by a couple of things that are not cooling system related and these get
overlooked most all the time. One is the timing. If your timing is set too early you will run a bit
hotter than normal. If you suspect this then just retard the timing a bit and see if you can bring
the temp down and still keep a good running engine. Another one and one that is quite prevalent is
when your engine runs lean it will run hot. It does not take much to make an engine run lean either.
Lean condition can be caused by numerous things such as a bad O2 sensor, clogged injectors, plus a
few others. Sometimes you will not notice it in the running of the engine hardly at all. So if your
car tends to run hot and you are not positive that your fuel system is up to par............ check
it out. Also, be sure to check the operation of both fans as described in the Cooling Fan Test
article on the NATO Technical Articles Page http://www.turbotbird.com/techinfo/Cooling_Fan/CoolingFan.htm
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Switch Panel Lettering
- John Draxler / Thunderbird Ranch http://www.tbirdranch.com
If you have an 83-88 aero bird you probably have
found that your console panel that houses the switches for the windows and seats gets pretty worn
looking after a few years. Most have the lettering for the switches worn off by now and you are
wondering how to restore this. Many of you have searched high and low for a good panel in all the
yards and have called me and found that I do not have any either. I have found a fix. It is not an
easy one however it is very cheap. You can repaint the panel with semi gloss black paint and then
put new lettering on it. The hard part is finding the lettering. Well, I have found that model
railroad folks use a rub-off transfer lettering that works well for this. You will find this stuff
in local hobby stores where they sell model railroad supplies or pick up a model railroad magazine
and check out the ads. If you decide to do this I suggest putting a coat of semi gloss clear coat on
top of the lettering when you finish to protect your job.
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Door Lock Switches (83-88 aero birds)
- John Draxler /
Thunderbird Ranch http://www.tbirdranch.com
If your door lock switch buttons do not work anymore
you may be able to clean them and get them working again. Remove the panel and the switch from the
panel. The switch can be taken apart. However it is very delicate. First get some electrical contact
cleaner and hose it down good with that spraying into every crack and hole you can find. Work the
switch a bit to see if you can get it to come back to life. If you are brave and want to open it up
pay very close attention to how it is clipped together. That plastic is very delicate and breaks
easily. I do offer a cleaning and reconditioning of the these if you prefer not to take a chance on
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Ignition Switch Installation Tip
Question: I went to
the Ford dealer and got a new switch. Came back to install it and decided before I actually put it
in that I would connect it up to ensure it worked. As soon as I plugged the connector into the new
switch, everything started working - blinkers, A/C Blower, back-up lights - everything that didn't
work before. One problem though - the keys were still in my pocket !! SO I put the keys in my switch
and tried to start the car and the car would not start. I assumed the switch was the wrong one for
my car. Answer: The switch comes with the contacts set in the RUN position. TO properly install the
switch, turn the key to RUN, and install it. Then turn the key to OFF before reattaching the
connector. That way, the little pin will properly engage slot in the switch. Back to
Tail Lights Quit Working
- by Jeff
Korn At the light switch connector, jumper the T/W wire to the BR wire. If you have tail lights,
then the light switch is bad.
Do you have dash lights? If so, fuse 4 is OK, and the headlight switch is probably good. If you have
front parking lamps, but the rears are out, look for fuse 15 to be blown. Back to
Touble pulling codes
- Jeff Korn If you
are correctly running the code test, and the EEC wont give any codes, check to be sure that the 02
sensor ground is connected. It is a orange wire with a ring terminal on it grounded at one of the 2
bolts at the turbo inlet elbow. If the 02 isn't grounded, the EEC will not give codes. Back to Top
Door Hinge Fix
- Jeff Korn
My doors sag when they are opened. What is the problem? Answer:
Your hinge pins and bushings are worn out and need to be replaced. While any body shop can replace
these, it not too difficult to do yourself. The project should take about 1 œ to 2 hours. The
biggest problem is supporting the heavy door while the pin is out of a hinge. To support the door, I
made a U shape out of 3 pieces of 2x4 lumber, each 10 œ long. I mounted two of the pieces on
each end of the third piece so there was a 7 gap between the upright pieces. I used screws and
pieces of angle iron to be sure it was strong. I drilled a hole in the center of the bottom of the
U, and put a long bolt with a large washer through the hole. I removed the saddle from my floor
jack, ran the bolt through the hole that held the saddle, and secured the U to the floor jack using
a large washer and nut. To protect the door, I glued some old headliner material inside the U. The U
fits between the inside of the door, and the trim on the outside of the door, and securely holds the
door in place when a hinge is removed.
: 10px">Now for the pin and bushing replacement. Go to the HELP section of the local discount parts
store, and get two #38410 Door Hinge Repair Kits, which are about $3 each. Open the door all the
way, and somehow mark the exact locations of the hinges on the door. Support the door near the back
end with the home made U tool described above, or use your own method. Note that having a person
hold the door might not work, as these doors are HEAVY, and will need to be supported for 5 to 10
minutes! Do one hinge at a time! To remove the pins, I used a Dremmel tool with a grinding stone to
grind off the top of the old pin, and used a long screwdriver as a drift to knock the pin out
through the bottom. Once the pin is out, Use a œ wrench or socket to remove the part of the hinge
attached to the door (2 bolts). On the top hinge, the bushings are in the part of the hinge that is
attached to the car frame, and can be knocked out with a long screwdriver and hammer once the
outside part of the hinge is removed. Lube the new bushings, tap them into place, and reinstall the
part of the hinge that was removed EXACTLY in the same position it was on the door. Lube the new
hinge pin, and insert the new hinge pin from the bottom, tapping it in fully with a hammer and
screwdriver, punch, etc. When fully seated, the groove for the E clip will just be visible at the
top. Install the E clip, and you are done. The bottom hinge is done in nearly the same way, except
the new pin is inserted from the top, and the E clip is inserted in the second groove of the pin.
The bushings are in the part of the hinge that is removed, so replacing them is even easier than
replacing the bushings on the top hinge. Note that the pin will stick out of the bottom of the hinge
quite a way, but it doesnt interfere with anything. After fixing my sagging, kind of hard to close
driver side door, it now shuts just like the door on a new Lexus!!
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- Kevin Campbell http://www.sunroofdoctor.com
has the weather stripping,
about $60. Factory exact replacement. It is NOT hard to pull the window. 1. Put the window in the
vent (rear high ) position. 2. On the inside.. front edge.. the black molding has three little
screws .. remove them... the molding then can be slid to the rear (gently). 3. Now the 6 phillip
screws that hold glass panel in are exposed. Three on each side. Remove those and then lift the
glass out. 4. Pull the old weather stripping off... clean the mating surface. ( I used carb cleaner
on a rag, a razor blade and elbow grease). 5. Test fit the new gasket (it is too long and will need
to be trimmed). 6. Use weather-stripping cement. I used 3M brand. Follow cement directions. 7. Helps
to have a second set of hands when putting on the gasket so as not to get the cement on anything you
don't want it on. 8. Install new strip, pressing firmly all the way around to insure a good bond. 9.
Let it setup for 30-40 minutes. Then reverse the procedure used to take the window out..
reinstalling the glass. 10. Put the window in the closed position and let it set for a day or so.
The gasket needs to form against the body. Otherwise it is apt to bind when you try and retract the
roof into the body. Pretty simple.. made a BIG difference in wind noise reduction. My previous old
gasket leaked in a high pressure car wash. This one doesn't leak at all. Back to
Installing New Headliner
by Mr. T To
remove it, you need to take out all of the surrounding upper trim: Visors, front trim, side trim,
rear 1/4 trim panels, rear trim if you have an '83-'86. Take the dome lamp out. Next, put the seats
in full recline and at the lowest setting if you have power. Then have someone help you and take it
out through the passengers door.
As for the new liner, you MUST take off all of the old liner first. The tedious part is cleaning the
foam backing off the cardboard. You can scrape a lot of it off w/ your hand, but the remaining
particles need to be taken off w/ a scrub brush.
You should get the majority of it off and you will be left w/ just a thin layer of the old dried
glue remaining on the board. This is okay. You will want to re-attach the new liner w/ 3M Super Trim
Adhesive in a spray can (I think the part # is 08090) You may receive a lot of opinions on the glue,
but I spoke w/ Auto upholstery shops and they swear this is the only stuff that holds up properly to
the extended high temperatures that the roof can see during summer months. It is expensive (about
$14/ can plus tax). You will need at least two cans.
I suggest attaching it in two stages. Make all of your cuts for attachment/clearance holes AFTER it
is fully cured in place. Make sure you have more headliner than you need so it extends past the
edges. Start by spraying half of the board and half of the headliner and letting it get tacky. Then
folding the headliner down to the board and
lightly rolling it out w/ a small paint roller. Start from the middle and work your way out toward
the sides. Again, it is best to have someone help you to manipulate the headliner and board. After
you finish one side, repeat on the other half. You may want to leave it face up for a day to give it
ample time to cure.
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Rewire Fog Lights
by Jeff Korn The stock fog light wiring system is
poorly designed at best, and puts undue electrical loading on the light switch, multifunction
switch, and wiring harness. Putting higher than the stock 55 Watt bulbs in the fog lights will cause
even more problems, and lead to light switch and/or multifunction switch failure. There is a simple
solution to this problem rewire the system to operate the fog lights through a relay. When a relay
is used, the fog lamp circuit only carries about 100 milliamps of current instead to the 10 amps it
carries using the stock 55 W bulbs, or 19 amps when 100 W off road bulbs are used. This can
greatly extend the life of the light switch and multifunction switch if you use your fog lights
often. A small amount of additional wiring will make the fog lights come on automatically when you
switch to high beams, which will really light up a dark road ahead. I have the fog lights wired this
way on all three of my cars, and really like the light they throw. No wires need to be run through
the firewall to do these mods. All the wiring is done near the front of the car, on the drivers
side. DISCLAIMER: In many areas, using your fog lights with high beams is illegal, so this part mod
is for off road only. There, I said it, so the DOT cant come after me.
The basic mod: operating the fog lights through a relay Parts needed: A 30 amp fog light relay
(about $4 at any parts store), a relay socket or 4 female spade connectors to mate up with the relay
terminals, a fuse holder and a 30 A fuse, several feet of 10 gauge and several feet of 14 gauge
automotive wire. I suggest all connections be soldered, but I suppose some splice connectors would
work. The wire color codes listed are for the 87-88, but MIGHT be the same for 83-86, bit I am not
sure. Locate a place to mount the relay, and mount it. I mounted mine to the top of the core support
near the battery using a small metal L bracket. Crawl under the front of the car and locate the
harness going to the fog lights. Locate a part of the harness before it splits off to each fog
light, and extract several inches of the Tan / Orange wire from the harness. Cut this wire. Attach a
piece of 10 ga wire to the Tan / Orange wire GOING TO THE FOG LIGHTS, and run this wire to one of
the two relay contacts. Run another piece of 10 ga wire from the battery terminal of the starter
solenoid to a fuse holder, and from the fuse holder to the other relay contact terminal. The fuse
should be located as close to the starter solenoid as possible. TRYING TO GET BY WITHOUT USING A
FUSE IS ASKING FOR TROUBLE! Run a piece of 14 ga wire from the other Tan / Orange wire (coming from
the harness going toward the rear of the car) to one of the relay coil terminals. Run another piece
of 14 ga wire from the other relay coil terminal to a good ground. I used the same screw that mounts
the relay to the core support for a ground. Having the fog lights turn on automatically whenever the
high beams are switched on Parts needed: the only additional parts needed are two small 1 amp
rectifier diodes, 1N4003, 1N4005, 1N4007, etc, available at Radio shack, and some more 14 gauge
wire. Only a small amount of additional wiring is needed to make the fog lights come on with the
high beams. Put one of the diodes in the Tan / Orange wire going to the relay coil. This diode lets
current from the fog light switch flow to the relay, but blocks any current from the high beams from
flowing back to the light switch. Find the Light Green / Black high beam power feed wire going to
the driver side headlight, and tap into it with a length of 14 ga wire. Run this wire to another
diode, and run the other side of the diode to the relay coil terminal that the Tan / Orange fog
light wire goes to. This diode will pass current to the relay whenever the high beams are turned on,
thus turning on the fog lights, but will block the fog light current from turning on the high beams.
BE SURE TO CONNECT THE DIODES WITH THE CORRECT POLARITIES, OR NOTHING WILL WORK CORRECTLY!!! Back
Twin Turbos vs Single
by Rod Short - Sales Manager - Precision Turbo & Engine and Dave Andrews - Garrett Engine
Boosting Systems Recently a NATO member e-mailed me and asked us to respond to the threads about
twin vs. single turbo applications. Before anyone starts throwing stones, readers should be aware
that we are involved with both twin turbo and single turbo applications, so we do not have a vested
interest in either. Precision Turbo did the turbos and intercoolers for the first Sport Compact into
the 6-second zone (Grant Downing - twin turbo 3.0L inline six cylinder) and the quickest and fastest
single turbo small block door slammer on the planet right now (Chuck Samuel - single turbo 375 cid
6.44 @ 220 mph) We talked with Dave Andrews at Garrett Engine Boosting Systems who is an application
engineer that's had considerable experience designing race-only turbos of a wide variety of race
applications. His response is as follows: "There is currently a myth that multiple turbos are
inherently better than a single turbo when it relates to gasoline turbo charging," Dave said.
"This simply isn't true. A large single turbo is always more efficient than multiple smaller
units. The increased turbocharger efficiency afforded by larger units results in less backpressure,
lower intake manifold temperatures and often better transient response. As turbochargers increase in
size, they become more efficient. In the case of the centrifugal compressor wheel, as the wheel
diameter gets larger, the blades experience less back-flow due to favorable wheel/housing tip
clearances. The turbine wheel shares the same benefits when run in larger diameters. These increases
in compressor and turbine efficiency produce a higher overall turbo efficiency." "The
actual differences between single and twin turbos as it relates to horsepower can be
significant" he continued. "For example, on a 400-cid pro 5.0 engine, a well matched
single turbo can create the same boost pressure as twins, but with 12psi lower exhaust manifold
pressure. The lower exhaust pressure results in lower engine pumping losses and a slight increase in
volumetric efficiency. In addition, the single turbo will operate at a higher compressor efficiency.
This has two effects: less turbine power required (lower backpressure) and lower intake manifold
temperature. It's very possible to see 40 degrees or lower compressor outlet temperatures from a
good single turbo versus smaller twins. This translates into a cooler, denser intake manifold
charge. Comparing a large turbo compressor map to a smaller unit with half the flow capability will
immediately show the difference in compressor efficiency at a given pressure ratio." "I
only know of two situations where multiple turbos are better suited," Dave said in closing.
"The first situation relates to high boost diesel turbo charging where the user needs boost
pressures over 60psi. Competitive tractor pull vehicles often use multiple turbos. In this case,
series turbo charging (where one compressor feeds into another compressor) works much better than a
single unit in building ultra high boost levels. Another example of series turbo charging is on high
altitude aircraft. The current record holding aircraft for high altitude climbing uses two (and
sometimes three) turbochargers in series to make up for low air pressure at altitude. In both of
these examples the user requires a pressure ratio in excess of 5:1 whereas nearly all gasoline
powered racing bodies run below 3:1 pressure ratio (less than 30psi of boost). Hope this sheds some
light on the topic.
Rod Short - Sales Manager - Precision Turbo & Engine
Dave Andrews - Garrett Engine Boosting Systems
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What does "A/R" mean? -
by Pete Dunham from Corky Bell's book,
"Maximum Boost" It is the area to radius ratio. Think of a long ice cream cone. Now think
of that cone wrapped around a shaft kind of like a snail shell. Cut a little bit off the closed tip
of the cone. This hole is the discharge area for the exhaust gases. The area of this hole is the
"A" of A/R ratio. The "R" is the distance from the center of the area (A) to the
center of the shaft. No matter where along the cone you make this measurement the A/R for a give
cone will be the same. Back to the small open end of the cone. This determines the velocity of
exhaust gases exiting the cone and therefore the velocity of exhaust gases as they pass over the
turbine wheel. Overly simplified, the smaller the A/R , the quicker the turbo will spool up, but
also the more it will contribute to higher back pressure and reversion into the combustion chambers.
The smaller A/R also limits max turbine speed. This means that the .48 A/R turbine side (T3) will
spool a little quicker than the .63 A/R and will have higher back pressure, while the
.63 can achieve a
higher turbine speed (pump more air on the top end) This is a generalization. There are other
factors that determine overall turbocharger performance. The preceding was loosely paraphrased from
Corky Bell's book, "Maximum Boost", ISBN 0-8376-0160-6 from Robert Bentley Publishers. I
got mine at Amazon. I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to learn about turbocharging. Back to Top
Converting KPH Speedometer to MPH:
by Sam of Sam's Fox ThunderCats
As you all know, the
standard 85 MPH speedometer in these cars is a joke. The 140 MPH Motorsports unit is great, but on
the rare occasion that you find one the guy wants a mint for it. We Canadians fare much better - we
get a 200 km/hr (120 MPH) speedo from the factory. This speedo will bolt right into your US cars,
but the odometer will measure out kilometers instead of miles. This means that for every mile you
put on the car the odometer registers 1.6 - in other words, you end up showing many more miles than
what you've actually got on the car.
I recently installed a TC cluster into my '88 5.0 'Bird, and I did the tach mod to make it accurate
for a V8. It got me thinking, though, that perhaps the speedometer could be modified as well, so
that the odometer showed miles instead of kilometers. Today I took apart a Canadian and an American
analogue speedometer to see what the differences were. I found that as far as the odometer is
concerned the differences are purely mechanical - the gearing is different between the two, but the
electronics are identical. This means that, as I had originally suspected, you can install a
Canadian 120-MPH speedometer into your car with the US odometer attached to it. There are only three
screws holding the odometer assembly to the speedo head, so the swap is
quite straightforward. Now you can have your 120 MPH speedo with US odometer for a fraction of what
a Motorsports speedo would cost!
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Problems - Gauge, Sensor or what?
by Jeff Korn
What does the gauge read with the key on, engine off? Does it read zero pressure? With the key on,
pull the wire off the oil press sender. Does the gauge now drop to zero? If so, short the wire that
goes to the press sender to ground. Does the gauge go to the same place it does when the car is
running? As a last test, hook a DMM set on a low ohms range between the oil press sensor and ground
with the car running. Resistance should be around 5 to 10 ohms, roughly. If it reads zero ohms,
sensor is bad. BTW, have you put a real mechanical gauge on it to see what the press really is?
Ford had a bunch of complaints about high oil press readings on the factory gauge (in the red at
high end of scale).... their solution. Put a pin in the gauge to keep the needle from ever going
into the red!!
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Ranger Fan Conversion
by Gary S. email:
Here is the basic list of things I used.
All junkyard parts. Cheap!
1. Ranger Clutch and Fan assembly
2. Aerostar shroud
3. Upper Rad hose (I got this off my parts car but these are
some #'s on the hose itself 6A03 EBP 80MH19 21163
4. I used a 4" wide strip of sheet metal to extend shroud into
blades but 6" would have been better. Start by removing the dual fan assemblies. Unplug and
remove wires and tuck them away over by the fender, making sure they won't blow back into new fan
blades or belts. If you have the upper rad hose with the kink in it you are ok for fan blade
clearance. My upper hose went straight toward thermostat housing and would have been in the way of
fan blades so I robbed the kicked out one from my parts car. Next remove 4 bolts on water pump
pulley and remove metal spacer. I did this without removing belt but watch out, the pulley will kick
off to one side. Now bolt on the Ranger clutch fan assembly and tighten bolts evenly. Now the shroud
fits right into the bottom clips and use the two top bolts, just move the threaded clips to where
you need them. If you want the shroud extension (it will help pull more air through) wrap the metal
extension around the shroud and pop rivet on. There may be a better fitting shroud, I don't know for
sure but I got mine free so extending it was easy option.I think that wraps it up but email me
for any questions if anything seems vague. Back to Top
Clutch Fork part
by Pete Dunham
Info as of Feb. 2004 This is for those of
you that own manual transmission 87-88 Turbo Coupes. It recently came to my attention that Ford
discontinued the clutch forks for the 87-88 hydraulic clutch system. These had been available
through dealers until recently. I got this information from my local Ford dealer when I tried to
purchase a couple of these forks. What they told me is that a place in Wisconsin named Vintage Auto
Parts has somewhere between 90 and 115 of these left. I do not know if anybody else has any or not.
The phone # for Vintage is 877-846-8243. However when I called them to order the parts, they told me
they had them but that the forks had to ordered through a Ford dealer. Vintage would not sell direct
to me. I have been able to order some through my dealer. Delivery only takes a couple days. Like I
said, I don't know if any other obsolete parts dealer (like Green Sales) has any or not. My dealer
provided me with all the info on Vintage, including the phone number. if you go to your dealer, they
should see it in their computer when they look up the Part #: E7SZ-7515-A. Back to
Insurance Claim Tips & Advice
I just got notice today, after almost 3 months since I wrecked it, that insurance will pay me $4,000
to rebuild my car and not total it out or even mark the title rebuilt. I'm hoping my experience will
save someone else's car down the road. I've heard of cars being totaled just for a cracked header
panel. That's (expletive) insane. The burden of proof for the value of your car is on YOU,
unfortunately. Grab every listing you can. Point out the mileage/condition/rust differences. Just
say no. Every time your insurance comes to you with a number, it will only be a few hundred more
than the last time. Ask for proof on where they got their numbers. Contradict their findings with
your own facts. If they called the auto trader listings you provided, make them tell you WHICH ONES
they called, then point out those cars are far away, and that you also talked to the owner and these
differences/damage/options are worth more money. Every time your insurance offers you a number, they
will tell you the next step is for you to hire an appraisal. Tell them they have not exercised a
good faith negotiation on price, or due diligence in considering your research and receipts. Most
states laws have these buzz words in them regarding total loss, and these words always work in your
favor. File a complaint with the insurance commissioner; they got REALLY honest after I did.
In most states, they can not contractually force you to hire an appraiser until all of their
estimates are documented in the mail to you. Always ask for proof that you can verify, make them
prove where they got their numbers. Make sure they value your car to your car. Remember the initial
valuation I got only had one TC, 3 SC's and the rest v6 POS cars. I got them to throw that out.
Wait...Wait...Wait. They'll say they will call you tomorrow. So what if they don't (and won't). I
noticed they always called me after 2 1/2 weeks; they get pressured for not closing a claim. This is
the crucial key in any negotiation, and it only serves to better the "coercion by no
action" code of insurance law. Use your judgment, if it's too long, the same could be said of
you. However, they were always "sorry it is taking so long" which I replied "..of the
other 2 cars I had to choose from in my driveway."
In the last few weeks, with the insurance commissioner office waiting for a response so now the
fire's lit up, I started to hint I wasn't happy with their valuation etc. and wanted to keep it if
they won't value it right. That's when I got back to the adjuster and reminded him I wanted a copy
of the repair estimate, and also of the talk we had about parts when he looked at the car 2 months
Work with your adjuster that you can get parts cheaper than a dealer (honest truth they shopped at a
dealer for a hood...1500 bucks!!!). Make sure the parts they have in the repair estimate are
accurate and not duplicated or not needed. They had me down for 2 header panels and 2 bumpers...and
a new VAM, radiator, AC condenser. I called BS on that, and got the estimate down to $4k from $6500.
I showed them where they can get recycled parts locally cheaper, and told them I can get parts here
Find yourself a body shop willing to take your cause. Since you will get the money to turn over to
the body shop, you can work a cash deal and show up with parts for them saving money. A good body
shop will be more than willing to work with your adjuster - the one I found knew my adjuster from
previous work. Keep all your receipts...take good pictures of your car now before it's wrecked (my
beach pictures wow'd them). Tell them you don't need this car, you have others to drive to keep them
from pressuring you to settle. It's well worth the wait. You don't have to be a lawyer (I'm not -
but I happen to have a degree in entertainment law) just persistent, factual, and pleasant to all
parties no matter how pissed you may be.  You have to read and understand your policy. Know
the insurance laws for your state, understand it's terms.
Facts and truth always overcome the big company. Smiling ear to ear
NOTE: This is not legal advice, just my experience. I had the leverage of being on the west coast
where only ONE car was published on the internet in 2 1/2 months. Washington State has a liberal
term for defining value as "actual cash value" which was great because it's highly open to
debate and not locked by an appraisal firm.
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Red Fluid Leaking From Gillis Valve
Has anybody had experience with reddish oil leaking out of the body of their Gillis Boost Valve? I
installed mine yesterday and after running it today, found reddish colored oil leaking from the body
of the valve by the adjustment screw. The screw is adjusted so that 3-4 threads are showing. I'm
getting good boost but I'm a little worried as to why my car is "bleeding."] Any ideas or
This would apply to any red fluid in almost any hose or connection to the vacuum tree and vacuum
If your car is an automatic, I bet you vacuum modulator is leaking. The vacuum modulator is on the
side of the transmission. There is a vacuum line that runs from the modulator to the vacuum system
on the car. Transmission fluid is being sucked through the broken diaphragm and up the vacuum hose
to the engine. It's Pretty easy to swap, and not to expensive.
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Door Handle(s) Loose
Eric, from Cool
Anybody else's door handles loose? when I pull up to open the door the handle swings about a half
inch before it unlatches the door. Is there anyway to tighten it up? I am assuming there is a bar
attached to the latch mechanism right? any way to adjust it there?
If the rod between the handle and latch mechanism is even slightly bent, that can lead to slack in
the handle. Sometimes trying another rod altogether solves the problem. Sometimes it's a matter of
the handle gradually going up on the factory rivets. Sometimes the plastic grommet on the inside of
the door handle needs replaced. Sometimes the latch mechanism needs replaced. I had this same
problem on my old T-Bird Sport...the latch mechanism was probably the culprit.
The factory rivets, as mentioned, will loosen over time and that lets the handle wiggle. At this
time I don't know of a permanent way to fix that. It is possible that one could remove the door
panel, reach in with some pliers and try to flatten out the rivets a little. The problem with that
is, if you wiggle them too much, the metal on the rivets will snap off. It may be possible to jam
something like a matchbook in behind it to keep the tension.
If you are not so concerned about keeping the original rivets, the best solution I've found is to
drill them out and replace them with 1"-long carriage bolts. A little thread-locker, a lock
washer and you're all set. Should the handle ever become loose you can always tighten it down. And
this also lets you wiggle the handle to its optimum position, relative to the rod, to eliminate
slack. Another bonus: it's much, much harder for anyone to try and drill out a carriage bolt,
therefore it's got an additional safety measure.
I'm not a big believer in rivets as a permanent solution to most anything, and with the case of our
door handles, they eventually fail. They were just easier to install on the assembly line, I'm sure.
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