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Category Archives for "Ford Cars"

1968 Shelby GT350 – Various Repairs

1968 Shelby GT350

Our featured service is a variety of repairs performed on a 1968 Shelby GT350 Mustang, brought to us by a client from Point Grey, Vancouver.

1968 Shelby GT350

1968 Shelby GT350. Sexiest car on the road?

Initially this beautiful 1968 Shelby GT350 came in with a couple of repairs needed, but as frequently happens with these vintage cars the list grew longer.

The vehicle had failed the AirCare test for excessive CO emissions at idle. Fortunately these repairs were quite simple and required carburetor adjustments.

Item two on the list was to get the A/C system working. This car had previously undergone extensive service and restoration work at another shop. They had installed air conditioning but for some reason never got it operational. We installed wiring to operate the compressor, tightened the hose fittings and charged the system.

Engine oil leaks were item three. We diagnosed the leaks and found the oil pan and valve cover gaskets leaking. We repaired these leaks using the most modern gasket technology ensuring  a long lasting repair.

After some extensive road testing a few more issues occurred: the headlights started to flicker on and off due to a defective headlamp switch; a coolant leak developed from the radiator and the temperature gauge was reading incorrectly. We proceeded to repair all of these concerns.

This 1968 Shelby GT350 Mustang is an exceptionally attractive car. I’ve driven many different types of cars and this vehicle has garnered more attention than anything else. It’s akin to a hot blonde in a mini skirt walking past a construction site. People stopping at red lights give a thumbs up, heads turn while driving down the road, driver’s honk, while others wave as the car goes by. It’s amazing; people really love the look of this car.

While this car is certainly gorgeous I really don’t like driving it much (sorry!). Older cars especially 60’s muscle cars look incredible and sound good too but they don’t hold a candle to modern car technology. Many modern cars blow these things away with speed and acceleration plus they handle and brake well. Late model cars are infinitely safer in a collision.

In defense of our featured Shelby the owner has modernized many components of this vehicle: the steering features rack and pinion steering; suspension is upgraded with modern components; the transmission is a five speed with hydraulic clutch and the brake components are modern and improved. All of these make this car much better to drive than an original Mustang.

For more about the Shelby GT350 click here

For more about Carroll Shelby, the man behind this amazing car click here

1968 Shelby GT350

Engine compartment of our featured 1968 Shelby GT350. Even this looks gorgeous.

2001 Ford Explorer – Engine Replacement

Ford Explorer

Today’s featured service is engine replacement on a 2001 Ford Explorer Sport Trac, brought to us by a client from Dunbar, Vancouver

Ford Explorer

2001 Ford Explorer Sport Trac

For over a year this Ford Explorer, equipped with a 4 liter overhead cam V6 engine had a loud rattling noise while running. We had advised our client that the timing chain was likely the cause. Repair were costly and so it was left. Finally, last week, the chain guide for the left bank timing chain broke apart and the engine was finished.

We managed to locate a reasonably priced used engine in good condition and after the very labour intensive process of replacing the engine our client now has a good running truck with a rattle free engine.

Many engines have timing chains. In the past, when engines were simpler the timing chain was a short chain running between the cam gear and the crank gear. With many modern engines featuring overhead camshafts timing chains have become a very complicated affair. Where once 3 parts sufficed, now many timing chain systems feature a dozen or more parts. Chains are very long and may drive 2 or 4 camshafts. Some engines have 2 to 4 chains. There are many gears along with guides  and tensioners to keep the chains tight.

Generally timing chains are very reliable however, when they wear or something breaks, they are very expensive to repair. Changing engine oil on a regular basis is critical to long timing chain life. I cannot stress that enough. Few car owners really appreciate the complexity of their cars engines. Modern car engines feature more technology than a Ferrari of a couple decades ago.

While timing belts have a recommended replacement interval, timing chains do not. If your vehicle is equipped with a chain you need not worry about when to replace it. Just change your oil religiously and keep your ears open for noises from the chain. Once noises become constant the chain and it’s components will need to be replaced.

For more information on the Ford Explorer Sport Trac click here

Ford Explorer

View of left cam gear and timing chain. We did not need to remove the valve cover as it was broken open when the chain guides came apart. The red arrow points to the timing chain & blue arrow to cam gear. The yellow arrow points to a piece of the timing chain guide. This part normally sits lower and out of sight. Other parts of the chain guide were found behind the gear.

1979 Ford Mustang 5.0 Liter – AirCare Repairs

AirCare Repairs

Today’s featured service is AirCare Repairs to a 1979 Ford Mustang 5.0Liter brought to us by a client from Oakridge, Vancouver.

AirCare Repairs

1979 Ford Mustang 5.0 Liter. The car is showing signs of age with the rust showing through in many areas

This Mustang came to us having failed the AirCare test several times for very high hydrocarbon (HC) emissions. There are many causes of high HC emissions but when they get as bad as this Mustang’s it usually indicates an engine misfire.

An engine misfire can be described quite simply, and we’ll use our Mustang’s V8 engine as an example: for every two engine crankshaft revolutions, all eight cylinders will fire once in sequence. That means that each cylinder draws in air and fuel, compresses it, a spark plug ignites it and the subsequent explosion creates power that drives the engine. If the fuel and air does not ignite we have a misfire. As you can imagine, if the cylinder is full of air and fuel and it fails to ignite, the raw fuel and air gets pushed out of the engine on the exhaust stroke as it readies itself for another charge of air and fuel. Raw fuel (gasoline) is made from hydrocarbons, and this is where we get the high HC emission.

As with all AirCare repairs we start with a diagnosis. On this Mustang we found one severely fouled spark plug as the major cause of the failure. One spark plug not firing consistently will cause the high hydrocarbon emissions that this vehicle was producing.

You can see from the compared test results the enormous reduction in HC emissions after the repair. What is interesting to note is that while this is a good result, the emission levels in this vehicle, even when running well are grossly high when compared to any modern vehicle. This Mustang is old technology and that’s just how it was.

I must admit I enjoyed driving this car, mostly because it brought back memories of a bygone era. While this Mustang is no muscle machine, it is a small and nimble car with big windows and great visibility. We see very few cars of this vintage anymore. This year and model of Mustang lacks the attributes (power and good looks) of earlier and newer generation Mustangs. It’s also indicative of just how lackluster cars were in the late 70’s and early 80’s. In the annals of automotive history it is an era that will not be missed.

For more about this generation of Ford Mustang click this link

For more information about AirCare Repairs and testing click this link

AirCare Repairs

AirCare Inspection Data. Previous test failures are on the bottom and red arrows point to failed HC readings. Passed readings are noted by green arrows. ASM is the ‘driving test’ portion. Note the huge difference in numbers: this makes a huge difference to air quality. As a side note, if this vehicle had a catalytic converter, the HC & NOx readings after repairs would be near zero.

2006 Ford Escape – ABS Tone Ring Replacement

Ford Esacpe

Thursday’s featured service is ABS Tone Ring Replacement on a 2006 Ford Escape, brought to us by a client from Kerrisdale, Vancouver.

Ford Escape

2006 Ford Escape

The ABS tone ring is a toothed wheel mounted on the axle shaft and sits in close proximity to the ABS wheel speed sensor. As the tone ring turns it ‘pulses’ the ABS sensor to generate a signal to the ABS module. The signal varies in amplitude and frequency depending on the speed that the wheel is turning: from this the ABS module can determine the speed of the wheel and the rate that it is accelerating and decelerating.

Our 2006 Ford Escape came in with the ABS warning light illuminated on the dash. We connected our scan tool and found a stored code for the right rear wheel speed sensor. We performed further diagnosis which included road tests while monitoring the data on our scan tool. Back at the shop a hoist inspection found the ABS tone wheel cracked. When the wheel cracks it becomes out of round and causes the sensor to generate erratic signals.

In the case of our Ford Escape we had two options: one was to replace just the ring and the other was to replace the entire axle shaft which contains a new ring. We opted for the latter option because the axle was so badly rusted that a new ring could not be put on and removing the rust would have resulted in a loose fitting ring. A loose ring would be just as bad as our broken ring.

Tone ring breakage is a fairly common failure. This is the second ring that we have replaced on this vehicle as the right front one broke a year or so ago. What causes these rings to break is usually rust. Over time, the axle which is made of steel starts to rust and the rust expands the metal under the tone ring. Eventually the ring cracks from the pressure.

This Ford Escape, in spite of having very low mileage was frequently driven to Whistler and has seen a fair bit of road salt. Salt vastly speeds up the rusting process so if you drive in salty winter road conditions expect that you will experience ABS tone ring failures.

For more about ABS braking systems check out this link

and this link

Ford Esacpe

Ford Escape right rear axle shaft on top with broken ABS tone ring below. The blue arrow points to the place where the tone wheel normally sits. Note the excessive rust.

2004 Ford Escape – Power Steering Pump Replacement

Ford Escape

Power Steering Pump Replacement on a 2004 Ford Escape, brought to us by a client from Oakridge, Vancouver is our featured repair for Thursday.

Ford Escape

2004 Ford Escape

The most common cause of failure on a power steering pump is fluid leakage and that’s exactly what happened to this Ford Escape ‘s pump. Often when the pump leaks it will soak the drive belt(s) with oil, and that’s also what occurred on this vehicle.

Power steering systems consist of 2 major components: the pump and the rack and pinion or steering box depending on application. Lesser but equally crucial components are the power steering hoses: one a high pressure hose and one a fluid return hose. Leaks can occur from any of these 4 components and over time they will fail on most vehicles: it’s just a matter of when.

Power steering pumps are found on most vehicles though they are slowly being made obsolete by the usage of electric power steering systems.

Electric power steering eliminates fluid leaks as a cause of concern. However they are not bullet proof and can still fail for other reasons.

The Ford Escape is the same vehicle as the Mazda Tribute. Ford and Mazda have done many joint vehicle projects over the years: the Ranger & B-series pickups and the Probe & MX6 to name a couple. Often you can buy the used Ford model for much less money than the Mazda. Generally American vehicles depreciate more quickly than their Japanese counterparts.

For more information on the Ford Escape click here

For more information about how power steering works click here


Ford Escape

Ford Escape power steering pumps: replacement pump on left, old leaky pump on right

2006 Ford Freestyle – Throttle Body Replacement

Ford Freestyle

Today’s featured service is Throttle Body Replacement on a 2006 Ford Freestyle with 3 liter V6 engine.


Ford Freestyle

2006 Ford Freestyle

Our client’s Ford was suffering from several serious concerns including the vehicle occasionally having no acceleration. Even more worrisome was that the problem would strike without warning: put down the gas pedal to cut out into traffic and the car would not move. It’s the sort of unpredictability we can all do without. Additionally the check engine lamp was on.

Diagnostic tests revealed a defective throttle body assembly and after replacement the vehicle ran great.

Since the dawn of the automotive era, all gasoline engines had throttles which opened and closed by a mechanical linkage to the gas pedal (a cable or rod). This Ford’s throttle body is typical of most throttle bodies used on mid 2000 and newer cars. They are electronically actuated: instead of the throttle moving by mechanical linkage it opens and closes via an electric servo motor which receives it’s commands from the powertrain computer.

For more on the Ford Freestyle click this link.

For more information on electronic throttle bodies click this link.

Ford Freestyle

Electronic Throttle Body Assembly from 2006 Ford Freestyle



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