View Full Version : Biggest shafting in history. OT

12-03-2003, 01:14 AM
I'm not afraid of working on cars, I'm currently mid way through a complete resto and convertible chop of a 67 Morris, a 1275 Midget engine is in pieces on my bench as we speak. So......
Anyway, my wifes 99 Mountaineer started misfiring and the "check engine" light cam on. Oh oh, thought I, O2 sensor or some electronics somewhere, better let the dealer take care of it. She took it to the dealer.
Turns out it was a simple plug wire gone bad. Know what they charged to replace the plug wires?
$297.00 labour and $197.70 for the wires!!!! Total of $494.70 plus tax!
F%^&*ng outrageous! Is this typical for a Ford dealer? How long could it take?

Al Messer
12-03-2003, 01:21 AM
It's time to call your lawyer. Your wife is a victim of sexual discrimination as I guarantee they would not have charged a man that kind of a price for repairs, especially since only one plug wire was bad. They did not have to replace them all. She has been ripped off. Furthermore, I would post a letter to Ford's CEO via Registered Mail making a formal complaint. Rattle their cages--call the local TV station that likes to dig up dirt on businesses that operate in this fashion.

G.A. Ewen
12-03-2003, 01:28 AM
If it will make you feel any better to know that you are not alone I have had the same shaft (was yours knurled?) shoved up my arse twice in the last year. Two different shops, same results. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//mad.gif

12-03-2003, 01:57 AM
While I'm not familiar with that kind of vehicle, I almost had an experience like that with one of my past vehicles. It was a 96 Impala, to do plugs and wires was something like 6 hours labor. I managed to do it in just under 4 myself. Sure it wasn't easy, but god, 6 hours X way too much for shop rates ='s more $$ than I cared to spend.

I would definately go have a friendly talk with the service manager and see what he has to say.

12-03-2003, 02:43 AM
What does the repair order say? There may be a "Diagnostic" charge in there too. What's the Shop-rate? Going rate around here is $60/hr. Some as high as $140/hr up in the big city.

Dealer markup on parts range FROM 150 to 800%. Being in the bodyshop business, I often need special clips or retainers. If I have to buy them from the dealer, the cost is outragess. A simple plastic clip that goes for $0.40 in bulk will cost $2.75 at the dealer. A SQSFF fender I pay $37 for will sell for $290 at the dealer.

Here's some things you may be paying for and not seeing itemized on the RO.
Diagnostic Service - $49-89 (1-10 min.)
Reset ECM error codes - $49 (1 min. job)
Clean Servicing area - $40
Tool usage fee - $25-50
Shop Surcharge - $25 (High Risk, etc.)
Shop Materials - 2-5% of labor charge
Hazardous Waste Fee - $2-10
Old Parts Disposal Fee - $2-5

All these aimed at reducing the $18,000+ per day it takes to keep a dealership open.

Buy American! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

12-03-2003, 02:53 AM
In florida, you should ask for a written estimate (the offer must be printed on every job order. If you do not check the box (and thats all you have to do) they can charge as they please. Check the box and they should do no work until you approve. But that all water under the dam now for you.

But I had friend- with 280Z. Dealer replaced all injectors 800 dollars back in the 70's. Friend took them to small claims court. Dealer had lawyer and factory rep present. We asked if six injectors could go bad at once. Factory rep said no. Judge said refund the money AND labor for the five that must have been good. Maybe you too can divide your bill by six. Six wires probably do not fail at once. Dealer may argue they failed on at at time and the car still ran. Just be sure you agree before hand that you will not bill for lawyer fees. My idiot friend wanted lawyer fees and witness fee. HAd we lost HE (friend) would have paid their lawyer, the factory rep, the service manager,plus probably more. My fee (just make it legal) was 1 dollar. His lawyer was considerably more. Lawyer did nothing except read the questions we had prepared. I would do it myself were I involved. Course man who represents himself has a fool for a rep.

Its a rotten deal any way you look at it.

12-03-2003, 03:07 AM
I checked the part number for teh wires on the internet, first place I found was $93.99. So the dealer is charging an extra $104 over the "street" price for teh parts.
The repair order states:
Customer states check engine light on,
Verified customer concern. Hooked up NGS-EEC and retrieved code P)#)*, cylinder misfire. Remove spark plug and install test plug, still runs rough. Replaced all spark plug wires, cleared codes, run engine and reset OK road tested retest again OK at this time.

12-03-2003, 03:30 AM
I had to have the plug wires replaced on my PT Cruiser recently. A freekin chipmunk chewed them. Cost 92 dollars for the wires and $90 for the labor. In US$ that's about $130. I thought that was steep. I argued the shop materials charged and Glen took them off. He'd better, or I'll start charging the same way to fix their computers.

[This message has been edited by Evan (edited 12-03-2003).]

Paul Gauthier
12-03-2003, 09:17 AM
My wife was charged $565.00 for brake work on her 2000 Jeep Cherokee Sport. They replaced front rotors and pads. thats all. Rotors were warped so did need replacing. But why do rotors warp after only 40 g's. That car will never see the inside of that dealership again. My Toyota pick up had 140,000 when front rotors needed turning, Not replacing.

Paul G.

12-03-2003, 10:42 AM

[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 03-08-2004).]

12-03-2003, 12:35 PM
Paul, I'm no expert mechanic (neither expert nor mechanic), but I've always heard (and believed) that brake rotors can easily warp if you happen to go thru a puddle of water soon after real hard braking. And I've suspected that in some of my own experiences.

12-03-2003, 12:49 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Paul Gauthier:
My wife was charged $565.00 for brake work on her 2000 Jeep Cherokee Sport. They replaced front rotors and pads. thats all. Rotors were warped so did need replacing. But why do rotors warp after only 40 g's. That car will never see the inside of that dealership again. My Toyota pick up had 140,000 when front rotors needed turning, Not replacing.


Paul. Put in a call to the Chrysler warranty number. The rotors on both cherokees and grand cherokees have been having that problem for a number of years. I had it on my 97 grand cherokee and they replaced them for just a labor charge. Chrysler admits its a metalurgy problem with the disks and not a cutomer caused problem. If not taken care of it can effect the life of your CV joints. Which is why I got rid of my GC. CV joints= $1200 per axel at the dealer.
I highly recomend getting a Hayes manual or a chilton manual for your car. They don't cover everything,but you can at least find out how to access the codes and what they mean.

Greg Parent
12-03-2003, 12:58 PM
The biggest shafting in history was the space based X-ray laser.

12-03-2003, 01:08 PM

On a lot of the newer cars its a piece of cake to access the trouble codes. On my PT Cruiser all you do is hold down the trip meter reset knob while turning on the ignition. It then runs through a complete diagnostic including all lights on the panel, guage calibrations and displays any trouble codes. I keep a copy of the codes in the glove box so if anything goes wrong I can tell if it means a tow or a careful drive to the dealer. On many cars the codes can be accessed by turning the ignition on, off, on, off, on, within two seconds. Note: not to start but to run only. On the PT the codes are displayed on the electronic odometer which has an alphanumeric display.

12-03-2003, 01:09 PM
ALWAYS,ask them to save the old parts upfront. saves alot of hassel.

12-03-2003, 02:05 PM
Here, Ohio, they are required to save parts.
Had the wires replaced on my '94 Z-28, $200.00. Tried to do it myself, got #1 done.
I have completely restored a '69 Camaro a '68 El Camino and a '72 Corvette from ground up, including built 350's, so I do know auto mechanics.
Had a go around with the Z a couple of years ago when it broke a valve spring & dropped a valve. Took two dealers & 6 weeks to get repaired.
First dealer replaced EGR valve, distributor, water pump & plugs. Still not fixed. They wanted to pull engine as next step, I said I don't think so, put it together and give me the bill. They put it together, did not charge anything as they were unable to repair.
Next dealer took a week to find the problem & finally repaired it.
Main problem with both dealers was they insisted on using computer to diagnose the problem in spite of the fact that I kept insisting to run a compression check. Second dealer checked compression right away, and said it was Ok, I asked them about that later, and they said since they checked one cylinder, and it was Ok, the others must be OK too. I finally paid for repairs, but not for all the diagnostic work, as it was wasted from the first.
In my opinion, the average auto mechanic is no better than the average doctor. Or is it the other way around?

12-03-2003, 02:38 PM
My other car is a 92 Tempo. Bothing to brag about for sure. Was given to me. But the ling that connects to the throttle/kickdown? for the transmission needs a $0.25 plastic POS to retain it. Went to my local DORF dealer, said the only way youll get it is to par about $125.00 for the 6" piece of "flat stock" (my description) it attaches to. Needless to say, I wasn't impresswed an surely not encouraced to own another DORF, unless its a freebie, and then I'd still have second thoughts.

12-03-2003, 03:13 PM
I just read two articles and saw one tv show on the state of automobile repair,get this,they say that since there is a shortage of mechanics and even fewer kids taking training that the average pay for an ASME cert, mechanic is expected to be $85,000 per year by 2005.

Now Ken,I suspect that your 99 model had the original wires plugs etc, on it(same thing happened to me once)the first thing I would have done is checked the plugs wires etc,then the air filter(you probibly should run out in the drive and do it right now)then I would have went down to AUTO ZONE and for-get this-FREE got this neat little book on how to run your vehicle codes with an analog ohm meter,it shows you where to jump the connector and where to connect the leads and read the codes.

Of course this is all well and good though because cars are now as complicated as the human body,they can exhibit the syptoms of several different illnesses at the same time.Thats why I said check your air filter,it may be the real culprit.

Anyway my 10 year old Ranger had the original plugs wires cap and rotor and air filter when I changed them for the first time(325,000 miles).

On the Toyotoa thing,when they do break,which is just as frequent as anything else.remember their old sales pitch-You asked for it you got it!I once saw a poster with a guy bent over a parts counter with that same slogan across the top.I just love their one piece drive shafts on their "pickups" $485.00 a clip,and that was in 1980!

12-03-2003, 03:17 PM
Try changing the fuel filter on most new vehicles. What an amazing ripoff that is. It's in the gas tank. Bill? around $400 to $600.

12-03-2003, 03:41 PM

[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 03-08-2004).]

12-03-2003, 04:32 PM
You know my head is still reeling from $500 for a set of plug wires. I'm rebuilding a 1275 A-series BMC engine at the moment. I can get a set of big end bearings, a set of mains, thrust washers, duplex timing chain, oil pump, top and bottem end gasket set, piston rings for a grand total of $142!!!
I can rebuild an entire motor for $142 in parts and they get $500 for changing a set of plug wires!!
I feel violated, I'm going to write to Ford today for all the good that'll do.....

12-03-2003, 05:00 PM
Got another one. The windshield wiper motor went out on my 99 dodge ram.Dealer cost for new motor $234.00 WOW! Junk yard cost for used motor $40.00. Replacement motor, brand new, from american science and surplus.....dadadadaaaa $20.00. They're all the same motor, with the same wiring harness recepticle!

12-03-2003, 05:48 PM

[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 03-08-2004).]

12-03-2003, 06:40 PM
Rustybolt's comment about the wiper motor reminds me..., my driver side power window (93 Buick LeSabre) intermittantly will stop working as it reaches a point about 3" or 4" up when I'm raising it. (problem hasn't happened lowering). NATURALLY, it's always at worst possible time, eg. raining or real cold, etc. If I can get hands on the glass and take up the inch or so of slack, then retry, takeup slack-retry, etc., etc., I can work it up to the top. But if I wait awhile it'll start working again. Not sure if I've got a bad connection, bad motor, bad luck, 'er what. Any ideas? or similar experience?

12-03-2003, 07:00 PM
Might be the wires at the door hinge end. I had a car start doing that, and found that if I opened the door it would work again. Wires were broken internally; if I wiggled them I could recreate the symptom.

Got another one for y'all-
I have a 2000 Volvo. Volvo doesn't sell the repair manual for this car. To access it, you have to pay for a subscription to their on-line version. Only $1200. Per year! Trying to shaft the repair shops

[This message has been edited by lunkenheimer (edited 12-03-2003).]

12-03-2003, 07:14 PM
Thanks, Lunkenheimer. I'll check that out.

BTW, Weird, where do I go to get ASME certified? (But then I guess I oughta learn how to fix cars first, huh?) http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

[This message has been edited by lynnl (edited 12-03-2003).]

12-03-2003, 07:19 PM

Its overheating due to excess friction while raising. There is a circuit breaker that kicks out when the motor draws too much current and resets when it cools. Doesn't happen on the way down because the load is less. Lube the felt tracks with some ArmourAll or silicone spray. You could also lube the glass itself with some windshield silicone like RainX

12-03-2003, 08:46 PM
Have a look here and read,good stuff



12-03-2003, 09:23 PM
I owned an Aerostar back in 1988, it spent more time at the dealer than with me. I traded it for a Toyota Camary. I ran up until the divorce where she got teh car. When I buy traditional American brand cars after about 1980 or so, if they break down I donate them to charity. One exception, I had a 78 LTD Wagon up until two years ago, over 200,000 miles on it, it was just plain tired, so I donated it. The Dodge Omni I bought for a creampuff, blew up the oil filter gasket every other week It wne to charity. I have always had a nice new Toyota of some sort, with lots of warranties on them. The current one the oil changes were included.

Whats wrong with American manufactures, I mean the old fashion ones? Now that Toyotas and Hondas are American cars, shouldn't 3 other companies learn a lesson from that.


12-03-2003, 09:33 PM
I have another Ford story, I had a 91 Ranger and at 70,000 miles had water in the oil. Brought it to Ford to have it checked out, they say the heads are porous due to wear. I laughed in their face at that explaination and told them that is a defect and it should be covered under warranty. No way they say, unless it is part of a recall, no warranty on it. Bring it to my mechanic and have the work done, he did 5 replacements on the same engine in the past month, and it turns out the heads are cracked between the intake and exhaust valve seats. Go back to Ford and now they say if I had the work done there, they might be able to do something.

To make a long story short, letter to the CEO accomplished nothing and have not bought a Ford since.

12-03-2003, 09:45 PM
"To make a long story short, letter to the CEO accomplished nothing and have not bought a Ford since."

Have a lokk at the
and see art of conplaining and serect warranties.
ps There's a Ford in your future,but no future in your Ford

Dave Burnett
12-03-2003, 10:23 PM
I have a 2001 Grand Cherokee and the warped rotors have been replaced twice in 34000 mi. The first time was covered under warranty but the second time the wanted me to pay $360.00. I called Chrysler and told them I was not going to pay for it because it was a Chrysler quality problem. They ended up fixing them under warranty. The warranty is almost up so the next set will be my cost if I keep that piece of junk.

12-03-2003, 10:24 PM
You guys should think about how the shoe fits on the other foot. Before I started doing my own machining for cars, I got charged $300 for 15 minutes work. Machine shops are no freebies either. Add specing, setup, tooling and inspection charges and the $15 machining job turn to $300!

I often have to make old car parts. Some of the parts just can't be had for any amount of money. That's what got me into machining and metal forming.

Keeping jobs in America is fine but if you want quality work at a fair price, you have to do it YOURSELF.

12-03-2003, 11:50 PM
Sounds like the shaft was knurled or was a spline broach. My secret to avoiding (but not eliminating) stupid car repairs was to buy the "book" for each vehicle I own. Go to the auto parts store, get the book for your car, and get to know the trouble shooting area well. While you are at it, buy some stupid things like wax, cleaners you will never use, and maybe a mirror dingle bob on the next trip in -get to know your parts person...your greatest source of information. I have a whole box of $4.99 dinglebobs, and each time I buy the dingle, the guy knows something is coming, like a humbled plea for assistance - but never mind, the guy just made $4.97 on you with no real effort, and knows that you will be back for about $200.00 more in the next year.....

Fixed a friends ranger this past week. Would not start , and when it did, it was after several "clicks". lights blazed well, he thought "starter". The book (mine for my ranger) says check the battery cables, and the connections for secondary parts, and keep them clean. A bit of 320 grit paper, two minutes, the vehicle started, thus saving two trips to the garage, and probably $300.00 for the repair. Twas not the main connection..... Also cleaned the little switch connections on the walls of the engine compartment.

While at it, he complained that the dome light stayed on, and door ajar light stayed on. My vehicle did the same. The answer- WD 40 all aound the door latch mechanism, clean all around the door closers, check all little "thingies" for grit and such. Got the diagram from the "book" as to the electrics and where they attached for the light and switch. Saved a couple more trips and probably $120.00. Got this info for the price of a $4.99 pair of fuzzy dice.

I have found that fuses and fuse connections are the biggest culprits for major trouble shooting repairs. In the new vehicles, they are mounted right at the door, and one good solid shut of the door (read the wife has irritated you by shopping at the Christmas tree shop for seven hours buying Chinese crapola you will eventually throw away or store in one of many boxes that you swear are there just to trip the hell over during the summer BUT you can't throw them out. FOR the wife will never see them but for ten years later when she SUDDENLY remembers she has the singing santa monkey - you threw it away, but WAIT, you kept the damn stupid thing, so you have to go deep into the bowels of a wet and spider web infested cellar under fifteen other rotten boxes filled with more assorted crapola that you wish you could move to put your lathe there, but alas - you know this is coming well in advance, like ten years before - You are peeved, so you let the DOOR of all things know how peeved you really are, and then you kiss your wife) This sudden "shut" will sometimes jar one fuse, probably the most important or benigh=n one - until your fuel pump quits - into temporary coma until you open the little door for the fuses and re-seat them (or replace them). Got this info for a 12 pack of assorted little stinky Christmas tree air freshners ($4.99), and from the book.

Major repairs, you are but humbled, but minor gripes, and even some more detailed things, you can do them yourselves with the Hayes manuals.

By the way, can you tell how much I like Christmas shopping at a certain store?

[This message has been edited by spope14 (edited 12-03-2003).]

12-04-2003, 12:21 AM
My wife was asking me the other day Why don't you buy a new car"? As well as her piece of **** Mountaineer with the $500 plug wires, I drive a 94 Infiniti Q45. Only 70K miles so far but other than me changing a battery, brake pads and oil. I've done nothing to it and it's never gone wrong. IT's 5 years older than the Mountaineer, has done twice as many miles and is infintely more reliable (hey, maybe that's why they call 'em Infinitis?)
Anyway, I sdaid to her that "the next car I buy will be a 56 Chevy BelAir". I mean it, points, a carburettor, no EFI, no closed loop control systems with $1000 "black boxes" to go wrong, no $500 plug wires.
Yep, a 56 Chevy.......

[This message has been edited by kenc (edited 12-03-2003).]

Rich Carlstedt
12-04-2003, 12:57 AM
Boy, you guys sound really hard on your cars !
I think if you have all that trouble, maybe you should look at driving habits...?
Like the easiest way to blow a head is to start up the car, and drive like heck !
that will do it eventually. ( a 20 second warmup is for sissys anyway)
Warped rotors, how about driving thru water while hot, or even having your foot clamped on the brake for long periods of time at a stop.Disc cools elseware --not at pads!
If you have a bad dealer, call him out on it.
I had the muffler and tailpipe replacd on my 92 F-150 by my local Green Bay Ford Dealer last spring for $98 and all the muffler shops want 120...
My 91 Dodge Caravan has 192,000 miles on it and only tires/brakes/oil/belt ( 1 !) and a transmission problem last summer which turned out to be a broken C clip.
the dealer wanted 2,000, but my local (honest) mechanic tore it apart for 300
My 81 Chevy had 140,000 on it when I bought the Dodge.
So here in the last 22 years, I have had 3 vehicles from 3 different American makers, and NO complaints with over 400,000 miles, and none had their heads off, or major issues.

Me thinks you look in the wrong place Sherlock !

12-04-2003, 01:05 AM
Fords, eh.....?

Chevy S10 is no prize either....

ABS....turns the brakes off for 1.5 seconds when triggered by a small bump in road. GM and dealers all say that is normal....THEY apparently don't roll uncontrolled into intersections as the rest of us do (while standing on the brakes)

Brake rotors need replaced or turned every 6 mo or 5000 miles

Rear end bearings were bad (warranty)

Bigger trucks have a piston slap problem

12-04-2003, 02:24 AM
I had bought a brand new 1994 exploder - it had 20% anti-freeze in the engine at 2000 km. Ford siaf change the oild anf dont' worry about it. I told them F**k you, fix it. to make a long story short they went on for two head replacments, the second of which took I month for the o-ring gaskwts to com in from Germany. Isays, we is my loaner - they says "you don;t get one cuz you didn't buy extended warranty" so I says shove the truck right up your ass, you can talk to my lawyer. they says" wait, wait, we call ford" Ford SEZ "Giv the big bastard a car" so they bull up with a F&*(ing escort - I says eat **** and die, I bought a $30,000 truck not a 5,000 mandarin orange crate you cheap pricks. So dave gets a new loaded Tauris SVO and drive the **** out of it. Month later truck fixed, ford puke says, and I quote:"truck perfect, will never leak again". Davey drive home. Next day go to work early, stop at rotten roonys for McChoke & Puke meal come out truck pissing green on ground, Dave reaaly pissed.

Dave drive to work, engin over heat, don;t give a ****. Call asshole at ford. Tell it to come take and shove up anal orfice. Butt smoocher call dave later say heads leaking. NOOO! You Don't Say! Me never guess by self - go figure. Tell someone that cares, not my problem now your problem. Butt muncher say call back. Other butt muncher from detroit call dave and say they replace engine in piece of turd called ford. I say great - were is my loaner car? Oh, you don't get a loaner cuz you don't have ext..bite MY ROSY RED ASS and dave hangs up. butt mucher calls back and apologises for being a butt muncher and says escort is on way.. sorry, I can't fit ib anything smaller than a crown vic or a lincoln...

They had to fly the motor in from germany took them a couple months - a week after they put it in it pissed antifreeze all over the parking lot (again - they did not install the block heater properly) this time I did shove it up their butts...

G.A. Ewen
12-04-2003, 02:40 AM
Now we all know what to do the next time we get the shaft from an auto dealer,,,, sick Dave on them. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

12-04-2003, 10:30 AM

[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 03-08-2004).]

12-04-2003, 12:46 PM
gawd - dave / THRUD, I haven't laughed that hard in months, probably was not that funny to you, but that is one of the most humorous posts in recent memory.

Please remind me NEVER to be your mechanic.

12-04-2003, 12:54 PM
Whenever anything goes wrong with my '51 Buick Riviera, I buy duct tape and bailing wire. Well,... OK, maybe not duct tape and bailing wire, but it sure is a lot easier to fix stuff on that, than all the new-fangled cars that require a four year computer science degree to change the oil! I thought about buying a modern car once: a '57 Ford Fairlane - but don't know if I want to learn to handle those new 12 volt systems...

12-04-2003, 01:15 PM

[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 03-08-2004).]

12-04-2003, 01:32 PM
Yeah, Dave's story of his Ford Exploder brings to mind the line "...well, other than THAT Mrs. Lincoln, what did you think of the play...?" http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

12-04-2003, 01:57 PM
Lynn: Re your window problem. Try keeping the engine running (maybe even running above idle). The battery puts out 12 volts the alternator puts out 13 volts (I know the numbers are BOTH smaller than a voltmeter will show). Power is voltage squared (all other things unchanged). 12 times 12 is 144, 13 times 13 is 169, which is quite a difference, and to add to that- a motor running fast draws less current than one turning slower. The more current it draws ,this less voltage you have. Any way try the engine running thing- I keep telling wife to not do the doors and seats unless the engine is running.

ANother thing-more complex. Most cars feed the windows electricity through a bunch of connectors and the switch. Each connection is a possible source of losing power. By the time the voltage gets to the motor (via window switches, ignition switch, wire wall connectors, It is a wonder the motors spin at all. The poor connnection problem gets worse as the car ages.

If you can find which wire "feeds" the door from the ignition switch (it will be 12 volts when key is on and 0 when key is off), just run a temporary wire from battery to the window motor wire (thus eliminating voltage drop of poor connections) and see if it works better. If it does, consider installing a relay to get higher voltage to the motor. A good trick (solution) for dim headlights, slow fans, window heaters etc, is to install a relay. It would be smart to measure the voltage at/near the door hinge (even better of course would be to measure right at the motor). Connect the voltmeter leads and see how the voltage changes when the door motor is running. If it drops more than a volt or so- your trouble is between where you measure and the battery and the relay may help. If it does not drop then the trouble is between where you measure and the door Motor.

To install the relay:
Feed a 12 gauge wire (with a fuse in the line) directly from the battery positive to one set of contacts on one of those cheap "headlight relay" that so many cars use now. other side of the contacts goes to the wire that fed the door motor. Cut the original door motor feed wire and connect it to the "winding" terminal of the relay. then ground the other end of the relay winding.

The relay thing will not cure partially broken wires that are AFTER the contacts. Nor will it cure the binding Evan and company speak of. Be sure to check (if you can get to it) that the "ground" wire from motor to ground circuit is nice and clean and tight. MORE DAMN PROBLEMS come from poor ground circuits and lots of otherwise good troubleshooters overlook the grounds.

BTW: a poor ground probably will not show a voltage drop on your meter.

12-04-2003, 03:22 PM
Dan (Pgmgrdn)
I too will soon have a basic car on the road.
It's a 67 Morris Minor - a bit like a Bug - they didn't change much from 1946-1971. No black boxes, no EFI, No ABS, No traction control. Anything that goes wrong I can fix.
It will have a slightly bigger than stock motor (1275 MG Midget which I'm currently rebuilding). If you're interested my exploits - cutting off the sedan roof etc can be seen here:

I still want a 55-57 Belair as a daily driver though, the Morris would be for (due to gutlessness)weekends only!


12-04-2003, 03:32 PM
Yep, madness. Ken, I had one Morris Minus that I cut off everything that I could. Roof, fenders, boot and bonnet, no doors, everything! I could park it in a tight space with the back end sticking out, hop out and run to the back end, pick it up and carry it up aginst the curb. Had a friend hold it up once while I changed a tire...

12-04-2003, 04:24 PM

[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 03-08-2004).]

12-04-2003, 04:30 PM
Thanks Guys,
That's why it hurts so much to be stiffed for $500 for a set of plug wires. It's not like I'm scared to tackle car jobs....but what the hell do you do with modern cars? They're no longer set up for the home mechanic to fix.
Just ordered a couple of books on the 55-57 Chevy Belair, the ball is rolling! ;-)


12-05-2003, 01:36 AM
Well your all wrong!Best idea I seen in a long time,go out and buy your self an old car/pickup,buy everything you need to completely rebuild it,buy any and all parts required and do everything your self from the ground up!You know what it was done,the result-much better vehicle that the s--- they make now,cost less than half of new and you still got the tools afterwards!The only modern parts I would use on the motor would be multi port fuel injection because its the key to life when dealing with pistons.

Now for the rant!Chevy!most I ever got out of one was 15,000 miles,POS all the way,m@&%*%@!one ton couldn't even pull a semi down the road two lousey miles without vaporising the pistons,454 my hairy white a--!And for all time anybody who would knowingly bolt a starter on like that is a born idiot!Oh and the f---ing v-6!Who do we have to thank for that one? Anybody know?-Yep you geussed it-General Mothers! One thing has always baffled me about G.M.-why when they have a good make like Oldsmobile or Packard do they ditch them? Maybe because they make Chevy look bad?Now they have an in-line uh? five cylinder?WTF happend to number six?Oh thats right,if they used all six it might last more than a year.It think its funny that G.M. hasn't turned a dime selling cars in 15 years,the whole comapny is kept afloat by the home mortage business.

Then we got G-D-DODGE!Determined to build the ugliest cars on the road!The single biggest problem with them is Benz,home of p--- poor electrical systems and suspension that boogles the mind and robbs the check book.

Toyo,Nissan,Mitsu and etc.all the same,lots of really expensive parts(oh if you only knew how many of those I see in a week)always front end bearings,can't gett'm at A/Z either,nope you have to go oem and pay four times as much.

Now Ford,they have problems I'll admit,but of the three I have owned(2 rangers,and one 150 van)all have at least 350,000 miles on original rings,one little ranger with the 2.3L has over 750,000 on it and still doesn't use any oil,my secret?Flog them daily!Chevy drivers can't do it,to used to pampering those dinky little main bearings and the sub-par Spicer drive line.

Well thats about it,basically all new cars suck!I love the phrase"best car in its class"or "best car on the road" kinda like "graduated top in my class"what does that really mean?It doesn't mean anything,just means your a little smarter than the idiot next to you(cars are graded on the curve too) Rant mode off.

[This message has been edited by wierdscience (edited 12-05-2003).]

12-05-2003, 01:49 AM
You know if you buy all of the parts to do a complete rebuild, they may all have a lifetime warranty on them. You still the tools and a working knowledge of the car.

You could make it last forever then.


12-05-2003, 03:52 AM
I have had a new car/truck/van every two or three years for the last 30 years. Had Ford, Chrysler and GM. I used to work for Xerox and had a new company vehicle every few years. They are all the same. I have a Ford Ranger club cab 2.9 litre small pickup. 5 speed, 4x4, positrac front and rear. It is a 1988 with about 110,000 miles. I had to replace the front bearings and joints (four wheel drive is really hard on the universals, use it a lot, doesn't have CVJ). Might have something to do with hauling a heavy camper through the Central Valley of California at 110F. The bearings were blue. Put brakes and rotors on it too, and new exaust. Might have something to do with hauling a fifth wheel trailer over 10,000 miles with it. I broke a front spring a couple of years ago. Probably due to taking a 4x4 trip over Yanks Peak. Climbing 45 degree rock faces, 20 klicks through the "frame twister". Still no rust.

I break in all my vehicles very carefully. Drive slow, slightly faster, slower, etc, for 500 miles then change the oil. On any vehicle I have done this on it never burns any oil. Goes change to change without needing any added.

I have a Chrysler PT Cruiser. Excellent car. Very nice, reliable and excellent features as well as fit and finish. The only vehicle I had any real trouble with was a GM Suburban. It spun the main bearings for no reason at all at about 50,000. Also the positrac died at about 10,000.

[This message has been edited by Evan (edited 12-05-2003).]

12-05-2003, 09:14 AM
"The biggest shafting in history", income tax!

12-05-2003, 07:40 PM
Biggest shafter in US history? Bill Klinton (oh, let me count the ways)!

12-07-2003, 03:47 AM
S. Spope
Glad you liked it. In retrospect it was hilarious I am sure. The whole fiasco ended up costing me $65,000 and permanently made the the ford word a foul taste in my mouth - but at least I still have the two cheezy exploder key chains and the pen as a constant reminder that I should have just bought a rambler instead - oooooh!!! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

12-07-2003, 12:48 PM
Okay, I looked up the cost of wires for my car.

Discount price is $360 for the OEM set. It takes about an hour to replace all 12 wires plus the two distributor leads, so add another $100 labor.

So, there you have it. Prices are about the same for the two vehicles.

However, mine is a '96 Porsche. I can't imagine paying that kind of money for a Ford!

See if they will give you $80,000 in trade since they are so fluent with money.