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Ferret II

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Everything posted by Ferret II

  1. Elusive Ferret checking in! :) It sounds like a truly epic group this time. I wish I could make it, but already had something planned :( I will hope for news - better yet, pics! 20+ Contiques is truly amazing. My two pre-98 rascals are doing well. Ferret got a new(ish) muffler system. Just regular stock, but nice to have the muddy sound from three or so rusty holes gone!
  2. Thank you for sharing this with us, Dom. I am just so sorry to hear the news. Terry has felt like such a permanent – and huge – pillar in our community, that it’s hard to believe he’s gone. I’ve truly appreciated his unique personality and his ready willingness to share his vast knowledge and skills these many years. I can only begin to imagine what his sudden passing must be like for his family and closest friends. My deepest condolences to them. RIP, Terry.
  3. Sorry I can't help with an idea for pricing, but it looks very pretty! So clean looking, and I like the contrast of white with the tinted windows. Sorry you have to sell it, but I hope it stays in the forum and you get a good price.
  4. Thank you, Terry! I don’t know for sure when the rod shifter was changed to cable (I think 1998?), and am wondering if there’s any chance the backup lamp switch for the '98-99 Contour or Mystique 2.5L w. MTX might work, or be modifiable? We haven't taken out the backup lamp switch (it’s not very easy to take off, so hoping to have the part first); but from the outside it looks like the ’98-99 switch, which is available - I pasted a couple links to pictures here: http://btsautoparts.com/products/sw-5229-motorcraft-back-up-switch-new http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/carquest-by-bwd-back-up-light-switch-s26077/18971428-P?searchTerm=back+up+lamp+switch# Below is a link to a picture of the backup lamp switch in our car. The harness visible above was pulled out of the switch. From a variety of sources, including the Ford manual, we were expecting a two-wire switch, whereas the harness has a five-position connector, which seems very odd. Only four of the wires goes into the switch, and it’s possible two of those are ghosts (if there are only two pins on the switch itself, like there are on the ’98-99 switch). Thanks again.
  5. Ferret II


  6. Ferret II

    Backup Lamp Switch

    Sorry, I posted this by a mistake. Moderators, please feel free to delete it!
  7. Hello. The wheel speed sensors tested okay, and I’ve checked some wiring and grounds. Still trying to rule out whatever I can before taking off components. I’ve found a backup lamp switch issue, which is probably unrelated but I’d like rule it out. The back-up light comes on briefly when I start to back up, then goes out. If I barely hold the transmission in reverse, even lightly touching the shift knob, the backup light stays on, operating as it should. I searched here and on various other forums, but found little info. A pretty comprehensive search for the part has turned up no availability – OEM or aftermarket – of the backup lamp switch I need, which is for a pre-98 MTX (rod shifter). Does anyone know if a very slight adjustment to the linkage could correct the backup light issue? I’m guessing this might be a question Terry may be very familiar with! Also, any suggestions for the easiest route to the ABS module wiring, so I can check the connections on the two wiring harnesses? Thanks!
  8. Hi. Years ago I replaced the trunk lifters on my '95 Contour SE, which has the small pre-'98 spoiler. I got Monroe lifters from Rockauto, and found them too stiff. They're finally loosening up a bit, but for a long time I had to have both hands free to close the trunk. I also have to make sure to not let the trunk open on its own, because it bounces at the top and could damage the hinges. Maybe I got a particularly stiff pair of Monroe lifters. In any case, they might be fine with a heavier spoiler. Sorry not to post sooner. I searched for an earlier thread I thought I'd posted on about this, but couldn't find it. I guess either I'm not great at searching, or I had posted something on CEG.
  9. In the EVTM Ford manual on page 151-4, there’s a diagram of the engine bay showing an ABS Diagnostic Connector; it’s located at the inner, top front area of the wheel tower and numbered C-126. Just wondering if the following is correct: If I hook up a ground to this connector it should flash ABS codes (in the case they exist), i.e., the ABS lamp would blink out a code inside the car. If this is correct, does anyone have any other information about the procedure for this? For example, should the car be running or ignition on; and should it be temporarily or continuously grounded? I want to make sure I don’t ground something out! The reason I’m approaching it this way is I can’t get codes through the DLC connector using any of my scan tools. The DLC looks to be an OBDII, but does not provide ABS data, which may be why the ABS Diagnostic Connector is under the hood. Thanks!
  10. Thank you very much for the comments! Both are very helpful. We continue to troubleshoot and gather information, and I'll be posting an update soon.
  11. Hi. Here's a little more info. What’s happening is my Traction Control light sometimes comes on after driving awhile, and stays on. Upon re-start, after the engine has cooled, it operates normally for awhile. About a week ago, on a very rainy day, the TC light came on. However, this time, a bit later in the drive, the ABS light started blinking in time with the TC light – i.e., when one would flash off the other would flash on. As I drove this “light show” grew quite fast and somewhat random (though still following the one light on the other off pattern). I didn’t notice if it was related to driving speed, but it didn’t appear at all related to braking. This weekend, on a less rainy day, I drove the car and eventually the TC light came on, but the ABS light stayed off. Also, the CEL came on during the “light show” drive, but when we read the engine data there was nothing new or surprising. However, the issue is we can’t access any ABS data (this is through the OBII under-dash connector). There’s a message “Trying to Communicate”, but nothing happens. We have three scan tools, and all three read ABS/wheel speed/wheel sensor data on our Chevy GMC truck, but we cannot get any of the scan tools to retrieve any of this data on the Mystique. The three scan tools are: Snap On MT 2500, Tech One, and Auto Enginuity. The Mystique factory manual does call for a brake-out cable connected to a under hood connector utilizing a star tester, but we think that may be because the modern scan tools may not have been available in the mid-90s. The GMC truck is a ’96, too, so it seems a Ford issue. My tires are new and properly inflated; and at least the front brake pads are pretty new, and the brakes work fine. The car has 60K miles, and so far the engine harness appears in great shape. Also, just to note, on my car when the TC button is pressed the light comes on and TC is off/disabled. Press the button again and the light goes off, enabling TC. However, currently, after the light spontaneously turns own depressing the TC button does nothing. Any ideas about accessing data or otherwise troubleshooting would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.
  12. Hi. Has anyone had success reading ABS codes? Our scan tool, despite being fairly sophisticated, just can’t seem to communicate and retrieve ABS data. We think the issue is related to diagnostic standardization being developed around the time the car was manufactured (’96 Mercury Mystique LS, MTX, 2.5L). Any tips or ideas will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  13. Hey Mondeoman! Thank you for your compliment, though I think I have plenty of padding in my reviews, too, despite laughable attempts to be brief. Given the monsoons this winter I'm loving the Michelin Premier A/S, now they're at 35 psi. Just fantastic in the rain. I don't mind feeling a little road, and the tires have extra padding (and I'm not lacking in it, either!) so the added air works fine for me, too. The only way I can remotely afford Michelins is at Discount when the timing is right and I get both the tire and the CareCard rebates (although I'm hoping to win the lotto, too!) Plus this time the money back for the weather checking problem. Still, it's great to know there's a decent affordable performance tire available by Falken, and I know my brother will be happy to hear of the good reviews here, as he loves his new Falkens his older model Maxima. I've always vaguely wondered why 31 f, 35 r is recommended for both my cars, and my husband has also wondered, given the heavy engine up front. In the past I've compromised and run closer to 33, with an extra pound in the back when I hit it right, but for now am keeping the Premiers even. Wishing everyone warm holidays, full of health and love.
  14. Oops, I had a typo in an earlier post! I’m rolling standard for my ’95 SE, at 205-60-R15. Also, per the sticker on my door, T rating is standard, but Discount always says standard for my cars is H rated, and I generally get tires with the slightly higher rating. Well, I ended up getting the Michelin Premium A/S. With a $300 credit Discount gave me for bad weather checking in my old Michelins (Pilot Exaltos that were at about half tread), and $120 in Discount/Michelin rebates, I ended up paying $220 total for tires, installation, and the added Discount warranty. Discount definitely did me right on this one! With rebates, the Michelins were only about $100-120 more, total, than the Yoko YK 580’s or Falken Pro G4’s I’d been considering, and in the end I went with the Michelins, thinking they might be a bit safer in rain, and possibly snow, though I might have liked driveability in the performance tires more. As for the tires, there are many positive reviews for the Michelin Premier A/S, but also some complaints that include noise, feeling like a “jelly doughnut” was installed on your steering wheel. I would say I’ve experienced those complaints, plus more sensitivity to road crest, and some resistance to turning. The tires do stick like glue – maybe they’re too sticky? - and are great in the rain; also, they’re very stable at 70+, so no balance issues I can discern. However, when I first drove away on the tires my first thought was, “what’s wrong with my car?” due to a lack of steering responsiveness and increased play in the steering wheel. Given the steering issues, and noise, I’ve pondered taking these tires back, but now that I’ve messed with the air pressure a bit, I probably won’t. Per my direction, Discount had inflated the tires to 32 (fr) and 33 (rr) at installation – the pressure I liked in the Michelin Pilot Exaltos, and in the Michelin Primacy’s on my Mystique. With the cold weather over the past three weeks I’ve lost a couple pounds during my test drives of the tires, so I decided to up the air pressure yesterday, and a Discount guy ended up putting in 35 all round. What a difference! I feel a bit “buoyant”, but steering response is back. On Dec. 10 the 30-day trial is up, so in all likelihood I’ll keep these tires, but I do think it’s odd that adding air pressure makes such a difference, so I’ll do a little more test driving. In terms of noise, they do whine at certain speeds on certain roads, but I compared them to the Michelin Primacy’s, on the Mystique, and those “sing”, too, so I decided not to worry about it. (I’ve got a developing hole in my muffler that’s more worrisome – lol!) I may have been happier with the Falkens, but who knows. I know my brother loves his, and when you add Mondeoman’s endorsement I probably couldn’t have gone wrong. A few Discount guys recommended the Falken Pro-G4’s over the Yoko YK-580’s, too, which I found interesting. Here’s one of the more interesting comments I came across on the Premier A/S: “Those Michelin Premier A/S tires go at it a different way - almost like two different tires in one. Lots of sipes, almost continuous center rib for smooth, straight driving. But those sipes also allow for a significant amount of tread compliance - great for light snow, wet roads - but tends to wander and pull, especially on uneven roads. Again - their ride might have been improved with playing with tire pressures - though Michelins generally don't tolerate higher pressure like other manufacturers.” http://www.corolland.com/forums/index.php?/topic/25417-tire-selection-for-2011-corolla-le-all-season/ I thought of swapping the tires on my two cars, to check if I had the same issues with the Premiers on the Mercury, but that’s way too much work, and given the difference running them at 35psi I think I’ll settle in with the Premiers and be fine with them. That’s my rather windy tire review of the day!
  15. What a beauty! I love seeing Contours find great homes, and an SVT at that. Red is my personal favorite. I also love your story about bringing a couple to the 300K mark, to full use. So glad you're here! I also like having the full history on my red '95 SE MTX Tour, and really tried to get it on my '96 Mystique LS MTX, but I got her at a dealer, about three years ago with 56K - the first car I ever got at a dealer - so didn't have owner info. I downloaded the many dealer pictures in her ad, and tracked more serious into from the VIN, since she'd been dealer maintained, so ended up with quite a lot of info. Such great cars. I just wish I had a place to keep mine in-doors, but our carport is put to use in other ways. Otherwise, I can baby mine by virtue of having two - time to locate hard to find parts and to work on them. Hate that Ford has "orphaned" our cars, but am thankful for Pick n' Pull and everyone here to help keep them on the road for a long, long time. They make driving a great car - including awesome trim features - affordable, and so fun. And it's less expensive to have two older cars, then one newer model. But here I am, preaching to the choir.... :)
  16. Mondeoman, I wouldn't mind saving a hundred bucks and you're making those Falkens sound awfully tempting! Please enlighten me how tire size can amplify negatives? I don't know a lot about tires but am all ears :) Thanks again for your input, and also thks MarcD and XtraGassy (I chuckle every time I read that handle!).
  17. My stock size is 205/60/R15 on both cars. Pretty sure the originals were H rated, though not sure how much that matters. I haven't decided yet but I really appreciate the input, and am leaning toward Michelins. If I can get them with the usual $70 rebate and $30 CompleteCare card discount, they're not that much more than the Falkens, which run $80/tire for my size with no discounts. The Michelins in my size are $120, but would come down to $95 each with the rebates. My brother got the Falkens for $58 each, though, for his Maxima, and that's a pretty significant difference - and he loves them, too! I quizzed a few Discount employees about my three top choices, and three or so recommended the Falkens above the Toyos, even though the Toyos are priced $20 more each than the Falkens (some of the employees did some test drives in Las Vegas and were quite impressed with the Falkens). Most, though, thought - money aside - that the Michelins would be better overall, especially in rain and snow. Since I live hear in the Northwest where traffic and rain are frequent I may go with the Michelins. I don't put on a lot of miles so it just comes down to what I will feel safest in. I'll post when I decide, though. Of course I'd love to get something more along the line of Michelin Super Sports! But even if Michelin still made them in my size, I imagine they'd be very pricey. Oh, and Mondeoman, the two AC repairs and the UIM/LIM and fuel injector maintenance are things we've already done and I've been meaning to post about, but haven't gotten to. My husband took some pics during the UIM/LIM work of a walnut blasting technique he used. He loved it, though I was a bit worried Merlina would never start again, but she roared right to life after all his work. I should have more faith!
  18. Thanks Mondeoman! Well, that's three people I highly respect recommending the Falken Pro G4s: You, Steve, and my little brother :) I called Steve and he was very helpful, and does offer a great discount for FCO folks on Discount Tire Direct. Well worth looking into. I did find out that warranty issues are only handled through local stores, though, so I still need to check more into that. Steve agreed the three replacement options I"m considering - size 205-60-15 - are what he'd have recommended, with Falken Pro G4 A/S first, Michelin Premier A/S second, and Yoko YK 580 third. Money aside, do you think you'd still go for the Falken Pro G4 over the Michelin Premium A/S? Especially when safety is factored in? Thought I'd ask in case the local Discount offers a killer deal on the Michelins - warranty $ off + rebate. Still a couple posts I've been meaning to make about a lengthy - but ultimately successful - A/C repair on the Contour, and UIM/LIM and fuel injector maintenance on the Mystique... just haven't gotten to them - been lurking though!
  19. Hi Mondeoman! Thanks for the input. I think I'm going to stick to the 215/60R-15 size, though, which is standard for my '95 SE. In that size, Discount carries the Falken Pro G4 A/S (not the Azenis PT-722). My brother put the Pro G4's on his older model Nissan Maxima, and loves them. I believe it's another Discount proprietary tire, and fairly new, so not a lot of info out on that model. Any thoughts on that Falken? Thanks for the info on the Discount Tire Direct and Steve! I'll look into that, though to get the trade-in $ I'd have to buy at the bricks and mortar store.
  20. Hi. I have Michelin Pilot Exaltos on the Contour, purchased about 6-1/2 years ago at Discount Tire. They only have about 18K miles on them, but a couple have sidewall checking and one has a slow leak Discount couldn't find at my last rotation. While some think the checking isn’t of much concern, I tend to play it very safe when it comes to tires, so will likely move on, especially given Discount recently offered $55 trade-in per tire, for all four tires. While I don’t drive a lot these days, I still like to buy the safest tires I can, but if I can have the fun factor all the better, which is why I loved the Exaltos (now discontinued). I’ve narrowed choices at Discount to Yokohama YK580s and Michelin Premium A/S. The Yokos attract me as more of a performance tire. However, I’m pretty sure they’re Discount proprietary, meaning the only reviews I can find are from Discount customers. Also, they’re asymmetrical, and I currently prefer no rotation restrictions. The Michelin Premier A/S gets high reviews in Tire Rack and Consumer Reports (grand touring category) and are likely safer driving, especially in rain. I have Michelin Primacys (now discontinued) on the Mystique, and while they aren’t as sporty feeling as the Exaltos, they do stick like glue. The Michelin Premier is their replacement. I’m leaning toward the Michelin Premiers, which would only run about $80 more, but am interested to hear what others think about these - or other - tire choices. I’ll probably make a decision in the next couple days, before the latest advertised rebates expire. (Side note: I’d love to get tires at Les Schwab – we have one very close to home that I like a lot - but with their limited tire choices and no discounts, I’m pretty sure I’ll again go with Discount Tire.) Thanks!
  21. Hi. Thanks Shotwell! PNW, we haven't met, but I've been around the Contique boards awhile. I think I bought my first Contour in 2001 - something like that? - and promptly joined CEG, then eventually found FCO. My first Contour, the Cherry Ferret - a red '95 SE MTX - was totalled while parked in front of our house. Broke my heart, but along came another red '95 SE MTX with a bonus higher trim level - Ferret II - which I still have. A few years ago, around the time F-II got a pricey new steering rack and various other things, I lucked into a lovely, low mileage '96 Mystique LS - Merlina - so I now have a pair and can take my time finding parts, etc, as work is needed on one or the other. I haven't been driving much lately, and have been pretty quiet on the boards, but I do check in. I'm a bit north. My husband's our main car mechanic - I'm communications/research/assistant - so I'd actually hoped both of us could make it, but I'll be thinking of you guys and hoping for pics! It's great to see so many people gathering in our northern neck of the NW.
  22. Probably impossible to say when lunch might be.... and looking like a moot question due to a roofing job tomorrow. I'm sorry to miss this meet! Looks like it's shaping up to be great. And kudos to Satya for the planning!
  23. Hi. Any idea when lunch might be? I may be able to make it for that - museum less likely. It would be great to meet everyone!
  24. A belated welcome! It sounds like you have a few projects on your hands. Given I have two Contours (a '95 SE and '96 Mystique LS), I am always glad to see a Contour being fixed up and driven. I've been away from the forum awhile and came back to find things a bit quieter than before, but hope it's just been a winter lag. Best of luck to you!
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