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giganto

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giganto last won the day on July 16 2015

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About giganto

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  • Birthday 09/03/1969

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  • Location
    Arkansas

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  • Vehicle owned
    1995 Mystique GS
  1. giganto

    Pickup Conversion

    I was browsing YouTube and came across this. How did this not get made in 'Murica first? It started as the station wagon Mondeo to minimize intrusion in the bed. The tailgate still uses the center lock and latch but now hinges on the passenger side. He used the tiny 1.6l engine, so perhaps there's still room on earth for a real American SVT pickup to salvage our pride. Anyone have an SVT with rear end damage?
  2. I have first generation Contours and Mystiques with the illuminated door handle pockets. These miniature light bulbs with a green coating on them have been obsolete for years now from Ford, so I have cannibalized all I could out of the local junkyard. Since they decontented this feature pretty early in the production run, I have figured out how to replace them. These same bulbs, but lacking the green coating, are in all of the old-style (no reflector) high center mounted brake lights. Simply pull the bulbs out of the sockets and dip them in Tamiya Clear Green paint and let them dry. This same technique can be used to change the colors of the pocket door lamps as well as the instrument cluster simply by using a different paint.
  3. giganto

    Speedometer Puzzler

    It turns out that my O'Reiley's VSS failed after just a few years. I replaced it with an OEM VSS and things are working so far. I also just discovered that there was no low coolant sensor installed in this '95 Mystique. It does/t seem like part of some exotic package. Did I need the 2.5l, sunroof and foglight to get a low coolant dummy light?
  4. giganto

    Speedometer Puzzler

    When my '95 Mystique had a "no start" situation a few months back, the Ford technician put a device in place of the PCM fuse. The device worked, but then the speedometer wasn't. I had just figured out how to fix the odometer, and pulled it anyway. I had a spare instrument cluster with a known working speedometer and it didn't work either. I figured the VSS was disconnected, but it wasn't. The cruise control also didn't work, so the problem was upstream. I looked at the EVTM and saw there was a tangential connection between the speedo and the PCM. My eureka moment came when I thought I should try another PCM, because maybe the PCM caused the original problem or the PCM was damaged by the technician's probing. I got an identical PCM from the junkyard for $20, and plugged it in. The speedometer is working again. Here's the puzzler: My Voltour electric conversion of a '95 Contour has a working speedometer but is not connected to the PCM! That's why I didn't even consider a PCM fault when I got the car back and went down the re-wiring the main harness rabbit hole.
  5. giganto

    Odometer Repair Procedure

    There are several gears between the worm gear drive motor and both counters. From what you've said, it sounds like there's a gear that has fallen out of place, gotten jammed by some debris, or broken a few teeth. I would swap out the instrument cluster with a junkyard one from a pick-n-pull for around $50. If the new one has damage like a scratched bezel, just swap the parts around until you have a good, working cluster. Don't forget to test all the lamps and odometer before putting the facia back on. BTW, I have just done my fourth odometer repair on my '95 2.0l, and did notice the redline is 6500 rather than the 6750 of the V6. Keep that in mind depending on your donor vehicle, as well as for anyone doing a tach upgrade to the Contours which did not come with a tach. The tachometer should come out and swap like the speedometer.
  6. giganto

    Odometer Repair Procedure

    One of the most common problems I’ve seen with our cars is the inevitable failure of the odometer. If the speedometer and odometer have both failed, then it’s probably the sending unit on the transmission. The wires from the sending unit have likely become brittle and flaked off. That’s an easy enough fix, provided the plastic spindle hasn’t broken off inside the transmission. The replacements have metal spindles, a wise upgrade if your car is a ’98 or earlier with the wire problem. If the speedometer works but the odometer no longer turns, then the worm gear off the speedometer’s odometer drive motor has broken apart. The YouTube channel ChrisFix recently outlined how he repaired a similar odometer problem on his ‘90’s Mustang. I went down that same path and found e-bay vendors with replacement worm gears for the Contour for between $6 and $20. I bought a bunch of the $6 ones for my fleet, as well as the spare instrument clusters I had accumulated over the years to address the broken odometer issue without cracking it open. After you pull out the instrument fascia and unscrew the five instrument cluster PH2 screws. Pull the left side of the cluster toward you and detach the two wire connectors from the back of the cluster. Carefully tilt the top of the cluster toward you when pulling it out, being mindful not to strike the trip meter plunger and break it off. Place the cluster face-up on an old pillow on your work table. Cut the label on the side with a knife and gently squeeze the five black tabs holding the clear cover. Once it is loose, carefully lift the cover straight up to avoid breaking the trip meter reset knob. It can pull out and be put back, but I had to superglue one back (place in a clamp to keep it from being stuck) Remove the three T20 Torx screws holding the speedometer down. There are three electrical pins holding the gauge down at the top of the speedometer. I use a bent pick tool to pull the gauge from the top and a finger on the bottom trying to pull it out straight. Once it is out, you will see the odometer motor with a broken worm gear on its shaft. Disconnect the motor’s electrical connector and remove it by holding down the two tabs and rotating it. You will need a pick tool or electronic screwdriver to get the inboard tab down. Carefully remove the bits of worm gear from the gauge housing and the shaft of the drive motor. Slide the new worm gear on but don’t press it all the way down to keep it from binding. Place the worm gear and motor back into the gauge and twist it in until it seats. Reverse the removal procedure and re-install. This is also a good time to check and replace dead light bulbs behind the cluster. Before putting the fascia back on, drive around the block and make sure everything on the cluster is working. I finally noticed why there was a tiny number “4” under my 4-cylinder Mystique’s tach needle. The designers were not as proud of the bold “V6” emblazoned above the tach needle of the 6-cylinder mystique. My cluster swapping experience has shown they are really interchangeable, and even the red-line is the same. When I fix the Voltour’s cluster, I’ll probably put on a “120V” sticker over the old “V6.”
  7. My '95 Mystique has been having a small puddle forming on the passenger floor mat for a while now. After a vigorous washing blasting pine needles from around the wipers, a big puddle formed. After a quick search of the internet, the problem became clear; the seal around the cabin air filter frame has failed. Pop off the screw caps on the black plastic vent cover and remove the screws. Pulling at least the passenger side part off will reveal the cabin air filter frame, and the area will probably need to be vacuumed. It's probably time for a new cabin air filter anyway, so pop it off and remove the two nuts holding the frame in place. Clean the area where the seal goes, and remove any brittle pieces of the gasket seal foam that may be still stuck on. I obtained a coil of "butyl tape" from an auto glass shop. It's a quarter-inch thick spongy foam weatherstripping coated with mastic. Lay the coil in the gasket channel, pinching a lapping section together at a strategic spot or closely butt-fitting the ends and filling the joint with some extra mastic. Peel off the backing when you're ready to put it back in place. The material is thicker than the original gasket, so don't over-tighten the nuts. It should provide a weather-tight seal for the rest of the life of the car. Don't forget to put in a new filter, like I did!
  8. giganto

    Recontenting the lighted headlight switch stem

    I think all of the '95s had lighted headlight switches, but over time some may have burned out. I have had several "courtesy lamps" burn out in the door latch pockets, as well as the cigar lighter, clock and behind the gauge cluster. There is a small hole at the bottom of the knob into which you can insert a straightened paper clip. Push up on the paper clip while gently pulling on the knob. You should see the dome of an incandescent bulb down in there. Since I've never done it before, I took the bulb out of one of my junkyard switches. Apparently you push the bulb in and rotate it about eight degrees counterclockwise and pull it out. I had to use one of those rubber jar openers and a pair of pliers to grip the bulb to both twist and pull it out. This has the oddest shape bulb. There are two lobes that align with grooves in the socket. Put the lobes in the grooves and press the bulb in, but you have to rotate it eight degrees clockwise for the lobes to slip out of the grooves and under a pair of retaining notches beside the grooves. That's the part that's not in the manuals.
  9. giganto

    lifted Contour

    Just the other day I was thinking of how to put a "dash" cam in front of the rear-view mirror. I wonder if anyone makes something that combines these two functions into one installation. My mother seems to have an itch to get another new car, but maybe I can just upgrade her old Camry.
  10. giganto

    lifted Contour

    I was a little concerned there may be holes drilled in the dash somewhere. Wiring to the parking lights is ingenious. I had to remove a lot of aftermarket "security" and "audio" junk from my Chicago car's previous owners. I'm glad you've kept your installations clean. Then what is the button above the headlight switch? Traction control? I hadn't even asked if there was ABS. I've never had to deal with it. One of the Chicago cars had it but it never worked and I have everything needed to replace it with regular brakes.
  11. giganto

    lifted Contour

    What is the deal with the two horns side-by-side? I know these models lacked the two-tone horns of the first generation, but it still has the mount by the window wash fluid reservoir on the passenger side. I've thought about putting one on my girlfirend's 2000 Contour and running a wire along the sub-frame. I even had a spare, but ended up putting it on my blue Mystique due to the original being rusted up and non-functional. I also was wondering how you activate the fog lights. It looks like the correct harness connectors by the horns, but the switch doesn't have the "pull" feature on the headlight knob like the earlier Mystiques and later Cougars. Is it the button above the headlight switch? I have a set of the early round fog lights, but their mounting and adjusting hardware is a lot rusty and I don't know if it changed for the second generation. Overall there doesn't seem to be much rust. The flange connection of the muffler completely dis-integrated on my blue one, as well as many of those sheet metal "nuts" that hold the heat shields.
  12. My condolences go out to all those who were able to know Terry personally. I was unable to meet him, but I had spoken to him a number of times when some of the crazy things I was trying to do to a Contour went awry. We were able to communicate engineer-to-engineer and keep pushing the limits of what can be done. Let us continue to be inspired by his legacy and keep the CDW27s on the road.
  13. Not being able to get the "tandem" rear axle Contour concept out of my head, and the prospect of possibly acquiring yet another one to tide me over as I prepare to face re-wiring the '95 and '96 Mystiques; another thought comes to mind. An ultra-heavyweight version of the Contour was clearly not designed, yet one transmission should be able to handle it better than the other. I was wondering which that would be, a stock ATX or a stock MTX? Could either be modified relatively inexpensively (i.e. off-the-shelf parts plus adaptor plate) to handle more torque? Double clutch plates? Extra trans cooling mods like for trailers?
  14. giganto

    lifted Contour

    All I can think of now is how old the tires are. I had to buy a set last year and I have to by another set by the end of the year because I just don't like going over six years. Any CEL codes?
  15. giganto

    lifted Contour

    I forgot to mention the curling dash issue. I can't really tell from the photos, but it looks like there may be some to be dealt with. I pulled the dash to fix my girlfriend's 2000 Contour, and it was not fun. Also not helpful was improvising all the parts since the repair kits sold out years ago. I think someone took the big chunk of plastic that covered the dash from a '95-'97 and was able to cover up theirs. I'd probably try that next time.
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