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Everything posted by giganto

  1. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.
  16. I bought my last two Contours from Chicago; I just hopped the train. They were a bit rusty and would go for about $1500 then (ten and seven years ago, respectively). Just look at the "problem" areas such as bolts on the subframe. I'd reckon that a nice one without rust in as good condition as you say from '99 could still get an $1800 offer pretty quick. Rusty conditions would probably deduct at least $500, having fixed the rust on one of them. Check out autotrader.com , as they seem to have more selection than e-bay motors. My red 4-banger automatic was on the Ford lift recently, and it was rust-free. I really hope my engine re-wiring project goes well, or I may be in the market. I bought my first Chicago Contour to drive as I did the recall wiring on the red 4-cylinder. Now the flaking wiring problem has spread to the main harness. At least I'm certain the Contour wiring problem was fixed by '99.
  17. I had to get both, since I had one trunk with and one without spoilers. Check out my topic here. One of the brackets the strut attaches to broke at the spot welds and had to be welded back on. It's still holding over a year later.
  18. Some of the more expensive ones don't seem to care. I presume they have a diode and other circuitry to prevent current from going the wrong way and frying the light emitting diode. As I wrote, I designed and threw together a rig to simulate what the more expensive LED did out of the box.
  19. giganto

    Just Add Fog

    The long journey from staring at dangling foglight plugs to first light is complete. I made mounting brackets for my PIAA 2100XT fog lights (P/N 02190) out of galvanized sheet metal and mounted them to the bumper mounting bolts. They seemed to be the best foglights out there that could fit in the OEM spaces of the Mystique. I've tried my best to maintain a "stock" look even when upgrading to HID projectors. Now neither darkness nor fog will stop me! I installed the missing foglight relay, and even stacked in another relay for a key-off, headlights-off and modification while I had the panel under the steering wheel off. Starting from Aussie Ford's Headlight Switch mods I built a Mystique-compatible lighted foglight switch. Since I lack the lamp and bezel for the OEM foglight indicator, I fabricated one from a Contour foglight indicator bezel mated to a gutted junkyard defroster switch which plugs into the un-used traction control location on the dash. I then used a water level to properly aim my fog lights, and then simply chopped the black covers that hid the original fog light openings all these years. I have another Mystique that I need to convert that I'd like to use OEM parts for (except the lights themselves). If anyone sees one in the junkyard, I need one more fog light relay, the headlight switch bezel with fog light lamp assembly and plug, and the covers that fit on the bumpers.
  20. I have been working on my customized Mystique foglight mounts (made from pieces of my old A/C ductwork) and noticed a puddle of brake fluid on the inside rim of the front passenger wheel. I ordered a new caliper from O'Reilly, and decided to put on the new VSS on the other Mystique I've had laid up since the wiring crapped out. The swap went well, and on the test drive I noted the ATX wasn't acting like the O/D was off like before. I suppose the controls for the ATX model need the VSS signal to work right, so I have more time to do my re-wiring job. I parked the car, and noted the driver's side front indicator lens was missing. It had fallen off when I made my first turn around the block. Well, the car is twenty years old now, so I expect someone else on the forum has had this happen to them, or it is about to. What type of adhesive can keep the lens on and the moisture out? I had bad luck trying to fix that plastic Mystique trunk reflector thing with silicone. Epoxy and superglue seem too brittle over the long haul. I've tried that 3M trim adhesive on some loose trim, and it doesn't seem to work very well. Any suggestions?
  21. I have posted before how I had planned to carry out this mod, and now it's complete. The brown, normally open relay was stacked below the fog light relay. The connectors to the orange/white headlight wire are wrapped in green electrical tape. The hot side of the relay comes from the 12ga wire supplying the radio, and it's connected with a big, blue 12ga Posi-Tap and a 20ga red Posi-Lock to extend the wire from the relay right in the middle of the photo. Another advantage to the Posi-Taps is that different gauges of wire are easily connected. The ground side of the relay simply tapped the headlight harness ground with a 20ga Posi-Tap (not pictured). Now the headlights will automatically go off whenever the key is off, but the parking lights will still stay on. No more dead battery when it's time to go to work, or leave work.
  22. giganto

    Stackable Relays

    I think I will interrupt the Orange/White circuit 29S instead. Cutting off the parking lights with the key off kinda defeats the purpose of parking lights, not that I've ever seen them used in the USA. Has anyone ever used parking lights for their intended purpose, in narrow dark alleys with parallel parking?
  23. I've been doing some research on wiring products since the wiring harness in my '95 Mystique started acting up. I had already known soldering is not a good long-term solution in a hot engine compartment, and vampire connectors with their cutting fangs continue cutting in a vibrating environment. I have had good results with 3M Scotch double-crimp connectors, but it can be hard to get the "good" crimper in some tight places, plus you've only got one shot at getting it right. I stumbled upon Posi-Locks and Posi-Taps from Posi-Products. The Posi-Locks are cylinders with threaded connectors on each end. The cylinders have pointed metal cones pointing at each end. Insert the stripped wire through the connectors so that some will be pressed on the cones and pinched in place by tightening the threads which are designed not to loosen by themselves. The Posi-Taps have a Posi-Lock on one end, and the other has the cone modified into a sharp pin. The threaded connector on this end has a slot cut through the threads so the wire is perpendicular to the connector. As the connector is tightened, the pin penetrates the wire to be "tapped" like a probe from a multi-meter. The best part is that all of these connections are both permanent and reversible! Just put a dab of liquid electrical tape on the hole the tap made. One reason I hadn't done the lighted moon roof switch mod was that it looked like the lighted switch would be on in the daytime too, so I wanted to tap into a lighting circuit from the headlight switch. I pulled the A-pillar cover and ran a green wire from the moon roof switch to the lamp "hot" wire on the headlight switch stem where I installed a Posi-Tap. Under the moon roof cover, I used a Posi-Lock to connect the green wire to the switch light's "hot" side. I also used another Posi-Lock to connect the switch light's ground side to add some wire to reach the ground wire of the interior light fixture which I tapped with another Posi-Tap. Because of our car's reverse-polarity interior lighting arrangements, it took a couple of tries to find the right wire to ground to. With the Posi-Taps, this was not a problem. I didn't spill any liquid electrical tape or melt anything with blobs of solder. I tackled another problem on the same day. I have been adding LED lighting to keep from baking the light fixtures and burning myself while I'm working around these lights. I had tried out a LED bulb in the rear seat's light fixture, but the reverse-polarity lighting arrangement made it not work. I eventually switched to a more expensive LED light that could accommodate the reverse polarity, but I built and tested a rig to reverse the polarity. I reversed the wires' polarity and used a relay to switch off the "ground" when the 12s timer counts down. Note that I used the larger yellow Posi-Lock to connect multiple wires together. Since I don't need this setup anymore, I can put the Posi-Locks back in the box. The only down side to this product is the price. They come in small packs, but they are all over $1 each. Since I have so much wiring to do, I just bit the bullet and bought the 100 pc assortment of Posi-Locks and 79 pc Posi-Tap assortments for $79.99 each. Ouch, but shipping was free over $50.
  24. I've been fiddling around for a while trying to put fog lights on my MTX Mystique. I found the "foglight relay" wiring harness that plugs right in to the pre-wired harness for the factory fog lights. I found another from a Cougar that I hope to put in the ATX Mystique one day, then I noticed the slots and tabs lining up and realized these ISO Micro relay sockets are stackable! As soon as it stops raining, I'm going to stack a spare brown (normally open) relay with the normally closed blue fog light relay and make the headlights go off when the key is off. I accidentally left the lights on during my lunch break last week, and I left lights on overnight twice before in the last twenty years. I guess my first car shouldn't have been a Subaru, which does this out of the factory. I'm using opposite-matched male and female blade connectors on the harness to interrupt the orange wire with a black [O/BK] stripe on circuit 29 headed into the headlamp switch. I have already modified the switch to both light up and activate the fog light relay. If something goes wrong with the relay, the matched connectors on the O/BK wire will let them return to normal and by-pass the relay. There are plenty of key-on power wires available around the interior fuse box where the fog light relay mounts.
  25. giganto

    Trunk Upgrades

    I've seen posts where folks with these things can have a hard time getting in when the popper breaks and they haven't used the key in a while. I've also tried to break into junkyard Contour trunks when all other options are off the table, and had to give up and rip the back seat out. I've also not yet found a fob that doesn't fall apart after a year or two. Any brand/model recommendations out there who have had better luck?
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