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wizdumb

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wizdumb last won the day on October 24 2011

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About wizdumb

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  • Vehicle owned
    1998 Ford Contour LX
  1. Name: Ford Escape XLT (2005) Date Added: 08 March 2010 - 04:43 PM Owner: wizdumb Short Description: None Provided View Vehicle
  2. Name: Ford Contour LX (1998) Date Added: 08 March 2010 - 08:41 AM Owner: wizdumb Short Description: None Provided View Vehicle
  3. wizdumb

    Man oh Man

    Well, repairing my contour has been quite the experience. Just wanted to check the shift cable bushing but in came a nice domino effect of wtf moments. Refer to my thread in the Under The Hood section of the forum for the basic back story. http://www.fordcontour.org/index.php?showtopic=12928 The weather in South Jersey has been nothing but wet for the past 2 months now. Whether it be snow or rain, the ground here just has not had time to dry. Which is where my dilemma comes in. I am eager, extremely eager, to get this problem situated but I have a dirt drive way. For those of you who have never tried before, jacking up a car on saturated ground is a test in patience and more-so in bravery; blocked or not. Now, I just could not get a hold on the jack that I was confident enough to even throw the stand under to get a good look at this damn bushing. Let alone snake myself under the car to take a peak. However, there is a small concrete slab in the backyard where a dog kennel used to be. So, I say to myself, problem solved. The weather lately has been clearing up, but the ground itself (and my basement I might add) is still super saturated, but this small slab may be my savior. Or so I thought anyway. I get the car out there just fine, but decide that I'm not gonna leave anything to chance and opted to try and use my steel ramps as opposed to a jack and stands. I get the ramps and the car lined up, reverse that car up just a tad to get the neccessary running room to get up the ramps. Put it in first, pop the clutch, hit the gas, and the tires just spin. This is starting to look like a scene from a bad comedy. First the simple issue of inspecting a bushing. That gets postponed and I decide to change my valve cover gasket instead. Only to find that 3 of the bolts were completely sheared. Which of course I had to extract and replace. Then, just when I think I'm catching a break. My car is now stuck in the mud. At this point I think to myself what all self respecting men may think at a time like this. "shiz, I can get her outta there. Just gotta rock her, she aint that deep..." So, I proceed to rock it.... ...3 hours later my brother comes back from borrowing my Escape for the day. I, covered in mud at this point, go right for the back hatch, grab my chains, find a good point under the front of the Contour to put the chain, and pull the car out of the nice rut it found itself stuck in. I had to do this, not because I couldn't get it out, but because the car died on me in the middle of it all. Seems like the alternator. I jump it and it starts and run fine, but eventually dies and won't start. Alternator really isn't that old. Nor is the maxi-fuse, but I hope that it's as simple as something like that. Although, granted, replacing the alternator in these Zetech's really isn't that easy of a job. I just hope it's not a major electrical issue, because I hate messing with electronics, I really do. But, first I obviously gotta find a way to pressure wash all that nice caked up mud thats spot welded to the underside of the car right now. I also gotta see if I can't rent some time in one of my buddy's garages with a case of beer or something. Because working on a car in a dirt drive way is getting old fast.
  4. wizdumb

    Getting stuck in 5th.

    ignore this, sorry for the double post, I goofed when I tried to edit.
  5. wizdumb

    Getting stuck in 5th.

    OK, well the weather has finally broke so first thing this morning, I tried blocking and jacking. However, the ground outside is still way too saturated from the snow/rain we've been getting here in southern NJ over the past couple of weeks and I just can't get a hold on the car that I am confident enough to get under. So, with that said, I decided to start taking care of some things that don't require a jack and decided to replace my valve cover gasket. This was replaced at about 120k when I was forced to take it to a shop and have the water pump/timing belt replaced when it crapped out on me 40 miles from home. But, I noticed it had a small leak, and well, it turns out the bone heads at this shop snapped 3 of the bolts. They had to have noticed. It's impossible not to notice when you snap a bolt by the fact that it will keep spinning. They just decided not to do anything about it and left it to me to take care of. Really a top-notch shop. It goes without saying that one needs to avoid Mr. B's auto in Atlantic City. The Bolts are completely sheared, flush with the camshaft housing. I got one of those fancy "Grab It" bits as a gift and got some cellophane to cover the camshaft so no metal bits would get in there. To my surprise, the As Seen on TV tool worked quite well. Got all of the bolts out fairly easily. Now is just the matter of getting new ones. I did notice when I pulled the cambelt cover over a bit to take a peek that there was a good amount of rubber "dust," I guess you would call it. This belt is the same age as the valve cover gasket and really is the 2nd timing belt in since I replaced it myself at about 90k (figured that the water-pump going is what shredded the one I put in). Is seeing this shreaded rubber normal? Or could there be a bigger underlaying problem? The Alternator, Tensioner Pulley and Water pump have about 60k or substantially less on them.
  6. wizdumb

    Getting stuck in 5th.

    Well, unfortunately, the sun left before I got home (I lack a garage, all driveway work) so I wasn't able to get under the car today. But I took the time to putz around the forum and read some more of your posts about the ATF fluid. Sounds like the stuff has some pretty detrimental effects on the MTX trannys. I hope it aint too late for mine and that this isn't the main cause of the problems I've been having with this car. Otherwise this looks to be a pretty expensive fix. Not a cool thing to think about when your laid off. I can't be taking a transmission apart in a dirt driveway. So if this is the issue, unless one of my buddies will let me make camp in their garage for a bit, I may have to shelf the car for awhile. Or in worst case scenario, sell it. Don't wanna do that, she was the first car I ever bought. :(
  7. wizdumb

    Getting stuck in 5th.

    Oh, well then regardless of what I find, looks like a fluid change is in order. Been laid off of work for the past 2 weeks. Atleast this car is giving me something to do. Still not at home yet to check the cables, but I will come back here as soon as I take a peek. Thanks again.
  8. wizdumb

    Getting stuck in 5th.

    Trans fluid was changed at the same place I get my quick lube service done at about 110k. I made sure that put they put the one specified, which if I remember correctly was a Mercon trans fluid. (Not at home to check the manual in the car). It was a texaco, so, without looking at reciepts and just using deduction it is more than likely Havoline ATF. I do remember looking for the Motorcraft Mercon a while back but hearing that it's no longer made but that Mercon/Dexron III were interchangeable. Which Havoline ATF meets that, so hopefully it's the right fluid. I will check the cable ends when I get back home to the car. Hopefully the Haines manual I have will have the location, if not I guess I'll be back here asking Thanks for the reply Terry.
  9. wizdumb

    Getting stuck in 5th.

    Well, I did a pretty decent search for a similar issue but haven't turned up anything. I have a 98 Contour LX Zetec, 5-Speed. I don't drive this car much anymore but had it out on the highway last week. As I came off my exit, and tried pulling her out of 5th to merge with traffic, the shifter wouldn't budge. I was locked in 5th and couldn't get it out of gear until it slowed down to roughly 30mph. Not fun, as the exit I was getting off of is a major interchange where people tend to drive like maniacs. Anyway, I was able to get it out of 5th and work my way back up in gears, only for the same thing to happen again. I did notice when I was driving that the shifter felt loose all around, more loose than I can remember anyway, like I said, I don't drive this car that much anymore. Also, just finding the gears didn't seem a smooth as I remember it. She's an older ride, 150,000 miles, I bought it at 87k and have now way of knowing if the clutch/trans has been serviced. I will admit, I know next to nothing when it comes to clutches and transmissions. Which is why I've come here. Does this sound like a big issue, or get it just be worn shift cables? What do I need to look for and where should I start? I wanna make sure I'm looking for the root cause and not just throwing parts at it, lol. I'm trying hard to avoid taking it a shop because the last time I did I got bit hard financially only to end up fixing it myself again 2 weeks later. This may be a big order, but any help would be greatly appreciated. I have some other small nagging issues with the car that I will try and address later, but I feel that this is more important.
  10. wizdumb

    Problems with 1998 Contour LX

    Thanks alot guys, I did everything that you guys suggested, cleaned and inspected the terminals, had the battery tested at autozone, it read 100% (brand new so I was actually kind of expecting that) but while I was there I shelled out 6 clams for a mega fuse and installed it as soon as I got home. Low and behold, she fires up right on the first turn of the key. I did buy a cheapy alternator when I installed the new one. It's all the NAPA in the area had at the time and I was almost 100 miles away from home, I called up every auto parts store in the area that day and that was the only alternator available so I took it. Beggers can't be choosey, you know. However, I did call up a Ford dealership today and had a re-furbed Motorcraft ordered. Gonna keep that around just in case this one cuts out me. But, she's purring like a kitten again, so thanks alot for the tips guys.
  11. New here, did a quick search of the forums and can't find anything relating to my problem I have a 98 Ford Contour LX (4 cyl 5 speed) and it died on me about two weeks ago while I was driving it. I determined the problem to be the alternator because it would start if jumped but eventually die again. I took the alternator out, got it tested and the test results were that it was dead. So, I got a new one and replaced it myself. Replaced the battery while I was at it as well. Car ran great for about a week and a half, but now it wont start. Before I even put the key in the ignition the power for the dash and interior light seems to fade in and out and I get nothing when I try to start it. I heard an odd clicking sound coming from underneath the dashboard, but no longer get that. However, what seems most odd is when I turn my hazard lights on, I get a really loud buzzing sound, almost like a grinding coming from the steering column. I'm not the most mechanical person in the world, but I try, and this just has me completely stumped. Could it be the megafuse? I can't get the engine to turn over to see if the battery light stays on to check for that, but beings I just replaced both the alternator and the battery, I'm hoping it's just that, but, the odd noise with the hazards has me worried that something may have really fried. Am I missing something simple or do I have some serious electrical problems here? I really like this car for some odd reason and would like to keep it around. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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