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Mom's Soccer Van ?

1989 Views 10 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  FORDBOYpete
Hello everybody or maybe that should be ANYBODY? :confused: :lol:

I have now, or have had, several of these great FoMoCo Vans and I am a wealth of working knowledge on them and I have a fairly good colection of manuals, tips & tricks I'll share with serious posts and/or queries on Aerostars.

They are great Vans when cared for & maintained correctly. Nothing lasts forever of course, but all I have had are/were at or close to 1/4 million or more miles. Perhaps opinion on my part, but it's formed over time & education with these vans.
Protecting Aerostar Body is critical. Washing off road/ beach salt is a mandatory maintenance procedure on all Aeros. So is repairing leaks that let water get into the interior.
"PM Services" are mandatory. So is repairing things before they fail or break to leave you stranded, or worse cause a catastrophic failure where people get hurt.
I know this applies to most vehicles "generally speaking". FoMoCo went to great expense to provide owners manuals that people tend to ignore. Yet the secret of longevity is in those pages. Cheap saves very little and often ends up costing more that buying quality in the 1st place.
I hope to see more folks here in the Areostar Forum.
CIAO Y'all
FBp :thumbsup:
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I do understand what you are saying, I have two of these. One is a 1991 4wd that my father in law had, he did no work on it, just drove it. I finaly died at 260000. The 1990 Aero that is my wifes has 275000 and still going strong, but at the first funny sound it is in the shop and I an finding and fixing it.
Welcome, glad your here, we can use the info from those that work on their own stuff.
I had an '88 aerostar and really liked it. Bought it new, kept it twelve years and gave it away.

It'll be great having someone with your abilities to help out in this section.
Thanx for the good words guys

Thanx for the "flowers" I truly appreciate that. Good words are always nice to get or hear. I'll do my level best to enlighten, help or teach any & all I can with Aeros on here. If you haven't yet, take a peek at my Photo Album on Aeros I posted it yesterday. No Brag, just factual ref's & imagery of how overly "deep" I'm into these great Vans.:thumbsup:
I catch a lot of "flak" from detractors et al over owning & driving my Aero like it's a "truck". It is a truck because I've modified it to be a truck & be truck capable. "Mom's Soccer Van" comments, or "get a truck" or "Wussy Ride" & all that are [this may seem wierd] a compliment to me. More "Flowers" for me, Doncha see?;)
When It works like a truck, performs like a truck, is like a truck but still looks like a family van, is comfortable & nice to ride in, then I must've done a pretty good job of blending modifications, improvements & upgrades I made in to it. I can take more pride in my efforts and accomplishments. :wink5:
People making "snide" remarks are apparently clueless. I know they've no Idea what they're talking about. Why let it bother me? They're simply mistaken and/or wrong with their opinions. Why rise to somebody's mistaken assumptions? Laughing at 'em is better than defending myself or fighting with them over their error.:frown2:

SO thanx guys it's good to be back again & I'll see you around the forums.
FBp :thumbsup:

Bertha66 don't we know each other from Slick 60's or FTE ?
FBp :confused:
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I know what you mean about the Aero's, it has been the most useful truck that I have owened. And yes, I have been on the "slick 60's" and FTE sites. It good to see you here with all that you been with you.
The Aerostar really was a truck. As I understand it, It was built body on frame (the Ford Ranger frame). It had, I forget a 3200 tow capacity, wheras the caravan was built like a car and had a measly 1100 lb tow capacity. Its carrying weights were also quite different.

I bought my '88 in Sept '87 for about 14,000 cash, crank windows, and no rear A/C. The rear seat was challenging to remove, and it weighed approx 100 lbs. I don't think it folded down.
I came back from Chesapeake VA last year with my "Aero" pulling a 16ft, 2 axle trailer, grossing 13,780lbs, loaded with "Boat" parts for PTF-3 Boat, a Viet Nam Era "Nasty Class" Patrol boat we are restoring at Museum I am "affiliated" with as current President.
I'm a Board member of PTF-3 Inc also. If you are curious or interested Ref' "PTF-3 Restoration Project" on facebook Lots of Photos on the PTF-3 Project there to chk out.
I tried to emulate the Euro Transit Van concept which I have been told can be built to haul nearly 20,000 lbs. My Aero is Mono-Coque or essentially a Unit Body sans chassis/ frame. . . . it's plated where needed and totally "Over Built". In fact I use it to pull a H05-S1 Sikorsky 1950's Vintage Helicopter, in Parades around here.
That 4.0L V6 Cologne Engine never ceases to amaze me. Especially with the Mileage I have wracked up doing the stuff I do with it. On top of that when not burdened down by weight, loads, trailers etc. it's a pretty "qwik" little vehicle too. Many a vehicle has discovered the acceleration a well tuned 4.0L V6 can "muster on demand". Sounds like I'm bragging, but what I'm tryin' to say is that FoMoCo Aero is way under rated. Too bad they quit production.
In fact I was perturbed about "hazing" of the Headlamp Lenses on it. I went to FoMoCo's "Gen" parts for replacements. $225.oo seemed a tad pricey to me. Went to local U-Pull It
& got a set of conventional Headlamps with Std "Buckets" & Sealed Beams & conventional sockets, et al. Now my '95 Aero has 1989 sealed beam headlights. It was an improvement over 1991 & up, Halogen Horror Stories FoMoCo added. Besides I can adjust them with a Phillips Head Driver & Barn Door at night. No Levelling guages & torx tools req'd anymore. :lol:
Have y'all looked at my Aero Album?:confused:
Oops. . . "The Face On Photo" was prior to making the Headlight Modification I just realized. It still has the OEM Headlamp set up. I'll update that ASAP. Maybe do a tech thread on the upgrade too. It's a worthwhile and simple improvement 4 Sure.

FBp :smile5:
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I looked at your album, it didn't show any of the mods you made or howtos.
Maybe that'll be a little project for you.

I'd be concerned about pulling that kind of weight because once you get it moving you also have to be able to STOP it.
I took a look at your Facebook page......very ambitious project, I like it! Kudos to you and the crew at the dining table :)

my "Aero" pulling a 16ft, 2 axle trailer, grossing 13,780lbs, :yikes:
Impressive! but a tad bit dangerous don't ya think? Even though it might be capable of pulling a heavy load, debatable, stopping has be an issue with a tow rig as light as an Aerostar. Even my SRW F350 doesn't stop very well when I pull 3-4 times the rated towing capacity.

I gotta agree with the acceleration of the 4.0. I maintain one for a neighbor, it must be 'test driven' it after a repair. :devil: Fun car from a stop light......gets a few "WTF" looks after I let them pass me. :)
Stopping An overloaded Aerostar

Yeah it can be dangerous, but my trailer has "application brakes" & when "set up" properly, prior to applying 'em, by linning up straight then slowly applying them, it stops fine. Could be ruff in emergency I suppose. But, among other stuff I've gotten into, I've over 1M miles in 18 wheelers. So as in "large cars" the idea is avoid getting into such emergency situations because they don't stop well either. 40+ tons @ 70+ mph is not a great feeling if one needs to stop fast.
Knock on wood, I learned that early on so I work at driving enough ahead that I don't get caught up in those situations, if I can help it. I sit out rush hours, bad weather, holiday traffic, etc. I like to "slip thru" nightime too. Cooler, cheaper, less traffic & stress.

I agree, I'd not reccomend somebody who never pulled a trailer to start with an Aero, a 16 footer tandem & heavy load, without app' brakes on the trailer. Alas there are those who might try it tho.:rolleyes5:

But I will tell you this without the trailer, Whoa Buddy. . . specially with those Grand Marquis Alloys & Michelins on the sensa tracks. Rear Loadlevelers are on Sensa Tracks & rated @ 1,000 lbs with the HD coils. . . the sensa tracks are progressive also. 1st bit of travel is "soft" but they firm up quickly when forced to. I read it's the way they're valved internally. They're Nitrogen over Oil so they do not soften in heat or firm up in cold also.

I woulldn't try it in a SWB Aero either that could be a problem. XLTN is fairly long and around 3400 lbs ULW by itself I believe.
As far as stopping there is also the philosophy if y'can't stop it Aim It Well ( just kiddin' guys).:yikes:

But "Dad" was a trucker when trucks were not something I want to ride in. He taught me a few things. One was don't drive or steer into any situation you can't drive or steer out of. That was great advice, and it still works for me in any vehicle . . . :yesnod:

Hey Is that the dinner bell I hear. . . . A Yup

I'm outta here 4 now.
Poppy Yeah I agree I need to do a few stickies with the "UpGrades"
I'll see what I can do about that. :yesnod:
I am scheming a way to use the spindles & bigger front PDB's from a AWD Aero and from looking & thinking etc etc it looks like a easy upgrade to 2 piece Hub & Rotor set up AWD Aero's use.
Same Lug Stud Pattern et al. . . :idea:
CIAO . . .
FBp .... :thumbsup:
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