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Old 12-08-2004, 03:39   #1 (permalink)
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My EA - The good and bad...

Hi All

My name is Bruce and I am an EA-aholic......

I bought my EA about 6 months ago after my $100.00 Magna died forever (thank God for that!) It is a 1990 3.9 CFI 4 Spd Wagon on duel fuel. Picked it up for $1100 as it has WA rego and changing it over the NSW rego would cost around $900.00. BTW, it is still on WA rego and will stay there until I really have to change it, that saves me about 6-700 in rego a year.

Anyway, she is not perfect but is useable. It has a replacement engine from Pick N Payless as the original blew a head gasket. This guy was not mechanically minded. When I bought it the fan was making it sound like a jet taking off as they had welded a bolt to it because it had failed at some point.

Anyway, I drove it around for a while before a few things started to happen. It was really gutless and pinged and rattled on each gear change and at around 100Km on the freeway. I suspected the timing but a number of people said don't touch it as the ECU controls the timing. Well I eventually dragged out the Haynes manual and followed the text. Grounded the self test plug and set the timing to the IGN notch on the timing cover (right place, yes?) It was around 10deg out. Ran heaps better and the pinging and rattling went away.

Then the next thing happened. Going to speedway one Saturday, I drove over to pick up a mate. But when I went to restart the car, the battery was flat. Jump started it, parked it and went in my mates car. It restarted when I returned so I drove it home. Well all hell broke loose. Auto could not decide what gear is wanted, speedo was way out, lights would dim in and out and it didn't want to idle. Just got home before it died. Threw in another battery the next day and, thinking it was an alternator failure, rang the auto electrician about another one. He didn't think it was the alternator and said bring it down. Anyway, it turned out to be the alternator pully was wrong and not splined. It seems it was replaced at some point with the wrong one. They replaced the pulley, fitted a new belt and everything was wonderful $60.00 later.

Then my wife took the car out and it rained......and the wipers failed. The motor couldn't even pull the wipers across the screen. As the temp was also just registering on the gauge, I decided to replace the fan too. Down to the wreckers to grab a fan and wiper motor. Replaced the motor and all is well with the wipers. Replaced the fan (after checking it for cracks etc) but the bloody thing let go a fin. Exchanged that one and it stayed together. Then the cooling probs started. The temp would fluctuate between middle and the upper range. Replaced the thermostat (after market one) - no change and refilled with new coolant but no change. The gauge will come real close to the top of the range , then drop down and up and down all the time. It also responds to the indicators (ticks up and down with them). So the next thing to do with the cooling is to either replace the radiator or get a good flush done - $90.00 locally, $125.00 if it needs a tank plus another $100 if they take it in and out (I don't think so!).

Other things have been happening like the auto not deciding what it wants to do and the window washers deciding not to work anymore.

Anyway, that is the saga of my EA. Selling it is not an option so I will have to keep it and work thorough each problem.

After much reading her I do have the following planned to keep the thing on the road (for now):

Thermo Fans
MPFI conversion for a little more power.
New wiper/headlight stalk from an EL - would like intermittent wipers.
Maybe an onboard computer as well if I can find a cheap one.
Get better fuel economy - it's pretty crap at the moment.

That's about it. Sorry this was so long but I had to vent somewhat. Can all of you knowledgable guys suggest anything to keep it on the road (pushing it over a cliff is not an option!) above and beyond what I have planned, although alot of that aint going to happen real soon due to finances.

Cheers
Bruce
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Old 12-08-2004, 03:48   #2 (permalink)
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Re: My EA - The good and bad...

The funny probs with your temp gauge going up to Hot then back down and responding with the indicators by OLD ea did aswell as my Current one. ITS GOT ME GOING CRAZY!!! Soon as i find out what it is ill let you know, ive changed Radiator and thermostat
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Old 12-08-2004, 04:22   #3 (permalink)
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Re: My EA - The good and bad...

Ahhh, so the temp thing is a common occurance then....bummer. I was going to connect a standard type temp gauge to it so I could actually see what the bloody temp was cause the indash one is just too confusing - panics my other half something terrible!
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Old 12-08-2004, 05:09   #4 (permalink)
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Re: My EA - The good and bad...

Scared the shit out of me ever time i drive, i try to ignore it and make sure its got enough coolant in it
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1991 Ford Falcon EA 30th Anniversary

EF head | EF XR6 Cam |Pacemaker 3320(?) extractors | Hiflo cat
3:23 | Auto | XH Snorkle | Thermos | 2.5" Mandrel Exhaust
Full NC2 Sportsman Interior inc Dash & Electrics
Custom Clear Tailights and Garnish
Sprint kit | Moffat front bar (soon) | king lows
FTR Chrome Rims | Driving lights | Custom ED Mesh grill
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Old 12-08-2004, 05:24   #5 (permalink)
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Re: My EA - The good and bad...

Welcome aboard Bruce.

One of the best things I did for my car was buy a later model wreck for parts, though space is a big issue. There's a lot of very cheap, easy and effective mods involving later model parts that has kept many of us amused for years.
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Old 12-08-2004, 05:32   #6 (permalink)
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Re: My EA - The good and bad...

Thanks Troutman

I am really looking forward to sticking around for a while.

The wreck is a good idea but I already have a spare Mazda 626 that I scavange parts for my other halves Mazda from. And I don't think the real estate would be too happy with another car out back.

I have gleened so much info from just being here a couple of days. I never knew so much could be done with later model bits, but I will surely looking into everything I can do to the car to make it a keeper for a while....

Cheers
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Old 12-08-2004, 12:00   #7 (permalink)
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Re: My EA - The good and bad...

witht he thermostat issue.
if you have bought an aftermarket one. the bounching would be because:
water in engine block is 91 degrees when thermostat opens....
so the cold water from radiator runs over the sensor and pushes the temp back down
and the thermostat shuts.
then when the new water reaches 91 deg. it opens and lets the next lot of cold water in...

so...
the easiest way to fix this is to drill a small hole in the side of the thermostat. (which is how they came from factory) so the sensor gets a better idea of what temp the actuall water is..

hope this helps..
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Old 12-08-2004, 15:31   #8 (permalink)
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Re: My EA - The good and bad...

Interesting, thanks for the Bozza. Might just do a little drilling on the weekend.....
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Old 12-08-2004, 20:08   #9 (permalink)
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Re: My EA - The good and bad...

The genuine Ford thermostats are only 10 bucks or so and should resolve that issue as they have a hole for this reason.
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Old 12-08-2004, 21:05   #10 (permalink)
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Re: My EA - The good and bad...

Thanks X - at that price I might just shoot up to WinFord and grab an original. Did I read something on here about using an XF one? Something to do with heater hoses....anyway, I'll grab an EA one...

Cheers
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