The new toy...

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What's funny is that, despite owning several Ford vehicles in my lifetime, I've never really considered myself "A ford guy". Then last week the wife and I got this:

And it goes along nicely with the rest of the "Family"

I guess I was wrong. I'm a Ford guy.

A little background. My Escort is definitely a beater. Something small breaks on it now and again. Generally, it's pretty reliable, but then you get the occasional small things (under $50 to fix) that go out. Like a wheel bearing, an ignition switch, things like that. Also, the gearshift is too short for my wife to comfortably drive it, and now it's got a slipping clutch. The thing is, it averages 38-42 MPG when I use it for my 30-mile round-trip commute to work. So as long as I put less than $200 a month into it on average (I've put about $300 into it in the last year), it's paying for itself. I just can't rely on it all the time.

The Focus is still running strong at 108,000 miles and no major mechanical failures whatsoever. It's a 2.0L 5-speed manual and my wife likes to drive it on occasion. If the Escort's down and out though, we were down to just the Focus and nothing else to drive. Kind of a pain, with our work schedules conflicting. Often I would have to leave my job in the middle of my shift, take her to work, and come back to my job, which is about a 36 mile round trip added to my 30-mile daily commute. Talk about inefficient use of fuel and time.

So, instead of pumping about $1000 into the beater to make sure it stays reasonably reliable, we decided to go for something a tad larger. After all, if we already have 2 compact cars, why buy a third? Also, SUV's are cheap right now because of fuel prices, and compacts are getting really expensive. Who would have thought a Civic could command over $20k? Even the 2006 Focuses we were looking at were in the $17K range, with the nicer Focus ST also asking $20K+.

Also, we like to go out camping, and on really long trips, we usually have to take both cars since not everything will fit in one of them. We usually bring our own fire wood and food. On a 3-day weekend trip, that takes up a lot of room. It should all fit in the truck though.

Lastly, 4x4 will come in handy. The winters here are hit and miss, but we get the occasional blizzard that makes driving around in a normal car impossible, and there are a few 4x4 parks near Kansas City where you have to stay on the trail but you can see some wildlife.

I'm usually the kind of guy that can't leave a vehicle alone. We'll see how that works with the Explorer. Is it is right now, it should work fine for what it'll be used for (My wife's 6-mile-per-day commute, the occasional camping trip, and winter driving). When the tires finally need changing, I'll probably go with some all terrain shoes.

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Off Roading

You know, I really enjoyed off-roading a few years back, and to that end there are a few really great American-made vehicles that really excel at it. Back in 1985, I had the opportunity to ride in one of these Chryslers, and let me tell you, it was a great ride. Pretty much go anywhere you want, and as for going into the rough, I for one can't think of a better way to do it. Hey, so what if the mileage is pathetic... you need to get somewhere, trust me, there's no better way to do it than this. With fuel prices at approaching an all time high, now's the time to buy, since their demand is low. Not many Detroit-made beauties are as durable...

Yeah, I don't think Chryslers get any better than this...

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thats a good truck. im a ford

thats a good truck. im a ford guy myself, but im stuck with what i have.

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Your Chrysler may be able to

Your Chrysler may be able to go off-road, but I don't think it would do all that well off the line compared to my (relatively) new toy:

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Every one I know seems to be

Every one I know seems to be getting a new (or newer) vehicle. ax0n is just the latest int he series, and I'm wondering who else will pop up. My sister is almost to the point of either replacing the tranny in her '95 Bonneville or buying something else.

My in-laws bought a 2006 F150 for their business, so we got to take over payments and drive their 2003 Taurus SES. One of my brother-in-law's girlfriend just got a new Ford SUV of some sort. Now ax0n upgrades to something more "useful" ( Wink )

Maybe we'll convince Bill (2600) to upgrade the Camaro? I just know he's been looking for ways to spend some cash... Heh.

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Re: Your Chrysler may be able to

Dr. Webster wrote:

Your Chrysler may be able to go off-road, but I don't think it would do all that well off the line compared to my (relatively) new toy:

Dude, I love those, too. They're very similar to the new Focus. Focaljet.com has about 22,000 members and since the Duratec power plant has started to make it's way into Mazdas and other ford cars, we've started to expand our line-up quite a bit. Here you'll find a place to talk about your new ride (if you want). I'm an admin (the server guy for this place)

http://forums.focaljet.com/other-duratec-powered-cars/

We're also launching this site soon, but you'll have to wait and see what's behind it. I'm under NDA:

http://www.duratactics.com/

Congrats on the 3. It's the right color. Wink

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Re: Your Chrysler may be able to

ax0n wrote:

They're very similar to the new Focus. Focaljet.com has about 22,000 members and since the Duratec power plant has started to make it's way into Mazdas and other ford cars, we've started to expand our line-up quite a bit.

Just so you know, while the 3 may have what Ford calls the Duratec engine, it's really a Mazda engine that Ford decided to use in its cars...so my Mazda doesn't have a Ford engine in it, but the Focus has a Mazda engine. In fact, the 3 doesn't have any Ford parts in it -- some design may have been "assisted" by Ford, but the car is manufactured in Hiroshima.

I'm a member over at http://www.mazda3forums.com; it's a really happening place over there and I've gotten many modding ideas from the members.

Oh, and yeah, I LOVE my 3.

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if I had one of those...

I'd totally drive to the Yucatan Peninsula... and check out the pyramids. I've been wanting to do that for a while, but the gas milage of the '93 cherokee I have is like 13-18mpg... it'd cost a fortune. Since receintly being introduced to the idea, I'm thinking about turning it into a grease car, but I haven't seen a conversion kit for a Jeep yet.

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Except the Mazda 3 is built o

Except the Mazda 3 is built on the MkII Focus chassis.

We have yet to get the MkII Focus here in the states. We just got a facelift on the MkI.

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Re: Except the Mazda 3 is built o

redrouteone wrote:

Except the Mazda 3 is built on the MkII Focus chassis.

You're correct in that the 3 uses the same chassis as the new Focus. It's not *the* Focus chassis, though, it's the C1 global chassis designed by Mazda, Ford and Volvo.

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Re: Except the Mazda 3 is built o

Dr. Webster wrote:
redrouteone wrote:

Except the Mazda 3 is built on the MkII Focus chassis.

You're correct in that the 3 uses the same chassis as the new Focus. It's not *the* Focus chassis, though, it's the C1 global chassis designed by Mazda, Ford and Volvo.

Trust me, I know. I never once called it a Ford motor. Mazda and Ford have been in bed together for a long time, and some of the best ford compact car engines have been made by Mazda. The 2.5L Duratec V6 that was put in the contour, cougar and Escape. The 1.8L that was found in the Escort GT...

Then there's the yamahammer for the SHO (not made by mazda).

I just said they're similar and that we have a pretty healthy discussion forum brewing, and that we have a few duratec-centric sites in the works. Actually, the founder of Focaljet is highly considering an MS3 as his next project car, since Ford seems to think it's awfully funny to keep us Americans stuck on the old focus platform and just give us facelifts. Really, the Mazda 3 and the new Volvo hot hatch are the only chances we get to play with the C1 platform in the states.

Glad you like it!

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i own a 1992 mazda protege DX

i own a 1992 mazda protege DX 5 speed, wouldent it be somthing like the escort. i know it has a 1.8L SOHC i dunno if it shares anything the escort does sept the motor

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HAHA, my moter's more powerful than yours.

I didnt think anybody had a smaller engine than mine, at least in a 4 wheel vehicle.

I drive a 1998 Saturn SW1, 1.9 liter SOCH.

my mother has a 2004 Mercury Mountanieer, the Mercury clone of the explorer.

you know if that thing can run on E85? because my mom's can. just check the inside of the gas door. it will say regular gasoline or ethonal.

but yeah, my mom's vehicle gets 15mpg on gas, 20mpg on E85, and I get 42mpg in my car. course, I put it away for a bit, because it's low on fuel, and I cant afford to fill it up every week, only driving it if I NEED to, otherwise I will walk.

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E85

Yep, the 8th vin number (engine code) is K, signifying it is an FFV capable of E85. The inside of the gas door says Gasoline or Ethanol as well. The only thing I can get here in KC is E10 tho.

My Escort's a 1.9L. For the guy with the mazda 1.8L SOHC, no, it's not the engine that's in the Escort GT. The GT used the Mazda BP 1.8L DOHC.

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Re: HAHA, my moter's more powerful than yours.

iamdigitalman wrote:

I didnt think anybody had a smaller engine than mine, at least in a 4 wheel vehicle.

I drive a 1998 Saturn SW1, 1.9 liter SOCH.

I'm willing to bet I've got you all beat. Take the "1" off the above engine size, and you've got my Geo's motor.

.998 litres of 50+ mpg commuting goodness. Taste the savings!

That's a nice looking rig, ax0n, though with all the jerks on the road, I'd rather have a fully-loaded version of astro rob's Chrysler. Wink

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all i know is that ford,mazda

all i know is that ford,mazda use the same part's some time i was wondering what my car was similar to our part's used in the ford line. my car must not have been a good seller

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Re: HAHA, my moter's more powerful than yours.

iamdigitalman wrote:

.998 litres of 50+ mpg commuting goodness. Taste the savings!

That's a nice looking rig, ax0n, though with all the jerks on the road, I'd rather have a fully-loaded version of astro rob's Chrysler. Wink

Yah, I still use the '95 Escort quite a bit when it's running well. I still have some stuff to fix, but it's a blast to drive and 38-42 MPG. 50 is crazy but the metros are just a little TOO cozy for me.

I technically still own an '89 Aerostar. It needs a transmission but a track car builder I know says that the A4LD transmission (which is about the worst auto trans ford ever built) can be replaced with a T5 (it'll bolt up) if I shorten the driveshaft. I'm thinking sawzall, rhino line it inside and out and make it a ghetto sandrail.

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.9 litres of 3-banging 50hp-n

.9 litres of 3-banging 50hp-ness! Ah...not for me...The sad thing is, my RX-7 has a 1.3 Litre in it and could kick all your cars' asses. Laughing out loud

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Re: HAHA, my moter's more powerful than yours.

iamdigitalman wrote:

I didnt think anybody had a smaller engine than mine, at least in a 4 wheel vehicle.

I drive a 1998 Saturn SW1, 1.9 liter SOCH.

Well, relative to vehicle size, I reckon I can beat that. How about a two tonne furniture truck with a 2.0 litre engine?

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Re: HAHA, my moter's more powerful than yours.

ax0n wrote:

Yah, I still use the '95 Escort quite a bit when it's running well.

Likewise. We've got a '95 Escort wagon, and this weekend it's getting a new rad & hoses.
It's also rather ghetto repaired. The lines to the transmission cooler rusted through during my vacation last summer, so I spliced in an aftermarket cooler, which has been fine since.

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If you look close you can spo

If you look close you can spot his "OPENBSD" plate on the Focus in the last photo. Smile

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Off Roading!!!

I took it on some trails yesterday. Fun stuff. A well-traveled paved road with just a dirt trail out of nowhere. I decided to see what was up with the trail, where it went, etc. No gates, no "keep out" or "No trespassing" or "private drive" signs, so I decided to go for it!

I encountered prarie grass, thistle, and lots of underbrush that was taller than anything I'd seen in quite some time, and the trail went to ruts deep enough to highcenter the Explorer had I mis-navigated. I did get to do a wonderful test of it's articulation on a bizarre angled incline where I was forced to go to 4Low to keep things moving. For the most part, though, it was vegitation, rock, gravel and dry dirt and I left it in auto 4x4 mode where it's essentially a RWD truck until traction loss occurs.

Let's see your RX7 do that!

All in all it was a fun outing. I got to see lots and lots of dragonflies, hornets, a family of deer and some plant life that I don't see too often around here. Since I'm new to the sport I took it slow and got out a few times when I had any doubt that the trail was safe ahead. I played in the wilderness for about an hour, staying mostly on the trails made by those who'd been there before. It felt like a miniature safari, some of the time being unable to see more than 30 feet in any direction due to trees and narrow, winding paths. Aside from the spot where I managed to get extreme articulation, no part of the trail was particularly close to testing the limits of my ride. That place, had I navigated it better, wouldn't have even been too bad. I don't plan on doing any real crazy off roading, but it's fun to leave the pavement and go a few miles into the middle of nowhere and see the sights once in a while. There were some good spots for an afternoon of picnicking and birdwatching. Maybe I'll take my wife next time!

The first picture is right after I turned onto the trail. The second one was from when I hit a good clearing half an hour into it, and got out to take a scenic picture.

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It's barely dusy! (j/k) I'm

It's barely dusy! (j/k) I'm suprised you went that long and didn't find a fence. You must have found some spot where the property owners don't mind the occasional drive-thoughs.

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http://maps.google.com/?ll=38

http://maps.google.com/?ll=38.955571,-94.790103&spn=0.009595,0.017338&t=h&om=1

There's been a lot of changes to the area since the satellite imagery was taken. It's essentially just off 95th street (called prarie star pkwy out there). Now prarie star cuts all the way through to (and past) woodland out in Lenexa. The dirt road I took is visible in the center(ish) area of the google map.

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Nary two weeks ago we were lo

Nary two weeks ago we were looking at a job just NE of that spot, on Woodland Ct, just south of 87th, on the west side of the tracks. Was the trail you folowed down in between the hills, like the railroad tracks run?

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Kinda... The tracks are a goo

Kinda... The trails I drove are a good 1/4 mile east from the tracks (they go under the bridge they built that connects 95th to prarie star)

It's about 1.2M east of woodland at prarie star, if not a little further.

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