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  1. #1

    Default 1996 Ford F250 460 E4OD Problems

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Size:  147.4 KBWe recently bought a 1996 F250 with a 460 and E4OD.

    The truck came from an older gentleman in western Iowa in the Council Bluffs area. It was bought new to pull a gooseneck camper but it hasnít seen one behind it in a very long time. It hasnt been driven much in a while either.

    the PO said it has fresh new plugs, a new distributor cap, and rotor. Looking them over it appears to be true

    We noticed when we switched from the front to the rear tank on the test drive that it stunk of old gas being burned but the truck ran good on the test drive on both tanks, etc. No stumbles or lack of power, etc.

    Brought the truck home and added Seafoam to the engine oil and front tank to start cleaning stuff up with it. within 150 miles it has started acting up. Once the front tank was mostly gone and we switched to the rear, almost immediately, no power, etc. when you get to more than about 1/3 throttle the truck would pop out the intake tract and sputters and doesnít make any power.

    My son was driving it and said it really honestly just wouldnít get out of its own damn way. It wouldnít go up hills, etc. He filled the front tank with fresh fuel and it didnít make much difference at all.

    When I drove it again the truck acted like thereís no advance on the base timing and no advance on the spark map.

    After fiddling we found a loose timing advance stub over by the ignition module.

    After checking things with a timing light it appeares sonewhwre along the way some idiot timed it without pulling the advance first. It was 10 with the stub and ran like crap.

    The moment I pulled the advance it was at about 4 degrees BTDC on the timing light. I set the advance properly with the spout removed but dialed it up to 12 degrees BTDC and put the stub back it. Timing jumped up with the spout in like it should and it goes up as you rev it.

    By comparing to how the mustangs add timing with the spout out and also looking at the 460 I discovered timing wasnít climbing any faster on advance with the spout vs without on the 460. We were just seeing more base advance but then nothing more than mechanical. Stick electronic advance? Maybe

    I hooked up a volt meter and the TPS was all over the place. Flat spots, etc.

    I added a new TPS which it obviously needed and it helped but it didnít cure the run problems. Timing was still mia.

    This is when I figured out things look corroded in the distributor and the dizzy was getting stuck as advance was being called for so it wasnít moving.

    it ran better but NOTHING like a truck with a 460 should. An inline 6 would pass this truckblike itís tied to a stump.

    I bought a new distributor for it and installed it earlier today. Still It doesnít run how a 7.5L should at all on either tank.

    I know we need to solve the problem with bad fuel in the rear tank but that doesnít explain the crappy performance with the fresh fuel in the front tank

    Where Iím at with it is finish doing routine maintenance things for starters.

    Treat and burn the bad gas in the rear tank or get it out of the tank
    change the fuel filters
    Service the transmission fluid and filter
    Service the cooling system
    change oil

    Iím grasping at straws and donít know where to go next for sure.

    It doesnít show any codes and the check engine is not on

    the truck is an EEC-IV with Speed Density EFI.

    it runs about like the map has had a diaphragm fail but that should show codes

    i plan to inspect looking for broken vacuum lines, or a MIA line by the map sensor, etc.

    also measure fuel pressure too

    If this comes up with nothing Iíll drop the tanks and check the fuel pumps and socks and pump to hanger rubber hose, etc.

    not opposed to throwing an ECU at the problem if there arenít ways to rule it out

    I am looking for additional ideas

    The truck did get nearly 18 MPG being ran on the interstate at 80 for 80 miles. This points to lack of fuel delivery or fuel map troubles as most 460ís in the mid 90ís are known to get about 8-10 city and 12-14 highway.

    it is running hot which also points to being lean.
    Last edited by erratic50; 05-29-2018 at 09:39 AM.

  2. #2
    FEP Power Member dagenham's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Duncannon PA


    If there's old gas in it I'd be looking at the fuel filters to be gummed up maybe. The fact the po had thrown some new parts on tells me he was already having problems and couldn't fix it either.

  3. #3
    FEP Supporter Broncojunkie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Barboursville, WV


    Those trucks with dual tanks had an issue with one of the pumps cross-filling from one tank to the other. It's been a while since I had one, so you may want to do some reading over on the f150 forum. But basically, I'm suggesting that you very well may have bad fuel in both tanks. One of the pumps is equipped with a check valve. That's the one that causes problems. Seems to me like it's the front one, but don't take my word for it. The fact that you were getting 18 mpg makes me suspect a cross-fill problem, though. My 92 f150 with 302 didn't do that well, I don't think!

  4. #4


    Agreed - my 5.4L in my 2008 truck wonít break 17 with a tailwind at 80, not even with a hypertech tune.

    I may top off both tanks then run some miles on the back tank again then top off both again to see where itís at.

    I remember my dadís 83 van and dual tanks ó once it got older loved to draw from both tanks then when the front went empty you were out of gas.... switchover valve would stick. We eventually bypassed the front tank entirely on that one.

    One of the oddball behaviors Iím seeing is the rear tank builds with pressure. Not a ton and no different than our Mustangs but when I removed the cap to put in some additives it put some fuel on the ground. I chalked it up to being 70 when I filled and 105 when I removed the cap.

    I have a fuel pressure gauge. I may check the rail for starters. The bad part is Iíd have to remove the hood to get where I could see a gauge while itís acting up. Might cure the getting hot ó road kill style.

    At least I know the TPS and distributor are both good. The jury is out on everything else. I do really like the ol truck, it just needs to cooperate.

    I highly doubt we'll do anything in the form of rust repair or anything on the truck. Its sorta too bad. It was either garaged most of its life or it got plenty of wax or a respray sometime given the way the paint looks.

    The dash is cracked but other than that the interior is surprisingly nice. And I mean in general, not just for an older truck. I dont remember the last time I've seen an interior in one of these trucks that's this nice -- its been a long while.

    It seals up good going down the road, AC will freeze you out, the heat works, the cruise works, etc.

    It doesn't ever seem to smoke or drip or leak anything, etc.

    Just a damn nice truck if we can get performance where it should be.

    It needs to get there because towing capacity is why I bought the truck. It will be making the run to Austin to get one 85 Saleen once its done. Its also going to make the run to SCOA and some others.

    The old 460's are stout when they run right. People always talk about engines making this much or that much power, and never how many RPM they run to do it. That's where the big block and diesel and turbo diesel conversation is.

    For the 1996 460, they are making 490 lbs of torque and they make 85% of it by 1800 RPM on 87 octane pump gas.

    Meanwhile it takes my 5.4L until about 4300 RPM to make 405 lbs of torque on 93 octane premium fuel with a KN airfilter combined with a special hypertech tune that takes advantage of it. Thats all a 5.4L will muster -- set on kill.

    What exactly will the old 7.5 with E4OD or 5-speed actually pull? Who the heck really knows actually, right. We've all heard stories of crazy porta-scale readings for being VASTLY over weight in addition to 20-30 over on speed limit yet too. The thing about the stories I know about, I read some of them in the area's courthouse news. Examples of what NOT to do for sure!

    Pretty much why I picked up a 7.5L truck for a tow rig. Enough of the modular or small block drama.

    I might eventually put expansion tubes and true some duals on this truck for fun. Something to make the growl of the 460 heard. Or maybe go nuts with high flow cats, long-tube headers, and glass packs. Done right, these old trucks sound exactly like the 60's and 70's and 80's V8s we all remember because its one of the trucks Ford hadn't gotten around to changing really.

    I don't mean 5.0L mustang growl. I mean 400M and 429 and 460 V8 truck growl. Its just something you don't hear very often anymore, and they all sounded more or less the same.
    Last edited by erratic50; 05-29-2018 at 10:40 AM.

  5. #5


    I have a 96 F 250 460/E40D since new. If you haven't changed the fuel filter DO IT. Few different times even though based on miles mine wouldn't get out of its own way. No code. Change the filter and back in business. I've had vacuum leaks twice. both time it threw a code. They are not fast but pulls real strong. I get 17 mph on hwy (16 w/ac on) 10 to 8 in town depending on whether its Qtip season or not. fuel transfer between tanks takes fuel pumps to stop. has to do with check valves in the assm. for what its worth

  6. #6


    Thanks for the post! Fuel filter is the next thing we will try after we empty this god-awful tank of petrol.

  7. #7


    still haven't found time to swap the filter!

  8. #8
    Moderator wraithracing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Grand Junction, CO/RR TX


    The trucks of those years have the issues with the dual tanks. Basically there should be a lift pump in each tank and then a High pressure pump on the frame rail. There is no actual switching valve when you switch tanks, the switch turns on the lift pump in the tank and the flow of fuel is suppose to cause the "valves" in the lines to open and close based upon the fuel pressure. The issue is that one lift pump will be running, but the return line for the other tank doesn't close properly and therefore your return fuel from one tank goes into the other tank rather than the correct tank. There was a Recall by for that installed "check" valves that were supposed to fix the problem. Unfortunately they did sometimes and others they did not. My Father's 89 F150 never worked right and constantly would fill from one tank into the other. My 92 F150 had the same issue, but off and on even with the Recall check valves. Honestly just really pissed me off.

    If the fuel in one of the tanks is crap there is a good possibility that either the sock filter is clogged up and or the lift pump in that tank. You might want to seriously consider dropping the tank to verify. The other option if you can is to pull the bed off the truck. That will give you access to both tanks and all the lines and you don't have to worry about dumping nasty fuel all over yourself under the truck. A suction pump can remove the majority of bad fuel and then you can drop the tank if needed to flush/clean it out.

    Also don't rule out the possibility of the high pressure pump crapping out on you or even being clogged up due to the bad fuel. Good Luck Buddy!

    "I Don't build it hoping for your approval! I built it because it meets mine!"

    "I've spent most of my money on Mustangs, racing, and women... the rest I just wasted."

    Mustangs Past: Too many to remember!
    Current Mustangs:
    1969 Mach 1
    1979 Pace Car now 5.0/5 speed
    1982 GT Ongoing RestoModification
    1984 SVO Awaiting Restoration
    1986 GT Wrecked by PO, but still want to save!

    Current Capris:
    1981 Capri Roller
    1981 Capri Black Magic Roller Basket Case
    1982 Capri RS 5.0/4spd T-top Full Restoration Underway
    1984 Capri RS T-top Roller
    1983-84 Gloy Racing Trans Am/IMSA Body Parts

  9. #9


    dumped some seafoam and other additives into the front fuel tanks shortly after we got the truck. The truck started running orders of magnitude better on the front tank than the rear.

    I didnt want to take the gas out of it if it runs because who the hell knows what to do with nasty old gas -- its a hazardous material and nobody wants the crap.

    So instead, its had a few tanks ran through it now on both tanks with the same additives in both and premium fuel, sloshing around, etc. Smell wise, it no longer smells like varnish at all. Running wise, it has cleaned up some.

    I've heard about and read the info on the gas ending up switching tanks, etc. Pain in the butt design really. What I determined is that if everything works right then when you run out of gas on one tank then that tank should stay out of gas. If not, then you have a problem there. So we've driven it enough and ran it out of gas on one tank vs the other enough now to verify that when you run it out of gas on one tank that the truck will never magically end up with fuel back in that tank again until we fill it again.

    So where I'm at with it is try a fuel filter. If that doesn't solve it then replace the fuel pickup socks and lift pumps and fuel pump and of course the filter again.

    Honestly knowing how Fords love to eat a fuel pump every 120-140K, it seems to me that a pump replacement is just part of good maintenance on an almost 23 year old truck that seems to have all of its original parts on it.

    The only thing I've found on this truck that had been changed when we bought the truck were the spark plugs and the cap/rotor and front brakes.

    We've changed the distributor because it was corroded up and nasty.

    We change the front brakes along with the pins because the caliper pins were rusted up nasty stuck and bent all to hell.

    We've changed the throttle position sensor because it had a dead spot and was junk.

    I'll probably put in a new ignition module from Motorcraft and a new map sensor too. Again just part of maintenance.

    At Certified Transmission we had the E4OD trans filter replaced with an OE replacement. They cleaned the pan in their parts washer and hooked their pump up and did a full fluid back-flush which includes what is in the torque converter and lines then too. They put it all back together and filled the system back up.

    BTW -- Why certified? Here in Omaha at their Millard location they've always treated my stuff like its their own when I've went to see them. They've had about 3 shots at telling me I needed a new transmission here or there along the way and said very specifically you need this part or that one and my vehicles have been back in business for a few hundred bucks instead of thousands and have stayed going without further problems down the road a few miles.

    Bonus points when they asked me questions like do you pull a trailer with your MarkLT and if so how heavy and have you done anything for shift improvement when towing. Then rather than suggesting a shift kit they could have sold me and installed on the spot they told me about a tuner from Hypertech that lets me dial the improvement in when I'm towing stuff. My MarkLT has 108K miles and I've had to towed as much as 14K lbs with it from Omaha to Austin with no problems..... decided not to tempt fate anymore and that's a good portion of the reason for buying the F250 with the 460 and E4OD. The truck is just much better suited for towing heavy stuff.

  10. #10


    My dads got a 93 e350. Its got the 460, bigger rear end and a stack of leafs in the rear almost a foot tall. Guy he bought it from towed a 60' trailer.

    Its a good van. Fun to drive, low miles, but about 6mpg. Loaded or not. Ita been sitting on the driveway for about 5 years due to gas costs. Been trying to talk him into getting a little e150.
    2 1986 cougars (both 4 eyed and 5.0)
    1 1987 cougar

  11. #11


    They tow stuff down the road sideways at 80 though.... thatís what I love about them. Damn hard to argue with 490 lbs of torque at 1800 RPM.

    My MarkLT with a 5.4L 3V triton and 4 speed automatic has a hypertech tune in it for premium fuel only. 365HP and 405ftlbs but the max torque isnt there until 4200. Makes for damn high RPM tostay going at speed sometimes. 5500 in 2nd basically.

    It pulled a heavy ass 18x8.5 trailer to Austin and back but it didnít like it very much! I got 6.5 mpg going down with enough parts to make up a complete Four Eyed Fox spread between the truck and trailer. Wind restancr was the big factor - it only got 7 coming back.

    the trailer was a blunt nose and I bucked a head wind both ways.

    Stupid damn trailer is steel frame designed for hauling 8 motorcycles at a shot with the drop wells in the floor for the bike rim, etc. it weighed over 8500 empty. 12000 with the car and a spare diff, etc.

    Total weight around 18K - 18,500. An F150/MarkLT design truck is not designed for that!
    Last edited by erratic50; 06-17-2018 at 01:34 AM.

  12. #12


    Got tired of trying to find time to work on the F250 and took it to a shop to have it fixed.

    Their diagnosis was that there was an O-ring out at the fuel pump that was causing the gas to get heavily oxygenated and for the system to run at about 1/2 pressure. Additionally the lift pump on the rear tank was failing and starving the pressure pump.

    Drove it about a mile on the rear tank after I got it back and the truck sputtered and died and wouldn't restart until I switched back to the front tank. It appears we found a defective brand new pump. ARG -- back to the shop it went.

    While on the front tank we drove it for a while. It has been gradually improving its manners with every start/run cycle. Makes me want to pull the battery terminal and leave it sit until all things previously known are forgotten.

  13. #13
    FEP Super Member sowaxeman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Greenwood, IN


    I know you have a lot of friends in here, and probably a lot of helpful Ford truck owners as well....but you should consider joining up over at Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forum. That is my second favorite forum, next to this one of course! To me it is to my 2002 F-250 PSD as this site is to my Four Eyes When I bought my first diesel PowerStroke back in 2008, I knew nothing about driving or maintaining a diesel truck. Now I'm on my second truck....2002 F-250 PSD. Not saying I am a diesel tech now, but that site has saved me quite a bit in service expense on some relatively simple DIY fixes/mods to common issues with the 7.3L PSD
    Last edited by sowaxeman; 07-03-2018 at 07:09 AM.
    Jason Smith
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    '05 S-281 Mineral Grey - 16k miles @ counting.

  14. #14


    Have you tried running codes yet?
    2 1986 cougars (both 4 eyed and 5.0)
    1 1987 cougar

  15. #15


    Threw codes lean

    the tank to pressure pump on the rear tank was junk. Some O rings were allowing suction of air tank to pressure pump.

    The truck ran 5x Better but itís still hesitating a little.

    There is an exhaust leak and i suspect that is messing with things at light throttle, although it should not matter at WOT

    The biggest problem now is I hired a dealer to do a flush and fill on the radiator. Well apparently ó to them ó flush only means drain..... yea, thatís why a coolant flush kit runs water through backwards to get the crap out. Well, all they accomplished was breaking a ton of stuff loose and introduce an air pocket.

    It went right at the L of normal where it had been running at the A before, then it proceeded to blow out the torque converter seal on the E4OD and boiled several gallons of coolant out when we shut it off.

    Time to chew some fanny!

    Sometimes life waits for nothing, so once again my Mark LT got treated like a super duty truck instead of using my F250! Iím really unhappy about it! And to think what was charged for this mess!

    The one thing I have on my side is less than 2 weeks before Certified Transmission had just done a full service on the trans and gave it a clean bill of health, no leaks and no issues. So the seal failure was caused by heat due to improper coolant service. Thank heavens I elected to use synthetic. The oil was just changed with full synthetic too.... but better hope for their sake my 460 is OK after this mess too because clearly they didnít do their job properly.
    Last edited by erratic50; 07-14-2018 at 02:44 PM.

  16. #16


    Well ..... been a long time. Just got the truck back again. They admitted that sky high temps from air pockets causes ATF to get too hot and E4ODs are notorious for pushing out converter seals.

    The converter looked like it got quite hot. Hard to say which came first the chicken or the egg on that situation.

    So new converter, new seal. Seems to shift fine and act like it should

    The guy who worked on the trans noticed it was sluggish too. He went to pull the advance stub to check base timing and the connector was extremely hot. On further inspection about 2/3 of the wires on the connector were broken.

    He soldered in a new connector and shrink tubed it.

    When I jumped into the truck and stomped on the gas the first time after all of this, it was a smoke show. It immediately blew the tires off. Well, the 460 is back to its previous self!

    Its at 11 degrees of timing right now and itís about 1/2 a length behind my MarkLT in a 1/4 mile. My LT has a KN and a Hypertech premium tune set on full kill..... 6000 lb truck making 365HP and 405 lbs of torque. The F250 is around 8000 and is rated under 250HP but itís torque is good ol stump pulling Big Block power.

    I suspect about 2-3 more degrees of advance will make the F250 premium fuel only but power wise make it an entirely different truck. The 7.5ís respond to advance about like our 5.0ís do, only more so.

    Trey and I were joking about dropping a 460 in a foxbody. I might do it someday just for the fun of it. Any engine that makes a truck move when you rev it off idle will practically cause a rollover if itís in a fox. Lol

    Hey Trey ó 82 Capri RS 7.5L ..... LoL

    Add AL heads, a killer cam. a great intake, and longtubes "just in case"...... In case those narrow factory rear tires had a single hope in hell of catching traction with a 460 in the first place? Lol.

    Call it a conversation starter.

    Guys flock to get a good long look at huge motors about like they flock to get a good long look at a nice pair of boobs. Just sayin.
    Last edited by erratic50; 08-03-2018 at 11:41 PM.

  17. #17


    Put a fox on a trailer behind the ol 460 tonight. Pretty certain the F250 with V8 foxbody in tow will out accelerate a N/A I4 foxbody stang. It might drag one down the road sideways faster than they typically go too. The truck does well, very enjoyable.

    Have gotten around 9 so far with it. Not horrible considering we were rolling 85 and it only gets 10 by itself in town on a good day. Around 15 on the interstate at 80 usually.

    7.5L of fun to tow with

    I know how we can break 90 with your hybrid.... chain it to the back of the trailer
    Last edited by erratic50; 08-16-2018 at 04:18 AM.

  18. #18
    FEP Power Member Ourobos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Waikoloa , Hawaii


    Hope you went with a heavy duty converter, the TCC lockup is what goes on those over time.

    The E4OD loves a good clean fluid, I recommend Redline ATF. If good fluid doesn't have it shifting right nothing will.
    1986 CHP SSP Coupe

  19. #19


    It seems to be doing well. Has a fresh filter and synthetic fluid
    Last edited by erratic50; 08-17-2018 at 02:26 PM.

  20. #20


    Had the F250 out towing my 8.5x20' Bravo enclosed trailer this past weekend. My son Devon had a bunch of stuff in storage down by his college campus in Missouri and was loosing the storage 5/31 so we looked at renting an house down there and decided to bring most of the rest of his belonging with him.

    My only regret is that we didn't do that before I had to move it all myself this past January! Lol.

    Well - the good news is the F250 did a good job of towing a trailer loaded down with crap. Roads sucked with all of the flooding in the midwest keeping I29 under many feet of water still.

    We got as far as St Joseph MO and stopped for something to drink and decided to refill both tanks even though it still had plenty in one. Well... while pulling away from the gas pump I stepped on the brake and my foot went to the floor. The hard line going to the passenger rear drum brake blew.

    It looked like defects in the stainless steel allowing it to rust.

    I replaced it with a 51" copper line that had 3/8" fittings on both ends and a 3/8" female to 7/16" male line adapter installed on the rear brake cylinder. The hardest part of the whole repair was talking the parts guys at the McParts store to just let me go back and find what I needed after they had sent me out with the wrong stuff multiple times.

    Pro tip -- look up the wheel cylinder and it will say exactly what size fitting is on it. Some trucks take two different ones -- the F250 is no exception. One for regular (2.5" wide pad" 3/4 ton brakes and one for heavy duty (3" wide) 3/4 ton/1 ton brakes.

    Ford doesn't necessarily love it when a person installing one part has to use two different sizes of tools so they will avoid it on the standard but allow it on the optional upgrade. This truck was no different.

    The old brake line fit the standard duty cylinder on the T adapter end, but that line had two different size ends. It was too big small for the 3" wide brake cylinder.

    Looking up these two parts got us to if it is SAE or Metric and what sizes it used on both ends with accuracy and no more watching some dope at the parts counter trying to thread a metric fitting on an SAE line, etc.

    Pissed me off having to go back multiple times. Ultimately I had to TEACH the assistant manager at a parts store how to use the info their computer has to get to the info the customer needs to ensure its the right parts!

    A nice and fresh bottle of synthetic DOT3 and a good heavy bleed job all the way around and the brakes feel good as new.

    Speaking of fresh brake fluid -- when is the last time you've forced all of the fluid out of your brake system and bled in new?

    Brakes feel night and day better on the truck before it broke vs after its all fixed up.

    Thank heaven it did not happen during a panic stop situation!

  21. #21
    FEP Super Member gr79's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    SE Michigan


    Old workhorse pickups are cool. All truck, no hitech unneeded fancy car stuff inside.
    Ford Camper Special option. Manual trans with granny first gears.
    Sure, new high hp/mileage trucks pull great and steer with one finger. And cost 10x to own.

    Had a pass side ft brake line go on the Mustang in March. Same deal. Pedal went to floor in parking lot.
    Have not had to flush car or truck lately because both have recent new brake line sections, so fluid is fresh.

    Most people do not fool with the brake bleeding even if aware flushing should be done as maintenance.
    DIY worried brake bleeder may be seized and will snap off.
    DIY lack the bleed tools and equipment or know easy procedure for one man bleed.
    Others do not care or are aware of brake fluid maintenance. Will not spend big money to have it done.

    Fluid mgmt:
    The newer plastic m/c reservoirs are great to show fluid color. Cast iron m/c makes new fluid look old.
    Always thought a service port tee, on end of main brake line, for maint. bleeding would be faster than wheel bleeding.
    A tee, connecting brake lines, with a bleeder screw.
    Helps to wrap bleeders with a bit of Teflon tape. Keeps them working, keeps air out when bleeding.
    Rubber or plastic cap keeps bleeder clean. Never had one snap or round off.

    Brake lines:
    Brake lines are another story. Lines rust, especially the fittings to the tube. Unless ss, they rust to the tube.
    Helps to add anti-seize under the brake line end fitting.
    Anything to help keep fitting from rusting to the tube years later, twisting the tube, and snapping brake line when replacing caliper or wheel cylinder. Much more added work and time.
    SS is hard to bend. Any type may kink if miss-bent, straightened out, then re bent even with a bending tool.

    Worked counters back in late 70's-early 80's, before chains appeared. Most stores were local independant owned.
    never had customer need to pick his parts nor let them. Mechanics ok.
    Counter work nowadays looks like it sucks. Low pay than before, work on holidays, weekends, Sundays.
    Complicated slow to use computer data bases. Catalogs (books), microfiche were faster, more flexible.
    Rely on computer to make decisions, count money, stock parts. Training is how to push buttons.
    A few stores have people that have know their stuff. Like knowing alternate part options. Can cut rotors.
    Most are there to enter data, pull part, and ring up sales. Not required to know what the part does or is.
    Have little or no car wrenching experience or even car savvy. Then they learn, get bumped to mgr and cycle starts again.
    Its not their fault. It is the way the company operates.
    So many chain stores, too few workers with skill willing to work the counters for peanuts. Dealers operate differently.
    This self serve trend has gotten too time consuming with no price break. We gonna have to cook the burgers too?
    Excuse is it "keeps labor costs down". What? All it does is keep profits up.

    Part picking:
    Getting certain truck parts can be tricky. Many variables on build, customers with limited info to help narrow down part.
    Have to look parts up online, record number, check what store has the part, go to store, and maybe pick my own brake lines cause its faster.
    Bins not sorted out. What a mess, even with newer store. Then inventory is off. Cannot find part in stock. They have let me back there.
    Might as well clock in doing that work. Sadly saves time and a wasted trip. Then have to pay? The markup is an insult 1/2 the time.
    Last time there (nearby), they looked for 2 whole minutes, nothing. 'Made' them look harder. Part was in wrong bin.

  22. #22


    All too familiar.

    There is a fine line between me and the term mechanic. I've never called myself one, but I sure fixed many classmate's cars the many evenings i wasn't working my "regular" job when I was in high school. I also helped build race cars in a friend's shop most weekends, a trend from 91-93 and again from 95-96 before life got in the way and I had to call it.

    My dad, brother, and i have fully disassembled and rebuilt several transmissions both automatic and manual too. But I've avoided taking up T5's as much as possible mainly because I don't like (more like hate) working on them.

    I had the run of almost every salvage yard in the region by the time I was 16. I had a take part now and pay later agreement with several of them too. Grouchy old guys -- you knew you were good to go when they'd say "get the hell out of here -- see you next Friday after you get paid" I always came back with cash and a 6 or 12 pack of their favorite beer, never once was asked where i got it from but I had my sources. LOL.

    I had many of the GM parts cross-reference crap for late 60's to mid 80's memorized too. Turn me loose on any G-body and I'll make it just like any other G-body under the hood even to this day, for example. Want good weight transfer in a V8 car, swap in some 82 Cutlass diesel springs. Want less droop in back, 78 Malibu wagon rear springs. PBO vs Chevy vs PBO/Chevy TH350's, TH200-R4's, TH700-R4's, early 70's Buick Olds and Pontiac motors in late 70's or early 80's cars or a Chevy in them ....I knew exactly which mounts were needed, etc. Some 70's Camaro and TA and Firebird stuff too, but not as much as we didn't own one only played with them.

    I liked swapping in the older and far more reliable AC compressors for the compact units GM started putting in by the late 70's. those junkers were often part of dealer AC add kits too and were absolutely notorious for locking up. 76 Lesabre 350 mounts and compressor and line bolted up to a 79 Gbody condenser .... done.

    I worked on my Fords when I needed to or decided I just couldn't leave well enough alone, but honestly I spent a lot more time working on GM and Dodge crap because that's what was broken. My Galaxie and later my Mustang ran very hard compared to the other stuff people in the area had -- never had any problems with any other than a few I helped build with the Galaxie. Mustang put and end to that crap.

    Probably a good thing my wife hates it when I work on stuff or I might just go out to the garage and not come back in until they foreclose on the house. LOLs. some days in my tech job I sure miss the peace of turning wrenches on a car that's been apart many times before and has had antiseize applied so it just comes apart like a new one.
    Last edited by erratic50; 06-04-2019 at 07:00 PM.

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