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The place to come if you've been with us for years or it's your first time here. General yakking about anything motorcycle related. Think of it as the internet coffeehouse for the UTMC.
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Baron von Scrapple
Location: NoVA


Post by Jaeger » Mon Jan 03, 2022 12:49 pm

Ok, y'all, I'll spare you my sob story about my Ridgeline and how my repaired transmission is going horribly wrong. Suffice it to say that the transmission itself is just ducky but the damage done while doing the job may well be lethal.

As a result, I'm in the market for a new truck. I don't want to do this right now given the supply-chain issues 'n' shit, but I need reliable transportation that can (1) haul 4 people comfortably and (2) function as a light pickup truck.

As I have never in my life owned a new car and I'm getting perilously close to 50 years old, I think now's the time, especially since the prices of used cars has skyrocketed. I'm tired of buying other people's problems, I'd like to buy my own for a change. :)

That said, I have a budget. Additionally, quite honestly I don't drive that goddamn much any more, and I rarely need the pickup truck function --but when needed it's critical; e.g., hauling kayak, bicycles, furniture. It's just too damn useful. I considered getting a small hatchback but -- get this -- Mishka convinced me to get another truck! Hah!

Thus, I discovered the upcoming Ford Maverick Hybrid.
It's coming into the market in the next few months. I think it's based off the Escape frame, but a pickup not a crossover. Not only does it do everything I need it to do, but it's cheap and -- get this -- they're estimating 42mpg in the city with the hybrid!

There's also a gasoline version that has a turbo if ya feel the need for speed, but I'm very much of the "4 wheels to move the body" school. I don't give a fuck how fast the car is so long as it's functional, reliable, and economical. The Ridgeline was at least the first two for several years, but it was never what I'd call "economical" given its common 12mpg average. :(

MY QUESTION TO YOU GUYS IS: Anything I should know in particular about late-model Ford trucks? I drove an E250 cargo van more miles than I care to think about back in the '90s but that's the last time of any real note. I've generally loathed most of the Ford cars I've sat in subsequently (the PT Cruiser is an abomination), and the cars have a reputation for being unreliable, but I've trusted the trucks in general since my days dispatching.

Otherwise, I know I'm gambling buying a first-year model but... the MSRP for a base-line model is just under $20k. You can't buy a decent new car for that, let alone a truck.


P.S. -- This will mean I'll have gone from an all-import stable dating back 30 years to an all-domestic stable in less than 4 years. Hnh.

Bigshankhank wrote:The world is a fucking wreck, but there is still sunshine in some places. Go outside and look for it.
2018 Indian Scout -- "Lilah"

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Zaphod's Zeitgeist
Location: Potato


Post by DerGolgo » Mon Jan 03, 2022 3:32 pm

$20k for a full-size vehicle sounds suspiciously reasonable. Particularly in the present calamity.

I gotta ask, is it a plug-in hybrid? Could I still drive, and was I concerned with range, that'd be a dealbreaker for me. Actually, odds are, I might just buy an all-electric van and put a little generator-set in the back...

All the vehicles I've ever owned have been Fords. Well, one vehicle I shared with my sisters, and one I properly still own (but obviously haven't driven myself in 10 years).

I can't say I've enjoyed owning Fords. But I cannot condemn either vehicle.
The little shitbox that could: 1990 Ford Fiesta 1.1i
The Fiesta was a shitbox among shitboxes. Once upon a time, it had 50hp, which was never a lot for a fairly spacious vehicle. I think towards the end, it had 40 horses left, max. In windy conditions, particularly on Autobahn viaducts, it became a fucking tall ship, just sailing around in the land, me desperately trying to control the enormous, pre-power-steering wheel.
Probably one of the last models potato Ford sold with a cast-iron pushrod engine. The driver's manual specified different maintenance procedures for vehicles with fuel injection, and vehicles with an actual carburetor.
An experience beyond the laws of electricity
Driving home from school, right side brake light fails. I stop at a gas station, where they sold things like spare lamps for such occasions. The car was so old, I didn't even need tools to pull the failed lamp. I identified a replacement, installed it, and drove home.
Having put the car in the parking spot, I turned the ignition key left and pulled it.
Slight problem: the engine didn't stop then. It kept chugging along at idle, entirely unimpressed by anything I did to the ignition. The only way I could finally shut it down was by shifting into 5th gear, stalling it.
The expert I subsequently consulted identified the lamp I had installed as being the wrong type. Pulling it and installing the right lamp fixed the problem.

No, not a funny. That actually happened. Electrons in that vehicle did not obey the laws of electricity like other, lesser electrons would. The busted rooftop antenna was a conduit for rainwater, which accumulated in the dome light and would spray the forward occupants when swiftly cornering.
The dome light always kept working, with no indication that it was actually full of water.
But, credit where it's due, that shitbox just refused to die. Even after either of my sisters had made it their personal mission in life to destroy the piston rings, ("Check the oil? You don't understand cars! See, the oil light didn't even come on!") it ran fine. Even passed emissions.
Sure, emissions for a 1990 car were, well. Maybe you shouldn't be seeing smoke pour out of the radiator. Less a regulation, more a suggestion. When shitbox came off of the assembly line, you could still buy leaded gas in potato (outlawed for regular gas in 1988, but remained legal for the premium juice until 1996).

Parts broke off occasionally. It was never water-proof. For a while there, the hood was held down by a cunning arrangement of string and florist's wire. I know I once locked myself out (hah, remember that, when you could lock yourself out of your own car) and, somehow, was able to get back in without tools. I don't recall how I did it exactly, just that I did.
The way they had attached the rear-view mirror caused differential heating and a tiny crack forming in the windshield, right under the tiny black rectangle that indicated where the mirror was supposed to be glued in place (it obviously had fallen off along the way and was never properly reattached).
Cue my sister racing down the Autobahn for a few hours, middle of winter, heater in the car on full blast (seriously, for every degree the temperature outside dropped below comfortable, she'd turn the heater up for yet another degree above comfortable, like a fucking sauna). Wow was she surprised when she went to the car in the morning and found what happens when you heat something glass up nice and hot and then shove it in the freezer. Having had to pay for a new windshield was probably one of the reasons that finally sealed shitbox's fate.
Shitbox's last ride.
Not long before my treacherous sister murdered it for no other reason than that she was sick of how it refused to die, shitbox took me and a bunch of activists to Hamburg and back. ~450 miles round trip.
It consumed an actual gallon of motor oil on the way. Not kidding. I had to pull over and check the oil at around half-way, and surely, it was nearly gone.
Also on that occasion, I lost control on wet leaves on cobblestones.
Good news: nobody got hurt.
Bad news: the steel rim had slammed into the curb so hard, it got bent and I was surprised it hadn't popped the tire.

Having learned how to change a tire when I had crashed the little panel van I had been entrusted on literally my first night on a new job, I pulled out the tools... and found that one of the nuts wouldn't budge. I hd to summon a henchperson.

ADAC, the bigger (and more corrupt) of two AAA equivalents will roll out and help anyone with vehicle trouble. But if you don't have a membership, they'll usually charge more than a local garage might. Fuck membership fees, that's how they make real revenue.
But me, I was covered. My pa had a family membership. So I called up, the lady asks me sternly if I'm a member or not, and I give her the membership number.
MAN did her tone change!
The more we talked, the more she seemed outright intimidated by the family plan my pa had signed up for back in the when.
A few times, the ADAC tried to sell my father on a new, modern plan. And threw all the bonuses and "free gifts" at him. At least once, they straight up offered him cash money to let go of that old family plan.
See, when he had signed up. The ADAC had just thrown in every bit of coverage they could come up with. Figuring most nobody would ever be able to afford to even get into a situation where they might have to cover for something.

When I came and haunted the US? If I had had an accident, or got a bad illness or whatever, that family plan would have covered all expenses for initial treatment.
And, thereafter, a fucking MEDEVAC FLIGHT - and no, I don't mean a nice sweat on a commercial flight. I mean a jet kitted out as a flying ambulance, Dornier 328 or Learjet 60 XD would have come and got me. Had the entire fleet been unavailable, they were on the hook for chartering a plane just for little old me!
The guy finally rocked up, beheld the long-haired (really, I had to watch out when going to the loo...) political nutter, and announced he'd have the wheel off in no time.
No time was almost 20 minutes, and an ever escalating progression of tools he had to pull from his truck. In the end, he was forced to get the pipe.
You know the pipe. The five foot, commodity steel pipe that will teach any obstinate nuts and bolts who is boss, and who will diemotherfuckerdie!
Turned out that whoever had last attached that wheel had managed to cross-thread the nut. But had been undeterred and had just kept forcing it until it was tight.

Next problem was the spare wheel. I had one. Specifically, the exact spare wheel the car had rolled out of Ford's factory with 15 years prior.
At the time, the ADAC actually recommended that spare tires had a shelf life of about 8 to 10 years, max, and were horribly unsafe thereafter. Certainly not safe for hauling a horribly overloaded vehicle over 200 miles down the Autobahn in the middle of winter.
But at that point, so the guy assured me, using the old tire would probably be safer than getting one new tire, but keeping the well worn tires on the other wheels.
Since he didn't have a wheel nut and bolt for a 1989 model Fiesta on him, I think he basically brute-forced that nut back on like it had been before. If nothing else, that wheel was well and securely attached.
I can't even remember the 2001 Focus's model designation
It has the 1.6 engine, is an automatic. Why would I ever buy an automatic?
I didn't, not really. My father had found it cheap via ebay, as a new ride for my mum. Who hated it, and refused to drive it. So it ended up becoming my car instead.

It would usually run fine.

Except for that squealing noise.
But that noise couldn't compete with Ford's best
From the beginning, it made that noise. I was worried something expensive was about to break, so I drove to the local stealership to have an expert take a look and a listen.
The expert who came forth to take that look was the Meister. The Master. The one formally qualified to take on and train apprentices. The guy who'd wear a nice shirt and tie while overseeing work in the stealership's shop - but when he did have to get his own hands dirty, that'd be just that. Dirty hands. The shirt would remain immaculate. You know the type.

He looked and listened under my hood and identified a belt tensioner that might need replacing.
Before I could ask him about how much that'd cost me, some guy walked by and said a casual hello.
The guy's hair or scraggly bear could not have been washed in recent history. His clothes looked like something most people would use as a rag for cleaning... and a bit like they had been used as a rag.
He told the Meister that he was going to the workshop in the back to get his car.

The Meister instantly forgot that I was even there. He offered, nay, pleaded that he should bring the car around to the front. The raggy fella said thanks, but no need, it's fine...
As he marched off towards the workshop, the Meister followed, and I was left standing next to my squaling Focus.
And then I saw why the Meister had been so desperate to bring around from the back.

Orange front, and an orange stripe running down the centerline, with light blue on either side, and a big, white roundel repeated in several places, each bearing a number. I'm not sure if it was "1" or "8", either one of those I think.
And at the wheel was the raggy fella.
Even just for 50 yards or so, driving a Ford GT was obviously more important than helping some idiot with a hatchback making odd noises.

Fun fact: the belt tensioner was never fixed. The noise became rarer, but it's still running.
actual menace in traffic
At one time, it would just refuse to rev. Like, I'd be at the light, and as it turns green, I aim myself into an intersection... but the engine would run unevenly, refusing to get above idle. Which, when you're in a left turn and there's oncoming traffic, that's not fun.
I'd try to punch the pedal, strangle the shifter, turn the key any direction it would go many times. The situation would resolve itself after maybe 20 to 30 seconds (which is damn, damn long in the middle of an intersection). A few times, stopping and starting the engine did it, a few times, it refused to go away until it was good and ready.

Rather than the stealership, I sought the aid of the small garage around the corner from me. Guy does cars and bikes, the side-street he is on is basically an open-air extension to his tiny workshop. In the summer, it may be filled up with fancy custom bikes and guys walking around in Gremium MC colors.

He was flummoxed. He tried everything he could. Any time I tried to demonstrate the problem, if obviously refused to manifest. I think he finally got to experience it when I left him the car for extended testing.
He thought the problem was the air-flow sensor assembly. To verify this, he pulled the air-flow sensor out of the Ford of another customer, in the shop for something unrelated, and installed it in mine.
Didn't work.

Like the squealing noise, the problem kinda went away after a while.
Over time, stuff wore out. When the timing belt was due to get changed, I had to get a new waterpump wheel along with it... because car companies.

The Hosenrohr, literally pants-tube, where the tubes of the header are brought together into a single pipe, developed a crack.
My mechanic expressed his aggravation that, for no good reason, the pipe was made from material that could not be welded like in the old days. And could not be bought as a spare, not on its lonesome. I had to buy an entire new header.

To my knowledge, all car makers do this sort of shit. The replacement cup-holder is only sold as a package with an ignition coil.

Apart from that, it just keeps chugging along, still.
So that's only Ford Europe, or Ford Potato. And relating to vehicles built decades ago.
But in my experience, the durability and reliability of Ford products, even after passing through many hands, was usually acceptable.

Enjoy your new vehicle, whichever it will be!
If there were absolutely anything to be afraid of, don't you think I would have worn pants?

I said I have a big stick.

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Fully Autonomous Cock-Puncher
Location: Exiled to Living in a Van Down By The River


Post by Bigshankhank » Tue Jan 04, 2022 5:16 pm

Check out, there is a lot written about the new Maverick and almost all of it is positive. Ford is even open sourcing interior and bed mounted accessories to be installed on a series of rails and mounting points allow for makers to create their own accessories and/or sell them without going through Ford itself. Considering the chassis and drivetrain have been around for a while in the Escape (and I think the Flex but I'm not sure) so other than the body specific parts it is not a pure 1st Generation machine with the concerns associated. Frankly if I were in the market for a new car I've already told the Wife that I would be looking closely at the Mav.
TL:DR I like them, get it and tell me how it works out.
It's time for Humankind to ditch the imaginary friends of our species' childhood and grow the fuck up.

"Lasse mich deine Seele dem Herrscher der Finsternis opfern"

Let me sacrifice your soul to the ruler of darkness

Always carry a bottle of whiskey when you travel in case of a snakebite. Futhermore, always carry a small snake.

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Maltov Rattlecan
Location: Grand Rapids, MI


Post by 0l4fderstout » Wed Jan 12, 2022 5:10 pm

Fuck Im going to try to drive one friday.

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Baron von Scrapple
Location: NoVA


Post by Jaeger » Thu Jan 13, 2022 8:44 am

0l4fderstout wrote:
Wed Jan 12, 2022 5:10 pm
Fuck Im going to try to drive one friday.
Cool, please report what you think.

As it is, turns out the local shop appears to have manged to un-fuck my Ridgeline, which makes me happy. Hopefully I can get at least another year out of it, especially considering I drive well under 10K miles/year any more. That'll give me enough time to get the bike paid off and clear out some other debts so I'm not bleeding dry trying to make all the fucking payments.

That said, BSH's right, Jalopnik had some good info and absolutely everything I've read/seen on this little truck is really encouraging. Only potential complaint is that the hybrid is going to be anemic on the highway -- especially going over mountains or hauling heavy shit -- but I'm willing to accept that for the fuel economy. If I want to get my rocks off with speed I have the bike, duh. ;)

Bigshankhank wrote:The world is a fucking wreck, but there is still sunshine in some places. Go outside and look for it.
2018 Indian Scout -- "Lilah"

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Zaphod's Zeitgeist
Location: Potato


Post by DerGolgo » Thu Jan 13, 2022 10:04 am

Jaeger wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 8:44 am
Hopefully I can get at least another year out of it, especially considering I drive well under 10K miles/year any more.
You tell it that its behavior has been dishonorable and that it must show its loyalty! Maybe put a pair of Katana in the back, so it knows that seppuku is always in the cards from now on.
If there were absolutely anything to be afraid of, don't you think I would have worn pants?

I said I have a big stick.

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