E-150

I recently bought a 2001 E-150 Chateau. I like it--though it makes my Explorer seem like a sports car, as one might expect. I notice there is little to no discussion of the E-150 on USENET. Is that because they are
bullet-proof, or because there are so few of them? I would think neither is likely to be the case, but I'm hoping for the former.
Jack
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you'll see the same issues with the E series as the F series as far as drive train and engine contol systems are concerned..
Whitelightning
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They're great vehicles. I've had 5 E Series vans. They have their quirks, but are very solild overall. The biggest problem you'll face is that it's hard to do much of anything to the engine because it's buried. Repair book times are higher because it takes longer for the mechanic to get in there and replace parts if they need it.
Enjoy your van. I have a 2003 like yours with a 5.4. Mine's pretty quick, but is a dog on gas mileage here in the city.
CJB
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wrote:

They are pretty good - but if you'd asked ahead I would have warned you. DO NOT buy the E-250 for one reason - the 'Twin I-Beam' front end. That accursed front suspension chews up tires faster than bratwurst at a Minnesota Rangers game.
Every time the suspension cycles on a bump or grade change on the freeway the track and camber changes, and they scrub off the inside edge of both front tires. Stay with the E-150 or jump to the E-350.
I go through two to three sets of tires on the front to each set on the back - and that's with flipping the tires over on the rims halfway through to wear them more evenly.
The only good part is the Boss pays for the tires, it's his van. Which he wouldn't own if he'd have consulted me before signing the papers, instead of getting a 1-ton truck with an 8' utility bed like I ASKED for... (Grumble...mutter...razzle-fratzing...)
--<< Bruce >>--
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MY 2003 E150 with towing package has the same front end. I'm not sure there's a difference between the 3 versions.
CJB
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I had the same problem on a 94 E 150 the solution was quite simple. Get some new ball joints and have installed by someone who knows how to set the camber while they are doing it. The camber is controlled by shims on the ball joints when you get that right you should be over that problem. I routinely picked up 12000lbs of cargo and drove 45 miles 3 times a week for 60,000 miles on one set of Michelins (rotated after every 3rd oil change of course) and never had an issue after fixing the ball joints PROPERLY. Don't let some hack bend the I beams to change the camber as it will never be able to be aligned after that.
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That is very strange with the tire wear as on both the 01 and the 03 three I drive now we got over 100K on the Michelins.... I don't want to go much further on them though LOL. They are still pretty good in the dry but on snow they could be better. The front brake pads especially will wear too fast if you don't make sure to manually adjust the rear brakes every second oil change. For some reason no matter how many times I back up I can't get the auto adjusters to work right so I take the time to manually adjust the rears about every 10 K otherwise they aren't doing any braking at all. Which makes the fronts work twice as hard.... The funny thing is on the 94 we took and replaced the adjusters we found them and they look identical to the 03 design, to my eyes so I guess no one complained loud enough to warrant a redesign.
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Ahhh...so I'm not the only one with drum brakes with adjusters don't work right. I have gone through 2 sets of front pads in 51K and I firmly believe it is because the rears don't adjust and whenever I touch the drums after a long city drive they are hardly ever even hot except for the first few weeks after adjusting the drums...
Eric
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Ideally you should get someone to show you how to do it the first time. You want the shoes to contact the drum then you want to back them off so that there is no drag on the drum but that they will engage properly. It really isn't that uncommon to have them so out of adjustment that they aren't working at all. Once you have it done it right, you should have good pedal feel but no drag from the adjusters or the parking brake as either will wear out the rear brakes faster than normal.... If you get your oil changes done commercially what I find works the best and cheapest is to every 3rd oil change or 15 to 20K I go to Midas and buy the seasonal maintenance package. For about 18 dollars extra over the standard oil change they do a free brake inspection and adjustment, rotate the tires and a few other checks.... Very good value. However you do have to trust the Midas you go and of course they are going to be looking for things to fix while doing the inspection..... so don't just blindly accept a repair if they point something out. However on a couple of occasions they have pointed out real problems that I was unaware of.... I just told them that I would take care of the other repairs which I did.
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Your theory is great, expect with drums that have the ratchet self adjusters, meaning you can only adjust with the drum off. If I had the old starwheel adjuster that you could access from the back of the drum via a removable plug that would be ideal then you could do exactly what you say, I don't know why car manufacturers went to the stupid ratchet mechanism for adjusting. That way you never really feel like you are getting the shoes adjusting right. When you slide the drum back on it is either too tight or too loose it seems...
Eric
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