I don't think those early 80/90's ford part time systems were
particularly robust. As i recall, they had a lot of problems with them
I have not seem very many tempos with them.
Hard to say if ford got it right with the latest gen units.
Like, why did they kill the CVT?
I would guess with he 3.5L engine in the Taurus (aka Five Hundred and
Freestyle), and the new Ford built 6 speed, Ford felt the CVT was not
an advantage. My Mother's 2005 Freestyle has the CVT and I like it,
but some people aren't comfortable with the lack of distinctive
shifts. The CVT offers little to no advantage compared to the more
powerful 3.5L V6 engine and heavier duty 6 speed (the one in the
Freestyle is actually a Ford unit, unlike the Fusion V6 which uses a
Aisin-Warner 6 speed).
AWD Tempos were made in 1987 -1988.
The idea was great, but the technology at that time was limited.
The 2 "weak links" were the Viscous Coupling in the rear end and the
"drop gear" setup on the ATX trans that provided power to the rear
I drove a few of them and they were like friggin' mountain goats in
snow and many off-road conditions. Excellent design, poorly executed,
par for the course with Ford. They "almost" had a car to contend with
The front "drop gear" setup off of the ATX trans was unique to Ford,
but they took the rear "viscous coupling" from a Subaru design.
The FWD was great until AWD was called for when the front wheels
were spinning. Then, KA-CLUNK-BANG-GRRR, you had a regular FWD Tempo.
There was no control over "when" the rear was engaged except an "on-
off" switch. They didn't like high speed engagements. That took out
the rear drive.
The Viscous Coupling was a fluid coupled rear differential, instead
of a ring and pinion and planet gears. They just didn't last in that
application. (They didn't buy them from Subaru).
The AWD Tempo was a great idea that was implemented about 2 years
too early for the design to be perfected. And about 8 years too early
to be widely received.
IIRC, some of them had the short lived 2.5L HSC engine that was used
in the Taurus.
If you want to start a Club/Forum for an unknown and unappreciated
car, the AWD Tempo would be a good one. They're out there, but there
aren't many. Total production was less than 10,000 .
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