My Fleet Is In Shambles And I’m An Absolute Idiot But I Did Fix My Yugo With Some Garden Hose

Mydumbfleet

Just in case any of you out there aren’t feeling your best, or are perhaps having some difficulties with self-confidence or esteem or pleasure or whatever else you’d like to hang off the end of the hyphen after “self-,” I’d like to offer some help. I’d like to help by providing you an opportunity to compare yourself with me, a colossal, irredeemable idiot, and as a result feel far better about who you are and the choices you’ve made. Let me just get this self-flagellation out of my system and then we can all move on, hopefully cleansed and refreshed.

I know our own David Tracy tends to get most of the guff and ridicule about having a fleet of cars where running ones are rarer than fish cardigans, but he is by no means alone here; I, too, am such a fool, possibly worse. Probably worse. At this moment, only one of my cars in my fleet of five personal cars (I’m not counting the Tiguan, because it’s primarily my wife’s car, and its continued operation is only the result of a demonic deal I’ve made where it just gets to consume entire paychecks at will when it wants, with obvious relish and cruelty) is currently running, and that one I fixed over the weekend with a bit of garden hose.

So, if you don’t feel like reading all of this, here’s your takeaway: I suck. I co-run The World’s Finest Automotive Website (don’t check on that) and yet somehow I’m also incapable of keeping my fleet of miserable shitboxes going. Just to really make this stick in my spongy brains, let’s go through each vehicle one-by-one so we know the status of everything:

1973 Volkswagen Beetle

BeetlecarbsI think this is the one I’m the most ashamed of. The Beetle needed its carbs synched and cleaned a while back, so, in a burst of wildly misplaced optimism, I pulled them off, thinking I’d get them all nice and ready and pop them back on and be buzzing around in my beloved air-cooled little pal in no time.

Then, I decided to start a new car website and all the usual life stuff and days turned to weeks then months and months and those two Kadron carbs are still sitting there on the workbench, next to a barely-started painting I was making for David’s birthday last year, the whole sad pile forming a tiny grim temple to that cruelest of gods, Procrastinus, and the terrible grip he has on my stupid little life.

The poor Beetle has been sitting carbless for so long that the engine seems to have seized up, based on its unwillingness to turn the last time I tried to get it started. I’ve since poured some Marvel Mystery Oil in there in the hopes of freeing everything up, but have I been out there to try and test it yet, and get the process of resurrection started? No. Because, again, I’m an idiot.

It deserves better than this. This one is my biggest shame, and hurts the most.

 

1990 Nissan Pao

PaoOkay, this one at least isn’t really my fault, but it stings the most because the Pao was my go-to daily driver, and my most reliable car. That little 987cc, 53 horsepower engine never let me down. Unfortunately, certain large fauna in my area hate to see me happy, and one of those stupid deer bolted out in front of my Pao last October, putting the car out of commission.

The bodywork was done months ago, but there was a pinhole leak in the radiator that the shop missed. As a result, while being tested after the bodywork fixes, the engine overheated and cooked the head gasket. So now it has to have that fixed, and because it’s all part of the initial deer-strike, insurance will cover it, but it’s taking forever. One shop took it and then decided they couldn’t do it so its off to another one and I just want it done and I miss my little car so much please please just fix my damn car.

One upside: with the head off, I’ll get the timing belt and water pump replaced, so this little JDM beast should be nice and ironclad for a good while. Once I get it back.

 

2020 Changli Freeman

ChangliEt tu, Changli? Regular Autopian readers may recall that the majestic Changli, the Cheapest Car In The World, finally let me down after two years of pretty damn near trouble-free ownership. After doing some tests, I found that two of the 12V batteries in the 60V battery pack were only showing between 7 and 9 volts or so. So, I reached out to our sponsor, Optima Batteries, maker of batteries that produce the finest, creamiest, smoothest electricity known to man, and they should be hooking me up with a new batch to install.

But they’re not here yet, so the Changli sits, immobile and petulant.

 

1989 Ford F-150

MarshallYes, even the legendary reliability of the Ford 4.9-liter inline-six doesn’t seem to be immune from the powerful enshitification field my body seems to be emitting non-stop. I was driving The Marshal around a lot recently, throwing canoes and large loads of rubbish in the bed and generally enjoying the crap out of the ruggedly charming workhorse. Last weekend, though, in the middle of a torrential rainstorm, the serpentine belt jumped off a pulley, denying the truck electrical power, pumped coolant, power steering, A/C, everything.

I got it back on by skipping the A/C condenser, but I’m having a bear of a time getting it back on properly, mostly because of a fierce spring-loaded tensioner that seems more like a trap to crunch human fingers into little soft sausages of goop than any sort of engine part. I’ll get it figured out, but I’d love to know why the belt jumped off before I drive it regularly again, and I’m stumped so far.

1977 Dodge Tioga RV

TiogaI’m not even sure why I’m including this one, as not only has it not run for years, but even if it did it would hardly make a rational daily driver, seeing as how it’s a house on wheels and would require me to re-finance my non-wheeled house every time I filled it up with gas. It’s got a massive Dodge 440 under the hood, and I bet whatever is wrong with it is well-known and understood. Could be a timing chain problem. Anyway, the plumbing was all replaced before it decided motility wasn’t its calling, so at least you can enjoy a comfortable shit in it.

 

1991 Yugo GV Plus: The one that now runs

YugoYou may remember a couple weeks ago I took the Yugo to a local car show, where it debased the McLarens and Ferraris that surrounded it with a dirty sort of glee. As I left, encouraged by the tiny crowd, I laid some rubber by dumping the clutch, at the cost of my throttle cable, which broke under the strain of, well, throttling.

I rigged up a crappy fix that left me stranded on the side of the road last week, and then rigged up another crappy fix to get home, determined to fix it at least 40% less crappily, which I believe I did.

The throttle cable setup on a Yugo is incredibly simple: a little braided steel cable with a loop at one end that’s fed through a little flexible rubber conduit, the other end going through a loop in the gas pedal arm. My problem was the old cable’s loop broke, and the conduit was pretty janky as well, so when I finally made and clamped a new loop on the end, I couldn’t get the cable back through the conduit, and I couldn’t just run the bare cable through the engine bay because there’s too much there for it to bind on or too many hoses and wires that the cable would abrade away over time. I needed some kind of channel for the cable.

No local auto parts stores had any Yugo accelerator cables, and no one seemed to have any generic ones I could adapt, frustratingly. Finally, I realized that, hey, all this sleeve has to do is keep the cable moving easily and not harming anything else, so pretty much anything that can do that would work, right?Gardenhose

That’s when I grabbed an old garden hose, cut it to length, ran the throttle cable through there, and jammed it in place. It works! Really well, actually, and I think the bright green really livens up the engine bay there, too.

Considering I once got this thing back on the road with two hose clamps and a rock, this feels pretty on-brand for the Yugo. Plus, at 67 hp, this thing is actually fun to whip around like an idiot, which, as you will recall, we have confirmed that I clearly am.

 

So, this is my confession: I’m a drooling simpleton with six cars and the only currently running one is a Yugo that’s relying on 18 or so inches of garden hose to keep working. This is an absolutely insipid and ridiculous position to be in, and I have no one but myself to blame.

Well, myself and that stupid deer. But the deer is dead, and I’m still here, doing what I dearly hope isn’t the best I can.

 

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125 Responses

  1. Is the Ford serp belt running off the pulleys before it lets go? Ford had a LOT of problems with that happening on these 4.9s – I found out the hard way on a ’92 E150 van about the TSB Ford put out for serp belts being thrown or shredded on ~’87 to ’95 4.9 truck and van sixes. IIRC (it’s been 20 years) Ford issued a steel serp tensioner pulley to replace a plastic one (95-13-5 and 93-25-A and 94-1-10 and 94-10-19 bulletins) , a long procedure for correctly aligning all the belt driven accessories that would shift over time, and (again, IIRC) a slightly shorter length, odd numbered belt to go along with that TSB… revised idler service kit PN is F6PZ-6K007-AA. There’s also TSB 97-4-8 which calls for a revised support bracket for this issue.

    Ford calls it a FEAD belt, Front End Accessory Drive. That helps with google searching their TSBs.

  2. I’m no expert but allow my to suggest a thought. Maybe buying vehicles that were shit when new, after they have lived almost all the miles in them. And instead of fixing them when they brake doing an emergency work around and just leaving that work around instead of actually fixing it might cause an increase in breakdowns?

    1. Would you rather the guy who co-runs The World’s Finest Automotive Website bum rides because his entire unique fleet is busted, or have a matching pair of Corollas to safely and affordably move around his family?

      1. I understand this. However, successful artists (and re: Torch, I may be using this term generously) usually have some sort of pain in their past or present. Comedians, writers, musicians, actors – many have trauma in their past or present. Look at the challenges the writers on this very site experience – Mercedes, JT, and DT come to mind. I feel confident in believing their challenges fuel their passion and creativity to a degree that propels them to a creative level that vanilla types (I’m in this set) won’t reach. To use myself as an example: I’m a musician of over 35 years. Played some great gigs, recorded some albums I’m proud of, but by no means am I a self-sustaining muso. I never took the plunge. I didn’t have the sac to commit to it full-time when I was young. Ergo, I am a weekend warrior with a day job, and I play music when I can. Years ago, I accepted this.
        I live vicariously through Torch and the Autopian crew. They live the life of daily challenges that owning shitboxes provide. I’ll drive my CR-V grateful that the writers here are willing to educate and entertain given their struggles.

      2. Between Jason, David, and Mercedes; their busted “Fleets” provide lots of content for the site.

        With that said, maybe it is time to hide a Corolla (or get a Chevy Prizm…or maybe a Pontiac Vibe to be more “interesting”) behind the house so you can get to the parts store when you need to.

  3. Two of the fleet just need time for parts and install. Not bad.

    The VW is a bit of project but doable. The F-150 could be fun.

    When did you think you utter the phase “The Yugo is currently best running vehicle of the lot?”

    Have you considered giving a group of friendly Rednecks some beer and state “There is no way you can get that RV running again.” Full disclosure: I have many friendly Rednecks in my family I love their willingness to help out. Beer is the bonus.

    1. The other problem with the garden hose is wear. The cable will repeatedly abrade the softer interior wall, grinding out a groove which will a) get deeper and deeper, b) provide a lot of friction on the cable (you really don’t want that cable stuck when the pedal is depressed, do you?), c) cause the path from pedal to carb to shorten over time, requiring deeper pressing of the pedal, and d) eventually wear right through the full hose wall.

      1. Possibly a stupid question, but would motorcycle throttle cables and housings work to fix the throttle cable? Maybe inside the garden hose? Garden hose (or other material) to insulate the housing, and the housing would allow the throttle cable to move freely?

        BTW, I checked: this is the finest automotive website. At least in my opinion.

        1. With a little reckless creativity, you could get a bicycle’s hydraulic brake setup, and then rig the throttle to run off the lever operated by the slave cylinder. As long as the return spring is robust, a leak would only cause you to slow down.

          Just think, you could have the world’s only Yugo with a hydraulic throttle! And you could die! A unique automotive feature with a definite non-zero chance of causing your own fiery death!

          Don’t actually do this. It won’t track your foot well unless the return spring is really strong, and that will make it a chore to keep your foot down into it. Or you’ll spend years engineering the “just right” solution and get nothing productive done on any of your other projects.

          I’ve heard of race cars and sand rails using hydraulic throttles. I’ve read that early Hillman Imps used a pneumatic throttle connection! This does make me wonder if there ever was a road vehicle with a hydraulic throttle.

          As a related side note, for a while, motorcycles were required to have both a push and a pull cable on the throttle to make them more controllable, and a runaway throttle less likely.

          1. 25 year old vacuum line dangling from the air cleaner on a 76 Gremlin, turns into fuel line for the same car. Worked well enough to drive to parts store and back over lunch in High School, with enough time to put on the replacement line and get to class.

  4. My friend’s dad’s 2nd gen Chrysler minivan would lose the belt occasionally. Went to the dealer under warranty a bunch of times, but they could never find a cause.

    On the last time they found it: the plug from the blocker under the hood (summer storage location) would fall into the belt and pop it off. The plug would get flung back into it’s summer home leaving no trace. The mechanic lucked out and actually saw it happen as he was running the engine checking his work on a belt install. A zip tie was the solution.

  5. Between you, David and Mercedes, I’m starting to think the primary qualification to write for The World’s Greatest Automotive Website is a large fleet of non-operative vehicles.

    JK — this is exactly why we love you guys.

    1. I have:
      A truck that burns as much oil as gasoline
      A Mustang that has no throttle cable, bad tires, and a z-bar that goes over center so the pedal gets hung up
      A 1957 Herter’s boat that has an outboard that runs on one of two cylinders and has the steering screwed up enough that it allows 1/2 turns port and 3 turns starboard
      A 1959 Lonestar Flamingo boat that is closer to being hauled off than it is a boat (seriously https://i.imgur.com/LWPbRj1.jpeg)
      A 1967 Delhi 12 foot semi-V hull that is seaworthy
      10-15 antique outboards not on boats, two of which run at all
      A ’74 VW Van that is almost running right
      A ’73 VW Van that is almost completely stripped for parts
      A ’71 Porsche 914 that is completely stripped and in boxes except for the frame.
      A VW Squareback that I can’t remember the year of right now, but has the interior and engine removed.

      Can I get on the staff yet?

      1. On one hand, you may be overqualified.
        On the other hand, The Autopian is lacking aquatic content, and you seem qualified to fill that gap.

        Now all we need is someone with a broken down locomotive or two in their backyard.

        1. I actually know someone with a bunch of pre-1920 internal combustion stuff including a Rumley Oil Pull if that fits the bill. Also he had a desoto hemi powered rail he drove back in the 50’s and is replicating. He has some fun stories, and way too many projects, I’m just not sure he’d be up to writing for a living.

  6. As someone who is similarly waiting for my daily driver to be ready after a deer encounter, I really feel your pain on that one. Shops are backed up and supply constraints are a pain.

    That said, at least you have repairs lined out for the Changli and can probably get the VW going again without having to hunt down too many weird gremlins. You’ll have a mostly running fleet again soon enough, I’m sure.

  7. When I started reading the headline I thought this was a DT article until I got to the Yugo part. Good lord boys you gotta talk to Mercedes and ask her how she keeps her fleet functioning… Well more than you and David do at least.

    1. Honestly? I feel that I’ve been really lucky. I mean, I’ve spent maybe $500 total in repairs on my 2012 Smart over 160,000 miles despite treating it like crap. I’ve made it tow pickups out of mudbowls and haul trailers all over the place. Yet, I know of many Smarts that have gone to the junkyard long before 100k miles.

      Maybe that’s it, treat your cars like they owe you money and maybe they won’t break…as often.

        1. Seconded. Bad wiring can more quickly cause the batteries to go out of balance. That’s not good for longevity. If everything is working properly, those Optimas should give you 5 years or about 20,000 miles, whichever comes first.

          Although, if Torch had a pack of CALB LiFePO4 batteries in that thing and a properly selected ebike charger, the batteries would outlast the rest of the vehicle, acceleration and top speed would improve, the vehicle would lose more than 100 lbs, and it could have a range approaching 100 miles on a charge in ideal conditions. It would be roughly a $1,000 upgrade for everything including the cost of a new charger, so probably not worth it in the short term, as the payback period would be years.

  8. I was hoping for an update about the ChangLi, since your article about its latest woes. By the way, try adding distilled water to the cells of the two bad batteries. I’ve completely revived caput old batteries by doing that — and the simple fix kept them going again for years.

  9. My father in law had a very similar 4.9/5.0 F-150. I was riding along on the express way going somewhere with him about a decade ago, and the serpentine belt got thrown.

    He used a 2×4 out of the bed to activate the tensioner.

  10. Torch… I think a friendly call to Robert at Aging Wheels might be in order regarding the Yugo, he’d love it! Sure, he can give advice on Yugo repair (and mods!)… he’ll likely have great input on your other various hoopties and he’d freak out over your Ghang Li.

  11. I feel the pain of not having time to work on a vehicle. My 2000 Ranger glittered its oil back in January. Of last year. I’ve been trying to make time to pull the engine and swap it for a reman, but it’s been sitting for far too long. 70+ hour weeks will do that.

    For extra credit on the guilt, I rebuilt the current engine about 130,000 miles ago. It’s not a lack of ability, tools, or even facilities. It’s just the time.

  12. Serpentine tensioners respond well to Harbor Freight breaker bars and creative use of ratchet straps. Also check all the various idlers and bearings. #1 son’s Corolla had a tensioner pulley explode and the replacement didn’t run right until he realized it was installed backwards.
    I feel blessed that everything in my fleet starts and runs, although every vehicle except the Mazda CX-5 has some blood and swearing from a major repair in the garage or driveway. Perhaps a sacrifice is necessary to keep a vehicle running well. Then again my oldest 4 wheel vehicle is a 2002, while my motorcycle is a 78.

  13. Fort the Yugo. An alternate solution to your actual fire hasard. Perhaps use the screws on the valve cover to install wire guide pulleys ( something like in the link below) mounted on generic brackets to get the desired height and angle. Use a bicycle brake cable with the housing to protect the adjacent spaghetti of hoses and loose wiring, cut the bell end of one end cap to use as a ferrule to crimp on the cable to stop the housing from interfering with the wire guides. To manage the tension, a mini turnbuckle installed near the end of your routing. Voilà, probably less than 30$

    https://www.tthme.com/?product_id=56423893_29

  14. Here is my dick response: Stop writing about how bad you feel about leaving your old lumps hanging and start writing about how you fixed them. I’m sure you could make an interesting enough article about rebuilding/sycing VW carbs or getting a custom-made cable for the Yugo. It all generates content..

    Non-dick response: Including the derelict RV you obviously do not have immediate plans for and omitting the functional Tiguan is just unnecessarily piling on. Also – the Pao is out of your hands. Frustrating, but not your fault.

  15. I hereby apply for an auxiliary shitbox writer position.

    My qualifications:
    I have the following perfectly good but non-running vehicles:
    1972 Fiat 500 – ate its cylinder head. New head sitting on bench for 2 years now
    1964 Austin Healey – wrecked it. Spent the insurance money. So sad.
    1917 Stephens touring car – broke a side shaft that runs the generator/distributor. Must remove, measure, spec, and have one machined. Needs space to disassemble and shop is jammed with other broken cars.
    1992 Spec Miata – needs fluid changes, battery charge, new tires, safety equipment replacement (seat belts, etc.) But the weather is so bloody hot…
    1956 Lotus Race Car – wrecked and partially repaired. Needs an aluminum panel beater / artisan. Mechanical bits ready to assemble for last 5 years. Lost the momentum. Also very sad.

    This probably hurts my case but I must admit that I actually have the following working vehicles:
    1976 BMW 2002 – just put back on road, pretty, runs like a top, daily driver
    1964 Corvair Monza Coupe – restored 3 years ago, also runs like a top but is currently awaiting a new coil. Should be fixed this week.
    1990 Miata – also runs like a top but is back at a shop because they screwed up a simple timing belt for its 180,000 mile service. I was smart to outsource the work but this is what happens when you don’t do it yourself.
    2003 Toyota Tundra – just works, because, well, its a Toyota

  16. For your F150 take a look at the tensioner pulley. MY ’93 4.9 had the belt hope off a couple times and it ended up being a bad pulley…it was bad enough to cause the belt to occasionally hope off, but not bad enough to make any noticeable noise. I also always kept a breaker bar with the socket size for the pulley in the truck to put the belt back on just in case, they have a rather high pre-load.

  17. Jason. As a lifelong bicycle mechanic I can say for sure that a cable and housing would solve your throttle issue. I made a hood release with a bike shift lever and cable for my 93 DelSol. Attached the hood with bike brake bolts too, actually now that I’m thinking about it I also attached the rear bumper cover with bike parts as well. There seems to be a theme. Parts were free.99 so that was the impetus for using them.
    Bike mechanics have to be clever, because any shop that’s been around for more then a decade has had to deal with 8-10 decades of bike technology and change. I don’t know another industry where someone walks in with a 95 year old antique and wants a tune up. While you are also working on a bike with electric shifting (which is stupid BTW). These posts of yours make me feel like I’m not a crazy garage monster. Keep it up.

  18. Dear Jason, thanks for sharing.
    It’s nothing to worry about and totally normal for us old car geeks.

    For comparison, here my current fleet status, which I’m not too proud of either:

    1991 Figaro: Runs
    1962 Porsche 356: Kinda runs, but not smoothly at all speeds
    1977 BMW R75: Runs
    1967 Citroën DS: Bought a new carburetor last year, but haven’t fitted it yet. So nope.
    1966 M-B W111 Coupé: Needs clutch (it’s a manual) and brake service, and exhaust leak fix.
    1971 VW Convertible: Starts, but has big floor pan rust hole under battery (&more)
    1969 MZ Trophy: Won’t even start. I must learn to speak two-stroke first, I think.

    1. Oh, and I’m just so amazed, the Yugo has a (simple) fuel injection system!

      Over here you had to get a Citroën CX/XM or an E-class or something similar expensive and big to get fuel injection at that time.

  19. I spend approximately 90% of my available free time doing what I call “fleet maintenance.” The only reason that I’m not currently embroiled in a project is because I am choosing to ignore glaring issues.

    By the way, I checked the math, and turns out this actually is the World’s Finest Automotive Website because it is the only one with Torch and Tracy.

  20. Garden hose in the engine bay? Dad beat you to it a few decades ago, however for another purpose.
    The little rubber thingies that go between the bodywork and hood went missing, so dad cut off a section of garden hose, drilled clearance holes for the screw heads and screwed them to the body. Still there, still working.

  21. I feel your pain my 1993 Caprice wagon was having issues and I drug home a 1991 Corvette that died on the way home. They are both running now so that is good but there are several others that aren’t and honestly may never run.

  22. I can totally relate to having a fleet of absolute beaters, and a very hectic life, along with a normal very scattered brain making it hard to focus on little things that need to get done. I commute 3 hours a day, have a band, aspiring youtube channel, a family, and a BUNCH of project cars.

    Getting medicated for my ADHD, and realizing an hour a day vs trying to commit the perfect day to a project is the way to go about it. An hour a day will make the jackstands go away. Just make sure you leave your projects off at a good stopping point so you aren’t constantly running to the store to buy bolts and stuff anytime you want to turn wrenches.

    I am super excited to see the Changli tear up the pavement again with the Optima battery swap.

  23. Can indeed testify to the viability of a bicycle brake cable (make sure it’s brake cable & not shifter cable, the former’s a bit more robust for obvious reasons) as my kid & I used one to replace the unobtainum accelerator cable on his 1982 Subaru station wagon & it worked well for years aside from one occasion when the bolt securing the cable end to the accelerator pedal came loose. We used bare cable & snaked it through the accelerator cable’s housing but you might be able to make use of the housing that comes with the bicycle brake cable (it’s hard to find just the cable on the shelves in bike shops nowadays, as bicycle cables are usually sold as assemblies, that is, the cable is already installed inside the housing) though such an approach would be lacking the je na sais quoi that the bright green garden hose has…

      1. Yeah, just not always on the shelves, at least around here. I’ll ask the techs in the back for cables, as they almost always indeed do have bare cables on hand, but I just prefer to be able to get something off the shelves. Sometimes techs can be quite good about selling such components but sometimes it can be a crapshoot even within the same shop on different days where techs will be rude or reluctant. Oh well.

  24. Remember that scene in “Tropic Thunder” where Robert Downey Jr says his “You never go full ……” ?

    Well Torch, your problem is you went full Shitbox. You never go full Shitbox! You need something amongst the toys made in the current century at least to haul the kids to their voice lessons 🙂

      1. The Yugo counts if you squint, seeing as Zastava kept making them – in virtually unchanged shape* – until 2008. Sure, *this* Yugo is a good bit older, but anyone from the region will tell you the ’88-’91s had far higher build quality than the ones that followed the collapse of the SFRY anyway 🙂

        *The In models had a funky body kit – it would actually be cool to see Torch rock one of those!

  25. Well Jason I truly feel sorry for you. Your frustration sure comes through in the tone of your narrative. Hang in there, it will get better.

    Also, do yourself a favor and Google “Universal Throttle Cable Kit” buy one that will make for a proper repair for your Yugo. (Your garden hose setup is not a permanent fix!)

  26. About 30 years ago I found a gear lying by the side of the road. No idea where it came from or what it fits in. I have it in my shop and have promised myself that someday I will rebuild the vehicle it came from around it.

  27. Belt on my ’93 F150 has jumped off before and (probably) has the same belt routing as yours, check your pulleys to see if they are aligned. Belt being on can help this.
    Tensioner being loose can cause this to happen, but it sounds like that isn’t the issue. I remember you had alternator issues when you first got it. Did you replace the alternator and is the alternator the correct one and installed properly?

      1. It might just be one of bearings of a pulley. If partially seized and not spinning completely freely at temperature, it could sporadically seize or wobble causing a belt slip and eventually belt premature wear.

  28. Is it possible the World’s Finest Automotive Website has a typo in its name? Pretty sure it should be The Auto Pain. Which we all feel. Thank you sharing yours, and remember, since none of your cars has Lucas Electrics, brighter days will come.

  29. I don’t think it was as old as your F-150, but the Aerostar I had, if I remember correctly, had a square depression/hole/notch in the tensioner arm, sized so you could attach a breaker bar there to give you leverage.

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