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The rest of my brakes should be here today. Doing fronts and the rear drums, and replacing all the nasty old fluid. The winter storm had them locked up tight somewhere in Wyoming, which is understandable.

In the meantime I installed some SP-500 OEM spark plugs, since a member on here brought up a good point about heat ratings. I swear that after that the car runs just a little bit nicer (probably because I actually gapped them properly this time), and the heat is hotter than I remember it being. But it's probably just placebo. I know in theory a "colder" spark plug evacuates more heat into the cooling system, but I doubt the difference would be enough to notice. Either way, after a 40 mile highway drive I was being roasted out of the car, lol.

After more testing the brakes are all heating and cooling pretty evenly, so there was no real emergency.
Congrats on your work.
Discs all around on my Buick Lucerne, last year so all is solid. Then, rear caliper started to leak around the parking brake shaft. Winter so I had a local shop replace the caliper. This made the pedal travel bit longer but after week of daily driving local back to it's normal short solid feel. Guess any change and things have to bed back in again. Those rears look very much like Bulls. New parts do not bed in for a bit of use. Local drives in winter takes a bit longer. And only one takes longer than a pair. On mine if I had good weather and nothing else to do, I would exercise the brakes and parking brakes. Have to remember to use the parking brake, (use it or loose it).
-chart-
 

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Discussion Starter · #62 ·
Congrats on your work.
Discs all around on my Buick Lucerne, last year so all is solid. Then, rear caliper started to leak around the parking brake shaft. Winter so I had a local shop replace the caliper. This made the pedal travel bit longer but after week of daily driving local back to it's normal short solid feel. Guess any change and things have to bed back in again. Those rears look very much like Bulls. New parts do not bed in for a bit of use. Local drives in winter takes a bit longer. And only one takes longer than a pair. On mine if I had good weather and nothing else to do, I would exercise the brakes and parking brakes. Have to remember to use the parking brake, (use it or loose it).
-chart-
Thank you sir! Sounds like the shop didn't fully bleed it maybe? Glad it's working well now. Luckily for me ive been using the parking brake every time I park since I bought the car. It works okay, kinda weak though. But it's a good sign the drums should be willing to come off and not fight too bad. Also got OE repair kits for the adjuster wheels just in case those are in rough shape.
 

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Thank you sir! Sounds like the shop didn't fully bleed it maybe? Glad it's working well now. Luckily for me ive been using the parking brake every time I park since I bought the car. It works okay, kinda weak though. But it's a good sign the drums should be willing to come off and not fight too bad. Also got OE repair kits for the adjuster wheels just in case those are in rough shape.
Any air in the system would make a soft pedal and air will pump up with quick presses.
Sometimes the parking brake needs to be used to adjust.
Anyway it is nice now.
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Discussion Starter · #64 ·
Yay! More problems! Was greeted with an intense burning rubber smell today after arriving at the grocery store, strong enough to 100% determine that it was severe belt slip. Only a few things that can really do that, and with my prior experience I lasered in on the A/C compressor. Unfortunately, I couldn't really catch it acting up after the fact. The clutch and its pulley doesn't have any wobble or excessive play, and it seems to engage correctly. It cycles for a little bit and then turns off for at least 1-2 minutes before cycling again, which indicates good charge and correct operation. The A/C has always worked great in this car as long as I've had it. Nothing else seems out of the ordinary, tensioner is brand new OEM, idler is new, water pump new OEM, so that really just leaves the alternator, the compressor, and the balancer. I visually observed the belt while the car was running and everything seems straight and normal, so I'm a little bit annoyed.

I guess I'll hit up autozone, grab the A/C bypass belt just to prepare for the likely inevitable, and stuff a few wrenches under my seat and see if I can actually catch it the next time.
 

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1998 Taurus SE Sedan 3.0L24V AX4N 91Kmi
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I wouldn't use zone parts if they paid me.

How did you exclude the P/S & alt.? Did you consider slipping the belt off an easy pulley (usually an idler with no lip) and then spinning each by hand? Can you see any powdered rubber sticking to the engine near a pulley?
 
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Discussion Starter · #66 ·
I wouldn't use zone parts if they paid me.

How did you exclude the P/S & alt.? Did you consider slipping the belt off an easy pulley (usually an idler with no lip) and then spinning each by hand? Can you see any powdered rubber sticking to the engine near a pulley?
Yeah, took the belt off and inspected everything. No smoking guns unfortunately. Everything turns just fine by hand, even the compressor clutch. The compressor clutch pulley has the smallest bit of scraping noise when run by hand, but I'm not sure if that's just improper clearance against the clutch assembly, or actual bearing wear. Tiniest bit of rubber material around the edge of the clutch face, but I can't confirm if that's fresh from the belt, or just wear from the rubber clutch bushings from years and miles. But it certainly seems like that's the potential culprit all things considered. I also noticed a bit of smoke coming from the area when it engaged when I was watching at idle, but I didn't smell anything, and snow was falling so I can't really use that as evidence.

Definitely a head scratcher. I haven't caught it before this event or since. Possibly a fluke from the belt getting wet maybe? The only thing that makes me think this is going to be an on going issue is that the belt definitely seems to have a lot more wear on the ribs than it should for having like 5,000 miles on it. I do know from previous experience that my 2006 had this exact same issue at the same mileage, although in that case I didn't have any belt drag, just visible wobbling of the compressor clutch and pulley during operating. That isn't the case for this one, but those rubber clutch bushings are known to fail.
 

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Yeah, took the belt off and inspected everything. No smoking guns unfortunately. Everything turns just fine by hand, even the compressor clutch. The compressor clutch pulley has the smallest bit of scraping noise when run by hand, but I'm not sure if that's just improper clearance against the clutch assembly, or actual bearing wear. Tiniest bit of rubber material around the edge of the clutch face, but I can't confirm if that's fresh from the belt, or just wear from the rubber clutch bushings from years and miles. But it certainly seems like that's the potential culprit all things considered. I also noticed a bit of smoke coming from the area when it engaged when I was watching at idle, but I didn't smell anything, and snow was falling so I can't really use that as evidence.

Definitely a head scratcher. I haven't caught it before this event or since. Possibly a fluke from the belt getting wet maybe? The only thing that makes me think this is going to be an on going issue is that the belt definitely seems to have a lot more wear on the ribs than it should for having like 5,000 miles on it. I do know from previous experience that my 2006 had this exact same issue at the same mileage, although in that case I didn't have any belt drag, just visible wobbling of the compressor clutch and pulley during operating. That isn't the case for this one, but those rubber clutch bushings are known to fail.
I would watch the clutch with rubber springs. If any drag, due to failing rubber and things go down hill very fast. You can replace the plate if you catch it before heat from drag kills your bearing seal.
Pic of belt used only short time. Sometimes bad parts happen.
-chart-
 

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Discussion Starter · #68 ·
I would watch the clutch with rubber springs. If any drag, due to failing rubber and things go down hill very fast. You can replace the plate if you catch it before heat from drag kills your bearing seal.
Pic of belt used only short time. Sometimes bad parts happen.
-chart-
Yeah, I think that's where this is going. How easy should it be to turn the compressor clutch/compressor shaft by hand? Feels okay, but there's definitely some resistance once you get to certain spots. I assume that's just normal, like it is with a gas engine when it builds compression.
 

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Chart and I disagree on the failure mode of these rubber clutch systems. He thinks its the rubber failing which causes the plate to rub and then the bearings fail. My experience upon inspection of my failing clutch is just the opposite. My clutch was just ticking like a bad lifter and I replaced it. Only one rubber bushing was slightly damaged to cause the tick. When I inspected the bearings I noticed that the bearing cage was plastic and failed causing the the pulley to tilt as the balls were not evenly spaced. That causes the clutch plate to overheat and destroy the rubber bushings.
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Discussion Starter · #70 ·
Chart and I disagree on the failure mode of these rubber clutch systems. He thinks its the rubber failing which causes the plate to rub and then the bearings fail. My experience upon inspection of my failing clutch is just the opposite. My clutch was just ticking like a bad lifter and I replaced it. Only one rubber bushing was slightly damaged to cause the tick. When I inspected the bearings I noticed that the bearing cage was plastic and failed causing the the pulley to tilt as the balls were not evenly spaced. That causes the clutch plate to overheat and destroy the rubber bushings. View attachment 222169 View attachment 222170 View attachment 222171
I wonder if I'm having the same problem. I have noticed an odd, inconsistent "tick" noise on occasion. And with the bearing type noise when I spin the pulley by hand, it would make sense. Although it does still spin pretty easily and doesn't seem to be dragging the clutch with it, at least when everything is cold. I guess if it's not that, it just leaves a compressor on its journey to locking up. Either way, I'll bypass it and unplug the clutch relay in the meantime until I can get the clutch hub face and pulley off to get a better look at what's going on.
 

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The heat doesn't come from the plate barely touching when it's DISengaged; the heat comes from the gap being too wide for it to fully ENgage. That's what cooks the bearing cage, seal, & rubber isolators. But the isolators can also be affected by oil leaks being carried up by the belt, and simple age (they're biodegradable). The gap should be measured occasionally, and the shim(s) adjusted accordingly. This spec is actually from an older truck with the same clutch:
Clutch Air Gap: 0.14-0.33" (0.35-0.85mm) use Clutch Shim Kit Motorcraft YF1800A
 
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an intense burning rubber smell today after arriving at the grocery store, strong enough to 100% determine that it was severe belt slip.
Next time this happens, perhaps you can quickly touch the belt and check whether it is hot. Perhaps it is not the belt but something behind the upper intake that accidentally fell onto the EGR pipe. Having an IR thermometer handy to point at the several pulleys might be useful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #73 ·
Next time this happens, perhaps you can quickly touch the belt and check whether it is hot. Perhaps it is not the belt but something behind the upper intake that accidentally fell onto the EGR pipe. Having an IR thermometer handy to point at the several pulleys might be useful.
I already bypassed it with the shorter belt, haven't had any more smells or bad things, and in fact the car actually runs better too. After playing with the clutch and pulley by hand some more, the pulley bearing is definitely shot. I'll take the clutch off once the weather is better to get a better look at the damage. If for some reason it comes back, out the IR gun will come to find what else is messed up, but for sure it's getting a compressor clutch (Motorcraft compressor seems OK and was holding a good charge).

However, it's funny you mention that, because after I did all that extensive top end work, I dropped some cut zip tie ends down onto the manifold somewhere and man, that made a nasty burning smell for quite a while, lol.
 

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Update in case anyone cares, did an oil change with Mobil 1 0W30 and a FL-400S filter, new hood struts, and tossed a 130 piece hobo freight tool box in the trunk in case it becomes necessary. Still waiting on some decent weather to do the brakes, but so far other than ****** pedal feel they're working decently.
 

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Update in case anyone cares, did an oil change with Mobil 1 0W30 and a FL-400S filter, new hood struts, and tossed a 130 piece hobo freight tool box in the trunk in case it becomes necessary. Still waiting on some decent weather to do the brakes, but so far other than ** pedal feel they're working decently.
Finding a working day in winter is a bit of a trick. Yesterday here in upstate NY, I got a few hours to work on my Sable, doing replacement of fog lights with LED. Today cold rain all day but no ice in the valley. Best of luck in getting weather break.
-chart-
 

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Discussion Starter · #76 ·
This is the most intense winter we've had in years, lol. She's doing great but is very salty 😂
Fires up no problem in single digits. I have to keep hosing the door latch with white lithium grease though to avoid that freezing, lol.

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I have to keep hosing the door latch with white lithium grease though to avoid that freezing, lol.
I'd wash all of that out before it hardens, and just apply silicone spray lube. That prevents water from sticking so it can't freeze to the mechanisms. It's also the right lube for the rubber door seals, to keep them soft, AND to keep them from freezing to the doors.
 
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