“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.”

― Frank Herbert

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Repairing the Ford F250.


Now that I am up and about more, I need to work on the truck. The clutch safety switch is a "moron proof" device Ford stuck on the vehicle to keep a person from trying to start it in gear. If you did do that, it would just lurch and stall.  The clutch safety switch has turned out to be one of the worst features of the vehicle. I had an after market switch put in about six months ago, and now it has failed.

I can't find the part on the Ford parts order web page because I don't know the part number and it's not pulling up by key word search.  I could, and I think I might, just bypass the switch altogether. There are instructions on how to do so on some of the Ford F250 forums though they are rather vague. Right now, the truck is hard down and I either have to fix it out on the parking pad, or pay $70.00 for a wrecker to come up here and haul it to town, then pay the shop bill.  I haven't been really pleased with the shop lately anyway.  I've been going to it for thirty years. The old man who owned it originally was a good guy. Now his sons run it, and they are good fellows too, but they really don't want to work on things like trucks. They want to work on sporty cars for rich half way backs. Easier to fix, quicker to fix, more profit.


20 comments:

  1. The automatic transmission version of the F250 has a bad design. There's a sensor on the back axle that does a few things, including telling the transmission when to shift. It is in an area exposed to the elements and fails often. I liked my 250 but it rusted so badly the cab was falling off the frame. In the end I gave it to a friend to use on his farm as it wasn't road safe.

    Don't know what I'm going to do when my mechanic retires. He's not cheap but works fast, knows his stuff and stands by his work.

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    1. There's only one car repair place left in our entire county. I guess no younger people can raise the money to start one and the older guys retire. With no family members interested in the business they just close up shop. The one I go to now is only there because the old guy had family that was still in the mountains when he retired.

      My F250 is a long bed extended cab with a reinforced frame. It's perfect for up here if I can keep it running.

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  2. "If you did do that, it would just lurch and stall."

    Yep. Absolutely. My brother did that exact same thing. He hit the house with his small truck. Luckily, there was a dog house in between that got crunched and absorbed most of the energy so the impact on the house was minimal and caused nothing more than a "boom". My parents and I were literally sitting on the other side of that wall in the kitchen when it happened.

    As a proper brother should, I didn't let him forget it for quite a long time.

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    1. The big F250 I have just stalls if you do that, but I am a creature of habit and I always start in neutral.

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  3. I had one of those -- clutch safety switches -- on a Ford tractor; it worked when it felt like it. I finally just pulled the plastic connector off the switch and put a fencing nail in the connector -- started every time after that!

    -Moe

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    1. Moe, I've been checking the net, the various Ford truck forums have at least two ways of bypassing the switch. One has to do with cutting the wires that keep the switch in the clutch/starter loop. The other is to get a switch for an automatic transmission F250 and substitute it for the current one. I didn't understand the explanation of how that would work but the writer said it worked for him.

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  4. Harry, the general idea is that when you step on the clutch (or move an automatic gear shift out of park) you close a circuit loop and feed power to the starting circuit. It is just a simple cut-off interrupter. But if you say it was replaced not long ago it may be another issue. Start with thee basics and narrow it down. Make sure all your connections are good and corrosion free. Using a multi-meter make sure you have continuity throughout the system. If it is indeed the clutch cut-off switch you can bypass the pedal switch and replace it with a manual push button you install in you dash. If the hot wire that feeds the clutch switch is bad you can feed 12v to the starting circuit directly from your battery or hot wire on your alternator.
    Something like this:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poLZ7od9vCM

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    1. Michael, I lack your knowledge of vehicle maintenance so I have to keep it simple. I will look at the video, maybe it isn't as hard as it sounds.

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  5. Harry - we are lucky that the dealership that we bought our second-hand ford f-150 from will regularly take the truck in and check it over and only charge us for parts. we also have a young guy here who just came back from alberta who is a mechanic and he just did a bunch of welding on the frame that our warranty doesn't cover. our warranty is up next year and we have people banging on our doors wanting to buy the truck from us because they know that the young guy just did all of our welding. he's got quite the reputation! and we had to force him to pay him $20 bucks an hour. and of course, he said he only worked on it for a certain number of hours when we knew he worked on it more. we paid him the hours he claimed, gave him a $20 tip and got him a 12 pack of his favourite coolers.

    honestly, at the dance the other night - 8 different people told jambaloney that they want our truck when the warranty is up because they know that our friend did such a great job. our f-150 has less than 100,000 miles and it is a 2001-2002? model.

    it sounds like i am bragging and i guess i kind of am. we got that truck in mint condition, we have kept it in mint condition through our warranty (which no one here ever gets!), and we just had the whole frame welded. i think we'll be making a bit of money selling it in order to get another truck.

    we love our fords!

    sending much love as always! your friend,
    kymber

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    1. Too bad you and J live so far away. I could use his help on this problem.

      My F250 has been an excellent vehicle. I bought it in 1999, and it was ten years old then. I've driven it a lot, and put it to some hard use, and it has never let me down.

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  6. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)

    You know my love for old diesels.

    As per the design of your Ford. I am not familiar with it. Yeah' by passing the 'clutch safety switch' sounds logical. Its too bad that there is only one repair shop in your area and they don't seem to excited about helping locals.

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    1. No, they'd rather put air in the tires of Floridian's BMW's and charge them for an hours service. I guess I am sour about getting brushed off, they are just doing what they can to maximize profits. Their dad wouldn't have done that though.

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  7. My '94 F250 never gave me a lick of trouble, so of course I sold it.
    Sometimes I ain't too bright.
    Manual transmission, 460 engine, bench seat, manual windows... I sure do miss that truck. Same red as yours, too, but regular cab/long bed.

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    1. Mine has been an excellent truck and I hope to get many more years out of it. Sometimes I have to pay some repair bills but it gets a lot of use, and it beats payments.

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  8. Doesnt the switch work like a brake light switch? Disconnect it, and jump the 2 wires together so the starter "thinks" the clutch is pushed. Peer under the dash and the switch is somewhere in the arc of the clutch pedal It is usually obvious.

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    1. J, that's essentially exactly what some of the forums have said about it. I am going to give it a try tomorrow if the rain lets up and the sun comes out. I may ask your advice on this as it progresses if you don't mind.

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  9. My husband has had success finding on line forums (Jeep and tractor repairs) where you can get information if you don't have success elsewhere.

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    1. Kathy, that's exactly right and I have found some good info on the Ford diesel F250 on several forums. My problem has been that the threads are rarely accompanied by pictures, and they assume I know more about trucks than I do. But J. Bogan gave me a simplified version and I am going to attempt it tomorrow if the weather is good.

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  10. Working on and repairing vehicles is one of those things that appears to be more glamorous than it is in reality. I do not envy you in this battle to work on your truck. However, it is great that you are able to remain more self-sufficient by making yourself more proficient in mechanical issues like the clutch. Good luck finding the part that you need!

    Lonnie @ Viva Chevy

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    1. Lonnie, it's strange that you commented on this old post, and just fifteen minutes ago I got off the phone with the auto shop. The F250 needs the structure that holds the clutch "rod" in alignment rebuilt. The shop says they can get the bushing kits but that the rod in my truck is shot, and will have to be replaced. So I need to find a machine shop with a lathe to build me a whole new rod. I was just going through the listings of auto machine shops on the net to find some near me. That's no mean feat in the mountains, but I found two I can contact and see if they will do the job, and what it will cost.

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