Finding The Path
Q: I would like to know whether a 1995 Nissan Pathfinder, two-wheel drive with automatic transmission, can be towed four wheels down without a drive-shaft disconnect?
Richard Hotard, F301483
A: We weren’t conducting our annual towing surveys back in 1995, so we don’t have information about specific vehicles from that model year. The information we published then was in more generic terms. However, our February 1996 article noted that we were not aware of any rear-wheel-drive vehicles with automatic transmissions that had been approved for towing without modifications. Your Pathfinder would fall into that category and thus would not be towable without modifications. You may wish to call Remco Manufacturing to find out about towing modification equipment that may be applicable in your situation (800-228-2481).
Bound To Travel
Q: I have been a member of FMCA for a few years and have finally retired. I’m going to travel as much as I can. My 1993 Fleetwood Bounder has 39,000 miles on it, and the transmission fluid and filter need changing. All the garages are shying away from doing the job because the motor cover and console must be lifted and the fluid added from inside the coach.
Do you know whether there is a filler tube and dipstick made to add and check the transmission fluid from outside? The coach has a Ford 460 engine and transmission. I had a 1986 Fleetwood Southwind before this motorhome, and it was equipped with a tube and dipstick that allowed everything to be done from under the hood.
Charles W. Croft, F227732
A: Call Wabash Ford (800-234-3455) in Indianapolis, Indiana, and speak with Don Richwine in parts (who is also a motorhomer). Don said that a front-outside transmission fluid fill pipe/indicator assembly (tube and dipstick) used on a 1997 F-53 Ford type A chassis will “fit right in a ’93 Bounder.” The retail price for the tube, indicator, and seal is about $55, plus shipping. Brackets also may have to be ordered. The part numbers are: F5TZ 7A020 B, Indicator Assembly (dipstick); F5TZ 7A228 B, Tube Assembly; and 391308 S, Seal (O-ring, size 0.556). Wabash Ford can ship to any location, so you could contact a transmission shop with a lift to do the installation and service the tranny at the same time.
Q: Several months ago, a letter regarding the loss of vacuum on the Evans Tempcon dash heater/air conditioner when going up hills appeared in the magazine. I believe that there is an aftermarket correction for that problem. I would appreciate any information you might be able to provide.
Don Crosby, F205392
San Diego, California
A: The “Technical Inquiries” column in the June 2002 issue of FMC magazine included a letter that referenced a problem with the dash air-conditioning system on a Ford chassis. This letter referred to a problem that had been mentioned in a review of a Four Winds motorhome that appeared in the December 2001 issue. There was never a specific reference to the Evans Tempcon unit in the review, so we’re not sure whether this is the article you recall.
In any case, the answer given was that Ford’s Engineering Activity Department was working on a Technical Service Bulletin to address this issue. A technical specialist with Ford said the fix would be to use the 1999 F-53 dual-chamber vacuum reservoir that dedicated one chamber to the air-conditioning system. A dealer can fix the problem even without the bulletin by ordering the 1999 reservoir with the vacuum harness that went with it.
Tioga Q & A
Q: My wife and I purchased a 1999 Tioga 31SL type C motorhome and would like your input on these two questions. Will a Flojet Sensor VSD water pump be less noisy than our current pump?
Also, we would like to have, but can’t afford, electric levelers. We’ve received mixed information as to the limitations of the BAL QTG leveling jacks (stabilizers). Can you use these to actually level a motorhome (raise a wheel)? Do they take out the coach’s motion?
Mike Dingle, F297384
A: The quietness of the pump may be related more to how it is mounted and the proximity to your living area than to the pump itself. You are actually dealing with two issues: noise and vibration. All pumps will make noise and produce vibration. If the pump is installed with a fairly rigid mount, the noise and the vibration will be somewhat amplified by the “sounding board” effect. Before spending money on another pump, I would attempt to isolate the pump from its mount with rubber spacers or grommets. Also, consider a double isolation such as a rubber mount on a rubber mount, and possibly enclosing the pump with some type of sound-absorbing material (something as simple as egg carton material). If the water lines are rigid, a flexible loop would also help.
The BAL jacks are used for leveling the coach and providing stability. Their design gives a “sea legs” effect for stability. Raising the motorhome’s wheels off the ground with any leveling jack is risky. If that much leveling is required — when a wheel actually leaves the ground — then you’re dealing with a significant slope. If a rear wheel is raised off the ground, it’s possible that the effectiveness of the parking brakes could be lost and the motorhome could slide down the slope. I don’t think any jack supplier would recommend raising the motorhome to this level. In any event, make sure to check the capacity of the jack, which you should be able to find somewhere on the data plate or in the literature. Compare this with the wheel weight for your answer.