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1989 Aerostar. Fuel gauge and brake questions.

Taji

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I recently bought an Aerostar and we're still loving the van, but any used vehicle is a roll of the dice and after driving it awhile I've found two issues I had questions on.

My Aerostar has the digital readout and after we filled it up, we noticed some odd behavior. The gauge said we had 6 or so gallons of gas left, but when we filled the tank it held another 16 gallons. If the Aerostar has an 18 gallon tank standard, what is going on? Do we have a 22 gallon tank instead of an 18 gallon tank? The gauge inside now reads "C0" ( C-zero not C-O) and hasn't went down yet despite driving it a bit. The bars showing full are glitched a bit like the computer isn't sure how to calculate it.

Is it possible someone, at some point, put a larger gas tank on the Aerostar? I know a lot of the parts are interchangeable with the other Ford trucks of the time.

Is it more likely that this is a computer error and that it is reading wrong? If so, how do I find out short of driving it until it runs out of gas to see the actual capacity?

My other issue is with the brakes. While I didn't notice anything off at first, it seems sometimes the brakes will get spongey. The vehicle still stops, but sometimes the brakes are a little soft and it feels like they go down too far. It goes randomly between being spongey and moving too far, and behaving normally. Sometimes the brakes feel normal and everything seems perfect.

I'm going to take it to a shop before too long, but I was wondering if anyone had any experience with the issue and knew what it would be?
 


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BrooklynBay

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There's no way to know if you have a small or large tank unless you use up most of the gas, then go to a gas station, and refill it. It's possible that you have an issue with the sending unit since it's so old. As for the brakes, worn brakes will cause excessive pedal travel. Check the condition of the brakes in addition to adjusting the rear brake shoes.
 




jlh3rd

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taji

i have a 92....and sorry to tell you that i have a very similar brake issue......this has been an ongoing issue for the last 3-4 years or more.....i have replaced every component possible, and bled the brakes till i'm blue in the face...but no changes.....i have also had brakes bled by ford and independent garages...no change....sorry this is no help.......
 




Taji

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Not to dig up an old thread, but I figured I would post an update rather than making a new thread.

The gas tank is 21 gallons, I confirmed, but I suspect that there may be an issue with the sending unit or the computer isn't reading it properly.

Brake issue seemed to be due to air in the line, but further inspection suggested that it is the master cylinder, which I think is original to the van and may have been rebuilt at some point.

I should have taken pictures of the process. All I can say is I love how accessible it is, but I hate how cramped the area around the master cylinder is. Prying it off was a pain in the rear. My advice would be for whoever has the same problem to carefully unhook and move the surrounding electrical cables rather than just trying to push them out of the way. This will make it much-much-much easier to work around.

For safety sake I will probably be replacing a good chunk of the brake system, given that the master cylinder was utterly filthy inside. A coating of debris lined the little plastic tank. The cylinder itself was coated in all manner of filth, and after some cleaning revealed a nice stamped 80's "FORD" logo on the metal.

It seems owning one of these vans is somewhat a labor of love. LOL good thing I like the cargo carrying capacity and the ride. I haven't ridden in another van that carries itself so smooth despite its size.
 




Taji

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OK, updates. Replacing the master cylinder has done the trick. The van now stops like a charm. :) Getting the old one off was a pain, but it was very simple to install the new one.
 








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