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A Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is the string of 17 numbers and letters that an automobile manufacturer assigns to an individual vehicle. General Motors originally intended to launch the Volt with a flex-fuel variant, but the emissions package was not ready for the first model year, according to the automaker. We were curious as to what the VIN looked like on an electric vehicle so we decoded the VIN on the 2013 Tesla Model S.
Notice that the 10th element in the VIN is "C." The letter represents the 2012 model year, but it could also mean 1982. Other than using your VIN for deciphering your car's pedigree, you can use it for less entertaining but more important reasons involving its title, registration and insurance. How To Decode a VIN  Prior to understanding how VIN decoding works, it is important to know what it is all about.
Copyright © 2012 Autos Post, All trademarks are the property of the respective trademark owners. An intermittent chuggle or hesitation that can be felt during light acceleration or while cruising at highway speeds with no Check Engine light or no fault codes set may be caused by intermittent operation of the automatic transmission torque converter clutch (TCC). The Buick 3800 V6 is a fairly reliable engine, but coolant leaks on the Series II 3800 engines with the plastic intake manifold have been a problem.
An intermittent misfire that occurs while driving may be caused by a weak coil or worn spark plugs. If the plugs and wires are okay (or you’ve replaced them), and the engine still experiences misfires, use a scan tool to check for misfire codes. There are a variety of possible causes for a no start, but one of the most common with the 3800 engine is a bad crankshaft position (CKP) sensor or a bad ignition control module (ICM).
The crank sensor has four circuits: a 12-volt reference circuit, a low voltage reference circuit, and two signal output circuits.
NOTE: If the crank sensor is bad and needs to be replaced, a special relearn procedure must be performed after the new sensor has been installed using a GM scan tool or an aftermarket scan tool with similar software.
Diagnosing the crank sensor requires looking up the engine wiring diagram for your vehicle, then testing the voltages for the various crank sensor and ignition module circuits to find the fault. Introduction restoring chevy camaro 1967 - 1969, Introduction to restoring your chevy camaro 1967 - 1969 covers drivelines, bodywork, interior and trim, suspension, brakes, chassis, and steering. Gm body tag decoding : drivin' home, The body tag on your car contains vital information for the restorer. Chevy vin, trim tag and drivetrain information & decoding, Cowl tag, trim tag or body number plate decoding the cowl or trim tag is fisher bodys representation of the body. 1967-69 camaro drivetrain decoding - camaro research group, Notes: the i and 1 characters were used interchangeably in the engine code. Learn where the vin tag and hidden vins are located on your 1969 camaro and find out what they actually mean. Copyright © 2012 Autos Weblog, All trademarks are the property of the respective trademark owners. Events at Ford Motor Company have been silently spelling the end for their bread-and-butter V8 of the last two decades.
The 4.6 would be standard equipment in 1992 for the updated Ford Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis. 1997 would see the expanded versatility of the 4.6 with its placement in the new F-150 and the E-Series vans that had been redesigned for 1992.
While the intent of this article is to focus on the 2 valve version of the 4.6, it needs to be noted there were 3 valve and 4 valve versions offered at various times. The general driving characteristics of the 4.6 were remarkably different from what most operators were accustomed.
It is still not unusual in this part of the United States to find cars powered by early versions of the 4.6 to be blowing smoke upon acceleration. Fortunately the author has not encountered this on any of the 4.6 liter engines he has owned, yet the issue is real. Beginning in 1996, Ford placed intake manifolds on the 4.6 liter engines constructed of a nylon composite manufactured by DuPont.
In the early 2000’s, there was a class action lawsuit brought against Ford due to the failure of these intake manifolds.
As mentioned for the Mustang, this power plant was not readily met with enthusiasm by the performance crowd. Despite the production of this engine currently being in E-Series vans only, these little power plants will continue to power current and future Curbside Classic’s of many varieties for countless years to come.
I still kinda miss that car sometimes, but after nearly five years of ownership I was ready to move up. I’ve never heard of the early engines having problems with the spark plugs breaking off, that is a 3 valve version thing.
Only removing the plugs on a cold engine if it has an aluminum head is a long standing practice.
In regards to the oil consumption and the valve guide seals, I have not seen it as a big of an issue as many make it out to be.


If they are charging that much for spark plug replacement in a 3 valve they either do not know what they are doing, or are flat out ripping you off. The spark plug access problem reminds me of the frequent complaints levied against big block Mustangs: Unless you were Plastic Man, getting at the plugs on an FE engine in one of the smaller Fords was dangerously close to being an engine-out job. Was it the Boss 429 that required either the engine to be jacked up to get at the last spark plug, or was it the brake master cylinder had to be removed?
2004 F150 Heritage standard cab, aftermarket flat bed, 90,000 miles, dual exhausts installed, everything else stock in the drive-train.
Personally having owned a pair of early 92 CVs with the mechanically shifted AOD I prefer it to the electronically shifted AOD-E I had in the 93.
I bought a 1991 v-8 Ford CrownVic for my wife, since I didn’t want her driving one of the Plastic Coffin Bubble cars. The first time we had a 4.6 in for a plug change the disaster that they are known for happened to us. We had problems with the ones with the three threads mostly because the techs had not done it before. So Jason do you notice much difference in power between your 92 Vic (190 HP) and 01 (220hp)? My understanding is interchangeability with the engines was a nice by-product of their construction method – such as swapping heads side to side. The VIN can reveal a number of things about a car, including its airbag type, country of origin, engine size, model year and trim level. The E85 compatibility was apparently incorporated into the VIN data before GM decided a flex-fuel version wouldn't be ready in time for 2011. The information is pretty thin and goes to show that your results may vary, based on what the carmaker supplies. Fiat is an Italian company that now owns Detroit-based Chrysler and manufactures the 500 at Chrysler's plant in Toluca, Mexico. Because the model year is represented by one character (letter or number) in the VIN and the VIN can only contain 17 characters, the code for model years has to be recycled every 30 years. Another critical use of a VIN is to obtain a vehicle history report for a car you're considering for purchase. The problem is not the torque converter clutch or clutch solenoid, but a faulty input to the powertrain control module computer from the engine’s throttle position (TPS) sensor. The OEM intake manifold gasket tends to deteriorate after 60,000 or so miles in the area that seals the cylinder head coolant passage to the manifold. The distributorless ignition system on the 3800 V6 is a waste spark system with three ignition coils. The Check Engine light should be on, and there should be one or more misfire codes for the cylinders that are misfiring. If you find misfire codes for any of these paired cylinders, you can be sure the problem is a bad ignition coil and not something else such as lean misfire caused by a bad fuel injector, vacuum leak or EGR leak, or compression misfire due to leaky or sticky valves. But if one coil is bad, it may be a good idea to replace all three on a high mileage engine to prevent similar problems down the road. The crank sensor contains two hall effect sensors that sends two signals to the engine computer. This step is necessary so the engine computer can correctly recognize the sensor’s signals. With the key on, you should find about 4 to 8 volts between each of the crank sensors two output circuits and the low voltage reference circuit. These articles cover a wide variety of topics organized into 8 categories to facilitate people who are searching for these kinds of information or people who want to know more about their vehicles.
Even with the restrictive factory air filter box and wimpy single exhaust, it felt pretty stout.
Now the first version of the PI (performance improved) head only had about 3 threads for the spark plugs and they are known for blowing out of the head particularly if someone, or the machine at the factory, overtorqued the plugs.
The different expansion rates of the metals mean that there is more interference in the threads and you can strip them if you remove them hot. I’ve had several with lots of miles that did not smoke or use excessive amounts of oil.
Ford modified the valve seals starting in ’96 in order to eliminate the premature wear issue.
I recall the angst Mustang GT owners had when they learned their 5.0 was to be replaced with this 4.6!
I’ve seen junked CVPIs turned into taxis with over 400,000 miles on them that are driven to the yard and junked becuse of some other expensive non-drivetrain issue. I think it’s that magical combination of off idle torque and the sound that it generates. I think the most amazing part is that the original exhaust lasted 900k miles driving primarily in the rust belt. Any time I get one I always check the odometer or ask the driver, and most of them where I live are ex-CVPI’s or ex-NYC taxis.


Fortunately there was enough head left to tap new threads into the socket: I made sure to put in a stainless-steel sleeve with many more than three threads. You may have to deal with a few ads that surround the data, but the information is accurate and worth a look.
We might have stumped the decoder tool: It wasn't able to identify Tesla Motors as the manufacturer. So while one letter can represent more than one year, it should be pretty obvious whether the car is a 1982 or a 2012 — or 2042, for that matter.
Before you buy a used car (even if it's from a dealer), it's important to get the vehicle's VIN and use it to run a history report on sites like AutoCheck or Carfax. Vehicle parts are often specific to certain VINs and may not fit your car if you only go by its year, make and model. Even so, both spark plugs experience roughly twice the electrode wear that spark plugs in other types of ignition systems undergo (because the fire every engine revolution rather than every other engine revolution). A problem with the sensor or the wiring connection between the sensor and computer can prevent the computer from receiving a cranking signal. Besides, it recommends a selection of high performance diagnostic tools that have been approved and commended by many car owners. Once I modified the airbox and added dual exhaust with low-restriction turbo mufflers, I could roast its mushy Michelin touring tires at will.
Then if they don’t turn easily at that point add another little bit of carb cleaner and repeat.
Tires were wet but I didn’t think it had enough power to do anything other than chirp the tires.
They did improve the shifting schedule on the later AOD-E that was renamed the 4R7x(w) and the ones in our 02 GM and 03 Marauder do not annoy me like the one in the 93 did.
What struck me though was when an oxygen sensor went bad one time, the Ford dealer tech told my Dad he was lucky the faulty sensor was on THAT bank (could not recall which side it was), for the other bank required removal of the engine, as it was that tight between sensor and firewall.
Decent power, decent mileage, and if you followed a reasonable PM program they never broke if used as intended.
Geez; in the old days, medium sized trucks used six cylinders smaller than that, with half the hp.
We entered a few VINs from former Edmunds long-term test cars and found some interesting information.
The formal VIN started in 1981 since before that there were different formats used by different manufacturers. Cylinders that are opposite one another in the engine’s firing order are paired so their spark plugs share the same coil. The sensor is located on the front of the engine under a cover behind the crankshaft pulley. The 93 that I sold to my buddy is at over 280K and while his is leaking some from the front seal it uses about the same amount of oil as mine. Taxi drivers usually beat the hell out of their cars (at least in Chicago) and the 4.6 takes it in stride.
Replaced it with a 2001 Merc GranM and ten years later, a UTA student ran a red light, center punched the drivers side door. The standardization of the numbers was done to get rid of chances of similar VIN’s appearing. High mileage wires (those with over 100,000 miles on them) can develop increased resistance that may cause the engine to misfire. If the crank sensor tests good, the problem is likely the ignition control module, a fault in the ignition wiring harness, or possibly a fault in the engine computer.
So even if you do leave a shell or two in the engine it still should not be more than a 3 hour or so job. The digits that are found on car VIN indicate the year the vehicle was manufactured, assembly point, country of origin, model as well as other important details that will prove helpful in its identification.
When each coil discharges its high voltage output, it fires two spark plugs simultaneously: one when cylinder is on its compression stroke, and the other when the cylinder is on its exhaust stroke. The 4R70W is the ultimate evolution of the AOD and it’s later iterations are virtually indestructible.
The 4.6+4R70W is probably one of the toughest drive trains every produced for a car or light truck. I’m dreading changing the Spark Plugs, but at over 68,000 miles it runs smoothly, and will grab gravel and growl.




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