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sometimes thin skins on the net, F*rd van datapoint

Quick aside on nettiquette - I raised my eyebrows too (slightly) when I
read one lister's uncensored four letter word. Then I realized that said
lister is from New York City, and that's just the way they ALL talk there,
even 10 year old kids.

No offense taken or intended. We should try to remember that people from
all over the world are on here, and sometimes things are said that do not
intend offense, but it happens anyway. Example - once I made a fairly
innocent (or so I thought) comment about gender-based automotive brand
recognition, and I promptly got BLASTED - NUKED! by someone who evidently
felt I was cyberspace's definitive answer to Charles Manson. Wow!

I apologized to him for two reasons - one, I truly intended no offense, and
two, I figured if this guy feels so strongly and so badly about this, I
ought to apologize to him if only to keep his blood pressure down!

(semi-rant mode /off)

Over the weekend, rented a 1998 F*rd (how's that for an asterisked four
letter word? Ducking, nomex on!) one ton van with a 4.2 liter V-6 engine
and 4 speed slushbox. Drove it 800 miles. Makes 200 hp out of 256 inches,
not turbo, either. Man! Talk about a strong engine! Put 1,500 pounds of
furniture & books into the truck, engine didn't even notice. Seats
excellent and comfortable (better than Audi, but much uglier), brakes very
good, steering totally dead - no road feel at all. "Sweet spot" on this rig
is no less than 75-80 mph, but the road has to be smooth, straight and
flat, no crosswinds allowed. Headlights not much better than my 86 5Ks.

Why is this of interest to us? Always like to know what's going on in the
REST of the automotive world - nothing wrong with "borrowing" a good idea
or two to improve our own cars.

Now, if I can just fit that engine into my car . . .

Best Regards,

Mike Arman