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Well, I've just had a draining and immensely frustrating experience with my 1998 Cobra (33500 miles) and Capital Ford in Raleigh, NC.

I took it in Monday after finally growing tired of the rough shifting from 1-2 and 2-3. I passed along what info I'd gathered on the syncros and other issues with the T-45. But, hours later, after a tranny guy test drove it they told me the clutch was burned out - AND not covered under my ExtraCare Extended Service Plan (ESP) warranty. I balked - "but it's only got 33k miles on it - wtf?"... My initial reaction: http://www.corral.net/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=155061

After days of phone calls and visits I got nowhere - no help from the Ford "Customer Relationship Center" (800 392-3673) and no help from the Service Manager or General Manager at Capital Ford.

I did find out about the Ford After Warranty Adjustment (AWA), which I had never heard of. Every new Ford can invoke up to 2 AWAs under 5 years, 75000 miles. It has no restrictions from Ford but dealers AWAs are regularly audited. Basically when invoking an AWA Ford pays 80% of the repair and 20% is split (negotiated) between the customer and the dealership. It is rarely discussed and considered a "Customer Satisfaction Tool" by Ford to encourage well, satisfied customers.

But, of course dealerships can decide whether or not to issue an AWA. Of course, in my case, the service manager decided not to because the clutch is a "wear-and-tear component" AND despite the fact that the flywheel and pressure plate are under the ExtraCare ESP warranty since they were worn from the un-warranteed clutch - they wouldn't be covered after all.

I have documented my whole story at my website including scanned documents.
http://antiauthority.com/cobra/service/

Please please please....
Don't waste your money like me for the "peace of mind" of the ESP warranty - put your money in the bank as others have said. Don't service your car at Capital Ford in Raleigh - the customer isn't high on their priority list. The techs I dealt with were friendly and nice but I think ignored my concerns about the T-45 - which still feels rough. The service manager was more concerned about paperwork and audits that about helping me out with this crazy 33k mile clutch.

I hate to say it (it really hurts) but if I had known all this I would have more seriously considered an SS or vette because Ford really could care less now that I've dropped $26000 on the car and $1100 on a useless warranty.

Next it's on to arbitration to try and get some of my money back and to figure out why the hell my clutch was worn out at 33000 miles.

If anyone has any thoughts or ideas on the issue feel free to post or mail me - I'd love to hear it.

sorry for the long post - I hope it helps somebody avoid the [email protected] I've gone through the last couple days.
 

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Wow, that all really sucks man.

Easy way to test the synchros: how easily can you pop it out of gear without disengaging the clutch from the flywheel?

Also, I'm sorry to tell you this, you got RAPED on your clutch install. I can purchase a Spec Stage III and have it installed for $400 less than the bill you got. My advice - if you're not going to do your own work, shop around for prices on the work and parts.

Good luck with arbitraion.
 

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1996GT said:
Easy way to test the synchros: how easily can you pop it out of gear without disengaging the clutch from the flywheel?
I have had it happen twice so it's VERY infrequent that it'll pop out of gear. However, it is possible to pull it out of third into neutral without touching the clutch most of the time. Very un-nerving.

1996GT said:
Also, I'm sorry to tell you this, you got RAPED on your clutch install.
Yeah, others said the same - I got suckered but I was sure it would be covered under the ESP or AWA since it's nuts for a clutch to go out at 33k miles... that's just bad hardware IMO... (btw, I'm a daily driver - no track, no racing - driving a stick since able to touch the pedals....)

We'll see how the arbitration route goes - probably nowhere...

thanks-
 

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frixion said:
I hate to say it (it really hurts) but if I had known all this I would have more seriously considered an SS or vette because Ford really could care less now that I've dropped $26000 on the car and $1100 on a useless warranty.
So you think GM doesn't do the same things? Got news for you, that's pretty much industry wide.

Also read your warranty, most of them don't cover friction materials which includes clutches.

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter #5
site update

For anyone who cares I've added more stuff to my site about the issue

http://antiauthority.com/cobra/service/#20020907

New stuff is an update of the progress with Ford.
Scanned in and filled out Dispute Settlement Board form.
Found invoice from July 2001 replacement of part replaced a couple weeks ago.

Again, incase anyone cares....

Thanks for all the feedback (supportive and not)... I guess I am being a bit of a whiner but $1017 isn't nothing and i don't think I'm wrong here...
 

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Sorry about your clutch but that's a normal everyday item that wears. I didn't think Ford would replace it since it is considered a "wear" item.

Sorry dude......
 

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I can shift my 99GT vert from 2--> 3 and 3--> 4 and ( 4 --> 5 sometimes) with no clutch movement. Is that okay. I have to be driving a neutral speed no acceleration or drastic deceleration and have the RPMs at ~19-22K to do it with no grinding or anything. Is that normal should I be worrying about anything breaking.

I assumed it was a neutral point where the rear is pinning at a speed at which the transmission is equal.


Raymond.
 

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Hmm, so if you want a clutch replaced under warranty (with 30k plus miles) why not go ahead and ask for free brake pads and wiper blades while you are at it? People don't buy an ESP for clutch coverage, it's a wear item. The fact you paid $1,000+ for a clutch job is your fault, not the dealers. I'm guessing they didn't just fix your car without asking, right? As other have suggested, you could have installed an after-market clutch for far less (and it would be a better clutch).

Chris Yates
96 Kobra
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Chris Yates said:
Hmm, so if you want a clutch replaced under warranty (with 30k plus miles) why not go ahead and ask for free brake pads and wiper blades while you are at it?
My problem isn't that it's a wear item. My problem is that there is an expectation that it should last longer than 30+k miles (unless you're being harsh to the car). With brake pads, wipers, etc the expectation is that they are 1. cheap, 2. easily checked, 3. easily replaced. A clutch is none of those and I (still) feel that a $26000 Cobra's clutch should last longer than 34k miles. Just my opinion of course...


The fact you paid $1,000+ for a clutch job is your fault, not the dealers. I'm guessing they didn't just fix your car without asking, right?
I did get ripped on the price. I asked about non-OEM replacements and the tech said he wasn't sure they could do it and labor may be more (I got the same crap about pullies from them months ago)... I did call around and had heard that some dealers have used AWA to cover clutches with sub-50k miles so I thought it was a possibility... I was wrong...

I DEFINITELY should have called the Service Manager and got the final word on the AWA prior to them doing anything. If I'd have known it wouldn't be covered (at least most of it) I'd have gone to True Blue and got some non OEM parts.
 

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Rainsux,

Don't you have the latest import Mustang engine. Add two stickers one big one small and a Juan Valdez can on the back it allows you to rev higher and louder.

Ok1.9 to 2.2K :)

Doopie
 

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I had good luck with my ESP on my 91 back then. I had a waterpump let go, $25 deductable and the AC Condenser again $25 deductable. Those repairs would have been more than the cost of the warranty ( was like $500 then) and the warranty was on the loan too.

Also I had my warranty work done at a local Lincoln/Merc dealer instead of hauling down to were I bought the stang. For a Cobra maybe you need to go to a SVT dealer for service??
Some dealers are really Aholes you can always complain to the regional manager
 
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