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Old 10-16-2018, 08:17 PM   #281
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Ok, there seems to be a lot more going on here than our MDX’s ability to - with stability, ease, and staying with the flow of traffic - tow our 25’ FB Airstream 6000 miles through the Rockies with no problems. My mention of speed was to emphasize that at whatever towing speed our rig was stable, predictable, tracked well, and my 4’10” wife was able share the towing with me even though neither of us are experienced at towing. We had no white knuckle driving in high winds, heavy rain or narrow roads. Navigated through Portland traffic at rush hour (thank you rear camera), towed up Doherty Slide at dusk ...
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Old 10-16-2018, 09:01 PM   #282
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Acura MDX towing

Wow...like all tow threads this escalated quickly.

I think between the (I) tow with a vehicle where you are exceeding the manufacturer specified ratings and (II) tow at speeds over 65 mph, you get to pick one, but you shouldn’t pick both.

I’ve towed at up to 80mph very briefly but at 70 mph for extended periods. Mainly, my comfort at this speed was due to installing Michelin LTX tires on 16” rims. If the OP is running at over 65 mph on stock tires, I think he’s rolling the dice that much more. The fact that my tow rig had HD brakes, exhaust brakes, and was rated to tow up to 21k also gave me comfort, but the tire rating was probably the main factor.

I’ve seen the videos of a Porsche Cayenne hauling the AS through a slalom. The real world is very different. The Pilot and MDX are no Porsche Cayenne. Most drivers don’t have experience of hauling a heavy rig on a track at over 35 mph. The track is also a controlled environment. Wicking it up to 70 mph exponentially impacts cornering and braking forces. I’ve hustled motorcycles and sports cars around race tracks and auto cross tracks. Things change significantly when you add 10 and 20 mph. Trust me: none of us here are skilled enough to control a 7500 lb trailer being towed by a car rated to haul 2500 lbs less.

Meaning - maybe the MDX can haul the AS at tame speeds without issue, but it can’t safely control a 7500 trailer in an emergency stop at excess speeds in real world conditions on typical highways. No upgraded hitch or Hensley can change that math.

My understanding of the legal impacts of exceeding ratings is that it depends in part where the accident takes place. In a comparative fault state, factors like this can reallocate liability. In other states, the impact may be greater or lesser depending upon statutes and negligence standards. For me, I’d feel much better if I had a warranty from the company performing modifications or at least the knowledge that they had a policy with high limits and the ability to obtain subrogation against that policy in the event I needed to defend in an accident. Being out of the country, that greatly complicates matters.

Ultimately, one has to accept the reality that not following posted tow ratings or employing mods that exceed manufacturer ratings means you may well be on your own in an accident. Carry very high limits.

And try not to tempt fate. Maybe you don’t ever have an issue, but doing both things above surely tempts fate and increases the risk.
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Old 10-16-2018, 09:18 PM   #283
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Just curious, has anyone CAT weighed a 3/4 ton trucks unloaded rear axle compared to an unloaded Honda Pilot rear axle? I'd be interested in what the weights are.

Yeah, the Dodge has a solid rear axle and a solid frame; but only a light box above it. The Pilot has a lighter axle assembly but a heavier body, (high tensile steel), with glass hatch, interior seating, insulation, doors and wiring.

I just wonder what the difference is.........My Honda Pilot weighs in at 4,600+ lbs and yes, a Dodge 3/4 ton Cummins is significantly heavier, but most of that weight is borne by the front axle, with a 1100 lb engine up front. I don't think the 3/4 ton would be that much heavier in the rear end.

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Old 10-16-2018, 09:20 PM   #284
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Originally Posted by SteveNdebbie View Post
Ok, there seems to be a lot more going on here than our MDX’s ability to - with stability, ease, and staying with the flow of traffic - tow our 25’ FB Airstream 6000 miles through the Rockies with no problems. My mention of speed was to emphasize that at whatever towing speed our rig was stable, predictable, tracked well, and my 4’10” wife was able share the towing with me even though neither of us are experienced at towing. We had no white knuckle driving in high winds, heavy rain or narrow roads. Navigated through Portland traffic at rush hour (thank you rear camera), towed up Doherty Slide at dusk ...
You mention earlier in this thread doing 38 to 40 mph in 2nd gear on a 7% grade, I doubt that would be staying with the flow. Well maybe if there were 60s VW busses in the traffic.
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Old 10-16-2018, 09:25 PM   #285
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You mention earlier in this thread doing 38 to 40 mph in 2nd gear on a 7% grade, I doubt that would be staying with the flow. Well maybe if there were 60s VW busses in the traffic.


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Old 10-16-2018, 09:42 PM   #286
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Acura MDX towing

My Pilot weighed about 4600 lbs. I don’t know the weight distribution but the GAWR rating is 3097 rear and 2855 front with a total GVWR of 5842. Made for a pretty crappy payload for a car designed to haul up to 8 people with the folding rear seat.

My RAM weighs about 7797 lbs, and 4849 of that over the front axle and 2748 over the rear. Yep, that Cummins is heavy! I had to buy a 14000lb 4 post lift to safely lift it due to the heavy front end, as the 9000 lb lift left no margin for the front axle weight. The GVWR is 10,000 lbs, with GAWR 5750 front and 6000 rear. It was rated to tow up to 17,540 (with a gooseneck) or over 12,000 via its rear hitch.

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Old 10-17-2018, 05:09 AM   #287
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Honda Odyssey’s, Ridgelines, Pilot’s MDX’s etc. All use essentially the same drive train and are on the same chassis platform with a few modifications. Since the introduction of the Odyssey in 1999 we have set up over 2000 of these vehicles, many are towing 30’ Airstreams. They have been very reliable safe and capable and well proven. In 1999 the 3.5 was 225 horsepower but at that time many of our customers were towing with Suburbans with only 210 horsepower so the Odyssey was a pretty hot performer.

There seems to be some speculation here that the MDX and 25’ Airstream could not handle an emergency situation. I can guarantee you that it will put handle any 3/4 ton truck towing the same trailer. The 3/4 might be large but the live axle suspensions are primitive at best and the ridiculously tall centre of gravity is what does them in on the handling tests. The hard tread compounds in the LT tires doesn’t help either.

The other thing people rarely think about from a safety standpoint is that for all those solo miles there is no contest that the MDX is massively safer.

If you like driving your 3/4 ton truck by all means have one. For those that want a vehicle designed in this century there are plenty of great options.
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Old 10-17-2018, 06:17 AM   #288
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I think I will keep my 3/4 ton diesel. It makes towing my 28 footer so easy and stress free.
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Old 10-17-2018, 06:37 AM   #289
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Not a great platform to start with. Lots of rear overhang, and body float, causing control issues. Body bushings were also a known problem with that vehicle. I looked it up, and see that the police version came with more body mounts, but they left them off the civilian version, and so there were issues with shearing, breaking mounts, etc. It wasn't necessarily related to towing. If it was related to towing in your case, did you attach your hitch to the body (thereby putting the load on the mounts) or to the frame (in which case the mounts don't appear to come into play)?

The bushings you are referring to were the two right in front of the firewall. The 9C1 police package had two modifications, one, they had the two mentioned bushings, second, the added larger front ball joints (which necessitated different front lower control arms. I installed both in my vehicle.



Oddly enough the "D" platform (Caddy Fleetwood) and the Buick Roadmonster wagon had increased tow capacity, with mostly the same axles, so the axles issues is a non- issue IMHO because the didn't upgrade those axles in the Fleetwood or the Roadmonster, in fact the Roadmonster had 2.93s which really puzzled me how they could rate the wagon with puny 2.93s. Both cars had the available LT1 rated at 260hp paired with a 4L60e-- which the 4L60e had a GCVW ability of roughly 13,500lbs. Well within the limits of towing a 25er moving the tow vehicle itself.


The weakest link in either flavor of the full size car was not the axle, it was not the engine, trans, body mounts, etc.



You can split hairs all you want, I'm not criticizing, I'm simply sharing my exp and offer it at face value.



If you believe a full frame, full size car is a bad platform for a 3.5 ton RV, after my exp, I would agree with you, but clearly an MDX would not be an ideal candidate either.


I would take that "Pepsi" challenge and put my 25er and Suburban fully loaded against that MDX on 5 mile+ long 8% grades any day of the week on 2x on Sunday. I am not saying the MDX folks will die, but with all things considered, like the "B" body car we've been talking about, I'd gladly take my chances with my setup vs an MDX with a single reinforcement.



In closing, I would wholeheartedly recommend folks read this linked article. It does throw a bit of water on the bigger is better towing argument, but it also is quick to point out in several areas that there are a number of things that make a good tow vehicle and engineering at the component level to achieve a desired end result. You will note there are several manufacturers quoted and participating in this article. Last thing I'd like to point out is that at NO time do you read of ANY of the participating manufacturers talk about adding a single component and achieving a safer and higher capacity:


http://www.trucktrend.com/news/163-0...wing-capacity/



Pretty much all I have to say on this thread. Info is offered as is, your results can and will vary.


I'm out.
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Old 10-17-2018, 08:03 AM   #290
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Hi Brick. Even though you have the 3/4 and it feels fine it is still just as important to have it connected properly. Very few are.
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Old 10-17-2018, 08:44 AM   #291
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Andy, can you elaborate on what “connect properly” means? Is this about setting up the hitch shank or loading bars? You have considerable experience and it would be nice to hear areas that are overlooked.
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Old 10-17-2018, 09:19 AM   #292
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Completely agree that proper set-up is critical. I have made numerous fine adjustments to the Fastway E4 WD/sway hitch, 1000 lb bar set-up on my rig I have replaced the 2 inch shank with a 2.5 inch, which is also longer and allows the tailgate to drop and clear the power jack stand. Trailer is almost level, 1/2 inch lower at the nose when fully loaded. Hitched, the truck rear compression is 1.25 inches, and 0.25 inch rise in the front, using 5 washers. Tongue weight is 961 lbs. I will try 6 washers to see if it makes any difference. Brake control gain is set at 6.5.
I previously towed with a 2016 Expedition Ecoboost, which only had 1319 lb payload. I prefer towing with the F250 diesel.
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Old 10-17-2018, 09:27 AM   #293
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Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie View Post
The bushings you are referring to were the two right in front of the firewall. The 9C1 police package had two modifications, one, they had the two mentioned bushings, second, the added larger front ball joints (which necessitated different front lower control arms. I installed both in my vehicle.



Oddly enough the "D" platform (Caddy Fleetwood) and the Buick Roadmonster wagon had increased tow capacity, with mostly the same axles, so the axles issues is a non- issue IMHO because the didn't upgrade those axles in the Fleetwood or the Roadmonster, in fact the Roadmonster had 2.93s which really puzzled me how they could rate the wagon with puny 2.93s. Both cars had the available LT1 rated at 260hp paired with a 4L60e-- which the 4L60e had a GCVW ability of roughly 13,500lbs. Well within the limits of towing a 25er moving the tow vehicle itself.


The weakest link in either flavor of the full size car was not the axle, it was not the engine, trans, body mounts, etc.



You can split hairs all you want, I'm not criticizing, I'm simply sharing my exp and offer it at face value.



If you believe a full frame, full size car is a bad platform for a 3.5 ton RV, after my exp, I would agree with you, but clearly an MDX would not be an ideal candidate either.


I would take that "Pepsi" challenge and put my 25er and Suburban fully loaded against that MDX on 5 mile+ long 8% grades any day of the week on 2x on Sunday. I am not saying the MDX folks will die, but with all things considered, like the "B" body car we've been talking about, I'd gladly take my chances with my setup vs an MDX with a single reinforcement.



In closing, I would wholeheartedly recommend folks read this linked article. It does throw a bit of water on the bigger is better towing argument, but it also is quick to point out in several areas that there are a number of things that make a good tow vehicle and engineering at the component level to achieve a desired end result. You will note there are several manufacturers quoted and participating in this article. Last thing I'd like to point out is that at NO time do you read of ANY of the participating manufacturers talk about adding a single component and achieving a safer and higher capacity:


http://www.trucktrend.com/news/163-0...wing-capacity/



Pretty much all I have to say on this thread. Info is offered as is, your results can and will vary.


I'm out.


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Found some info about our model of MDX. Ours is a second generation which has a 3.7 L V6 @300 hp. The newest generation has a 3.5 L V6 with less hp and the towing package is not standard. Acura must have responded to the consumer not seeing the MDX as a viable option for towing a TT. Too bad!
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Old 10-17-2018, 10:06 AM   #294
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Just curious, has anyone CAT weighed a 3/4 ton trucks unloaded rear axle compared to an unloaded Honda Pilot rear axle? I'd be interested in what the weights are.

Yeah, the Dodge has a solid rear axle and a solid frame; but only a light box above it. The Pilot has a lighter axle assembly but a heavier body, (high tensile steel), with glass hatch, interior seating, insulation, doors and wiring.

I just wonder what the difference is.........My Honda Pilot weighs in at 4,600+ lbs and yes, a Dodge 3/4 ton Cummins is significantly heavier, but most of that weight is borne by the front axle, with a 1100 lb engine up front. I don't think the 3/4 ton would be that much heavier in the rear end.

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Old 10-17-2018, 10:51 AM   #295
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Honda Odyssey’s, Ridgelines, Pilot’s MDX’s etc. All use essentially the same drive train and are on the same chassis platform with a few modifications. Since the introduction of the Odyssey in 1999 we have set up over 2000 of these vehicles, many are towing 30’ Airstreams. They have been very reliable safe and capable and well proven. In 1999 the 3.5 was 225 horsepower but at that time many of our customers were towing with Suburbans with only 210 horsepower so the Odyssey was a pretty hot performer.

There seems to be some speculation here that the MDX and 25’ Airstream could not handle an emergency situation. I can guarantee you that it will put handle any 3/4 ton truck towing the same trailer. The 3/4 might be large but the live axle suspensions are primitive at best and the ridiculously tall centre of gravity is what does them in on the handling tests. The hard tread compounds in the LT tires doesn’t help either.

The other thing people rarely think about from a safety standpoint is that for all those solo miles there is no contest that the MDX is massively safer.

If you like driving your 3/4 ton truck by all means have one. For those that want a vehicle designed in this century there are plenty of great options.
Andy- Appreciate your knowledge and experience in modifying these tow vehicles for sure, and I don't doubt you can modify most any vehicle to accommodate "towing" an Airstream in "normal" driving conditions. We all have seen the early pictures of a VW pulling an AS. But what about extreme situation which may cause an accident with said modified SUV or auto not rated for that activity. The question of liability still looms...what is your position on this should an accident occur with a TV which was modified by your company? Would your insurance or coverage extend to the driver/owner of the modified tow vehicle and trailer? Would be good to know.
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Old 10-17-2018, 10:25 PM   #296
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As an European, I cannot understand logic behind such questions. People need to learn to take responsibility for their actions. I assume that Andy does not tell the clients to tow above the manufacturer specs, only because he is modifying the hitches.

If a car towing anything is in an accident, the operator needs to take responsibility for the actions. Andy cannot force anybody to tow anything.

Some people are modifying / tuning the cars. Instead of e.g. 300 hp, the car has 400 hp. Instead of driving 150 mph, it drives 200 mph... on a public road... and there is an accident. Would you say that the shop which modified the car software is liable for this? Nonsense.

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Andy- Appreciate your knowledge and experience in modifying these tow vehicles for sure, and I don't doubt you can modify most any vehicle to accommodate "towing" an Airstream in "normal" driving conditions. We all have seen the early pictures of a VW pulling an AS. But what about extreme situation which may cause an accident with said modified SUV or auto not rated for that activity. The question of liability still looms...what is your position on this should an accident occur with a TV which was modified by your company? Would your insurance or coverage extend to the driver/owner of the modified tow vehicle and trailer? Would be good to know.
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Old 10-18-2018, 12:55 PM   #297
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SilverTwinkie, that TruckTrend article you linked to was super interesting and informative. It effectively rebuts the myths here that tow ratings are arbitrary. Clearly they drive engineering and testing.

On the live axle issue - most 3/4 trucks built after 2014 use rear coil springs which does help with body roll. But the live axle isn’t the only factor as the article notes.

If I was doing an auto cross, I’d choose the MDX. For towing a trailer over 6000 lbs with a family of four across a variety of terrain, I’ll take my truck.

On the point about responsibility- if an owner with full knowledge request a modification I agree they should own the responsibility. But the problem here is that new owners don’t know - that’s why so many of these threads exist. If a business recommends using a vehicle beyond its rated limits and implements modifications to do that, it should have an obligation to notify customers of the potential implications and have a clear and unambiguous waiver by that customer before they are absolved of legal responsibility. After all, the customer is coming to them with the questions.

In the US I would guess a business would have trouble with its insurance provider for this type of service. I don’t know about how things are handled outside the US.
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Old 10-18-2018, 01:05 PM   #298
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As an European, I cannot understand logic behind such questions. People need to learn to take responsibility for their actions. I assume that Andy does not tell the clients to tow above the manufacturer specs, only because he is modifying the hitches.

If a car towing anything is in an accident, the operator needs to take responsibility for the actions. Andy cannot force anybody to tow anything.

Some people are modifying / tuning the cars. Instead of e.g. 300 hp, the car has 400 hp. Instead of driving 150 mph, it drives 200 mph... on a public road... and there is an accident. Would you say that the shop which modified the car software is liable for this? Nonsense.
Well, as an American, I can tell you about liability...having gone thru this once with my American Ford Expedition...and a person injured in a roll over traveling in my SUV sued both Ford and my insurance company. They were interested in how the vehicle was loaded, how much equipment/luggage, how many people were in the vehicle, condition of the vehicle, tires, etc. My son had taken 5 college classmates on a ski trip to Colorado from Texas...someone else was driving when he hit a gust of wind and rolled. The injured person's insurance sued for medical damages. Fortunately for us, Ford and Firestone were involved with the final settlement along with my insurance company. I remember going to court on this. That was 24 years ago by the way.

I am truly interested in understanding liability for modifications outside manufacturers specifications for a vehicle pulling a travel trailer. Not that I would be doing this, but good to know. If someone was to get into an accident, for what ever reason; blowout, ice, loss of control, etc...there likely would be an investigation should you be towing a trailer and "my assumption" is you had better be within limits? I know there are mechanical modifications to vehicles and equipment which with a PE certification, are acceptable; just not sure of the status in this case. Sorry if that offends...just curious.
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Old 10-18-2018, 01:16 PM   #299
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SilverTwinkie, that TruckTrend article you linked to was super interesting and informative. It effectively rebuts the myths here that tow ratings are arbitrary. Clearly they drive engineering and testing.
I suppose it depends on which lens you look at the article through, and whether it is seen as confirming previously held beliefs or not. I found it interesting, but not informative. And it confirmed the "myths" about how tow ratings are set.

As the article says, it starts with marketing deciding what their customers want. Honda is quoted as saying that most of their customers don't tow over 5000 lbs with the Ridgeline, so that is the rating Honda decided on. But follow that train of thought. What do you think their customers said about towing with the Odyssey, built on the same platform? Perhaps 3500 lbs? Seems likely, since Honda just articulated the process to set it, and that is what they set it at. Fine, but that doesn't define the maximum capability of the platform (when the two vehicles share the same platform...), it defines what marketing decided they wanted to rate it at. Engineering then confirmed that it could meet those ratings, with extensive testing, no doubt. But it seems clear that they didn't lead with engineering and say "what is the most this platform can tow" as some posters suggest the process works. Consequently, assuming that the manufacturer's rating is the maximum safe tow capacity for a platform in all cases is faulty logic. It may be, and for manufacturers of light pickups where tow ratings are seen as a marketing edge, probably more so. But Honda, per the example above, doesn't see tow capacity as a marketing tool, so they don't pursue a higher rating.

This isn't to say that engineering didn't test whatever the marketing department wanted to put on the label, they did.

Now go to the discussion of the SAE standard towing tests, and the reference to the FMVSS for braking tests. The spokesperson said that they set GCVWR based on those tests. OK. What are those tests for braking? Stopping from 20 mph in a specific distance. That's it for stopping, although there is also a park brake test. So those that are relying primarily on the manufacturer's rating for safe towing, particularly with respect to braking capability (often referenced here for heavier pickups) and who are exceeding 20 mph, are out on their own. Not to say that it isn't safe, but you can't use the manufacturer's testing and "certification" to determine that, since it didn't need to be considered in the determination of the rating. Ouch.

Lots more issues in that article, but perhaps that is enough for now.
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Old 10-18-2018, 02:03 PM   #300
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Well, as an American, I can tell you about liability...having gone thru this once with my American Ford Expedition...and a person injured in a roll over traveling in my SUV sued both Ford and my insurance company. They were interested in how the vehicle was loaded, how much equipment/luggage, how many people were in the vehicle, condition of the vehicle, tires, etc. My son had taken 5 college classmates on a ski trip to Colorado from Texas...someone else was driving when he hit a gust of wind and rolled. The injured person's insurance sued for medical damages. Fortunately for us, Ford and Firestone were involved with the final settlement along with my insurance company. I remember going to court on this. That was 24 years ago by the way.

:
They went for the deep pockets. This is why I won’t loan a vehicle, ESPECIALLY to a kid.
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