Happy Thanksgiving From PUTC

PUTC Happy Thanksgiving

PUTC Thanksgiving Thankful

To all our loyal readers and contributors (both commentarians and editorial providers), we want to wish you a happy Thanksgiving and say thank you for all your passionate and consistent interest in our website.

We've had a good year, and with your help we hope to have a great year in 2013. Taking a moment to look back over the past 12 months, here are five stories we are thankful for being able to bring to life, offering them to you first as world exclusives. Clearly, we love our comparison tests, but we expect test drives as well.

Here are just a few of our favorite stories. Maybe you have a few others. 


  Ford-Raptor-vs.-Dodge-Ram-Runner-cars.com-mad-media-03 II

1) Duel in the Desert: SVT Raptor vs. Ram Runner. We are thankful that about a half-dozen things needed to happen at exactly the right time to pull this one off. Right up until we started the test, there was a chance the whole thing could blow up on us. Thankfully, the weather held out, the trucks held up, the crew was safe, and the helicopter didn't run out of fuel. 


5d Group grilles 2 II

2) 2012 Global Pickup Shootout: Our roving reporter in Australia was able to get four popular midsize pickups that, for one reason or another, we don't get in the United States. Naturally, we decided to compete these utes against each other outside Sydney to see which one tops the list. 


6 Ultimate 4x4 group 1A II

3) Ultimate 4x4 Shootout: Who makes the best 4x4 pickup in the U.S.? We asked each manufacturer to send us its best four-wheel-drive pickup truck, and then we put them through a battery of off-road contests. Ford, Nissan, Ram and Toyota tackled rocks, mud, sand and the weather for a chance to be the King of the Hill. 


IMG_0375 II

4) Ram 5500 Long Hauler: The new King of the Hill towing champ. Concept trucks are supposed to be one-offs that allow designers and engineers to gauge consumer interest. They're not supposed to give it to us to drive 2,300 miles towing a huge fifth-wheel weighing almost 20,000 pounds. But we're glad they did. 


Raptor Slickrock

5) Raptors In Moab: SVT Raptors on the slickrock. When Ford wanted to debut its recently upgraded Raptor (mostly a new front camera and limited-slip differential), the automaker wanted to show off its extreme-duty pickup in a unique yet challenging environment. Naturally, that meant the ancient and expert 4x4 trails around Moab, Utah. Thankfully, no one died. 



Happy Thanksgiving PUTC, Mark Williams and all the commenters. Enjoy!

Besides all the obvious things I'm thankful for like GOD and my family; I'm thankful for this website and the Detroit Big 3! No matter what has happended or will happen with the American auto undustry It's the Big 3 that the rest of the world will always look at to imitate. So Thank God for those good ole' American trucks!

@ everyone

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you and your families have a wonderful and SAFE holiday.

A good turkey day to everyone, and to everyone a good turkey for the day!!!!

Thanksgiving was last month in my country. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.

I am thankful for my Ram truck. I just got it waxed and it shines like the day I bought it in 03. It has been a great truck. Very powerful and reliable. Tows my toy hauler and takes me wherever I want to go, soft sand dunes , snow and rain.

Even though this is a ford leaning site I still enjoy most articles and info. Having been a blue oval owner before and losing my investment in an 89 mustang that caught fire and burned. I can assure you I will never own another one. Too many recalls for faulty switches that catch on fire while the vehicle sits.



Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American neighbours. We have much to be thankful for. Freedom is a wonderful thing that many parts of the world cannot enjoy. Enjoy your friends and family today.

I'm thankful that Ford & Dodge still build gorgeous, high quality-high class, sturdy, quality built, well designed trucks for both on road use AND Off Road use.

I'm not so thankful that Chevrolet gave the entire market for such things away.

I'm also thankful for PUTC.

I am thankful i am not a Dodge fan.



Unraveling the Mystery of Ford’s Fire-Prone Switches

A burned-out Ford F-150 in the rubble of the Iowa home of Earl Mohlis.

Published: August 27, 2006
JUST two inches long, the Texas Instruments Model 9F924 speed control deactivation switch does not look like a menacing device.

Graphic: Recalled Models
T.S.B. to the Rescue
Enlarge this Image

In a suit, Mr. Mohlis charged that a faulty cruise switch caused the fire, which killed his wife.
But a sporadic malfunction in the switch that sparked engine fires stumped engineers at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for two years.

The $20 switch, which shuts off the cruise control when a driver taps the brakes, became the subject of one of the most exhaustive and complex investigations in the agency’s history. It created an expensive and embarrassing problem for the Ford Motor Company, which initially disputed suggestions that the switches were starting fires.

When the repairs are made to the last of 6.7 million potentially defective switches, the Ford recall may be the second largest in United States history. “I’ve been through hundreds of investigations, and the complexities here were enormous,” said Richard Boyd, chief of the medium- and heavy-duty vehicle division in the safety administration’s office of defects investigation. “Going in we had no idea. Was the switch causing the problem or was the vehicle?”

The answer, spelled out in a government report issued this month, turns out to be both.

After an investigation that involved collecting damaged cruise control switches from across the country, installing them in Ford vehicles and waiting for them to cause fires, the agency determined that a phenomenon never seen before was to blame.

“Unbeknown to anybody,” Mr. Boyd said, “you can actually create a small vacuum when you let off the brakes.”

The force of that vacuum, investigators determined, was weakening a seal in the switches installed in millions of Ford pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles. With the plastic seal broken down, brake fluid was able to leak onto the electrical side of the switch and cause corrosion. Over time, that corrosion can build up, causing the switch to overheat and ignite an electrical fire.

Government investigators began hearing complaints about the switches catching fire in 1999. That year, Ford recalled 279,000 cars from the 1992-93 model years: the Crown Victoria, Lincoln Town Car and Mercury Grand Marquis.

Then, the problem was thought to be a manufacturing defect, but the recent investigation suggests that the vacuum-weakened seal was the culprit.

The number of complaints declined, and the agency considered the issue resolved. In 2002, there were reports of more Crown Victoria fires. But after monitoring the situation for two years, the agency decided the number was too low to warrant a recall.

Around the time the agency decided that a second Crown Victoria recall was not necessary, reports of fires in F-150 pickups began to trickle in. By June 2004, the agency had begun an inquiry into the truck fires.

At first, investigators believed the switches were overheating because of a problem that originated in manufacturing the switch.

The switch was in 16.5 million vehicles when the investigation began, but it appeared to overheat only in the 12.5 million that were wired so that the switch received power continuously, even when the ignition was off.

Perplexing investigators further was the fact that the switch was malfunctioning in some models but not in others. Explorers, for example, had a relatively low fire rate; fires were more common in Expeditions.

The simplest solution would have been to tell Ford to recall all 12.5 million vehicles with switches that always had power. But the agency did not yet understand the cause of the problem, and it cannot order a recall without making a solid case.

“The burden of proof in a defect investigation is on the government,” Mr. Boyd said. “So at the end of the day, if we went to Ford and said we want you to recall 12 million vehicles, Ford would say, ‘Oh, really?’ ”

Ford’s response to the fires — first refusing to acknowledge that the switches posed a fire hazard, then conducting four recalls over seven years — angered fire victims and consumer advocates. It does not hurt their cases that Ford was accused of dragging its feet in other high-profile recalls.

“It’s a cultural issue within Ford Motor Company,” said Rob Ammons, a Houston lawyer who is suing Ford on behalf of an Iowa man, Earl Mohlis, whose wife, Dolly, died after their home caught fire. The lawsuit claims the man’s 1996 Ford F-150 pickup caught fire in the garage. The blaze spread to the house, killing Mrs. Mohlis. “It’s the same exact pattern,” Mr. Ammons said. “You saw it with the Pinto. You saw it with the ignition fires a decade ago. You saw it with Firestone. And you see it here.”

In the handful of wrongful-death suits it faces, Ford denies that the switches caused the fires. With all the possible sources of a house fire, it is impossible to say the switch was the sole cause, Ford says.

The company stopped using the switch in its vehicles in 2002.

Kristen Kinley, a Ford spokeswoman, said there was no proof that the fires started in the vehicles. “Based on the evidence that we found, it does not indicate that the fires originated at the truck.”

Ford did not acknowledge that the switches were causing fires until last September, when it recalled 4.5 million vehicles from the 1994-2002 model years, including Ford Broncos and Expeditions and Lincoln Navigators. But Ford and the government still did not know why the fires were starting, despite exhaustive efforts to find the cause.

In a field in suburban Atlanta, with firefighters standing by, the traffic safety agency put faulty switches in four Ford vehicles and waited until they caught fire. Some of the defective switches were obtained by Bruce York, the chief investigator on the case, who went to dealerships and junkyards in the Washington area in search of used switches and samples of brake fluid.

Government engineers then studied the burn patterns. The agency eventually sent defective switches to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, a federal agency, which determined that the switches were failing because the seal separating the electric side from the side containing brake fluid was wearing down.

Why that was happening was still unclear, however. One possibility was a vacuum effect in the brake line, created when a driver releases the brake, that would cause the seal to invert and wear down over time. Engineers had never seen that happen in cars.

This summer, they began to focus their investigation on what role that vacuum might play. So they looked at data on brake-line vacuum that had been collected in an unrelated investigation. They found that with the right amount of vacuum the seal would invert, and they determined that the seal was especially vulnerable in vehicles with more vacuum in their brake lines.

“That was when we looked at each other and said, ‘I think we got it,’ ” Mr. Boyd said.


@Hemi V8,

Ignorant troll, it f'ken thanksgiving. Show some class twerp!


Michigan Bob
Denver Mike
Mark Williams
Mike Levine
and others

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!

Reminder: GM will be unveiling the next gen Silverado in just 3 weeks!

@Hemi V8,

Ignorant troll, it f'ken thanksgiving. Show some class twerp!

You're calling him an ignorant troll, and you can't even captitalize Thanksgiving. You are living up to your name Frankie Troll.


You're calling him an ignorant troll, and you can't even captitalize Thanksgiving. You are living up to your name Frankie Troll.

Posted by: FRANK IS A TROLL | Nov 22, 2012 8:18:26 PM

Pay this doofus no mind. No one on this blog likes him and no one in the forum likes him either. He pulled the same crap over in the forum and some people called him on his BS posts. Rarely do you see his stupid azz in there anymore. That is good for the forum I suppose but bad for the blog.

Michigan Bob
Denver Mike
Mark Williams
Mike Levine
and others

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!

The class leading Ram with Hemi and 8 speed is coming real soon.

More Guts

More Glory

More class leading Ram

The rest will follow

Hemi V8, No Thanksgiving to you. I don't thank spammers. You're the type of guy who will run to the doors and cut in line at Best Buy on Black Friday, pushing and shoving to get a tv for 50% off. Come up with your own posts, stop copying others, spammer.

The class leading Ram with Hemi and 8 speed is coming real soon.

The rest will follow

Hemi V8

Happy Thanksgiving, bro!!!!!!!!

Thanks for getting the truth out there to the people.


Have a great time with your families on Thanks Giving. Drink a lot of beer and eat lots of food.

Hemi V8 is fighting over phones at Walmart again!

See if you can spot him.



Happy Black Friday.

I think I saw him. Is he the one the old lady bit? Lol

I am thankful that Mopar makes a truck so good,everybody is jealous ! They never admit it,they just bash it.

Just read the immature comments by some jealous haters,its so funny the b.s they come up with.

They just cant stand a HEMI V-8 gets better mpg than a V-6,it just boggles their tiny minds.

I am thankful to have a 390 h.p HEMI V-8,and soon a 395 hp Hemi with 8 speed,great mpg,quickest excellerating truck around (besides the record breaking Ram SRT-10 of a few years ago) It is great being a Mopar guy,some things never change..Hemi always ruled and GM/Ford/Import crowd are always jealous..Yes,the old 426 Hemi ruled and rules as its used by Ford/GM/Imports in Drag Racing today !

Hope you had a good day,I always do as I drive a HEMI !

I think I found him.

Hemi V8 is the guy in the brown shirt in the beginning who gets his butt kicked by a girl.

WATCH: HEMI V8 fights over phones on Black Friday

Must have been some deal...


Two different HEMI's are fist fighting here at Target.

This is insane!


oxi hckles the crowd at Best Buy, calls them zombies...


Is a hater someone who doesn't agree with another person?

If it is then the language has really been bastardised.

The word "hater" is never used defensively, it always used an attack onto someone else. So it obviously designed to be more offensive than most other 4 letter words.

So then, are the people who use the word "hater" insecure?

The word is used most often by the fanboi's. Just an oberservation. But most of them are insecure. Or is a Tea Party word used by political dingalings.

@Big Al from Oz - I've noticed the same pattern. Fanboi's and nut jobs seem to keep using the terms - haters, jealous, jealousy, envy, liberals, socialists, communists, ad nauseum.
I probably could come up with more.

It is really sad that on a "Day of Giving Thanks" for one's good fortunes, and blessings that there are those who try to turn things into a divisive, combative, and dare I say "hateful" thing.

So many are blessed with freedom of choice and freedom of speech but are not blessed with the wisdom to use those blessings appropriately.


So true. The problem with having all of these freedoms is that it also gives you the freedom to be a f-----g idiot! Sad but true. Happy Holidays Everyone!!!

@WhOUbU - Yes.
Some of our bloggers need to exercise their "Miranda rights".

We are all blessed with a lot that we take for granted. This week they had a Ken Burn's special called the Dust Bowl on Public Television. Those families that went through the Dust Bowl in the 30s barely survived. The last thing on their minds was what type of car or truck they drove. We in the US have turned Thanksgiving, a day of thanks, into just another shopping day. I am truly blessed to have enough food, clothing, shelter, and to be able to afford a reliable vehicle regardless of brand and age. If all I had to worry about is what brand of truck that I drive then that indeed is trivial. Let us all be thankful for our family, friends, and for the material blessings we have.

@Mechanic, Thank you sir. Have a good one. Just keeping it real. You would think since my 89 Ford burned from a faulty ignition switch they would have figured it out already after 20 years. Obviously Ford has not. Their are so many people that still don't know that their Ford can kill them in their sleep while parked in the garage. It is still happening. It is truly sad.

Fire that killed boys spread from F150 truck
Wednesday, 11 Jul 2012, 6:39 PM CDT


Because you went through a fire with ford, I understand that you are angry. You have every right to be. However, could we please keep the Holiday articles clean and free of all the bashing. That is why everyone is upset. On the next article, bash away at ford. But until then put down the brands and be happy you are alive in America. Thank you! Happy Holidays!

I agree with oxi...


Swapping out a US MADE truck bed is nothing as far as rust is converned and it increases value!

It is just like getting plastic surgery...when trucks get old, you replace parts! There is nothing wrong with that!

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