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Alec's Thoughts on Modifications

Discussion in 'Need for Speed!' started by Alec, September 28, 2002.

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    1. Alec

      Alec Elite Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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      Alec's Thoughts

      I'm starting this thread at the suggestion of a member. I'm often repeating myself when expressing my opinions and views, and if the most common questions I'm asked have answers in one place it would make everyone's life easier ;)

      Opinions and thoughts expressed here, and elsewhere on this site, are mine and the site carries no responsibility for my words. These are my recommendations and I carry no responsibility for how they're carried out or used.

      That aside, this is a work in progress and I'll add things as I think of them, or PM me with suggestions.
       
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    3. Alec

      Alec Elite Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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      Exhaust

      I'll talk about exhaust from the engine back, mostly for the V6s.

      Firstly, stock to mildly modded Explorer motors need backpressure to maintain and build low end torque. Reducing restriction is good, to a point. Often you can go too large or too free flowing with exhaust and lose torque at the benefit of top end horsepower.

      Headers
      Flat out, headers on the 4.0 OHV aren't really worth it unless your engine is going to be force-fed. I put headers on before my supercharger install and saw a noticable reduction in torque for the benefit of some highway passing power. Also, the good ones are expensive. I recommend ceramic coated JBA headers. They stay cooler on the outside, flow well, and are of very good quality. Anything less than Borla or JBA on the OHV and you're asking for trouble.

      I don't know much about the 5.0, but I do know the factory manifolds tend to leak. A cure for this is inexpensive Ford Motorsport headers. I hear they're pretty good and fix the leaks, but they do reduce torque a bit; but not too much.

      Cats
      Ford stock cats flow a lot of air without much restriction. This is even in the multiple cat setups. However, once they get over a third clogged they can start to slow you down. CEL, economy, power, smell, etc. If your cat fails and is not under warranty anymore, an aftermarket cat is going to be much cheaper than Ford replacement. A singe aftermarket cat and install is around $450. When going with an aftermarket cat, don't go too large, and you may need to use a reducer pipe to maintain adequate backpressure.

      catback
      Ask anyone and I recommend Magnaflow mufflers. www.magnaflow.com
      Magnaflow mufflers come in all shapes, sizes, and bores. They have a flow-through design and are mostly reversible for different applications. They deliver performance and sound. V6 Magnaflow sound is nice and burbly at idle, with a decent roar when you get on it. Exhaust drone and interior resonance are minimal. I recommend 2.5" single out mufflers for the V6s, and yes Magnaflow does have dual in/single out mufflers for the later SOHCs. On the OHV, I recommend a 2.25" or 2.5" tailpipe; whichever is .25" larger than your stock tailpipe. On the SOHC, single 2.5" tailpipe.

      The best thing to do is find a good local Magnaflow installer. Get the muffler through them and have them install it with a larger tailpipe that is stock routed. Usually around $200 and an hour or 2.

      If you go offroading, I recommend having the tailpipe rear exit slightly before it reaches the rear bumper, and of course slightly below. On the street, you can run a screw-on exhaust tip, but take it off on the trail. This reasoning is that offroad tailpipes can get damaged during extreme departure manuevers by being forced between the bumper and terrain.

      Hope you enjoyed reading! I think that's about it for exhaust.
       
    4. Alec

      Alec Elite Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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      Intake

      filter
      The addition of an aftermarket air filter usually yields a few ponies, increased throttle response, and a good growl from under the hood. Intake mods also help you get the most out of your exhaust system and any other mods you may do. There are drop-in replacement filters and many kits out there for various years and motors. The KKM kit, www.kustomz.com is a good kit, around $90. It comes with a large conical filter, brackets, and does away with the stock airbox. Its the same as the KN FIPK gen I, but without pollution certification. The KN FIPK gen II also comes with an intake tube and heat shield. These make the intake perform a bit better, but are barely noticable on a mildly modded motor. There are also kits such as Volant for the SOHC, and MAC for the 5.0. I hear the MAC is good, but the Volant isn't really worth the money over the KKM. Adding your own heatshield and some well placed dryer tubing to your intake is cheap and may give you a bit better throttle response and highway power.

      MAS (OHV)
      The 91-94 MAS is 55mm, the 95+ MAS is 70mm, though obstructed. For this reason, a mildly modded early model can benefit from an aftermarket unit. A 95+ OHV won't benefit from an aftermarket unit unless you have some serious mods. Even then, your MAS isn't often the most restrictive part of the intake.

      Throttle Body
      A larger throttle body can help out the OHV. I usually recommend the 66mm BBK unit, though there are also different bore Vanir units. The BBK is much easier to order though and is a quality piece. To fully gain from it you need intake and exhaust, preferably a chip, and preferably a MAS on an early model. Good for a few ponies and much improved throttle response.

      That's my rambling for now!
       
    5. Alec

      Alec Elite Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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      Update for Exhaust:

      Again I recommend getting a system custom installed at a shop. A welded exhaust is usually better than clamped, and this way you have an installation warranty. It's usually cheaper this way then buying a kit, also.
       
    6. Turdle

      Turdle I bake stuff Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I am open to updating this, it needs it.

      For 5.0 exhaust, Torquemonster headers are available--

      A cam can, and is being, used with a stock PCM on v-8 obdII
       
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