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2000 AWD Xploder from Turbo back to NA

After getting an estimate on how much it would run me to fix up my Xploder with all new exhaust, cold side piping, and a bunch of other stuff done up the "right" way... I've decided to convert my Xploder back to NA form so that I can actually ENJOY the truck before I die of old age.

Anyways... To start it off I ordered up a MAC cold air intake (I do not have the stock intake) and sold my FMS headers on ebay.

I plan on buying a set of torque monster headers in the next week or so but am still up in the air on how I should run my exhaust from a performance "speed" perspective. I do not plan on doing much, if any, off road driving, so am looking for a setup that improves take off and speed for spirited pavement driving that sounds good.

I already have the spare tire removed (and will be keeping it off, I have free towing anyways lol)... What would an optimal setup be with the above in mind and no worry of a spare tire being in the way? True duals (straight pipe off of each header, thru separate mufflers, and out the sides), or a dual exhaust both going into a 2 in 2 out "H" pipe style muffler and then out the sides? Or something else? In all cases I won't be running any cats.

I also plan to re-tune my car since currently it is tuned for the turbo setup which obviously will no longer apply once I rip everything out.

Thank you for any input! :)
 


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willzilla

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Knocked out a little more stuff... Got carpet finished pretty much, installed passenger seat.. just need to install the rear passenger side seat and I should be good with that, then finish up the console. Also forgot to post up the updated backup cam wiring:

IMG-20210408-190739.jpg


And.. does anyone know what these things are for? Lol...

IMG-20210408-190632.jpg
 


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XploderPhil

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Are they seat track covers, I'll look at mine
 




willzilla

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Are they seat track covers, I'll look at mine
Thank you, and yeah I figured it was something like that but I can't figure how it would snap or slide on or which area, lol.
 




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They attach to the seat tracks or bolts yes, I also can't recall how. I'll see mine and look again.
 




willzilla

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Got some more work done on the Xploder this weekend... Got carpet finished up and all seats installed as well as the console and console lid I refinished and the stereo unit/etc... Also added some Husky floor mats.. Not a perfect fit but they seem to fit pretty good overall.

IMG-20210411-182655.jpg

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IMG-20210411-182718.jpg

IMG-20210411-182649.jpg

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I left the seat bolts exposed, not sure what covers what and much of those little plastic bits were falling apart.

Also, found this plug in the dash, is this maybe for the cd changer in the stock unit?

IMG-20210411-165928.jpg


Also, hooking up big gray plug did indeed fix the rear speakers :D lol. Still need to figure out what I need to do for the factory amp and the 8" sub in the back to get those working as they did before :D
 




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Well done, very nice color matching and contrast. That plug is the CD changer plug I'm fairly sure. That should mean the amp harness is in the right side, it plugs in behind the right kick panel, and at the amp in the back of course. The amp wiring is in the factory wiring behind the radio, I'm guessing you need to tap into it to transfer the aftermarket signal to that. I don't recall what device is right for that, the factory amp uses an odd signal, maybe 5 volts from the stock radio. You'll have to dig around to see how others install an aftermarket HU with the stock Mach system.
 




willzilla

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Well done, very nice color matching and contrast. That plug is the CD changer plug I'm fairly sure. That should mean the amp harness is in the right side, it plugs in behind the right kick panel, and at the amp in the back of course. The amp wiring is in the factory wiring behind the radio, I'm guessing you need to tap into it to transfer the aftermarket signal to that. I don't recall what device is right for that, the factory amp uses an odd signal, maybe 5 volts from the stock radio. You'll have to dig around to see how others install an aftermarket HU with the stock Mach system.
Ok, great, thank you. Will look over the wiring some and also the old hacked up harness that used to be hooked up behind the radio, which was a rats nest, but thankfully a harness was used and factory wiring wasn't hacked into :D

Also, probably can see I removed the gauges and on the right I added the USB for Android auto/Apple carplay to that, and the left one is still a hole as I do plan to replace the AEM AF gauge back there once I find one I like at a good price as it's needed for remote tuning and what not.
 




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May have figured out the sub thing... Looking back over the wiring diagram from Crutchfield it mentions an RCA type plug off their harness that plugs into back of receiver for the sub connection.. I remember seeing it but not plugging it in as the cable wasn't labeled like the others, lol. Oops :D
 




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That's promising. I hate wiring some OEM systems, due to the weird things OEM does. Lincolns are the worst Fords to do stereos with. They have almost double the factory wires, due to extra amp wiring, redundant back and forth circuits I think. For those, you are better to just skip the OEM wiring, past the main power circuits at the radio. I did that with my 92 Mark VII, I installed a Kenwood 7" DVD player, just the deck at the time. Next I have to run RCA cables to an aftermarket amp in the trunk, plus speaker wires to improve over the tiny stock wires. So the car will be gutted for a different wiring project, and I'll cut out all the extra wire to the stock amp(about 20 wires). That's a lot of wires for one amp and four speakers.
 




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The interior turned out super nice. I like the console lid in black, really sits it off vs the tan. It's nice to see someone that has taken care of the seat upholstery, it looks new and makes the whole project pop
 




willzilla

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The interior turned out super nice. I like the console lid in black, really sits it off vs the tan. It's nice to see someone that has taken care of the seat upholstery, it looks new and makes the whole project pop
Thank you! I'm lucky the seats were in pretty good shape over the years and I was able to get any grime and dirt off pretty well with some carpet/upholstery cleaner scrubbed in and then using one of those water extraction/carpet cleaner suction devices which pulled out some super funky colored water, haha.

Only seat that was kind of rough was the drivers seat as far as condition.. Some of the metal rods under the seat padding had snapped loose or broke so I was able to re-attach all of them but one that was broken right in the middle which I just removed and the driver side bolstering was crushed apart that I was able to pull the broken pieces from and then packed in some foam fill in its place and will monitor how it holds up. Seems pretty good and comfortable but not as meticulous as like cutting new foam and gluing in place or anything like a pro would do.
 




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Plugged in the amp plug from the wiring harness into the radio and it didn't change anything, the rear sub still doesn't do anything lol. I did find some plug coming from under the plastic trim where the factory amp and the little 8" sub is and an old ground wire..

IMG-20210413-173955.jpg


Maybe if I finish everything else on the truck I'll just grab a cheap sub amp and power the sub directly with it at a later time. Even without it running the system sounds pretty good overall.

Cleaned up the rear and the rear trunk mat carpet thing..

IMG-20210413-180511.jpg

IMG-20210413-180523.jpg


Added some coolant as it was a little low in the overflow tank and started it up... Sounds good, ran fine, brake rotors are pretty rusted, not sure if a few high speed hard braking events will clean them up more or not, lol. I did drive around the neighborhood a bit (plates are a few years expired) and everything seemed to work well but brakes are mushy still and the ABS light is on. I replaced the rear center sensor that's in the rear diff I believe and that didn't fix the issue when I encountered it a few years ago before taking new job and moving. Not sure what it may be and also need to check all of the brake calipers for any leaks/etc.

IMG-20210413-191800.jpg


Also need to wipe down the gauge cluster badly, lol, and power wash the entire truck... plus, still need to drain the transmission fluid, replace transmission filter, fill with fresh fluid (still have the fluid I bought a few years back... still good??? Lol), clean the air intake filter, get the AC vac and charged and hope it works, get some dr colorchip and try to touch up the surface rust spots and small paint chips before they get worse, and a number of other odds and ends I'm sure haha.
 




XploderPhil

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Did you remember to turn the rear amp on with the stereo?
Not sure how you wired in the amp and sub, it may be easier and work better with a different amp.

I read your entire story from start to end and I can't remember the brake problem, I'll have to re-read it.

If the transmission fluid is still sealed I say use it, I just found a bottle of 19yr old PS fluid when I worked at the dealer, I'm using it 😉
 




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The amp or speaker might have died, there are very few people still working with the stock parts. So finding recent examples of how the wiring works is not simple any more. I also planned to replace mine, so the stock wiring I'll bypass etc. I have my stock sub/amp assembly somewhere if you didn't have something else to replace that one with.
 




willzilla

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Did you remember to turn the rear amp on with the stereo?
Not sure how you wired in the amp and sub, it may be easier and work better with a different amp.

I read your entire story from start to end and I can't remember the brake problem, I'll have to re-read it.

If the transmission fluid is still sealed I say use it, I just found a bottle of 19yr old PS fluid when I worked at the dealer, I'm using it 😉
Yes, I made sure sub was enabled in the stereo settings. It also has a hz cut off limit slider to adjust.

As for the wiring of the amp and sub... No idea, it came with the truck when I bought it years and years ago already wired up. There was also a super old sat radio receiver type unit under the passenger seat, lots of extra wiring all over, etc, that I ended up junking so maybe while pulling old random stuff out I ended up tossing something I may of needed, lol. Probably easier/simpler to add a small dedicated sub amp to run the 8" sub, but, will be something I look at once other more important things are done.

The brakes just seem mushy.. Earlier I had small leak from one of the banjo bolts on the calipers, need to recheck all of those for a leak, but also the ABS light is lit and I had read that often is the sensor that is in the center of the rear diff, changed sensor, still have the ABS light lit so need to troubleshoot further.

And yes, the transmission fluid is still sealed so I'll see how it looks, lol. And wow.. 19 year old PS fluid, almost a relic :D
 




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The ABS, work out the fluid and leaking or bleeding, before dealing with the ABS light. That might be simply air in the ABS module from having the fluid leak out when servicing, or a leak. Replace the copper washers at the brake lines if they ever leak at all.

A soft pedal points to there being air inside, work on it like that's the deal. Air can be worked out of the ABS module, but it takes a lot of time, and locking up the tires to force the ABS to function. Bleeding brakes does not move fluid through the ABS module, it goes around it(internal bypass). If air is inside it, the ABS has to be forced to function, and that stirs the fluid along the ABS internal circuits. Any air that is moved outside from the ABS functioning, can then be bled out normally.
 




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I totally agree with Don, any leaks need to be addressed first.
Also keep in mind you might have 2 different problems that are unrelated (a hydraulic problem and an ABS problem). It's easy to get that mind set that one problems maybe causing both symptoms. So diffently start with the soft pedal issue.

If no leaks or air are found in the system it could be a bad matter cylinder.
With the age of our trucks, rubber seals and moisture can play havoc with the brakes. Moisture can cause corrosion in the master cylinder bore and rubber seals can wear out, both of which can cause fluid to bypass the seals in the bore and divert the fluid back into the fluid reservoir instead of the brake lines.
Hoping it's something simple
57262838_362419174367784_7569653269610364928_o.png
 




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Ok, awesome... Will need to look over everything tomorrow maybe. Cleaned car off today, was pretty nasty. Spun it around the neighboorhood to see if the rust can break off... and the rotors seemed to clear up pretty decently. Did some semi hard breaking and will then check for some leaks tomorrow. I did notice the steering seemed super floaty but maybe just me going from the zl1 to the Xploder or something. I could move steering wheel side to side super easily and the overall power of the truck seems way down.. Probably time for some fresh gas, lol, oil change, and a new air filter as it's pretty cruddy, amongst many other things.
 




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Put the Xploder up on my race ramps and looked over the brake calipers.. Didn't see any sign of any brake fluid leaking anywhere (which I had an issue with a few years ago until I swapped on new copper washer on the leaking caliper). So, maybe not a fluid leak. I do have a very shoddy plug on the vac system from where I removed the old boost gauge, maybe I have a vac leak or something causing some issues.. or.. a leak somewhere else that I haven't found yet. Need to research some more.

IMG-20210424-154732.jpg
 


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Check the cap to the master cylinder, for how well the seal works. If you see any fluid around the top of the reservoir, or it's extra filthy, the fluid may be leaking past the cap seal. I have had at least two MC caps that don't seal very well. I put a new one on my last 98, and the 98 I got later is what also leaks some still. The other cap had a broken ear(of the three), but this one just seems to not be tight enough at full twist. So I need another new cap, you are reminding me.
 




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