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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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Still at it.. slowly, lol. Had a ton of storms lately here in Texas... rain rain rain, a few tornado warnings, south of me got hit with some massive hail.. wild times! Picked up a catch can for my ZL1 and some fresh oil and rear diff fluid, need to do my 1500 mile oil change and rear diff fluid change sometime soon, and also pull the supercharger up to get the catch can installed, ick! Been putting it off, lol.

As for the Xploder.. I swapped out the T tap from the brake booster that used to have the boost gauge tapped off and I had half ass plugged with a screw and just put in a straight 1 to 1 fitting to tie the line back together. Also added some wire loom stuff to all my ugly wires in the engine bay for the electric fans and such, power washed the engine bay, and ordered up some new spark plug wire heat socks as my current ones are pretty nasty now, lol. Ran the truck some and noticed I could feel a minor zap when touching one of the old spark plug socks so may have a spark plug wire that had came loose or something, hence new socks and will pull and check out each spark plug/etc.

Pulled the air filter off and soaked it overnight in a light mix of simple green and hot water and hosed it down nice and it looks almost new now.. it was pretty nasty before! Grabbed some brake fluid and will bleed the brakes hopefully in the next few days and probably should do an oil change on the truck sometime soon as the oil has been in there for few years even if hardly any miles. I still also need to change out the transmission fluid which I already know will be a damn nightmare to do without a drain plug.

I swapped my windshield and rear window wipers with some new ones and also found that my windshield fluid reservoir leaks from what looks like where the pump is attached to the reservoir so I'll need to investigate that as well.
 


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willzilla

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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.
I didn't notice any fluid or film around the master cylinder cap... I believe I was looking at the right place. The reservoir at the back driver side of the engine bay?
 




CDW6212R

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Yes, that MC cap is the best case to be losing any fluid. If your level is still dropping some, keep looking for a leak. I hope your area didn't get any serious storm damage, that's a bad natural event for anyone.
 




willzilla

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Yes, that MC cap is the best case to be losing any fluid. If your level is still dropping some, keep looking for a leak. I hope your area didn't get any serious storm damage, that's a bad natural event for anyone.
Haven't really noticed any fluid loss.. just poor brake feel.. But, need to test some more now that I fixed up the boost hose piece with a better setup, maybe that helps on the brake feel. I didn't see any fluid loss on any of the calipers either. I even bought a bit kit of copper washers and a couple dorman copper washers I had used before just to be safe if I found anything, lol. Picked up a couple bottles of dot 4 fluid and figured I'd suction most of the fluid out of the master cylinder, and then blllllleeeeeeeddddd everything through the system and get all fresh fluid pumped in.
 




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The new brake fluid will help a good bit. With your multiple cars, think about buying a Motive brake bleeder kit. Those are the best but they do require a matching adapter for each given car it's used on. They make many adapters, which screw onto the vehicle's MC in place of the OEM cap. That allows one person to apply pressure to the MC reservoir. Then any bleed screw can be opened and very quickly push fresh fluid through and out there. It makes bleeding brakes a one man job.
 




willzilla

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The new brake fluid will help a good bit. With your multiple cars, think about buying a Motive brake bleeder kit. Those are the best but they do require a matching adapter for each given car it's used on. They make many adapters, which screw onto the vehicle's MC in place of the OEM cap. That allows one person to apply pressure to the MC reservoir. Then any bleed screw can be opened and very quickly push fresh fluid through and out there. It makes bleeding brakes a one man job.
Ahh, that does sound nice. I have a one man cheap setup which is pretty much a small bottle, a clear tube, and a magnet that holds the bottle to the car while u pump the brakes, then u go, empty bottle, add more fluid, repeat... x 10 or so, lol.
 




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I bought a 2nd kit after I'd misplaced the adapter from the old one, and the main hose deteriorated from the fluid. So if you ever get one, don't put it away with any fluid in it ever. They used to be about $70 for one that would work on the 90's Fords.
 




willzilla

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How things are going today... lol...

IMG-20210505-181511.jpg
 




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That's a bad feeling. I hate pulling old plug wires off, for that reason.
 




willzilla

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That's a bad feeling. I hate pulling old plug wires off, for that reason.
Yeah.. well, ordered some new Taylor 8.2mm wires (not a ton of choices out there, lol) and some new plugs.
 




willzilla

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Got plugs and wires in today.. waiting on some other odds and ends to arrive over the next few days to swap the old plugs and wires out and put all new protective heat socks on the wires. Did get a little work done on the ZL1... hit 1500 miles a few weeks ago (1560 today) so did the second oil change and also did the rear electronic differential fluid as well. Still need to install the catch can which looks like a total PITA (need to lift the super charger which means swapping the bolts for the supercharger as they are one use only). Side note.. youngest daughter tested positive for Covid so we've been all locked down in the house, thankfully it seems her symptoms are minimal.
 




willzilla

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Got the driver side plugs swapped out and pulled all of the old spark plug wires and heat socks.. The old plugs are pretty nasty, lol...

IMG-20210514-193842-01.jpg


And the old wires and socks...

IMG-20210514-201925.jpg


Also while in there I took a look at the windshield washer fluid reservoir leak.. looks like the pump itself is leaking around the seam near the bottom somehow.. Ordered a replacement...

IMG-20210514-202300-01.jpg
 




willzilla

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Got the new plugs in and began on the wires... Don't remember which length goes where so guessed, lol.. Will connect them to the plugs tomorrow as weather allows :D
 




willzilla

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Got wires with heat socks all installed up... Started car up, seemed to run and idle smoothly... Def need to do an oil change as the oil is old now and has been sitting.
 




willzilla

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Does anyone happen to have info on the bolts for the little intake manifold v8 5.0 plate that goes on top and is held down by I believe 4 bolts? lol.
 




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Those number two, and I think the same size as most all SBF EFI intake plates.
 




willzilla

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Swapped out the wiper reservoir pump and also knocked out the oil change. Not much time as it's been storming a ton lately, blah.. lol.
 




willzilla

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More storms and rain.. sheesh, lol. Hope to drain brake fluid and cycle it all out with some fresh fluid sometime soon, as weather permits! New wiper washer pump seems to be leak free, so.. that's nice :D Still need to find where to order some new manifold cover plate bolts so I can bolt on my pretty blue 5.0 plate but that's kind of a low priority issue, lol.

Have been helping a buddy move in, mount his big ass tvs, etc, over the past few weeks (he moved like 5 houses down from me in the same neighborhood) and he gave me a free brand new Alpine 4 channel amp.. so.. may look at eventually wiring that into the Xploder and adding some new door speakers and such to run off the amp :D Once the car is running right, of course.
 




willzilla

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Went to bleed brakes and.. rounded off the rear passenger side bleeder bolt, lol. Anyone know the dimensions of these bolts and are they different between front and rear? Checking AutoZone I see 2 size options:

Bolt thread size: 3/8". Length 1 -1/4".
Bolt thread size: 3/8". Length 1-3/16".

Also.. I have the PowerStop calipers front and rear which are part numbers S4604 and S4606 so unsure if they run different sized bleeders or not, lol. Maybe I'll order one pack (2) of both sizes and just see what matches when I get the rear wheel off and hopefully am able to remove the stripped bleeder valve :D
 


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willzilla

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Ordered a couple different length bleeder valve screws.. and a new brake reservoir cap while I was at it. Should be here tomorrow :D

Here is the amp (new) my buddy gave me that I'll eventually put into the Xploder, lol :D

IMG-20210527-095726-01.jpg
 




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