2000 Sport Long term project vehicle | Page 4 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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2000 Sport Long term project vehicle

Modifications Performed
Removed side step bars (post #3)
Replaced single row (1 inch thick) radiator with double row (2 inch thick) radiator (post #3)
Installed towing wiring and bumper mounted ball (post #8)
Replaced stock right caster/camber bolts with large range adjustable bolts (post #9)
Replaced 2 piece right upper control arm with 1 piece arm (post #9)
Installed throttle cable tensioner to reduce slack (post #10)
Lowered rear 0.75 inches by replacing monoleaf rear springs with 3 leaves plus overload leaf springs (post #14)
Installed Edelbrock IAS lowering rear shocks (post #15)
Installed Akimoto racing air filter (post #16)
Replaced stock left caster/camber bolts with large range adjustable bolts (post #18)
Installed Edelbrock IAS lowering front shocks (post #19)

Lowered front 0.75 inches (post #20)
Modified front bump stops (post #20)
Relocated stock external ATF cooler (post #24)
Added second external ATF cooler (post #24)
Installed remote full flow ATF filter & temperature sender (post #24)
Installed remote full flow & bypass engine oil filters & temperature sender (post #25)
Installed external engine oil cooler (post #25)
Installed A pillar pod mounted multi-function temperature gauge (post #27)
Installed two 1.75 inch internal diameter cold air ducts to air filter enclosure (post #28)
Removed 1 3/4 inch diameter inlet cone from air filter enclosure (post #28)
Installed wideband O2 sensor in left downpipe & pod pillar mounted wideband air/fuel ratio meter (post #29)
Replaced stock 65mm throttle body with a Ford prototype 75mm racing ported and polished throttle body (post #31)
Removed throttle cable tensioner & installed 75mm to 65mm throttle body spacer (post #31)
Replaced stock 55mm MAF sensor with 90mm Lightning MAF sensor (post #32)
Designed & built MAF sensor amplifier to compensate for MAF sensor upgrade (post #35)
Replaced Akimoto cone air filter with Spectre 4 inch diameter outlet cone filter (post #35)
Replaced petroleum based rear axle lubricant with synthetic lubricant (post #37)
Installed oil pressure sending unit at oil pressure switch port (post #41)
Modified A pillar pod muti-function temperature gauge to display relative oil pressure (post #43)
Modified PCV valve associated hose configuration (post #46)
Replaced & adjusted mechanical idle speed adjustment screw (post #50)
Replaced petroleum based engine oil with synthetic oil (post #51)
Removed MAF sensor amplifier and loaded custom tune from Henson Performance (post #55)
Painted engine block Ford blue (post #58)
Painted exhaust manifolds silver (post #58)
Reinforced thermostat housing (post #60)
Installed under hood remote starter control (post #63)
Replaced main intake tube C clamps with T-bolt clamps (post #64)
Installed Accusump 3 quart engine pre-oiler (post #66)
Replaced 5R55E reverse servo gaskets with D ring gaskets (post #70)
Installed Canton Racing 215 deg F thermostat for engine oil cooler (post #80)
Replaced stock front sway bar bushings & end links with polyurethane bushings & links from Energy Suspension (post #81)
Replaced stock exhaust system from manifold outlets back with high flow cats, Y pipe, muffler, tailpipe and turndown (post #82)
Replaced stock fuel pump with Aeromotive Stealth 340 lph high flow pump (post #85)
Replaced stock 130 amp 4G alternator with custom built 240 amp 4G alternator (post #87)
Installed Banshee/M90 supercharger (post #88)
Installed electronic fuel pressure controller (post #90)
Upgraded electronic fuel pressure controller (post #93)
Upgraded engine gauges (post #94)
Modified hood for M90 pulley clearance (post #95)
Purchased SCT's Advantage III Racer Pro software tuning package to generate my own tunes (post #97)
Upgraded intercooler heat exchanger (post #98)
Installed thermostat metal lower housing (post #99)

Maintenance Performed

Replaced windshield (post #2)
Replaced tires with BF Goodrich Long Trail T/A Tour P235/75XL108T 15 inch tires (post #2)
Replaced hood lift cartridges (post #3)
Replaced left lower control arm (post #17)
Installed 00m12 kit intake manifold gaskets, left chain tensioner & oil galley reducer (post #45)
Replaced PCV valve (post #46)
Replaced fuel filter (post #48)
Replaced camshaft timing cassettes, tensioner & guide, primary chain & sprockets (post #56)
Degunked engine internals (post #58)
Replaced radiator cooling fan blade (post #59)
Replaced rear main seal (post #61)
Replaced water pump (post #68)
Replaced 5R55E transmission filter, blown valve body separator plate gasket, broken solenoid mounting bracket (post #70)
Replaced split flexible fuel hose from tank to rigid fuel line (post #74)
Replaced serpentine belt & tensioner pulley (post #78)
Repaired rear hatch strikers (post #79)
Replaced rear axle vent hose (post #86)

The photos below show my 2000 Explorer Sport that I purchased from a tow truck driver in May, 2009. It had been abandoned on the freeway and the tow truck driver obtained ownership as payment for the towing fee. The only thing that prevented the vehicle from running was a bad camshaft sensor. The tow truck driver replaced it, the spark plugs, and engine oil and filter.

These photos were taken after considerable cleaning and polishing. The external paint is Toreador Red and the interior is gray. The body is in fairly good condition with a few minor dings and no visible rust.
I purchased my Sport for $3,000 in Concord, North Carolina. It had 150,000 miles on the odometer and was dirty inside and out. Although it doesn't show in the photo below there are multiple cracks in the windshield.

I retired on July 4 and decided to search for a smaller SUV to replace my 1997 Tahoe shown in the background. I did considerable research and narrowed my search to a two door. While I have owned Jeeps for most of my driving life, I knew from past experience that the Cherokee Sport made me feel cramped when driving. I also eliminated the Blazer for the same reason. I eventually settled on the Explorer liking the simplicity and handling of front engine rear wheel drive. 2000 was the last year that Ford made the body style I preferred so that's what I looked for. Toreador Red was my first color choice so I was thrilled when an advertisement for one showed up on Craigslist.
It rained about one third of the way home to Greenville, South Carolina. The cracked windshield caused the windshield wipers to smear which made the drive home somewhat stressful. Adding to the stress was an alarm that sounded about every fifteen minutes because one of the sensors on the rear hatch was misaligned. Another aggravation was failure of the power side mirrors to adjust. I was also concerned about the tires. The original spare was on the right front since one of the tires was flat.

The other three tires had virtually no tread remaining. I drove a maximum of 55 miles per hour when there was no rain and 50 miles per hour in the rain.

The vehicle was originally purchased in Texas as indicated by the license plate.

You can see that the left rear is considerably lower than the right. I bought my Sport as a utility vehicle but also as a long term test bed for experimentation. I am an electrical engineer by degree and a former senior systems engineer. I will be trying various performance and fuel economy modifications on my Sport for many years. I intend to keep it for the remainder of my driving years.





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Rear main seal removal

When the engine is hanging on a hoist is a good time to replace the crankshaft rear main seal. The photo below of the old crankshaft rear main seal attempts to illustrate that there is a variation in the upper and lower sections of the block where the seal fits.

My Haynes manual specifies that the seal should be perpendicular to the crankshaft axis and that the tolerance is 0.015 inches. Many members have experienced leaks after replacing their rear main seal. I suspect that they may have tried to seat the new seal flush with the nonuniform block surface.

The photo below shows my seal installation tool. It is a 2 inch schedule 40 PVC coupling. The coupling inner diameter is the same as the outer diameter of the crankshaft. The coupling outer diameter is less than desired but adequate.

I used a drum sander to enlarge the coupling inner diameter until the crankshaft sleeve provided with the seal kit fit inside of the coupling as shown in the photo below.

I drilled two small holes where the "dimples" are on opposite sides of the seal. I was careful not to go any deaper than when the drill broke thru the seal. I used a new drill bit so it would not "walk" away from the dimple and endanger scoring the crankshaft. After drilling the holes I inserted two hex head sheet metal screws as shown in the photo below.

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rear main seal replacement

I used a small pry bar as a lever as shown in the photo below.

The old seal was easy to extract with the pry bar.

I inspected the crankshaft for wear to determine if I needed to use the sleeve. I found some crud accumulated on the surface but no indentation from the seal rubbing.

I cleaned the crankshaft surface with a thick cloth soaked with solvent folded over the end of a small flat blade screwdriver. I was very careful not to poke the screwdriver blade thru the cloth and scratch the crankshaft surface.

I applied engine oil to the inner and outer surfaces of the new seal and placed it in position. Then I used the coupling and my 4 pound hand sledge hammer to tap the seal gradually and evenly into it's seat. I used the short end of an allen wrench as a "feeler gauge" to compare the distance from the end of the crankshaft to the seal. The installed new seal is shown in the photo below.

Remote crank control

This post describes my installation of a remote push button starter motor crank control.

WARNING: My installation of this device defeats the safety features associated with the Transmission Range Selector and the Clutch Pedal Position Switch. Activating the starter motor when the clutch is engaged or the transmission is in gear will result in vehicle movement and possible injury. Duplication of this device installation is at your own risk.

CAUTION: My installation of this device allows starter motor activation with the ignition switch in any position including Off and the engine running or not. If the starter motor is activated while the engine is running damage may result.

I purchased a Lisle Remote Starter Switch (part number 20750) shown in the photo below left.

It is a push button momentary contact switch that comes with attached leads and alligator clips shown in the photo above right. Since my installation is to be permanent I cut the wires at the alligator clip connections and removed the boots.

I disconnected the ground cable from the battery negative terminal.

Then I released the Battery Junction Box mounting clips identified by the red arrows in the photo below.

This allowed access to the wires protruding from the bottom of the box as shown in the photo above.

I tied the box in a vertical position (as shown below left) to facilitate identifying the desired wires and attaching the push button leads.

Using a trailer type clamp on connector I attached one lead to the tan/red wire coming from the +12 volt side of the Starter Motor Relay energizing solenoid as shown above right.

Note: There are multiple yellow wires at the bottom of the Battery Junction Box. There is a location drawing inside the Battery Junction Box cover that can be used to determine the position of Fuse 5.
Using a trailer type clamp on connector I attached the other lead to the yellow wire coming from Fuse 5 (50 amps) that is hot at all times as shown in the photo below left.

I reinstalled the Battery Junction Box in its mounting clips.

I reconnected the ground cable to the battery negative terminal.

I cut a length of foam pipe insulation to keep the remote control in position when not being used as shown in the photo above right.

T-bolt clamps

The red arrows identify the T-Bolt hose clamps I installed instead of the previously used screw clamps. The T-Bolt clamps are superior but their adjustment range is limited. I could barely fit the 3 inch clamp onto the 75mm throttle body inlet.

Thanks for updating your registry! Its great to see what other members are up to with their vehicles.

Adding an oil accumulator

For more details see: Accusump installation

Engine analysis has revealed that most of the wear occurs when the engine is cranked and started without oil pressure. In the case of the SOHC V6 engine, timing chains are most likely to slip when the spring/hydraulic left front and right rear tensioners have little or no oil pressure. I decided to install a pre-oiler to reduce future engine wear and the chance of timing chain slippage. There are two types of pre-oilers. One type is an electrical pump that draws oil from the bottom of the oil pan and forces it into the engine oil galleries. It requires drilling a hole in the oil pan and running an oil line/hose to the pump. The other type is an oil accumulator that consists of a piston inside a cylinder that stores air pressure on one side and oil pressure on the other.

I decided to incorporate an oil accumulator and selected the 3 quart capacity Accusump by Canton Racing shown in the photo below.

The system consists of the accumulator (piston and cylinder) and a oil control valve. I chose an electric solenoid controlled valve energized by the ignition switch. An additional switch prevents the valve from being open when the ignition is on. This allows retention of the pressurized oil in the accumulator when the ignition is on but there is no intention to start the engine. There are several types of solenoid valves. I chose the one suitable for pre-oiling but not for racing. It has a rapid discharge capability but a slow fill capability.

The best place to connect the Accusump oil line is at the spin on oil filter adapter. I had previously installed a replacement adapter for my remote oil filters and oil coolers as shown in the photo below.

If you don't have a remote oil filter then you'll need a spin on adapter that provides a connection to the block oil input port. I also installed a Moroso Racing check valve (on the left in the photo) that prevents the oil from the Accusump from flowing anywhere except into the block. Without the check valve, oil would flow backwards thru the oil coolers, the remote oil filter, the oil pump and into the oil pan.

Since I had previously removed my side steps I decided to mount the accumulator to the inner body underside. There were already two exterior trim mounting holes at the desired spacing and location. The frame rail is a sturdier alternative mounting location. I mounted the top of the brackets with hex head sheet metal screws and the bottom with black trim bolts and locknuts as shown below.

The Accusump instructions state that the accumulator can be mounted in any position but that mounting the oil end slightly higher than the air end will prevent air from accumulating in the oil side. I mounted mine horizontally. I decided if I periodically let all of the oil discharge from the accumulator prior to start up the piston would displace all of the air on the oil side. I can tell when all of the oil has discharged by watching the oil pressure rise and then drop after turning on the ignition.

Note: If the solenoid valve is closed (using the toggle switch) after discharge the oil pan will contain an excess of 3 quarts and foaming may occur. The accumulator should always be allowed to refill after engine start.
The ground strap lug shown in the photo below is convenient to utilize for the Accusump. I soldered a terminal lug to the solenoid ground wire and attached it to the frame rail.

There is also a body plug in a convenient location. Using pliers I carefully pulled the flexible plug down thru its opening. I then drilled a hole thru the plug for the other solenoid lead - do not try to punch a hole or the plug will tear. I ran the lead thru the plug with the larger diameter at the bottom instead of the top. I routed a stiff wire under the floor carpet pad to the opening and then used it to pull the solenoid lead to the desired interior location. I then pushed the plug with the solenoid wire into the opening as shown above. I wrapped the two solenoid wires with a spiral loom.

Accusump wiring & cover

I removed the center console and routed the wiring under the carpet up thru the console base. Then I soldered the toggle switch to the wiring.

The photo below shows the switch mounted in the center console in the enabled position.

I already had an ignition controlled power source from wiring my wideband air/fuel ratio meter. I merely connected to the source using a trailer type quick connect as shown below.

The other wire/connector is for data logging the analog output of the A/F ratio meter. I cable tied the wires together and tucked them out of the way between the bottom of the OBD-II port and the lower instrument panel.

I fabricated a protective cover and installed it.

When I turn the ignition switch to Run it only takes a few seconds for the Accusump to pressurize the engine as indicated by the oil pressure indicator and my pillar pod oil pressure gauge. Then I switch the ignition switch to Start.

water pump replacement

I noticed that coolant was running down the water pump to radiator hose and thought that maybe I had not tightened the hose clamps adequately after the timing chain repairs. After inspecting the pump from below using a strong flashlight I suspected that the water pump bearing was leaking instead of the hose. When I rocked the fan blades from front to back I detected some play in the water pump bearing so I decided to replace it. I already had the Ford specific tool for removing the fan clutch.

It's an awkward thing to use but the process would be very difficult without it.

Fantastic Write Ups!!

3 to 4 upshift flare

For more details see 5R55E shift saga

In November, 2010 I detected a slight upshift flare so I used my scanner to datalog various parameters. Analysis of the recorded data indicated that at 8 minutes and a transmission temperature of 110 degrees there was no detectable flare and the upshift time was 0.3 seconds. After 22 minutes and a transmission temperature of 152 degrees the upshift flare was 366 rpm and the shift time increased to 3.6 seconds. I detected no deterioration in the 1>2 or 2>3 shifts. The 5R55E external cooling opens when the torque converter ATF temperature exceeds 150 degrees.

There is a technical service bulletin regarding valve body separator plate gasket separation which frequently results in a 2 to 3 upshift flare. Even though my symptoms were different I decided I might have the same problem. The only transmission experience I have was to adjust the bands on a 1958 Jaguar XK-150 that I owned in 1968. However, because of the extremely helpful valve body forum threads I decided to investigate.

First I used the thread by KaiserM715http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1319743&postcount=117 to remove the cat heat shield.

Next I completely removed the driver side downpipe/cat assembly.

This is not mandatory since my 2WD oil pan is shallower than the 4WD oil pan but this was the first time I have removed the pan and I wanted good visibilty and access.

Then I removed the pan and filter. The photo below shows the four solenoids mounted on the valve body.

I pushed on the end of each solenoid with my finger and noticed that the TCC solenoid moved almost 0.25 inches. I found that I could loosen the bolt identified with the yellow arrow with my fingers. I also noticed that the solenoid mounting bracket was broken at the location identified by the red arrow.

While waiting for the ATF to drain from the transmission I tore apart the pan filter. One side is metal and the other side is plastic. I decided it would be easier to break the plastic than cut the metal. In other posts I expressed my opinion that changing the filter every 30,000 miles may be unnecessary because I doubted the effectiveness of the filter. After examining the filter material I have changed my mind. It is a dense, thick, strong material of substantial area that could eventually clog if not replaced after 50,000 to 75,000 miles. I still believe that an external full flow engine oil type filter (such as Mobil 1-301) will extend the life of the transmission by trapping very small particles that the internal filter won't.

After removing the valve body I determined that the separator plate gasket had blown out in the area of the reverse servo.

The gasket was also blown out near one of the shift solenoids (SSB).

I replaced the separator plate/gaskets with the new bonded separator plate from Ford. I also replaced the broken solenoid bracket with the improved one from Ford. I replaced the reverse servo gaskets with D ring gaskets from Transmission Parts USA. I did not replace any of the solenoids since their resistances all measured within specification.

When installing the valve body I was careful to engage the shift selector post with the manual shift valve detent.

I installed a new filter and the transmission pan using the old gasket. I used RTV between the gasket and the pan to keep it in place and help prevent leaks. Then I positioned the servo heat shield and installed the driver side down pipe/cat assembly. I connected the stock O2 sensor and the wideband A/F sensor and then lowered the vehicle after removing the jack stands. I put in three quarts of ATF and then started the engine. As the engine warmed I continued to add ATF until the level was up to normal. I performed a 30 minute test drive and the shifts were normal.

No forward or reverse

About a month after my valve body upgrade I started my Sport to run an errand and noticed it was slow to go into reverse. I assumed it was due to the outside temperature being about 35 degrees. The driveway is fairly level but the cul-de-sac has a slope. When I shifted from reverse to drive and let off the brake I started rolling backward toward the end of the cul-de-sac. I quickly shifted to reverse and cranked the wheel hard to back around the curve. I tried Drive again and revved the engine to about 2,000 rpm when 1st gear engaged hard but enough for me to pull into the driveway and garage.

Upon later investigation I learned that the ATF level was two quarts low and that fluid had leaked out where the external cooling hose connects to the external oil filter mount. Apparently the pressure in the external coolant path increased after upgrading the valve body. The path is only pressurized when the ATF in the torque converter exceeds 150 degrees which takes more than twenty minutes on a cold day.

I disconnected hose connections and unscrewed the leaking brass fitting. I applied high temperature thread sealer and reinstalled the fitting and connected the hoses. Then I added ATF to bring the level up to normal. That evening my wife and I drove thru downtown Greenville looking at Christmas decorations which took about an hour. The external ATF temperature gauge stayed at 155 degrees for the last thirty minutes of the drive. There were no leaks at the fitting or hose connections.

From this exercise I learned the importance of maintaining the ATF level in the normal operating range.

Local Ford dealer is telling me they no longer recommend changing the filter.... Just the fluid. Pretty Odd, after looking after your last post I have no idea why they wouldnt want to change the filter....

Particles in filter

Local Ford dealer is telling me they no longer recommend changing the filter.... Just the fluid. Pretty Odd, after looking after your last post I have no idea why they wouldnt want to change the filter....

All of the ATF pulled from the pan goes thru the filter. The photo below shows the filter after I cut open the felt.

The red arrow identifies the broken off piece of solenoid bracket. The blue arrows identify multiple pieces of blown out gasket. The gold arrows identify the larger fragments of what appears to be brass. All of the speckles in the upper and lower sections of the filter are brass particles. There is a magnetic strip in the pan to catch steel particles.

I was impressed with the OEM filter and went to Advance Auto and AutoZone to see if I could purchase something comparable. Both stores had similar products that were inferior to the Ford filter and gasket. The gasket was folded up that would make installation difficult and sealing questionable with no metal inserts to prevent crushing. The filter appeared to be of foam like material. I purchased a transmission filter kit from Ford which did not include the pan gasket so I reused the old one.

Fuel leak repair

The last week in May when I pulled into the driveway and shut off the engine I thought I smelled gas fumes. I opened the hood and the liftgate but it didn't smell stronger so I forgot about it. Several days later I drove out of my subdivision and at the first stop light I saw a man get out of his vehicle behind me and wave his hand and then point at the rear of my Sport. When the light changed I immediately pulled into a parking lot and walked to the rear of my vehicle. Gas was pouring out of the area in front of the tank. I was surprised I had enough fuel pressure to make it back to my home driveway. For those thinking about dual exhausts consider that my Sport might have caught on fire if the exhaust had been near the fuel leak. I didn't have time to investigate since I was late for a meeting. I did notice that when the ignition was off the fuel leak stopped. That afternoon I had a few minutes to check again. I visually inspected the fuel filter and it's connections hoping that might be the cause but they looked good.

It took me a couple of weeks to get my Volvo enough together to back it out of the garage and replace it with my Sport. I lost about a quart of fuel just running the engine long enough to drive the vehicle forward 20 feet. The gas was definitely pouring out above the fuel tank but I couldn't see the leak source.

I blocked the front wheels, raised the rear axle using my hydraulic floor jack and then positioned 6 ton jack stands under each side of the axle.

Being a safety fanatic I also positioned jack stands under the spring to axle mounts.

Next I disconnected the tank filler and vent hose clamps and hoses, and positioned the hoses to the side. Using two different diameter hoses I attempt to siphon fuel out of each opening but was unable to get a hose to drop to the bottom of the tank. I suspect the fuel pump assembly or a baffle was in the way. I covered the tank openings with aluminum foil wrapped with rubber bands to reduce vapor in the garage.

I noticed that the rear axle vent hose is broken off as shown in the photo.

I supported the fuel tank with scissor jacks and boards and loosened the tank strap bolt and the two front tank mounting bolts. Since the lines between the tank and the metal lines mounted to the chassis are flexible it is not necessary to disconnect any metal lines to lower the tank.

It is my experience with other vehicles that the flexible lines to the tank are normally nonreusable heat shrink tubing. With the tank lowered I could see the vent line was stock but that the fuel line had been replaced with an inferior item. The fuel line was SAE 30 R6 which has a rated working pressure of 50 psi and a burst pressure of 250 psi. My returnless fuel system usually has a pressure of about 62 psi and the hose eventually split.

I purchased 3 feet of 3/8 inch diameter SAE 30 R9 fuel injection hose at AutoZone with a rated working pressure of 100 psi and a burst pressure of 900 psi. I loosened the typical screw type hose clamps and cut the old hose from each end to the tubing flare to remove it. I cut the new hose to my desired length (about 27 inches), positioned fuel injection hose clamps on each metal tube and then struggled to get the new hose on the tubes past the flares. I tightened the hose clamps, waited over night and then tightened them again. Then I started the engine and checked for leaks. Since there were no leaks I raised the tank into position, tightened the tank strap bolt and front mounting bolts, installed the filler and vent tubes and clamps, and lowered the vehicle after removing the jack stands. My fuel gauge indicated about 1/8 full which means I lost about 3 gallons of fuel during the 3 mile trip I made when the leak was discovered.

Tedious oil change

Because of the sludge I found in my engine when replacing the timing chain components I've been running conventional oil, flushing the engine with Gunk and replacing the oil and filters every 1,000 miles. I decided that three times should be enough to clean the engine and it was time to switch back to full synthetic oil. Having a remote full flow filter and bypass filter and Accusump preoiler makes a complete oil/filter change a somewhat tedious process.

First I warmed up the engine, switched off the Accusump solenoid while the engine was still running, shut off the engine, added the Gunk engine flush and then idled the engine for five minutes and shut it off. I did not want engine flush to mix with the oil in the Accusump.

Next I activated the Accusump solenoid to force oil thru the lubrication system to push out the oil containing the flush.

I removed the oil pan drain plug and let the oil drain into a catch pan. While the oil was draining I removed the full flow and bypass filters. Since the Amsoil bypass filter is fairly expensive compared to the Mobil 1 full flow filter I decided to reuse it. So I drained all of the oil out of the bypass filter, refilled it with synthetic oil and installed it. I filled the new Mobil 1 filter with synthetic oil and installed it. The aftermarket external oil cooler is below the filters and must be disconnected to drain the oil left in the six pass cooler.

I decided not to drain it because of its small capacity.

Next I replaced the oil pan drain plug and added five quarts of Super Tech 5W30 full synthetic. I started the engine and watched for the oil pressure to come up - prefilling the oil filters reduces the time. Then I shut off the engine, added another 1.5 quarts of oil, opened the Accusump solenoid, and restarted the engine. The Accusump has a three quart capacity but holds less oil because of the presssurized air in the tank. Then I restarted the engine allowing the Accusump to fill, shut off the engine and added enough oil to bring the level to the suggested mark on the dipstick.

With full synthetic oil, the Mobil 1 full flow filter and the Amsoil bypass filter the oil only needs to be changed every 15,000 miles. I only drive my Sport about 3,000 miles a year so that would be 5 years. However, I plan to inspect the internals when I replace my knock sensor. If the engine looks clean then I'll replace the oil and filters in about a year. I'll consider using a more expensive synthetic oil - although I suspect WalMart's meets the specifications.

:thumbsup:I just read over your entire thread and man this is cool as hell, I wish I was smart enough to do all this lol. But seroiusly man NICE work!

Long range possibilities

I've abandoned my plan to replace my SOHC V6 with the 5.0L V8 for several reasons. I haven't found a suitable donor vehicle after looking for more than a year. It would involve two non-operational vehicles (my Sport and donor) for an extended period of time with potential confrontations with the neighborhood home owners association. V8 exhaust manifold improvements are expensive, of questionable availability, are more restrictive than optimum because of engine compartment space limitations, and complicate periodic maintenance (replacing spark plugs and wires). I have very limitied knowledge of the V8 but have gained considerable experience with the SOHC V6. I have two new sets of replacement timing chain cassettes and the OTC-6488 timing tool kit. The V8 takes up more engine compartment space than the V6 restricting modifications/enhancements.

I have come up with a list of long range possibilities - not necessarily in the order listed:

1. Engine cooler thermostat
2. Dual fire ignition
3. VIS intake manifold
4. Electric water pump
5. Electric cooling fan
6. Electric power steering pump
7. High output alternator
8. Racer Pro software package
9. Third generation intake manifold (eliminated due to supercharger selection)
10. High flow catalytic converters, mufflers, resonator and pipes
11. Forced induction (5 to 8 psi boost)

Serpentine belt

For the past several months there has been an irritating squeaking coming from my engine compartment. It eventually increased in volume enough that it echoed off nearby buildings as I drove by. I suspected it was a failing belt tensioner or idler bearing but was unable to locate it listening thru a length of flexible hose. Shining a light on an exposed area of the grooved side of the belt revealed age cracks so I purchased a new Dayco Poly Rib belt (5060868) from a local parts store. I removed the custom main intake hose/MAF sensor/cone air filter assembly to gain access to the belt tensioner.

Then I inserted a 3/8 inch socket drive into the tensioner and placed a cheater section of rigid conduit over the drive handle to release the belt tension and remove the belt. After comparing the length of the new belt to the old one (they were the same) I installed the new belt and intake assembly. I was pleased with the sqeak free idle upon engine start.

Edit: About a week after installing the new serpentine belt I detected another noise under the hood. It seemed to be coming from below the alternator. I removed the belt to check the pulley on the belt tensioner. It had considerable play so I replaced it.

Rear hatch striker repair

During the last year I have observed the deterioration of the plastic cylinder part of the rear hatch strikers. Eventually half was missing on both sides so I could not delay repair any longer.

I wanted to use something other than plastic so it would last a long time so I purchased 2 feet of rigid copper tubing, 1/2 inch diameter, type L from Lowe's. Type L is thicker than type M but still thinner than the original plastic cylinder. I used a T50 bit to remove the striker bolt and disassembled it.

The large diameter, thick washer is threaded and must be screwed off and on.
Then using a tubing cutter I cut a section of tubing slightly shorter than the length of the bolt collar.

That way when the bolt is tightened the tubing can still rotate freely. I reassembled the parts and installed on the vehicle.

It took a few repositioning tries to get the rear hatch to close easily but snugly enough to turn off the interior light. It only took about 30 minutes total to repair both sides and seems to work fine.

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Thermostatically controlled engine oil cooler

The winter of 2012-2013 was relatively mild in Upstate South Carolina but even so monitoring engine oil temperatures revealed that my engine oil cooler needed thermostatic control. When the oil continuously flows thru the cooler in the winter the oil temperature never reaches the optimum value.

I puchased a used (5 hours on a small block ford engine test setup) 215 degrees F Canton P/N 22-480 oil cooler thermostat via eBay for $120 plus $15 shipping. It came with -12 O ring to -8 AN male adapters on all ports. in order to make it fit I had to shift my remote filters and the engine oil cooler

toward the passenger side.

I drove for 35 minutes across town with the last 10 minutes in heavy traffic (ambient temperature 84 degrees F). In stop and go traffic the engine oil temperature only climbed to 185 degrees. As soon as my Sport got moving the temperature would drop. Under normal driving conditions in this climate I doubt an engine oil cooler is needed.