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Big White - Ford Racing Powerdyne Installation Thread

vroomzoomboom

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So yesterday I had a consultation with Kenny Brown. He was one of the guys that was modifying explorers the same time as Saleen and Steeda. I believe he was doing it before them.

He mentioned to me one of the things that they did was removing some springs from the transmission. He said he did this because it helped it shift better. Mentioned something about dropping the pan and a couple small springs that are behind some cup looking thing. He said those should be removed.

Since I’ve never been into one of the automatic transmissions anyone have an idea of what he is speaking about? What are the pros and cons of attempting this modification?

its called the "J-MOD"

 



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410Fortune

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I have removed the springs before.........you want to talk about harsh shifts!! SLAM

Better off just installing the valve body upgrades, then mess around with accumulator springs if you still want more
 






CDW6212R

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Ditto, the J'Mod is the right way to alter the shifting, but don't simply copy what others did for their Thunderbird etc. Each vehicle's trans has different calibrations than other models. Since all of the examples you can find will be for those popular 90's cars, I suggest being conservative with the holes drilled(make them on the small side).

There are two accumulator springs which are popular sellers on eBay etc. Those are for the 1/2 and 2/3 shift accumulators. I'd begin with those two, with new accumulator pistons at the same time, plus the nice Sonnax valve body items. Doing all of that and the few holes drilled bigger, that should be better shifting, and not really harsh.

IMO, leaving out certain VB springs is not the way to alter the 4R70W. I'd stick with the factory parts with upgrades from Sonnax etc, and the J'Mod if you make the time to research those holes sizes.
 






MuscleJunkie

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Thanks everyone for the info on the JMOD. Something I am going to look further into to determine the correct way to do this. I do not want the thing to slam in and out of gears - just want it to have an OEM high performance feel - think SRT Jeep shifting feel.... as much as you can with the 4R70W at least.

So another thing has become apparent during my shake down cruises.

So when I picked up the truck, I noticed somewhat of a coolant smell in the cabin. On a couple of occasions only during some more aggressive driving (with EATC system blowing) I noticed that the windshield has fogged up with some sort of film. Noticing this at night and on the 1st night it fogged up so bad could barely see.

Decided to do another shake down cruise last night to understand this better. Normal driving - everything seems fine. Doing some more aggressive driving at night - noticed (while HVAC system is operating) windshield fogged up again. Went home and cleaned it off and tested again. After about 5 minutes or so - did the same thing.

So during the upgrades, the radiator was replaced - new cooling tank was installed and my contour electric cooling fan solution was installed. HVAC was discharged and filled during supercharger install and also had intake off for installation of 1" spacer. Checked my operating coolant temps while driving and sitting and it is staying in the 180 - 190s range as expected. HVAC seems to be operating normally (hot and cold) There is sometimes some smell of coolant in cabin when 1st turning on HVAC.

No signs of leaks inside of engine bay and coolant tank and radiator levels are fine after about 400 miles or more of shake down testing.

Reading on the forum - saw some mentions of the heater core. Checked passenger side floor and firewall that I could - no dampness or signs of coolant there. No signs of coolant leaks on the garage floor.

Pretty sure the fogging of the windshield is some sort of coolant film - especially since I can occasionally smell it when starting up the HVAC.

Any ideas what could be happening here?
 






donalds

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Thanks everyone for the info on the JMOD. Something I am going to look further into to determine the correct way to do this. I do not want the thing to slam in and out of gears - just want it to have an OEM high performance feel - think SRT Jeep shifting feel.... as much as you can with the 4R70W at least.

So another thing has become apparent during my shake down cruises.

So when I picked up the truck, I noticed somewhat of a coolant smell in the cabin. On a couple of occasions only during some more aggressive driving (with EATC system blowing) I noticed that the windshield has fogged up with some sort of film. Noticing this at night and on the 1st night it fogged up so bad could barely see.

Decided to do another shake down cruise last night to understand this better. Normal driving - everything seems fine. Doing some more aggressive driving at night - noticed (while HVAC system is operating) windshield fogged up again. Went home and cleaned it off and tested again. After about 5 minutes or so - did the same thing.

So during the upgrades, the radiator was replaced - new cooling tank was installed and my contour electric cooling fan solution was installed. HVAC was discharged and filled during supercharger install and also had intake off for installation of 1" spacer. Checked my operating coolant temps while driving and sitting and it is staying in the 180 - 190s range as expected. HVAC seems to be operating normally (hot and cold) There is sometimes some smell of coolant in cabin when 1st turning on HVAC.

No signs of leaks inside of engine bay and coolant tank and radiator levels are fine after about 400 miles or more of shake down testing.

Reading on the forum - saw some mentions of the heater core. Checked passenger side floor and firewall that I could - no dampness or signs of coolant there. No signs of coolant leaks on the garage floor.

Pretty sure the fogging of the windshield is some sort of coolant film - especially since I can occasionally smell it when starting up the HVAC.

Any ideas what could be happening here?
I suggest a cooling system pressure test
This will find your leak
 






MuscleJunkie

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I suggest a cooling system pressure test
This will find your leak
Going to have it looked at today after lunch.

I hope its not the heater core. If it turns out to be - I feel that only Genuine Motorcraft parts way to go. Any idea where to get them. Anything else that should be changed out at the same time while it would be apart?
 






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Only way to get coolant film on the inside of your glass is a leak in the heater core
Likely a pin hole leak

Time to pull the dash
Use a good quality aluminum heater core, factory if you can find one. Dash is not as terrible to remove if you are familiar w these trucks, after you drop the steering column, unhook everything and remove the cluster and radio bezel there are like 8 screws that hold the whole dash in

Good time to service/fix/ check the blend door condition since you can look right at it and the actuator w dash out

Dealer charges $1200+ to change heater core
We are $500 in my shop and takes 1 day
When you only do explorers ans rangers you can get quite good at dropping the gen ii dash
 






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MuscleJunkie

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donalds

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MuscleJunkie

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So went back to the mechanic and appears to be definately the heater core. After some spirited driving (HVAC system off) and letting it to sit and idle for a bit - we noticed some light steam coming out of the dash side vent that blows air on the front passenger's window.

UGHHH..

So since all the dash is going to come out - what all else should I look to do/replace? Also was thinking of dynamat or other similar stuff on the firewall since I intend to do the rest of the truck in dynamat (or?) at some future date. What seems to be the best stuff like that to use these days and all where can it be applied - I have never seen the dash removed in one of these trucks. Is this a good idea or waste of time??

Also saw this TSB regarding heater core leaks. Does this apply and what does anyone know about the restrictor? Good idea or ?? https://latemodel.cachefly.net/downloads/tsb05-14/tsb06-21-19.pdf
 






CDW6212R

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The blend door is the one thing I'd do with the dash out. You can do it without cutting into the heater box like when the dash is in place. My latest 98 some idiot cut into the front vertical wall of the heater box. That lets you reach the blend door, but you cannot change it or fix it in place. I'm planning to finish mine Sunday, I cut the hole in the bottom, but didn't have time to diagnose the actuator yet(doesn't work).

The heater core is smart to buy the best one, it's not something you want to be replacing again. The sound deadening material you can place anywhere, but nobody puts it behind the dash, just run it up to it.

FYI, does your truck have the insulation on the outside firewall? Many trucks didn't have that, maybe most. That's really good to reduce noises and heat.
 






MuscleJunkie

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The blend door is the one thing I'd do with the dash out. You can do it without cutting into the heater box like when the dash is in place. My latest 98 some idiot cut into the front vertical wall of the heater box. That lets you reach the blend door, but you cannot change it or fix it in place. I'm planning to finish mine Sunday, I cut the hole in the bottom, but didn't have time to diagnose the actuator yet(doesn't work).

The heater core is smart to buy the best one, it's not something you want to be replacing again. The sound deadening material you can place anywhere, but nobody puts it behind the dash, just run it up to it.

FYI, does your truck have the insulation on the outside firewall? Many trucks didn't have that, maybe most. That's really good to reduce noises and heat.
Don no insulation on the outside of the firewall that I have ever seen. So today I noticed a small damp spot on the driveway after parking the truck for a couple hours and it felt slick. Went under the hood and found this little pipe that comes through the firewall which appears to be the source of the dripping coolant

By the way I remember seeing a page where some guy is selling a metal blend door saying that it would last forever. A little pricey but has anybody ever used it and should I consider getting it or just going with a new Motorcraft replacement?


As far as the heater core I ordered the Motorcraft replacement part
Heater Core - Ford (H2MZ18476AC)

Should this be good enough?

E7D6565E-0254-46DE-A338-FBD8BF868C12.jpeg
 






410Fortune

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Hard to see in the pic what you are showing
You for sure have a heater core
Leak no getting around it

With the dash out there is still a ton of crap bolted to the firewall like the whole hvac system so no way to run dynamat up there

The weak part of the blend door is the axle “shaft” that the blend door rides on, it will crack and split allowing the actuator to just spin without moving the door

By 99-01 they seem to have gotten stronger we have less issues with those years
The dorman replacement blend door is pretty strong
If it ain’t broke when you get to inspect it then leave it alone! Remove the actuator and have a look at the top of the axle shaft. No cracks and the door opens and closes easily then leave it
Good idea to open up the actuator and check the condition of the gears
Also you can remove the back screw and just leave it out that way if door repair or actuator fix is needed much easier to do.
I too have a special small ratchet I use to access that back screw, but that third screw is just not needed so no need to mess with it
 






MuscleJunkie

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Hard to see in the pic what you are showing
You for sure have a heater core
Leak no getting around it

With the dash out there is still a ton of crap bolted to the firewall like the whole hvac system so no way to run dynamat up there

The weak part of the blend door is the axle “shaft” that the blend door rides on, it will crack and split allowing the actuator to just spin without moving the door

By 99-01 they seem to have gotten stronger we have less issues with those years
The dorman replacement blend door is pretty strong
If it ain’t broke when you get to inspect it then leave it alone! Remove the actuator and have a look at the top of the axle shaft. No cracks and the door opens and closes easily then leave it
Good idea to open up the actuator and check the condition of the gears
Also you can remove the back screw and just leave it out that way if door repair or actuator fix is needed much easier to do.
I too have a special small ratchet I use to access that back screw, but that third screw is just not needed so no need to mess with it
So in this pic (circled in red) is a tube that comes out of the firewall. Felt the liquid that seems to be very slightly dripping or oozing out of it and it feels slick - same as the small damp spot I felt on the driveway after driving the truck and the windows fogged up with the coolant film.

So the replacement of the blend door I thought of is this - Ford Explorer '95-'02

Looking at his video - it appears that the later Explorers (such as my 2000) they did away with the screws and went with friction clips for the Actuator? Is this true? I also read someone say that the later Explorers improved on the blend door design so maybe I'll take your advice and just check and only replace if necessary.

When opening up the actuator - if gears show issues - what would be a good long lasting replacement. I'd rather not have to do this again. I'll most likely have this truck for many many years to come or at least save the next person who might get it from me any troubles.

E7D6565E-0254-46DE-A338-FBD8BF868C12.jpeg
 












410Fortune

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Condensation drain
In your case it’s a coolant drain since the heater core
Is leaky leaky

I’ll check my pc for pics of dash removed I have pics of about 100 trucks on there and I am not sure I ever snapped pics of a gen ii with the dash out
 






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The link I posted above shows a step by step removal process and behind the dash
youtube.com/playlist?list=PLXL9dC16g8a9K--oQmGUoss9KzQjOtDAR
 






MuscleJunkie

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I mentioned this TSB regarding a heater core restrictor. Does this apply and what does anyone know about the restrictor? Good idea or ??
 

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MuscleJunkie

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The link I posted above shows a step by step removal process and behind the dash
youtube.com/playlist?list=PLXL9dC16g8a9K--oQmGUoss9KzQjOtDAR
Thank You!
 






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