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How to: ecoboost_xsport consolidated build/maintenance thread

Prefix for threads which are instructional.
Weighed Vehicle

So for years I wanted to easily be able to weigh my project cars...accurately. I've done the recycle yard scale thing, but I always felt it was too vague. Not that it doesn't work or that it isn't a viable option, I'm just looking for more accuracy and easier access to it. So...step into the ProForm 7000 pound Slim Wireless Vehicle Weighing System

ProForm 7,000lb Scale

I got it for what I felt was a decent price. Who knows, maybe I can start charging a few bucks a pop at car meets for people to weigh their cars and make some of my money back, LOL...

Anyway, here's the case it comes in. It has rollers and all:

Inside of the case:

Weighing the vehicle:


And as of April 18, 2020, here's the weight:

Pretty awesome...I'll update from time to time as I do weight changes. But now I can input my accurate vehicle weight into various apps that use it for calculations.

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PTU Improvements Part 01

Original Post: HOW-TO: 3.5L EcoBoost PTU Build Thread

So, this is my attempt at doing what little we can to improve the PTU with what is currently available. I’d also like to make it a resource for those of you looking for detailed photos of the latest version of our PTUs (which has the cooler). I’ve completely torn down the PTU, and sourced all brand-new seals for it. I will keep the photos at max resolution so apologies for their size, but some may find it helpful.

In this photo, looks like the vehicle is beginning to experience some of those dreaded PTU failure symptoms. Last time I was underneath the truck, I saw quite a bit of oil covering the body of the PTU, and soaking the portion of the exhaust that sits underneath it. It hasn’t failed, in that I don’t have any drive-ability issues yet, but it is coming I’m sure. I will say, that I have NOT been proactive with changing of the fluid. Not because I’m lazy but because I was not aware of the PTU issues until very recently. Call it my ignorance on it, but regardless, I’m glad I caught it when I did. It’s a 2015 with just a hair over 30K miles on it. I don’t drive it much, believe it or not, this is pretty much my dedicated project car.


Anyway, being the consummate prepper that I am, and wanting to keep downtime to a minimum, I went and purchased a brand new one before I am even taking the old one out.

Ford Part Number: DG1Z-7251-F

My punch list for things I want to accomplish with this:
  • Change drain plug to bottom of case in order to ensure complete drainage of fluid when performing oil changes.
  • Extend hose from vent to top of engine bay to facilitate future oil changes and fills.
  • Send all gears and cast components to receive WPC treatment (WPC Treatment).
  • Send all gears, cast components, bearings and case to receive cryogenic treatment (Nitrofreeze).
  • If possible, research possible higher quality bearings to replace existing ones.
  • Apply gold metallic radiant heat reflection material to outside of case.







Now I want to say, I truly believe if you have an older SHO/Flex/XSport that doesn’t have this cooler, you COULD make this version with the cooler work. It would take some effort, but I am certain it could be accomplished. You’d have to buy the hose:

Ford Part Number: BB5Z-8A519-G


Then run your lines through an aftermarket pump and heat exchanger of some sort. It would be a pretty trick setup if done right.

And for those of you wanting to do just that and get REALLY fancy by using the included temperature probe to wire up to the pump or some sort of temp gauge, I think I did some of the legwork for you on giving you some data on the output of that probe and how it correlates to temperature. I figured since I have it off and I have the tools to do this, I’d pass this onto you guys. What I did was use two of my Fluke meters, using one that has temp reading capability with a probe end right next to the actual probe itself, and use the other meter to read the resistance output of the probe at various temperatures. I created those various temps using ice water then boiled water. Dipping the end of the probe into the liquids and taking temp recordings at various intervals. Here is a simple spreadsheet showing the results. This may help those interested in the scaling of this particular temp sending unit:


As I disassembled it, here is what the cooler actually looks like. It isn’t very complex, I wonder if there is any way to improve it:




So, before I started complete disassembly, I ordered a replacement for every single seal, gasket or one-time-use part as I wasn’t sure how much I would destroy trying to take them apart. Below is a list of all the Ford Part Numbers you will need as far as seals or seal kits go:

  • 7T4Z-7086-A (Qty: 1)
  • 7E5Z-7H469-C (Qty: 2)
  • DB5Z-7275-E (Qty: 1)
  • GB5Z-7275-A (Qty: 1)
  • 7T4Z-7R284-A (Qty: 1)
This does NOT include replacement of the cooler medium. The edges of it are rubber, but it was in good shape and I couldn’t find the part number anyway.

Here’s a bag of all the old seals after being removed. The stuff in this bag will be thrown away, but not until it’s all done, LOL:


When you take it apart, make sure you have some sort of catch for the oil that will come out, as it comes filled from Ford. I have a large oil drip cookie sheet that I was working on. Worked great! BTW, I forgot how much I hate the smell of gear oil…

When you finally get it apart, you will find it somewhat difficult to remove the gears from the side of the case. In order to remove them, you will have to basically destroy the white end seal/plastic cover that is pressed onto the end of one of the gears. Make sure you get a new one, but once you do, don’t be afraid to just break it, it’s hard plastic. Once it is off, the gears will all come out one after the other.



I just used an air impact to remove the nut off the end of the pinion gear. That nut will be replaced and is included in the new parts kits. Be advised, many of the seals will have to be destroyed when removing them.

I decided to remove all the seals as I wasn’t sure if my disassembly would damage them at all and, more importantly, they may not survive the cryo process. So, when I send all the parts to cryo, they will be disassembled bare metal.

PTU Improvements Part 02







As for the bearings. My goal is to try and source some higher quality ones, if they exist. I imagine Ford made some specifications for bearings they needed, then sent out the contract for the lowest bidder to meet those specs. Most of the bearings are Iljin, whom I’ve never heard of, but looks to be a Korean company. I’ve found some in-depth documentation on some of their bearings but so far, nothing about the ones within the PTU specifically. I’m hoping to find some equivalent or better versions via Timkin or Torrington, maybe some SKFs. I removed as many of the bearings as I could:


The only one I cannot remove was the one behind the pinion gear head. It sits in a recessed pocket and no puller can get behind it without destroying the bearing cage. Even though I will begin the process of looking for better grade bearings, I didn’t want to risk destroying this one as it may end up being a unicorn bearing and not easily sourced/replaced.

ASSISTANCE FROM FORUM MEMBERS: If anybody has an old PTU that they replaced laying around and can take it apart and either send me the pinion gear with the bearing on it or feels like removing it (even if it’s destroyed) and tell me what the part number is, I can better research it. For some reason, of all the bearings in this PTU, the parts numbers are not showing on the visible end. I think they are on the backside.


ASSISTANCE FROM FORUM MEMBERS: Although I have some good resources for locating bearings, I am always open to “crowd-sourcing” this task. If any of you guys have a good bearing “guy”, here are some of the bearing numbers:







Anyway, here are all the parts I’ll be sending to WPC:


I spoke with one of their reps regarding having parts with bearings still pressed onto shafts. Their response was, although they recommend removal of all roller/ball bearings, they CAN still apply the WPC treatment, but it is absolutely imperative that a very extensive and thorough cleaning job be accomplished on the bearing prior to installation. They do ultrasonic cleaning, so it should be pretty good, but I also have a high-quality industrial grade parts washer I will put all the parts through as well once they come back.

PTU Improvements Part 03

The cryo treatment will be performed after the WPC treatment and I will include every metal component I can for that one. It will be sent over un-assembled except I will re-press all the bearings back onto their respective location. I use a bearing heater prior to pressing them on (it gets pretty damn hot) and don’t want that to cancel out any gain provided by the cryo treatment in doing so. I will do final assembly and seal installation after it all comes back home. There is no case gasket but looks like they used something similar to Yamabond, which I’ve used successfully to seal Harley Davidson Twin Cam cases. It should work fine in this instance as well. Then fill it with some Amsoil Severe Gear Oil:


And finally, the piece-de-resistance, the reflective material.


My heart tells me this is snake oil, but my brain tells me that the logic behind it is sound. I figured, what the hell, what harm can it do. It really only works to reflect radiant heat, so not sure how effective it is in the real world, especially where I will be putting it. Anyway, just doing every small thing possible to keep this thing cool, which is really the true killer of this thing.

I know it’s been said that regular oil changes can keep this thing alive, but figured I’d try a few additional steps.

So, right now, I’m getting ready to pack the parts up for the WPC treatment. As I proceed with the PTU build, I’ll post updates…


UPDATE 01: Internals back from WPC. Now to press the bearings back on and off to cryo...


UPDATE 02: I know the idea of using a small reservoir was being thrown around and that gave me an idea. I had this thing laying around and it was originally going to be used for my meth tank to be filled remotely. I got it from ProMeth. I've since gone to a different meth tank and never used this but it looks perfect for what will be done:


I am also about to extend that vent hose, but...PLOT TWIST...will NOT be connecting it to the reservoir. I'm just going to extend it up higher, just to be higher, LOL. But what I WILL be doing is....drilling for another hose fitting. After reading about how long it can take to get the fluid down the vent hose. I figured the air is just fighting you, but if there was another would be WAY easier. Not only that, but the hose fitting at the bottom of that reservoir allows for a slightly larger hose to be used. I'm going with 1/2" on it. with a 1/2" hose barb fitting.

This photo shows me mocking up where it will go, but that isn't the actual fitting I will use, the actual one will be smaller and stainless...


See...plenty of room inside the PTU for it:

Anyway, should facilitate fluid changes more easy. I'll update when I get closer.

To Be Continued...

Tablet Installation For Torque Pro Gauge Display

Original Post: How to: - HOW-TO: Tablet Installation For Torque Pro Gauge Display

This is one, strangely, that I've had tons of people ask me about whenever I drop by car meets or shows. I wanted a good compact way to showcase some of the telemetry that is possible with an OBDII reader and the Torque Pro app. Figured I'd do a write-up on it in case anyone else was interested, but all-in, it got pricey pretty cost benefit analysis isn't really in my favor, LOL. But it looks great, right?


Although the SCT Livewire I have is capable of some gauge readouts, I liked the format and customization of Torque Pro. Just pay for the Pro version, BTW. Its way more potent. Anyway, I didn't want to use my phone as 1) it would be too small and 2) I didn't want to tie up my phone while driving. I wanted a dedicated screen for it.

I really like Torque for this purpose. You can read many of the PIDs the vehicle sends and also create your own "gauges" and telemetry based on calculating values from various sensors. For instance I use it to calculate Boost Air Density (BAD) from Manifold Air Density (MAD) and Ambient Air Density (AAD) (side note: still trying to nail down if the results I'm getting are accurate, work in progress for sure).

The app does have some limitations and I don't use it for legit datalogging I need to do for tuning purposes. For that I use the SCT device and a laptop.



That mount is created from a few separate pieces from various vendors. I got the actual vehicle mount from ProClip USA as well as a 15 degree wedge to give it that angle toward the driver's view.


I use the RokForm system on every vehicle, motorcycle, work truck and bicycle I own, which makes it easy to interchange, mainly my phone, between the various modes of transportation I use. I wanted to keep the theme with this device. I like the RokForm system as it looks less obtrusive than gripping hands around an object. And it's VERY sturdy.

So I tried the RokForm perch mount and it worked perfectly. What's nice about this is, I can remove it to get the device out of the sun, or when parked at the mall or somewhere i don't want prying eyes to see it.

Also, whenever I have a device that doesn't have dedicated RokForm case, I use their universal adapter, and that was the case with the tablet I am using:

Here's everything installed:

As you see in the pic, I broke one of the tabs off taking the tablet off too quick one day. I've since fixed it as the RokForm stuff is completely rebuild-able.

The screws I used for the perch are some countersink wood screws, as the hardware that came with it are machine screws. The 15 degree wedge is made from plastic that is meant to have wood/plastic screws form threads into it.

For the tablet, I went with a 7" Galaxy Tab A. It was the right size and cheapest priced tablet I could find:

Here's the back of the tablet combined with the universal Rokform mount:

And to ensure I was always getting power to this thing and not having cords laying across the dash, I hard wired a USB Kit I got from Amazon. I ran it behind the dash and tapped into the in-cabin fuse box that feeds 12VDC constantly using a multi-fuse tap adapter from Amazon. The fuses in that box are low-profile mini fuses but a low-profile tap adapter doesn't fit in that location, so had to use a normal mini tap adapter and use normal mini fuses in the tap adapter.



In this model, the F6 fuse slot is an unused 5A hot-at-all times slot, so it was a good place to get 12VDC so that it could receive power even when the vehicle is off.

A good side view of the setup:

And lastly, the OBDII sender:

There's a lot of variants out there, but the OBDLink version is probably one of the better ones. Some of the cheap knock offs don't work right or only read either the low or high side CAN. I just went with the better one.

Just bluetooth to it, open up Torque Pro and you're off to the races! I love the gauge setups and all the various things that can be read.

So as I mentioned, by the time I was done, it got REALLY pricey. I don't think I've done this yet as it would scare me, but I'll do the math for you guys:

  • ProClip Mount = $30
  • ProClip Wedge = $12
  • RokForm Perch Mount = $100
  • RokForm Universal Adapter = $20
  • Galaxy Tab A Tablet = $200
  • USB Hardwire Kit = $13
  • OBDLinkMX = $80 comes to ~$450 for a custom gauge setup. TBH, I've used the tablet for a lot more. I've used FORSCANLite on it, I've used it to record dB readings in the cabin, it's served some good uses and all-in-all I'm pretty happy with it.

BBK 70mm Throttle Body Improvement

Original Post: My 30 minute mod for the evening...BBK 70mm TB

So @FiveLeeter918 at Ortiz Performance hooked me up on a VERY quickly shipped BBK 70mm throttle body (yes, it IS from 1 2005-2010 V6 Mustang). Been thinking bout this mod but was never 100% sure it fit until I came here. Anyway, got it and test fit it to the IM I have sitting on the bench.

Although it is an awesome piece, there were two small details my OCD had issues with. 1) I'll be porting the IM just that small bit to get it to match the TB, but have some concerns about how close it comes to the ring-style gasket groove if I do that and 2) the bolt holes where a bit larger than the hardware and just fit very sloppy. If you ever wanted it dead-nuts centered, you'd kinda have to eyeball it and tighten it down. Well, I figured I'd address issue #2.

I had some 5/16" OD 304 stainless tubing laying around and decided to see if there was any sort of "dowel" setup I could do. Lucky for me, the holes in the TB are EXACTLY 5/16". The OD of the tubing was snug (insert joke here). And the ID for the hardware perfect. So only problem was...the recessed holes in the IM weren't 5/16". Well, tubing was easy, measured what I needed and cut a few pieces on the lathe (you only need 2 to center). Unfortunately, the IM doesn't lend itself to be easily mounted on a table for a mill, so I had to do this one by hand...just took a 5/16" drill bit and sunk it in about 1/4"-3/8" deep.

Slapped the dowels in place, and fit is perfection. No movement whatsoever, centered exactly to the opening of the IM (which I will now port to match) and all this with some extra tubing laying around and a quick turn of the lathe and some careful drilling. Viola!







BBK 70mm vs stock. Stock is 65mm, for those who were wondering.


Custom Exhaust Completed Part 01

Original Post: Finally, custom exhaust complete...time to show it off...

I pretty much went straight pipe all the way back. No cats, no mufflers, no resonators, only an x-pipe. Results are interesting and I'll be running it through its paces to see how it does, power-wise. I am finally able to get away from the last bit of @Livernois parts I had on this car (full turboback system), or should I say re-branded Corsa system, LOL.

A guy named Alex Gutierrez who has a shop named Big Head Motorsports. Super talented welder. Only online presence he has is IG, check him out at Big Head Cars. He does a lot of high end drag race stuff. And his shop is 3 minutes from my house...that was sweet! I'm going to tag him to do a lot of my future work, i.e., turbo manifolds, IC end tanks (since no one makes any IC for the platform), and maybe something trick with the intake system.

It's 3" all the way to a set of 3" bellows, then transitions to 2.5". There's an x-pipe right after the bellows and then out to the back and ends up with a 4" tip. Used 321 stainless on the test pipes as it retains heat better than 304 stainless, thus making the need for ceramic coating unnecessary. The system is 304SS for everything past the bellows.

But make no mistake, this thing is pretty loud. However, drone is non-existent at cruising speeds, it isn't raspy at all and has a good bass and tone to it. It's just LOUD when you step on it, lol. Which I don't mind so much.

Anyway, the quality of workmanship is out of this world. It's built for performance and maintenance will be easy with all the v-band clamps used instead of slip-fits and flange joints.


















Custom Exhaust Completed Part 02








Some sound comparison videos:

Corsa exhaust note, cold start idle:

Corsa exhaust note, driving:

BHC exhaust note, cold start idle:

BHC exhaust note, driving:

I used a GoPro Hero6 Black utilizing the on-board microphone and mounted to the vehicle here:

For the telemetry, I used the Torque Pro app and used a screen recording app on a small tablet. Editing of the videos was done only to get sound from the GoPro to sync with the video of the tablet.

Bilstein B6 Shocks And Struts Installation

So, at the time of this write-up, the highest performance shocks/struts available for the Explorer platform are the Bilstein B6 model line. It is a step up from the Bilstein B4, which is their OEM replacement line.

I finally got them installed after a nearly 6 month wait for one last front strut. Seems there was a shortage nationwide as deliveries from Germany had been delayed, likely due to the early COVID restrictions. I had ordered them through Summit mid-December of 2019 and got the last strut (PN: 22-266620) beginning of June 2020, but seems that everyone was out at the time.

Anyway, it's a pretty straight forward installation so didn't get too many photos. I started with the rears.

Removed top bolt of rear strut assembly. Just have to pop of the plastic pieces on the top of the rear wheel "hump" of the interior. And this will be exposed:

Used these tools to remove it:

Then remove the bottom bolt from the knuckle:

Purchased all new rubber pieces from Ford so that everything going in would be brand new:


Used the Bilstein bumpstops that came with the shocks:


Installation is just reverse of removal. Finished install:

Fronts were pretty simple. I have a spring compressor so that helps. I purchased brand new hats from Ford for the fronts as well as the rubber spring seat. Just wanted everything to go in new.

Finished install:


Weight Reduction: Aftermarket Wheels v2.0

There was always a small bug in me that had issues with my TE-37s. Not bad, but it was nagging...enough that I finally decided to act on it. Keep in mind, they looked GREAT and where lightweight! What more could you want? So, fast forward about 2 years and I decided to act on it.

I made a change that I'm sure most will find perplexing. I wanted NEW wheels! This is completely irrelevant to the performance, but I was always unhappy about how it "looked"...I think the current vernacular is it's "stance", LOL. It always bothered me that I had to use those spacers and I STILL felt like I wanted more of a concave appearance. When I was shopping for the TE-37s, at the time, they offered them in 20x11s but I had opted for the 20x10s as I wasn't sure they would fit. Well, I wish I had gone 20x11 as I now know the will fit.

When I decided to pull the trigger, I went back to the Ray's Engineering website in order to do some more research. The 20x10 was offered in their "Face3/S" concave appearance, while the 20x11 was offered in the "Face4/L" variant with additional offset. Face4 was their most aggressive concave construction:

Come to find out, Volk no longer makes these wheels in that size. They had been discontinued about a year prior. I was out of luck. The TE-37s definitely were my favorites and I should've pulled the trigger on those back when I initially made the purchase. So what do I do now?

Enter Yokohama Advan. Another reputable tuner wheel that offers lightweight and stylish, aggressive offset racing wheels. I started looking around and the only one that came close to attracting my attention was their Advan GT Premium wheels. I love the simple 5-spoke design and the aggressive concave appearance.

I wasn't 100% sold on the bright racing gold color, but was the closest I could get to the original look of the TE-37s. They no longer offered the Dark Bronze, despite it still showing on their page. I went with the 15mm offset so I didn't need to use any spacers anymore.

After a long 14-week wait while they shipped from Japan, I finally got them in:

And I REALLY, REALLY like them:



So how much do they weigh? Well turns out, despite them being a larger wheel than the TE-37, they are actually 2 lbs lighter! Winning!


FYI, that block of wood weighed 6.5lbs, so I'm subtracting that to get the final weight. Had to use it to get the wheel to sit on my mailing scale, LOL.

Now...for tires. I'm pretty bummed about this part. I went with some Hankook Ventus ST tires again as they are the only ones that had a size I thought would work: 295/45-20. Not to many tire companies make that size, and TBH, it isn't ideal. The tire diameter is now 30.5" vs stock 30.0". The 275/45-20 I had before gave me a 29.7" diameter. The objective for me was to stick as close as I can to stock OD, but if I had to change, going slightly under would be preferred as it is an effective way to change gear ratio slightly. I've now gone in the other direction. And to make matters worse...

The weight I saved on the wheel was eclipsed by the now-heavier tire...38lbs:

I gained ~3lbs by switching to the new wheel/tire combo! Not winning!:

So, mounted, balanced and riding around, the car is fine, no rubbing at all. I added the tirestickers again and I actually like the "stance" way better:



There is visibly less wheel well gap and ride height. Who would think 1/2" taller tire could look so different. I will say, I get WAY more looks and snapped-necks with these wheels than I ever did with the TE-37s.

I'm just not 100% happy with the tires (weight). So, I'm still searching for a better one. My dream tires would be a set of Nitto NT05R, but they don't make a size I can use (or WANT to use, is a better way of putting it). To open up my options, I've recently been entertaining the idea of going with some 305/40-20s that will bring me closer to a diameter I had with the TE-37s, but I'm curious if I'm playing with fire as far as rubbing issues. I've seen that the ContiSportContact 5P tires come in that size, are grippier than the Hankooks and, from what I've seen online, weigh 35lbs. That would put me right back at the ~58lbs I had with the Volks and bring my OD down closer to OEM as they are a hair shorter than the 295/45-20s...

I'm also liking what I'm reading about the Pirelli P Zero (Porsche Edition).

...but I really, really want drag radials...LOL. 305/35-20s are just too small and nobody makes a taller drag radial. Anyway, the car is ever evolving...

Weight Reduction Running Tally: ~256.0 lbs

Intake Manifold Coolant Pipe Insulation

So about a year ago I went to the drag strip and was racing my Explorer. There was another guy there with one who was also racing his. We obviously started talking and I noticed he was always spraying down underneath the intake manifold with ice water after and before a run. This was when I was still a noob, LOL. He told me there is a coolant pipe that the intake manifold straddles and just bakes that manifold in heat. I was surprised and intrigued and decided to do something a little better about it.

I went to Tasca Parts and bought a new pipe to keep downtime to a minimum as I already had purchased a new intake manifold for my direct port meth kit I was going to install. So when I got the pipe in, first thing I did was send it off to Jet Hot Coatings to get a ceramic coating treatment:

I was advised by Jet Hot that their classic polish would accomplish what I'm after better than any of their other offerings based on what it was being used for.

Well, I thought I had done the pinnacle in heat management, but boy was I wrong. After seeing a post by @MrHighCaliber of the SHO forums, I was impressed by the steps he took to mitigate the heat from this hot coolant pipe. So much so, that I had to copy him, so all credit goes to him for this one.

Got some 1" rubber pipe insulation from Home Depot.

You have to get the rubber, not the foam, it won't hold up to the heat. Well one step further it was wrapped in some metal heat tape. I had some of that fancy gold stuff from DEI laying around so I decided to use that for me:

So, FYI, there is a technique to wrapping pipe with heat tape. You can't just do it continuoulsy. I made that mistake and it looked like ****. The secret is cutting it into strips. I watched this video and it all made sense to me. And looks great. Tedious but worth it...


Installed onto the manifold:

And finally on the engine!

I did no real datalogging before this and I've done so many other mods at thee same time I did this, there's no real way for me to say how well, if at all, it's gonna work. But logic says it will at least do something, LOL. And that's enough for me. Plus it looks kinda cool.

In-Cabin LPFP Access For DW300c Part 01

Original Post: LPFP hanger assembly access for DW300c Fuel Pump install

So I was really dreading installing the fuel hanger that had installed the DW300c into.

Reason being...I was dreading dropping the fuel tank as we don't have top access from within the vehicle. This would mean taking the driveshaft down, removing the exhaust, removing the filler neck, all kinds of lines, etc. As some of you know, I hang out on the SHO forums alot and posed the question to see what those guys had to do for any pointers before I tackle the task. They all proceeded to tell me they have in-car access from a plastic cover under the rear seat...ugh...I got jealous, LOL.

Anyway, I decided to say "&^%$ it!" and see what can be done from the top. I took the seat out, cut back the carpet and found a small hole with a rubber grommet near where the fuel hanger would be. I used my boroscope to see what was under it and see what was in the way. Well, nothing was! So I made an larger exploratory 2.5" hole that I could easily cap off with a rubber plug I had laying around if I had to abort.




So after closer inspection, I noticed there was parts of the body that are required for the actual structure, but there looked to be a small window I could make to access the fuel hanger without effecting any of the structural integrity. It would be an odd shape, but it was a flat area that I could easily make a cover plate for when I was done. Sooooo, I decided to just commit...full send baby!!!


Here's the cutting tools you should try to use. I would NOT use a cut off wheel as it creates sparks and I am not sure how the fuel vapors are in that vicinity:

Initial rough cut:

Edges sanded and deburred, old hanger cleaned:

Carpet cleaned and trimmed:

WeatherTech mat covering hole, to see how obvious it might when I would get finished:

Well, Now I just would have to make a cover plate, which will have integrated gussets for added rigidity and a rubber gasket to seal it up. I'll drill and install some rivet nuts and this thing should be super easy to access in the future should I need to!

So latest update: I installed the new fuel hanger from this access hatch. OMG, it was awesome how easy it was to get to. Didn't take a pic of the finished install as it looks exactly like the OEM hanger, LOL. Oh and I used a new hanger o-ring too!

Cardboard template of the cover I will cut on the shears I have at work:



Cut the new plate from 8Ga aluminum plate...pretty thick stuff, won't be putting the indents in as this is way thicker than the sheet metal body.


Comparison of aluminum plate to template:

Rough sanded and filed edges:

Fine sanded and polished edges with finished top/bottom:

Mocked into vehicle:

In-Cabin LPFP Access For DW300c Part 02

Gasket cut/sized: Just need to identify where to place the hardware holes...



Center punch panel bolt holes:

Pilot holes drilled:

Transferred hole locations to gasket:

Holes punched into gasket (yes to the Crocs!):

Rivet nutt holes drilled in body:

Rivet nuts installed:

Had some DynaMat laying around..helps a bit with sound deadening

Panel installed:

Hardware used:

Seat installed:

Easy access when needed!!:

MevoTech Front Tie Rod Install

So, if you're anything like me, you sometimes enjoy putting upgraded parts (whether go-fast or OEM-improvements) on your vehicle "just cuz" (and I guess if finances allow for it). Here may be one of those parts. Mevotech TTX line of parts, specifically the outer tie rod. The TTX (Terrain Tough) line is supposed to be their super tough, best engineered line of parts, as they do offer a standard OEM replacement level as well.

I saw these being newly introduced for the XSport from the Explorer forums and, even though nothing is currently wrong with the OEM ones I have now, I am in the middle of some suspension upgrades and figured, if I'm ever gonna do it, now would be the time. Got me thinking about my SHO brothers and how it would fit. Turns out the parts are different between the 2 platforms, but...they do carry an SHO version...

Anyway, just figured I'd share this with you guys if you don't know and may be interested in them. Not sure what your opinion is of the brand, but they seem worth taking a look at. They appear pretty well built (although the package does say Made in China) and I do like how they are serviceable. Rock Auto had em the cheapest for the XSport at right under $32 each, but looks like the SHO version is more like $47 a piece.



Rock Auto

Top View Comparison:

Side View Comparison:

Before Installation:

Removing the tie rod wasn't too hard in my case, but I know in some environments or if it's very old, they can get pretty stuck. I just hit the top of the threaded stud down with a small-handled 4-pound sledge and it came right out of the knuckle.

After Installation:

Now...for an alignment!

RDU Maintenance And Plug Install

Drilled drain plug and filled unit with some Amsoil 80W90 Severe Gear oil:

Service manual calls for 1.22 qts (39 ozs), so had to use a little from a second one. But had to get rid of this silly hanger first:


Smooth the location of the plug:

Drilled (technically drill size "R", but closest fractional size is 21/64") then tapped for 1/8-27 NPT:

I was gonna go with the magnetic NPT drain plug, but I don't like the idea of constantly breaking the seal of an NPT fitting doing maintenance. Decided on an NPT to Flare fitting adapter:

Now I'll never have to break that NPT seal. Just undo the cap:

Cap is on tight with an o-ring seal, but just in case, for double protection, here is some adhesive heat shrink to keep it from spinning off over time (that would be catastrophic). It's easy enough to cut with a razor and peel off when time to do the service:

PTU Conversion And Engine Oil Change

Original Post: PTU and Engine Oil Change...

Got the engine as well as the PTU oil done.

Engine Oil: Pretty straight forward, just showing you guys the switch I made from el cheapo middle of the road Pennzoil stuff to some better Amsoil fluid and filter...



Oil filter is about 33% larger than that cheap service station filter I had on there...BTW, I WILL be changing that filter sooner than 25,000 miles, lol.

Onto the PTU. I am still experimenting with beefing up the PTU I have on my bench, but in the meantime, I am still running my original one and decided to do the drain plug and vent tube extension mod.

This PTU fluid is coming from somewhere. Top of the vent tube and vent tube hose was clean, so wondering if it is leaking from somewhere else.


I like the idea of having the drain on the lowest point to get all of it out, so I bypassed the existing drain port and just added the bottom one. I was only able to drain out 12 6 ounces disappeared somewhere. When I drilled the hole for the bottom drain, I stuck a paperclip in there (bent like and "L") and spun it around to see if any grease or sludge would be on it as maybe those 6 ounces converted to "grease", but, to my surprise, came out clean. IDK...weird. I never had an oily spot on my driveway.

Drain plug installed...matched my RDU drain plug. Also put heatshrink around it to keep the cap from ever spinning off.


Love the easy, LOL:

With removal of the front downpipe, I could very easily get to the top vent. By feel of course, but very easy to reach. Added the hose and was able to get this clamp on tight:

Used this tool to tighten it blind. Was pretty easy actually:

Bottom end buttoned up:

Removal of the vent cap and placed this barbed fitting for filling only:

For the PTU, I went with some Amsoil 75W140 Severe Gear lube. Since I only needed 18 ounces, and there's 32 in the quart pack, I poured out 14 ounces and storing it in another bottle for later:

IV bag-style fill job:



Hole was punctured in bottom of pouch. Even so, it really did take quite awhile. I let it hang there in the hot sun so it got very viscous, I'm sure, but still took a few hours to drain. On the new PTU, I will be adding a second fill line next to the vent port. This will keep from fighting the air coming up.

Installed vent cap, zip tied it off to the side and all done!

X35Design Phenolic Spacer Improvement

Original Post: Got my X35 Phenolic Spacer...

Looks like a great product and look forward to getting it installed to see if it can mitigate IM heat soak issues further. At the time of this write-up, he didn't have it listed on his website (X35Design) but emailing Steve over there will get you the info you need.

When I mocked it up and placed the hardware in the holes so I can see if I would need to do any port matching, I found it suffered from the same issue as the BBK throttle body. Not the fault of the spacer, but more the fault of the IM. The bolts holes are just too large for the hardware and allow for a lot of play. This would make any attempt at port matching it futile as it would be difficult to place properly when installing it. So...just as with the BBK, I used the same logic here. And it worked perfect...

Spacer with gaskets installed:

Thickness of spacer for those curious:

Dowels created for improvement:
5/16" OD, 0.035" wall thickness, 304 stainless tubing, cut to about 0.8" length (can't be any longer than 0.9")

Picked any 2 holes far apart from each other and drilled with 5/16" drill bit:

Drilled matching holes in spacer, same 5/16" drill bit:

Dowels installed into spacer:

Perfect tight fit onto IM:

Will need minimal port matching, mostly just a little of the spacer needs to be matched to the ports, but Steve did a great job of getting it super close.

There ya go. I can probably drill the bolt hole very slightly using the same 5/16" drill bit for the match holes in the heads and push those dowels through the spacer slightly. That would get this setup 100% dead-nuts tight and centered from head to spacer to IM...

Here is a video showing the port matching done on the IM side of the spacer:

On the head side, another 5/16 hole only slightly drilled to accept the alignment dowels:

Both holes drilled (hey, easy now...this is a family oriented forum!):

This is all you need it pushed through on the head side to get it to line up:

Rags stuffed into runners to minimize getting the dust into them while doing the port matching:

Used the dowels and the hardware to keep it secured down while porting:

Video on doing the porting on the head side of the spacer...

All done and ready to mount:

Transmission Flush And Drain Plug Install

Had the local Ford dealership do a full fluid exchange so I could put the Amsoil ATF into it. Wanted to do a fluid exchange so that all the old Ford stuff will be replaced with the new Amsoil stuff. I brought them 16 qts, even though it only takes a little over 11. Just got extra in case they needed to push a bit more through. They ended up only using about 13 so I have 3 qts left.

All subsequent transmission services I'll just do myself and do the 5 out/5 in method.

I gave them my final drain plug to install and it's good to go.



Weight Reduction: Hood Insulation Removal

Not a big mod or one that took a long time...just wanted to do this. I'm always trying to shave that weight. Lost 2.5lbs BABY!!!

Pretty straight forward process. Pop off the retaining fasteners and then pull up on the hood (it sits in some metal tabs toward the middle/rear).

Before removal:

After removal:


I really did it for some upcoming mods I'm going to do the hood and wanted to see what it looked like underneath. And for the record, it's not there to protect the paint, per se`. It's mostly there for noise insulation. I'm sure the hood will also get hotter than usual, but not worried about paint melting off or anything, LOL.

Weight Reduction Running Tally: ~258.5 lbs

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Weight Reduction: Rear Wiper Delete

Not much going on here. Just wanted to clean up the rear window as I NEVER use the wiper. It's such a simple job, I didn't take many pics at all, so apologies there.

Before photo:

First is taking the wiper off, pretty straight forward. Just undo the nut on the stud and I used some VERY light taps of a small ballpeen hammer on the end of the stud to break loose the pressed-on wiper mount. Gotta be careful so you don't break your glass, LOL.

Now, you need to remove all the rear hatch interior panels. The top "arch" panel is somewhat of a pain to pop off and I did end up breaking 2 of the clip mounts off. One I was able to epoxy back in place, but the other was a total loss...not too bad as it still attaches properly and firmly, so no issues for now.

Once all the panels are off, just disconnect the connector to the wiper motor and remove the bolts holding it in. Take out the grommet and now you have a nice open hole in the window:

Oh yes, saved another 2.5 pounds!!! LOL:

As for the block off plate, this is the one I used: NiceCNC 2002-2005 Civic Rear Wiper Delete

It needed some modification, so not all will be able to use it. I didn't take photos of what I did either, so apologies there.

So this portion of the exterior part of the bock off fits nicely inside the hole in the rear window:

However there is a small triangular tab near the base that is a notch meant for the rear window of the Civic it is originally designed for:

WARNING: If you do not remove this notch, you WILL shatter your glass as it will put pressure on it, since our vehicles don't have that notch. You will have to grind it off. I used a dremel for this.

On the interior portion of the block off plate, this raised portion of the part will hit the inside of the window before the o-ring will, so either you won't get a good seal or, if you crank it too hard, may also break the window. I used a lathe to turn it down flush with the rest of the body of the plate, but a dremel will work fine as well:

Finally, I made one more modification. It isn't necessary but will help with the appearance of the plate long term. I like anodized products and this product comes black anodized. However, even when hard anodizing is used, black will sometimes tend to fade into a purple. If it was just standard anodized and not hard anodized, it's possible it will even fade to something approaching a pinkish hue. Considering this is likely a cheap knock-off made overseas, I am guessing it's the latter.

In order to mitigate this and not have to take everything apart in the future, I decided to paint the exterior part semi-gloss black. Doing it properly with primer, semi-gloss black and then clear coat...with wet sands in between.

It would've been easier (and dare I say, look better) to have it powder-coated, but to have such a small piece done would be expensive, unless you have your own oven at home or have other items being coated.

After photo:

Anyway, love the look. We don't get much rain here, so I never used it. Not to mention, my rig is not a daily driver, so removing it wasn't much of a concern. Not for everyone, I'm sure.

Weight Reduction Running Tally: ~261.0 lbs