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Its upgrade time finally!

GSU4x4

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GSU4x4 Upgrade thread

Well since I moved to north GA I'm riding my motorcycle alot more but didn't ride my atv much anymore so I sold it to buy some upgrades for my ST that I've been waiting to do!

I've been slowly accumulating my upgrades since my Carmax warranty expires at 99k miles and I've almost there. But now I'm beginning to install them since I just can't wait anymore, lol. It's been killing to see all my goodies just sitting there, and since I have almost 97k miles I've given up on waiting.

So here's my upgrades...

OEM fog lights (truck didn't come with them)
-bought them and the OEM wiring harness from RockAuto.com

IMG_20131230_154516_159.png


And I've got them wired up to my side indicators so whenever they light up, my fog lights light up too. (ex. unlock the truck, parking lights on, low and high beams)

IMG_20140112_145558_371.png


Hypertech Max Energy Power Programmer
I've gained 2-3 mpg in the city and highway, plus I can feel a slight difference in power. It runs about 500 rpms less on the interstate. I mainly got it to add some power and gas mileage and adjust the speedo for when I install the new larger tires.

IMG_20131115_163947_517.png


Here's the rpms and mpg average on an interstate trip (it was reset at the beginning)
IMG_20131221_125710_686.png


Coverking Seat Covers
I got custom black neopreme seat covers for the front and black ballastic seat covers for the rear since my dog rides with me alot.

IMG_20131203_220116_553.png


IMG_20131203_220124_937.png


and for the real goodies that are being installed after my tax return comes back and I buy new 265/75r16 General Grabber AT2's...

2.5" Traxda Lift/Level kit
BTF Custom Fabricated Upper Control arms w/ new upper ball joints
Moog lower ball joints
Moog tie rods
Moog tie rod ends

IMG_20131218_211026_316.png


Now I'm waiting on the last things I need to file the taxes and I'm buying the new tires and installing everything soon! I'll keep an update on this thread.
 



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UKPONY

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Good to know the hyper tech actually does some good. Been considering one for a while.

Enjoy all your upgrades.
 






e_toften

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RPM change?

I am always taken for a loss when someone tells me that a program changed the RPM at a given speed on their vehicle. I am not a vehicle computer genius but how does a computer change the RPMs at a running speed? It can't change the gear ratio in the transmission, the gear ratio at the differential, or the tire size. Those are the only things that factor into RPM. Now what it can do is tell the computer which counts pulses to figure RPM not to count every 30th pulse or whatever. Thus giving the illusion of a lower RPM. Anyone have any real knowledge of this being different?

Like the fog light to parking lights wiring. Curious about something there too. Are the lights halogen? They would have glass lenses. If so did you wire a relay in to the circuit since the draw would be much higher than that of the parking light wiring? I only ask because if wired wrong this could be a problem waiting to happen. If it is done right it is a cool concept.
 






GSU4x4

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I am always taken for a loss when someone tells me that a program changed the RPM at a given speed on their vehicle. I am not a vehicle computer genius but how does a computer change the RPMs at a running speed? It can't change the gear ratio in the transmission, the gear ratio at the differential, or the tire size. Those are the only things that factor into RPM. Now what it can do is tell the computer which counts pulses to figure RPM not to count every 30th pulse or whatever. Thus giving the illusion of a lower RPM. Anyone have any real knowledge of this being different?

Like the fog light to parking lights wiring. Curious about something there too. Are the lights halogen? They would have glass lenses. If so did you wire a relay in to the circuit since the draw would be much higher than that of the parking light wiring? I only ask because if wired wrong this could be a problem waiting to happen. If it is done right it is a cool concept.

That's a good point about the rpms, I never really thought about it but I promise they have dropped, especially on the interstate. I'm not very computer or engine smart either but could increasing the horsepower and torque by allowing the engine to run more efficient help drop the rpm's since the engine is not working as hard?

And about the fog lights, they are the standard OEM halogen bulbs. I have not run them through a relay but I haven't had any problems from them yet (about 2 weeks so far). I'll check the wiring again this weekend, would installing a fuse on the power wire going to the fog lights help any with the problems you mentioned? I searched and searched for someone that did a write-up on installing them and I couldn't find anything for our truck.
 






wafflejones

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If yo are getting bigger tires first (and will be getting the btf upper controls in the future) do i need the Moog lower ball joints, Moog tie rods, Moog tie rod ends and also what do they do
 






GSU4x4

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If yo are getting bigger tires first (and will be getting the btf upper controls in the future) do i need the Moog lower ball joints, Moog tie rods, Moog tie rod ends and also what do they do

You don't need to do everything I'm doing with the lift kit, I'm just replacing everything underneath while I have it all open and exposed. I would highly recommend installing the BTF UCA's tho because I've seen a few people have upper ball joint failures and I def would not want that going down the road.
 






e_toften

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That's a good point about the rpms, I never really thought about it but I promise they have dropped, especially on the interstate. I'm not very computer or engine smart either but could increasing the horsepower and torque by allowing the engine to run more efficient help drop the rpm's since the engine is not working as hard?

And about the fog lights, they are the standard OEM halogen bulbs. I have not run them through a relay but I haven't had any problems from them yet (about 2 weeks so far). I'll check the wiring again this weekend, would installing a fuse on the power wire going to the fog lights help any with the problems you mentioned? I searched and searched for someone that did a write-up on installing them and I couldn't find anything for our truck.

Like I stated earlier. The tach measures crankshaft RPMs. The crank output through the transmission, to the differential and on to the wheels are all fixed mechanical contacts. I don't see how it can change. I am not knocking those products. Obviously you get great fuel economy. I get 17mpg. But that is absolutely a function of the computer. It's purpose is to adjust the fuel air ratio.

There should be a fuse protecting the circuit via the parking lights. I am actually quite surprised that it hasn't blown repeatedly. The hazards are this. Assuming the parking light wire is 16 awg (don't know for sure) and it's typical 105 C insulation. It has a maximum ampacity of 21.3 amps inside an engine space. As long as the total draw of all the lights is less than that your good. If it is higher you will be creating heat and degrading the insulation on the wire. Second, if the draw is say... 15 amps or higher you should be over the 10% voltage drop rule. That means your high quality halogens aren't burning any brighter than incandescent bulbs.

Sorry if I went all wire nerd there. But I do this for a living on boats. A couple of easy DIY tests and a couple of bucks at Radio Shack, if needed, and you would have a system you never have to worry about.
 






GSU4x4

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Quickly looking online it seems like my fog light bulb only pulls 3.52 amps, headlight pulls 4.3 amps, turn signal pulls .59 amps and the side indicator bulb that I tapped into only pulls .27 amps, so total I maybe okay since I'm only pulling a total of 8.68 amps. I'm going to open it up this weekend and check everything to see how it looks.
 






Trac Marks

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Might sound dumb, but does your hyper tech remain plugged in somewhere (OBD2 port?) 24/7, or does it program the trucks brain then you remove it? I like the idea of an extra MPG and HP, but not crazy about a black box mounted somewhere on the dash, etc.
 






GSU4x4

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Might sound dumb, but does your hyper tech remain plugged in somewhere (OBD2 port?) 24/7, or does it program the trucks brain then you remove it? I like the idea of an extra MPG and HP, but not crazy about a black box mounted somewhere on the dash, etc.

It does not stay plugged in. The steps are really easy, you just plug it into your diagnostic port above your emergency brake release latch, follow a few steps and make a few choices of what you want to do and you're done! Then store it away somewhere until you want to change your options or back to stock.
 






e_toften

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It does not stay plugged in. The steps are really easy, you just plug it into your diagnostic port above your emergency brake release latch, follow a few steps and make a few choices of what you want to do and you're done! Then store it away somewhere until you want to change your options or back to stock.

So what you are saying is you could pass it around to all your forum friends in need of a mpg boost. ;)
 






GSU4x4

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So what you are saying is you could pass it around to all your forum friends in need of a mpg boost. ;)

Sadly, no. I thought I was going to be able to do that too but after buying it I realized it can only be programmed on one vehicle at a time. I could only uninstall it off mine and sell it.
 






e_toften

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Yeah. I figured that was the case. Probably stores the PCM serial number until its uninstalled. Sounds like a good project for someone with a programming background.
 






naminad

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what happens if i just leave my factory upper control arms?
 






GSU4x4

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what happens if i just leave my factory upper control arms?

It will put stress on the upper ball joint and cause failure, I've seen pics on this forum where peoples upper control arm or spindle fail and tear apart. Try a search and you'll find some posts
 






naminad

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It will put stress on the upper ball joint and cause failure, I've seen pics on this forum where peoples upper control arm or spindle fail and tear apart. Try a search and you'll find some posts



will the upper control arms literally tear apart or it will just have to be the upper ball joints that i have to change continuously?
 






GSU4x4

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e_toften

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Just wanted to weigh in on the suspension part of this thread. Again, I am not a suspension mechanic or experienced in driving lifted vehicles. But numbers never lie. The traxda spacer is installed on top of the strut effectively lengthening it. The strut is one side of a triangle formed along with the frame and the upper control arm. You lengthen one side you narrow the angles at the top between the frame and strut, and the bottom between the strut and upper control arm. The narrowing of that angle on both sides would also shorten the distance between the tie rod ends and push the top of the tire out and bottom of it in. Which is why so many lifted trucks look like they have a thousand pounds of weight in the bed. Pretty simple geometry but if you don't believe me cut up a couple of straws and lay it all out to simulate the suspension components. Then change the length of the straw representing the strut and watch the effect.
So what does this mean on the parts? The angle change between the UCA and strut changes the angle of the ball joint. The traxda website says the alignment should be offset 3*. I would guess that is the angle of stress now being applied to the ball joint. I would also bet the difference between the new UCAs is that the ball joint mount is rotated 3* to account for this. I would also guess that the tie rod ends are shorter than stock. All the components including the ball joints should be made out of a harder material to account for the new stresses being applied. Not upgrading all the parts would mean the vehicle riding on that 3* preload all the time. A ball joint is pretty skinny when you think about what it holds. I could see it sheering at the peg. I could also see the UCA sheering at the point closest to the ball joint and where the angle transitions to the UCA.
Things to keep in mind... It's called a suspension system for a reason. One part fails, they all wear at an increased rate. One part out of design tolerance, all parts out of design tolerance. Change the design of one, change the design of all. Just my two cents though. I like what you have set up GSU4x4. Looks like you did your homework. Good luck to you other guys in whatever you do.
 






naminad

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I believe the upper control arms can still be used, but overtime, we have to change the upper ball joints.
Ive seen a lifted 2010 sport trac in my place and they are still using the factory control arms.
i want to get my truxxx lift installed already, but buying btf control arms are not on my budget as of now.
my sport trac is about 61000 miles right now and im thinking of just buying new upper ball joints and installing the lift spacer?
 



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GSU4x4

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That's definitely an option, you don't need to replace the upper control arms. I think its recommended and the reason I did it is so I can install the lift without the worry of having the replace or keep and eye on the upper ball joints since they are the usual point of failure.
 






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