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"Red Bull"

Red Bull
(Bandit #7)




1998 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer
5.0 V8
4.10 D35 Open
4.10 Ford 8.8
Manual 4406
BFG All-Terrain's 285/75/16 (33's)



302 bored .030 over (306)
XE264HR Cam
Dual Valve Springs
OBX Headers
Machined GT40P Heads
Red Powder Coated Intake, Oil Pan, and Valve Covers

Injectors, valve seats and seals, lifters, pushrods


2003+ Sport Trac Knuckles
Mevotech TTX TRE's

Sport Trac Brake Upgrade:
-12" Rotors (Front)
Ceramic Brake Pads

6000k 30w LED's
Clear Headlight Corners and Lenses

Warrior Shackles
2" Torsion Twist
1" Body lift
Bilstein 4600 Shocks
Mevotech TTX Ball Joints and Upper Control Arms
Extended swaybar links

Limited Steering wheel with redundant radio and digital temp controls
Digital HVAC
Custom leather upholstery (red leather in place of perforated leather)

CB Radio

Custom chili pepper red Paint PPG concept
Tupperware removed and holes welded up
"Serious Explorations" license plate frames front and back
Cut and re-welded front fenders 5" to clear larger tires
Limited Color Keyed Front Grill
Painted Rear Bumper
Chopped front bumper bed-lined

JVC KW-NT300 Nav/DVD/CD head unit
PAC adapter for steering wheel controls
Kicker DS68 6x8 Coaxial speakers
OEM 8" sub

Flowmaster Super 44

Fuel tank
Leaf Springs
Steering Rack
Inner Tie Rods
Front 4.10 Diff
Water Pump
CPS and Synchronizer
A/C System
Front O2 Sensors
Wheel Bearings
Multiple Fuel Pumps
Motor Mounts
Transmission mount


Kris' Old Registry

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shiny in break in oil from a fresh built engine is OK!
Are you running break in oil? (Non detergent oil)
How many miles on this oil?
Did you do a wipe test? collect some oil in a clean jar, wipe some of it on a clean white rag

EGR issue are you using the EGR tube that came with the headers?
The gasket between the EGR valve and intake is suspect
AS long as the sample tubes and DPFE are all hooked up properly

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In order:

-When first ran for 500 miles then changed out to semi synth
-500 miles on this oil (more or less), this change is now full synth
-Finger test and used a magnet, but not that exact method
-Yes, but I also have the one I bought a couple of years ago that is still good I can try
-My thoughts too, gonna hit it with the copper gasket stuff when I change the gasket just to be sure. Everything is hooked up properly, new Motorcraft DPFE and new sample hoses.

How much crank end play was there to start with? I think that should be in the .006" range. The first oil can look rough, but the 2nd and on should be a normal transparent or clear. Give the crank a push forward and back, likely it won't move at all with the belt and all on it. But if it moves much at all, that would be a big concern.

I would check the dipstick to look at the oil every day to verify it's clean. I'd change the oil again very soon if it doesn't look perfect, and an oil analysis could help if it does show material still.

Use break in oil for initial startup of a new engine, then change to dino oil after 20 minutes or the first run. Today's cylinder machining evidently achieves much faster ring break in, but I would still run the regular oil for about 1000 miles. Then go to synthetic, but that has nothing to do with anything in the oil now.

We checked end play in the crank during the build and there was barely any (didn't have a gauge to check, though). I'll keep an eye on the oil.

the TMH header EGR tube went through a revision, that is why I ask....gotta make sure you have the revised part!!!

Since it's an OBX I don't know if it was revised :dunno:

I would use a non OBX supplied EGR tube if you are worried about the EGR system and you are already in there replacing the header gasket

Slight hiccup with that...


That passenger side exhaust header is a pain in the ass! Took me hours just to get it off, but once I did I found a surprise in cylinders 2 and 4.

Cylinder 4


Cylinder 2


Cylinder 1 (for comparison)


Intake tube


After this I just threw my hands up and called it a night. :angryfire:

Only 2 answers come to mind:
  1. Valve seal leak
  2. Lower intake gasket leak
I'm leaning more towards the former than the latter. I redid that lower intake gasket twice. It also could explain why I can never get that valve cover gasket to seal over cylinder 4.

1. Is that the obx egr tube on top of the stock style one?
That OBX tube is funky funky, it looks like they took a dorman tube, hacked it up and welded on new end bits to fit their header??
If that is the case it should work okay, the proper guts are there
there is some sort of restriction or orifice tube inside the EGR sampler tube that is key to the egr performance, I believe the OBX tube has been built properly

2. What are we looking at with the valves.......you are worried about the black stuff in cyl #2?

3. What are we seeing inside the air intake tube?

Yeah but the EGR tube from OBX is stainless, but it does look really weird up close.

Oil in the exhaust ports in the cylinder head and fresh oil in the intake tube from the valve cover hose.

how does the #2 spark plug look?

I need to pull them today. That header got me so pissed off, I just threw in the towel last night before I decided to get me some matches and lighter fluid.

Red was definitely on the wrong end of an epithet spouting rant, however. :angryfire:

Good to take a break, collect yourself and try again tomorrow
Been there done that
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Copied from researching this issue, good info found on Stangnet:

"Leak down will tell you if it's rings, or a bad valve/seat seal. Unfortunately, it won't tell you if it's a guide or valve stem seal. The actual symptoms will nail those down. Guides will usually make noise, and blue smoke will be seen on start up (and go away after the engine warms a bit). Guides and/or stem seals may show blue smoke upon deceleration - as heavy vacuum in the cylinder can pull oil from the head past the seals or a loose guide. So, if your leakdown test tells you the rings are sealing, and you've got the smoking symptoms above, it's likely guides and/or seals.

Oh - if you've got problems with valve to seat sealing (like a burnt exhaust valve for instance or bent valve stem), the leak down test won't tell you anything about the rings in that cylinder. The pressure will find the path of least resistance (usually past the bad valve seat) and you won't get an effective ring test cause the valves won't hold the pressure in."

Was your PCV valve seated properly?
You may need to do a compression test and leak down test to confirm if it is rings or valves leaking the oil

Yes, the PCV valve is in there.

Thanks for the info!

but...Yay... a whole new set of leak paths to explore. :rolleyes:

Passenger side exhaust gasket is in. Had to play around with the exhaust a bit to get it to line up with the collector, but I think I only cursed at it 5 times. Damn some of those bolts are hard to get to.

Got the EGR in as well and sealed up. No leaks this time. However when I started the car I found out that my seeping heater hose had turned into a spray nozzle... hot coolant in the face (yuumy). Another leak apparently came from the lower intake gasket. I figured that one of the bolts had loosened up so out came the coil pack and I tightened it down.

Now everything works without leaking and now without that exhaust noise I could finally hear...my lifters. God their loud, maybe amplified a bit because of the garage, but it was definitely lifter and not fuel injector ticking. I can live with it, I may just use 40w instead of 30w next time.

The idle is definitely rough, not shaking you to death rough, but vibrating enough to feel it throughout the body. So far its idling around 750 RPM (+/- 50). However when you give it gas and get it to 1500 it is so smoooth. :cool: Like set your coffee cup on the intake smooth.

I guess the rough idle is the side affect of the cam. :dunno: I need to hook up Forscan and complete a drive cycle to make sure its all good.

Managed to get some more work done on Red over the weekend.

TLDR; some stuff fixed, some stuff needs to be addressed, and some stuff may require me to kill myself. Same ol', same ol'.

I picked up a fender liner and replacement vac hoses for the passenger side. The fender liner had come out and the tire ripped it up pretty good. Plus I also needed to get the bolts to install the vac globe.

I found out that the part in the hood that the safety latch bolted to had broken off and was nowhere to be found. So I opted to put in a hood latch from a 96 that has the safety latch integrated into it.

See the difference?







To go this route you need to replace the latch tab in the hood as well as the latch itself, but it's pretty much plug and play.

The upside, other than keeping my hood from flying up, is I won't be smacking my head into the latch; which was why I removed it in the first place. Why did Ford change their design? :rolleyes:

Yesterday I had Red inspected and aligned, passing on both. Can't get him registered till they open up the Tax Assessors office as I have to go in person since my tag is 2 years outta date.

Since I did the inspection at an exhaust shop, I had them look at the exhaust and see if they could find the leak I was still hearing. They couldn't find one and said the noise I was hearing was the rocker arms. Apparently they need to be re-tightened after so many miles on a new build.

So off comes the intake manifold again; right after I had finally sealed that damn EGR vacuum leak. :banghead:

I still need to find my persistent oil leak. 3 places it could come from, front main seal, (meh), timing cover (ugh), or oil pan gasket (FML). God, I hope it's not the oil pan gasket. I have to pull the engine to get to it and I just don't have the setup at my place to do it.

I need to replace that fan clutch; I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. Just a loud, obnoxious, parasitic drag, POS. But I can't find a new Motorcraft one as it's been discontinued, so I can either by a NOS for $350 (hell no) or find a low mileage v8 to steal it from, but it's coming out!

Finally, good news, then engine is running fine, idle is good, plenty of power, and with the headers sealed it sounds pretty good. The rough idle from the previous post was because one of the spark plugs boots wasn't fully seated. Guess how I found that out... :oops: Drives pretty straight, but my "new" steering shaft I put in is only marginally better than the old one I took out, so I either deal with the slop or drop $250 for a new one.

Net gain all around, but only marginally.


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Well if shes running properly then you are mostly there!

let us know what you find on the oil leak, dipstick and filter adapter are other oil leak sources to look at.
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Well if shes running properly then you are mostly there!

let us know what you find on the oil leak, dipstick and filter adapter are other oil leak sources to look at.

Already resealed the filter adapter and checked the oil dipstick, no leaks.