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Everything posted by Spridget

  1. Looking for the lightest, non-chrome, affordable 20” wheels, here’s what I found. Not sure how I feel about the dark wheels. Kinda feel like it’s been played out for a while, and yet it’s still popular. I did not want gloss black, these are somewhere in between matte and satin “bare titanium” (they are aluminum wheels). These are Vöxx Leggero, weighing 27lbs bare. I have not yet measured the weight difference between these and factory wheels.
  2. Nope. Couldn’t do it. Took out the H&R springs. 👎 Even with Drive Control set to Sport, the front end was to prone to bottom out. The car wasn’t “sporty”, although the lower ride height did improve cornering, it couldn’t handle small bumps.
  3. I would be remiss if I didn’t say ride quality is most definitely sacrificed, but cornering is also much improved. With Drive Control set to Sport, the suspension firms up and seems to me to be the best match for the springs. Body roll is almost eliminated. I was afraid the H&R springs would lower too much, as I’ve seen from most of their applications, and I’d say that’s true here too. I’d like half an inch back. Looks good though.
  4. H&R springs installed today. Replaced all four sway bar links, which corrected some clunks I was hearing. Car rides much quieter now. Ride quality on the lowering springs ain’t bad. The Lincoln’s “Drive Control” handling modes provide 3 settings, Comfort, Normal, and Sport. Sport was always very firm, Normal is fine. Comfort was always soft and floaty, now it’s soft and “sproingy”. Rebound / jounce aren’t matched well with the stiffer, shorter springs. About 1.25” drop in the front, 1.5” in the rear.
  5. After several tanks of 87 octane without issue, I switched to 91 and uploaded the 91 performance tune. 1000 miles on 87 I recorded 22.8mpg (includes some light towing and idling). Definitely an improvement in acceleration. Torque comes on earlier and remains flat to a higher redline. Shifts are deliberate without being overly firm. Sport mode is very quick. I never got the opportunity to gauge the performance next to another car 😒. Fuel mileage remained essentially the same, averaging 23.4mpg over roughly 1500 miles. I have returned to the 87 tune for now. I got a package from H&R. 🤫 I was sitting behind an EcoBoost F-150 at a stop light which sounded nearly identical to the MKS, only slightly more “boom” from the shotgun exhaust tips. 😄
  6. Recipe for LED puddle lamps You’ll need: • 30-31mm LED festoon bulbs • small pry tool, small knife, etc • clear silicone sealant After removing the puddle lamps from the mirrors, bake the lamps at 200°F for 10-15 minutes. Carefully remove from the oven and gently pry the clear plastic lens from the black plastic housing. Remove the lamp and replace with the LED bulb. Test the lamps for correct polarity prior to sealing the lens. Use a small amount of silicone sealant around the rim of the lens to secure it in place. Repeat for the other side.
  7. Installed the SHO Performance Package from Unleashed Tuning. I’ve worked with Torrie in the past, which is why I chose him over Livernois. Installation was fairly simple. Plug swap is surprisingly easy on the EcoBoost (compared to a Duratec or 3.4L SHO). Thermostat was also straight forward. MAP sensor swap takes 15 seconds. The reprogramming process takes a few minutes using the X4 device. I’m currently running an 87 octane tune. First impressions: throttle is remapped for better response. Shifts are about the same, maybe slightly quicker/firmer. Redline is slightly higher. Overall improvement in driving experience, but no change to fuel economy. I’ll update after I try the 93 octane tune. Oh, and too bad I didn’t have the X4 prior to hacking the hole at the intake snorkel or I could have provided before and after results, however, the X4 reports intake temps at around 5°F above ambient.
  8. Good thing it’s so far away. I’d be all over that 😅
  9. Familiarizing myself with the EcoBoost engine bay today. I noticed this air intake inlet is kinda small. The inlet is sealed from the engine bay and draws fresh air from the left grill. Where’s my dremel? I’m not making any claims about performance, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ why not. I wouldn’t mind some more intake noises. and I debadged the trunk.
  10. I tapped a power lead to the amp. Grey/red gets power at all times and runs to a 20A fuse. I used the 10A fuse supplied with the kit as well. Works great.
  11. Very happy with the Borla cat back kit. Very nice fit for a multi-piece system. It’s a little tight next to the rear diff, but I haven’t heard any bumps or rattles from inside. The stock exhaust has a small relief or indentation at the diff for clearance, but the entire length of the Borla kit is mandrel bent and perfectly round. I have not seen competing kits to compare, but I would be surprised if the quality is even close to Borla. Sound is very well controlled in the cabin. It’s maybe a decibel louder than stock. Very quiet overall. Noticeably “not stock” at start up. At WOT, there is definitely more bark. Sound is projected behind the car. Around 40mph, light load, there’s a very low tone, almost a “drone”. Cruising is silent. V6s rarely sound amazing, and this is no exception, however, the sound is pleasant, aggressive, clean and mellow. I installed a tow hitch today, CURT brand. Simple install, made even easier by the Borla mufflers. Fits great. I’m not done with the light adapter wiring. The kit, also from CURT, wants me to run a dedicated 10A rated power wire from the battery to the trunk. Uh, I’m thinking there’s plenty of power somewhere in the trunk. I’m only connecting a small trailer, with full LED lighting, that might pull 2 amps.
  12. Hi y’all, I replaced my 2014 Mercedes C250 with a 2016 Lincoln MKS EcoBoost last week. This was the result of being rear ended by an F250 towing a bass boat. The Lincoln MKS is a fat bloated waste of space. Terrible storage and poor ergonomics. Overall features are nice, but lack intuitive controls. Knowing all that, I needed a safe replacement to haul my kid around, anything that wasn’t Mercedes level of ownership costs, and something I can tinker with. Enter the MKSHO! 20 years separate my ‘96 SHO and ‘16 MKS, and yet they are the same damn car. JBL stereo - THX stereo. 4 wheel active suspension (SARC) - adaptive ride control. Even the driver’s trunk release buttons are in the same spot. Now they even share Borla cat back exhausts (Ford Performance).
  13. So the car has been parked for over a year with 3/4 tank of gas. Fuel pump had gone bad when I parked it. Fortunately, I had added some fuel stabilizer before I parked it, knowing it was gonna sit for a little while (a lotta while). Finally got tired of the weeds growing up around it and no time or money to drop the fuel tank. Cut a hole! So much easier. Took about an hour all total. I noticed the old pump has already been messed with before. The ring around the tank seal was mangled and the top of the pump was broken from someone prying on it. New pump in, fired right up.
  14. The 3.4L block uses the same diameter pistons (and rods) from the 2.5L Duratec. IIRC the SHO pistons are flat top whereas the Duratec pistons are dished. Since the rods are shared with the Duratec 2.5 and 3.0, I always thought it would be cool to bore and sleeve the 3.4L and use Duratec 3.0 pistons for a 4.0L SHO.
  15. I think these cars are just prone to inner tire wear. Any part of the suspension or steering is worn, you’re gonna get inner tire wear. Even worn subframe bushings. 2-3 years is a reasonable expectation between alignments before components wear out and advance tire wear. You can drill the spot welds and cut the little tabs to allow an extra few tenths of a degree of camber adjustment.
  16. Our old first gen Scion xB had the 1NZ-FE engine, basically a 1.5L version the 1.8L 1ZZ-FE. For such a small car and engine bay, there is ample room to work (exception being the accessory belt). Prior to the xB my wife drove an Echo with the same 1.5L. Both cars remained in the care of mature family members and each have well over 300k with basic maintenance. The Echo was taken out by a deer last summer. Excellent little engines.
  17. Got pulled over for speeding last night. Driving through a small town, speed limit 55mph. This older Toyota Tundra is tailgating the F150 in the right lane. I’m in the left lane, about even with the F150 when the Tundra begins tailgating me. Speed limit increases to 65mph as we leave town. The F150 and I both get up to 65~70mph. Tundra is still on my ass, looking as though he will go into the oncoming lane to pass me. After a moment of this, I decide to put some distance between us and mash the throttle. As I'm watching Tundra headlights shrink in my rear view, I notice the brake lights of a late model Dodge Charger illuminate in the opposite lane of traffic. State Troopers drive Chargers. FFUUUUHHHHH.... I start looking for somewhere to safely pull over before he’s even completed turning around, his red and blues are flashing. Trooper approached from the passenger side “Everything OK?” I explain why I was speeding. He asks “Were you aware of your speed?” No sir. “I clocked you at 112.” D’oh!!!! He made some chit chat, as cops always do. Nice gentleman. He asked about where I worked, a nearby hospital, learned we were both in the Army. He said he couldn’t let me off without a citation considering my speed but he did type a nice comment on the ticket, stating I was evading a tailgater and gave me extra time to take care of the ticket with a friendly judge. Fair enough. He says, “If there’s any consolation prize for this, it’s that you are the fastest car I’ve pulled over in my 10 years of patrolling this stretch of highway. I’m not counting sport bikes, but cars, you’re the fastest.” We both laugh. I reply to him that my wife won’t find it that funny, and mention she’s a 911 dispatcher for the county. The trooper turns his head for moment, looks back at me and asks “Who’s your wife?” I tell him her name. He replies, “Hand that back to me, all of it, just hand it back. Watch your speed, thank your for your service, and have a good night.” I didn’t name drop to get out of the ticket, I had already signed and accepted it. As I began to pull away he hollers to wait. He walks back to the driver’s side and says “I turned off my camera. If anyone asks, you got a ticket. Good night.” Yes sir!
  18. Hauled my ‘96 SHO back to my house from the shop in south Austin that I was previously managing. The battery has a dead cell but engine started easily with a jump box. It’s been sitting outside the shop for the last year. Now that it’s home, I hope to be able to get it road legal. We need a back up car, but I just wanna hear that V8 purr.
  19. Hauled my ‘05 Benz C230 to my buddy’s shop to have the transmission linkage checked out. The 6 speed manual will not stay in reverse. Also looking at suspension damage, also caused by the previous owner before the vehicle was repo’d. It may turn out to be too expensive to fix.
  20. I think Brad, our ‘97 Taurus-wagon-turned-truck that we use around the property, is gonna be put out to pasture (I guess it’s kinda been out to pasture, now it’s headed for the slaughterhouse). It’s had a slight misfire for the last 6 months. I kinda suspect a failed head gasket. It never runs long enough to overheat, but it has consumed coolant. Today I noticed transmission fluid leaking from one of the metal lines along the front of the subframe. This was a northern car, so it has some rust. I paid $400 for it about 4 years, it had a major crack in the transmission case. Since I sawzall’d the back half off to make it a truck, it has been quite handy hauling logs, rocks, and trash around he property. Mable, the ‘05 Sable needs a fuel pump. I parked it last year, and that’s the last time it started. I hear nothing from the pump when the key is turned.
  21. https://www.blipshift.com/products/fo-sho Today and tomorrow only!
  22. Parked outside my ER last night. This is the type of clientele we get in west Austin. Young woman in her 20's with a cough. Just parked in the fire lane with hazards on for about 2 hours before it got moved.
  23. My wife names all the cars. Here are Heinrich and Heidi.
  24. Ack... too easy! Yes. We found her a 2010 X5 xDrive35d Sport. iDrive gave it away. The diesel engine is louder than expected for a "luxury" car. Only during acceleration, cruising is silent. But it sounds like an F-350 at times. Very responsive... for a diesel and a BMW. Virtually no turbo or throttle lag. Handles great. I thought her Volvo XC90 handled well for a tank. The BMW feels like it has a lower center of gravity. Cornering is nearly flat. This iteration of iDrive isn't terrible, and fairly similar to the Mercedes COMAND system she is already used to. Moonroof is massive. Power liftgate. Navigation without the high end audio system. Tow hitch. 92k miles. All services performed by the dealer. Local car, former lease. Paid $15k out the door, about $1500-2000 under blue book. We looked at another with the same mileage, about $500 more, with a couple additional features. It was gross. The dealer claimed it was "mint". It had a leaky AC condenser, bald tires, bad paint, worn buttons, and the dealer didn't even bother to detail it. He wouldn't budge on the price either. We found the car we bought about 3 hours away. Very nice salesman. Very clean car. I couldn't find many complaints or mechanical concerns for these cars. Seems like a pretty good value considering this was a $60k car in 2010. My friend owns a 535d with a JBD tuner. Claims to add 60hp and 100hp. Already know what the first mod is gonna be.
  25. The Mrs decided she needed an SUV for her and the baby. The Mercedes C250 is very tight with a car seat and all the baby's junk, that's our only complaint with the purchase. She started looking at Tahoes and eventually began a full out assault to convince we needed another car. She got her way and I got her left overs. Pics to come of the new ride (not a Tahoe), meanwhile, I get a nice replacement for the Contour. Anyone care to wager a guess on the new vehicle? Here's a couple hints. 6cyl Diesel engine, vehicle assembled in the US, potentially the most criticized infotainment system on the market over the last two decades.
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