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Old 03-08-2016, 07:04 PM   #1
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Default Fixin' up the F150

Well, the company paid out it's huge profit sharing to all of us who actually made the money. Nice.

Paid off Sweet Wife's mini van. Paid off some doctor bills.

And used a bit of the rest to fix up the F150. (2007, 5.4 3 valve, paid for)

It already had a tranny temp gauge, extra inline tranny cooler and Timbrens.

Now it has

Michelin load range E tires. At 60 psi they ride nice. Push rear to 70 psi for towing. 245/70 R 17E.
Bilstien 4600 shocks
A 3" free flow exhaust, off brand but much like MagnaFlow so the installer shop told me.
Airaid throttle body spacer
Airaid intake
K&N air filter.
Deep extra capacity, ribbed aluminum tranny pan.



So after I got all that installed I filled up with gas. At the next fill up I figured with all that improvement to intake and exhaust my MPG must be up from 15.5to say, 17 or so.

I got 14 MPG.

Perhaps I have a bit of testosterone in my fuel/air mix. But the truck sure is fun to drive! Like new, only with no payment! Can't wait to tow with it.
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Old 03-09-2016, 07:57 AM   #2
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(1) What are Timbrens?

(2) When I was a boy, we used to do stuff like that to vehicles. We called it "hopping up" and we thought it would make it faster, but no one ever suggested, or believed, that it would improve fuel economy.
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Old 03-09-2016, 09:42 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NN5I View Post
(1) What are Timbrens?

(2) When I was a boy, we used to do stuff like that to vehicles. We called it "hopping up" and we thought it would make it faster, but no one ever suggested, or believed, that it would improve fuel economy.
I guess it really didn't matter any way when a $1 was good enough for a night riding around!
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Old 03-09-2016, 05:05 PM   #4
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Yup. My 1957 Pontiac could pass anything on the road, except a gas station.
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Old 03-09-2016, 05:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NN5I View Post
(1) What are Timbrens?

(2) When I was a boy, we used to do stuff like that to vehicles. We called it "hopping up" and we thought it would make it faster, but no one ever suggested, or believed, that it would improve fuel economy.
There is a company called Timbren and they make "suspension enhancement" products. These products are mostly a variation on a single theme. You replace the little rubber bumper on your frame above the axle with one of their products (called "Timbrens" by most folks). The Timbren product is a larger version of the axle/frame bumper, made of softer rubber and has a spring inside.

The Timbren does not touch the axle until the truck is loaded (or over loaded, or you hit a massive pothole) Then the Timbren acts as a helper spring and increases the load carrying capacity of the axle and levels out the ride a bit. Unloaded there is no contact with the axle so daily use ride is not effected.

***

Increasing the ease of air going in and exhaust going out will improve horse power a bit. Because the internals of the engine were not modded, these improvements have been known to increase fuel efficiency as well.

But only for those who drive it right. Driving it wrong, however, has proven to be much too much fun.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Timbren_THS.jpg (36.6 KB, 29 views)
File Type: jpg timbren-rear-kit-installed.jpg (13.9 KB, 30 views)
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Old 03-09-2016, 09:43 PM   #6
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I also have a 07 150 5.4 and am almost ready to have someone do the spark plugs. These plugs are known to break and plug replacement runs between $200 and $800 depending on how many break. I only have 61000 miles on it so it's about time. Have you had the plugs changed yet and how did it go? I love the truck anyhow.
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Old 03-10-2016, 05:55 PM   #7
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The 5.4L 3 valve engine is a wonderful engine. But those two piece crimped together plugs was an awful idea. The same plug is now available in a two-piece-but welded variant.

I have had them changed and didn't break any off in the process.

1. About 1 week before the change, put about 4 cans of SeaFoam in the tank.
2. Run the tank to about 1/8 empty, put in 2 more cans!
3. Have your mechanic do fuel system flush with even more seafoam direct into the manifold, or what ever he chooses to finish de-carbonizing the engine. We are trying to remove carbon deposits from the plugs.
4. Remove all the coil packs. (This is a good time to clean the contact on the bottom, as they tend to corrode. Take your time and get them really clean.)
5. Loosen each sparkplug, Don't force any thing. Now pour a little seafoam into each spark plug hole. The point here is to soften any remaining carbon on the plug.
6. Let the engine sit/soak over night.
7. Gently back out each plug. If it binds up, loosen and soak some more.

Using this method we changed all 8 at 93,000 miles without breaking one.

Once the new plugs are in, take it for a good romp to blow out all the excess seafoam. Then got your oil changed, preferably the same day as it will be contaminated with seafoam, if you dumped all of it that you should have into the sparkplug holes.

Don't get fancy overpriced plugs. Go back with standard-but-new-one-piece Motorcraft plugs. They are cheap and that's what Ford engineers said put in there. You will want new boots as well. A little anti-seize going back helps out the next time.

I also run factory style oil filters and Motorcraft semi-synthetic engine oil. Walmart has the oil and the Seafoam. Gumout makes a similar product.
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Old 03-10-2016, 06:06 PM   #8
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Oh yeah, youtube has some good DIY videos on the subject.

Two more points:

1. When you get the coil/boot off the head, use compressed air to blow out an amazing amount of dirt. THEN loosen and add seafoam
2. DO NOT USE an air ratchet. Use your hands.
3. The point of all the above is to remove carbon build up from the plug. If the plug were new and clean, there would not be a problem. Carbon is what makes the plug jam up and then break at the crimp point. Therefore, DO NOT attempt to get the plugs out without due diligence to carbon removal.

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Old 03-10-2016, 07:46 PM   #9
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Sounds almost as bad as my then wife's 1973 Pontiac Trans Am. Had to undo the front engine mounts and hoist the engine about four to five inches to change the #8 plug. This was also true of some Monzas, Novas, and other GMs with V8 small blocks.

I got the chsnce to lie down on top of the engine and exercise the whole vocabulary I had learned growing up on Navy bases.
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Old 03-10-2016, 09:27 PM   #10
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You are supposed to change the plugs?

Guess I will have to look up the Chevy maintenance intervals.

OK, I'm good til 97,500 miles, got about 30,000 to go.
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Old 03-11-2016, 02:53 PM   #11
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You are supposed to change the plugs?

Guess I will have to look up the Chevy maintenance intervals.

OK, I'm good til 97,500 miles, got about 30,000 to go.
In theory the plugs in almost any modern engine should last about 100,000 miles, thanks to all the computer stuff and better metals to make plugs out of.

This sort of compounds the Ford crimped spark plug problem, cause after 100,000 miles there is a LOT of carbon baked onto that plug! BTW the plugs looked real nice, even at 93,000.
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Old 04-13-2016, 12:50 PM   #12
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I had the 3" cat back exhaust with 1 in 2 out magnaflow muffler put on mine a couple years ago. It didn't help my mpg much but it does sound a lot better.
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Old 04-13-2016, 01:21 PM   #13
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In theory the plugs in almost any modern engine should last about 100,000 miles, thanks to all the computer stuff and better metals
And thanks, especially, to lead-free fuels.
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Old 04-13-2016, 05:51 PM   #14
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The driveline computer must be adapting to the new intake and exhaust because MPG is getting back up to 15.4 where it originally was.
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Old 04-16-2016, 11:08 AM   #15
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Because the 07 f150s original plugs were a two piece plug that has a tendency to break when being removed ford has changed their recommend change to 50-60k. Make sure the shop that does the plug change is aware of the service bulletin ford put out and has the specially designed listle tool to remove broken plugs. I have read about some plug changes where most of the plugs have broken and charged $80. for each broken plug. I have been looking at places to have mine done and the best I can find is $200. plus $35. for each broken plug. I am at 60k so I need to have mine done soon.
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Old 04-22-2016, 08:58 PM   #16
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I've got a 2011 F-150 XLT crew cab PU, 5.0 engine and 6 speed transmission. Yesterday I had a transmission cooler added as it didn't have one. I've been pulling this trailer for 2 years now and will be making a trip back to western Iowa in mid-July (1,000+ miles each way) so I thought it would be wise to keep the tranny a little cooler. It wasn't really set up for towing but it has plenty of power, I'm only pulling around 5500#. I also had the transmission fluid changed since it just turned 100,000 miles and had never been changed. The mechanic that did the work said he checked the ID tag on the transmission to make sure he put the right fluid in it. He said the tag indicated the transmission was made by Mercedes, how about that. That is OK by me since I think Mercedes knows how to build automotive components. I guess it's possible. I know GM has been known to put Chev engines in Olds. I've see GM trucks with a GMC emblem on one side of the cab and Chevrolet on the other side, like that's a surprise. In the old days we used to call Pontiacs, Chev's with lock washers.
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Old 04-22-2016, 10:37 PM   #17
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Yeah, I have an extra aftermarket cooler and a ribbed deep pan. I also removed that goofy valve thingy. The temp gauge, also aftermarket, shows that it seldom gets over 140 F.
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Old 04-23-2016, 09:31 AM   #18
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I've been pulling this trailer for 2 years now
Wow. Time for a potty break.
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Old 07-04-2016, 08:11 AM   #19
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Finally got to tow with the mods.

The tires and shocks make for a nice firm ride when not towing and running 60 psi. When towing with 70 psi in the rear, things get a little rough, but there is no sway or any other undesirable characteristics. (The old adage about running over a dime and telling if it was heads or tails comes to mind)

The deep pan (and minus the silly valve box thingy) plus the already installed aftermarket cooler kept the transmission cool for the entire trip, with air temps on the expressway getting to 100 F per the in dash thermometer in the truck. In stop and go traffic max was 200 F and chilled out to 180 F once we got some air flow on the expressway at 65 mph.

The instructions for the Airaid intake and throttle body spacer said they might be a bit noisy. I never heard them until this trip. Coming up a steep, short, entrance ramp turning about 3500 rpm I finally heard a sucking sound from under the hood, not objectionable but it took a moment to realize what it was. That was the only time I heard it on this trip or any other time for that matter.

The 3 inch exhaust wasn't as loud as I thought it would be.

But between the smaller diameter tires (only .40 inch taller than OEM), the intake and exhaust upgrades there wasn't any problem towing the trailer. Acceleration under load seems to have been improved. Never got a chance to measure a real MPG because I had a mix of towing and not towing.

I have considered changing the axle from 3.55 to 3.73 but for the cost and performance I'm getting now I think I'll wait in that. The truck is also my daily driver so keeping what economy I have is important to me.

And the best part is, the truck is paid for.
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