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Old 05-31-2017, 03:57 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Still going...

Hello all,

Still driving it. Decided that it's in good enough shape that I'll just keep it as a cheap truck that I don't have to worry about dents on. Seem to be averaging high 18's to low 19's but only have tank-tank and math and still have that fuel leak at the filler neck. Getting warmer so less time with a cold engine, but sometimes using the A/C.

I forgot how much effort it takes to work on a truck. It's been too long! Rusty stuff, grunged up threads, caked on old burned oil gunk, etc. Lots of sore body parts after weekends wrenching. And it's lawn season, which cuts down on my wrenching time. I have to cut the lawn weekly or it takes 3x as long and looks horrible with the grass clods everywhere from over-loading the deck. Lucked into a riding mower because my parents moved to a house with lawn/snow service in the association fees, so they gave me theirs. Hydrostatic transmission works OK for now, but is one of those cheaped-out versions with no fill or drain plugs and the manual says it is "maintenance free". It's growling a lot. Same transmission in other apps has a drain and fill plug and requires regular changes of synthetic oil per the tranny mfg. Tractor mfg. fill is dino oil, so it's probably really sludged up in there.

Anyways, back to the truck.

Repairs on the truck so far:

New radiator, lower hose, intake manifold gaskets (lower intake manifold gasket blew out on the driver's front, I could see it spraying out!), spark plugs, spark plug wires, DPFE hoses, valve cover gaskets. Took the time to grind the rust off the valve covers and hit them with some rust reformer paint. Found rust-through on the driver's side sealing area, so plugged that with RTV and some soda can metal - just sort of a glued-in patch.

Got the coolant leak fixed, but created a bad oil leak, but not from the valve cover gaskets or my repair to the valve cover. It turns out that when they say "a 1/4" bead of RTV" they mean it. I'm used to using a small bead just to cover imperfections, etc. In this case, it is replacing a factory rubber seal between the lifter valley and the lower intake manifold. Turns out the 1/8" bead just isn't enough to close the gap. Drove it for a while like that, and found it was pulling a lean code now, so I didn't just create an oil leak, I created a vacuum leak. Whee.

So I had to do the intake manifold gaskets a second time. When I got it apart, I could clearly see the un-squished bead of RTV next to the properly squished bits of RTV in the corners where the heads meet the block. Obvious leak is obvious. I had run to a junkyard in the meantime and scored a pair of better condition valve covers, an extra set of valve cover and intake manifold bolts, and some extra A/C mounting bolts that are the same thread as the lower intake bolts. Turned two of the long bolts into studs similar to the ones shown in the exploded parts diagram for the engine as used from '91-'94. Figured it would help me drop the manifold straight down on the seals/RTV. No-go - the manifold hits the cam sensor, manifold must be lowered to about 1/2" off touching before it can move back into position. Tricky! Used "The Right Stuff" black sealer this time, and a good sized bead. Got it all back together and decided to clean the battery terminal clamps before starting it up. Got some baking soda in hot water and a toothbrush. Scrub, scrub, dip negative battery terminal clamp in mixture, bubble and froth, clamp is apparently mostly corrosion and dissolves. Break the bolt on it trying to get it apart. Break the actual clamp monkeying with it to try and "make it work" so I could get to the parts store the next day. So, had to use the old Chevy again (still have not found the title to sell it) for a week as I had no open evenings to work on it. Got that fixed, and the oil leak appears gone, the lean code is gone, the bad rear O2 sensor code is still there, and I have a new Small Evap System Leak code. Guess I need to tackle that fuel filler leak next.

Went ahead and replaced the hood struts so I don't need the prop stick. Have the parts to do the parking brake and front shocks and door bushings, but I'm just driving it for now as I've got too many house projects to do.

I want a feedback gauge for MPG. I can build an MPGuino (got a nice soldering iron for my birthday!), or I can just buy an Ultragage, or I can do the ForScan app with an ELM327 dongle, or do ScanGauge. For a vehicle that will not do Engine Off Coasting, nor be modded to run lean (I'd prefer to do the extra EGR/warm air intake method of intake charge dilution), how much less accurate are the OBD2 info derived MPG gauges than the MPGuino?

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Old 06-01-2017, 11:57 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I run the Dongle and the Dash Command app myself
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Old 06-01-2017, 11:28 PM   #13 (permalink)
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What oil Brand, Line and Viscosity have you been using? I read there were three different engines available in this vehicle. If you're using 10w30 switch to 5w30 at the next oil change if your engine's not too worn, 5w30's gentler on cold starts and better for cold start mileage.

Add an air dam for HWY mileage; they can be made cheaply in a moderately robust fashion with floor matting and hardware. Your bumper might already have holes in it that you can add the bolts to. Don't make brackets with bent plastic like I initially did, it broke too easily; metal brackets are mandatory. Don't make the dam scrape the ground either.
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Old 06-02-2017, 03:30 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 101Volts View Post
What oil Brand, Line and Viscosity have you been using? I read there were three different engines available in this vehicle. If you're using 10w30 switch to 5w30 at the next oil change if your engine's not too worn, 5w30's gentler on cold starts and better for cold start mileage.
Hello 101Volts,

I'm Using 5w30 "whatever is cheapest at the gas station" and/or whatever the oil change place uses. This is the 4.0 OHV non-SOHC "Cologne" V6. When I got it it was leaky. I've been working on it and I think I have most of the leaks fixed, but need to do a good scrubbing of the gunk and drive a while to be sure. No synthetic oil until I am sure the leaks are gone, blowby/contamination of oil is low, heads aren't cracked, headgaskets aren't on their way out, etc. It'll take a while to get it at a good starting point, then maybe I'll look at at least a semi-synthetic. For a cheap truck with over 150k miles on it that is known for cracking heads/blowing head gaskets I'm not that keen on putting something in it that could get ruined quickly, and I don't have the secondary filtration/oil analysis tech to do long drain intervals. If I could find info on whether the amount of oil in a filter is enough to replenish the additive package at reasonable change intervals, plus info on what level of filtration is "really" needed to keep the oil film healthy and not sludge things up, I maybe could go synthetic. Not going into the engine for oil system mods, though, so if the stock oil pump can't handle an additional bypass oil system, ain't happening.

Driveline will get synthetic when I get around to changing it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 101Volts View Post
Add an air dam for HWY mileage; they can be made cheaply in a moderately robust fashion with floor matting and hardware. Your bumper might already have holes in it that you can add the bolts to. Don't make brackets with bent plastic like I initially did, it broke too easily; metal brackets are mandatory. Don't make the dam scrape the ground either.
Mods will start with a gauge of some sort, then removal of the roof rack, etc. before I get to add-ons. Conveyor-belting type air-dam is on the potential list, as it will hide all manner of ugliness under the rig while I save up for tucking the driveline/gas-tank above the bottom of the framerail and add full skidplates. The plan is to make a daily-driver/weekend warrior off-road rig out of it. Cheaply.

I'll likely mostly be fixing stuff I find wrong with it vs. modding it though, at least for a while. Right now I need to shift my "wrenching time" focus to house projects that have been languishing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FordMan View Post
I run the Dongle and the Dash Command app myself
Hello FordMan,

How accurate have you found the app to be? What Dongle are you using, any problems with it? Dongle and Forscan is one possibility I've been looking at, and all of the apps appear to use the same basic OBD2 info, though Forscan may have some Ford-specific PID accesses that update a bit faster or similar.

I do want a feedback gauge, and I have a spiffy new soldering iron to play with. Trying to strike the balance between "works great, does most of what I want, but was expensive and didn't need the soldering iron" vs. "was really cheap, requires soldering, but the setup got me so frustrated I threw it in a gallon of gas and burned it out of spite". Might go with MPGuino and a separate dongle/app for code reading. Anyone ever get a 'duino board to both run MPGuino code and the code needed to act as a gateway between the OBD2 port and a wifi shield? IE, be both an MPGuino and an ELM327 wifi dongle in the same package? I love it when I can make one thing do more than one task at the same time.

I need to read up more on the Ultragauge, too. I forget whether it has problems with MPG accuracy when one cuts the fuel feed for engine off coasting (if I get an electric power steering pump to keep air out of the lines, thus preventing the HORRIBLE death-wobble-like-vibration that results) or on-demand DFCO at arbitrary rpm/throttle position (WOT should give less deceleration than "regular" DFCO). I also still can't tell how much less accurate it is than the MPGuino - and with a base goal of "beat 20mpg consistently" I don't even know how accurate I need it to be. I keep a paper fuel log so I always have math to fall back on, at least.
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Old 06-02-2017, 05:36 PM   #15 (permalink)
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After buying 2 cheap dongles and having one warrantied twice, (car would die and theft light would start flashing), I bought one that is about $25.00 and it has worked well (except for when I thought it had finally went out and I just had my bluetooth turned off).

The Dash Command app has the ability to put in your vehicle parameters, (gear ratios for up to 6 gears, final drive ratio, engine size, tire size)

The app is free but to do the vehicle specific pids it is $10.00 and you have a login so that it saves.

If you go on dashxl.net, you can get a lot of different interfaces/skins, I currently run the Regal interface/skin, and I switch back to the stock skin when resetting trips and logs, you can also check and clear most computer codes, I even reset a seat belt light code once

Adapter: New BAFX ELM327 Bluetooth OBD 2 CAN V1.5 Scan Tool Android OBD Reader / Scanner | eBay

--- I have found the app to be about 2-5% off, about normal of even factory gauge instrumentation.
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Last edited by ECO-AKJ; 06-02-2017 at 05:39 PM.. Reason: App accuracy
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Old 06-03-2017, 02:00 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Hi cajunfj40. I came across your thread today and have some suggestions you may want to try out.

1. Find a used Scanguage. I picked mine up for $60 off Craigslist several years back. Best money I have spent on my hypermiling endeavors! It truly turns driving into a fun mpg game. The UltraGauge and MPGuino are both woth considering, along with Torque and others. I'm partial to the SG myself.

2. Read up on Wayne Gerdes. Reread, then reread and implement. He coined the term "hypermiler", and for good reason. I've read that he got anywhere from 40-70 mpg out of his Ford Ranger. Using his techniques to some degree should push you over 20, and perhaps even higher.

3. Aero mods. These are going to be worthwhile on your Explorer, whose coefficient of drag is probably around 0.40. Aerohead goes by "2% aero reduction = 1% fuel savings." This doesn't sound too good. However, the more un-aero the vehicle, the greater the benefit of the mod, usually. A belly pan and grill block would help aero and warm up times

I have more, but work beckons early in the a.m.

Edit: According to Ecomodder's handy dandy drag chart, your Cd is 0.43
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Last edited by BabyDiesel; 06-03-2017 at 02:05 AM..
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Old 06-05-2017, 03:13 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BabyDiesel View Post
Hi cajunfj40. I came across your thread today and have some suggestions you may want to try out.

1. Find a used Scanguage. I picked mine up for $60 off Craigslist several years back. Best money I have spent on my hypermiling endeavors! It truly turns driving into a fun mpg game. The UltraGauge and MPGuino are both woth considering, along with Torque and others. I'm partial to the SG myself.

2. Read up on Wayne Gerdes. Reread, then reread and implement. He coined the term "hypermiler", and for good reason. I've read that he got anywhere from 40-70 mpg out of his Ford Ranger. Using his techniques to some degree should push you over 20, and perhaps even higher.

3. Aero mods. These are going to be worthwhile on your Explorer, whose coefficient of drag is probably around 0.40. Aerohead goes by "2% aero reduction = 1% fuel savings." This doesn't sound too good. However, the more un-aero the vehicle, the greater the benefit of the mod, usually. A belly pan and grill block would help aero and warm up times

I have more, but work beckons early in the a.m.

Edit: According to Ecomodder's handy dandy drag chart, your Cd is 0.43
Hello BabyDiesel,

As I've mentioned above, I have to finish fixing things before I start improvements, and the gauge will be first. There's some simple low-hanging fruit I can do after I finish the repairs and get a gauge, like roof-rack delete, grille block, airdam/sideskirts, etc. Most of my driving is at 55mph or less, and I already know that sustained freeway driving nets me better mpg than my 10-mile 30-55mph commute route.

I think I'll start a separate thread on gauge choice in the instrumentation thread, after I read up a bit more. For my year stick-shift Explorer, ScanGauge and UltraGauge appear roughly equivalent in function. For apps, ForScan seems like the best bet as it appears to access various realtime monitors directly via Ford codes, rather than generic OBD2 codes, and I think it'll do ABS codes too. I want to learn more about MPGuino and OBDuino as they are inexpensive and could give me a chance to play with my new soldering iron.

In the meantime, Life Goes On and I have house projects to attend to, so my wrenching time is limited.
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Old 09-06-2017, 05:59 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Unhappy Well hello there, potential cracked head/head gasket...

Slowly developing a baseline, and getting stuff fixed.

I seem to be settling in at about 18.Xmpg average when mostly commuting.

Got fed up not knowing whether the check engine light was the known rear O2 sensor, or something else, without having to stop at the parts store to check it all the time. Bought a Bosch OBD1100 scanner. This truck has very few PID's.

Hello pending misfire on Cylinder 3! Had a misfire code there earlier but it was cleared the last time I had it checked, so it is only back as a pending now and then.

Trouble is, when I put that pending code together with the following tidbits:
Happens only on 1st cold startup in the morning.
Occasional coolant smell.
Slowly dropping coolant level in reservoir (pint/month?).
When I changed the spark plugs, all were nasty/old, but Cylinder 3 was brand new and different from all the others.

That points very dismayingly towards a likely flaw in the head gasket or cylinder head, causing coolant to leak into Cylinder 3 overnight, and cause the misfire in the morning until it gets blown out.

So, I need to pull the #3 sparkplug this weekend before starting the truck up and see if there's coolant in there. Might as well do a compression test, too, to check whether the cylinder bore is chewed up by coolant washing off the oil. If the compression is low in that cylinder, that means this engine isn't worth expensive repair.

If the bores are fine, it's still $1000+ to fix, as when you do head gaskets on this engine you are likely to find cracked heads, and while you have it apart why put back in the likely worn-out pushrods and rocker arms (poor top-end oiling on this design + non-hardened pushrods = wear and valve clatter over time), plus all the bolts likely to break, etc.

Finding a used 4.0 OHV of the right configuration ('97-'00 only) that's any good would be difficult, as the problems are common. I could put an SOHC in it - much wider year range - but I'd need to swap the PCM and engine wiring harness in, as well as either get the PATS redone by a tuner or swap the dash, too. Plus the SOHC only came with a manual behind it after 2001, so there's that complication.

So I may be doing one of those "head gasket in a can" fixes, and just driving it.

Wonder how it would hold up to lean burn mods? If the engine is toast, might as well get it toasty...
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Old 09-06-2017, 09:40 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I wish I could take your manual in my 02 4.0 SOHC. Last tank I pulled 27.6. if I had manual trans I would guess closer to 31-32 with no EOC. Mostly short drives under 20 miles. I think 1 was 13 miles to town grocery shopping then 13 miles home. Warmer weather helps obviously. From mpg standpoint SOHC seems to be all around better. Roof rack xbar delete seemed to help but I blocked the main opening for the radiator during last 1/4 tank as well I believe. So can't attribute any exact numbers. Original tanks when the wife drove it were around 18-20 though so would say 8-9 mpg improvement lol. Before tweaking things my first tanks we're about 22. I have a cracked rear drivers coil springs and will be hockey pucking it to stabilize. Poor man's replacement lol.

Have you made any advances towards an air dam out of the conveyor belt. I am looking to do something of those sorts on mine. Don't know if you know of Al(RIP). He's the only guy I know of that had consistently managed 30+ mpg (SOHC). Must break 30 is all I can say. I put 25 as the manageble limit without EOC on the OHV. Good luck on your wrenching endevours.
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Old 09-07-2017, 12:07 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 14'ecocruze View Post
I wish I could take your manual in my 02 4.0 SOHC. Last tank I pulled 27.6. if I had manual trans I would guess closer to 31-32 with no EOC. Mostly short drives under 20 miles. I think 1 was 13 miles to town grocery shopping then 13 miles home. Warmer weather helps obviously. From mpg standpoint SOHC seems to be all around better. Roof rack xbar delete seemed to help but I blocked the main opening for the radiator during last 1/4 tank as well I believe. So can't attribute any exact numbers. Original tanks when the wife drove it were around 18-20 though so would say 8-9 mpg improvement lol. Before tweaking things my first tanks we're about 22. I have a cracked rear drivers coil springs and will be hockey pucking it to stabilize. Poor man's replacement lol.
Hello 14'ecocruze,

If you are up for a project, 2002 was the last year a manual could be had in the 4-door Explorer, so the swap could be done with all factory parts. Or you find one that's in great shape with a blown motor (2002 SOHC's are still in the window for poor factory design on cam timing chain tensioners.) and swap your good one in.

My trans won't fit your truck - changed from M50DR1 to M5ODR1HD or similar in 2001 and the bellhousing has an extra hole to fit the SOHC. An SOHC trans will bolt to an OHV, but not vice-versa.

If you want EOC in your auto trans rig, you'll need to do something like what they do to auto trans vehicles for RV flat-towing - add an electric pump to keep the fluid circulating. You'll need a hydraulic diagram to get it hooked in right, and to verify that you can get fluid flow to the places that need it for lube without extensive tapping and porting of the valve body. You'll still lose power steering, power brakes, and A/C, but at least you won't burn up the trans.

As for the cracked rear coil spring, you should be able to find one in a pull-a-part yard, or via car-part.com salvage yard site, or similar, not too expensively. All the tools can be rented, but you may need a chunk of credit or debit to cover the tool price while you have it - the part store by me has me basically buy and return. You break it, you keep it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 14'ecocruze View Post
Have you made any advances towards an air dam out of the conveyor belt. I am looking to do something of those sorts on mine. Don't know if you know of Al(RIP). He's the only guy I know of that had consistently managed 30+ mpg (SOHC). Must break 30 is all I can say. I put 25 as the manageble limit without EOC on the OHV. Good luck on your wrenching endevours.
No progress on any mods, still playing whack-a-mole with repair needs as they arise. Have a right rear axle seal leaking, need to tear apart the parking brake mechanisms on both sides to get the parking brake functioning, need to install the shocks up front, etc....

Good luck to you, too.

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