After 7 years the ST project is complete

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Phil V

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, ON
Well it's been a busy week. I finally completed my ST. It has been my daily driver for 7 years. I've put on over 200000 kms since I bought it with 90k. It's at 304 now still going strong as ever.

I diagnosed a rattle as a broken cat, which had clogged the second one. Ordered a magnaflow cat and had the exhaust shop weld it on. Got all my power back, such an amazing difference.

I was going to do 4.56 gears but with this recent power increase I felt it was unnecessary. I had a B&M 40297 differential cover that I was going to do with the gears. Decided to put it on the other day. Took a little bit of modification to the piece of metal that hangs down infront of the spare tire, but other than that I got it in with no problems. It takes 4 quarts and seems like a well made cover. Now I have a drain plug so I don't have to pull the damn cover every time! Wish I did this earlier.

Last but definitely not least I painted the Adrenalin rims that I picked up in the winter. Satin black, turned out really nice. Had the Bora wheel spacers from Motorsport Tech that I had to put on with the rims. I also went ahead and got some mcgard black chrome lug nuts and lock keys.

The long list of mods can be found on my profile page.

Now, for some pictures! Excuse the dirty state of my truck haha

I also just want to say thanks to everyone on the site who has helped me along the way, and the contributors to the projects page. I wouldn't have been able to do it without this website.

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Mickey Luis

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Phil, it really looks good and I love the color of your truck! The rims look great and I love them being painted black. I am curious about the hids and which projectors you used.
 

Phil V

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Thanks Mickey. I love it too. That's why I don't plan on getting rid of it any time soon.

In regards to the projectors I went to Toronto to a company called Wired Ridez ( you can check them out on facebook.) They do really nice work, I would recommend them to anyone in the GTA. I have done most of the work myself but 4 years ago I didn't feel I had the skills to complete the retrofit perfectly. Now that I've seen how it's done I would definitely attempt it. The wiring is simple, the retrofit itself isn't that hard. It's just time consuming and with this being my daily driver I don't have a lot of that.

I believe they are mini H1 projectors as nothing else fits in the housing. They are 55w ballasts and H1 bulbs. Very bright. They light up the roads at night perfectly. It is probably my favourite mod in terms of functionality. It's just a bonus that they look great too.

Here is a cutoff shot

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Mickey Luis

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They look real nice with the cutoff, Phil. When you get a chance, could you post a shot of the projectors in the housing.
 

Phil V

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, ON
Here are the pictures of the projectors as requested

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Anyways on a side note, apparently I'm not done. I was driving home from work doing 160 km/h and blew the hose that goes from the thermostat to the heater core. Lost all my coolant very quickly. I have an ultragauge so I noticed my coolant temp rising up to 100 degrees C so I pulled over immediately. Had some coolant on me so I poured it in and started it up to find the leak. Found it immediately and called up a tow truck.

It's not all bad though, got towed home. Ordered the part. I'm going to put it in this weekend along with a simmons autosportz aluminum thermostat housing, 180f thermostat, some other new hoses.

Decided to bite the bullet and order a new rad while I was at it. Figured it's past time to update the cooling system. With 305000 the original rad doesn't owe me anything. I purchased an all aluminum 3 core rad from ebay. That along with the cooler tstat should keep temps down and hopefully I won't have to worry about any more cooling issues
 

Mickey Luis

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I appreciate the pictures of the projectors. It's been a while since I looked into projectors and it looks as if it's now easier to install projectors. Apparently they have mini projectors which mount thru the original bulb opening instead on a lot of screws, cutting plastic housing and gluing the projectors with screws. I may give the newer rear mounted mini projectors a try later on.

Owning these vehicles can keep you busy upgrading or keeping up with small repairs like the radiator. I just found out this week both my rear shocks are bad and the Sport is leaning to drivers side. I have some helper Monroe load adjust shocks #58617 on the way for Saturday. I expect some small things like this to happen, but I still am delighted with my '03 Sport.
 

Phil V

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No problem Mickey, just glad to help. I didn't feel I had the skills 4-5 years ago when I had them done, but now I wouldn't be afraid to tackle it. I see they do make ones that screw in now but there may be a clearance issue. Definitely would want to do some measuring first. The headlight housings don't leave a lot of room for projectors. Mine stick out the back by a couple inches. I'm sure the mini projectors are even smaller now though, so I would hope it could fit no problem. The projectors are great for night driving. The light output is crazy vs stock.

I understand that I will never truly be done, and I haven't upgraded the cooling system yet so I guess it's time. This is only the second time my Trac has left me on the side of the road so I don't think I'm doing too bad. The last time the fuel line came off the filter.

I had the Monroe load adjusting shocks on my Trac for a while, they are great shocks! They lift the rear up an inch - 1.5 inches. I think you'll like them. They are stiff but I prefer it that way. It's all personal preference. The springs do wear out after a while and make a bit of noise but other than that they are great, and the price isn't bad
 

Rainbow SportTrac

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Rims look great.. I have some chromes ones on mine now.. and they are still good rims but look like crap. I have been contemplating just painting them but I don't know how that would work on old chrome rims... The black out looks fantastic.
 

Phil V

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Thank you, I think they turned out very nice.

What I did was sand off the corrosion then sand the rims with 800 grit. Then plastidipped them with 4 coats. After that I did 4 coats of satin black acrylic enamel. I did the same thing to my stock rims and it has held up for over 4 years. I think this is a good place to start. If you just want matte I think just plasti dip is fine. Do 2 light coats ( not full coverage ) then 2 heavier coats. It should turn out super smooth.

Ps I'm jealous of your sub box. I've always wanted to delete the middle seat and put a big 15 or something in the middle but really didn't know where to start
 

Rainbow SportTrac

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Thank you, I think they turned out very nice.
Ps I'm jealous of your sub box. I've always wanted to delete the middle seat and put a big 15 or something in the middle but really didn't know where to start

The hardest part was finding someone that would chop up that 60 side of the 60/40 bench. We built the box ourselves. Actually it is two boxes and then put an amp rack behind the seats. I love the sound!!
 

Phil V

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Yeah I believe it. I guess you found a professional auto upholsterer? What size are the subs? I bet it sounds amazing
 

JC2008SportTrac

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Here are the pictures of the projectors as requested

View attachment 413 View attachment 414


Anyways on a side note, apparently I'm not done. I was driving home from work doing 160 km/h and blew the hose that goes from the thermostat to the heater core. Lost all my coolant very quickly. I have an ultragauge so I noticed my coolant temp rising up to 100 degrees C so I pulled over immediately. Had some coolant on me so I poured it in and started it up to find the leak. Found it immediately and called up a tow truck.

It's not all bad though, got towed home. Ordered the part. I'm going to put it in this weekend along with a simmons autosportz aluminum thermostat housing, 180f thermostat, some other new hoses.

Decided to bite the bullet and order a new rad while I was at it. Figured it's past time to update the cooling system. With 305000 the original rad doesn't owe me anything. I purchased an all aluminum 3 core rad from ebay. That along with the cooler tstat should keep temps down and hopefully I won't have to worry about any more cooling issues
I giggled at the rad didn't owe you anything, LOL! No, at that mileage, it's certainly done it's duty! How has the Ebay radiator treated you? Was it a quality part?

Looking good! Aside from the driveshaft that my mechanic told me will need to be replaced, SOON (I'll have to see if there are some threads about that topic), the headlights are my next want-to/need-to item, as the stock ones just do NOT put out proper light. Thanks for sharing!

JC
 

Phil V

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No it certainly did it's job. The ebay radiator does it's job well. No leaks so far and it's been years now. Despite it being from China, I would say it's quality. My only gripe is that it still has a plastic drain cock, with a shitty o-ring that I have to replace every time I drain it.

You're right. The stock ones do not put out enough light. The projectors were the best thing I ever did. At my age now, I would do it myself without fear of messing anything up. It's actually really straight forward.

Good luck with the driveshaft! I'm still on my original ( knock on wood)
 

curtis james

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was curious on the rear diff. cover, been looking for one to clean up the look and it looks good, you said mods to the bar, sway/stabilizer bar and i looked on amazon and said not for sport trac, but obviously ya got it on yours. i like the drain instead of pumping out to change.
 

Phil V

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I got the B&M diff cover. It isn't specifically listed for a Sport Trac but it does work with the 8.8 so I gave it a shot. The only thing I had to do was cut off the heat shield from the spare tire. I didn't really care. Call it a weight reduction mod. That was just to get the cover on without smearing the RTV everywhere. I've had that since the original post, with a couple changes since and no issues. It is rounded on the inside for good flow of the diff fluid. Original diff as well, I think it's helping it hold up.

Eddie, unfortunately since this post I slipped on some ice and hit a light pole. I went to the scrapyard and picked up a new metal bumper, header panel and bumper cover. It's back to stock front bumper for now, but it's also black. I would have gotten it painted and modded again but with this old of a truck, I'm just trying to keep it mechanically sound. It is starting to rust out in the rockers, fender and hood... I've given up on appearance other than washing it. My truck had it's time to shine but I think that's over now. I've owned it 11 years now so it's done it's time.
 
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