Bull's Jack-of-all-trades 2015 EB Premium PP

Bull Run

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My goal is to build a general-purpose car that can accelerate, brake, and handle better than an average car, basically a jack-of-all-trades daily driver. I’m more of an engineer than a racer, so my main interest is modding the car in small phases and feel the differences rather than hitting the tracks.

With that in mind, my constraint is to keep it streetable while maintaining comfort, which rules out stripping of the interior, bone-jarring suspension, tiny drag brakes, etc.

I'll start with a series of posts about my existing mods to date, with pictures and justifications, but note that initial mods are not listed in an exact chronological order.

Nearest E85 (more like E54 in AZ) station is about 24 miles from my house, so as much as it pains me, I'm ruling out E85 for now and will try to maximize gains on a 91 octane tune.

As of 8/11/2019

Airflow

Velossa Tech Big Mouth Ram Air Kit with GT Upper Grille
Airaid Intake Kit (453-326) with dry filter
GoFastBits DV+ BPV upgrade
Vargas Stage 2+ Turbo
Turbo blanket
AEM charge pipes
ETS FMIC
Snow Performance Stage 3 WMI
ProMeth Direct Port WMI Kit with 5th Injector

Ignition

NGK LTR7IX-11 (6510) 1-step colder spark plugs
Granatelli Xtreme Pro Series Ignition Coils

Exhaust

MBRP Catless 3" Downpipe
Vibrant Resonator (3" inlet, 3" outlet)
Magnaflow XL Muffler (3" inlet, dual 2.5" outlets)

Drivetrain

DSS CF Driveshaft
Balance shaft delete

Tune

Cobb Accessport V3
Tune+ E-tune
Tune+ Transmission tune

Wheels and Tires

Project 6GR Seven R-Spec (19x11 front, 19x11.5 rear)
Michelin Pilot Sport 4S 305/30/19s (front)
Michelin Pilot Sport 4S 325/30/19s (rear)

Brakes

Front GTPP Brembo 6 piston brake calipers
Front EradiSpeed+ 15" 2pc Rotors
Rear EradiSpeed+ 13" 2pc Rotors
Steeda Stainless Braided Brake Lines
Motul DOT 5.1 brake fluid
JLT Brake Cooling Kit
G-LOC R10 Front Pads (race use) and Titanium Shims
G-LOC R8 Rear Pads (race use)
G-LOC GS-1 Front and Reader Pads (street use)

Chassis and Suspension

BMR Cradle Bushing Lockout Kit
Steeda Strut Tower Brace
Steeda Extreme G-Trac K-Member Brace
Steeda Pro Action fixed shocks and struts
Steeda Billet Rear Shock Mounts
GT350R Front Sway Bar
GT350R Rear Sway Bar
Steeda Ultralite Sport Springs Linear
Steeda Front Camber Plates
Steeda Aluminum Differential Mount Bushing System
Steeda Alignment Kit for BMR CB005
Steeda Rear Adjustable Camber Arms
Steeda Bump Steer Correction Kit
Steeda Front Control Arm Lateral Links w/ Extended Ball Joint
Steeda Toe Links
Ford Performance Knuckle to Toe Link Bearing Assembly
Steeda Front Control Arm Tension Links with Spherical Bearings
Steeda Rear Lower Control Arm Spherical Bearings
Steeda Vertical Links with Polyurethane Bushings
BMR IRS Subframe Support Brace System

Electrical

Antigravity ATX-20 RE-START Battery

PCV

UPR Dual Valve Catch Can
Radium PCV Baffle and Valve

Body

Trufiber Carbon Fiber CS8 Trunk Lid
Tig Vision Front Bumper Bar
Corbeau A4 Wide Racing Seats - Black Microsuede
Corbeau Double Locking Seat Brackets
Trufiber Carbon Fiber A81 Hood
Rear seat delete

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Blue Moon

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Sounds like your build philosophy is similar to mine. I haven't made as much progress as you have yet. Looking forward to reading about your progress.
 

Brian V

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Did you use new mounting hardware for the suspension ?
 
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Bull Run

Bull Run

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Airflow

Air filter box and filter

Stock air filter box is good enough for maximum stock internal engine power levels and is excellent at silencing intake noises. Obtained Cobb drop in filter as a package deal with the Access Port (AP).

Airaid Modular Intake Tube (MIT)

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Airaid MIT has larger tubing and smoother curve that provides measurable intake restriction reduction (measured on the AP). MIT comes with a coupler that necks down to fit the stock turbo, but upgraded turbo with larger inlet can take advantage of the larger tubing.

GoFastBits DV+ BPV upgrade

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OEM BPV is barely adequate at the stock boost level, and is known to leak when the boost is turned up.

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DV+ BPV upgrade keeps the factory solenoid, but replaces the guts with a plunger and spring system that uses the boost to keep the plunger pressurized and closed, until the solenoid activates to relieve the pressure.

Went with the BPV instead of switching to a BOV in order to keep the noise down when lifting the throttle.

Vargas Stage 2+ Turbo (VS2+)

While it may be possible to get close to 400 whp using a stock turbo, it requires a heavy duty intercooler (IC) to cool the extra hot air from the maxed-out turbo, and lots of timing advance to make up for limited airflow at higher RPMs. Not only does this require E85 or race gas, I don't foresee it working very well during Phoenix summers.

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Went with the stock location turbo upgrade, as bigger turbos flow more air at the same amount of boost. With about same boost and timing as I had with the stock turbo, I saw an estimated torque increase of around 30 lb/ft (AP estimation) in datalogs after the swap and tune update. It also prevented sharp drop-off in torque and HP at upper RPM levels seen with small stock turbos. Charge temperature also stayed slightly cooler during datalog sessions.

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Swap itself was easier than I expected. I took my time for the first run, but probably can do it in under 2 hours now.

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VS2+ looks like a stock unit with the heat shield installed. This is great for those going for a sleeper look, or are in a strict emissions state like CA.

AEM Charge Pipes

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Installed these pipes in order to inject water and meth into the cold pipe vs. throttle body spacer. In theory, this should give the mixture more time to evaporate. In case of a leak, fluid will pool in the IC rather than the intake manifold.

Other benefit is that upgraded pipes have smoother turns and do not swell under pressure like stock hoses.

CPE Delta Core FMIC

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If you hang around the EB section of the forum, you'll often hear about how pitiful stock IC is. This picture should give you an good idea as why.

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I was thinking about getting rid of the lettering, but you can't really tell that the car has an upgraded IC with the bumper back on.

AEM Stage 2 WMI with 50/50 mixture

I found a used TUNE+ version that came with brackets for mounting the reservoir and pump in the trunk.

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I'm currently running a single 550cc nozzle. Internal check valves are prone to failing and leaking, so I gutted it and installed an inline check valve from Devil's Own.
 
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Bull Run

Bull Run

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Stealthy Exhaust Upgrade

Phase 1, 3" Corsa catted downpipe (DP):

I chose the catted version to avoid stinky exhaust and for noise control. It still triggered intermittent CEL for rear O2 sensor, fixed via tune.

DP came with end pieces that allowed connection to the 2.25" inlet pipe of the stock resonator, with an option to upgrade to 3" piping later. I put the header wrap on the upper portion of the DP to reduce the under hood temperature. You can see in the picture below how the stock DP narrows down to 2.25" inch after the flex joint.

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Phase 2, Borla Pro XS muffler, 3" inlet, dual 2.25" outlets:

Next restriction in the exhaust flow was the resonator due to its single 2.25" inlet. I chose Borla Pro XS muffler as it's basically a Y-pipe in a muffler. I stuck with dual 2.25" outlets, since the surface area of two 2.25" circles are greater than a single 3" circle. This setup sounded almost stock with stock mufflers. I ran it for almost year.

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Phase 3, GT stock mufflers:

I was content with my setup until I saw a post by [MENTION=11292]PewterCam[/MENTION] showing insides of a stock EB muffler. I never realized how restrictive stock mufflers were until I saw these pictures. Exhaust gases are forced to go through a restrictive screen first, followed by entering the inner piping smaller than 2" in diameter, before doing a 360 turn through the same pipe to exit the muffler.

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While there are several great sounding axle back mufflers, they all come with noticeable increases in noise. I decided to look into stock GT mufflers, as they can be picked up cheaply or even free from folks who upgraded their exhaust. If GT mufflers are good enough for 435-460 HP Coyotes, they are good enough for stock internal EBs.

I found a picture of an opened up GT muffler and it seems much less restrictive:

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Rolled tips on GT (bottom) mufflers look better than EB ones (top) in a subtle way, which as an added bonus.

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Driving impression:

It might be just in my mind, but throttle response seems to be noticeably better with GT mufflers over EB ones. Perhaps bigger turbo flows enough exhaust for EB mufflers to become a choke point.

I hardly noticed any sound increase unless I'm in a parking garage with windows rolled down. Ford should've made it easy and used GT mufflers for EBs as well, but perhaps they went out of their way to strict EBs as much as possible.

So there you have it; for a sleeper project, catted DP, Borla Pro XS, and GT mufflers will do the trick. If you like loud exhaust, this is definitely not the way to go.
 
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Bull Run

Bull Run

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Wheels and Tires

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Crappy OEM P Zeros didn't work well at the FBO level, and lack of traction was getting pretty scary after adding WMI and turbo upgrades.

Since rear tires were going bald, and 19" Performance Pack (PP) wheels are on the heavy side (~32 lbs each), I took the opportunity to upgrade both wheels and tires (slightly wider in the rear). I chose Tire Rack as it's reasonably priced, has wide range of selection, and has bolt-on packages.

Justification for my choices:

1. Advanti DST HY Hybris: They were lightest 19" wheels listfor S550 Mustangs. At 20 lbs, they are 12 lbs lighter per corner for total loss of 48 lbs. I made an exception for non-stock looking wheels as wheels with stock-ish designs are heavy.

2. Sumitomo HTR Z III XL: It has pretty decent reviews, and ratings seem good enough for DD use.

3. 255/40s in the front: Even P Zeros were good enough for the speeds that I turn at and didn't want to add additional weight and rolling resistance. Tire rack shows HTR Z III XLs weighing same as P Zeros for the same width.

4. 285/35s in the rear: To gain additional traction for low end torque. 285s weigh 2 lbs more per tire, for total gain of 4 lbs.

5. Overall net savings of 44 lbs of unsprung/rotational weight.

Observations:

Losing 44 lbs of unsprung/rotational weight and having better tires made a huge difference. Sumitomos at room temperature felt softer and sticker than warmed up P Zeros. New TPMS modules worked from the start without needing to program them.

1. Steering response increased by a large margin. It's to a point where I needed to adjust how I steer on left and right turns.

2. Car feels much nimbler while changing lanes.

3. WOT for passing or going up the highway ramp no longer cause the rear to feel squirrely.

4. Slightly better throttle response.

5. Can apply over 50% throttle from the stop without causing a Cars and Coffee incident. Traction control still kicks in when doing near WOT, but it recovers much quickly without fishtailing into another lane.

6. Similar improvement for sharp turns. Before, I couldn't give move than 25% throttle without starting to lose traction.

7. Much better cold weather performance. Both are classified as Max Performance Summers, but HTR Z III XLs felt much better than P Zeros at high 40s/low 50s.

Wheel and tire upgrade made the car much more fun to drive, as I don't have to consistently watch my throttle. If I had to start over again, I'll definitely do wheels and tires before WMI and turbo.

One drawback is that gush of wind affects the car more with lighter wheels.
 
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Bull Run

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Brakes

Next upgrade on my list were the brakes. I initially mulled swapping base GT/EB PP 4-piston calipers with either Baer Drag Race Brake kit or Brembo 6-piston calipers, but decided not to for the following reasons:

Baer Drag Race Brake kit: It's about 60 pounds lighter (for both sides) than stock brakes. That's greater weight savings than the previous light weight wheel upgrade. However, it comes with tiny calipers, pads, and 11.62" rotors. According to Baer and forum posts, race pads that come with this kit are adequate enough for repeated stops associated with street use, but they are very noisy and dusty. You can get street pads for the kit, but they are more prone to fade. This kit would've been awesome for drag racing, but not ideal for street use.

Brembo 6-piston: I would've gone with the Brembos if I had a base EB with two piston calipers. However, I did some research and found that 4-piston calipers with 14" rotors are good enough for some track duty with a fluid and pad upgrade. I never felt that EB PP brakes were weak, so I decided to stick with them.

Since reducing the wheel weight had a such positive impact, I purchased Baer EradiSpeed rotors to shed additional unsprung/rotational mass. Baer is a local business, and they also provide military discount.

Front rotors

13.9" OEM w/ 20K miles: 28.4lbs
14" EradiSpeed: 23.8lbs

Difference of 4.6lbs each or 9.2lbs total for front.

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Rear rotors

13" EradiSpeed: 13.0lbs
13" OEM w/ 20K miles: 17.1

Difference of 4.1lbs each or 8.2 lbs total for rear.

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While my main goal was weight reduction, they do look better than stock rotors.

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I felt that the rotor upgrade provided similar benefits as the wheel upgrade, but at a smaller scale.

Steeda Stainless Braided Brake Lines

My car's almost three years old, so I decided to upgrade the brake hoses while doing the brake fluid flush. I liked how stainless steel braided hoses felt in the past, so I went the same route with a set of Steeda Stainless Braided Brake Lines.

Stock brake hose

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Steeda Stainless Braided Brake Lines

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Side by side

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Steeda hoses look much better and feel more solid than stock hoses.

I had issues with both of my rear hard line flare nut threads. Fortunately, I was able to put stock hoses back on and drove to a shop to get them tapped. Search on the Internet showed that I'm not the only one with this issue, so keep an eye for this when swapping rear hoses, as they may come cross-threaded from the factory.

Motul DOT 5.1 Brake Fluid

My original plan was to use Motul RBF 600 brake fluid. However, I found out that that racing brake fluids have higher viscosity and can interfere with ABS and TC. Since my car's a DD, I went with Motul DOT 5.1 which has ABS and TC friendly low viscosity formula. While it's dry boiling point (516F) is lower than RBF 600 (594F), it's still an upgrade from DOT 4 minimum standards (446F).

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Three 500ml bottles should be plenty for a flush.
 
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Bull Run

Bull Run

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Sounds like your build philosophy is similar to mine. I haven't made as much progress as you have yet. Looking forward to reading about your progress.
Thanks, will post about the suspension upgrades tomorrow. Since you know planning upgrade path, you can combine upgrades to save time and effort. For example, you'll need to remove front brake calipers and rotors while swapping out the struts. This may be a good time to do the caliper and/or rotor upgrade.
 
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Bull Run

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BMR CB005 and TCA045

Lightweight wheels and rotors greatly improved handling and traction of the car. However, squirminess of the rear end remained, which was most noticeable when running over bridge expansion joints at highway speeds.

Ford used soft bushings and flimsy stamped pieces for both NVH reduction and cost control, as shown in pictures below for stock front and rear cradle mounts and vertical links.

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I searched the forum and found that most of the folks are happy with both BMR and Steeda kits. I decided to go with BMR CB005 (IRS Cradle Bushing Lockout Kit) as it seemed like multiple Steeda kits were needed to accomplish the same thing. I also went with matching TCA045 (Billet Aluminum Vertical Links). I chose the version with spherical bearings on both ends as this is a street car.

Installation was pretty easy. For CB005, I dropped one side at a time, which saved me from having to use a crowbar to align bolt holes.

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As you can see from pictures above, CB005 comes with inserts that isolate, or lock out, soft bushings from bolts and mounts. Fronts also come with rigid replacement mounts.

TCA045 was even easier to install. I just bolted the bottom end and spherical bearings allowed me to "swing" top ends into place.

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Improvement was immediately noticeable. Rear end feels so much firmer now, and there is zero squirminess when hitting the expansion joints on the highway. I feel that Mustangs should've came from the factory this way, at least for the PP option. Soft bushings and stamped steel pieces flex too much, causing wheel hops and squirminess that impact acceleration and handling.
 
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Bull Run

Bull Run

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Steeda Dampers and Shock Mounts

Firming up the rear end exposed another weakness, in the form of some bounciness after hitting bumps and expansion joints (about 2/3 of my commute is on highways with bridges). A quick search revealed that stock dampers are poor performers, even with stock springs.

Many forum members had good luck with Steeda Pro Action dampers, which are known for superior rebound control over stock dampers. Steeda was having a President's Day sale, so I ordered Pro Action fixed structs and shocks, along with rear billet shock mounts.

Directions for swapping out the struts was simple enough but taking splined bolts out was major PITA. This consumed most of the time for the first strut. I was able to change the second strut in half the time, because I learned to turn the wheel in order to get a full swing on these bolts. They came out after only a few whacks.

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Honorable mention goes to the "eBay special" single action strut spring compressor. At around $45, it was much more solid than I expected, and was faster and safer than 2-piece compressors found in auto parts store rental bins.

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Rear shock swap was uneventful. I can see why Steeda mounts are pricey, as they feel much more solid than stock mounts. They also have spherical bearings that prevent binding of the shock rods. You'll probably end up ripping mounting bolts out before breaking these mounts.

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As expected, rebound recovery is much better now without adding harshness on the compression phase. This met my goal of controlling the bounciness, which was most noticeable when hitting expansion joints while making a wide 90 degree turn on highway interchanges doing 75 MPH. Did I tell you that I go over a lot of expansion joints on my commute?

Knowing me, I'll probably get used to this and end up upgrading the springs in a few months. At least I'll be able to swap struts out like a pro!
 
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Bull Run

Bull Run

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Steeda STB and K Brace

Unlike its bigger brother, EB PP does not come with a STB from the factory. Since the rear end is firmer now, I added the Steeda STB to firm up the front end. I removed the engine cover before the install. STB will fit over the engine cover, but it seems like removing the cover will be PITA with the STB installed.

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I also installed Extreme G-Trac K-Member Brace, as it has bigger impact than the STB in firming up the front.

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Folks with 3" DP upgrade should check the clearance after the install. I noticed more vibration at certain RPM and when stopped with transmission in drive. Turns out there was almost no clearance between the DP and the K brace, which caused the DP to hit the brace at certain conditions. I was able to loosen the DP mounts and move the DP about 3/4" away from the brace, which was enough to stop the vibration.

As expected, the front end feels more rigid now, which is most noticeable when backing out of the garage and coming off of the driveway in an angle. It also feels firmer then hitting bumps on the road.
 
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Bull Run

Bull Run

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Dyno time!

I've been on the current tune for about 10 months now, so I took it to a local dyno/tuner shop last week to see how much it's putting down to the wheels and see if there are any improvements that can be made.

My tune is for 91 octane and the run was made on a Mustang dyno.

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Uncorrected:

334.8 whp @ 5716 RPM
353.3 lb/ft @ 4039 RPM

Corrected:

349.1 whp
368.4 lb/ft

Dyno operator felt spark blowouts after around 5,800 RPM, and estimated that it is costing about 20 WHP loss. His observation seems to be correct, as the HP graph was still climbing at around the peak before a sharp drop.

He commonly sees high RPM spark blowouts in FI cars and recommended gapping plugs down to .024". I ordered a non-marring spark plug gapper and will check and re-gap all plugs once it arrives.

Otherwise, he thought that the tune was on target and was surprised that tuning was accomplished remotely via 3rd gear datalog pulls on the road.
 
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Bull Run

Bull Run

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Antigravity ATX-20 RE-START Battery

I was checking out [MENTION=29826]BlownOne[/MENTION]'s awesome #RealStreetCar build thread, and saw his post regarding recently released Antigravity ATX-20 RE-START Battery. It comes with on-board battery management that protects against over-discharge, over-charge, and high temp issues that made previous generation batteries unsuitable for street use. It even has the ability to put itself to sleep when its charge gets low enough, but has a restart button wake it up for two or three emergency jump starts.

Priced at $319.99, it's relatively cheap compared to previous generation Lithium-ion batteries. And at 3.8 lbs, it's 29.1 lbs lighter than the stock battery weighing 32.9 lbs.

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Bull Run

Bull Run

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Gapping the spark plug

Iridium friendly plug gapper arrived, so I pulled the spark plugs to re-gap them. I was surprised to find out that existing gaps ranged from .033 to .036. No wonder why there were spark blowouts at high RPM. I re-grapped them to .024 to be on the safe side.

Once I verify that the car runs fine with the new gap, I'll go back to the dyno shop to see if blowout issue is resolved.

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