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Old 11-11-2018, 07:27 PM   #1
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Two Stones, One Bird

A twist on the old line yes!

The 'bird' being my bought new 2010 4x4 EB Ford van. QuadVan 4x4 and a V-10 gas engine.
The 'stones' being the two upgrades thrown at my van.

Time for upgrading!

First stone.
A 5 Star tuning recalibration for my V-10 gas motor. At 8600 lbs my van is heavy as any Sportsmobile type van is (my van is not Sportsmobile other the the Penthouse top).
Weight, wheel diameter, gear ratio and intake/exhaust mods & type of usage are things 5 Star tuning wants to know. 33.5" tires (295/70-17) & 4.56 gears & 8600 lbs in my case. I tow semi frequently.
First, I had a Magnaflow muffler put into my stock exhaust and I bolted in a K&N intake system. Small gains felt and K&N guarantees 15 HP gain.
Received the tuner in the mail & got the 'strategy code' for 5 Star. They send a map for your (my) application. Then install.
Pleasing results! Decently better pick up, better shifting points, and my van pulls grades better including the cruise control operating much better. No more stupid downshifts (on CC), holding top gear & 4th gear better than before. I can actually use cruise control now!
Oh, there is more intake drone with the K&N intake, usually in a lower rpm torque situation. Pretty much stock quiet when not under a big low rpm load.
Fuel mileage.... They say either the same or possibly 6-8% better mpg's.
So far my mpg's have been worse - too much 7-9 miles per gallon. Yikes.
I have been towing a 2000 lb trailer during this trip. I got 10-11 mpg towing on this trip before the tuning upgrade. So... worse actual mileage or a heavier throttle foot due to using the extra power? Not sure at this point.
5 Star claims a roughly 60 HP increase, along with my 15 HP increase on the intake, I may have 75 more horsepower.
I believe I definitely have and feel more power.

Second stone!
Agile Off Road RIP kit. Many know about it around here - Ride Improvement Package.
Its gives an additional 1 1/2" height to my van, the rear 2 1/4" as it sat 3/4" lower than the front. They measure a before and after.
New springs and matched Fox shocks. Agile does the install in a day easily, amazingly.
Okay, may QuadVan did not ride so terribly bad... but 8 year old springs and Bilstein shocks, I thought any sort of quality ride was going away.
The RIP ride is stiffer. So are the shocks, but they control the springs very well IMO.
So... stiffer ride with more control vs springs that are getting softer, rollie pollie and shocks that let the springs bounce. More control is the bottom line.
But stiffer!
I did this trip to Agile without the wife, so when I return she feels the van feels the same, LOL.
Which means for me, it is still a big ponderous, heavy van that rides on the harsh side. Yes with more control now, and I love Fox shocks (I have them on a Dura Max also). Fox shocks have been better for me in several applications (than Bilsteins).
Oh, more travel also with the RIP kit, but I have yet to check how it articulates off road. My van has been more a camper and trailhead vehicle than a trail vehicle per say.

This is my review of a couple nice, decent and popular products.

The 5 Star tuner improves my V-10 engine. World changing? Close. For me, satisfying, and 75 hp is 75 hp, in the right direction.

The Agile Off Road RIP is an improvement also. IMO, a quality kit which changes the ride. For the better, but probably not F-350 smooth. Of course my van is quite a bit heavier than a F-350 (which can be up to 7200 lbs).
I personally like the Agile RIP kit. More looks at my van also as its a taller vehicle . The guys there are pros at their job. Thank you Jesus.

I hope this helps for those who are considering either the 5 Star Tuner or the Agile Off Road RIP kit. Happy travels!
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Old 11-11-2018, 09:59 PM   #2
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Thanks for sharing your experience. This is good information.
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Old 11-14-2018, 10:28 AM   #3
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I guess I should have put Agile or 5 Star in the title to be more informational.
My V-10 van is at a new level of 'solid'. Two good upgrades in my opinion.
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Old 11-14-2018, 11:12 AM   #4
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There's no way you gained 15hp with a K&N air filter, unless you added a blower to go with it.
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Old 11-14-2018, 11:49 AM   #5
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Firm believer in the 5-Star tuning as well - but my application is for the Diesel.
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Old 11-14-2018, 11:49 AM   #6
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I'm confused on the loss of MPG's. I actually gained 1 mpg along with the better shifting and power on my V10.
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Old 11-14-2018, 03:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FVShootingStar View Post
There's no way you gained 15hp with a K&N air filter, unless you added a blower to go with it.
K&N supplied a dyno sheet with my intake, stating 17 hp I believe, their claim. 5 Star Tuning believes apprx 15hp with an intake as the gentleman over the phone said to me. I suppose it could be snake oil. ...Or a 4-5% increase. Opening up intake & exhaust has always helped power, but usually jetting or mapping is needed. And I have mapped. 5 Star estimated a 60 hp gain with their tune & adding 15 hp to that equaling 75+-. The cork has been removed.
No dyno testing for me in my meager world..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flux View Post
I'm confused on the loss of MPG's. I actually gained 1 mpg along with the better shifting and power on my V10.
One mile per gallon. Think about it, thats not much. A lot of factors there IMO. Did you top off exactly? Were you on a hillier or flatter route? Freeway vs city?
In my case I am learning the feel of my upgrades. If you drive it the same, you have the same result. To get more, you have to give it more (at the accelerator pedal).
So maybe I am goosing it more than normal to see if I truly have more power. I don't think all the increase is at lower rpm's so I let it rev through slightly.
Get where I am going? I usually never have exactly the same mpg's, tank to tank. It varies.
I also had headwinds on my return trip. Argh!
So time will tell with an empty van. The V-10 is not going to get instant good mpg's the way I see it. To this point is has been disappointing mpg return. But I do feel my V-10 has noticeable improved acceleration over stock. And it shifts better too.
Lets call it Maxacceleration!
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Old 11-22-2018, 11:22 AM   #8
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I too have a quadvan and have been debating the RIP kit. The limited travel on the stock quadvan set up leads to some impactful hits over potholes and forest roads. With the 1.5" of lift how did Agile get the correct caster setting? Do you know what angle shim they used or did they perhaps drop the radius arm 1.5" to compensate? I had talked to Agile on the phone awhile back and they hadn't done much on the Quadvans so weren't sure how it would work out. I was planning to order it and install myself vs making the trip down but was hesitant with not having a clear answer on how to best align it after the lift.

I don't expect the my van to ride like a caddy but looking for a way to improve the ride in some way.
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Old 11-22-2018, 11:43 AM   #9
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There was virtually no change in alignment adjustment.
It stayed at Quadvan specs (same alignment since 2010!), including caster shims, with only a check of toe in.
Same stability as before.
As I stated, I believe, the ride is stiffer, yet more controlled. I haven't had the opportunity yet to see how well it articulates over uneven terrain.
The RIP kit is nice, but I'm not sure its a cure all.
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Old 11-22-2018, 12:38 PM   #10
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The stock filter is definitely a restriction in the V10. The difference between stock paper and a K&N element, was the difference between 2nd or 3rd gear in the Rockies for me.
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