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!
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.
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.
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!