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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had a few people ask that I post some updates, so I decided to start a separate thread.

We have a 10K Equal-i-zer hitch that is 15 years old. It was looking pretty bad, so I had the hitch, sway bars, and shank blasted and powder coated. I also purchased new hardware. Here are a few pictures.



 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I had a few grab hooks and clevis mounts blasted and powder coated, at least the ones that are topside. I left the bottom backing plate/clevis mounts zinc chromate plated. The bottom receiver hitch backing plate with clevis came powder coated black. Even though the shackles will mostly stay in the tool box, the blue looks out of place. So, if I get bored, I might paint the shackle pins John Deere yellow. The yellow pins will also be easier to find if I were to drop them.








 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
When they powder coated those did they do just a blast and powder coat, or sand blast, primer, then powder coat? i've noticed the cost difference to primer material is minimal in terms of powder coating but often times pays off in the long run.
That's a good question. I'm not sure.

I would definitely paint the clevis and pins over powder coating, while the powder coating can last longer, the paint will be easier to touch up over time. I know my local feed and ranch store has JD yellow in rattle cans readily available, so would be an easy weekend/hour project to get them hung and painted.
I keep John Deere Green and Yellow spray paint on hand, so that's what I plan to use on the pins.

Although now you'll either need to take the tractor out this weekend to get the new shiny's dirty, or clean the whole thing so it's all shiny again. It's nice how close a good powder coater can match paint these days
The shop that does my blasting/powder coating already had John Deere Green powder coat, so that worked out well.

We've had lots of short commutes on our 2015 EcoDiesel over the last 4 weeks. I've had zero issues with the stock AGM battery (May 2015 truck build date), but I was curious how charged the battery was. Sure enough, the battery was low. It took about 7 hours or so to get it back to fully charged. I'm glad that I checked it.


 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I had a little mishap when removing the rear wheel on the tractor. I boogered up the first few threads on the lug bolt and hub. I couldn't get the thread chaser started on the front side, so I came in from the back. I used a little engine oil for lubrication and slowly worked it back and forth until it threaded through. The new lug bolt threaded with no problems.





 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If they didn't spec a primer, it was probably just straight powder coated.
I just talked to the guy who owns the shop. He said there's no reason to use primer if blasting down to bare metal. Perhaps it's the type of powder he uses, but he claims that applying straight to the metal has the best adhesion.

Always convenient to have a set of taps laying around.
I don't use them often, but they come in handy. Mine are actually thread chasers, which clean and straighten the threads. They are not typical taps that shave metal.

Glad to see that your tap sockets came in handy for ya
Good memory! I just bought those tap sockets around the holidays. They work really well. There's an o-ring that holds the tap in place. Here's the YouTube video that sold me on them.

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I need to get me a set of thread chasers. Where'd you get those?
Mine are ARP. If I remember correctly, I found the best prices on automotive websites, but I would also check eBay and Amazon. There's nothing cheap about ARP, so I don't blame you for wanting cheaper thread chasers. If you're interested in ARP, here are part numbers that will aid in searching: The Official ARP Web Site | Thread Cleaning Chasers
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I found myself wanting a few more tie-down points on the trailer, so I installed 8 double stud anchor plates. The plates come with stainless screws that thread into stainless swage nuts. I also added stainless nylon insert lock nuts for added security.








The EcoDiesel with the Big Horn trim level has known issues with high coolant/oil temps under heavy towing loads, especially on mountain passes and long steep grades. I've had my truck derate twice (both times on mountain passes) towing near maximum capacity.

To remedy this problem, I swapped to a high flowing grille. The Big Horn grille has a textured backing with small holes. The Honeycomb grille is wide-open and allows a significant amount of air flow to pass through. I miss the look of the Big Horn grille, but the black honeycomb insert with chrome surround doesn't look too bad since the side steps and tow mirrors are also black.

Here are some before and after pics:







 

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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
What amount of dovetail does that trailer have? Reminds me of my 16+4 10.4K Sure Trac I previously owned.
I'm not sure how much length or drop is in the dovetail. The trailer is 83”x16' and 10,000 GVWR. It's a good height for getting the tractor/backhoe loaded and unloaded. The backhoe will drag if the nose of the trailer is a little too low, so the dovetail does help for that application, at least with the factory ramps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 · (Edited)
You should probably pull the radiator & oil cooler and clean it. You’d be amazed by how much crud gets built up.
The radiator on the EcoDiesel is really easy to pull, so that wouldn't be a problem. The oil cooler isn't near the grille, so it stays pretty clean. Here's a picture of the oil cooler mounted to the engine:




 

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Discussion Starter · #27 · (Edited)
I’d think about an aftermarket oil cooler up by the grille. The oe ones like that aren’t very efficient
The factory oil cooler seems to do a pretty decent job. One of the early EcoDiesel hot shots/transporters had an aftermarket oil cooler, but everyone else is running the factory oil cooler with no concerns (everyone is tuned), and two of them are nearing 450,000 miles on their engines.

Green Diesel Engineering offers a lower temperature thermostat that reduces coolant and oil temps approximately 18*F. So, that would be an option, too.

Now that I have the grille swapped out, plus the GDE tune, I'm feeling pretty comfortable with my current setup. The EcoDiesel already has a working oil temp sensor, so I don't need to add a sensor. I might add an oil by-pass kit and/or deep oil pan at some point, but that would be more for fun/experimental than anything.

What grade of stainless fasteners did you use? 316N or 304N? 348 would be pretty nifty if you can get your hands on them, but even 302 would work. Did you add a backing plate to help disperse the load better?
I used the screws that came with the kit, so I'm not sure which grade. The kit comes with a backing plate (pictured below). The tie-down is tested to 5,000 lb minimum breaking strength in a vertical pull test. I opted for the pear shaped ring instead of the round ring.




 
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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
But what are the screws rated for? a 5,000 pound rating on the tie down doesn't carry through the rest of the mounting equipment.
They advertise that the entire system (3 screws with backing plate) has a 5,000 minimum breaking strength (vertical pull).

Also curious if you are at all worried about galvanic corrosion due to stainless screws going into the CS backing plate?
The stainless screws go into stainless swage nuts.

Also halfway curious if the quick plate that the tie down anchors into that you mounted to the trailer deck, what material those are made of. the picture makes them possibly appear aluminum, possibly cast with a machine finish?
The backing plate is made from steel and is zinc coated.

I would be curious what the overall package can actually hold up to on a pull test. I just know how some of the advertising on some items skew the actual tests to their favor, where they will test one item, but not the rest of the product
They advertise that the entire package will hold up to 5,000 minimum breaking strength (vertical pull). That's the maximum they tested since the tie-down rings are only rated for 5,000 lbs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
What about at a 45 degree angle?
It's unknown to me. With enough information, I'm sure there's a mathematical predictor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 · (Edited)
Speaking of mountain living, our friends (Janice and Rich) are here from Kansas staying at their cabin. Yesterday evening, Janice saw this lion while doing dishes. She said the lion causally walk by the kitchen window licking his chops after drinking some water. She went out the back door onto the deck to see if she could see the lion. Rich was out in the woods with his camera. He came walking up to the house about 3 minutes after the lion was there. She couldn't find her phone, camera, or tablet in time. Rich had the camera with him and apparently had moved her phone and tablet to the charger without telling her. Thankfully the game camera picked up this picture.

 
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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
I recently ordered the OE winter front. It arrived yesterday. I'm looking forward to using it next winter. We don't see temperatures below zero often, but we have many mornings in the single digits or teens. It's the end of April and we've been averaging between 22*F - 27*F in the mornings.

From the Owner's Manual:

Winter Front Usage
A winter front or cold weather cover is to be used in
ambient temperatures below 32°F (0°C), especially during
extended idle conditions to reduce condensation
build-up within the engine crankcase. This cover is
equipped with four flaps for managing total grille opening
in varying ambient temperatures. If a winter front or
cold weather cover is to be used, a percentage of the total
grille opening area must be left uncovered to provide
sufficient air flow to the charge air cooler and automatic
transmission oil cooler. The percentage of opening must
be increased with the increasing ambient air temperature
and/or engine load. If the cooling fan can be heard
cycling frequently, increase the size of the opening in the
winter front. When ambient temperatures drop below
0°F (-17°C) the four flaps need to be closed. A suitable
cold weather cover is available from your MOPAR dealer
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Temps seem to be where they should be without it, but then again, it hasn't been below -10 for a few winters now.
The coldest I've seen is -17*F. Your county has the state record for the coldest recorded temperature (-50*F). :oops:

The EcoDiesel owners in cold climates agree that the cover will provide quicker warmups and better fuel economy with the winter cover. The benefits have been noted even at 35*F. Some have experienced ice buildup in their intercooler/intercooler pipes if they didn't use the cover. For those reasons, I figured it's better to be safe than sorry.
 
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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Interesting.......as I have never heard of ice formation in the charge air cooler tract.
Apparently it was a big enough issue that FCA released the following 'Customer Satisfaction Notification'. From my understanding, it was sent to select USA owners and Canadian owners. I found a copy of the R51 that was sent to Canadian owners:

The problem is:
The Charge Air Cooler (CAC) on your vehicle may experience internal icing in cold ambient temperature conditions. This condition may cause the Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL) to illuminate and cause the vehicle to experience a 56 km/h limp in condition.

What your dealer will do:
FCA Canada will provide a Winter Front Cover for your vehicle free of charge.

We ask that you install the provided Winter Front Cover, when sustained day and night temperatures drop below 30*F (-1*C), using the installation instruction sheets provided in the kit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 · (Edited)
Also, there has to be a fair amount of moisture in the air for the ice to form from.
:BINGO:

Correct. Condensation can be an issue, so much so that AFE actually put a condensation drain on their intercooler.

Condensation Drain:
The intercooler includes a 1/8" NPT brass breather vent, which drains condensation from the intercooler. The port can also be plugged using the included 1/8" NPT plug.



Either way, you don't live in any of those regions, or Canada, right?
I'm not too worried about the pipes building up with ice and restricting air flow, although I suppose it could happen if the conditions are right. The front cover will help bring the coolant, transmission, and oil up to an optimum temperature, which can't be achieved without the winter cover in certain ambient temperatures. Testing has shown a pretty good temperature difference with the cover on vs cover off.

I remember the year we drove our 2006 Cummins from New Mexico to Kansas at Christmas time. We plugged the truck in the night before. It was -6*F when we left at 4:00 AM. It seemed to take forever before the truck was blowing hot air. 4 hours into the trip, the ambient temperature got up to 18*F. The Cummins ran cold the entire 850 miles (ambient temperature never got above freezing). As soon as we pulled over for fuel, the temperature needle would plummet at idle. I sure wished I had a grille cover on that trip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 · (Edited)
And my question is, why is the ecodiesel experiencing condensation buildup in the charged air system?
Based on what I've read, the condensation buildup is not unique to the EcoDiesel, or diesel for that matter. Like Aburdett said, even the Ford EcoBoost has condensation buildup issues. To remedy the condensation issue in the EcoBoost, Ford installed an air deflector underneath the intercooler to help vaporize the condensation.

In short, turbo engines produces a lot of condensation. Even the VW TDI had the same issue. Someone mentioned that Volvo uses intercoolers with condensation drain holes.

By blocking off the front grille, you're keeping the temps high enough to prevent water from condensing in the intercooler.

How does a breather vent let out only water and not air?
That was my question, too. Apparently a small hole doesn't result in a significant loss in boost. AFE claims that their EcoDiesel intercooler is pressure tested at 200psi.

Here's a good video about ice buildup in the TDI. This just happened in March in Kansas City:

 
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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
Guess I found the new hangout.
Far from the new hangout, but I'll be posting things related to 'mountain living' which may include any updates to the trucks, equipment, and property developments. In other words, I won't be discussing sports, politics, etc.

Been in Florida, no mountains in sight though.
Nice! I'm glad that you got a chance to get away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
Have you gotten around to building a good back stop for shooting out on your property?
Our property, as rural as it may be, is part of a HOA. Target shooting isn't allowed due to noise pollution. Even though most property owners are gun enthusiasts, we understand the reason behind it. Plus, it's a little easier to digest the rule(s) knowing that we can walk/drive over to the national forest for target shooting. Our property is approximately a 1/2 mile to the west and a 1/2 mile to the east of the national forest.

Once my current house sells and we get an appropriately sized tractor for our properties i know preparing a good back stop will be pretty high on my list of things to do
My dad built a really nice backstop. He piled up some rock, then built two walls of railroad ties and a smaller third wall for the heavy artillery. The smaller wall is cut up into small sections. When those get chewed up, he can easily replace them. Here's a picture:

 
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