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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-02-01, 05:07 AM Thread Starter
Mmmm, forbidden donut
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Question Cost effective performance mods for the XE?

Hi all,

'The Mighty XE' is a bit misleading as my FForums name since my XE is a bog stock standard 4.1L carby 3 on the tree auto...

Reading about all the awesome hotted up cars on the boards has made me hungry to liven the ol' beast up a tad..

Problem is, as a uni student, I have precious little money, and can not afford significantly higher fuel bills..

Sooo, what's my best option for a bit of a performance increase without breaking the bank (ideally less than $1000) and without sacrificing too much fuel economy (V8 is not an option for a few years..)?

The 'hopefully soon to be mightier' XE

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-02-01, 07:56 AM
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Get a 5 speed in there! Itll increase fuel economy and performance, so you get the best of both Worlds

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-03-01, 04:04 AM Thread Starter
Mmmm, forbidden donut
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I'd be keen to do that...but correct me if I'm wrong wasn't the 5 speed manual only available with the 3.3 engine in the XE?

Was the 5 speed manual available in the 4.1L XF?
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-03-01, 04:52 AM
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The BW 0507 5spd was only available to the 3.3 cause it is as weak as ****. Later on in the life of the Xf they were released with a T5.
I think he is talking about the T5. There is one advertised in the melbourne trading post for $750. from '96 XR6.


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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-03-01, 07:34 PM
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Go straight GAS, Get A gas Research kit and put it on, shave the head a little, and put a gas cam, extractors and a 2 /14 exhaust.

will move fairly well even with the 3spd.

more power , less economy but WAY cheaper fuel prices, and having this setup means that a turbo is a possibility in the future!!!
post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-04-01, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
Mmmm, forbidden donut
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Thanks for the replies guys, ATM I'm thinking the T5 manual is the way to go...

Not having played with trannies much before, is there anything in particular I need to consider when switching from the column auto to manual (final drive ratio?) or is it pretty much a 'simple' swap with the necessary additions?
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-04-01, 01:39 AM
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I'm speaking from XF 4.1 carb ULP knowledge.

If you want quick acceleration, put a 3.23 or higher diff in, assuming you've got 2.77 diff. You'll need to pay someone to do it (about $400 - $450 is best I could find in Melbourne) unless you've got special tools and skills and experience, or pick up an axle disc to disc (or drum to drum if that's what you've got) and swap it over. Check the ratio by removing the diff cover and checking the ratio printed on the crown wheel. The tag on the diff cover means nothing - some prick in the Trading Post tried to sell me a 2.92 as 3.23 for my XF a while back. I think XE's all had coil rear axles. If so, check that the axle matches yours for coil mounting points, Watts link etc - I don't think XD, ute, and panel van axles for leaf springs can fit.

Intake on 4.1 alloy head cross flow head is good, but intake manifold is too narrow and can't flow to head's potential. Still some Cain manifolds new at John Cain in Sydney for $140 a couple of months back, but set up for 350 Holley, as I think are all other performance manifolds. If you've got two barrel Weber (I'm not sure what was on XE) it will flow about same as Holley with no problems with emission / roadworthy regulations. Adapter plate for Weber can be made from aluminium plate with drill and hacksaw and file.

Exhaust on 4.1 not as good as intake, but no point doing head work as you're on a budget and no point unless you want serious performance improvements higher in the rev range. Extractors definitely and bigger exhaust and better mufflers if you can afford them.

Disable the EGR system, but leave it in place for roadworthy etc. Buy two EGR to manifold gaskets for a few bucks. Assuming EGR mounting is same as my XF, remove EGR from intake manifold and make plate out of thin aluminium, using a gasket as template. Sandwich plate between two gaskets and reinstall EGR. No more exhaust gases to dilute the fuel/air charge. And it can be removed in a few minutes if you ever get pinged.

Keep vacuum advance dizzy as allows recurving to get maximum out of other changes, unlike XF EST box.

Decent cam (look at Crow cams website for choices) and heavier springs will improve performance and increase redline 500 rpm +.

If you're XE you'll be leaded fuel, but all alloy heads have to have hardened valve seats or they'd be stuffed in no time, so you should be ok with unleaded. If you shave head or alter pistons to increase compression, you'll have to be careful to avoid pinging, but if you can afford to run Optimax it'll easily go to 9.5:1 (according to Shell anyway).

The fan soaks up anything between 5 and 10 BHP and is noisy to boot. You can get a couple of thermo fans off any front wheel drive (about $30 each at Pick a Part) and fit them, but you'll need to fit a thermo switch as well.

5 sp box is good if T5, but expensive. Reco ones are getting up around a grand, and that might only be if you've got one to change over. BW 0507 won't last in 4.1, and won't last even quicker in modified 4.1.

4sp single rails a lot more plentiful and cheaper in Trading Post, but I'd leave gearbox till last of all the suggestions in this topic. You might need to change tailshaft and/or front yoke to fit different gearbox. It's the most expensive item for the least result under the foot.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-04-01, 07:41 AM
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Actually, i'd do the gearbox first. I've got an XD wagon, 250 six, with 4-speed, etc etc.. the B/W 503 is just about unbreakable, even with a few performance mods n stuff. And you'll end up with at Least 10 more hp at the rear wheels - the old 3 speed slushies ate quite a bit of power. The EGR doesnt do terribly much, except for higher rev operations, where the valve sometimes opens up on you. But it mainly opens up during cruise to lean out the fuel/air charge to keep your fuel bills down (i'm a uni student too - i know all about these!)

Then i'd see about getting a thinner head gasket to bump up your compression a bit, and at the same time i'd see how far you can advance your timing before it starts pinging on you.. I'm running 14 degrees BTDC, near on 9.6:1 CR (i'm runnning a thin gasket, cant remember brand name).. and I'm running a mix of super and Ultimate 98.. I can get by on just the super, but it pings a tiny bit going up hills n stuff.

If you can do all of these yourself, and assuming your motors in good nick, it wouldnt cost more than $400 if you get the bits from wreckers n stuff
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-06-01, 07:41 PM
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Originally posted by The Mighty XE

Was the 5 speed manual available in the 4.1L XF?

Yep, sure is.
post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-08-01, 06:43 AM
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just my opinion ..

do NOT spend any cash on the 4.1 for the xe. as someone who went from a 4.1 xe to a 351c xe, dont even bother working anything less than a 351 for an xe. even a 351 with a bit of work (heads, exhaust, etc etc) will still have a a bit of a hard time keeping up with many of the other modified cars you'll run into, especially the tubo imports.

seriously, save you money until you can either get something decent, or do the whole driveline. you could throw so much cash away doing all that **** to your current setup it would make you sick and probably wouldnt even be very quick in the end.

a better option would be to sell your car and pick up a car that someones already spent heaps of money on doing up. you can get a ****load of extras like wheels, gauges, stereo etc if you wait for the right guy whose desperate to sell his pride and joy. sounds harsh but its money better spent.

and also just accept that performance and fuel economy do not go together! but a 351 on gas is really not too much to run. and yeah i'm a student too.
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