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Discussion Starter · #82 ·
Here's the latest.
It is a well known fact that the Transit Connect Transmission has had issues within it's lifetime. I spoke with a Ford rep a few days ago asking what are some of the best ways to care for these transmission issues. because I didn't get an answer from him, I've taken this issue upon myself.
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In several past vehicles I've driven, I've relied on the BG Products and the assurance that their products will withstand any issue the Connects transmission could encounter over it's lifetime. So next weekend we're heading to a dealership that offers the BG Products and we'll never have to worry about that pesky shutter transmission ever again.
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Discussion Starter · #83 ·
Here's the Latest.
Just got word that our powder coaters finished our 2005 Ford Thunderbird wheel. Although I told them we couldn't pick up the wheel until the end of April. Something's come up and we're going to have to drive north this weekend. So while up there, we'll pick up the wheel.
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Because we'll be in PA this weekend, Looks as if we're going to have to wait until the following weekend to drive the van to the Dealership who offers the BG products services. Picking up the powder coated wheel this weekend! Color Matching Blue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #84 ·
Here's the latest,
We're getting ready to hit the road for a long weekend of travel, mainly to pick up that wheel from the powder coaters. But I wanted to touch on something I've noticed since fuel prices have increased. Our fuel economy has suffered and has been doing so since we first purchased the van. According to the van's sale sticker, it says we're suppose to be getting 26.4 city & 28.9 highway. Instead, we ended up getting number like 18.4 city & 22.8 highway.
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Using the lowest octane fuel possible to save money, may not have bene a good idea. our fuel economy has continued to suffer. So i wondered what if I switched from 87 to 89 octane if this would make any difference.. we made the switch last week and I've noticed our fuel economy has increased. going from as low as 18.1 and it's now 23.9 this is the best it's been since purchasing the van 2 years ago. all because we're upgraded to a higher octane gas. Now we're searching for E85 just to see if these makes any difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #85 ·
Here's the latest;
After more than 1 year, DPA & Amazon still haven't adjusted their site as to indicate that our van requires M14 lugs and NOT the M12 lugs. Both sites still say "Will not fit the 2020 Ford Transit Connect" But they do..
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Discussion Starter · #86 ·
Here's the latest:

Just got back from a long weekend drive into the heart of PA just to pick up our newly powder coated 2005 Ford Thunderbird spare wheel. Although the color is a bit off due to the clear coat, it's close enough for government work.
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And just to show others that even though the spec sheets for the 2005 Thunderbird claims that the bird has M12 lug studs.. Our spare wheels fits on the Transit Connect's M14 lug studs.
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jacked up the van this afternoon to test fit once more and I thought I had test fit the wheel before leaving my buddies shop in Goldsboro, NC 1 year ago. I just forgot to take pictures at the time we had the barebones wheel on the van. This time I was ready.

So for the record.. the 2005 Ford Thunderbird 17''x5'' (ET: Unknown) 63mm Center Bore fits our 2020 Ford Transit Connect 2.0L Xl cargo with plenty of clearance all around and brake calipers etc.
Checked my email yesterday, and Discount Tire has confirmed that 155/70/17 spare tire will fit this wheel and not though the van body off kilter.

Warning: if you're wanting to do nearly the same thing, make sure you do not weigh down the van as the t-bird wheel has a low load index but just enough for the Connect. The T-bird weighs in at 3,700 lbs. while the Connect base without any interior storage compartments or extra weight, weighs in 3,500 lbs
 

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Discussion Starter · #87 ·
Here's the latest;

After doing a bit of searching, I found out the nearest Discount Tire is 3 hours away. But in order to kill 2 birds with one stone, I also located a Ford dealership that offers the BG product services. Once I find out if and when Discount Tire will order that 155/70/17 spare balloon tire, we'll plan a trip to that dealership to have the transmission service done then head over to Discount tire to have that balloon mounted. While there we'll talk to the manager of the store and inform him that we'll be returning in a few weeks to have his crew test fit our new 18'' wheels on the van and for them to match up the correct tires. We're leaning towards the Falken Ziex ZE960 A/S tires?
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Discussion Starter · #88 ·
Here's the latest:

Been in contact with Discount Tire Cooperate and they have assured me that they can order the T155/70/17 Continental tire for me and ship the tire to our desired DT location, which is a 3 hour drive for us. But killing two birds with one stone is going to be easier that I thought, There's a Ford Performance dealership near the same area as the Discount Tire center so we're going to line up that BG products transmission flush & fill.
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Once this has been taken care of, we can once again focus on getting those struts and the new wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #89 ·
Here's the Latest:

Just got word that our nearest Discount Tire has just received the t155/70/17 balloon tire in stock and await our arrival at their shop to have the tire mounted to our newly powder coated t-bird wheel. Now all that's required is for us to set up an appointment at the Ford performance dealership near the same location and we're off for another long weekend trip in 2 weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #90 ·
Here's the latest.

Just got back from a long weekend of traveling. Drove a few hours over into and though a few states to get to the nearest Discount Tire center. Once there we handed off the freshly powder coated 2005 t-bird wheel for a new tire. Then we talked about when our next set of wheel are to be and what tires we should use with this set up.
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Clean service center and very professional techs helped us ever step of the way. The tech who mounted our spare and remove the full size spare from under the van, I gave him a 20.00 tip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #91 ·
Here's the latest:

Got a surprise this morning. After months of searching and waiting, I just found a set of the Bilstein B6 performance struts for our 2020 Connect. The struts should arrive within the next two weeks. We're both so happy to get these struts and correct the failing motorcraft's struts. Later we'll order the rear B6 performance shocks. Once the struts arrive, we're off to the Ford performance dealership to have them install the struts and check or adjust the alignment.
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fingers crossed..
 

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Discussion Starter · #93 ·
Here's the latest.

I was able to set up an appointment with our local Ford performance dealership to have the struts installed on the van. However, the soonest they could get to it was the first week in July. Also, while the van is up on the lift, the tech is going to do some small upgrades and check out/cross reference the van's sway bar & sway bar end links to see if these can be swapped with the Ford Focus or another Ford model.
 

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Discussion Starter · #94 ·
Refresher:
95% of the connect owners want to do this with their vans:
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While the rest of us want to do this with our vans:
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Although our van isn't going to be as stanced as the three above van, there is enough room in the back for a small bed. We're looking at our build as a compact sports van show car, with redesigned diamond tucked interior and a few performance handling options.
So what side are you on? cause I don't see anyone else creating a build. I guess I've been lucky to have had this run for 1 year without interruption.
 

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Discussion Starter · #95 ·
Here's the latest:

Today I've been searching for the right spare tire mount for the interior of the van. These mounts are typically seen on trailers, but more commonly used on off road vehicles as to extend the distance from the stock spare mounted on the side or rear of these trucks, cars or ATV's.

Here's an example:
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This mount is adjustable and would be mounted on the in side near one of the wheel wells right at the spare seat belt harness ;location. One would have to remove the large plastic molded rear panels to access the mount location. Using a barrowed image, this panel once removed will reveal a block seatbelt harness which I'll use as the spare tire mount location.
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Once the panel has been removed. I simply hold the spare wheel in place just to see what type distance and measurements need to be taken. The plan is to mount this spare on this bracket mount then scribe around the plastic molding. Then remove any extra plastic material from the panel as to create a pocket of sorts for the spare tire to flush fit into.
Look for this write up once the correct spare tire mount has been located.
 

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Discussion Starter · #96 ·
Here's the latest.

With the strut replacement/upgrade just weeks away, we're still encountering issues with either the steering or suspension or both. We drove around the beltway and noticed the van's handing is getting worse. So the strut upgrade should correct this and couldn't come at a better time. But as a side note, I'm also going to include a set of Durelast gold sway bar end links as the van has been showing signs of not handing the curves very well.
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This seems to be extremely odd telling others the the vans front end suspension has been completely compromised and is increasing becoming unsafe. Maryland roads have been bad this year and for the last few years. The slow process of repaving these damaged roads is taking to long so we've had to alter our plans and avoid as many of the highly damaged roads in the future. But with gas prices soring, this makes the first time I've even had to more than $50.00 USD in the van.
 

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Discussion Starter · #97 ·
Here's the latest:

Picked up a pair of the Duralast Gold sway bar end links for our 2020 Ford transit Connect. It took us 3 hours to try and find a set of these and these are the most expensive brand out there. At one point, one of the parts store techs said; "our van is too new and doesn't need these new upgraded links" if he only knew how much trouble we're having with Maryland roads and the entire front end is failing.
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These links have extremely durable bushings with grease point nipples for long life. The links are identical and can be either on the left or right side. so a single part number can be used for both sides of the van.

I was about ready to buy a different pair (a more well known sway links brand) as those links were on sale, but I wanted to try something different this time around. This is the most I've ever spent at one time for parts on any vehicle I've ever driven. Plus this is the next best thing to a coil over/lower set up without actually spending a dime for a coil system. I really don't need a coil over system or to have the van lowered as the 235/45/18s will fit snuggly enough, I hope and we wont find out till later this year when I actually order one wheel for test fitting with 3 different brand of tires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #98 ·
here's the Latest:

A couple of disturbing facts this morning. Just got word that there are two (2) Ford Transit Connect recalls on our van. One is that the windshield could dislodge while driving or come loose while in an accident. Second, the transmission cable bushing is failing on nearly all 2020+ mini vans. However, there's no fix in the works for the cable bushing as of yet. Ford has said that they will send me an email when the parts become available.

So I've taken matters into my own hands and this isn't the first time I've done this on nearly 30+ cars or trucks I've own. At some point during ownership of any of these cars/trucks, I've contacted BushingFix.com and ordered new replacement bushings. Same holds true for this time. The bushing includes a small installation tool and cost less than $20.00 USD and takes less than 2 minutes to replace. I've order this bushing and it should arrive just before we take the van into the shop for the front end suspension replacement.

As for the windshield, I've contacted Safelite and found out that they can make the same adjustments as Ford. But I've requested that Safelite actually replace our windshield due to two small chips and a some interior mearing noticed soo after purchasing the van. Safelite informs me that this will cost me anything to replace, But I'll have to file a claim with my insurance company.

Speaking of insurance, As of Aug 2022, our insurance company has change their brokerage which will increase our rate from 1,500 a year to 3,600 year.. This is outrageous, because we've been with this insurance company for 30 years without any accidents or tickets. So we're going to have to search for a new insurance company.
 

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Discussion Starter · #99 ·
On a more promising Note:
The other day while driving to a friends house, I spotted a Ford Ranger with the Raptor style grille (attached image)
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The plan here is to see if I can buy one of these or have something similar 3D printed based on the same design, but use it as the front end of our van.. I may end up simply buying one of these grilles and cut away just the large Ford text then mount this on our van with a full redesigned grille.
 

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Discussion Starter · #100 ·
Here's the latest:

Looks as if we're going to have to delay the purchase of the single wheel for test fitting. last week, we get a letter from our insurance company saying that they've switched companies. this means that our insurance rates will be going up. we've had the same company for over 30 years without any accidents. Our insurance will go from $1,000 USD per year to $3,600 per year. This also means we'll have to search for a new insurance company and new policy.

The other morning, I went out to check the coolant level and added more because the coolant had dropped too low to actually be seen. I added enough to top off the coolant to the "Max" line. 4 days later while driving, I get a warning light on the dash saying something about the coolant. Stopped the van and looked and the coolant was just over the Max level which set off a warning light. using a turkey baster, I removed just enough to drop the level back down below the Max mark. So if you get a coolant warning light, do not over fill the reservoir which will set off the coolant sensor light.

We're still on track for having the Struts & sway bar link installed on the van in less than one week. But it's going to be tight afterwards as we're going to have to locate a new insurance company to insure the van.
 
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