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Old 06-10-2011, 09:25 AM   #1
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New guy checkin in

First post. Just bought a 2004 National Sea Breeze with only 15k on the clock.

I know it is a Ford Super Duty, but is there any other designation I need to be concerned about when looking for parts? Like F-450, F-550 F-53?

Any recommendations and links for a brake controller? I favor Tekonsha. I will be towing a 20' enclosed car hauler.

Also, what performance upgrades can I do? I only drove it for 5 miles getting home and it seems like a real dog compared to my `97 Dodge diesel pulling a 12.1K toy hauler.

Finally, does Dashmat make one for my Breeze? I only buy Dashmat. The others don't fit right.
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Old 06-10-2011, 11:05 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunner View Post
Any recommendations and links for a brake controller? I favor Tekonsha. I will be towing a 20' enclosed car hauler.
Brice Wittmeier compiled this info. Good stuff!
BrakeControllerSelection
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Old 06-10-2011, 11:11 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunner View Post
Any recommendations and links for a brake controller? I favor Tekonsha. I will be towing a 20' enclosed car hauler.

Also, what performance upgrades can I do? I only drove it for 5 miles getting home and it seems like a real dog compared to my `97 Dodge diesel pulling a 12.1K toy hauler.
Welcome to the forum. No doubt you will get plenty of advise and suggestions.

We are currently using a Tekonsha Prodigy brake controller. We have been very happy with it and it does the job for our unit.

For more performance try starting with the obvious at first as it can get into lots of $$$. If the airbox is restrictive this can rob your power as the engine can not get enough air when it needs it. Water / methanol injection kits (fairly reasonable in price) will cool engine temps and give you a boost in power when you need it.
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Old 06-10-2011, 11:48 AM   #4
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I'm leaning towards the Prodigy P2.

Tekonsha Electronic Prodigy P2 Brake Control - $99.99 Is that about the best deal?

What pig tail do I order and where does it actually plug in. I have found the brake lite switch.

Where do they put the ECU and can I add a performance chip for more power?
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Old 06-10-2011, 12:26 PM   #5
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My first question is, how heavy will that loaded trailer be? I'm guessing you have a 5k lb tow rating on your hitch, and that's assuming you have 5k worth of combined weight capacity left once the motor home is loaded.j

A stout 20' car hauling trailer must weigh, what, 1500 lbs on its own? That would leave you only 3500 lbs for payload.

Are your weights consistant with the ratings of your motor home?
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Old 06-10-2011, 01:05 PM   #6
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I have a sand rail that weighs 1800 lbs. The 12.1K toy hauler I sold had a Tekonsha Sentinel and my weights were:

Danny's Scales
AXLE 1 4300
AXLE 2 5660
AXLE 3 9260
Total 19220

It stopped fine. Are controllers rated by weight?
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Old 06-10-2011, 08:43 PM   #7
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Welcome to iRV2 and enjoy.
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Old 06-10-2011, 10:44 PM   #8
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I currently have a Tekonsha P3 and it is great. It has a great deal of adjustment to fine tune it for your specific needs. As for power increase I have a Banks Power Pack system on my motor home and it seems to have a lot of power. I'm generally the one passing on an incline rather than being passed.
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Old 06-11-2011, 02:00 AM   #9
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I have a bid on a Prodigy on Ebay. Ends in two days.

Although way over-priced, Banks does make a good product. What size exhaust did they go with? I can see already that the exhaust is a bottle-neck. Except for the initial opening, the intake appears to be adequate.
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Old 06-11-2011, 03:46 AM   #10
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It's probably an F-53 chasis. Should be identified on the VIN.
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Old 06-11-2011, 05:51 AM   #11
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Thanks, there is an F53 in the VIN. So, what can I do to hop up this gutless wonder?
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Old 06-12-2011, 09:05 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Although way over-priced, Banks does make a good product.
Over-priced compared to what?

Yeah, you can buy the individual parts cheaper, if you know exactly what to buy, and you know how to increase power without melting something expensive. The Banks kits are engineered to increase power without burning up or breaking something in the powertrain. Some enthusiasts complain that the Banks go-fast tuning parts (especially their "chips" or modules) don't result in as much power as other vendors' parts. But that's because Banks refuses to sell stuff that will allow an ignorant owner to burn up the engine or tranny by mashing too hard or too long on the go pedal.

Quote:
What size exhaust did they go with? I can see already that the exhaust is a bottle-neck.
Size doesn't matter as much as design and construction. Replacing the 3" exhaust system with a cheap 4" exhaust system will not gain you anything. A good performance exhaust system will be mandrel bent with gentle curves and a straight-through muffler. The stock muffler is usually the biggest obstacle. Replacing just the muffler with a Walker Big-Truck muffler will gain you about 90 percent of the possible gain by replacing the entire exdhaust system with a performance system such as MBRP or Magnaflow or Banks.

Quote:
Except for the initial opening, the intake appears to be adequate.
You can't tell by looking. You need both a flow test and a clean-air test to be sure the intake is providing the maximum amount of clean air into the engine.

On a diesel engine it's easy to install a tune that will easily produce too much exhaust gas temp (EGT) and melt a piston. So you have to drive by the pyrometer (EGT gauge) and not allow more than 1,250 EGT. A performance intake can result in up to 10 MPH higher speed up a steep mountain grade without too high EGT. For example, if you can do 50 MPH up the mountain with the stock intake, you could do up to 60 MPH with the same load and grade with a performance intake without melting something. Probably different rules for a gas engine, but the same principle.
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Old 06-13-2011, 02:19 AM   #13
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How about a new Y pipe and Walker and maybe headers?

Would I be safe to say the sky is blue?
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Old 06-14-2011, 12:05 PM   #14
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How about a new Y pipe and Walker and maybe headers?
Now you're taking me way back to my hot-rodding days of the 1950s - way before electronic engine controls. When I was young and stupid, my little green 1951 Ford 2-door sedan won lots of drag races at Yellowbelly Speedway near Dallas.

Yep, performance headers do work with the correct engine tune to produce more power. In the olden days, our "tune" included replacing the camshaft with a full-race or three-quarter-race performance cam, setting the timing and dwell to produce lots of horses at high RPM, gapping the spark plugs for max performance, etc. But then after the first use of that many extra horses, we had to replace the clutch and the rear axle shafts and maybe the differential with parts that could handle the increased torque and power. IOW, hot rodding was expensive.

And it still is. Banks is cheap compared to DIY wrong and breaking expensive components.

But if you go as far as installing headers, then forgetabout a Y pipe. You want a mandrel-bent performance dual exhaust system, with a Walker BTM on both sides. The Walker BTM is 3.5" inlet and outlet, and that may be too big for a gasser. Maybe back off to a 3" system, and instead of a Walker BTM find a similar muffler or resonator with 3" inlet and outlet.

The Walker BTM is similar to the old "Smitty" glass-pack straight thru mufflers of the 1950s and 1960s. They absorb some of the obnoxious racket from a straight-thru exhaust pipe, but don't hinder the flow of the exhaust from getting out of the way and reducing back pressure. When you can say you have performance headers and dual Smitties, then it doesn't get any better than that (for a gas engine).
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