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Long-Term Updates - January 2012

Posted in How To on January 1, 2012
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Go Ahead—Ask Us!

What do you want to know about? Is there something we tried out in the pages of this magazine that you would like to know more about? Send an email to and we’ll make sure we get you an answer.

Pareto Point Industries Topdog V

We’ve had the Pareto Point Industries Topdog V oil filtration system on our ’04 4Runner for about 25,000 miles now. This system takes a portion of your oil and runs it through an ultra-fine secondary filter, giving you a grade of filtration (particles as small as 2 microns) unreachable by your standard full-flow oil filter. Thanks to the clever design of the Topdog’s oil filter sandwich adapter, no oil is sidestreamed or “bypassed” during this process, so you always have 100 percent of your oil flowing through the engine.

We noticed a small leak at the sandwich adapter from day one, and it recently had gotten much worse so we took the sandwich adapter apart to investigate. There are four ports on the adapter, two of which route oil to and from the remote Amsoil EaBp-90 bypass filter. We weren’t using the other two ports, so they were plugged. Inside the adapter, you can place optional rare-earth magnets that will catch and hold magnetic particles for further engine protection. It turned out that we’d accidentally placed one of these magnets partially behind a port plug. As such, the plug couldn’t be tightened far enough to prevent leakage.

The fix was an easy one. We removed the magnet that was behind the plug (several magnets are still inside) and re-installed the plug with a fresh layer of Teflon tape on the threads. For good measure, we re-taped the rest of the fittings. We also changed the adapter’s O-rings. Zero leaks. None. It’s bone-dry outside the adapter these days, which is just how we like it.

As for the Amsoil EaBp-90 bypass filter, we’ve changed it every 10,000 miles. The EaBp-90 can go for 12,000 miles between filter changes, but it’s easier to remember 10,000-mile increments. Our limited experience with local Amsoil dealers hasn’t been all that great, so we order directly from the Amsoil website most of the time.

We’re glad the oil leak is cured (our fault in the first place) and are confident that the Topdog V will make this Toyota’s engine last that much longer.

Good Shops Like RPM Deserve Recognition

About six months ago, we did some work installing a hydroboost brake system at Racing Performance Motorsport (RPM) in Huntington Beach, California. We were not near home, and were looking for a clean, friendly shop to take over for the day as we shot a story installing a hydroboost system. That’s when we ran across RPM and C.J. Banton welcomed us in, allowing us shoot pictures and slow up his progress while he went to work swapping a vacuum booster brake system to a hydroboost brake system.

RPM was an immaculately clean, professional shop that does a lot of mail order work, but also had the tools to handle our job or any other hop-up mod in the back of the building…and we totally neglected to mention them in the story on the hydroboost brakes! Our apologies, C.J.! We’re hoping you’ll forgive us if we put a blatant plug for your website——in this long-term update!

Auburn ECTED (35-Spline JK Model)

While we mentioned the front ProRock JK axle under a fullsize Dodge in last month’s issue, we felt the Auburn ECTED deserved its own entry since we’ve had quite a few questions about it. The ECTED was dropped into the Dynatrac axle as we built it, and the JK ECTED model is the only Dana 44 (based) 35-spline ECTED available due to the bigger journal bearings found on the JK 44 (compared to a standard Dana 44 differential).

Upon first driving down the road (after installation was completed), everything was smooth as both front tires basically spun at the same speed. When we got to a corner and turned the steering wheel, some grinding sounds came out of the front—grinding scary enough to make us pull over and check the front end. It turns out that our clutches were just initially breaking in, were a bit tight, and had to get some friction modifier in between the clutch packs to allow smooth movement. The grinding noise happened around a few more corners over the next couple days, but has since been silent for the last 5,000 miles.

There is no pull from side to side in 2WD or 4WD on the pavement and there was no strange feeling in the steering with the clutch-driven limited slip ECTED differential (even though people had warned us of these two issues with a front limited slip). The added traction has been excellent, and we have rarely even have to flip the switch and engage the locking mechanism in the ECTED for extra traction. The ECTED has been a great addition to the front end of the truck.

Bulletproof Diesel Parts for 6.0L Powerstroke

About two years ago, we limped our seemingly always-busted ’03 6.0L Super Duty to Arizona to try out a couple new products from an emerging company called Bulletproof Diesel. Our Super Duty rarely ran correctly, and never for more than five months at a time. We knew that the truck was a basically good platform that just had some big bugs that would keep this truck from running correctly, and all were engine-related, including four turbochargers that failed. We told our tale to the Bulletproof Diesel guys, explaining everything that had gone wrong, and they asked us to get out to Arizona because they had two new products that would likely solve our problems and prevent all the other parts from failing.

In Arizona, the Bulletproof crew added their EGR cooler and remote oil cooling system to our truck. These two kits replaced parts that seemed to be the bane of many 6.0Ls, and ones that we ultimately realized had caused compound problems that contributed to killing multiple turbochargers, a FICM (fuel injection control module), and two sets of fuel injectors.

To put it simply, the Bulletproof Diesel parts saved our truck. At one point we were ready to leave the keys in the ignition in a bad part of town and see who would steal it, but the EGR cooler and remote oil cooling system have literally turned this truck into an everyday driver that has been running correctly since we made the haul to Arizona.

If you’ve got a 6.0L (even in a Ford van) that has caused you countless headaches, we’d suggest calling Bulletproof Diesel to save your 6.0L Ford.

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