Project Shadowfax

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ccw

ccw

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Got to see Shadowfax up close and personal today! Went to the dealership to hash out the pricing details, finalize my financing plan, figure out if I'm doing a trade-in or not, and do most of my inspection of him. He's still at the dealership as I'm going to finance through my credit union - the best rate Ford could do for me was 3.99% whereas my credit union will do 2.4% - and I need to get a check from them.

Inspection went great! I couldn't find any paint defects, short of some orange peel on the backside of the fuel door. Panel gaps all looked good. Salesman confirmed I'll get the truck with a full tank of fuel (it was nearly empty when I looked at it). Something strange I noticed that I'm not going to push on is the rear bump stops are different colors. One is bright yellow, the other is faded yellow.

The defect I am going to push on is one of the front tow hooks is all scratched up, likely from the winch install.

Overall he's a beautiful truck and I'm so stoked to actually get him home soon!

Other notes confirming what I already expected:
  • Underside of hood was painted a flat black, not body color
  • No hood liner
  • No under-hood light
  • No cup holder ambient lighting
  • No tilting headrests
 
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ccw

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Oh also it appears they nailed the winch install and the trim pieces. Though I don’t know where the adaptive cruise module is hiding. I thought it would be more visible.
 

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Frazior

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At a bare minimum you need a grease gun (any grease gun) with appropriate grease. The Ford official grease for the front end is:


With those two things you can grease the front end. Of note, lots of folks use lower-quality grease with success. But obviously your mileage may vary and a Ford engineer somewhere will frown every time you grease your truck. :p

Lock-N-Lube is a brand that is most known for their grease gun tip that locks onto the fitting. Means you don't have to hold pressure on the fitting and, if properly attached, won't pop off and have grease going everywhere. They also sell a bunch of other greasing accessories and their own grease guns.


Lube-Shuttle is a German company that did their own take on the grease gun by making the grease cartridges resealable, and easily changed without mess. The grease they sell is also known to be high quality, and the Li400 I have linked in my maintenance post is their highest quality grease. It's a direct replacement for the Motorcraft grease, but can be used in almost any application.


Here's the kit I got:

Hmm, looks interesting. Grease guns are the bane of my existence when it comes to tools. I almost find it easier to buy a new one each time I need to lube the axels on the trailer as it never fails that I have a nice red puddle of goo underneath where my grease guns stores....
 
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Hmm, looks interesting. Grease guns are the bane of my existence when it comes to tools. I almost find it easier to buy a new one each time I need to lube the axels on the trailer as it never fails that I have a nice red puddle of goo underneath where my grease guns stores....
While I can't speak from experience yet, it sure does seem like the Lube-Shuttle system will prevent exactly that.
 

soop

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While I can't speak from experience yet, it sure does seem like the Lube-Shuttle system will prevent exactly that.

Can confirm. Both of my Lube Shuttle guns are staying clean as a whistle.

And the Lube Shuttle adapter by Lock n Lube has greatly improved the table manners of my Dewalt 20v grease gun. It was too messy to even bother using before.

I’ll never go back to paper tubes.
 
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Yesterday Shadowfax truly became mine! Ended up being a pretty busy weekend, so didn’t have time to post until now. He’s absolutely gorgeous, and was pretty much perfect. No issues to speak of from the factory. I’m insanely happy with the truck!

Some first thoughts, in no particular order:
  • Despite ordering the color combo without seeing it in person, I’m stoked with it. Exactly what I was looking for.
  • No paint issues with my truck. Bottom side of the hood is painted a matte black, as expected, but there was no paint missing in the door jambs or anything.
  • LOVE having a telescoping steering wheel and adjustable pedals. Apparently I have long legs relative to my arms and in my old truck I was never quite comfortable. Legs were up around the steering wheel in order for my arms to be close enough to the wheel.
  • Because of the adjustability of the pedals and steering wheel, I can have my seat back not quite as vertical. This means the non-tilting headrests aren’t nearly as bad as they were in my old truck. Debating whether I’m going to swap to tilting headrests or not, particularly knowing that the leather color won’t match perfectly.
  • Ride is more stiff than my ‘09 F-150 (no surprise), but also feels a bit more controlled. Honestly would say the ride quality is a wash right now, especially after dropping the tire pressures (came from the dealer with 75 psi all around, dropped to 65 psi all around today).
  • With 75 psi all around there was some wandering. Nothing that had me freaked out or white knuckling, just had to more regularly correct the truck‘s direction. Dropping the pressures seems to have eliminated all wandering for me, despite only having 130 miles on it at this point.
  • Transmission is definitely learning how to shift. Started out pretty rough and unrefined, but it’s noticeably better already 130 miles in. Quite impressed with it.
  • Fuel economy is what I expected based on reports here on the forum. Getting around 12mpg mixed driving. Seems like highway will get me around 15mpg. Curious how much that will improve as the engine breaks in.
  • Seats are comfortable, though I wouldn’t mind some more side bolstering. I feel like my old truck had more of that, and it helped hold you in better. These feel very flat. Adding some lumbar support helps a bit with that feeling, but not enough IMO.
  • Sound system sounds awesome for my needs. Does it deserve all the marketing hype Ford puts on it? No. Does it beat the pants off my old truck’s factory system? Absolutely. Just needed to turn the bass down a lot, the midrange down a bit, and the treble up a bit so it didn’t sound super muddy.
  • Ford NAILED the center stack with the new 12” screen IMO. I got used to it almost immediately. Important controls are available in physical form, are located in a logical place, but the 12” screen is gorgeous and great to have.
  • Steering wheel controls doesn’t have play/pause. Instead there’s a button to switch media sources where play/pause should be. This is dumb. I will almost never switch media sources (maybe a couple of times a year?), I will regularly play/pause.
  • Love the sill protectors that come with the Black Appearance Package. Had no idea they were a thing until a few days before I got the truck thanks to @BroncoHooves posts, but they look awesome.
  • Cameras are handy. Parallel parked in a spot just big enough for the Tremor and the cameras made it possible. No way I could have done it without them, particularly with the truck so new to me.
Quoting my pictures post above for pictures. I’ll get more and better pictures in the future, but for now these will do.
 
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With getting the truck yesterday, I already got started installing mods!

First up, right at the dealership before driving away, was the winch hook isolator from AEV and a red hook strap. The winch hook isolator is a piece of rubber that allows you to cinch the hook right up to the fairlead, without having metal on metal contact.

Saves having the winch hook scratching up the tow hook or the bumper (when it was hanging off the tow hook part of the winch hook was touching the bumper). Also gives a much more clean appearance IMO.

The hardest part of installing the isolator is removing the cotter pin that retains the pin that holds the hook to the rope. That was royal pain and ended up scratching the winch hook a decent amount, but fixed that with some black paint.

The red hook strap is to replace the Ford Performance blue one. It’s a red and black truck, I don’t want blue on it. The strap is just the standard Warn one.



4F12358F-49E4-4D86-9790-D351AB0E95E9.jpeg

A1CDB3E9-609E-4671-BEE3-A5D49529E15B.jpeg


Another quick mod was a Ford Performance license plate frame. Simple, but looks good. And replaces the dealership license plate frame since I don’t want to advertise for them - experience was great, they just aren’t paying me. :D

(Left the dealership paper plate in for now to make it more obvious to cops that it’s a new vehicle and I’m not trying to avoid running plates.)


D892245A-8FA3-4B51-8C32-8D723294B08D.jpeg

And last but not least, installed the UPR catch can. Hardest part of this install is dealing with the height of the truck. I’m 6’ 2” tall but definitely needed a step ladder and fender protector to be able to do the work.

Otherwise install is pretty straightforward. High quality kit, would recommend at first glance. Will report back at my first oil change with how it seems to be performing.


672A1538-6346-474B-95B0-B2B520899302.jpeg
 
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I also swapped over stuff from my old truck to my new truck. The storage under the back seat is amazing, and definitely fits a lot, though I still have more stuff I need to find a home for. Of note, I still don’t have a spot for my ratchet straps and bungee cords, nor my socket set or tire patch kit. Will figure those out with time.

Here’s a shot of everything under the back seat. From top to bottom:
  • ViaAir 450p air compressor.
  • SafeJack 6 ton bottle jack with extensions and base plate.
  • Husky tool bag with some basic hand tools, tape, spare fuses, test light, multimeter, etc.
  • LED road flares (x2).
  • First aid kit (not super happy with this location as it’s not terribly quick access; will want to figure something else out long-term but it works for now).
To the right of the main row of stuff:
  • Jumper cables
  • Battery jump pack
  • Small, short tow rope
  • Funnel
Not seen in the picture, I have a couple of blankets behind the 40% rear seat. Also removed the factory bottle jack since I have the Safe Jack instead.

8B3A93AF-EB53-44CB-AE86-B2D8CB2979D0.jpeg
 

Bluezilla

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I also swapped over stuff from my old truck to my new truck. The storage under the back seat is amazing, and definitely fits a lot, though I still have more stuff I need to find a home for. Of note, I still don’t have a spot for my ratchet straps and bungee cords, nor my socket set or tire patch kit. Will figure those out with time.

Here’s a shot of everything under the back seat. From top to bottom:
  • ViaAir 450p air compressor.
  • SafeJack 6 ton bottle jack with extensions and base plate.
  • Husky tool bag with some basic hand tools, tape, spare fuses, test light, multimeter, etc.
  • LED road flares (x2).
  • First aid kit (not super happy with this location as it’s not terribly quick access; will want to figure something else out long-term but it works for now).
To the right of the main row of stuff:
  • Jumper cables
  • Battery jump pack
  • Small, short tow rope
  • Funnel
Not seen in the picture, I have a couple of blankets behind the 40% rear seat. Also removed the factory bottle jack since I have the Safe Jack instead.

View attachment 34381
Can you post some details on the specific products? I like those red bags for straps and stuff.

Edit* Ah nvm, looks like twinkle star, husky, and Smitty built. I get an F for reading/zooming in on photo. Carry on!
 
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Can you post some details on the specific products? I like those red bags for straps and stuff.

Edit* Ah nvm, looks like twinkle star, husky, and Smitty built. I get an F for reading/zooming in on photo. Carry on!
Yep, sure thing!

LED flares (in the hard cases) are these:

The red bag next to them is a generic Husky tool bag from Home Depot from a while ago. Walked in, found a bag that appeared to be the right size for my needs and bought it. Don't know the specific size.

The red bag next to that is my Safe Jack bottle jack kit. This is the specific kit I got:


This is the bag on its own:


And next to that is the ViaAir 450p (I believe what you identified as Smitty built?). The bag came with the compressor.

 

Bluezilla

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Yep, sure thing!

LED flares (in the hard cases) are these:

The red bag next to them is a generic Husky tool bag from Home Depot from a while ago. Walked in, found a bag that appeared to be the right size for my needs and bought it. Don't know the specific size.

The red bag next to that is my Safe Jack bottle jack kit. This is the specific kit I got:


This is the bag on its own:


And next to that is the ViaAir 450p (I believe what you identified as Smitty built?). The bag came with the compressor.

Thank you! Going to add these to my list and for my wife's truck. I have nothing under my rear seat except for some old jumpers, gloves, n95s, and ratchet straps.
 

Modman

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Dropping the pressures seems to have eliminated all wandering for me, despite only having 130 miles on it at this point.

My experience as well. I honestly have nothing negative to say about the Duratracs right now. Time will tell but I'm keeping an open mind after being a longtime BFG fan.
 
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Some more notes about the truck, mainly gripes in this one as I’ve spent more time with the truck though they are all minor:
  • The factory all weather floor mats are fine. They’re certainly thick, but not even close in coverage to Husky, WeatherTech, or similar. Wish I would have saved the money and gone with one of those. Vinyl floor helps make it not as big of a deal. If I had carpet I would be swapping them out ASAP.
  • There is only ambient lighting in the doors and wheel wells. Nothing in the center of the truck at all from the cupholders or overhead console. This makes me sad, and is definitely a missed/removed opportunity. Even my parent’s 2006 VW Jetta had ambient lighting from the overhead console!
  • Door storage pockets are notably more thin than my old truck. Somewhat limits what I can keep in them. Definitely not everything I did before.
  • I question the choice to put the center console cup holders on the right, further from the driver. Would think it would make more sense to have them next to the driver.
  • I love the tall driving position in this truck! Even compared to my old F-150, which most people comment on as high, it’s noticeably higher.
  • Despite my best efforts, I need to figure out a toolbox solution for the bed. The storage under the rear seat is a lot, but still won’t hold everything I want. In particular, something I don’t want inside the cab at all is extra washer fluid for winter driving. Need to find a home for that in the bed. Also won’t have room for tire chains.
 
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And last random update post tonight, to document something I just noticed after making my last post:

The rear dome light has a single bulb right in the middle. Despite that, there’s a button on each side of it to turn it on - one for each rear passenger. This kind of makes sense I guess, though still a little weird.

But the really weird part is the behavior of those buttons. Rather than acting as a single button (press one to turn it on, the other will turn it off) they act independently. If you turn it on with one button it must also be turned off with that button.

However, if the light is already on and you press the button that wasn’t used to turn it on, the light gets slightly brighter.

This isn’t a problem, or even a flaw. Just an interesting quirk that would have been solved by either having two independent lights or a single button. :D
 

Bluezilla

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And last random update post tonight, to document something I just noticed after making my last post:

The rear dome light has a single bulb right in the middle. Despite that, there’s a button on each side of it to turn it on - one for each rear passenger. This kind of makes sense I guess, though still a little weird.

But the really weird part is the behavior of those buttons. Rather than acting as a single button (press one to turn it on, the other will turn it off) they act independently. If you turn it on with one button it must also be turned off with that button.

However, if the light is already on and you press the button that wasn’t used to turn it on, the light gets slightly brighter.

This isn’t a problem, or even a flaw. Just an interesting quirk that would have been solved by either having two independent lights or a single button. :D
I also thought it was very strange to have such a small single light in such a large, open area.
 
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I also thought it was very strange to have such a small single light in such a large, open area.
Yep, two lights would have made a ton of sense. But I was mainly baffled by the mismatch in switches and lights. Feels like those should at least be equal, regardless of how many lights/switches.
 

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And last random update post tonight, to document something I just noticed after making my last post:

The rear dome light has a single bulb right in the middle. Despite that, there’s a button on each side of it to turn it on - one for each rear passenger. This kind of makes sense I guess, though still a little weird.

But the really weird part is the behavior of those buttons. Rather than acting as a single button (press one to turn it on, the other will turn it off) they act independently. If you turn it on with one button it must also be turned off with that button.

However, if the light is already on and you press the button that wasn’t used to turn it on, the light gets slightly brighter.

This isn’t a problem, or even a flaw. Just an interesting quirk that would have been solved by either having two independent lights or a single button. :D

Not even a LED but a old fashioned incandescent light bulb???
 
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