Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/1/20 11:50 p.m.

Boost Wagon Mk I was a 2013 Ford Flex Limited EcoBoost AWD I bought from a skeezy used car lot in Portland for $11k (+ttt) back in February 48 hours before the pandemic shut everything down. I put about 4k miles on it before a flash flood two weeks ago took out the electrics.

I loved the size, space, and drivetrain. It's like a 25% bigger Mazda5 but with triple the horsepower. Mk I was great in some ways and terrible in others. I had cross shopped other vehicles right before this happened and ruled just about everything that fit six full size people out.

Having the opportunity to correct the issues with that one led me to look at Lincoln MKT's (which I really really like, more in that in another thread later) and first gen Flexes (09-12). The early ones had all the stuff I loved (twin turbo V6, AWD, panoramic roof, 6 seats and a fridge) and none of the stuff I hated (LCD gauge screen, capacitive touch sensor center stack). I also had an insurance payout for $15,400.

I scoured the web for a suitable 12- and after a number of rules outs, including a previously stolen one and one that was apparently in a fight with a flock of chickens, I located a really high priced 12 Titanium EcoBoost AWD a long way north. A whole bunch of back and forth ensued and I found out that it was a two owner car, always local to Seattle with great records and a clean Carfax.

So today we drove up to look at it. 75k miles, $17,000 price. When we got there it presented beautifully. Their detail shop truly does fantastic work. The service department however could be upgraded by hiring a fainting goat. It had directional tires to the wear bars on the wrong sides and an air filter so clogged with dirt and feathers that it's hard to believe it runs. 

The idiotic dealership than tried to tack $5000 to the total price with $1800 in "government fees" (tag and title are about $150 max) and $2200 in sales tax (which is only 8.2% so not sure what they were calculating) along with $595 of "aftermarket" (no idea, it's stone stock) and $1150 worth of "gap insurance".

I literally laughed at the guy for a solid two minutes. Once I caught my breath, I told him 16k for the Flex, 8.2% tax, $150 tag and title, and that's it, or I walk. He came back with that plus the $150 doc fee and that was it, so we had a deal. (I did make the service department put the wheels on the right side before driving it home.)

So, I present to you, Boost Wagon Mk II!

It's got 355 HP and a refrigerator. 

Oh yeah, and a trailer hitch.

This should be fun. Let's get this one into the 12's before something befalls it.

Racebrick
Racebrick New Reader
10/2/20 12:09 a.m.

Got any good info sources about the flex/mkt? Forums, etc?

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/2/20 12:12 a.m.

In reply to Racebrick :

Not really, info is thin on the ground on these. I'm doing a buyer's guide write up that I'll post soon covering all of them.

slowbird
slowbird SuperDork
10/2/20 12:33 a.m.

Nice! I like the front end styling of the early Flex better than the later ones.

Sine_Qua_Non
Sine_Qua_Non SuperDork
10/2/20 12:57 a.m.

Strange. Either this is a 2013 model or the front end is not original for that car

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/2/20 1:23 a.m.

In reply to Sine_Qua_Non :

The blue one was a 13. The black one is a 12. The Titanium trim package has a unique grill, headlights, taillights, and tailgate center piece.

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/2/20 1:27 a.m.

Hah, had to really update the signature. I've bought three cars in four weeks!

03Panther
03Panther Dork
10/2/20 2:14 a.m.

Congrats on the "new" flex. When (if) my income ever recovers, I owe the financial management  half of the team a newer car than the lemon of a Highlander we ended up with for her. It will either be an older Navigator/Expo., a few year old Oddosey, or a Flex. I follow along with your adventures ocasionally, and am glad I have you for the extended test drives. Just us... and the 4 furry kids, so rear air is important, but the tiny seats in the Oddy, are not!

I turned around on the Interstate to go check out the first Flex I saw, when the first cam out. I'm a wagon dude from way back, and a good wagon can be hard to come by. Was very disappointed to find out it was FWD, since I prefer a longitudinal engine/ RWD. The  guy thought he had a hook with "well we've got it in AWD also"... Uhhh, SO not the point, sales winiee.

I went to your "garage" when I saw this, and only saw the model cars, and the sold ones! And a cool cat! And from the sold P71:

"What it is, is the last real American car. A V8 up front, the drive wheels out back, the way God intended it to be. Not some sissy tin box with wheels"

Just to poke fun at ya,  Uhh...smiley

 

dj06482 (Forum Supporter)
dj06482 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
10/2/20 7:13 a.m.

Congratulations!

infernosg
infernosg New Reader
10/2/20 1:45 p.m.

Fun! We've had our '13 Limited Eco-boost Titanium (that's a mouthful) since September '12. Same color as your 13 as well.

Ours it upwards of 100k miles now. I've enjoyed it but it's not been without its problems. It was our "vacation" car from 2012 through 2014 and then became a daily driver with kid #2 in 2015. It's maintained that status with kid #3 in 2017. My biggest annoyance is the brakes. Despite having the larger brakes it seems to be really easy to warp them. I've done it to three sets of front rotors. I guess that's what I get for driving it like a sports car (it moves/handles well for a 5000 lb vehicle). I've also gone through two LR calipers that seem to end up sticking for no appreciable reason. By far the biggest bill was the water pump. It failed without any warning and my wife nearly overheated the engine to death after refusing to stop driving it (I was 600 miles away on business because of course). Apparently older versions can dump coolant into the oil pan when the WP fails causing near complete engine destruction. We were fortunate that didn't happen but the repair bill was still pretty hefty. Ours has its share of battle scars but is still going strong. I've always wanted to "play" with it but SWMBO has been pretty adamate that I not touch it other than basic maintenance.

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/2/20 2:31 p.m.

In reply to infernosg :

I love those wheels, what are they?

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/12/20 8:18 p.m.

So one of the first things to do was catch up Sexy Flexy on all the maintenance that the dealership totally didn't do. The air filter in particular was basically trashed, it was completely full of leaves and feathers. I beat the thing out right in front of their door before leaving just so it would make it home. 

Not being one that can leave well enough alone, I decided to get a complete cold air intake instead of just a filter. Ford is notorious for having tiny air intake tubes and weird sized filters (or even those"lifetime" ones in the Foci) and it's a known restriction on the EcoBoost motor. I chose the Roush as it had a complete sealed box and a traditional oiled filter. 

The install was straightforward and the kit was well engineered. It used all the factory hardware and clips and utilized the air intake in the grill. I went a step further and wrapped the inlet tube with the air temperature sender in gold heat reflective tape. Not shown is the bottom of the airbox, which is also taped. I plan on doing all the charge pipes as well.

I decided to install the included emblem on the tailgate because it looked cool. 

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/18/20 8:52 p.m.

Video intro and intake installation:

 

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
12/12/21 12:00 p.m.

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to Javelin (Forum Supporter) :

Minor thread-jack, but could you update your Flex thread? I'm curious about how you use it, how many miles you've accumulated, what it's needed for maintenance and repairs, etc. Thanks!

Well shoot! I have been highly neglectful of this thread. Okay, so I've had the Flex Mk II for over a year now. I ended up putting tires on it (Cooper CS5 UltraTourings that I berking HATE), doing some maintenance (oil and filter changes, cabin filter, coolant flush, alignment, etc)

 

and just one more mod...

A tune!

Yes, I got a tuner and a custom tune file for the Flex. I also had to change the plugs a heat range colder, up the MAP sensor to a 3-bar, and change the thermostat for a lower-temp one as part of the tune package. During the first tuned pull the wastegate actuator retainer spring broke off of the rear turbo causing it to be stuck open, rendering it a single-turbo Flex for a bit while I trouble-shooted. I ended up taking the tune off and logging the car stock (where the 1 turbo would make juuuust enough boost to keep it from triggering limp mode) and then did the vacuum test on the wastegates to make sure they worked.

 

This led me to do the same test on the back turbo where I realized that the arm was moving but it had a bluetooth connection with the actuator!

 

So a new retainer clip on there and we were in business!

The weird thing about a tune on this (as compared to say the Audi) is that it doesn't "take" all of it immediately. You really have to drive it around and put some miles on it in varying conditions for it to fully unlock the performance potential, and hooo boy does it have it. The Flex is already unsuspecting enough to most, but the 50-100 pull it has now is nuts. It's slow off the line from a standing start because the trans programming won't let you brake boost it, but from a roll this thing gets it. I may have run into a new Audi S6 (the 4.0 Twin Turbo ones) in Mexico and surprised him.

I haven't had a chance to take it to the track yet, but that's in the cards for next year. I still want to heat wrap the rest of the charge pipes and look into a meth injection system as heat soak is the killer on these. Otherwise the drivetrain has been great.

Electronic wise, this one is so much better than my 13 Limited was. The regular buttons on the center stack all work, the gauges all work, and it's had zero issues.

The brakes do tend to be undersized and shudder bad. I am still trying to figure out a fixed-caliper upgrade for this one.

The fridge is super nice though oddly shaped.

It needs a spa day like the Boxster had. The rear wiper needs the cover for the nut, there's a missing receiver underneath for one of the belly pan bolts (and the pan itself is cracked), the LF turn signal bulb is out, and the tires are driving me nuts (seriously never buy Coopers, they "square up" in cold conditions making nasty vibrations until they warm up and the beads always seem to not seal well and let air out and they have no dry traction).

Gas mileage is laughable because I floor it everywhere but it's like 17ish. It's up to 87K miles now I think, so we really haven't put many miles on it (it had 78K on it when I bought it IIRC).

Umm, I think that's everything for now. Let me know if you have any questions!

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
12/12/21 12:35 p.m.

So the wastegate fix was just to pop a clip in place?

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
12/12/21 12:43 p.m.
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) said:

So the wastegate fix was just to pop a clip in place?

Correct!

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
12/12/21 1:20 p.m.
Javelin (Forum Supporter) said:
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) said:

So the wastegate fix was just to pop a clip in place?

Correct!

Dang, that's as good as my E92 full electrical failure just being a loose B+ terminal.

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa PowerDork
12/12/21 1:24 p.m.

Any guestimate on what the mileage might be if you didn't floor it everywhere?  I've ignored them in my search for something new, but maybe I shouldn't.  I have always liked the styling of them

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
12/12/21 1:33 p.m.
Mr_Asa said:

Any guestimate on what the mileage might be if you didn't floor it everywhere?  I've ignored them in my search for something new, but maybe I shouldn't.  I have always liked the styling of them

The blue one was all stock and got 19/24. I know the non-EB FWD ones get the best mileage if you don't want/need the power. 

BlueInGreen - Jon
BlueInGreen - Jon UltraDork
12/12/21 2:04 p.m.

I wish they'd given the Flex sliding rear doors, since it's basically a minivan that's not a minivan. And that makes a world of difference loading little kids and babies.

Between that and the water pump thing I think we'll stick with the Mazda5 for awhile, but this thread has reminded me how cool the turbo Flex really is. It makes me happy knowing that Ford build a hot rod family wagon.

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
12/12/21 5:03 p.m.
BlueInGreen - Jon said:

I wish they'd given the Flex sliding rear doors, since it's basically a minivan that's not a minivan. And that makes a world of difference loading little kids and babies.

Between that and the water pump thing I think we'll stick with the Mazda5 for awhile, but this thread has reminded me how cool the turbo Flex really is. It makes me happy knowing that Ford build a hot rod family wagon.

I'd have bought one new if they did come with sliders, I love them! I miss the Mazda5's practicality. The aforementioned sliders, and just the way all the seats worked and how it always seemed to fit stuff inside. The Flex is bigger yet is somehow less useful for hauling things. The seats aren't nearly as smart and the rear opening is smaller. That said, it has been the only thing worthy of seating 6 above a Mazda5. For some reason modern minivans all come is some really weird seat combo that seas the 3rd row as a jump seat or a 3-wide affair. I don't need to haul 7 or 8 or 9, I want to haul 6 adult sized people. It's the Flex, the Mercedes R, and that's it. I haven't checked out the 21+ Sienna or the new Kia Carnival yet though.

None of them have the power (ho ho ho) of the Flex though. It reminds me of a big Benz. You can loaf along in comfort and when you need to you can absolutely smash ahead of whatever else in on the road. It makes cool turbo noises and the exhaust has a nice growl. I know it shares like 0.1% engine parts with the Ford GT, but it is cool that they are both 3.5 TT. Also, it tows. And nicely. Not quite Suburban, but better than the minivans. It strikes a nice balance of everything between them.

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
12/12/21 5:34 p.m.

Have you done any intake cleaning on the engine yet? The Expedition is nearing 80k, and I'm thinking I should look into it. I used a can of this stuff last summer and it seemed to help some, so I bought another can to use on my daughter's 2.0T Escape, which has 108k and has never had any kind of cleaning that I know of.

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
12/12/21 6:15 p.m.
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) said:

Have you done any intake cleaning on the engine yet? The Expedition is nearing 80k, and I'm thinking I should look into it. I used a can of this stuff last summer and it seemed to help some, so I bought another can to use on my daughter's 2.0T Escape, which has 108k and has never had any kind of cleaning that I know of.

I have not yet, though the CRC IVD is on the to-do list at 90K

10001110101
10001110101 New Reader
12/12/21 8:06 p.m.
Javelin (Forum Supporter) said:

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to Javelin (Forum Supporter) :

Minor thread-jack, but could you update your Flex thread? I'm curious about how you use it, how many miles you've accumulated, what it's needed for maintenance and repairs, etc. Thanks!

Well shoot! I have been highly neglectful of this thread. Okay, so I've had the Flex Mk II for over a year now. I ended up putting tires on it (Cooper CS5 UltraTourings that I berking HATE), doing some maintenance (oil and filter changes, cabin filter, coolant flush, alignment, etc)

 

and just one more mod...

A tune!

Yes, I got a tuner and a custom tune file for the Flex. I also had to change the plugs a heat range colder, up the MAP sensor to a 3-bar, and change the thermostat for a lower-temp one as part of the tune package. During the first tuned pull the wastegate actuator retainer spring broke off of the rear turbo causing it to be stuck open, rendering it a single-turbo Flex for a bit while I trouble-shooted. I ended up taking the tune off and logging the car stock (where the 1 turbo would make juuuust enough boost to keep it from triggering limp mode) and then did the vacuum test on the wastegates to make sure they worked.

 

This led me to do the same test on the back turbo where I realized that the arm was moving but it had a bluetooth connection with the actuator!

 

So a new retainer clip on there and we were in business!

The weird thing about a tune on this (as compared to say the Audi) is that it doesn't "take" all of it immediately. You really have to drive it around and put some miles on it in varying conditions for it to fully unlock the performance potential, and hooo boy does it have it. The Flex is already unsuspecting enough to most, but the 50-100 pull it has now is nuts. It's slow off the line from a standing start because the trans programming won't let you brake boost it, but from a roll this thing gets it. I may have run into a new Audi S6 (the 4.0 Twin Turbo ones) in Mexico and surprised him.

I haven't had a chance to take it to the track yet, but that's in the cards for next year. I still want to heat wrap the rest of the charge pipes and look into a meth injection system as heat soak is the killer on these. Otherwise the drivetrain has been great.

Electronic wise, this one is so much better than my 13 Limited was. The regular buttons on the center stack all work, the gauges all work, and it's had zero issues.

The brakes do tend to be undersized and shudder bad. I am still trying to figure out a fixed-caliper upgrade for this one.

The fridge is super nice though oddly shaped.

It needs a spa day like the Boxster had. The rear wiper needs the cover for the nut, there's a missing receiver underneath for one of the belly pan bolts (and the pan itself is cracked), the LF turn signal bulb is out, and the tires are driving me nuts (seriously never buy Coopers, they "square up" in cold conditions making nasty vibrations until they warm up and the beads always seem to not seal well and let air out and they have no dry traction).

Gas mileage is laughable because I floor it everywhere but it's like 17ish. It's up to 87K miles now I think, so we really haven't put many miles on it (it had 78K on it when I bought it IIRC).

Umm, I think that's everything for now. Let me know if you have any questions!

I need to ask who you went through for the tune. We just picked up a 2016 Explorer Sport for the missus, and a tune is in the cards. 

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
12/12/21 8:21 p.m.

In reply to 10001110101 :

Unleashed Tuning https://unleashedtuning.com/ecoboost-flex-power-package/

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