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Zalvern

3.0T Performance Modifications

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5 hours ago, Fastitocalon said:

 

Thanks again for your input.  I purchased my MKZ used a few months ago and was maybe a little gungho about the whole ordeal and didn't notice if this issue was present then.  In regards to the TSB, I am using what Zalvern posted earlier "If plugs are wet, and hearing dash board gurgling, then new cylinder heads will be needed on that engine asap before seeking better performance and modding." with their reference to the TSB I linked. 

 

My appointment isn't until Tues so I have a bit to converse with you all and have a plan for how to approach moving forward.

 

If it is just gurgling alone, that won't be enough to push them to fix things. There has to be a bit more form of potential-detrimental proof. In my case it was a wet spark plug, since it was really hard to replicate when the car would throw a CEL under hard acceleration. Gurgling dash just means there is a possible chance coolant is steadily leaking and air keeps coming back in overtime. But there are some cars that just have this issue of air trapping in there no matter what, but no coolant leak.

 

As bbf2530 mentioned, simply go in and ask about the TSB, your MKZ's build date and how it falls in range, and your concerns in feeling its ill-performing at times. Have you ever had a flashing CEL event though? Anyone who will suffer this issue should have a CEL event at some point, even if rare.

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19 hours ago, Zalvern said:

 

If it is just gurgling alone, that won't be enough to push them to fix things. There has to be a bit more form of potential-detrimental proof. In my case it was a wet spark plug, since it was really hard to replicate when the car would throw a CEL under hard acceleration. Gurgling dash just means there is a possible chance coolant is steadily leaking and air keeps coming back in overtime. But there are some cars that just have this issue of air trapping in there no matter what, but no coolant leak.

 

As bbf2530 mentioned, simply go in and ask about the TSB, your MKZ's build date and how it falls in range, and your concerns in feeling its ill-performing at times. Have you ever had a flashing CEL event though? Anyone who will suffer this issue should have a CEL event at some point, even if rare.

 

I have not had any CEL.  The only issue I've ever had was on the freeway and at WOT it just cut out completely (90ish mph) but came right back after a second (maybe pushed RPM too high, I dunno).  To add to it I can't replicate the gurgle either anymore so my already flimsy ground has essentially crumbled away.  I really want to mod this car but the thought of having to come out of pocket for new cylinder heads is nauseating.  I will still take it in and mention what you both have said, however, I am quite apprehensive anything will come out of it since it is working as intended at stock. 

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12 hours ago, Fastitocalon said:

 

I have not had any CEL.  The only issue I've ever had was on the freeway and at WOT it just cut out completely (90ish mph) but came right back after a second (maybe pushed RPM too high, I dunno).  To add to it I can't replicate the gurgle either anymore so my already flimsy ground has essentially crumbled away.  I really want to mod this car but the thought of having to come out of pocket for new cylinder heads is nauseating.  I will still take it in and mention what you both have said, however, I am quite apprehensive anything will come out of it since it is working as intended at stock. 

 

I see. Falling flat on its face at higher speeds, is prone to happen with the MKZ in stock form. One of the culprits is the stock Front Mount Intercooler, for what happens is applying full engine load causes the FMIC to be overwhelmed by heatsoak. If you use a scantool like FORScan to watch Charge Air Temperature reading, it will climb rapidly when you go full throttle. This means the FMIC is flat out inefficient at higher loads, and only good enough at your typical street driving mid-low load speeds. I only got consistent pull at higher RPMs when I upgraded the Intercooler. Adding things like the heat shield padded Steeda Intake and BBK/Ford Performance Throttle Body smoothed and cooled it out even further. Go Fast Bits DV+ 9358 made boost more reliable as well. Those four bolt-on mods work well, but FMIC on its own is the only one to consider at minimum. Go Fast Bits DV+ 9358 is next for its not that costly and easy to add on. CAI and Throttle Body upgrading is more minor and less cost effective compared to the other two, only slightly helping IAT temperatures further but can be skipped.

 

My mindset in vehicle modding is to seek true efficiency and consistent performance over just making  more power and going faster. That's all in fluid temperature control, between oils, coolant, and intake/exhaust air flow and pressure. A tune gives power by allowing higher parameter limits, but not better stamina to a vehicle that's still fully stock. Most OEM FMICs are not made with high load performance and speed in mind, nor cared about. So the OEM production can reduce costs by just giving what is good enough for a street car making EPA Fuel Economy goals. 3.0T MKZ shares the same FMIC as a Fusion Sport, despite making more power and heat, so that alone should give a heads up.

I would ask the dealership to verify your spark plugs look good and no fluid leaks are found. If you are seeking consistent performance, I recommend the FMIC first before tuning, as it will solve the falling flat at high load speeds issue which a tune will not fix on its own. It's the toughest to install out of all mods, but does bring very satisfying results like pulling all the way to Red line without falling flat.

 

With that said, good luck with whatever choice you decide on is best for you.

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26 minutes ago, Zalvern said:

 

I see. Falling flat on its face at higher speeds, is prone to happen with the MKZ in stock form. One of the culprits is the stock Front Mount Intercooler, for what happens is applying full engine load causes the FMIC to be overwhelmed by heatsoak. If you use a scantool like FORScan to watch Charge Air Temperature reading, it will climb rapidly when you go full throttle. This means the FMIC is flat out inefficient at higher loads, and only good enough at your typical street driving mid-low load speeds. I only got consistent pull at higher RPMs when I upgraded the Intercooler. Adding things like the heat shield padded Steeda Intake and BBK/Ford Performance Throttle Body smoothed and cooled it out even further. Go Fast Bits DV+ 9358 made boost more reliable as well. Those four bolt-on mods work well, but FMIC on its own is the only one to consider at minimum. Go Fast Bits DV+ 9358 is next for its not that costly and easy to add on. CAI and Throttle Body upgrading is more minor and less cost effective compared to the other two, only slightly helping IAT temperatures further but can be skipped.

 

My mindset in vehicle modding is to seek true efficiency and consistent performance over just making  more power and going faster. That's all in fluid temperature control, between oils, coolant, and intake/exhaust air flow and pressure. A tune gives power by allowing higher parameter limits, but not better stamina to a vehicle that's still fully stock. Most OEM FMICs are not made with high load performance and speed in mind, nor cared about. So the OEM production can reduce costs by just giving what is good enough for a street car making EPA Fuel Economy goals. 3.0T MKZ shares the same FMIC as a Fusion Sport, despite making more power and heat, so that alone should give a heads up.

I would ask the dealership to verify your spark plugs look good and no fluid leaks are found. If you are seeking consistent performance, I recommend the FMIC first before tuning, as it will solve the falling flat at high load speeds issue which a tune will not fix on its own. It's the toughest to install out of all mods, but does bring very satisfying results like pulling all the way to Red line without falling flat.

 

With that said, good luck with whatever choice you decide on is best for you.

I agree with your modding philosophy and maybe I would be better served upgrading QoL improvements as opposed to something that is arguably not needed.  After reading your post I google-fu'd intercoolers and I ran across this. https://unleashedtuning.com/17-ford-fusion-sport-lincoln-mkz-3-0t-front-mount-intercooler/ .  Would this be along the lines of what you upgraded to?  Additionally, I am under the impression that a tune will almost assuredly be a breach of warranty and thus would not be covered, any insight on whether or not the hardware upgrades would also void any existing warranty I have?

 

Thanks again for your help.  I appreciate any insight and recommendations given.

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5 hours ago, Fastitocalon said:

I agree with your modding philosophy and maybe I would be better served upgrading QoL improvements as opposed to something that is arguably not needed.  After reading your post I google-fu'd intercoolers and I ran across this. https://unleashedtuning.com/17-ford-fusion-sport-lincoln-mkz-3-0t-front-mount-intercooler/ .  Would this be along the lines of what you upgraded to?  Additionally, I am under the impression that a tune will almost assuredly be a breach of warranty and thus would not be covered, any insight on whether or not the hardware upgrades would also void any existing warranty I have?

 

Thanks again for your help.  I appreciate any insight and recommendations given.

 

Hi Fastitocalon. The short answer to your warranty question is...Yes, "hardware upgrades" can/will cause warranty issues and claim denials. This information is clearly stated in the Warranty Booklet that new vehicle buyers get when they purchase. Just as an FYI...to "void" a warranty is a different subject. A voided warranty means nothing on the car will ever be covered under warranty again.

 

EDIT - If you do not have your Owners Manual, Warranty Guide etc, you can download the PDF versions here: https://www.fleet.ford.com/parts-service/resources/owner-manuals/

 

The longer answer (and start of warranty rant🙃) : Like every automaker, the Lincoln/Ford warranty covers our vehicles exactly as they came built from the factory.  Therefore, any software/hardware modifications to the engine/powertrain, can and very likely will lead to warranty denials for any engine/powertrain/electronic/electrical etc issues which may occur later. Even if only remotely connected to the problem.

 

In fact, in the case of major engine/powertrain issues, Lincoln/Ford specifically look for things like aftermarket tunes and aftermarket hardware modifications. And just as another FYI, it does not matter what a Dealer, Service Advisor, Tech or mechanic may tell you about how they themselves don't care if you modify your car. And it does not matter what anonymous people on the Internet tell you, since none of them will pay your bill when your warranty claim is denied. Lincoln/Ford pay warranty costs from their own pockets, and Lincoln/Ford care and get the final word.

 

My advice? If you care about your 4 year/50,000 mile New Car and 6 year/70,000 mile Powertain Warranties, it would be advisable to wait until your MKZ is out of warranty before performing any of these modifications. If the warranty does not matter to you, feel free to do whatever you like.

 

Okay, warranty rant over...🤣

 

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

Edited by bbf2530

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9 hours ago, bbf2530 said:

 

Hi Fastitocalon. The short answer to your warranty question is...Yes, "hardware upgrades" can/will cause warranty issues and claim denials. This information is clearly stated in the Warranty Booklet that new vehicle buyers get when they purchase. Just as an FYI...to "void" a warranty is a different subject. A voided warranty means nothing on the car will ever be covered under warranty again.

 

EDIT - If you do not have your Owners Manual, Warranty Guide etc, you can download the PDF versions here: https://www.fleet.ford.com/parts-service/resources/owner-manuals/

 

The longer answer (and start of warranty rant🙃) : Like every automaker, the Lincoln/Ford warranty covers our vehicles exactly as they came built from the factory.  Therefore, any software/hardware modifications to the engine/powertrain, can and very likely will lead to warranty denials for any engine/powertrain/electronic/electrical etc issues which may occur later. Even if only remotely connected to the problem.

 

In fact, in the case of major engine/powertrain issues, Lincoln/Ford specifically look for things like aftermarket tunes and aftermarket hardware modifications. And just as another FYI, it does not matter what a Dealer, Service Advisor, Tech or mechanic may tell you about how they themselves don't care if you modify your car. And it does not matter what anonymous people on the Internet tell you, since none of them will pay your bill when your warranty claim is denied. Lincoln/Ford pay warranty costs from their own pockets, and Lincoln/Ford care and get the final word.

 

My advice? If you care about your 4 year/50,000 mile New Car and 6 year/70,000 mile Powertain Warranties, it would be advisable to wait until your MKZ is out of warranty before performing any of these modifications. If the warranty does not matter to you, feel free to do whatever you like.

 

Okay, warranty rant over...🤣

 

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

 

I'm quoting so its doubly said. For bbf2530 states the facts in regards to the whole modding vs. warranty coverage question that pops up on vehicle forums everywhere. What warranty has written, is what has to be accepted. I wouldn't call it a rant either, just the actual facts on the matter.

 

If warranty is of utmost importance for financial reasons: I recommend it is best to leave the vehicle alone and accept it for what it is. I cannot promise gray "what ifs" thoughts over facts. It is a luxury and hobby to modify a vehicle beyond stock. I have myself a savings made for taking care of my vehicle out of pocket if ever needed.

 

My list of suggestions to reflect on before touching a single modification:

1. Be confident in understanding your own vehicle, monitor its parameters with a scan tool occasionally like FORScan.

 

2. Understand that car degradation issues do not happen overnight, but with time being combined with heat and stress.

 

3. PCM Tuning will always be open for warranty voided risk if a catastrophic power train event occurs post installation. Don't think reverting back to stock will outwit service engineers.

 

Know the differences between Warranty Voided and Denial:

 

Voided: A catastrophic event has occurred with the vehicle and has been evidenced to operating outside manufacturer parameters, suffered to driver or environment conditions, or "module black box" history tampering post the event. The vehicle is in inoperative condition. PCM Tuning no matter what, applies more stress beyond manufacturer's intended operations, and can have a lingering effect even if reverted back to stock. In the PC world, we call it Overclocking and if abused too much, it results in degradation that can accelerate towards longevity failure. PCM tuning risks should be fully understood and accepted with no bail out expectations if things go bad.

 

Denial: Customer has an aftermarket or non-OEM part that can potentially relate to the issue at hand, but vehicle is still operative. Magnuson Moss Warranty Act only prevents turning denials into voided because an aftermarket part was seen on the vehicle, or irrelevant matters pertaining to the customer's claim request. Warranty/Service still has the right to not honor a claim if concerned about a part being the cause and refusing to diagnose until reverted back to OEM parts. Warranty coverage will not be lost as long it doesn't elevate to catastrophic events. One may just have to go to another dealership for service approval instead. Note that dealerships who deny warranty, usually do so before even submitting the claim to the manufacturer. This is to save time and money on their part if they think a claim is at risk of being rejected by the manufacturer. The "unable to replicate the issue" is a common bummer for customers, but its mostly because the dealership knows they're lacking evidence to validate a chance for a claim approval.

 

In Ford/Lincoln's claim case, the dealership will know very well how the warranty process will go if based on the claim, the customer's automotive history, and evidence gathered. All you can do is be honest, transparent, and know the risks depending on your choices.

Edited by Zalvern

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I feel I understand much better now about the process in general.  If I had to come out of pocket for even 3k (I believe) for cylinder heads it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world but I assuredly wouldn't be happy about it.  Frankly, the risks involved greatly outweigh the benefits right now and as such I will most likely wait till at least the first portion of my warranty has ended.  After looking through the warranty documentation it seems (let me know if you feel otherwise) that the cylinder heads are part of the powertrain warranty (6 years / 70k) and the intercooler is part of the emissions warranty (8 years / 80k).  If this is correct and there is no way I can guarantee I won't be denied a claim due to modifications then I do not think I am comfortable making these changes.

 

I think I will change my attention to upgrading the Revel system instead.  If I had known how well regarded the Ultimate version was received I would have attempted to purchase that version, alas, it gives me something to do.  Thanks again for your knowledge, it has helped greatly in understanding the situation I am in.

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41 minutes ago, Fastitocalon said:

I feel I understand much better now about the process in general.  If I had to come out of pocket for even 3k (I believe) for cylinder heads it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world but I assuredly wouldn't be happy about it.  Frankly, the risks involved greatly outweigh the benefits right now and as such I will most likely wait till at least the first portion of my warranty has ended.  After looking through the warranty documentation it seems (let me know if you feel otherwise) that the cylinder heads are part of the powertrain warranty (6 years / 70k) and the intercooler is part of the emissions warranty (8 years / 80k).  If this is correct and there is no way I can guarantee I won't be denied a claim due to modifications then I do not think I am comfortable making these changes.

 

I think I will change my attention to upgrading the Revel system instead.  If I had known how well regarded the Ultimate version was received I would have attempted to purchase that version, alas, it gives me something to do.  Thanks again for your knowledge, it has helped greatly in understanding the situation I am in.

 

Hi Fastitocalon. To answer one of your questions, which may pretty well answer them all: There is no way to guarantee you won't be denied a warranty claim due to modifications. In fact, since Lincoln/Ford now look for evidence of these types of modifications when determining warranty claim status, the reality may be quite the opposite. 

 

Again, good luck with whatever you decide to do.

Edited by bbf2530

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On 5/24/2020 at 9:38 AM, Fastitocalon said:

I feel I understand much better now about the process in general.  If I had to come out of pocket for even 3k (I believe) for cylinder heads it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world but I assuredly wouldn't be happy about it.  Frankly, the risks involved greatly outweigh the benefits right now and as such I will most likely wait till at least the first portion of my warranty has ended.  After looking through the warranty documentation it seems (let me know if you feel otherwise) that the cylinder heads are part of the powertrain warranty (6 years / 70k) and the intercooler is part of the emissions warranty (8 years / 80k).  If this is correct and there is no way I can guarantee I won't be denied a claim due to modifications then I do not think I am comfortable making these changes.

 

I think I will change my attention to upgrading the Revel system instead.  If I had known how well regarded the Ultimate version was received I would have attempted to purchase that version, alas, it gives me something to do.  Thanks again for your knowledge, it has helped greatly in understanding the situation I am in.

 

All one can do is openly talk with the service department head manager in regards to modifications. Contact by email address or make a call. Ask specifically what is the service department's stance on a modification desired, and how it may impact a warranty claim.

 

Upgrading to Revel Ultima with all OEM parts, is not the vehicle's original equipment by assembly, and thus can be denied under the Electrical Warranty if something goes wrong later. One may get told "revert to stock" for a claim approval. Electronics modifications can be a bigger can of worms if it involves the Body Control Module in any way. It's important to find a service department and be transparent before modding anything beyond stock that isn't easy to swap back.

 

Whether choosing an FMIC upgrade or Revel Ultima upgrade, the risks of warranty denial for those fall under the same condition. This isn't to sway one from modding, just facts on how to assess risk acceptance level, being confident in it, and able to survive potential consequences that might happen. So reach out to the closest service departments till you hear the answers you'd like to expect, but even then, decide if you're okay with the unknown risk chance to not depend on the OEM and/or Certified warranty.

 

There are service dealerships that if you pay for them to install non-OEM assembly parts, they may honor thier own in house form of warranty if something goes wrong. Not cheap but it's because they provide that peace of mind. This makes it so you do not have to depend on OEM warranty if it gets denied.

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4 hours ago, Zalvern said:

 

All one can do is openly talk with the service department head manager in regards to modifications. Contact by email address or make a call. Ask specifically what is the service department's stance on a modification desired, and how it may impact a warranty claim.

 

Upgrading to Revel Ultima with all OEM parts, is not the vehicle's original equipment by assembly, and thus can be denied under the Electrical Warranty if something goes wrong later. One may get told "revert to stock" for a claim approval. Electronics modifications can be a bigger can of worms if it involves the Body Control Module in any way. It's important to find a service department and be transparent before modding anything beyond stock that isn't easy to swap back.

 

Whether choosing an FMIC upgrade or Revel Ultima upgrade, the risks of warranty denial for those fall under the same condition. This isn't to sway one from modding, just facts on how to assess risk acceptance level, being confident in it, and able to survive potential consequences that might happen. So reach out to the closest service departments till you hear the answers you'd like to expect, but even then, decide if you're okay with the unknown risk chance to not depend on the OEM and/or Certified warranty.

 

There are service dealerships that if you pay for them to install non-OEM assembly parts, they may honor thier own in house form of warranty if something goes wrong. Not cheap but it's because they provide that peace of mind. This makes it so you do not have to depend on OEM warranty if it gets denied.

 

Hi Zalvern. Just need to address your first point. And this needs to be made perfectly clear: Lincoln/Ford make the final decision on all warranty claims, not the Service Manager or anyone else at a Dealership. And the larger the warranty claim, the more scrutiny will be applied to the claim.

 

Do not think you can ask the Service Manager if it is okay and depend on that as an ironclad answer. First of all, even if that Service Manager is on your side, he/she may no longer be at that Dealership in a year or two when you actually have a problem and go back for warranty work.  And even if they are, they are not going to put their Dealership (and their job) on the hook for thousands of dollars in repair costs when they are well aware Lincoln/Ford will be sending a Zone Representative to examine the vehicle, and/or asking for very specific proof of failure cause before paying a Dealership for the warranty repair. If Lincoln/Ford says it isn't covered under warranty, it will not be covered.

 

Everything else you mentioned is 100% correct.

 

And like Zalvern, I am not saying this to discourage anyone from modding their vehicles. But the simple reality is that any modification we make can lead to a warranty claim denial later, if that modification can be even remotely connected to the failure. So add a tune, aftermarket air intake etc,  and any engine related warranty claims can/will be denied. Change speakers, and any sound system problem claims can/will be denied (and any problems with SYNC etc). Even something as simple as adding tint to the windows has led to power window and rear defroster issues having warranty claims denied, etc, etc etc.

 

And it does not matter one bit what the Service Manager, Service Writer, a Tech etc may say. In the end, Lincoln/Ford pay the claims, and unless you are best friends with the Dealership owner or a very, very good customer, the Dealership is not going to eat the costs of a multi-thousand dollar warranty claim denial. Heck, in most case, they will not even eat a $100 warranty claim denial. And no one is going to put their job on the line or pay for your warranty denial out of their pocket.

 

So the only policy it makes sense to follow is that our New Car Warranty will only cover our cars exactly as they rolled off the factory assembly line. Assume any modification can lead to a warranty claims denial. Anything after that is pure luck.

 

Good luck.

Edited by bbf2530

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This is a brutal lesson in how this works and even though the news is not what I want to hear it is good to know since I can properly weigh the risks and potential costs associated with any changes I make.  I will take this knowledge into my next vehicle and rebalance my priorities to better suit the vision I have.

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I've searched, and perhaps I've missed it, but I'm trying to find out if the Unleashed FMIC (or any other brand) will allow me to retain the Active Cruise Control (ACC Module)?

 

I did see that Zalvern mentioned the shutters which I also want to keep. I'll be installing the GFB Diverter valve and the BBK throttle body in the next few days but the terrific education I've received on here regarding intake temps makes me want to address the intercooler before I do a tune.

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8 hours ago, bigbore said:

I've searched, and perhaps I've missed it, but I'm trying to find out if the Unleashed FMIC (or any other brand) will allow me to retain the Active Cruise Control (ACC Module)?

 

I did see that Zalvern mentioned the shutters which I also want to keep. I'll be installing the GFB Diverter valve and the BBK throttle body in the next few days but the terrific education I've received on here regarding intake temps makes me want to address the intercooler before I do a tune.

 

I had Ultimate Performance's FMIC which only required the extra underbody shroud to be deleted. The FMIC by Ultimate Performance works with the active grille shutters after removing a bolt on the shutter mechanism.

 

A powertrain DTC will constantly be thrown if they're removed. You cannot fool it either by keeping the shutter motor plugged in as the PCM measures the shutter angle and positioning.

 

You'll have to contact those other FMIC sellers and ask if they will work with shutters and ACC in place.

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8 minutes ago, Zalvern said:

 

I had Ultimate Performance's FMIC which only required the extra underbody shroud to be deleted. The FMIC by Ultimate Performance works with the active grille shutters after removing a bolt on the shutter mechanism.

 

A powertrain DTC will constantly be thrown if they're removed. You cannot fool it either by keeping the shutter motor plugged in as the PCM measures the shutter angle and positioning.

 

You'll have to contact those other FMIC sellers and ask if they will work with shutters and ACC in place.

 

Zalvern - Thank you! That's great news. I was hoping that the Unleashed FMIC would work.

 

Also, I'm certain that I speak for everyone here... I want to say thank you for continuing to be supportive of all of us by continuing to share your prodigious knowledge in spite of the fact that your vehicle met its untimely demise.

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