Just an update.... Much thanks to Mark (crookm11) and his awesome pictures and explanations! I used his adapter plans and modded them even further. I used a belt sander to shave off an additional .16 to make the 2-1.25 bushings match the ID of a 1.5" pvc coupler, and did not have to narrow to 1.25. I need to special order a 10 degree elbow, but its plumbed like his and I actually lost 2 psi on the filter vs hoses with the same output.
As of today I am down 100+ on the TA and keeping it going. It is taking a couple of days to get the pH rebound that was getting down in hours before. My TA is at 140! Another week and I will be there. Everything else is in check!
And I got the remote temp sensor that everyone talked about at HD.