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Excursion - King of SUVs 2000 - 2005 Ford Excursion

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  #31  
Old 06-14-2011, 02:43 AM
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AlaskanEx AlaskanEx is offline
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change in ride height after? great pics! nice looking truck, good color
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  #32  
Old 06-14-2011, 02:54 AM
bfediuk bfediuk is offline
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bfediuk is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.bfediuk is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.
So I took it for a quick drive just after I finished. Huge improvement. Still has a slight wander that I will try to fix by tightening the steering box (there is definately some play there).

But the extra load capacity is awesome.

Here are the new measurements with the fresh suspension

old new change
Front valence 13 7/8 16 3/4 3 1/8 (bumper adj. as well)
Front fender wells 38 1/4 40 1/8 1 7/8
Rear fender wells 39 3/8 41 3/4 2 3/8
Hitch (at chain rings) 15 1/4 18 2 3/4

I haven't checked the loaded rear spring height yet. I thought I'd let all the springs settle a little, then do the check.

Here she is this past weekend. Had her loaded up with the kids and enough gear for a 4-year old birthday party at the park!
Click the image to open in full size.
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  #33  
Old 06-14-2011, 03:01 AM
bfediuk bfediuk is offline
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bfediuk is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.bfediuk is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.
Well that looked stupid. Let's try that again. (and I screwed up the front measurement)

Front valence
old - 13 7/8
new - 16 1/8
change - 2 3/4

Front fender wells
old - 38 1/4
new - 40 3/16
change - 1 15/16

Rear fender wells
old - 39 3/8
new - 41 13/16
change - 2 7/16

Hitch at the chain rings
old - 15 1/4
new - 18
change - 2 3/4

So overall, about 2" in the front, and 2.5" in the rear. I expect they'll both settle about 1/2"
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  #34  
Old 06-28-2011, 09:56 PM
bfediuk bfediuk is offline
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bfediuk is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.bfediuk is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.
Got around to installing my front receiver. I bought it from the hitch house in Edmonton for $218. For the quality of it, this is very much worth it (instead of building an uglier version)

I removed the front bumper
Click the image to open in full size.

Then removed the tow hooks by removing the 3 bolts that hold each one in place.
Click the image to open in full size.

After using the hitch to mark holes on the bumper, I drilled the 4 extra holes required. Then I put the hitch in place (without the bolts) then I put the tow hooks back in
Click the image to open in full size.

After that, it was just a matter of putting the bumper back in place and getting the bolts in. Getting the backing plates and nuts on the back was very challenging. Had to bend the tabs on the nuts so I could reach the nuts onto the bolts without actually putting my hand behind the hitch (which is impossible!!)
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  #35  
Old 06-28-2011, 10:06 PM
bfediuk bfediuk is offline
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And here's what it looks like installed
Click the image to open in full size.
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  #36  
Old 06-28-2011, 10:14 PM
bfediuk bfediuk is offline
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bfediuk is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.bfediuk is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.
Next up is the Hellwig

1 - Unbolted the rear shocks at the bottom (at the axle)
Click the image to open in full size.

2 - Removed the u-bolt holding on the shock brackets to the axle
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  #37  
Old 06-28-2011, 10:24 PM
bfediuk bfediuk is offline
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3 - Used the new u-bolts to mount the shock brackets back on the axle. This includes the swaybar mounting brackets as well. I only put the bottom nut/washer on
Click the image to open in full size.

4 - Put the bushings on the swaybar and the bushing straps in place. Put the swaybar in place and put on the second u-bolt nut/washer to hold the sway bar in place
Click the image to open in full size.

5 - Put the top nut/bolt in to hold the swaybar to the new mounting brackets
Click the image to open in full size.
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  #38  
Old 06-29-2011, 12:31 AM
bfediuk bfediuk is offline
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6 - Then I prepared the links. Here's a pic of everything on. At the frame end, you install the hour-glass bushing then metal sleeve inside it, put the bolt through (with a thick washer between them), then the thin washer (which goes against the frame), then the thick washer and nut on the inside of the frame (the links go on the outside of the frame)
Click the image to open in full size.

6a - I used a vice to push in the bushing and sleeve
Click the image to open in full size.
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  #39  
Old 06-29-2011, 12:36 AM
bfediuk bfediuk is offline
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7 - In order to install the links, you need to relocate the e-brake cable hanger on the driver's side of the frame. Here's a pic of the inside of the frame before removing the backing plate of the bolt, and a pic of the outside of the frame with the bolt removed
Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.
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  #40  
Old 06-29-2011, 12:45 AM
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8 - Next, I installed the links. The bolts go in the same hole that the e-brake hanger bolt was through. Looking at the three holes, there are 2 parrallel to the ground and one a bit higher. The bolt goes into the rear most hole of the two that are parrallel.

Here is the passenger side. After I installed the link, I attached the swaybar to the end of it, leaving ALL of the bolts loose so I could do a final allignment
Click the image to open in full size.

Here's a pic of the driver's side. I couldn't tell what Hellwig says to do with the hanger, but it makes much more sense to put it on the outside of the link and NOT on the inside against the frame. Once I mounted it, I just bent it a little so the cable was under the frame again
Click the image to open in full size.

9 - Allign the bar so that the links are vertical and the swaybar has clearance between the hoop on the bar itself and the passenger side of the rear diff.

10 - Tighten everything up (ensure allignment after every bolt is tightened). I did it in this order. The link attachments to the frame, The U-bolts on the shock mounts, the top swaybar bushing mount bolts, and finally, the swaybar to swaybar link connection. Here's a pic
Click the image to open in full size.
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  #41  
Old 06-29-2011, 12:57 AM
bfediuk bfediuk is offline
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After I finished up the swaybar, I thought I'd quickly tighten up the steering box. Parked, I had a good inch of side to side play in the wheel, so from underneath I reached up, loosened the locking nut (16mm) and tightened the hex nut 2 turns at a time. Each turn was 1/6th of a turn (it's a hex nut after all). Every 2 turns I checked the wheel.

After 9 turns (1.5 rotations total), the hex head got tight. Steering wheel seemed good so I took it for ride.

It was a little too tight so I backed it off one turn. Perfect! So 4/3 turns and the box is like new.

OVERALL driving experience?? The steering feels great, the front suspension is smooth, the rear suspension is strong. However, there is still a little bit of rear steer. It is way better than before, but it's still there.

I wonder if the Load Range D tires play a part in this. I'm going to see if I can find someone to lend me some good tires and see if it makes a diff. If it doesn't, I'll fabricate some links to do a similar job to the radius arms you can buy
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  #42  
Old 06-29-2011, 12:58 AM
bfediuk bfediuk is offline
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bfediuk is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.bfediuk is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.
Oh, I suppose step 11 would be to re-install the bottom bolt/nut of the shocks..... duh.
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  #43  
Old 06-29-2011, 11:02 PM
bfediuk bfediuk is offline
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bfediuk is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.bfediuk is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.
Ha, I forgot to post a pic of adjusting the steering box. Laying down under the front of the truck with my feet sticking out the drivers side (in front of the front tire), this was my view. You can see the boxed wrench on the lock nut and the hex wrench in the adjusting bolt

Click the image to open in full size.
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  #44  
Old 06-30-2011, 05:46 AM
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Crow's foot from the top, much easier.
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  #45  
Old 07-30-2011, 04:26 PM
bfediuk bfediuk is offline
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bfediuk is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.bfediuk is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.
Just finished a 2500km trip with the X. Thing rides great. Still wanders just a bit, but nothing to make it uncomfortable. Can at least steer with one hand and there is nothing unpredictable.

I got just over 16mpg. Not as good as I would have hoped

I think I've got the remaining wander narrowed down to the tires. They are D rated (as mentioned above) and only good for 3100lbs at 65psi. I was running them a touch under 50 and tried raising it to 61lbs. Wow, it actually got rid of quite a bit of the remaining wander. Still a little left.

I think I just need to bite the bullet and swap the tires out. I'm thinking I still want to get a 285 (for the extra diameter) and was planning on some BFG All-terrains. I still like to do a little offroading/gravel/backroad driving so I don't want to go straight road/towing tire.
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Old 07-30-2011, 04:26 PM
 
 
 
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