This time it was about 5 miles from the nearest dirt road. Luckily, I could still drive on the front axle in 2WD, and was able to get the trailer to the location. I took a slightly different route home.
Dynatrack, here is the chance to tell me why I would want to spend that money to change out the factory goods and lose the convenience of my automatic hubs.
I can see the advantage of strength, but do I need it in my application?
Am I taking chances towing off road that my unit bearing will fail early or unexpectedly?
There is the concept of peace of mind. Being able to pack and inspect the bearings each year is nice. Nothing like a catastrophic bearing falure on a highway to get you nervous about them forever.
I currently run 285/75 16's I may go to 315/75 16 someday. Is that large enough to cause a issue?
Like you, I was reluctant to give up my auto hubs. They never failed but I was never sure if they would work when I needed them. I like the auto idea but I also like KISS (keep it simple stupid, not the band ).
Many of us run our trucks forever. The unit bearing design, while relatively easy to replace was designed for speed of assembly, not for maximum durability. The unit bearings themselves are very close together. This has more chance of failure than bearings that are spaced further apart. While on a stock truck this might not be a concern, but when you add larger tires and wheels, especially when you alter the wheel back spacing, this has a dramatic effect on the loading of the bearing system. I think most of us will agree that when these trucks were built, maximum durability wasn't a huge consideration. In the end, it's always about money.
I'm assuming you'll be using a wider than stock wheel if you go to 315's. With the loads you carry and how you use your truck, unit bearing longevity might easily be effected. I talk to the guys at my local tire shop all the time. They tell me that changing to larger than stock tires and wheels means they'll get ball joint and unit bearing work in the future.
Our Free-Spin kit also changes out the 30 spline outer axle shaft for a 1.5" 35 spline alloy shaft. Few of these trucks are used as hard core off road vehicles but they are very heavy and are capapble of carrying very heavy loads. For this type of use you need a HD axle shaft.
The X is a unique rig. There is nothing else like it. They are a couple of lighter duty players but nothing close to what we can do with our X's. Like many here, I just don't know what I can ever use to replace it. I don't want a PU dang it! To that end, many of us modify them and plan to keep them forever. The Free-Spin kit (and the ball joints too) is a kit that will increase the durability of our trucks and cost far less to maintain.
With the price of the free spin kit it is really not that far out there. If you look at it this way you see what I mean.
Your unit bearings are shot, and usually take out your stub shafts if you do not get at them right away so more than 3/4 of the time they need replacing. If you are in there the ball jnts are a good thing to check and if needing replacement most do them at the same time.
Bearing units. $260-$300 each.
Ball joints. $200 for kit
Stub shafts. $
2000 Excursion XLT V10 4x4 180K, front V's + 2'' level, rear mod'd C's,, 315's, winch bumpers F/R, Viair, Piaa lighting, Hellwig -GermanMike, dual Optimas, sage-brushed patina Join the So Cal chapter here Be Like Steve
I'm in the process of getting a few prices from different suppliers and will be pulling the trigger on the free spin kit soon. I will let ya know how it goes.
2002 Excursion, 4x4, V-10, XLT, RS9000 shocks, true trac diff, 08 alum diff cover, interior light delete, 08 power fold/xtend mirrors, KM2 tires, 5 Star tuned, front cryo powerslots with hawk pads, XRF ball joints. 50" front mounted LED bar, 10" reverse light LED bar. Banks stainless long tube headers and exhaust kit., front seat heaters.
2011 Expedition, Ltd Max, 4x4. 30" LED light bar, flip key fob, 9 passenger, more to come.
This forum is owned and operated by Internet Brands, Inc., a Delaware corporation. It is not authorized or endorsed by the Ford Motor Company and is not affiliated with the Ford Motor Company or its related companies in any way. Ford® is a registered trademark of the Ford Motor Company.