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Excursion - King of SUVs 2000 - 2005 Ford Excursion

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Old 09-09-2011, 12:38 AM
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About the front Excursion Dana 50 axles - Sharing some info

Looks like I may have snapped a drivers side front axle shaft. Was wheeling on a rocky area while pulling the travel trailer going to a boondock campsite. Differential is fine.

So I'm looking around for stronger replacements and doing some digging. I found some interesting info that I wanted to share.



Axle shaft U-Joints:

First thing I should point out is something that all of us with Excursions should know.

The proper front U-joint in the front driveshafts for a Excursion is the Spicer SPL55-4X (greasable) The Spicer SPL55-3X is a sealed, non-greasable version.

That is the current number, and it superseded the Spicer 5-806X , which superseded the Spicer 5-332X.

These Numbers are pulled from this chart page 195:

http://www2.dana.com/pdf/K350-1-DSSP.pdf

I highly suggest you download it or print that PDF for the future.

The SPL-55 is the same as used on heavy duty axle shafts. If you look at the PDF, you will see listed for the Super Duties either the 5-806(SPL-55) or a 5-282X (178X or known as the 1350). The 5-282X is a smaller, lighter U-joint and not used On the Front axle of the EXcursion front axles, but is the u-joint used on the front driveshaft.

So, basically, if you have a 1999 through 2004 Superduty with the Dana 50, you got the 1350 series Joints on the axle shaft, While the Excursion was given the same u-joints as used in the Dana 60's the 1480 series


I make the above statements because the parts dealers around here kept trying to sell me the 1350 U joint no matter what I said to them. I gave up in disgust and ordered online.

Looks like ford made sure that the U joints were the heavier duty ones for the SUV users.

so Our Excursions all use 1480 u-joints in the front axle shaft, and 1350 u-joints in the front driveshaft.

Just getting standard Spicers. I don't think they will ever break.




Front Axle Shaft Replacements:

The standard axle for the front is a Spicer part made of 1040 steel. Typical standard axle materials.

But I now know that it ain't good enough. So I started looking for aftermarket 4340 or 1541 alloy axles for the Dana 50 Monobeam and it is almost a dry desert out there. If you have a Dana 60 or 44, you can find them. If you have a Dana 50 IFS, you can even find a few.

As far as the Dana 50 monobeam, all I found was a nice offering from Nitro Gear. I am about to order a set of inner and outer Axles from them. I found them at M2Differentials.
Dana 50 : m2differentials.com

It may be a while due to lack of time to put them in, but I will let you know how it turns out.

For anyone wondering, I am not worried about the differentials and spiders with a stronger axle.. The ARB air lockers I have in there are about as bulletproof you can get and still have a differential.


Ball Joints and steering parts:

Well, After exhaustive searching and comparing, I found there is one Ball Joint that pretty much beats them all. XRF.
The Tire Club also has a XRF front steering parts kit that looks very attractive. Will be getting that in December this year.
XRF Chassis | Automotive and Heavy Duty Chassis Parts | Ball Joints
The Tire Club



General info and suppliers links:

Understanding Universal Joints and Size Charts
s10extremist.org
U-joints Spicer, CTM, X-joint, Yukon Super joints
Northern Drivetrain, LLC
Dana Holding Corporation The Expert Librarian - Information for driveshafts, u-joints, axles, heavy axles, light axles, Drivelines
Early Bronco Restoration Full Size Bronco Restoration Classic Ford Bronco Parts For Sale
The Tire Club
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2005 EXCURSION now called "ZOMBIE CRUSHER" by the kids. XLT V10 Silver More mods than I want to think about.... (see my gallery)
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Old 09-09-2011, 02:07 AM
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With all the money you will be putting in you might wanna look at the dyna track(I think) free spin kit.

I ended up doing my ball jnts and going with the XRF. Best price I found was on eBay. Go figure.
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Old 09-09-2011, 08:14 AM
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Yeah, the Dynatracks are nice, but the Spyntech are cheaper. Both are rock solid. But that is another $1500. Having dependable Warn hub locks and replaceable bearings is sure attractive.

But still, I kinda like having my ESOF. Yeah, I have to keep the unit bearing, but I'm a spoiled brat when it comes to having the hubs work with a flip of the switch.

However, when it comes time to replace the hub bearings, I will be considering it very closely.

Given the way my luck runs, next time I end up stressing the front axle, I'll break the hub locks (since everything else will have been beefed up) and wish I had made the change.
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2005 EXCURSION now called "ZOMBIE CRUSHER" by the kids. XLT V10 Silver More mods than I want to think about.... (see my gallery)
Ford Towing Guides click here Ford Owners Manuals Click here
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Old 09-09-2011, 08:18 AM
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Thanks Bion, great info here.
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Old 09-09-2011, 08:31 AM
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Wow I was always wanting to swap out the D50 for a D60 because everyone said the D50 couldn't be strong.

Thanks for the great info! I'll definitely keep the D50 in there now!
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Old 09-09-2011, 10:35 PM
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all joints

Thanks House dad sending reps your way. BTW and FWIW I tried to order from "The Tire Club" and they were out of stock. I was trying to order the complete kit. The ball joints may be available in pairs at a higher price.
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Old 09-09-2011, 11:48 PM
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If you are looking for more strength a D60 swap from a Super Duty donor is strait forward. You just need to get the axle and front drive shaft from a ESOF, SRW, leaf sprung, same engine, automatic trans, same ratio and fine pitch wheel stud D60 equipped truck. 2003 and 2004 Super Duties will work as they are all leaf sprung D60 equipped with fine pitch wheel studs. It is a good idea to also get new axle shackles for piece of mind.

I bought one off Craigslist for around $250 from a guy parting out a wrecked truck. I put some money in mine with mods but a simple ball joint replacement should suffice.

D60 and D50 Super Duty/excursion axles only differ significantly at the center section. The axle shafts on the D50 diffs neck down just before they enter the smaller carrier. They frequently break at the neck down.
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Old 09-11-2011, 11:45 AM
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Ball Joints

housedad
What are the advantages of the XRF over Moog and on what did you base your opinion. Understand I am not doubting you or the product, just trying to learn. Thanks
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Old 09-11-2011, 06:00 PM
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Sheryl; Before ordering my XRF ball jnts I did a lot of reading and asking around at parts shops and most said the moot quality has dropped in the last few yrs. Parts shops that used to carry them dropped them after having issues. The reviews on the XRF where better on numerous sites that I read and I ended up finding them cheaper on eBay as a set of 4. They went in well and have been nice after already more than 2k miles after 2 weeks.
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Old 09-11-2011, 07:11 PM
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Reps to you Bion, must have been one heck of a campsite!

What size trailer were you towing at the time?
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:59 AM
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Ball Joints

Thank you wallz. It just helps to hear from more than one source. Reps sent.
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:21 AM
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Yes, the XRF are fairly high in the quality department for now. They are ball joints with inserrts.

From the XRF Website:

"
XRF ball joints are built to perform under the most severe conditions like the oil patch and logging sites.
XRF Ball Joint Features:
  • Cold forged ball stud of SAE4140 steel
  • Stud heat treatment for omni-directional strength
  • Triple lip boot seal to keep grease in and dirt out
  • Forged housings of SAE1045 steel give XRF ball joints the extra strength to have almost double the stud pull-out strength of our competitors
  • XRF Zero-Lash ball joints have a ball stud that is fully encapsulated in a high strength acetel bearing offering superior load disbusement and longer life.
Click the image to open in full size.

As you can see, they have a Acetal insert that reduces wear and keeps them running at close lolerance for years. With the sleeve, there is no chance of galling metal to metal.

If you are rich want the absolute best and never have to replace them again, then look at the dynatracks. About 650 bucks Though. What makes them extra special is that they are rebuildable. But they also depend on the same wear technology as the XRF units.


As far as the Moog, This page from Carli Suspension pretty much tells why I don't want Moogs. Not much better than The stock Fords.

Dodge Ram Suspension News and Latest Company Updates from Carli Suspension, Inc: September 2009


But, like all things, the most important is to Keep them well greased.
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2005 EXCURSION now called "ZOMBIE CRUSHER" by the kids. XLT V10 Silver More mods than I want to think about.... (see my gallery)
Ford Towing Guides click here Ford Owners Manuals Click here
Watch out for the Zombies.....
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:00 PM
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Dynatrac makes a great ball joint and it is totally rebuildable.

www.dynatrac.com
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:27 PM
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Dynatrac is starting off with a positive reputation.
Our Dynatrac ball joints have been performing very well. Our test rigs were pumped up PS Super Duties that were running 40's and trick suspensions. Their method of madness was jumping in the dunes of Glamis. They could take out a set of ball joints in a weekend. Now, over 2 years later, all are still tight and true. To date, we've not sold a rebuild kit for any model of the Dynatrac Ball joint.

We were the innovators the Free-Spin kit. All of our forgings are U.S. sourced. No imports here. It's a bit more expensive but we prefer to keep our money working in the U.S.

We just had a customer contact us about his Free Spin kit. He has another brand of truck but he wanted to tell us about his truck. He bought the Free-Spin kit for his 2006 truck when it had 30,000 miles. His truck now has over 500,000 miles and he still has the original Free-Spin wheel bearings. He repacks the wheel bearing every year but has changed nothing else.
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Old 09-12-2011, 04:50 PM
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There it is, from the horses mouth, Sheryle!

Thanks for stopping in, Dynatrack.


Yes, I don't doubt for a second that Dynatracks are the best you can buy.

US made castings makes it the one to buy im my book.

I have looked at the Dynatrack free spins. They look wonderful. But I still have a desire to keep my ESOF. ( I guess I'm lazy that way)

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?




Here is a couple of links for everyone to read about the Dynatrack Free Spins


Unit Bearings Versus Rebuildable Hubs Debate - Dynatrac - SpynTec - Off-Road Magazine

Pirate4x4.Com - The largest off roading and 4x4 website in the world.

Super Duty Axle Problems - Four Wheeler
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Bion
2005 EXCURSION now called "ZOMBIE CRUSHER" by the kids. XLT V10 Silver More mods than I want to think about.... (see my gallery)
Ford Towing Guides click here Ford Owners Manuals Click here
Watch out for the Zombies.....
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Old 09-12-2011, 04:50 PM
 
 
 
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