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2007 - 2014 Expedition & Navigator 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator

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  #1  
Old 10-17-2012, 10:39 AM
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Making an Expedition a better towing machine

We recently purchased a travel trailer that I am now towing with our 2007 Expedition EL 4x2. It has the HD towing package, but not the load leveling suspension. It tows it well enough, I'm just looking to make it a little better and want some opinions.

1) Tires - I am looking to upgrade to a tire with an "E" load rating. I have the 20" wheels and the only tire size I can find is an LT285/55R20E, which is a little wider than stock and about a 1/2" bigger in diameter. Is anybody running E load tires on their 20" stock rims and if so, what brand & size are you using? I'm leaning towards the Nitto Terra Grappler AT as I've had good luck with those on my old F150.

2) Suspension - Like I said, it doesn't have the load leveling suspension and despite using an Equalizer hitch, it does sag just a bit more than I like. Is there anything out there aftermarket wise for these? I can't find anything. If not, what do you do for a "saggy rear"? I did find a "helper spring" but I couldn't find any reviews on them. Thoughts?

3) Coolers - Should I look into upgrading the transmission fluid and/or engine oil cooler or is the stock HD trailer tow package stuff sufficient?

Thanks for looking and I look forward to reading your replies.
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:42 AM
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You should be able to find a set of airbags that will go inside the rear coils on that truck to firm up the rear end.
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by MisterCMK View Post
You should be able to find a set of airbags that will go inside the rear coils on that truck to firm up the rear end.
Unfortunately, that is not an option on the 07 & up Expy's. It uses what looks like a coilover strut. I can't find an aftermarket air bag to replace the coils on this thing. I should have opted for the load leveling suspension when I bought it new. Oh well, live & learn.
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:55 AM
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Oops, I didn't realize that it was a coilover type suspension. I wonder if the Air Lift guy will stop by and give some advice...
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  #5  
Old 11-02-2012, 02:46 PM
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I took a closer look at the Michelin's on my Expy and it appears they are only "P" rated passenger car tires, so I'm going to forego the "E" and just stick a set of stock size "LT" tires on it for now (probably Nitto Terra Grapplers, I have had really good look with those). I'm also going to try those helper spring from etrailer.com and see if they will help eliminate some of the sagging.
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Old 11-03-2012, 02:59 PM
eddiemoney eddiemoney is offline
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How heavy is the trailer?
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by eddiemoney View Post
How heavy is the trailer?
It's 7500 pounds "dry". When it's fully loaded, I'm probably at capacity or maybe a little overweight, but it really does tow it well. I know new tires are going to make it even better.
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:09 PM
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I had a 98 Expedition and put an aftermarket (IPD brand) anti-swaybar on it, and that made a huge difference in how it handled, especially when towing.
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Old 11-05-2012, 02:21 AM
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Originally Posted by NLPRacing View Post
It's 7500 pounds "dry". When it's fully loaded, I'm probably at capacity or maybe a little overweight, but it really does tow it well. I know new tires are going to make it even better.
That's awful close to the truck's tow rating - which is okay. I'm one of those that don't take tow ratings as the Bible. Manufacturers nudge them all the time, from marketing pressure.

I'd recommend getting stock size tires though, or a little smaller in diameter. The last thing you want is to make the gearing any taller with that heavy of a trailer.
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  #10  
Old 11-05-2012, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by RoyJ View Post
That's awful close to the truck's tow rating - which is okay. I'm one of those that don't take tow ratings as the Bible. Manufacturers nudge them all the time, from marketing pressure.

I'd recommend getting stock size tires though, or a little smaller in diameter. The last thing you want is to make the gearing any taller with that heavy of a trailer.
I am definitely sticking with stock sized tires. It has 3.73 gears, so I don't think I need to go any smaller. I believe these things are under-rated. I spent some time under it this weekend replacing the front brakes and doing an oil change. For starters, these brakes are HUGE, at least 14" and it has huge dual piston calipers. The brakes had over 80,000 miles on them, but still had about 20% of the pad left. I only changed them due to a shimmy under braking. Now that it has new pads & rotors, the shimmy is gone. Then when you look at the frame, it's so over built. It's tubular from the front to rear bumpers and the cross-members are huge as well. It's a much more substantial looking frame than what's under the latest F150 that's rated for over 11,000 pounds. My only disappointment with it is the shock/spring design. It's set-up like a strut with a coil-over spring which doesn't allow for aftermarket air bags.
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  #11  
Old 11-05-2012, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrjones111 View Post
I had a 98 Expedition and put an aftermarket (IPD brand) anti-swaybar on it, and that made a huge difference in how it handled, especially when towing.
I'm going to check into getting new sway bars, there are a few aftermarket one's available.
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  #12  
Old 11-05-2012, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NLPRacing View Post
I am definitely sticking with stock sized tires. It has 3.73 gears, so I don't think I need to go any smaller. I believe these things are under-rated. I spent some time under it this weekend replacing the front brakes and doing an oil change. For starters, these brakes are HUGE, at least 14" and it has huge dual piston calipers. The brakes had over 80,000 miles on them, but still had about 20% of the pad left. I only changed them due to a shimmy under braking. Now that it has new pads & rotors, the shimmy is gone. Then when you look at the frame, it's so over built. It's tubular from the front to rear bumpers and the cross-members are huge as well. It's a much more substantial looking frame than what's under the latest F150 that's rated for over 11,000 pounds. My only disappointment with it is the shock/spring design. It's set-up like a strut with a coil-over spring which doesn't allow for aftermarket air bags.
I fully agree. If you compare a modern 1/2 ton chassis today, so a 3/4 ton chassis from the 80's, you'll easily see which one is built tougher! (not the old 3/4 ton)

The frame is NOT the limiting factor at all, in terms of both payload AND tow capacity. Even my Explorer is overbuilt for its 5000lbs tow rating. Look at the Jeep wrangler vs military J8 - same frame, almost triple the payload!

The rear suspension really does limit things, again, as is my explorer. Not much you can do, expect a slight improvement by taking off the heavy spare tire (70 lbs behind the axle) and putting it on the back of the trailer, hence the 70lbs becomes part of the GCWR, instead of valuable tongue weight...
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoyJ View Post
I fully agree. If you compare a modern 1/2 ton chassis today, so a 3/4 ton chassis from the 80's, you'll easily see which one is built tougher! (not the old 3/4 ton)

The frame is NOT the limiting factor at all, in terms of both payload AND tow capacity. Even my Explorer is overbuilt for its 5000lbs tow rating. Look at the Jeep wrangler vs military J8 - same frame, almost triple the payload!

The rear suspension really does limit things, again, as is my explorer. Not much you can do, expect a slight improvement by taking off the heavy spare tire (70 lbs behind the axle) and putting it on the back of the trailer, hence the 70lbs becomes part of the GCWR, instead of valuable tongue weight...
Didn't consider the spare, thanks for the idea. I probably won't worry about it for the local camping trips (most trips under 100 miles round trip), but for the long hauls to places like Orlando & Minnesota, I will try it.
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:22 PM
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I assume you have done this...but a couple things.

1) make sure your sway control is on (2010+) - mine is accessible through the info center

2) Trailer brake controller, my wiring adapter was back with the spare tire access/jack

Otherwise I support what the other say; that sway bar does great things.
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddiemoney View Post
I assume you have done this...but a couple things.

1) make sure your sway control is on (2010+) - mine is accessible through the info center

2) Trailer brake controller, my wiring adapter was back with the spare tire access/jack

Otherwise I support what the other say; that sway bar does great things.
It's an 07, so no sway control. I do use a Prodigy brake controller.
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:19 PM
 
 
 
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