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2007+ Expedition & Navigator 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator




 
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Old 02-01-2008, 11:18 AM
07EXPYEL 07EXPYEL is offline
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4x4 tow hooks & recovery gear

How can I use the factory “Tow Hooks” with a two strap without damaging the bumper cover?

I have yet to purchase any recovery gear to keep in my Expy, so I’m researching what I need. I have the 4x4 model with the factory “Tow Hooks”, which are not really tow hooks but recovery eyes and there is not a lot of room to attach a bow shackle without scratching or damaging the bumper cover. I’m not sure how large or size of a bow shackle or looped recovery strap will actually fit. I’ve looked at many off-road sites regarding recovery equipment and methods, and here’s what I’ve determined I should buy for a vehicle without a winch:
  1. 3” wide elastic recovery tow strap 30,000# capacity 20-30 feet with end loops (no metal hooks).
  2. 3” wide elastic recovery tow strap 30,000# capacity 10 feet with end loops (no metal hooks) for load spreading between the two front tow hooks.
  3. (2x) 3/4” body bow shackles with 7/8” pin. 6.5 ton working capacity, 65,000# ultimate capacity.
  4. 2” receiver hitch block shackle for the rear receiver.
The 10’ strap is to use between the front tow hooks to equalize the load. One end gets looped through the tow hook, one eye of the 30’ strap passes through, and then the other end of the 10’ strap is attached to the other tow hook using a bow shackle.

There’s lots more safety tips and advise available on off-road forums, but I just wanted to mention a few:
  • Don’t use a tow strap with metal hoo
  • Don’t hook a tow strap to a tow ball
  • Don’t use shackles to join tow straps
  • Place a blanket or jacket over a tow strap to reduce the danger incase something breaks
  • Place rolled up newspaper, smooth wood or something in a looped joint when two straps are joined together so the straps are easier to separate
  • Keep bystanders at a safe distance

Thanks in advance regarding advice on tow strap lengths, capacity, and shackles.
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Old 02-01-2008, 01:57 PM
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nebmike nebmike is offline
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Until you mentioned it, I hadnt paid much attention to the space between the front tow points and the plastic bumper cover... they really didnt leave us much room, did they?!?

I actually carry a 30' (30k) ****** strap (w/ loops), a 30' 3/8" grade 70 chain w/ hooks, and a 15' (15k) tow strap w/ hooks. I also carry a Hi-Lift recovery kit which includes a 10' "tree strap", shackles, etc., necessary to convert a Hi-Lift jack into a manual "winch." I would never venture anywhere I thought I could get stuck without having a Hi-Lift jack along for the ride. I've never been stuck to where I couldnt get out using a Hi-Lift (either as a jack or as a winch). I burried a Grand Cherokee to the frame one time on a beach, 300 yards from anything solid, and used a Hi-Lift anchored to my spare tire (which I burried 3' deep in the sand, 20' behind the Jeep) to winch me out.

To the point of your original question though, what I would do is run the strap loop through the tow point from the top, down... and then secure the loop to the strap with an anchor shackle. That way you dont have to actually try to attach a shackle (or some other device) to the tow point itself. This is actually what I used to do on my Excursion because the tow points were too thick for any of my schackles to go over (the ones on the Expy are a little thinner).

What I do on the rear instead of carrying an extra receiver attachment, is just put a loop end into the receiver and run the pin through it to secure it. If I were nasty stuck in mud or something and was going to use a strap from the rear end as a recoil-recovery set up, the hitch pin prolly wouldnt be the best idea in the world and I'd rig it differently. Its plenty sufficient for about any other application though.

Good luck!
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Old 02-01-2008, 03:23 PM
07EXPYEL 07EXPYEL is offline
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Nebmike, thanks for the advise. I've been wanting to pick up a Hi-lift for special occasions along with the winch adaper set. Have you seen or tried the hi-lift adapers that they have for lifting by the tires? Without sold metal bumpers with lifting points, a Hi-lift would be hard to use. I like the idea of the plastic base too.
Click the image to open in full size.

On another note, how does your trailer tow with the expy? I have the TC 30QBSS which is about 2 feet shorter and 900# lighter then yours. Do you visit www.r-visioncamping.org? My ID their is 5kids.
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Old 02-01-2008, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 07EXPYEL
Nebmike, thanks for the advise. I've been wanting to pick up a Hi-lift for special occasions along with the winch adaper set. Have you seen or tried the hi-lift adapers that they have for lifting by the tires? Without sold metal bumpers with lifting points, a Hi-lift would be hard to use. I like the idea of the plastic base too.

On another note, how does your trailer tow with the expy? I have the TC 30QBSS which is about 2 feet shorter and 900# lighter then yours. Do you visit www.r-visioncamping.org? My ID their is 5kids.
I actually have the attachment for lifting at the wheel because I had a couple Grand Cherokee's that didnt have metal bumpers... it works well, provided you're wheels are of a design that allow the hooks to work. I actually prefer that method over a bumper lift. The only thing you cant do with a wheel lift is jack the truck up and move it sideways (like out of a mud rut) by simply tipping the jack over. The plastic base is a must unless you're always on rock.

As for towing... I dont know. My trailer has been at the shop for about a month, waiting for a new axle (lost a bearing). Just got the Expy about 3 weeks ago. It'll be interesting to see how it does compared to the V-10 Excursion I traded on it. I'm in Colorado and go up to the mountains a lot, so the trailering thing is a bit more challenging than what a lot of people probably see. If all else fails, I'll just use the Super Duty.
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Old 02-01-2008, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nebmike
it works well, provided you're wheels are of a design that allow the hooks to work.
Uh... make that "your" rather than "you're"
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Old 02-05-2008, 12:37 PM
07EXPYEL 07EXPYEL is offline
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I ended up ordering the straps and shackles as listed. I haven't picked up the hitch reciever shackle yet, so I'll just have to use the hitch pin & tow strap trick. As much as I'd like a hi-lift, I'm not sure where to safely store it.
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Old 02-06-2008, 12:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 07EXPYEL
I ended up ordering the straps and shackles as listed. I haven't picked up the hitch reciever shackle yet, so I'll just have to use the hitch pin & tow strap trick. As much as I'd like a hi-lift, I'm not sure where to safely store it.
Yeah, without some solid tie-downs in the back of the Expy, its a bit tricky to figure out what to do with a Hi-Lift. Mounting it on the roof is always an option (though doesnt go good with the "looks" of an Expy, hehe!).

My entire back end is full of equipment (behind the 3rd seat). I put the Hi-Lift on the bottom up against the back of the 3rd seat and then put other stuff on top of it with the cargo organizer in the "shelf" position up over the top of the jack and stuff. If I wreck, the there is a bunch of (much softer) stuff that has to move out of the way before that jack gets loose.

Once the weather gets up above about 5 degrees, I'm gonna figure out a way to fasten some tie-downs in so I can secure the Hi-Lift in place.

One of the things I wish Ford had done is rig the back end with a cargo net.
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Old 02-06-2008, 11:37 AM
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Yeah, no tie downs make securing things a bit difficult. I thought about making up a bracket to hold the hi-lift jack that would plug into the hitch receiver. I'd want it as high as possible so it wouldn't decrease ground clearance, but it still would have to clear the liftgate. It would render the reverse sensors useless, but I'd only use it for special occations when venturing off road. I haven't seen any hitch reciever hi-lift holders and I'm kind of surprized that no one has made one for SUV's before. I'd also consider adding a tow/recovery strap shackle to it so I wouldn't have to remove it for a rear tow/recovery point connection.
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Old 02-06-2008, 01:48 PM
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Putting the strap around the hitch pin is a BAD idea. How are you going to get it out when you bend the hitch pin? Get a draw-bar with a hook on it instead.
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Old 02-06-2008, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterCMK
Putting the strap around the hitch pin is a BAD idea. How are you going to get it out when you bend the hitch pin? Get a draw-bar with a hook on it instead.
I've done this literally dozens of times... pulling people out of snow drifts, stuck on the beach, high centered on a mountain trail, etc. These are easy pulls though. The pin I use is rated at 32,000lbs but I still wouldnt use that set up if I were needing to "jerk" someone out using the strap as a recoil device.
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Old 02-06-2008, 07:12 PM
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All I am saying is that it is a bad idea 99% of the time. A draw bar with a hook on it is enough to find. Not to mention, you risk destroying your strap with it rubbing on the receiver.
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Old 02-10-2008, 06:28 PM
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I did pick up a hitch receiver shackle. All the straps and shackles barely fit in the floor storage of my EL. I don't think the non-EL's have the same compartment. I was disappointed because of the tight bumper clerance, I couldn't pass the 3" tow strap loop through the tow hook/eye, which means I'll always have to use a shackle and take the risk of scratching the bumper shroud.
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Old 02-10-2008, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 07EXPYEL
I did pick up a hitch receiver shackle. All the straps and shackles barely fit in the floor storage of my EL. I don't think the non-EL's have the same compartment. I was disappointed because of the tight bumper clerance, I couldn't pass the 3" tow strap loop through the tow hook/eye, which means I'll always have to use a shackle and take the risk of scratching the bumper shroud.
Well hell. I'm glad you mentioned that too... cuz I've not actually tried to get mine through it but I bet it'll be the same cuz mine is a 3" strap also. I need to check my shackles and make sure they'll fit.
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Old 09-08-2008, 09:35 AM
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About 2 months ago I got stuck in the sand and had to use nearly all of my recovery gear. My family and I took the "Indian Guided" tour to Canyon de Chelly in Arizona and got stuck in the sand. I had to use 3 straps joined together to make one long chain. I had prepared some old broom handle sections to put between the loop ends when joining them (not as a securing pin, but to keep the loops from sticking together). I used a bow shackle on one of the front towing eyes, and another to the recovery vehicle. The funny part about the whole thing, was I was pulled out by an old army 6 wheel drive truck (dual wheels were removed) that didn't have a working reverse gear. He had to make very large circles to turn around to get in front of me, which is why I need 40' of tow straps looped together. The two Indian guides were surprised that I had 3 two straps, a shovel, and the dowel pins since there were 3 vehicles there at the same time and not a one besides me had any recovery gear. BTW, I put all the gear in a bag ahead of time in my cargo box so it wouldn't be buried under all our luggage, but normally all of the straps (3), shackels, dowels, and gloves fit in the two under floor compartments.
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Old 09-08-2008, 10:18 AM
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I burried my (former) Grand Cherokee up to the frame on a beach one time. I carry a bunch of recovery gear also, which was lucky since there wasnt another soul around for miles. Tried jacking it with my Hi-Lift, but it just sank in the soupy-muddy sand... so I had to resort to an old military recovery trick. I took my spare tire and burried it about 3' down and perpendicular to the Jeep about 20' behind it, then used it as an anchor along with my 30' log chain and Hi-Lift to winch the Jeep back about 10 feet to "solid" ground.

Good times!
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Old 09-08-2008, 10:18 AM
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