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  #16  
Old 12-04-2009, 08:40 PM
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There it is, Joe. It is the bolts are bigger on the later models!!!!! I'll be durned.
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  #17  
Old 12-04-2009, 09:40 PM
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Hi guys. I'm Joe's freind from the RV.net site and he has been helping me with this question. My 2000 Excursion V10 Limitted is the one in question. I just read the post by 78Southwind am now I am really thrown for a loop. I don't have an 18mm socket, but a 19 mm fits on my bolt with some play. A 3/4 inch socket fits a little snugger (I think the 3/4" is the 18MM equivalent, so I think mine has the 18MM bolts on it.

Question now is to 78 Southwind. I'm wondering if maybe there is a difference in trucks based on the tow package. Did yours have the camper mirrors stock???? The parts guy at my Ford Dealership mentioned a lighter duty Class III hitch, but said I probably don't have that. I didn't think anything of it then, but now I'm wondering if the smaller bolts came with a Class III option that may be related to the tow or camper package.

I'm not doubting your conversion. It is obviously real, based on your pictures but it does not add up to what was on the parts drawing.

There is a possibility the previous owner did a conversion on mine, but really, what are the odds of that.

Thanks for helping out on this. And oh yeh, thanks for also getting me involved in another forum.
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  #18  
Old 12-04-2009, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Country Traveler View Post
Hi guys. I'm Joe's freind from the RV.net site and he has been helping me with this question. My 2000 Excursion V10 Limitted is the one in question. I just read the post by 78Southwind am now I am really thrown for a loop. I don't have an 18mm socket, but a 19 mm fits on my bolt with some play. A 3/4 inch socket fits a little snugger (I think the 3/4" is the 18MM equivalent, so I think mine has the 18MM bolts on it.

Question now is to 78 Southwind. I'm wondering if maybe there is a difference in trucks based on the tow package. Did yours have the camper mirrors stock???? The parts guy at my Ford Dealership mentioned a lighter duty Class III hitch, but said I probably don't have that. I didn't think anything of it then, but now I'm wondering if the smaller bolts came with a Class III option that may be related to the tow or camper package.

I'm not doubting your conversion. It is obviously real, based on your pictures but it does not add up to what was on the parts drawing.

There is a possibility the previous owner did a conversion on mine, but really, what are the odds of that.

Thanks for helping out on this. And oh yeh, thanks for also getting me involved in another forum.
Click the image to open in full size.

I hope this helps. I was referring to the bolts that are 18 MM not the socket size. I have several friends with Ex's (2000, early 2001, 2002 and 2005) we tried to compare the difference between the hitch-receiver and the only difference that we found was the bolts and the bolt holes on the hitch-receivers. I had a Ford Dealership send an e-mail to Ford Corporate for their response to the difference in the 2000 vs. 2002 towing capacity. The following is what was sent to the dealership by Ford: 2000 uses 14mm bolts 2002 18mm. We are told it’s not just the bolts, it’s the receiver and frame.

I wasn't worried about towing over 10,000 lbs. I wanted to be able to carry more tongue weight if need be (1,250 lbs instead of 1,000 lbs). The towing capacity of the 2000 up to 2001 is limited by the hitch the 2001.5 to 2005 is limited by the GCWR. A loaded excursion is about 9,000 lbs. minus that from the 20,000 lbs. GCWR that leaves 11,000 lbs.

*********This is from a ford shop manual*********

Trailer Hitch — Excursion

Removal and Installation
WARNING:
Do not permanently remove the trailer hitch. Always reinstall the hitch before delivery of the vehicle to the customer. The trailer hitch is designed to enhance fuel system protection, helping reduce the potential for fuel leaks in the event of a rear end collision. Failure to follow this warning could increase the risk of injury in a rear end collision.
Note:
Do not reuse body support mounting fasteners. New fasteners must be installed for each fastener that has been removed or loosened.
1. Raise and support the vehicle.
2. Loosen the four fuel tank shield bolts. Do not remove the bolts.
3. CAUTION:
New shear bolts with the same part number must be installed. Do not use fasteners of lesser quality or substitute design. Torque values must be used as specified during installation to ensure correct retention of the trailer hitch.
Note:
The fuel tank shield will have to be positioned to one side and then to the opposite side to gain access to the trailer hitch mounting fasteners.

With the help of an assistant, remove the trailer hitch.

1 Note the location of the shear bolts prior to removal. Remove the two shear bolts in three stages.

Stage 1: Using a 1/8 in. drill bit, start a pilot hole.

Stage 2: Using a 1/2 in. drill bit, drill out the center of the shear bolt.

Stage 3: Using a suitable air chisel, remove the head from the shear bolt.

During installation, tighten the shear bolts until the bolt heads shear off.

Remove and discard the six bolts.

During installation, install new bolts.

3 Remove the trailer hitch.
4. Remove the four nut and retainer assemblies. Remove the remainder of the two shear bolts from the nut and retainer assemblies.

If the nut and retainer assembly is damaged during shear bolt removal, install a new nut and retainer.
5. To install, reverse the removal procedure.
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  #19  
Old 12-05-2009, 06:37 PM
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78SouthWind,

Great information...reps to you my friend...

I think there has been so much confusion because when you call the dealership they can't even give you a straight answer!

Plus when you go to the parts department and ask for bolts for a 2000 Ex hitch receiver and they are going to sell you the SAME bolts for a 2004...

So that got me thinking today as I sat deer hunting in 22°F temps...perhaps the smaller hardware is NO LONGER AVAILABLE and anyone getting NEW hardware will automatically get 18mm THICK hardware?...that would lead me to believe if Country Traveler simply went to the dealership and got the new bolt kit...and measured them...he would likley find (a theory here) that they are indeed the 18mm THICK bolt kit...which is what he wants.

As Bion has found the frames are 'supposedly' the same up to the 2005 model year...and the hitches appear to be the same...thus...I think it can be reasonably argued that based on all the trips to the different dealers by all the members at various times...that the hitch mystery is simply that...only the original engineers likely know the total truth...but when you go to the parts department TODAY and ask for replacement parts for the hitch, mounting hardware and even frames...from 2000 to 2004 all the parts have the SAME numbers?...so that would lead one to beleive that if you were buying parts TODAY...you would get the stuff rated for 1250#'s of WD tongue weight...at least that is the way I am understanding all the info we have gathered thus far.

So...does anyone else have any theories?

SouthWind obviously received THICKER and BIGGER bolts for the hitch...it would be interesting if Country Traveler simply ordered the current bolt kit to see what would be delivered...that could add more data to this mystery of the Ex receiver that so many have tried to understand before us...

Thanks again SouthWind for the awesome information and photos...

Joe.
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  #20  
Old 12-05-2009, 07:25 PM
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My guess is that we have collectively found the "weak link" in the 2000 hitch platform assembly. That assembly includes how it is fastened to the truck frame. That implies that any 2000 could be "unofficially upgraded" to 2002-2005 specs.
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  #21  
Old 12-06-2009, 07:52 AM
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Thanks for the replies. Still, some flaws in the assessment. The drawings were made before the 2000 run of the truck and show the part number. That new bolt looks huge compared to the original and only a 250 lb gain in hitch weight? What size wrench fits on the head of the new bolt? If I have the smaller bolt and a 18 mm wrench fits, that new one would have a 24mm socket. A 1 " bolt head on a hitch seems overkill and unlikely. Not starting an arguement at all here, but just not believing the bolt on my hitch is smaller than the bolt of my class 3 hitch on my other truck. Are you sure the original equipment on your truck is what you replaced?

What are some bolt head sizes and truck years out there.
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  #22  
Old 12-06-2009, 11:38 AM
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I still have the old bolt's and an 18 MM socket fits. To be honest with you I can't remember what socket I used for the new bolts but a 24 MM sounds right. I would have to loosen the gas tank cover to get a socket on them now because of the bigger head on the bolt and I don't really want to do that right now. The old bolt has a strangth rating of 9.8 while the new bolt has a strangth rating of 10.9. Maybe it is a little overkill but I found the hitch-receiver and bolts for $50 so I couldn't pass up on the deal. If I had to pay the dealer price I would have probably just went to Eckharts and had them weld a new hitch-receiver onto my Excursion Eckharts Trailer Hitch & Welding, Inc. SINCE 1944. Here's Weekendwarriorfsw32's thread about his Eckhart hitch-receiver http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/68...new-hitch.html if you want to go that direction.

I did my research, just like you're doing your research now a couple years ago. I had several forum members on various sites tell me that the 2000 to 2001 bolts were 14 MM while the 2001.5 to 2005 were 18 MM. I completed the research by asking 2 different Dealers (Sun Rise Ford and Wabash which is www.powerstrokeshop.com) then I had Sun Rise Ford confirm it again by sending an e-mail to Ford Corporate. Now let me state this again Ford Corporate said in the e-mail that there is a difference in the two hitch-receivers and the frame is also thicker. I personally couldn't see the differences only the bolt/hole sizes. Lastly, I purchased the 2002 hitch and bolts from the Parts Manager at another Ford Dealership (it just happened to be his personal hitch that the insurance company purchased for his 2002 Excursion after getting hit in the rear of his Excursion but he ended up going in another more custom direction).

I really don't understad why the schematics would be wrong but the date is the first give a way. I hope this helps.
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  #23  
Old 12-06-2009, 04:30 PM
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OK. Today, I looked underneath a 2002 Excursion I saw in a parking lot. Those bolts sure are big and they were there all right. I think I am going to buy the bolts and then change them out on my truck.

How was it drilling the holes bigger? I will probably just leave the giant rivit since there really isn't a reason to remove the receiver. I guess I would have to drill the hole in the receiver larger as well. I noticed the hole in my revceiver is actually a slot. Is the newer receiver also a slot? The bolt is so big, I couldn't tell.

I suppose I could bring it to the body shop that said they would do it if it was a pain in the but to do it.

Also, do you know off hand what the torque for the bolts is?

Thanks so much everyone for your help on this.

When I buy the bolts, I will post what part number they are and we will be able to cross reference the drawing with it. This would then be a complete thread for future reference.

Thanks again.
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  #24  
Old 12-06-2009, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Country Traveler View Post
OK. Today, I looked underneath a 2002 Excursion I saw in a parking lot. Those bolts sure are big and they were there all right. I think I am going to buy the bolts and then change them out on my truck.

How was it drilling the holes bigger? I will probably just leave the giant rivit since there really isn't a reason to remove the receiver. I guess I would have to drill the hole in the receiver larger as well. I noticed the hole in my revceiver is actually a slot. Is the newer receiver also a slot? The bolt is so big, I couldn't tell.

I suppose I could bring it to the body shop that said they would do it if it was a pain in the but to do it.

Also, do you know off hand what the torque for the bolts is?

Thanks so much everyone for your help on this.

When I buy the bolts, I will post what part number they are and we will be able to cross reference the drawing with it. This would then be a complete thread for future reference.

Thanks again.
I am glade that you were able to see for yourself that the bolts were correct. I know the Ford information doesn't seem to make sense and it's hard to believe that Ford wouldn't have just included the bigger bolts for the 2000 Excursion. I actually purchased the 2002 hitch-receiver, bolts and nuts. I didn't drill out and use my old 2000 hitch-receiver but It could be done both receivers look the same except for the bolt hole sizes. It might be tough to get everything to line up though so if your not going to purchase the 2002 hitch-receiver then I would have a shop do it. The torque for the bolts is 85 lb-ft.

If you read the install intructions you will notice that you have to loosen the 4 fuel tank shield botls don't take them off just loosen them up about an inch so that you can maneuver the shield from side to side to get the bigger bolts in place. The torque for those bolts is 98 lb-ft.

Take a look at my original posts they are pretty detailed with all the information that you need to do the intall of the 2002 receiver-hitch. The post also has the bolts, torque bolts (the two that are missing their heads and look like rivets) and the nut part numbers that you will need. You will also read in the post that I used 8 of the hex bolts and none of the torque bolts so I could take of the hitch reveiver off in the future without having to drill out the torque bolts. Here's the part numbers if you missed them in the post. I would just call the powerstrokeshop and they will sell you the right bolts.

From www.powerstrokeshop.com

*W708772S426 $9.36 $0.00 $5.80

BOLT M18X44 HF PIL A

*1C7Z17758AA $21.13 $0.00 $15.72

BOLT M18X2.5X59 HEX

*W709318S441 $14.00 $0.00 $8.68

NUT&RET M18X65 HF DU
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  #25  
Old 12-06-2009, 05:59 PM
Country Traveler Country Traveler is offline
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Thank you 78southwind. I really appreciate your help on this. Wish me luck. I'm glad you found this thread and offerred so much information.
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  #26  
Old 12-06-2009, 07:12 PM
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Country Traveler,

Just got home from chasing bambi...he and his relatives won again...oh well...that's why it is called hunting and not shooting...right!

Anyway...it sure looks like 78SouthWind has hooked you up with all kinds of great information...!

I was able to check out my bolt head sizes...like SouthWind says...the fuel tank shield prevents 'full' engagement of the socket...but I could easily tell a 22mm was too small...and the 24mm would fit if the shield wasn't in the way...so I believe it is a 24mm bolt head.

The bolts are HUGE as you have found...probably overkill...but I think the 14mm were underkill for the forces that can be back there for someone that tows heavy!

I know this ground has been plowed before but the CONFUSING part about it is when someone goes to the dealership...like country traveler or Bion did and asks for parts from a 2000 Ex in the way of receiver and mounting hardware...then they ask for the same parts for a 2003 or 2004 Ex and they are told the parts are the SAME NUMBER!!!...yet when you have someone like SouthWind that actually CHANGED the parts and COMPARED the parts that came off versus what went on...well it is pretty clear that the hardware is DIFFERENT!!!

So while this is not a new topic...the twist here is that I really think Ford has likely purged all the 14mm stock...any accident repairs will likely get the 1250# receiver which appears to only have beefier 18mm hardware...

Another twist is that when Bion asked for the FRAME part numbers and was told that only the 2005 has a different frame...that kind of blows some holes in the story that was told to SouthWind...

Basically I think Ford has a story that isn't easily backed up by the facts as we know them...but that doesn't mean we know all the facts...but we sure have done a LOT of digging on this topic and each time we dig...the only parts that seem to be different are the bolts...

I think (speculation on my part here) that Ford is in a CYA mode because they don't want anyone that has a 1000# receiver to exceed it because it is likely at the edge of its design margin with those 14mm bolts...but going to the 18mm bolts gives them some margin and they simply don't want people thinking nothing was done to change the rating...so they mention Frame, Receiver, Bolts, etc...I'm not sure why they didn't do a recall and simply upgrade the 4 mounting bolts to the 18mm ones and be done with it...but I'm sure they will say there is more to it than that...but we sure haven't been able to uncover their secret...although just the opposite...we have found data that suggests their data is flawed (i.e. the thicker frame story seems to be just that...a story)...

In the end...the rating is the rating and it truly is a personal choice for someone to upgrade the receiver with simply upgrading the bolts. but to look at an early/mid 2000's F250 receiver with a 1250# WD rating...those receivers sure a whimpy compared to the Excursions receiver...if you never noticed how much smaller those receivers are on those trucks...take a gander...and also notice the WD mode tongue rating...just another observation that perhaps the receiver is not the limiting factor...

The prints that country traveler got from the Ford parts guy...I think is part of our confusion...I think they in themselves are flawed with some of the details not being changed when the print was updated...but again that is just my personal theory.

In the end...it is going to be a personal choice as to which way to go...78SouthWind got a smoking deal on a whole hitch and hardware to get the sticker that says 1250#'s...kind of a no brainer...

For those not getting a smoking deal...well it comes down to personal choice I guess as to which way to go.

Good luck and thanks to SouthWind and Bion for all your diligence in providing some good factual data to this topic.

Joe.
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  #27  
Old 03-17-2010, 12:30 PM
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Hitch receiver conversion completed. I found out some other information also. Joe was right. The hitch receiver for 2000 and 2001 model years was discontinued. You get the newer version with the 18 mm bolts no matter what, but I ordered as if I had a 2005 model anyway just to be sure.

Thanks very much for the pictures and procedure. It was a 3-1/2 hr job to complete. Hardest part is drilling out the shear bolts.
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Old 03-18-2010, 12:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Country Traveler View Post
Hitch receiver conversion completed. I found out some other information also. Joe was right. The hitch receiver for 2000 and 2001 model years was discontinued. You get the newer version with the 18 mm bolts no matter what, but I ordered as if I had a 2005 model anyway just to be sure.

Thanks very much for the pictures and procedure. It was a 3-1/2 hr job to complete. Hardest part is drilling out the shear bolts.
Great to hear. Yep, those shear bolts kicked my a$$. That's why I decided to put the regular bolts back on so I could remove the hitch receiver easily if need be at a later time.
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  #29  
Old 03-18-2010, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Country Traveler View Post
Hitch receiver conversion completed. I found out some other information also. Joe was right. The hitch receiver for 2000 and 2001 model years was discontinued. You get the newer version with the 18 mm bolts no matter what, but I ordered as if I had a 2005 model anyway just to be sure.

Thanks very much for the pictures and procedure. It was a 3-1/2 hr job to complete. Hardest part is drilling out the shear bolts.
I have a quick question -- Did you have to end up Drilling Bigger holes to fit the new bolts throuch the truck Frame or exisiting recv'r ?

I'm wondering if this is as 'simple' as just swapping out the bolts fpr the beefier ones ( and keeping the existing 2000 reciever ) and not having to widen or drill any new holes in the frame or reciever ? Would someone just be able to go one by one replacing all the smaller 14mm bolts and not even have to redrill or widen any existing holes - maybe even not have to drop the recv'r and just go one bolt at a time?

- of course you would still need to obviously drill out the old torque bolts, lower the gas tank sheild, pull the bumper cover etc...
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  #30  
Old 03-19-2010, 10:09 AM
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Yes, the holes had to be drilled larger. It was the easiest part. I suppose you could do each set of 2 bolts at a time and keep your original receiver. The slots in your original receiver would have to be made bigger. If you could line up the hole in the frame with the spot in your receicer you probably could do it. I have no idea how hard it would be to drill through the receiver though. I opted for the new receiver to avoid that, it could have been a waste of money. The shear bolt is the hardest part. I actually just kept drilling and instead of using the chissel, I used the drill bit that I needed to make the hole bigger and it ended up just coming off. I also copied 78Southwinds advise and used all bolts on the new install. No more shear bolt to ever deal with.

If you decide to drill the receiver hole larger, let us know how it went.
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Old 03-19-2010, 10:09 AM
 
 
 
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