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Just finished my X code and modified B code spring swap - WOW!!!

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Just finished my X code and modified B code spring swap - WOW!!!

 
  #1  
Old 02-04-2012, 04:41 PM
Hunter,DDS
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Just finished my X code and modified B code spring swap - WOW!!!

My EX was exhibiting the classic wandering behavior and I was not satisfied with the ride. Expansion joints were uncomfortable to say the least. Towing modest amounts I would get pushed around a bit. After reading and re-reading the forums, I decided that X-codes and modified B codes would suit my interests best. Located the springs I needed and proceeded.

Started at 7:00 this morning. Got finished exactly 4 hours later. Spent several hours this past week on the phone rounding up parts, stopped by the salvage yard to pick up the springs. Also went by the local spring shop and had them custom make some new U-bolts for me. I also got some new center bolts for the modified rear spring packs. Finally I ordered some new bushings from Energy Suspension to place since I was under there. As it turned out, they sent me the wrong size bushings. However, my OEM ones weren't in bad shape anyhow. I think they have a year or two left in them.

Anyhow, below are my pre and post pictures. With the X-codes on the front I picked up 2.5 inches of lift. I picked up nearly the same on the rear. Now, with my 275/65/20 tires on and the updated springs, my front sits 42.25 inches to the wheel well measured from the center of the hub. The rear sits 43 inches.

Before:


After:

Technique:

I have a buddy with a shop and a lift which made life much easier. We put it up on the lift and worked on one axle at a time. On the passenger rear side the only complication we ran in to was having to unbolt and move the rear A/C line in order to get the front spring bolt out. Otherwise the rear was very straight forward.

The fronts were a little more difficult just because we had to remove that low hanging Prius saver from under the front bumper. This had to come off in order to get the front bolts off. Also, on the driver side we had to take the entire shackle off of the frame instead of removing the spring from the shackle. The front drive shaft was in the way and we couldn't get the bolt off to remove only the spring. The front and rear custom U-bolts worked fabulously.

Tips:

1) I would not have wanted to try to tackle this job without air tools.
2) Make sure you have a torch handy as many of my bolts had loc-tite on them and were impossible to get off without torching them. My truck has never seen snow or salt so corrosion was not an issue. If your truck has rusty bolts this will complicate the process more.
3) IMO you cannot safely and efficiently do this by yourself. You really need another person, especially to remove the old spring and to seat the new one in place.
4) I suppose you could do this with a few jacks and jack stands, but having the lift and TALL jack stands was a God send.
5) Instead of buying new springs, look for some low mileage ones at a salvage yard. Also, don't buy U-bolts from the dealer. Dealer cost PER U BOLT was $27. I got custom make ones with higher quality steel from a spring shop for $14 per bolt. My springs were also $50 each from the salvage yard. In total I have less than $500 in this whole process, and $100 of that was for my buddy for his time.

Driving Impression

I am extremely satisfied with this swap. My truck has never ridden so good. On the highway any steering wander is absolutely gone. I tracks straight and true. Expansion joints are no longer a problem. My truck rides firmer perhaps, but better and much more comfortable. Firmer makes one think of harsher, which is absolutely not true. Firmer means you aren't bouncing all over the road. The body of the truck isn't sloshing around like a water bed anymore. I even took a back road home this evening which is really rough, and I was smiling ear to ear going down this road I used to avoid. Now it rides like a very nice riding truck. Sharp curves are more confidently handled. Lane changes are quick and crisp. The X codes gave me enough lift to clear my 34.5" tires. They have some miles on them already so I don't expect them to settle much more.

Final Impression

IMO I am very pleased with the X codes. If I would have gone with new V codes they probably would have been OK for the first while until they settled, then I would have a little too much rake for my liking. With broken in X codes it should sit right where it is for a long time. The ride is absolutely perfect, as is the height with the modified B code swap. With 1" or trailer induced squat I will be nearly level. This combo of springs seems like it was designed for this beast of a vehicle. Best mod I have done to date, which is saying alot. I have now done:

1) 2008 tow mirrors
2) 2007 OEM wheels
3) 275-65-20 michelins
4) Third row headrests
5) A smattering of 6.0 PSD upgrades.

I highly recommend this mod to anybody, whether you are experiencing steering wander or not. I really can't say enough about the new driving experience
 
  #2  
Old 02-04-2012, 04:43 PM
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looks FANTASTIC! i love the newer SD wheels. i had X codes on my '04 and i loved them! great right up and pics
 
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Old 02-04-2012, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by AlaskanEx View Post
looks FANTASTIC! i love the newer SD wheels. i had X codes on my '04 and i loved them! great right up and pics
Thanks! Now I've got to get those front windows tinted. I feel like I'm riding down the freeway in an aquarium.......
 
  #4  
Old 02-04-2012, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Hunter,DDS View Post
..................... I even took a back road home this is really rough, and I was smiling ear to ear going down this road I used to avoid. .............
I know exactly what you ment when you said this..........I felt the same after mine.

Nice looking rig now! Did you have to use spacers on the rims?
 
  #5  
Old 02-04-2012, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Hunter,DDS View Post
I have a buddy with a shop and a lift which made life much easier.
Yes, it does!

On the passenger rear side the only complication we ran in to was having to unbolt and move the rear A/C line in order to get the front spring bolt out.
Haven't met an Excursion yet that didn't have the rear AC lines in the way, needing to be unbolted and moved over to allow the springs to be removed and installed.

The fronts were a little more difficult just because we had to remove that low hanging Prius saver from under the front bumper. This had to come off in order to get the front bolts off. Also, on the driver side we had to take the entire shackle off of the frame instead of removing the spring from the shackle. The front drive shaft was in the way and we couldn't get the bolt off to remove only the spring.
Did you remove the front bumper?

If yes, wasn't the front spring-eye bolt right there, easily removed?

1) I would not have wanted to try to tackle this job without air tools.
Air tools are nice. Wish I had them available when I did my swap years ago.

3) IMO you cannot safely and efficiently do this by yourself. You really need another person, especially to remove the old spring and to seat the new one in place.
It can be done, but like air tools, having a second or even third set of hands makes the job go from a PITA, to bearable.

4) I suppose you could do this with a few jacks and jack stands
You can.

I did it with two floor jacks, 4 jack stands, a buddy, and a set of sturdy Craftsman hand tools.

I am extremely satisfied with this swap. My truck has never ridden so good.
Yeah, aint it cool?

Makes the whole rig feel nimble, compared to what it was, right?

Stewart
 
  #6  
Old 02-04-2012, 05:30 PM
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Wow, thats a noticeable lift you got with those springs. Sent you a PM about your stock fronts.
 
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Old 02-04-2012, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by bigwhitetruck01 View Post
Wow, thats a noticeable lift you got with those springs. Sent you a PM about your stock fronts.
Somebody here locally has first dibs on the springs. If he doesn't want them they are yours. With shipping, however, you probably won't save much over going to a local salvage yard.
 
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Old 02-04-2012, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by white Buffalo View Post
I know exactly what you ment when you said this..........I felt the same after mine.

Nice looking rig now! Did you have to use spacers on the rims?
I do have 2" hub-centric spacers on there. Got them from Fred at wheel adapters dot com. They are a must because of the change in back spacing between the OEM excursion and the coil spring 2005+ superduty trucks. Still, I feel more confident towing with this setup than I would with aftermarket wheels and no spacers.
 
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Old 02-04-2012, 09:22 PM
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I keep reading about going to salvage yards to get these springs, but there doesn't seem to be a way to ID the loose springs. How are you guys confirming what you are buying? I like getting a good deal, but I would hate to put the wrong ones on and be disappointed.

Anybody got some extra ones?

Thanks,
D.
 
  #10  
Old 02-04-2012, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by ddivinia View Post
I keep reading about going to salvage yards to get these springs, but there doesn't seem to be a way to ID the loose springs. How are you guys confirming what you are buying? I like getting a good deal, but I would hate to put the wrong ones on and be disappointed.

Anybody got some extra ones?

Thanks,
D.
The info on the springs is on the VIN plate in the driver's door. First letter is the front, second letter is the rear. Look for the spring info box on the VIN plate.
 
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Old 02-05-2012, 12:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Nicmike View Post
The info on the springs is on the VIN plate in the driver's door. First letter is the front, second letter is the rear. Look for the spring info box on the VIN plate.
You musta missed it....

Originally Posted by ddivinia View Post
... but there doesn't seem to be a way to ID the loose springs.
Loose springs don't have door pillar tags that can be referred to since they have already been removed from the vehicle.

Stewart
 
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Old 02-05-2012, 12:04 AM
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Hunter, did you remove the front bumper to get to the front spring-eye bolts?

Stewart
 
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Old 02-05-2012, 12:22 AM
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I sure did.... I was lucky enough to have the carcass the springs came off nearby.
 
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Old 02-05-2012, 03:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Hunter,DDS View Post
Looks FANTASTIC!!

Originally Posted by Hunter,DDS View Post
I have a buddy with a shop and a lift which made life much easier.
KILLING me...I need to find a local guy with a lift...I had to use the jack/jack stand route...SUCKED!

Originally Posted by Hunter,DDS View Post
The fronts were a little more difficult just because we had to remove that low hanging Prius saver from under the front bumper. This had to come off in order to get the front bolts off. Also, on the driver side we had to take the entire shackle off of the frame instead of removing the spring from the shackle. The front drive shaft was in the way and we couldn't get the bolt off to remove only the spring.
Another way to do this - remove the bumper shroud. 4 bolts on the front (to the outside of each of the tow rings), one bolt each where the side bumper mounts hit the frame. With those off, you can reach the front spring-to-frame bolts...and it made it easier to torque the bolts since you could use your body weight.

I didn't have the drive shaft issue simply because I used the bolt from the truck that the springs came off of. If you do that, take the nut off, slip the bolt out as far as it will go, cut, then the rest falls out. When putting it back in I reversed it.

Originally Posted by Hunter,DDS View Post
5) Instead of buying new springs, look for some low mileage ones at a salvage yard. Also, don't buy U-bolts from the dealer. Dealer cost PER U BOLT was $27. I got custom make ones with higher quality steel from a spring shop for $14 per bolt.
Yup...found mine for $13 per bolt...the same shop that makes your bolts can get you the center spring bolts if you do the modded B codes.

Originally Posted by Hunter,DDS View Post
I highly recommend this mod to anybody, whether you are experiencing steering wander or not. I really can't say enough about the new driving experience
I felt the same with the V/Modded B...completely different truck and I can't think of any bad things to say about the mod. By all means, if you want an idea for a 'first mod', I think this is the one to go with - looks great and it makes it a safer (IMO) truck! Congrats you yours Hunter - it looks FANTASTIC!!!
 
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Old 02-05-2012, 03:47 AM
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Originally Posted by ddivinia View Post
I keep reading about going to salvage yards to get these springs, but there doesn't seem to be a way to ID the loose springs. How are you guys confirming what you are buying? I like getting a good deal, but I would hate to put the wrong ones on and be disappointed.
I was afraid of the same thing...buying something and getting something else, so I made sure the yard I got mine from still had them on the trucks so I could verify the door sticker and spring codes.
 

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