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'07 axles under the '01 Excursion - Conversion Thread

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'07 axles under the '01 Excursion - Conversion Thread

  #16  
Old 11-15-2017, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by pirate4x4_camo View Post
Good tip on the hydroboost hose.

Since you are taking parts from a diesel equipped f250 to a diesel equipped Ex you should also take the Donor vehicles larger master cylinder since your new axles have larger diameter pistons in the calipers.

The larger diameter pistons in the 07 calipers take more fluid to fill, the smaller diameter Ex master would require longer pedal travel and may or may not have enough fluid displacement to get the job done when your pads are worn.

Excursion specs :

Front Caliper dual piston 2.12"
Rear caliper dual piston 1.75
Front rotor 13.03
Rear rotor 12.83
Hydro boost piston 1.56"
Master cylinder diesel 1.375"

2007 F250 specs :

Front Caliper dual piston 2.36"
Rear caliper dual piston 2.36"
Front rotor 13.66"
Rear rotor 13.39"
Hydroboost piston 1.56"
Master cylinder diesel 1.375"
Master cylinder gas 1.3125"


Pirate, since this will most likely be the ultimate guide to this mod could you clarify the above statement and the included numbers for all of those reading this in the future? I bolded the comparison between the EX and '07 SD diesel master cylinder bore sizes, your statement is that the MC size increased to match the larger brake bores but your numbers don't reflect that change. Just trying to keep Mike's soon to be awesome thread as accurate and helpful as possible.


Really looking forward to following this Mike!
 
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Old 11-15-2017, 09:39 PM
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So, I want to provide some pics of the coil buckets and radius arm brackets after removal. I will provide some pics of the rivets later this week, as I need to go back to the yard to get some of the mangled little hellions to photograph.

It is important to remember, all Excursion frames are the same whether 4x4 or 4x2. The 4x2 versions came with....coil buckets and radius arm brackets!!! So if you have a 4x4 Excursion, you have SOME of the holes for the 4x4 coil buckets and radius arm brackets. The difference between the 4x4 coil bucket and radius arm brackets and the 4x2 parts, is a couple of rivets more on the 4x4 version on each part. So, most of the rivet holes are already there on your 4x4 frame. More on that later when I start drilling my frame to add the additional holes to mount the brackets and buckets.

So, before you can start removing the brackets and buckets from the donor, you gotta get the axles out from under the donor. After removing several sets, I have found doing the buckets and brackets last works best and makes the most sense.

Step 1: Disconnect both front brake lines up on the coil bucket junctions. Remove the brackets from the coil buckets (front sides) AFTER you have taken the brake lines loose. Go to the rear of the truck, and disconnect the main rear brake line on the frame above the driver's side front spring mount. After you disconnect the brake line on the rear, push up on the retainer clip, and slide the brake line out of the bracket it is attached to up there. The line from there back will stay with the axle. You need all of it. This is the only place you will disconnect the brake line in the rear. Also, disconnect the vacuum line for the 4x4 hubs while working around the brake lines.


Driver's side front ^^


Passenger side front ^^


Disconnect rear brakes here...

Step 2: Remove all four shocks.

Step 3: Disconnect the emergency brake cable at the junction that is right behind the cab. It is a metal coupling that connects the front half to the back half, and it is just forward of the Y where the cable splits for the two side of the axle. You will need a 1/8 drill bit to separate. Make sure the E brake is off. Grab the connector, and you will see the two cables have barrels crimped on each end. There are two dimples in the connector that keep the barrels from coming loose. Drill out the rear dimple completely, and the whole rear brake line slides out of the notch in the connector. Then follow the brake line back and take it loose from the multiple frame mounting points as it goes back to the wheels. There should be several brackets and several 13mm bolts holding it to the frame. Lastly, there is a 10mm bolt holding it to the U-bolt bracket on top of the spring on the driver's side. You can leave it attached to the axle as it goes over to the passenger side.






disconnect E brake here...

Step 4: Disconnect the 3 speed sensors, and separate the harness for the rear sensor from the rear axle.

Step 5: Disconnect the rear swaybar from the bolts at the bottom of the links. Leave the bar attached to the axle. Don't forget to get the links and take them with you. You might be able to use them.

Step 6: Disconnect the front and rear driveshafts. Index them if you will be re-using them on your Excursion.

Step 7: Remove the rear U bolts completely WHILE THE TRUCK IS STILL ON THE GOUND. Chock the front wheels on both sides of the tires (front and rear...NOT left and right).

Step 8: Get some really big jack stands/wood cribbing/old tires and wheels to put under the fuel tank. I jack the truck from the back. A high lift jack or two would really be handy for this step. You gotta get the truck plenty high.
Remove the rear bumper and spare tire if they are there. The axle has to roll to the rear and out from under the truck, so you cannot support it back there. I have found the fuel tank to the be the best spot, or the frame on either side of it. Raise the vehicle until the lowest obstacles hanging from the rear frame/bumper area is clear of the tires. Roll the axle out from under the truck, and then get the truck set up with jack stands at the rear end/bumper area before proceeding to removing the front axle.

Step 9: With the rear of the donor properly supported on each side, you can now start disconnecting everything for the front axle roll-out. Start by removing the front bumper and the collision bar that is under it. Take the sway bar loose from the collision bar first, but leave it attached to the axle. Get your brackets and speed clips off the donor for the sway bar mounting points. You will need them.

Once the bumper and collision bar are off...

Step 10: Remove the small bracket on the passenger side of the cross member for the steering damper. I just leave the bracket attached to the steering damper. Let it hang.

Step 11: Remove the track bar bracket. 3 big bolts on the cross member, and 2 on the bottom of the frame rail. Make sure you get the bolts and nuts from inside the frame rail and on the back side of the cross member. You must have all of them!

Step 12: Disconnect the steering gear box. First remove the "key bolt" from the steering wheel shaft input. Take it all the way out. Disconnect the two lines on the top of the steering gear. Be careful not to strip the heads on the fittings! Get the line off the hydroboost mentioned earlier in this thread. Set both lines aside so you can be sure and take them with you. Once the axle is out from under the truck, I put them back on to keep dirt and water out of the box while transporting. There are 3 big bolts on the side of the frame rail. They have red loctite on them, and they are a real bear to get out. Use a powerful impact or a long cheater bar. Once these bolts are out, assist the gear box forward toward the bumper (heavy!) until the steering wheel shaft separates from the gearbox input shaft. Once it separates, let it lay down on the sway bar, track bar and steering linkage. It will be fine there.

Step 13: Jack up the front of the truck nice and high. Then place jack stands, cribbing, old rims and tires (whatever you have that is safe!) BEHIND the radius arm brackets on the frame rails. Once you have it high enough, let the jack down and it should settle on your items of choice while maintaining enough clearance to roll the axles out to the front and from under the truck.
You can grab and remove the coil springs at this point and set them aside, but just make sure you get the rubber isolators at the tops of the springs.

Step 14: Remove the 2 extra large bolts holding the radius arms to the radius arm brackets. You will need to CHOCK THE FRONT WHEELS before doing this. You will need a big impact and a wrench on the other side to keep it from spinning. There is loctite on the threads. Once you have those loose from the brackets, the axle is free. It can now be rolled forward and clear of the truck. The truck should be supported from 4 points. 2 at the very rear, and 2 just behind the radius arm brackets. If the engine is still in it, you will need to consider some alternatives, as it will be nose heavy and a safety risk. I have not yet pulled axles from a donor that still had the engine in it.



There are 5 rivets to remove on the side of each coil bucket...



...and two on the bottom of each one. These rivets are 3/8 inch in size.



You need every single bolt you removed from your donor to get the parts off. Save them all. Speed clips, too (sway bar mounts on the frame rail!).



Gonna need to grab those coils to go with your buckets...



and these are the royal-pain-in-the-butt of the whole job. Seven 1/2" rivets from hell. 4 on each side, and 3 on the bottom of each bracket...



...and they are damn hard to get to.

If you have a whole lot of patience, a very good drill bit sharpener, some hellacious endurance in your triceps and pecs, a quality right angle drill, fantastic abdominal strength, a full face shield, lots and lots of time, superb drill bit centering skills, and the cab is off the frame, then you can remove all the rivets with a drill and drill bits. If the cab is off the frame, then you should be able to get by with a regular drill and skip the right angle drill. If the cab is still on the frame, you will need a right angle drill. The above is all a super-man needs, as long as you drill the center of each rivet and don't deviate off center.

So for the rest of us, lets talk tools here. You will need some very basic things to get these rivets off if you are not a super-man with a drill. You will need a cutoff wheel on an angle grinder or die grinder. Air or electric...it is your choice. You will need a right angle drill if you have the cab on the frame. You will need a good drill and excellent drill bits. A drill bit sharpener is recommended unless you have deep pockets to buy more bits. It pays for itself after 4-5 sharpenings. You will need an air chisel AND a 3/8" round punch tool for the air hammer. I had to make my own 3/8" punch out of the round, pointed one that came with mine. I ground off the tip to the 3/8" point, and then carried that back 1.5". I'll post a pic of my special, life saving tool tomorrow. air chisel is not optional. You cannot get a grinder into the bottom of the two brackets to get at those six 1/2" rivets that face the ground. If you don't have an air chisel, you can make do with a drill and bits on those bottom facing rivets. I hope you have a LOT of time and stamina if it comes to that. You will need at least a 3 pound hammer and a solid block of wood. You will need access to power and air (ideally). I have a generator and compressor that I travel with to provide me with what I need.


My rivet removal setup...the chisel on the far right can replace the air chisel in a pinch, and the two punches on the bottom can replace the air hammer tool I made. You can see my home-made air hammer bit in the air chisel in the photo. Ground down to 3/8 wide to a length of about 1.25"

I use a 1/8 drill bit first on each of the BOTTOM rivets (laying on the ground looking up). There are 2 on each bucket, and 3 on each bracket for a total of 10. I drill deep enough to get past the frame by about 1/4 inch. I then follow that with the 3/8 bit. It is VERY important that you get the 1/8 pilot hole dead center on the rivet. NOT THE SQUISHED RIVET HEAD, the body of the rivet itself. Sometimes the rivet robot squishes them funny and the heads are OFF CENTER. Watch out for this! It will have you drilling into the frame of the donor and not the rivet itself. Chase the 1/8 pilot with the 3/8 bit on all 10 of the bottom-side rivets. You need to go AT LEAST 1/4" PAST the frame level with your 3/8 bit. Once you have all the rivets on one side drilled out like this, get out the air chisel! Here is a tip for those that don't do much drilling into metal. Every drill bit size has an optimal speed that it works best at. Don't just put the pedal to the metal and go all out with your drill! You will be buying a new drill bit for each rivet (or resharpening) if you do that. Slow and steady wins this race. Find a nice low RPM that gets the metal coming out in spirals, and hold that speed! Your bit won't overheat, and you will make the best progress without having to stop and change or sharpen bits. The 1/8 bit can cut at a higher speed than the 3/8, but don't try to run the 3/8 at the 1/8 speed. Put moderate pressure on the back of your drill, and spin those bits slowly. You will cut clean, efficient and STRAIGHT.

Chisel off the rivet heads. Very easy now that you have hollowed out the head and removed most of the supporting material with the drill bits. There is only one way at the rivet heads, so start with the forward most rivet first.

Once the rivet heads are off, you should have a 3/8 hole in the center(ish) of each rivet. Switch out your weapons on your air chisel, and go for the 3/8 punch. Put that 3/8 punch into the hole from the drill bit and hammer away. It should come out fairly quickly. Slightly changing the angle side to side in small circles while driving the rivet out can help to loosen its grip around the edges a bit. I big punch and a 3 pound hammer can work here as well if you have enough ground clearance to swing the hammer. I have done both, and swinging the hammer sucks the next day on your elbows...and your hands if you miss the punch. Move to the coil bucket downward facing rivets next if you have the stamina.

Once you have your downward facing rivets hollowed out, heads chiseled off and rivets punched out, get your angle grinder with the cutting wheel out. The thinner the wheel the better. A word of caution here...cut-off wheels make sparks. Lots of sparks. Don't set the donor truck on fire, please. There is usually oil and fuel residue all over the place under these things. Pay attention to where the sparks are going and take precautions. Have a good extinguisher nearby.

Cut an X in the head of all the side facing rivets. 10 on the buckets and 8 on the brackets. Once you have them all cross-hatched, get the air chisel back out and knock all those sorry suckers off. It doesn't take long, and you will get the hang of the flat blade on the air chisel pretty quick. After cutting them all off, I used to counter drill them 1/4 inch toward the frame. I have found now that there is a better way. 2x4 block of wood and a 3.5-4 pound hammer!

Go to the inside of the coil bucket in the engine bay. Place the block of wood against it on the top of the frame rail. Whack the living daylights out of the block of wood, and the bucket should go flying off the truck...clear that area first of any bystanders now that I think of it...


This is what remains after the coil bucket is knocked off with the sledge...assuming you don't need to counter drill the rivets if they won't let go.

Then go down under the truck, place the block of wood against the INSIDE of the bracket and repeat the process. These take a few more blows to get them loose, but it should only take 4-5 blows to get it loose. If any of them won't let go, you can counter drill the rivets about a 1/4 inch and try again.



This is what's left if all goes well with the hammer blows to the bracket.

Before walking away from the donor, decide if you want the rear springs. If you do, they are super easy to remove now.

I guess that is enough info for today. I posted some pics of my tools I use for the job above.
 
  #18  
Old 11-15-2017, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by csnow View Post
Why are you going coil spring? The ride and turning radius are a bit improved but the death wobble woes outweigh it in my opinion. I was looking to do it on my 2003 7.3 dually for the turning radius (its a 4 door long bed), but the radius wasn't as improved as much as I thought it would be after riding in a Ford coil spring dually. I have a 2nd gen Dodge 12v with coils that turns on a dime. I was expecting the same out of the Ford but was disappointed. It was after that, that I ditched the idea. Something about these Fords requires a parking lot to turn around compared to Chevy and Dodge. I will still watch the progress because its a very cool conversion. I had a folder on my laptop with pictures that I had scoured the web when I was planning to do the swap. Now that photobucket is gone, I doubt there is much out there anymore so this will be a big benefit to the community.
Coil spring is only part of it.

- The turning radius is improved, and I will take any improvement I can get...no matter how small!
- Bigger brakes/calipers entice me more than anything on this conversion.
- I like the bigger, sturdier 4x4 hubs.
- I also like the better options for differential gear upgrades on the Dana 60.
- I like the ability to run the Ford 17, 18 or 20 inch rims without spacers.
- I like the bigger steering gearbox with more leverage for easier wheel turning.

I need a rear end rebuild and new tires on the X, and that is going to cost me $1600 in parts (with TrueTrac), so I just spent $1500 and got upgraded axles front and rear instead. After all said and done, I expect to have $2000-2200 into this conversion after buying replacements for worn out parts I find along the way, and some take-off 18" rims and tires.

As far as death wobble goes, I will be installing a dual steering stabilizer to counter that phenomenon.
 
  #19  
Old 11-15-2017, 11:24 PM
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Originally Posted by WE3ZS View Post
Pirate, since this will most likely be the ultimate guide to this mod could you clarify the above statement and the included numbers for all of those reading this in the future? I bolded the comparison between the EX and '07 SD diesel master cylinder bore sizes, your statement is that the MC size increased to match the larger brake bores but your numbers don't reflect that change. Just trying to keep Mike's soon to be awesome thread as accurate and helpful as possible.


Really looking forward to following this Mike!
Good catch, thanks

The 2007 diesel uses a 1.5" master cylinder.

I will go edit my post.
 
  #20  
Old 11-16-2017, 01:20 AM
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rivets are fun

Even in a shop with all the tools at your disposal they can be challenging to remove and doing it in a junk yard can be down right miserable.

At least around NorCal and certainly at Pick n Pull junk yards the challenge is more so because they do not allow customers to use any rotating cutting tools like grinders or cutoff wheels because of the fire hazard.

But where there is a will there is a way. A 16mm 3/8 12 point socket should fit exactly over the rivet head and a 25/64 centering punch fits snugly in the 3/8 drive of the socket. This will allow you to mark the exact center of the rivet head. drill a 1/8 pilot hole using you center punched guide to start . now when you drill the 3/8 hole it should be exactly centered and make removing the head from the shank fairly easy if you use a sharp air chisel with a CO2 tank ( power tank )

As Mike pointed out you are doing a good bit of drilling and high quality bits that stay sharp are going to make your life easier( KnKut makes some of the best avaialbe ) , this is no place for Harbor Freight or chicom junk. I use liberal amounts of WD40 to lube and cool the bits and this greatly aids in keeping them sharp. I also have a Drill Master bit sharpener.

A Harbor Freight air chisel works fine but get the best quality chisel tips possible as they stay sharp and don't break as easily as the import junk. ATI makes the finest available. ( available from Snap-on or find on eBay )
 
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Old 11-16-2017, 01:30 AM
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As mike pointed out the stock F250 stuff is going to change a stock Excursion ride height by 2"

However if you plan to lift it beyond that you are going to need a new radius arm bracket that lowers the attachment point. PMF offer a new radius bracket that allows for up to a 2.5" lift while keeping proper link geometry and caster.

Going this route saves you the hassle of removing the hardest part of the F250 setup.
2005-16 Ford F-250/350 HD Fabricated Replacement Radius Arm Mounts
 
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Old 11-16-2017, 01:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Nicmike View Post
As far as death wobble goes, I will be installing a dual steering stabilizer to counter that phenomena.
Most common cause/source of this era F250 death wobble is from worn out or loose track bars.

I'd spent the money on a new or better track bar before dual steering dampeners.

2005-2016 Ford F-250/350 Direct Replacement Adjustable Trackbar
 
  #23  
Old 11-16-2017, 03:14 AM
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I do like PMF. Real quality stuff.

Stewart
 
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Old 11-16-2017, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Nicmike View Post
As far as death wobble goes, I will be installing a dual steering stabilizer to counter that phenomenon.
Be careful with the steering stabilizer because it only masks the problem. The same is true for the upgraded track bar. They are both excellent upgrades that improve the suspension but they aren't the culprit or cause of death wobble. I poured over this for hours and hours and it appears to be camber related. You want as much positive camber as possible. BD Diesel sells an adjustable cam kit that "should" fix the issue permanently.

Also, Ford sells the coil buckets new. They aren't expensive and will save you hours of frustration. For those in the South, removing them is an option but for those in the North/Mid-West where salt is the norm, the buckets are probably due for replacement anyways. Keep up the good work.

Originally Posted by Stewart_H View Post
I do like PMF. Real quality stuff.

Stewart
Some of the best. I have their track bar and its a beast.
 
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Old 11-16-2017, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by csnow View Post
Be careful with the steering stabilizer because it only masks the problem. The same is true for the upgraded track bar. They are both excellent upgrades that improve the suspension but they aren't the culprit or cause of death wobble. I poured over this for hours and hours and it appears to be camber related. You want as much positive camber as possible. BD Diesel sells an adjustable cam kit that "should" fix the issue permanently.

Some of the best. I have their track bar and its a beast.
Search the Internet and you will find as many opinions on death wobble as you will the Excursions wander problem, but get down to the nitty gritty of it and those opinions rarely come from people who understand suspension geometry.

I've never heard the "camber" cause and I doubt camber has anything to do with it. Like the Excursion or any solid axle vehicle having adequate caster is vital and often over looked. But even caster is not the root cause of the linked f250 wobble issue. ( we dialed in 0* of caster during testing to prove this )

That said we could turn this into a very long thread thread Of nothing but linked suspension engineering to discuss death wobble but I am going to leave it at the fact it is easily curable on this f250 setup.
 
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Old 11-16-2017, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by pirate4x4_camo View Post
Search the Internet and you will find as many opinions on death wobble as you will the Excursions wander problem, but get down to the nitty gritty of it and those opinions rarely come from people who understand suspension geometry.

I've never heard the "camber" cause and I doubt camber has anything to do with it. Like the Excursion or any solid axle vehicle having adequate caster is vital and often over looked. But even caster is not the root cause of the linked f250 wobble issue. ( we dialed in 0* of caster during testing to prove this )

That said we could turn this into a very long thread thread Of nothing but linked suspension engineering to discuss death wobble but I am going to leave it at the fact it is easily curable on this f250 setup.
Yep, I agree. To be honest, I don't think anyone has figured it out. It can be introduced by any number of components and is probably truck specific. I would upgrade everything that I could. I have seen both Dodge and Fords with Carli track bars and the Ford equivalent get death wobble. I have been in a truck with death wobble. Terrifying does not adequately describe it. I never had a problem with it on my Dodge but know others that can't get rid of it.
 
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Old 11-16-2017, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by csnow View Post
To be honest, I don't think anyone has figured it out.
I know for a fact they do.
 
  #28  
Old 11-16-2017, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by csnow View Post
Some of the best. I have their track bar and its a beast.
Thanks to Camo for the heads up, I have the PMF OEM track bar mount on my '99. It's a very well made piece, and priced a lot better (in some cases) versus stuff that looks like crap compared to PMF.

Stewart
 
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Old 11-16-2017, 08:02 PM
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Here are a few rivets I removed last week. Notice how the heads are off center from the rivet robot squishing them crooked. You need to watch out for this before you center your drill bit. Can be a bit tricky...



You can see how I hollowed them out a bit for my 3/8 air hammer tool. If you don't hollow them out, they will just deform inside the bore they are in and then they are VERY difficult to get out.



5 out of 5 off center...



Squished crooked...
 
  #30  
Old 11-16-2017, 08:21 PM
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Awesome info, even better pics.
I feel like I'll have it easy, with my Ex and donor side-by-side in my "barn" planning to remove rear springs at the shackles and roll the rear axle over, heat, concrete floor, electricity, tools right there
 

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