Kevin's (slow) Excursion mod/upgrade thread

mbryson

.......a few dollars more
Supporting Member
I ran out to that section of 7200s behind the dump, because it's the nearest dirt to my house and is incessantly potholed. I don't think I could get the truck over five miles an hour... if it wasn't wiggling around like a bowl full of jello, it was bouncing off the bumpstops and knocking my teeth loose.

A little bigger tire with lower PSI will help. But the coil swap is definitely happening.

We should go try the same road in my F350? I don't think it'll be a whole lot better but I hope I'd be surprised?
 

Kevin B.

OLAF
Supporting Member
Location
Stinkwater
We should go try the same road in my F350? I don't think it'll be a whole lot better but I hope I'd be surprised?
We should certainly go try something. I think we've been on the same dirt at the same time... once? I'm definitely due for some desert time, soon as it dries up a little out there.
 

jeeper

Currently without Jeep
Location
So Jo, Ut
We do a lot of exploring in our big clunky F350's.. I don't recall any significant difference between the coil and leaf springs.. But When aired down, neither is very bad.
 

Kevin B.

OLAF
Supporting Member
Location
Stinkwater
I've never owned an F350 of any stripe. But my understanding is that they have a little more suspension travel in the front? I expect that makes a difference.
 

I Lean

Mbryson's hairdresser
Supporting Vendor
Location
Utah
I've never owned an F350 of any stripe. But my understanding is that they have a little more suspension travel in the front? I expect that makes a difference.
Yes, that's the source of the V code springs you swap under the X to get it off the bumpstops.
 

glockman

I hate Jeeps
Location
Pleasant Grove
The F350 vs F250 vs Excursion spring debate. The only guaranteed difference is the 350 has a 4" block in the rear vs 2" on the F250. Depending on what code the truck was ordered with, any combo can be had in nearly any model.

Having had 6? Super duties from MY 03 to 06 and putting about 5k on my old man's 17 F250, I'd say they all ride the same, except the 2017. I don't know if you can run the new coils since the 17+ are aluminum bodies, you might be able to since you don't have a heavy ass diesel engine. If you can, I'd go for them, they are WAY softer but never bottomed.

I did the code B/V? custom rear leaf packs on my Ex, it was stiff but not any stiffer than my current 05 with stock coils. I was on the bumps a lot on this truck until i added a 1" spacer below the springs. They are cheap, I still have a little rake to avoid stink bug when loaded.

This is the one I used.
 

Kevin B.

OLAF
Supporting Member
Location
Stinkwater
Ran through the first full tank, got 11.8 mpg mixed driving with ethanol free. That's not terrible, but it's gonna get worse.

PO said he was running 10w40 diesel oil and I know my 5.4, a very similar motor, hates anything but the 5w20 synthetic that Ford calls for. He also said his wife was driving it, which means I've got no faith that it was getting good gas. In the past I've had good luck with Techron injector cleaner in the tank and MMO in the block, we'll give that a shot. Also found a filthy K&N hot air intake under the hood - I'm not even going to bother cleaning it, I'm just going to get a stock airbox and good paper filter in there. Maybe with the right oil and air filter and a little injector love I can bring that MPG up to 12.5 or so?

I will say, I don't know how anybody got around in these things that have the 5.4l. This beast has 2500 pounds on the Broverlander and would KILL it in a race. It's nice to be able to hold 70 mph up Parley's again.
 

jeeper

Currently without Jeep
Location
So Jo, Ut
FWIW, My larger engine vehicles can't tell the difference between enthanol free or not. Same mileage every time.
My colorado gets 2mpg better with it though.
 

Kevin B.

OLAF
Supporting Member
Location
Stinkwater
FWIW, My larger engine vehicles can't tell the difference between enthanol free or not. Same mileage every time.
My colorado gets 2mpg better with it though.
The 5.4 in the pickup seems to get 1.5-2 mpg better with ethanol free. But then sometimes it doesn't. I haven't paid attention to know if that's because it's being weird or if the place I get gas makes a difference (Chevron vs Maverick).

And then we're coming up on summer blend gas, too, hopefully that'll bring the MPG up a little?
 

jeeper

Currently without Jeep
Location
So Jo, Ut
We'll see what the Gods Of The Tax Return say.
Mine said 'F-YOU!'. Which is weird, because I sent them all the liberal snowflake sacrifices I could. The State really screwed me this year. I was really expecting great things from the changes.. but it didn't go my way. I have the pay voucher staring at me all day waiting for me to write a check and send it in. I keep hoping if I wait long enough it will go away.

But I really like that bumper also. Especially as it doesn't stick crazy far out. My truck might still fit in the garage with that one.
 

4x4_Welder

Active Member
Location
Twin Falls, ID
Be mindful of the oiling issues with the V10. They like to puke out the timing chain tensioner seal, and starve the right side cam. Using a thicker oil allows more pressure up there, and helps bandaid that wear for a bit. I've been running 15w40 in my Explorer 4.6 for a couple years because of this. It had a tick at idle that improved with the diesel oil.
Timing chain and tensioner are on the list for that thing.
 

broncomitch

dont be a sheep in a jeep
Location
west jordan,UT
VERY cool Kevin! I had a 2004 V8 (yes, they made 5.4 V8 Excursions. No idea why, as it was a monster terd) that was definitely one of my favorite rigs. The 44 gallon factory fuel capacity was incredible, even with the 10-11 mpg! For much of my research I ended up on the Excursion sub forum of https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/index.php


I did the whole B-code rear/V(?)-code front spring swap and ran 34ish tires. If you plan to load it up fairly heavy and/or tow, I think that's a great route. For me, it was a little stiffer-riding than I liked mostly because mine was fairly light for an Ex, and the V8 was miserable to tow with. The coil swap was very tempting, and would have probably happened had I kept the truck. The newer SD trucks have longer rear leaf springs also, which are another common-ish conversion in the name of plushness - I know @broncomitch did this, but IIRC, he wasn't super impressed. Height-wise, I'd think you need very little lift (like leveling kit high only) to squeeze 35s under there, so maybe you need to run a 3" lift and 37s. Yes, you need 37s, because that truck is huge, and 37s are awesome. Trim a little and keep it low on big tires. Geared properly, your drivetrain won't even blink an eye at 37s, especially if you do go with the newer, beefier front axle.

One thing that a lot of Ex owners seem to preach is that you need to run fairly large diameter wheels if you're running larger tires, otherwise things can get wiggly in the handling department due to sidewall flex paired with the vehicles (excessive?) weight. "They" seem to prefer a 20" wheel on any tire bigger than a 35. I hate big wheels, but I do see the logic in their argument. 20s are easy to find as OEM takeoffs these days, and tire choices are plentiful. Plus, when you decide that you'll be running 37s (you will :bryson:) there is still plenty of sidewall on a 37/20 combo to be viable offroad.


I have pieces to build a stout light bar for the front that bolts to the OEM tow loop mounts if you're interested. Finished product would look very much like this: https://www.randyellisdesign.com/store/p120/Ford_F250/F350_Super_Duty_Light_Bar_(1999-2007).html
I think I like your complete winch bumper idea more though.

The rear cargo doors are made of some sort of plastic (fiber reinforced maybe?), so be careful mounting any sort of latch/cantilever/anything to them. They're fantastically light and stout as designed, but I don't know that they'd take kindly to being incorporated into the bumper swing system. Although, I do think that is a great and convenient idea if you can pull it off.

I may have a cargo solution for you also... I haven't decided 100% if a set of drawers that I have will work for me yet. They're made for a big Suburban/Excursion size rig, so I'd have to modify and shorten them to work for me in my Cruisers. If you are truly interested in a simple, modular drawer setup, let's talk.

I'm super excited to watch what happens with this (with 37s!)!X-D
Yeah, the rear springs helped with towing but ride quality wasn't any different.
But that might be because I did the shackle flip too, Supposedly that hurts ride quality.

I parted out a 07 v10 SD and sold the axles and suspension to a friend of mine and he might sell you them if your intrested.
 

Kevin B.

OLAF
Supporting Member
Location
Stinkwater
Yeah, the rear springs helped with towing but ride quality wasn't any different.
But that might be because I did the shackle flip too, Supposedly that hurts ride quality.

I parted out a 07 v10 SD and sold the axles and suspension to a friend of mine and he might sell you them if your intrested.
Honestly, I've got a lot to do to this thing before I'm going to start thinking seriously about sinking money into the axles/suspension, but if he's looking to get rid of them cheap I'm his huckleberry.
 

frieed

Jeepless in Draper
Supporting Member
Location
Draper, UT
if that was an Expy I bet your swanky custom rear bumper would bolt right up. If not, we can apply a couple moments of learning the hard way to a new one. Who knows, maybe you'll actually paint this one :).
 

Kevin B.

OLAF
Supporting Member
Location
Stinkwater
if that was an Expy I bet your swanky custom rear bumper would bolt right up. If not, we can apply a couple moments of learning the hard way to a new one. Who knows, maybe you'll actually paint this one :).
I haven't thrown out the idea of retrofitting the bumper we made to this truck. If the frame rails aren't the same distance and angle (and they're almost surely not), it won't take much work with an angle grinder and welder to line the mounts up again.

And yeah, since I actually sort of like this truck so far, I'll probably get around to painting it at some point. :D
 

thenag

Registered User
Location
Kearns
Keep in mind there are significant differences between the 2 valve triton motors and the 3 valve trition motors. I don't believe the Ex's ever got the 3 valves.

Most of the oiling issues leading to seized cam followers seem to be on the 3 valve engines. The theory is that that plastic timing chain tensioners loose their oil seal and then the back of the motor doesn't get adequate oil. When I replaced my timing set on my 3v I actually used the older style metal chain tensioners that don't have the dinky oil seal. (google search for ford v10 cam follower failure). However with any trition pay attention for timing chain noise, especially at startup, and if it makes noise change the timing set right away. Which is a huge f-n job. Ford Tech Makuloco has great videos on youtube.

The 2 valves had the issue of the spark plugs blowing out, there are thread repair kits. (I actually have a nice one on my shelf I need to sell if anyone is interested) The early 3 valve motors had the spark plugs that get stuck in the head and break. (I have a socket that clamps on the porcelain and got all 10 of mine out without breaking one, if anyone needs to replace the first set of plugs on an 05ish-08ish they can borrow it)

I have swapped over to 5w30 in mine after doing the timing set.

That being said usually the 3 valve motors are thought of as having much more power than the 2 valves

My father in law has an Ex with the 7.3 Diesel, he put a new set of truck springs on it and said it made a huge difference towing. I think he added a bigger anti-sway bar, I may not remember that right. He runs stock size tires. He also did the warn manual hub lockouts.

A bumper pic of my home made, I have a winch on a cradle (two receivers) that I have yet to wire up for the truck.

119193

Monsta liner, Smurf-adelic Blue

119194

Nathan

Be mindful of the oiling issues with the V10. They like to puke out the timing chain tensioner seal, and starve the right side cam. Using a thicker oil allows more pressure up there, and helps bandaid that wear for a bit. I've been running 15w40 in my Explorer 4.6 for a couple years because of this. It had a tick at idle that improved with the diesel oil.
Timing chain and tensioner are on the list for that thing.
 

Kevin B.

OLAF
Supporting Member
Location
Stinkwater
Work was slow last night and I got bored, so I started messing around in Sketchup.

119298

119301

119300

(90% of that is models I downloaded and glued together. I'm not nearly that good.)

April Santa was good to us, but we decided to be responsible with it so $1000 bumpers are out of the picture - driveway fab it is. I've got a half baked plan to cut a winch plate into the front bumper that I'm pretty sure I can pull off. The rear bumper from the F150 won't fit in any way at all, so whatever goes on the rear will come up from scratch too. The last img has what I started playing with, a square tube design like I used on the Broverlander. Not sure I'm feeling it though.

I do like my plan for the rack. It'll be basic square tube, 10x4, with six feet taken up supporting the RTT and a full four feet in front of that for whatever messy stinky cargo I don't want in the back. I'm not going to mess with load bars, I'm going to build it with feet that attach directly to the factory channels on the roof. If I get really snazzy I might make those feet adjustable, but I can't think what else I'd ever want to put a 10x4 rack on, so...

This is all still in the future, though. Right now I'm still wrestling with installing the new dual din head unit and putting off changing transmission and diff fluids.
 
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