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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Have 32" tires.

Installed part # 2C3Z 5310 HA in front. Did get about 1.5" of lift over my dead Ex D code springs, but I imagine this just put the Excursion back to normal? It's about 39" to top of the wheel cutout in front and about 40-41" in back. The stock swaybar now looks level.

Also installed the Hellwig sway bar in back....before I did anything. That made a huge difference in straight-line stability and I gave it a workout driving it to Sacramento one very windy day, going up Hwy 80 thru Benecia. Northern Californians know that area as basically permanently gusty. The trees are all slanted in one direction. The Ex was solid as a rock, and easy to drive straight.

Installed Bilstien
Front: BE5-2818
Rear: BE5-6209

My question is this: The Ex had Sachs shocks in front and Edelbrock shocks in the rear and used to transfer every stinking bump on the road. Now, with the V codes up front, the rear sway and the Bilstiens all around, with my stock rear springs, it's very smooth. Sucks up smaller bumps and rough edges very well. I even drove about 40mph on a local dirt road. It was surprisingly nice.

If I plan to never tow, and mostly will use it for long road trips and once a year to Death Valley and Joshua Tree (long, open gravel roads at 40-55mph), do I "need" to install the rear B codes? (modified, of course).

I have a nice, matched used set of B codes from a truck that had about 90K on it. I am curious to know if they will raise the back up much more, and if the ride will be any harsher. I'd rather not have to raise the truck with a front lift.

Right now, it seems the Bilstiens are the major contributor to the smoother ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
pics of the install job, question for front V-code guys

Question for guys with V codes in front. Once the truck is on the ground, notice how the spring is close to being flat. Yes I torqued all the spring and shock bolts on the ground. Is that how yours look as well?

I guess I was expecting the spring to arch a bit more downward, like my F250, but that does have 3-leaf springs in front, not 2-leaf. The Excursion with the V codes in front (stock rears) has a good stance. About 1" lower in front, right now.

ExcursionSuspension - mwsmith's Photos
 

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Hey MWSmith-
I'm looking to do the V springs soon also. I had the same question about needing the B's in rear... What part of Northern Calif are you from? I'm in the East Bay. I see you have a nice mechanics 'lift'!! Did you do this at home or at your shop? Would you rent 'lift/shop' time??

BTW I have a 2002 7.3 cream/brown Limited Excursion, too.
 

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Yes! And make sure to work with CaryT! He knows it. If you don't want a lift, do the B's and then replace the factory block with a 1" aftermarket one. But I think with V's up front you need the stock blocks in the rear. That's what I had before going to 35's and I felt it was level to nose high. The B's fix so many handling issues...but to fix everything, go B's and traction bars. Have fun! The Ex is the best SUV ever made but it will make you work for it! Labor of love!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Made my decision, did the B code mod, but a bit differently

Yes! And make sure to work with CaryT! He knows it. If you don't want a lift, do the B's and then replace the factory block with a 1" aftermarket one. But I think with V's up front you need the stock blocks in the rear. That's what I had before going to 35's and I felt it was level to nose high. The B's fix so many handling issues...but to fix everything, go B's and traction bars. Have fun! The Ex is the best SUV ever made but it will make you work for it! Labor of love!

check this link for how I did my B code mod. I did not add as much extra height over the stock G codes in the back, but I am at least 2" higher in back than front. The 1" block you mention is a great idea as well. Still might do it. Nice suggestion.

ExcursionBcode - mwsmith's Photos
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Got a few PMs and my front ride height is good

Question for guys with V codes in front. Once the truck is on the ground, notice how the spring is close to being flat. Yes I torqued all the spring and shock bolts on the ground. Is that how yours look as well?

I guess I was expecting the spring to arch a bit more downward, like my F250, but that does have 3-leaf springs in front, not 2-leaf. The Excursion with the V codes in front (stock rears) has a good stance. About 1" lower in front, right now.

ExcursionSuspension - mwsmith's Photos
Cary T. and also, Stewart from Ford Trucks Enthusiasts looked at my link and the front V codes look correct when the truck's weight is on them.
 

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mws, nice job. I forgot to mention I too eliminated the b-code overload....but I also didn't reuse the factory slapper leaf. You could remove that and drop down a little more. The b-codes are strong enough to moderate the wrap issues that the slapper was trying to do on the stock setup but the best way to eliminate is to also go to traction bars. Also, the stock ex aluminum spacers soften the ride a little with almost no loss in capacity, so if it feels a little to stiff, swap them back in.
 

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Do the B mod correctly or not at all...
If you don't want to get the 2" lift from the B mod remove the factory block.


B mod:
Take the two shortest leaves from the Excursion spring packs and add them to the B code spring packs between the shortest leaf and the bottom overload leaf or the B or F codes.
Remove the sheet metal spacers of the B codes and replace them with the 1/8" spacers from the Ex springs.
The centering bolt from the B codes, if they came from a set with the top overloadspring pack should be long enough to hold the modified B code spring packs together. If not a set of longer center bolts will be needed.

Use 2 large C clamps to both hold the spring packs together and for reasembly.
Use a long driff pin to aline the springs as you tighten the C clamps before you install the center pin. Do not use the center pin to align or to tighten the springs...use the driff pin and the C clamps!

You then need to install a 30mm SD rear sway bar F81Z-5A772-AA and properly valved Bilsteins.
I highly recommend the use of dual shocks in front for a Excursion.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I did everything you said, except two minor things

what do you find about how I did the job that will cause problems with my setup?


Do the B mod correctly or not at all...
If you don't want to get the 2" lift from the B mod remove the factory block.


B mod:
Take the two shortest leaves from the Excursion spring packs and add them to the B code spring packs between the shortest leaf and the bottom overload leaf or the B or F codes.
Remove the sheet metal spacers of the B codes and replace them with the 1/8" spacers from the Ex springs.
The centering bolt from the B codes, if they came from a set with the top overloadspring pack should be long enough to hold the modified B code spring packs together. If not a set of longer center bolts will be needed.

Use 2 large C clamps to both hold the spring packs together and for reasembly.
Use a long driff pin to aline the springs as you tighten the C clamps before you install the center pin. Do not use the center pin to align or to tighten the springs...use the driff pin and the C clamps!

You then need to install a 30mm SD rear sway bar F81Z-5A772-AA and properly valved Bilsteins.
I highly recommend the use of dual shocks in front for a Excursion.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So I guess we all did it "wrong"

Do the B mod correctly or not at all...
If you don't want to get the 2" lift from the B mod remove the factory block.

Not sure who Cary was quoting when he said this, but I guess it's "wrong" unless it's done his way, and only his way. No variations. No deletion of slapper leafs, no subtistution of slapper leafs, no substitution of spacer sheets, no use of 1" spacers. Not even sure what about my version he did not like....:lookaround:

But it's totally "not wrong" if you remove the 2" spacer block, which, by the way, has the bump stop arms on it, which is the one thing I would not want to lose.
 

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So did the modified springs help out ,I'm still trying to decide if it's worth doing them.
 

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Yes! Yes! And yes! I view this swap as mandatory. Cary's just confident...follow his instructions...add in your own twists for you own preferences. Cary's tried so many combos, hes found the best all around setup.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
well, it depends

So did the modified springs help out ,I'm still trying to decide if it's worth doing them.
1] are you going to tow?
2] are your rear stock springs shot? (Mine probably were not, certainly in better shape than the fronts)
3] what are you trying to improve? see #1. If you plan to tow, I'd say upgrade the springs at LEAST to the B codes, and do a sway bar, no matter what!!! But I'm not a towing guy, talk to those guys.
4] I AM a guy who used to modify one, and only one car (the 1990-1996 300zx) about 100 different ways, with 90 different customers, over a 2 year period. I did get a chance to try a bunch of stuff, and figure out what was changing things for the better, by starting out with the cheap parts first, and then going to the more expensive. From reading everyone's Ford posts on the subject; not just Stewart on FTE or Cary, but as many posts as I could find, I found a common thread, and also compared it to my own experience with the 300ZX. Some 300ZXs came with a rear sway, and some did not. The ones that came with no rear sway sucked at handling, and simply adding one made them a different car.

It's the old Hot Rod addage: you spend 10% of the money to fix 90% of the problems, and the final 90% of the money to fix the last 10% of the problems.

My vote: sway bar first. What did it "fix"? it made much better the straight line feel on the highway, and I KNOW it must have helped the wind-gusts steering the truck around. I did not get a chance to experience gusts before the mod, but I have, in the last month, driven it from San Jose to Sacramento (the Benecia area), and LA (over 152, extreme gusts) and been thru some extremely gusty areas and it handles it as well, or better than my 4800lb BMW 7 series, which is also a good bit smaller and lower.

On my Excursion the FIRST thing I did was the rear sway. I loved it, even with dead front springs, and Gcode rears. I can say, that I then did the dead front springs, and drove that for a week, and loved it just fine, and then modifed (my way) the very decent rear G-code springs I had to B-codes, and still say, the rear sway was the biggest deal.

That is my take-away from this job. If I bought another Ex, and I was on a budget, sway bar is the first thing I would do.

If money were no object, I would follow Cary's advice and get some wider-than- stock, 18" or larger rims, for road use, and get off those 16x8 x32" balloon tires for long trips.

I am not there, yet.
 

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I know this is an old link, but if anyone can help...
I have a 2000 4X4 Limited and pull a 32' Jayco double slide. She's getting old, but still runs decent with DP tuner, AIS, straight piped 4"
I am needing new shocks on my Ex and was looking at the 4600 Bilsteins.
I did added a sway bar several years back.
Should I try to upgrade the springs too or should I just live with what I have at this point?
Also, does anyone sell replacement mod'ed springs that can just be dropped in without increasing the height?
Thanks.
 

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