Pistol Smith Forum banner
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
G

·
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wanted to post this thread to offer and receive some feedback on a fairly common piece of equipment here in the states.

First, up until recently I was driving a Mercedes ML430 with upgraded all terrain tires and a Bosch suspension.

About two weeks ago I was on vacation and decided to look at a bigger SUV as the family could use the space on longer trips and I like the idea of purchasing a camper.

I evaluated the sizes and capacities and decided on three primary criteria:
1. The SUV must be truck based
(I have owned 17 SUVs since 1990 ranging from the Range Rover 4.6 to the Jeep Grand Cherokee and after being involved in three high speed rollovers and four collisions I require the truck frame)
2. It must seat at least 6 people.
3. It must be able to tow at least 6,500 lbs.

The wife and I borrowed five trucks/SUVs from various dealers then drove and tested each one as follows:

1. Chevrolet Suburban LT 1500 and 2500 with the new 8000 series motor.
2. Ford Expedition with the 5.4l motor.
3. Ford Excursion with the V10 motor.
4. Chevrolet Tahoe with the 5.7L motor
5. Dodge super cab 2500 with the turbo diesel

We selected the Excursion in the "limited" upper line maximum leather trim package with the 4.30 ring and pinion, limited slip rear differential, towing and entertainment packages.
The choice was unanimous, even my 5'1" mother in law chose the Excursion, we all loved it and felt that once you made the move to the truly large SUV like the suburban it was the Excursion that really put all of the pieces together properly.

We liked the much maligned (auto writers/gun writers missing the truth, any correlation?)Excursion due to the great power and smoothness of the Triton V10 motor, the smooth ride, and very comfortable seating.

I am now in the process of having upgrade (wider/larger) all terrain tires put on, a Warn M15000 winch, and an air locking front differential.

While an Excursion is arguably an odd purchase for a BMW M5 trade in, I must say that I really like this truck/SUV.
It is very mild mannered and I have learned over the years to park away from other cars/crowded lots to avoid damaging the BMW and Mercedes so I do not find the length troublesome and the Excursion is fairly nimble.
We were able to pack a ton (literally) well 1,600 worth of gear into it and drive "up north" with the whole family very comfortably and safely.

Do any of our other readers have an Excursion?
If not, what type of SUV do you drive?
Oh, and yes I kept the Mercedes for my wife to drive.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
David,

While I drive the Dodge 2500 diesel quad cab, I don't consider it an SUV. To me it seems like just a truck. Just my opinion.

Glad you chose the excursion and like it so well. I hope it gives you good service, and fills all your driving needs.

As for me, I'm going to stick with the Cummings diesel because of its performance. My truck has surreal low-end torque and awesome power. I've tried by Ford and Dodge diesels and have found that the Powerstroke is better at higher rpms and the Dodge seems to have better bottom end torque in stock form. The Cummings is a small motor and can produce mind boggling power and torque with upgrades. Coupled with the Cummings' small size is its simplicity and availibility of parts. This makes the Cummings a good bet for the long term owner. The only problem I see a lot in the Cummings motor is that the crank sensor tends to go out at about 40k.

As for the Range Rover, all I can say is this: Save your money and buy a domestic vehicle! These babies are overpriced for what you get, and the motors are very dated, ineffecient and guttless. Compared to our domestic Cummings and Chevy Vor-tec engines, these rovers are dogs. Rover suspension rocks, but they comsume way too much fuel and are powerless!

David, you did the right thing by buying the Excursion. Although the I perfer the Dodge Cummings truck, I feel that you have a better and more comfortable than I do. Not only that, but your Excursion is much quieter.

Have fun driving!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,355 Posts
It may be Jaydee that mentioned one recently...Glad you found a land yacht that's worthwhile :wink:
 

· Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
David did you consider the diesel. I drive a super duty 250 and understand that that same motor is avial. in the SUV.

gs
 

· Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
1989 GMC Suburban SLE. I just cannot spend the money on the newer models. The prices asked are just too steep for my wallet.

Denny
 

· Registered
Joined
·
939 Posts
Land Cruiser is what I have the wife and family in. Have owned several, have done basically the same thing to all. Tweaked the suspension, put good brakes and rubber on it, and, most importantly, put a front bumper replacement on it. The one I use is handbuilt by a friend, it is bolted directly to the frame horns. A deer committed suicide with it at approx 65mph...only damage was a bunch of blood and meat that came through the holes and made a mess of things.

The Land Cruisers are basically underpowered on the highway, but having tortured many things off road, I like the odds of walking away from a crash in this...thus, the kids are in it.

Getting a truck framed vehicle is very wise. Hope you enjoy your new toy.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
Nope Bronco- I just cannot see spending $40k on a new model.

When I bought the Suburban, it already had 200k on the odometer, and was fine for what I wanted- a tank for the wife and kids. Engine was checked and so was the frame and body. Out the door, including TTL, it was only 10% of what is asked for the new models.

Denny
 

· Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Denny I am with you on the older trucks...What I like best is that I can open my hood and know how to fix my Truck...I open a hood on the new stuff...and then I stand there and scratch my head.

I think computors are great...just keep them out of my cars. :wink:

Greg
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I chose the gas powered V10 over the diesel as diesel fuel is not widely available in my area (only one station in my area carries it and they close at 9pm) and the noise factor.
the diesel motors are very noisy.

The Triton V10 has plenty of torque and horsepower and with the 430 gearing it is reaonably fast.

I do tend to agree with the "older" fix it your self truck mentality as my first car was a 1979 Jeep CJ5 inline 6 that I spent all of my time tweaking and upgrading as a teenager way back when you could still purchase leaded fuel...

Also, when I lived in South Africa and Central America I chose a Totyota 4x4 pickup due to widespread parts availability and the fact that it was so easy to fix and maintain.

When I came back to the states in 1990 and later I did not want the "headaches" anymore and chose to buy only new "higher end" vehicles with roadside assistance and full coverage warranties.

Have any one of you used the Warn hidden mount winch kit? I am undecided between the hidden mount and the grilleguard setup and any feedback would be appreciated.

Also, I recived a quote of $4,800 to purchase the level 3 kevlar armor inserts for the Excursion with the run flat tire inserts, this seems much higher than the prices I paid for the panels for my BMW/Mercedes.
I know that the Excursion is alot larger but has the price of the inserts gone up that much?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
893 Posts
On 2001-08-05 22:44, David DiFabio wrote:
It is very mild mannered and I have learned over the years to park away from other cars/crowded lots to avoid damaging the BMW and Mercedes so I do not find the length troublesome and the Excursion is fairly nimble.
Glad to hear that Dave. I thought you were going to try to park that monster in the compact spots like the drivers here in KA. like to do.

Anyway my next purchase will probably be an SUV though I don't think I'll be getting something as big.

The kevlar panel prices sounds about right. They do cost quite a bit more on the SUVs than a sedan. Don't forget how huge the Excursion is. Damn thing's a tank.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,355 Posts
I've had one vehicle with and one without the extra steel up-front...I think my needs dictate that it is MUCH better to have the extra steel up front and available to walk around on...I don't know about yours. The extra safety and sheer bulk has saved me on several occassions while working though the woods and also as a battering ram in close quarters ice-driving.I like the "external" framework" because it's handy. I can pile stuff on it and there are multiple points of attachment for a LOT of useful items. In a pinch, the added weight also assures good steering in the muck, especially when I'm treading the fine point of losing control pullin' logs off the sides of mountains and down the hill. With a load on the rear, it also balances a heavy trailer.In my case, logs and/ or equipment.
..The fact is, they have some very nice set-ups available for your new choice in wheels that may be much better suited to the city and occasional trips to the boonies...I just don't have the experience with that class of vehicle and what you may be using it for...I do have a couple of friends that have the smaller versions on their Ford trucks and another on an Explorer...They won't give up the winch but I can barely tell it's there...I think you're wise indeed to have one...I'm not sure about your choice according to application...Sorry I couldn't help more... :wink:
 

· Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
David,
Being a longtime Ford owner, with three F-250 4x4 PowerStrokes in the family, down here in Texas a pickup or SUV just looks naked without a Ranch Hand rear bumper and grill guard installed. Just curious if they've migrated up your way. It is really well made and extremely strong. They make a replacement front bumper with provision for a winch that is pretty awesome!
Allan
 

· Registered
Joined
·
939 Posts
Good points, gyp_c2.

Here is my experience. I want a winch and I don't care if it is visible or not. Buy the winch that you can find easily if you have to dive for it...hey, I said my experience :smile:

On a new vehicle [air bag equipped], you have to decide if you want the air bag for the safety it provides in a collision, or whether you want the ability to ram. Having bags doesn't mean you can't ram, but being rammed or ramming with activated bags can f up your day. I want bags in my wife's vehicle because she and the kids are in it 99% of the time. Me? I would rather have Simpson harnesses, or any of the many good rally harnesses.

I want driveline components that will allow the front axle, or the rear axle, to pull the vehicle loose independent of the other axle. ARB lockers are sweet. Others make good stuff and don't require air. At a minimum, you gotta have limited slip. Excursion...I don't know what the ability is on that vehicle to lock both, or lock the center diff. It is a Ford though, so aftermarket stuff is plentiful.

Bumpers. First thing I ditch is bumpers. Most are simple P'sOS. Many aftermarket bumpers are for vanity, little else. Find a happy medium between looking like a mad max vehicle, and what you get from factory. Best is to design the bumpers you want, find a good welder, have him get to work. Yes, it will cost you more...and that money will be returned to you in the first fender bender you have.

Sliders. These go under the doors, connected like those running boards...but they are actually good, as opposed to in the way. No, you can't use them as a step, but they will allow the vehicle, when [not if] you get high centered under the doors on a hard object [rock, concrete, stumps]to *slide* over, as opposed to having the doors eaten up and the vehicle finally stuck. Sliders go on easily, and it takes a keen eye to even know they are there. Check out SafariGard.

Kevlar and run flats, can't help you there.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,355 Posts
...well I can see you know what I "mean" when I say I want stuff I can walk around on...From the window to the winch and back! It's WAY TOO COLD up here in the winter to even THINK about "diving!" I carry at least 100 ft of 7000lb climbin line to use for a throw and drag line just in case there's nothin' "solid" to work with...and that hi-lift is the sweetest thing ever made...Pull-pal makes an anchor you can set out if you have some solid dirt to work with that's awful nice as well...

dang...I'm carryin' too much stuff...
 

· Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
On 2001-08-06 03:35, gyp_c2 wrote:
It may be Jaydee that mentioned one recently...Glad you found a land yacht that's worthwhile :wink:
Mentioned what??? :grin:

I have an Expedition, Eddie Bauer that is, and that is more than big enough for my wife, and I.

Interesting though... I had been seriously looking at the Lincoln LS recently, and over the weekend, rented a Jaguar S-Type (3 liter). I was EXTREMELY impressed, and would even consider owning one, although I might lean towards the 4 liter V8. The 5 speed automatic, and power of the V6 were simply amazing, and it's ability to reach triple digits within 2 shifts was notable, as the twin cam six screamed past 6800 rpm.

Back on topic, While I would be inclined to pass on an Excursion at this time, if I was in a situation that required hauling 6 or more people frequently, and or towing a 30 foot enclosed TAG Race Trailer, I'd definately be looking at the Excursion, but you'd have to make mine a Power Stroke. The Triton V10 is probably very nice, but it doesn't hold a candle to that Power Stroke where Sheer Power and Brute Force is required.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
On 2001-08-07 13:15, David DiFabio wrote:
I chose the gas powered V10 over the diesel as diesel fuel is not widely available in my area (only one station in my area carries it and they close at 9pm) and the noise factor.
the diesel motors are very noisy.

The Triton V10 has plenty of torque and horsepower and with the 430 gearing it is reaonably fast.

I do tend to agree with the "older" fix it your self truck mentality as my first car was a 1979 Jeep CJ5 inline 6 that I spent all of my time tweaking and upgrading as a teenager way back when you could still purchase leaded fuel...

Also, when I lived in South Africa and Central America I chose a Totyota 4x4 pickup due to widespread parts availability and the fact that it was so easy to fix and maintain.

When I came back to the states in 1990 and later I did not want the "headaches" anymore and chose to buy only new "higher end" vehicles with roadside assistance and full coverage warranties.

Have any one of you used the Warn hidden mount winch kit? I am undecided between the hidden mount and the grilleguard setup and any feedback would be appreciated.

Also, I recived a quote of $4,800 to purchase the level 3 kevlar armor inserts for the Excursion with the run flat tire inserts, this seems much higher than the prices I paid for the panels for my BMW/Mercedes.
I know that the Excursion is alot larger but has the price of the inserts gone up that much?
That's sad... Diesel is plentiful around here, and I am sure there's a number of truck stops within a close proximity of you. The mileage difference is incredible.

My Expedition gets 14-16 mpg, 10-12 on a haul. The Excursion is probably in the same neighborhood. The Diesels are up in the 18-22 range, loaded, or unloaded... Definately a consideration, especially when towing is a major requirement.

Of interest though is the Kevlar inserts... Please email me off-line, I have some questions for you on this...

Thanks!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
On 2001-08-08 11:01, gyp_c2 wrote:
...and that hi-lift is the sweetest thing ever made...
Hehehee... When I had my "Land Stomper", and the "Toy Truck", the Hi-Lift was the first accessory to be mounted... There is simply nothing equal to that piece of equipment. Lifting, Pulling, Pushing, it just works.

While the Expedition has seen surfaces other than Concrete and Asphalt, it has found it's way into 4L a couple times though. I doubt that it would ever been in the territory that would require a Winch, or Hi-Lift, but I am seriously thinking of putting the Mondo Winch Bumper/Platform up front that extends out 12-18" and moountng a Warn. If nothing else, it'll save the nose if someone stops abruptly on the freeway. Also, I NEED someplace to mount my Aux Lighting :wink:

The Excursion is an AWD like the Expedition IIRC, and while the transfer cases are pretty durable, they are not bulletproof. Be careful about some of the locking diff alternatives... While a good Limited Slip is nice, I find in tight turns, I squeal tires. The ARB is sweet, no question, just use good Earls/Aeroquip Lines, it sucks to cut a line.

I had planned to not do anything wild with the Expedition initially, since the wife still needs to be able to mount the vehicle, but she knew going in that it would one day see an 8" lift. Now, with Ford paying for a new set of tires, I am seriously torn over doing the "Jumbo Monster Mudders", or simply putting some nice 20" on it. I just wish the Tire companies would offer the larger "Off Road" type Flotation tires in 17" or larger wheel sizes. The options really seem limited.

As for Air Bags (Mine has Front & Side), you should be aware that the Fuse Box under the hood has those circuits, and they can be disabled when you are in an area where you may be ramming, and even wheeling... In case anyone was wondering...

I have considered Manual Hub's for mine as well... Not sure if it's worth it or not with the AWD, but it seems like it could help in the mileage department.
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top