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Off Road Ford

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Off Road Ford

Unread postAuthor: Killjoy » Wed Aug 25, 2010 8:43 pm

Well since I've been unable to do any heavy lifting for the past couple weeks because of my ankle, eliminating any further work on my cannons, I set my eyes on a new project being my truck. I've rekindled my interest in off-roading and exploring the back country, as well as re-purposing my car as a mobile workshop and these past weeks I've added some accessories for doing so.

For background, I drive a 2005 Ford Expedition NBX. This version of the Expedition was built with off-roading in mind, and comes stock with 1/4" aluminum skid plates to protect the differentials, transmission, 4x4 transfer case, and gas tank from damage due to rocks and bottoming out. In addition it has Sachs shocks built for off road use and a beefy 5.4L V-8 with 300HP and 365ft-lbs of torque.

Last summer I started with exterior protection and engine performance. After much thought and research into front end protection, I bit the bullet and added a Ranch Hand grill guard, arguably the toughest and best grill guards on the market.

Next was power gain. Since the Ranch Hand was rather pricey, I had to choose between better exhaust and new headers, or air intake. I chose the air intake and added a K&N cold air intake, which added about 15hp and improved engine power, space, and cooling because the stock filter was very bulky and not very efficient.
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This summer I turned my attention to storage and lighting. First I added two 6" 100W halogen lights. Since Ranch Hands don't have pre-drilled mount holes for lights, I had to build a simple mount out of 2" angle iron which bolts on at the secondary mounting points on the Ranch Hand.

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A big concern was the lack of secure storage in the Expedition. My off road kit includes snow chains, tow straps, a come along, replacement fluids for the entire engine, tools (both for car and spudding), epoxy, several days worth of food and water, first aid kit, and basic survival gear. All this gear not only could be messy if not properly stored, but it was annoying as heck rolling around in the back. I needed a permanent solution to secure them in the back that wasn't simply a duffel bag.
I used two 40mm ammo cans as storage because they're very tough. To mount them in the back, I built a locking mount out of scrap angle iron that is strapped securely to one of the folded third row seats. The mount holds them securely and allows me to slide the cans in and out with ease and lock them to deter theft. The cans ended up being better storage then I could ever ask for.

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This picture was taken up in the Santa Fe National Forest on an abandon logging trail. Hopefully soon I'll have some pictures from the Mojave Desert and Death Valley

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Workshop wise, I have a power inverter for running power tools that I take with me, I am drawing up designs for a welding unit that runs off the engine, and the new lights are great lighting for working outdoors. My ultimate goal would to be give this truck the ability to be a self contained workshop and always be an off road vehicle, but I'll need a suspension lift for better clearance and a few more additions.

That's all I got, let me know what you guys think or throw some suggestions and criticisms my way.
As to this not being at Theopia, from what I can tell this falls under being a project guidelines and is spudding related, so here I post.
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Unread postAuthor: Gippeto » Wed Aug 25, 2010 11:15 pm

Doesn't matter what you do to it....you'll still be driving a ford. :P :lol:

Zinnnnng! :wink:


Hope the ankle heals well and soon.
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Unread postAuthor: Killjoy » Thu Aug 26, 2010 12:03 am

Ahaha good one.
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Unread postAuthor: daccel » Thu Aug 26, 2010 1:17 am

Good to see another backcountry enthusiast, though I don't get out nearly as often as I'd like.

How do you have your inverter set up?
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Unread postAuthor: jrrdw » Thu Aug 26, 2010 5:54 am

Nice ride!

That being said, this is a show and tell not a "how can I", "I need help with" and belongs in the automotive section at Theopia. All members get told this.
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