Our second kid arrived in April, and we got tired of dealing with the small back seat + 2 car seats in my 2018 GMC Canyon. So the search was on for a larger exploration/road trip vehicle. Then she said the magic words every Ford and large SUV enthusiast wants to hear, "What's the largest SUV we could buy?" So the search was on for a suitable Excursion. I wanted gas as I was tired of the diesel maintenance on my Canyon and not up for paying the "diesel tax", as a comparable diesel Excursion is a good 10-15K above a gas truck. We tend to have multiple trips to CA from AZ to visit family so the cargo capacity and interior room are both a premium, and we enjoy exploring Arizona backroads, forest roads, and whatnot. Once the boys are older I'm certain we'll get into actual wheeling, which isn't gonna happen in this rig.
This particular example is a 2005 Limited in Pueblo Gold over Medium Pebble Leather. This is the last year of production, and has merely 126k miles, and was a single-owner truck. I also really like "dust" colored vehicles so this fits all the bills. It is a 4x4 but with the non-LSD 3.73 so I'll need to remedy that in the future. Front captain chairs with 2nd and 3rd-row bench for 8 total passengers. Optioned with the rear-seat DVD entertainment package for all those Disney DVDs. The front suspension looks brand new and it drives nicely. I've already done a basic tune-up and interior clean-up.
The shortlist of plans are:
- Lighting - The OEM headlights are cloudy, so I plan to swap to the HD headlights (factory blackout) with an upgraded harness and bulbs. Then swap to LED fog lights (Diode Dynamics SS3 in the factory location).
- Visibility - Swap to 08+ towing mirrors, add an Android Auto-compatible head unit with front/rear cameras. These trucks have decent visibility but it's still massive, so cameras are a must.
- Capability - Shock upgrade and 33" all-terrain tires. It has nearly-new Michelin Defender LTX all-seasons, so I'll burn through those before diving into new tires. Not 100% sure on shocks, probably Bilstein 4600 or KYB Monomax (needs a 4" lift to use Bilstein 5100's, and the wife already thinks it sits high...)
- Performance - 5-star tunes for 87 with tow mode, remove choke-down y-pipe, straight-through muffler - The V10 is pretty potent as it sits, but a tune apparently really wakes it up and makes the trans operate a bit more efficiently. The factory y-pipe necks down significantly and is an easy fix for any muffler shop. Been watching a ton of Engine Masters on MTOD, and a straight-through produces the most power, and this thing too damn quiet.