If there was ever an SUV that could travel to the stratosphere, this is it. Gibson Performance Products, located in Yorba Linda, California, is normally noted for its exhaust products, but in this case, the Excursion's radical suspension setup really steals the show. As you can tell from this lead shot, the big Ford is no slouch in the dirt and tackles trails and jumps in the road with ease.
The custom 24-inch suspension, designed and installed by Custom Motorsports USA in Riverside, California, is much more complex than stock. It is capable of much greater articulation than the manufacturer's leaf springs, providing 16 inches of wheel travel in the front and 14 in the rear. The stock leaf spring setup was replaced by a four-link suspension with coilovers, which greatly improves the truck's off-road performance. It was inspired by desert racing and provides a great deal more agility while prerunning. Another advantage to the four-link suspension is a smooth ride, which is as smooth (if not smoother) than stock. In addition, this suspension is fully adjustable.
The front suspension uses crossover steering and 3.0x16-inch Sway-A-Way coilovers with remote reservoirs. It uses a high-output power steering pump and a hydraulic cylinder as well as a Fox Racing steering damper. The rear suspension is different from the front, using 3x14-inch Sway-A-Ways, a Speedway Engineering high-output rearend oil pump, a custom-made heavy-duty 49-spline antisway bar, an onboard Firestone air compressor, a tank, a remote switch, and a tank gauge. The Firestone units allow for adjustability and accurate readings. An Air Assist cross tube helps the Excursion retain its ride characteristics while towing. There are heavy-duty billet differential covers for further off-road protection. The Ford rolls along on 44-inch Super Swampers and 16.5x12-inch Weld Super Single II wheels.
After such an impressive job on the suspension, Gibson opted to keep the rest of the vehicle clean (for now). A Stull billet grille replaces the stock unit, and APC clear lenses adorn the corners. There is a Con-Ferr roof rack up top and Kodiak Sidewinder steps alongside. A Kenne Bell supercharger provides power under the hood, and a Gibson race muffler increases the Ford's efficiency and power output.
This vehicle is a Gibson project and is constantly being improved upon. As such, it was nice to get in on the ground floor and see the vehicle in one of its early phases. This Excursion will be on sale after the SEMA Show and will be even more radical at that time - the company hinted at a complete audio and video system and a set of Gibson headers, for starters. It will be interesting to see the final product of this highly impressive project.
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