Letters To The Editor
Searching for Escape Options
I have been building a new suspension for my 2008 Escape 4WD (Intelligent 4X4) So far I have changed my rear OEM shocks by cutting the stock Ford bottom mounting brackets and adding some old Willy's rear brackets to fit a set of Rancho RS 9000 adjustable shocks. I am looking to get the feel of a stock 2000 4X4 Ford Ranger. The Rancho set up has allowed me to do this with the nine different settings in the rear suspension.
So far on the front suspension I have added stiffer coil springs from Canuck Motorsports that were also 1.25 inches larger than the OEM coil springs. This enabled me to level the Escape. Even with the stiffer coil springs, the front suspension remains fairly bouncy when on the fire roads or at the off-road park.
I have contacted every custom shock manufacturer from your magazine with no luck. Since I have needed to replace the struts I have only received replies stating they do not make any aftermarket product for the Escape.
Is there a way I can stiffen the front suspension while at the same time using KYB/Monroe struts, or is there a way I can replace the struts with a shock that has the same measurements?
For an SUV with only 4-High the Escape handles off-road terrain pretty well. I have added stiffeners to the frame since it's a unibody, and replaced the stock 29-inch tires with Firestone Destinations 30-inch tires. I ran the Firestone ATX on my '94 Jimmy and '87 Toy. I really wish the Escape had solid axles and 4-Low as well. Once I win the lotto I plan on building a '67 Bronco. At this point I'll just make the Escape as comfortable as possible when on the dirt!
Phil Van Valkenburg
Phil, I am dissapointed to hear that no aftermarket shock company would help you out and take your money. The shock business must be good right now! Since I have absolutely no information about Escape suspension, I contacted suspension guru Shane Casad over at Bilstein. This was his reply:
"We don't have any direct replacement struts for the Escape. But we do sell "Motorsports" strut inserts. We have a fair amount of competitors in the domestic off-road rally circuits that have utilized and had much success with these inserts. The Motorsports inserts that I am referring to....require a custom-built strut housing. There is a shop in Bend, Oregon, that we work closely with that can build such a housing.
"They are called All Wheels Driven and can be reached (541) 419-7022."
There website is www.allwheelsdriven.net. The part number for the motorsports insert is #AK1020.
Bilstein Shock Absorbers