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'01 Ford Excursion

Front Right View
Ken Brubaker
| Senior Editor, Four Wheeler
Posted March 1, 2002

A 450hp Diesel Wrapped in Vinyl

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  • PIt may look stock, but this Power Stroke packs a punch, thanks to an array of Hypermax components including a 5-inch air intake, performance intake manifold, performance turbocharger, and 5-inch exhaust.

  • A Skyjacker 6-inch suspension lift was installed under the Excursion, and it features single Skyjacker shocks at each corner to smooth out the bumps.

  • The SPAL Excursion sounds just like a big rig, due to the numerous mods to its Power Stroke diesel engine and the mammoth Hypermax 5-inch exhaust.

  • The big Excursion is very capable off-road, thanks to lots of ground clearance and gobs of power from the modified Power Stroke engine. The truck is no trailer queen—it was driven to the SEMA show in Las Vegas from SPAL headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa.

  • Filling the huge cabin with sound is a custom-designed Bazooka stereo system. The two amplifiers have been mounted in the rear doors so as not to use up interior space.

  • Inside the Excursion, the stock factory gauges were replaced by APC white-face gauges, and Hypermax turbo and pyrometer gauges were added to monitor critical engine functions. The stereo system was upgraded with Bazooka amplifiers and speakers, and passengers can watch either VHS videotapes or DVDs on either of two monitors.

  • Specs.

It may have been designed to be stealthy in the woods, but at the 2002 SEMA show in Las Vegas, this 01 Ford Excursion was as obvious as, well, a massive camo behemoth surrounded by men in suits. But lest you think that this truck is simply about its camouflage skin, we can assure you it's not. This diesel-powered mongrel has been built to be all brute, and it generates lots of force. It's owned by SPAL Advanced Technologies in Des Moines, Iowa (makers of scores of automotive accessories like aftermarket power windows, power door locks, remote car starters, axial cooling fans, and much more), and it was built entirely by full-time SPAL employees to be displayed at various trade shows across the United States.

'A look under the hood reveals a 7.3L Power Stroke engine that may appear stock. It isn't. It's been seriously beefed to provide a significant increase in horsepower and torque. It features a slew of Hypermax components including a 5-inch-diameter air intake and exhaust system, a performance intake manifold, and performance turbocharger. The air intake, intake manifold, and exhaust have all been coated with Jet Hot, the injectors have been bored out for more fuel flow, and C&R Racing of Indianapolis, Indiana, custom-designed a radiator and intercooler. Other mods include SPAL cooling fans and an Optima Red Top battery. With these mods in place, dyno testing indicates that the powerplant is generating more than 1,000 lb-ft of torque and more than 450hp. To help the transmission control (and survive) this increase in power, a Hypermax valve body kit was installed, and C&R Racing built a custom transmission cooler.

Underneath the Excursion, the durable solid-axle/leaf-spring suspension was lifted 6 inches using a Skyjacker suspension lift, which included all the needed components such as a drop pitman arm and extended brake lines. Further, a Skyjacker steering stabilizer helps keep the Pro Comp 315/75R16 Mud Terrain tires on the straight and narrow. The Pro Comp meats are mounted on beefy Weld 16x10 Sidewinder aluminum wheels.

The exterior of the truck was fitted with a number of functional bolt-ons, including powdercoated Putco stainless-steel nerf bars, a stainless-steel Superwinch front nerf bar, and Husky 10,000-pound winch (with Superwinchs new wireless remote unit), four pairs of Pro Comp auxiliary lights, a Wilderness roof rack, and Hi-Lift jack. After all of these items were installed, the entire truck (and many of the accessories) was covered in Advantage Wetlands Camoclad 3M vinyl covering, which further enhances the trucks go-anywhere look. The interior of the Excursion was enhanced with a number of creature comforts, including a massive, dual-amplifier, 6-speaker Bazooka stereo system, a Concept DVD player, VCR, and a VDO Navtech GPS/mapping unit. Other interior mods include an upgrade to white-face APC dash gauges, Nu-Dash wood grain interior appoint- ments, and the addition of Hypermax turbo and pyrometer gauges. To make sure the truck doesn't disappear in the night, a high-zoot SPAL AS-100 security system was installed, and it includes remote-starting capability, power-window interface, door-lock control, and carjacking resistance.

The SPAL Advanced Technologies Excursion doesn't just look mean, it is mean, thanks to its beefy underhood mods and scores of functional touches. All this, and it can haul eight passengers, too.