In a market filled with Coilover Conversions, we stuck to the bones of this proven platform. The attention to detail is top notch and shows one can achieve top-tier performance without scavenging a junk yard looking for (and refurbing) steering and axles. Our goal was build a comprehensive system for the customer looking for a reasonable lift height and massive performance improvements on and off-road to compliment the new stance from a bolt-on system. Too many lifts are sold incomplete leaving a customer to search for compatible parts to complete their suspension build; not here… Buy the system, install and enjoy.
This system starts with custom Carli/Deaver Leaf Spring pack for the front and rear. The lighter rate, Full Progressive Leaf Springs lift the front 4.5” and the rear is lifted 2-1/4” by our block eliminating spring pack. This lift and extended travel calls for some geometry changes up-front. The track bar angle is corrected via our Fabricated Track Bar Drop Bracket and a Pitman Arm is provided to ensure the steering (drag link) and suspension (track bar) cycle the same ratio to eliminate bump steer. We then provide a set of Extended Sway Bar End Links to recenter the factory front sway bar in its extended stroke. To this, extended, stainless brake lines were added to firm up braking feel and ensure there was enough line to handle the added down-stroke of the front and rear axles.
The Excursions are big and top heavy so we enlisted the help of King Shocks when looking to keep the lifted center of gravity composed and comfortable. We designed a custom 9” Travel, 2.5” Diameter, Piggyback shock for the front and a 12” Stroke for the rear with a custom hose to route the reservoir out from under the bed. The only weld-in part, we designed a double-sheer shock mount to replace the rear-upper factory “T-Bar” shock mounts for far more strength. Fabricated Bump Stop Drops are included front and rear to ensure the springs and shocks cycle in perfect unison. We round off ALL our King shocks with shafts machined and polished from a solid piece of 17-4 Stainless. Unlike King’s standard shafts, there is no coating to wear off, weather can’t hurt them and if there is a small chip, you can round the edges with emery cloth to ensure the seal housing isn’t damaged as they’re not brittle like the stock, hardened shafts. The shocks are finished with King oil good to -55° F. Note that all King shocks are built with a plated steel body. If subjected to inclement weather for extended periods, we recommend wrapping your shocks in 3M to provide a moisture barrier that’s replaceable.
We then spent significant time on the valving profile. Starting with our custom piston, we found the perfect compromise between on and off-road performance without leaning too far into one end of the spectrum or the other. On road and on the highway, this is one of the best riding kits we’ve turned out for ANY platform. Body roll is significantly reduced, sharp corners are rounded, wheel hop and axle wrap are eliminated (thanks to the removal of the factory block) and the tires stay on the ground at all times. Off-road, the SUV feels have its size and completely composed. This is not a system designed around whoop pounding or jumping but dirt roads and rutted trails can be taken at speed with one hand on the wheel. Light to medium duty offroad escapades become completely controlled and uneventful.
The rear springs are a reduced capacity spring pack (reduces payload/hauling capacity to a “light” ¾-ton). If capacity is a concern, the Full Progressive Leaf Springs can be supplemented back to the factory capacity with the addition of our Excursion specific Long-Travel Airbags.
Wheel and Tire: On the 4.5” Excursion System, we recommend 17”-18” wheels, no more than 9” wide with 4.5” of backspacing with a 35”, E-Rated Tire. The more rubber, the better the small bump compliance will be at proper inflation pressures. The ride will firm up as you go larger in wheel diameter. For more details, see our article on wheel and tire selection and tire pressures:
Tires and Wheels: How Do They Affect My Ride?