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Expedition Axle

Discussion in 'Ford Trucks' started by seville009, Jul 26, 2003.

  1. seville009

    seville009 Senior Member
    from CNY
    Messages: 739

    I have a 1999 Expedition. Considered putting a Snoway plow on it last year, but didn't. Mulling it over again now and the only thing that's really stopping me is the "closeness" to the axle rating.

    While Ford does not recommend plowing with this truck, Snoway says that it can handle it fine. The front axle rating is about 50 pounds more than what Snoway says is the minimum that it must be.

    My worry is that I am so "close" to the minimum axle rating that I may end up damaging something with just basic plowing (would just be plowing my personal driveway - 600' plus 2,000 sf turnaround).

    My question - may sound dumb but I'm not knowledgable about this - why can't I simply put in a stronger/larger axle. Assuming that it's cost effective, wouldn't this be a simple thing to do? This would give me the peace of mind knowing that the axle is now capable of holding the weight.

    Thanks for any information.
     
  2. BWhite

    BWhite Senior Member
    Messages: 496

    axle ratings

    engineers always underrate things like axles to ensure their reliability .If you are just plowing your drive then you will be ok . If you start plowing the neighbors and then start taking on customers then you would need sturdier equipment . Keep ahead of the storm by plowing several times during a large storm this will not stress your Ford SUV
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2003
  3. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    You will be alright with a small blade like a Snoway.Those trucks are pretty tough,and will do fine.The Snoway is one of the lighter plows on the market,but still strong enough to hold up like a commercial plow.
     
  4. seville009

    seville009 Senior Member
    from CNY
    Messages: 739

    Thanks for the replies; I think I'll end up putting one on.
     
  5. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    One of my lawn accounts has this same set up for a number of years with no problems.
     
  6. seville009

    seville009 Senior Member
    from CNY
    Messages: 739

    Pelican - that's good to know (that someone is actually using this set up and it works). I've never seen an Expedition with a plow on, except for one that looked like it came from a garden tractor. I spoke with the Snoway dealer here last year and he said that had put them on others okay, but it's nice to hear it from a third party.

    I currently use a tractor with a front blower (5'); I go to work at 4:00 am don't get home until 6 or so at night. Only takes about 45 minutes to do the driveway with 3-4" of snow, but it's a pain to get up at 3 am to do it. Whenever I'm chugging along with the tractor with the wind and snow blosing in my face I think how nice it would be to be in the truck and have it done in ten minutes.

    Looking forward to it.

    kubota4.jpg
     
  7. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Nice tractor,but you can't beat the creature comforts of plowing in a nice truck :D
     
  8. seville009

    seville009 Senior Member
    from CNY
    Messages: 739

    One more question...sorry...still learning....I've figured out that my 1999 Expedition has a 3.55 rear axle ratio. It has the towing package which should have had the 3.73, but for whatever reason, it has the 3.55 (I bought it off of the lot).

    They may have put it on for mileage purposes, but who knows.

    I do understand that the higher the ratio, the better for plowing/hauling, as it's less strain on the axle (so I know that the 3.73 would be better than the 3.55 I have for plowing, but would be a little worse for gas mileage).


    My question....when I put the 4x4 in low, what would the resulting axle ratio equivalent be roughly? In other words, by using 4x4 low when plowing, am I effectively getting the equivalent axle ratio, say, 4.10?


    Thanks
     
  9. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    I can't comment on your truck specifically, but in general the gear reduction is much more than a 4.10 equivelant. With my 3.73 equipped 350, when I switch to low range, my top speed becomes 30 - 35 mph. Someone may be able to tell us the ratio of the transfer case to figure your end ratio.
     
  10. JohnnyU

    JohnnyU 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,040

    The gear reduction in the transfercase essintially multiplies all the gearing by its ratio. I have a 2.72:1 Low ratio.

    If I was 4hi in first gear, ratio 3.06:1, with a 3.73 Axle ratio, I would have a "crawl ratio" of 11.41. But when you shift into 4low, you multiply the crawl ratio of 4hi by the ratio of reduction in the transfercase, 2.72:1

    So I would them have a ratio of 31.05:1

    Does that make sense?
     
  11. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    The 3.55 are very close to the 3.73,so you won't really notice much of a difference.

    You should be able to do 90% of your pushing in normal 4WD.Use low only for real wet heavy stuff.You'll feel when the truck is labouring to push the snow,so use 4 low.

    The effective gear ratio will be approx a little more than double what it was before when in low range.Not sure exactly what the low range ratio is in your transfer case,but most are around 2.7:1 reduction.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2003
  12. seville009

    seville009 Senior Member
    from CNY
    Messages: 739

    Thanks for all of the quick and informative replies.

    I guess that I'm still trying to give myself peace of mind in terms
    of me running the plow on a truck that's not necessarily designed for a plow.

    I do know that low gear will provide substantially more "grunt" than high, as I have a loader on my tractor that I occasionally will forget to put in low when I'm working with it - tractor will bog down quickly until I remember to stick it in low.

    I had planned to do most plowing in 4lo, as that would be the easiest on the equipment. I was concerned though that too much work in lo gear would itself cause excessive wear, but as I think about it, I don't think that it would.

    Thanks again!
     
  13. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Use 4 HI.For normal snowfall doing your driveway,4 LO is overkill.It's too hard when shifting drive to reverse and back,and very slow.Only use 4 LO when the truck seems to be working too hard.
     
  14. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    Keep in mind too that your Expedition is pretty much a re-bodied pickup. All the components are the same as those used in the F-150s, so the idea of putting a plow on it is not as outrageous as you think.