Ex­cur­sion

Tire Peeler to Tro­phy Stealer

Street Trucks - - CONTENTS - TEXT BY TRAVIS NOACK PHOTOS BY COURT­NEY HALOW­ELL

Tire Peeler to Tro­phy Stealer

WE HAVE HEARD THE STORY HUN­DREDS AND MAYBE EVEN THOU­SANDS OF TIMES. The story about a guy who buys a new truck or SUV and at­tempts to fol­low a sim­ple plan of sus­pen­sion changes, a wheel and tire up­grade, and a few ex­te­rior ad­di­tions. For some, blend­ing th­ese sim­ple cus­tom el­e­ments to­gether is enough to sat­isfy the need to be dif­fer­ent, but for a true hard­core truck en­thu­si­ast, the cus­tomiz­ing ad­dic­tion is never over un­til every sur­face of that ride has been no­tice­ably al­tered.

Matt Rossi of Stowe, Penn­syl­va­nia, is one of those en­thu­si­asts who is con­sis­tently try­ing to im­prove his ve­hi­cle’s per­for­mance, looks and style and has the bank state­ments to prove it. Luck­ily, Matt’s wife Kim was just as en­thused about turn­ing their 2000 Ford Ex­cur­sion into an extra tall, graphic-cov­ered cus­tom as Matt was and gave him the green light to go crazy.

The jour­ney be­gan be­gan at J&B Mo­tor­sports in Stowe where the body was lifted off the frame and the mas­sive lift was fab­ri­cated, built and in­stalled. To be­gin the Ex­cur­sion’s ini­tial el­e­va­tion, 18-inch At­las leaf springs were mounted front and rear and a cus­tom alu­minum J&B 3-inch body lift took things to the next level. A cus­tom trac­tion bar cra­dle and trans­mis­sion cross­mem­ber were en­gi­neered and welded to ac­cept the front and rear 2-inch tube con­structed 4-link bars com­plete with 3/4-inch rod ends. An Ea­ton posi unit and 4.56 gears were stuffed into the fac­tory rear end to help re­store some lost power that had been robbed by the 20 x 12-inch Weld wheel and 49-inch IROK tire combo.

To make the Ex­cur­sion a plea­sure to drive, Matt knew the fac­tory steer­ing needed to be up­graded to swing the over­sized wheels and tires back and forth. Off Road Un­lim­ited in Bur­bank, Cal­i­for­nia, solved the steer­ing is­sues with a cus­tom crossover steer­ing assem­bly with hy­draulic ram as­sist. ORU shock hoops were used un­der the nose to mount four Fox Rac­ing 2.0 reser­voir

damp­en­ers to keep sus­pen­sion travel in check when Matt de­cides to mob through a few on- or off-road ob­sta­cles. Four Fox 2.0 shocks were mounted in the rear to match the front sus­pen­sion’s smooth rid­ing per­for­mance.

Once the height ad­just­ment was com­plete, func­tional and the ge­om­e­try checked out, the sus­pen­sion was dis­as­sem­bled and all of the com­po­nents along with the frame were hauled to Van In­dus­tries of Birds­boro, Penn­syl­va­nia, for candy blue, sul­fur yel­low and bright orange pow­der­coat­ing. While the chas­sis and sus­pen­sion pieces got some color at the pow­der­coater, the un­der­side of the Ex­cur­sion’s body was dusted in bold col­or­ing to con­tinue the su­perb level of de­tail­ing through­out the en­tire un­der­car­riage. After the chas­sis was re­assem­bled, the body was low­ered back onto the de­tailed struc­ture and headed for some mild smooth­ing and bold match­ing paint tricks.

Since Matt and Kim’s above-av­er­age blue oval was headed for show bat­tle, it needed some ex­te­rior artistry to go along with the rough and tough sus­pen­sion stance and blind­ing un­der­car­riage up­dates. The cus­tom paint and graphic pros at Ex­treme Mo­tor­sports Paint­ing re­moved all the Ex­cur­sion’s em­blems and mold­ing and laid down House of Kolor Tangelo Orange pearl over a white basecoat up top, tran­si­tion­ing into an Ori­en­tal Blue candy laid over a base fade of Pavo Pur­ple metal­lic. Orion Sil­ver metal­lic, snow white pearl and a lime gold candy fade siz­zle up the Ex­cur­sion’s cen­ter sec­tion, while a deep black com­prises the lower re­gion.

To fur­ther pro­mote the Ex­cur­sion’s burly physique, a Reaper Rac­ing pre-run­ner bar was mounted at the nose and topped with four off-road lights for night duty. A set of PIAA 1500 lights re­sides un­der the Xenon rear bumper cover to pro­vide as much night vi­sion in the rear as there is up front. Ko­diak Sidewinder steps were in­stalled to ease en­try and exit in and out of this in­sanely tall beast.

In or­der to match Tall Or­der’s per­for­mance to its stun­ning looks, OK 4WD in Ste­wartsville, New Jersey, in­stalled a pol­ished Kenne Bell su­per­charger and 100-hp shot of ni­trous to wake up the fac­tory Triton V-10. J&B Mo­tor­sports capped off the heads with a set of JBA head­ers to help with the ex­haust side of the per­for­mance equa­tion. BTS of Oaks, Penn­syl­va­nia, tooled up a cus­tom-bent 3-inch dual ex­haust sys­tem uti­liz­ing Flow­mas­ter mufflers and coated by Jet Hot Coat­ings for vis­ual ap­peal.

Now sport­ing an out-of-this-world stance, paint scheme and enough power on tap to blaze the 49-inch IROK Su­per Swamper rub­ber, Matt and Kim chan­neled their fo­cus into fin­ish­ing their tro­phy col­lec­tor off with a sim­ple and stun­ning cus­tom in­te­rior. Au­to­mo­tive Con­cepts of Horsham, Penn­syl­va­nia, up­hol­stered the fac­tory buck­ets and rear bench in blue and orange Katzkin leather and cov­ered the floor­boards with elec­tric blue car­pet from Auto Cus­tom Car­pets. A Trenz bil­let steer­ing wheel helps Matt point and shoot the Ex­cur­sion’s nose, while a few tangelo orange dash pieces and Auto Me­ter In­stru­ments com­ple­mented by a white face gauge panel round out the cock­pit styling.

Matt and Kim Rossi have put to­gether one im­pres­sive Ex­cur­sion with the de­tail and crafts­man­ship nec­es­sary to win at the shows and the shock value and power to im­press on the street. Like most in-depth cus­tom builds this one would not have been pos­si­ble with­out the help of some tal­ented au­to­mo­tive spe­cial­ists. Joe and Brian from J&B Mo­tor­sports,

BTS, Ex­treme Mo­tor­sports, Au­to­mo­tive Con­cepts, OK 4WD, and Ari­zona Driv­e­line made this ex­cep­tional Ex­cur­sion pos­si­ble.

Tall Or­der is just one more ex­am­ple of turn­ing a few cus­tom ideas into a pave­ment-shak­ing, tro­phy-steal­ing re­al­ity.

THE IN­TE­RIOR FEA­TURES A SIM­PLE BLEND OF BLUE AND ORANGE KATZKIN LEATHER STITCHED UP BY AU­TO­MO­TIVE CON­CEPTS OF HORSHAM, PENN­SYL­VA­NIA. ELEC­TRIC BLUE CAR­PET, TANGELO ORANGE DASH AC­CENTS, AND A TRENZ BIL­LET STEER­ING WHEEL AND PED­ALS MAKE A SIM­PLE YET BOLD STATE­MENT.

THE FRONT END IS AS BURLY AS THEY COME WITH A REAPER RAC­ING PRE-RUN­NER BUMPER MOUNTED IN FRONT OF A CAL­I­FOR­NIA CUS­TOM GRILLE SHELL FILLED WITH A BIL­LET IN­SERT. FOUR OFF-ROAD LIGHTS PRO­VIDE GUID­ANCE WHEN MATT AND KIM GET OFF THE BEATEN PATH. A KEY­STONE RESTYLING FIBER­GLASS GOOD HOOD TOPS THE THROATY V-10 AND IS THE PER­FECT PRE­LUDE TO THE CAR-BASH­ING PRE-RUN­NER FRONT END.

A KENNE BELL POL­ISHED SU­PER­CHARGER ADDS SOME EN­GINE COM­PART­MENT BLING, NOT TO MEN­TION A LIT­TLE HORSE­POWER AT THE PEDAL. JBA HEAD­ERS GIVE THE FAC­TORY V-10 SOME AD­DI­TIONAL VEN­TI­LA­TION WHILE A CUS­TOM 3-INCH EX­HAUST SYS­TEM WITH FLOW­MAS­TER MUFFLERS PRO­DUCES AND UN­MIS­TAK­ABLE ROAR.

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