I'm writing this after almost 7 hours of installing this damn system on my back on a gravelly driveway (it's concrete, but there were a lot of small rocks from the concrete breaking up due to the winter temps), and I'm going to give this my best shot at ignoring the pain and fatigue. lol
I had been fiddling with the idea of installing an exhaust on my Excursion for a while, and while I didn't want to go cheap, I also didn't want to do super expensive. I decided on a Diamond Eye aluminized kit, but was eyeballing the 4" stainless because, well, it's stainless! Was looking at 4" because everyone has said you don't need 5" unless you have a lot of power or just like the sound. Then I saw the price difference, and I decided to get the 5" simply because it was only $30 bucks more. I will say this...for sound, it was probably worth it. For ease of installation? Well, that's yet to come.
It was packaged well and was heavy as ####. Poor girlfriend came home to see this huge box sitting in front of the door, so she tried to move it. No go. She had to go in though the garage. lol Inside was everything you could ever need. In fact, it was like it was a kit designed as a catch-all, which I don't particularly like. My meaning is that it had adapters for 3 1/2 to 4 and 3 1/2 to 5, along with the coinciding clamps. I can see having these for kits which are cat
back, or cat-delete back, so the 5" can fit the stock pipes up front, but I ordered a turbo back. It should only come with what was needed for my install. Well, at least it wasn't short any parts.
Quality was excellent. Perfect bends all over. Not a single dent on any of the bends. Speaking of dents, there was one dent in the 4" down pipe, which is intended for clearance, so that was a good thing. All of the cuts were straight and didn't have razor sharp edges. Fitment between pipes was snug...and twice it was TOO snug, but I guess that's better than loose. Even the welds on the hanger clamps were excellent. Muffler was polished, though I don't know why. No one can see it, and it's going to be dirty after the first drive.
So why did it take me 7 hours when you see everyone say it should only take about 3-4? Well, part of the problem was cutting the old pipes. I think Ford made them out of adamantium (Wolverine's claws for those who don't geek), because I went through three blades on a sawzall, and one blade on a dremel vibratory cutter. Holy #### they were hard cutting bitches!! The second reason is because it took me well over an hour just to align the muffler and two tail pipe pieces. Then, after I installed the center pipe, I realized something was amiss....
When I took off the original muffler, it had three hangers; one in the front and two in the back, one on each side. So, having seen that, I used the corresponding T style hanger they included. It fit, but was so short that every time I would move the new muffler, one of the two sides would fall out, causing me to restart. And when I would try to install one of the tail pipes, again it would fall out. I think I even tried summoning a demon to hold it for me. Bastard never showed up. So, back to the something being amiss part. Since I could tell it wasn't going to be right, I took it all apart. Once again, I looked at everything and it all looked right. I, of course, ignored the "extra" parts, because I didn't need them. BTW
, this kit is for any length/cab combo and comes with an extra pipe, extra everything. lol Well, maybe I should have looked at one of those extra hangers closer. It looked like it might be long enough to fit in place of that T hanger. Sure enough, it did, and it kept the muffler right where it should be. *sigh* The instructions were rather vague.
After I figured that out, it didn't go so bad. VERY tight fit with the 4" down pipe. I had to wedge something between it and the spring hanger until everything was tight, and then it stayed where I wanted it. Tightening the lower down pipe to the upper down pipe was a pain. Almost no room to work. As for their instructions to measure the middle pipe, add five inches, and then cut....PFFT!!!! I just slid the mid pipe down the down pipe far enough until I could put it in the muffler. There is a 4" to 5" adapter needed anyway, so I just wound up with about 18" of 4" pipe inside the 5" pipe. Was a lot easier than trying to cut more pipe.
Now then....after I purchased this, I noticed Diamond Eye sells a kit specifically for the Excursion, and none of them come in 5". I now know why. With the Ex being 2-3" lower than the F-250, that does not leave a lot of room for the massive 5" pipe above the axle. Also, with a 44 gallon tank where the Superduty's spare tire is, there is very minimal clearance there as well!! So let me say this: If you're considering a 5" exhaust for an Excursion, be prepared for a LOT of adjusting, tweaking, griping, cuts, scratches, bruises, and more. Getting those damn pipes to fit in the back was no easy feat, and I'm pretty sure I broke a few laws of physics to do it. Of course the good news is now I have an excuse to get the V/B spring swap done! lol
Another thought: I said earlier that some of the joints were a little too snug. One of them was the first tail pipe to muffler junction. Nothing I did allowed me to turn that damn pipe. I happened to have a strap wrench, so I figured I would try that. Worked like a champ!! So keep this in mind when you do yours.
As for sound, I couldn't be happier. It's a little more whistley, has that "breathy" sound at idle and while under light load. When I accelerate hard, it has a NICE growl to it. Tomorrow (today?) I've got to do some more adjusting, because something is rattling at idle in the back. Probably the damn tail pipe didn't get aligned perfectly. grrrrrr
Overall, I'm very pleased with the outcome. I do wish they would have been a little less vague in their instructions, and hadn't included extra crap which set me back quite a bit. Also, if they made a kit for short beds, long beds, etc, they might be able to lower prices because they wouldn't be sending out a one size fits all. As it stands, I have a four foot length of pipe, two size adapters, five clamps, and a two hanger clamps for which I have no use. *shrug* It's a good value for the price, though, and I enjoy a challenge. And now, time for bed. I shall post pics when I have some daylight to take them. lol