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Consolidated War Wagon build thread.

87598 Views 244 Replies 44 Participants Last post by  Meatloafmountain
I have the grill guard and the taillight covers installed. The rear bumper guard would normally require removing the hitch receiver (something I found only after calling the company after getting ready to put it on). It's a shame, since without my receiver it would be a one man job in about ten minutes. I did find a local shop in Little Rock willing to weld on some brackets so the rear bumper guard can use existing receiver hardware instead of requiring that I remove the support for the back bumper. I'll have those pics up once they're on.

Until then, I can at least show off the grill guard.

#Blackhorse Grille Guard
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I bought off of With the exception of one item (a pintle hook) what they claim will fit my '12 has been spot on.

The instructions for every Blackhorse product I've bought have been squirrely, though. Like mentioning this item will only fit an '08-'10 or some other garbage, but I haven't had problems other than the rear bumper guard.
Here's the other pictures I promised. More of the grill guard:

RestingSword said:
I just installed the steel craft rear bumper guard with my must depend on the hitch and guard. What hitch do you have on?
1 1/2 inch. It's not the 2.

This is where Blackhorse had their installation holes set and where the hitch receiver interfered with them. As I stated earlier, without the hitch receiver this would have been a ten minute, one man job.

Brackets that were welded on to take advantage of hitch receiver hardware.

#Blackhorse Grille Guard
#Blackhorse Taillight Guards
#Blackhorse Rear Bumper Guard
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While I don't get to use the hitch with the rear bumper guard, all I have to do is take off four bolts to mount or tow something. Sure, it took a bit more time and money, but I get to have the guard AND the hitch at the end of the day.
12 ESCAPE said:
Looks great! How was it installing the brush guard? Take long?...CIB i think is the best accessory you got Hooah
The front guard was a real PITA. Taking off the shrouds/splash covers and the front air dam (or whatever it's called) took longer than we expected it to. They've cleverly (annoyingly?) integrated into the front bumper so it became a reverse tetris puzzle.

Actually starting the guard installation made it go by much faster. There were a couple of times we had to become ninjas, like installing the bolt plates on the "shelf" where the front license plate is and installing the threaded nuts, but it wasn't too bad. Expect a decent chunk of your afternoon.
The front seat covers come as a pair, something I didn't know when I ordered them. Thankfully, they called and asked if I was sure if I wanted two sets of front seat covers.
No problem. What you see here are the waterproof ones. Another step to weather proof/protect the car interior. I know, from living in Alaska for years, that simply walking out to your car in the middle of winter leaves you covered in snow.
Jeff88 said:
Your E is really coming together! Do you have the WTs in the back seat as well?

You gotta spill the beans... what do the cords lead to? iPod? Phone?
#Weathertech Rear Floor Mat

Yup! I do have Weathertec's for the rear as well. Here's a picture of it before the seat covers:

As for the cords, nothing special. A Garmin GPS, an iPod and my iPhone :p.
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Pay no attention to the shenanigans at the front driver's seat or the mess on the passenger's seat.

#Automotive Innovations - Saddleman - Front Seat Covers
#Weathertech Front Floor Mats
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I'll take another picture of it, but it's not completely covered. The seat covers have a section that will open if the airbag engages. I should have it up tomorrow to show you.
Edgar J said:
Thanks for your time on the pics!
Sorry about that. I've been caught up in training. Here's a pic of the velcro-secured flap that goes over the airbag.

detox8907 said:
Nice, but a quick question. Did you install these on top of the original mats or did you have to remove them? I ask because if I get these I don't want to remove the originals and store them because I already have too much junk stored.
For the front seats, you can't. Weathertec floor mats on the driver's side secure to the vehicle. I also didn't put them under the rear seat liners. The only place I have the original mats under the liner is the cargo area.
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Torontonian said:
Just recently got the WeatherTech mats for my front seats as well... They fit great but have you found water will leak through via the post mounts?
I had a lot of snow melt off my boots and when I pulled the mat out to dump all the water, I noticed the carpet underneath was soaked.
Ever since I've made sure to get rid of excess water quickly and it seems to be OK. The only place I can see water leaking is through the mount for the mat posts.
Once I have arrived back in Anchorage, I'll check my mats. I'd be extremely disappointed if the floor underneath was soaked after the money I spent.
First, let's take a trip down memory lane and remember what my E looked like when I bought her in Little Rock:

and now:

Plasti-dipped wheels. This was one of the easiest mods to do, and almost had the most dramatic effect besides the grille guard. I watched a couple of Youtube videos, but I found the light, "machine gun" effect the guy was doing with the spray pattern really wasn't my style.

At first, I was going to remove the front wheels but spray the back wheels while they were on the E, but then I realized I would have mismatched lugs.

Not only did it not cover really well per layer, but often times I actually didn't know where the spray was going. I settled on slightly longer, more consistent sprays.

The Spyders were a bit out of my skill level. I've made an effort to do as many mods as I can myself, but I didn't have the expertise, tools or time to weld on the rear bumper guard and I most certainly didn't have the expertise or time to solder/splice headlights. I'm fairly happy that besides those two, the mods have been mounted/done myself.

So, here's the end result. Minus plasti-dipping the front grille, which I didn't do while I did the wheels because I was only comfortable with the whole process after the 3rd coat on the wheels AND the grill looks like it has a ton of plastic clips to get through as well as two very awkwardly positioned screws, her exterior mods are fairly complete.

#2012 Ford Escape stock
#Blackhorse Grille Guard
#Blackhorse Taillight Guards
#Blackhorse Rear Bumper Guard
#Spyder Headlights
#Plasti-Dip Wheels
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Touringmike said:
Looking good.

ExplorerTom said:
First set of plasti-dipped wheels I like.
sevegas said:
Looks good! :thumb:
escape05xls said:
Looks really good! The guards bring me back to the Explorers in JP :) My first time seeing them....and falling in love with the look.
This E looks pretty good :thumb: well done :thumb:

Sounds like you dip your garage wall too :shades: :hyst: :thumb:
Thanks, guys. I absolutely love my E. I think it's the perfect Alaskan "adventure" vehicle (though in many ways, I miss my '97 Exploder).

Frenchy, that bay was in an Auto Hobby Shop on Fort Richardson. It was space specifically dedicated for such activities :p Not my marks!

Javafox said:
How do the headlights work compared to stock? Obviously, they look better, but I want to know if they perform better before I get them.
Mine don't seem to give the general illumination that the stock lights did, but they probably need to be re-aimed. It's also probable that like my first day driving with Michelin Xis, I'm simply not used to them. While they don't light up the same manner as stock, I think they give a more "3D' coverage from left to right, and at oddly high angles. that I'm thinking about it, I hope I'm not blinding the shit out of everyone.
Touringmike said:
I don't know if I talked about this in the messages we exchanged, but as far as aiming goes;
I ended up setting mine while parked 5 ft from my garage door. I marked my OEM lights on the door,
then aimed the spyders to the same settings. High beams are good, in fact fantastic, compared to OEM.
Low beams were way too low. 3 settings later, with the low beams set 2" higher and the drive side to the left 1" more
than the OEMs, I have great lighting, equal to or better than the OEM without blinding on-comers.

In your case, this is probably too late to adjust, but it gave me good results.
There are people on here who talk about putting HID units in, in place of the H1 standard bulbs,
but I don't recall seeing any pics of this.
I've been meaning to thank you for taking the time and trying to explain a lot of what goes on with putting these headlights in on your own. However, my schedule just didn't really give me time to devote the afternoon I would require to get it.

I've been pondering using a garage door at night to try and aim them.
Escape94 said:
Your E keeps looking better and better! :rockon:

Cusefan1978 said:
Those spyder lights look great. How bad are they to put in. I'm Assuming you have to drop the bumper and grill?!
Yes the bumper and grille would need to be removed since one of the side mounts is hidden behind the bumper. There are youtube videos of the install though.
Actually, if you take off the part of the grille guard that blocks the headlights and loosen the bumper, you can get away with it. Takes some ninja action that I'm not privy to.
RickWakeman said:
I have the weathertec floor mats and they are really great. How do you clean them though? I tried dish soap and a sponge and it seemed to wear away the finish and left white streaks.
I spray them down at a car wash :D
JaketheMan said:
Have you plasti dipped your grille black? If so please reply or message me with a picture. It'll be a perfect visualization of my plans!
That will be one of the last things I do. I haven't done it yet, because when I was finally "comfortable" with plasti-dipping I was already 3 out of 5 coats in on the wheels. It would have meant holding up the bay longer to start from scratch on the grille, plus when I did attempt to take it off the two very oddly oriented screws on either side plus the plethora of plastic clips confounded me. I'll need to take another look at it.
Ask, and ye shall receive. I am thinking of doing something similar to Escape94 and carrying the black plasti-dip down the front bumper.

After I put on five coats and let it sit overnight, it held up fine. No problem through a wash, either.

#Spyder Headlights
#Blackhorse Grille Guard
#Plasti-dipped Grille
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