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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello again everyone!

Some of you may remember me from a couple of previous threads, but this time, I have one question that has been bugging me.

I have occasionally gone off-roading with my brother in his '96 Silverado. I fell in love with off-roading almost immediately after crossing a 20" water ford at 30 mph :D

We also did some mud running and climbing, and it was a lot of fun!

The time to buy my first vehicle draws near, and that vehicle happens to be an 05-07 Ford Escape XLT 4x4.

I know it is by no means as capable as, say, a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon when it comes to off-roading. But I aim to do "light to moderate" off roading, nothing hardcore (Rock Jumping, 45-75* hill climbing). I will be water-fording, climbing small hills, traversing 15 mile long dirt trails to "secret" camping spots up in Northern California :thumb: and also driving through light mud trails if it happens to have rained recently (or is raining).

Will my future Escape be able to handle this without serious mechanical issues? If not, could you elaborate as to what I should avoid doing out in the woods/dunes/lakes?

Thank you!
 

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RMP91 said:
But I aim to do "light to moderate" off roading, nothing hardcore (Rock Jumping, 45-75* hill climbing). I will be water-fording, climbing small hills, traversing 15 mile long dirt trails to "secret" camping spots up in Northern California :thumb: and also driving through light mud trails if it happens to have rained recently (or is raining).

Will my future Escape be able to handle this without serious mechanical issues? If not, could you elaborate as to what I should avoid doing out in the woods/dunes/lakes?

Thank you!
Go easy on the water fording and/or mud running... the Escape alternator is in the worst position possible for these pursuits, more than one has died "mid puddle".

Consider getting some underbody protection made up...lots of vulnerable stuff underneath.

Get some reasonable All Terrain tyres.

If hitting the dunes....drop your tyre pressures down to 15-20PSI, lengthening your "footprint" and thus spreading the load better.

Have fun. :thumb:
 

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never been off roading but its very capable in deep snow
 

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I think the off road capabilities of the Escape are inversely proportionate to the amount of recovery equipment you have on board. In other words, you will get hung up only when you don't have a come along and some tow straps, or at least that has been my experience. :doh:

I like the term "soft roader" for the Escape, it does well so long as extra ground clearance or lower gearing is not needed. It's lack of ground clearance is probably it's most immediately noticeable short coming off road as soon as you find deep ruts in the road.

Megascape is making skid plates for the Escape I think. Check with him, from what I've seen they look great and I'd like one myself if I didn't have a few other expensive projects underway already.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
christophera said:
Go easy on the water fording and/or mud running... the Escape alternator is in the worst position possible for these pursuits, more than one has died "mid puddle".

Consider getting some underbody protection made up...lots of vulnerable stuff underneath.

Get some reasonable All Terrain tyres.

If hitting the dunes....drop your tyre pressures down to 15-20PSI, lengthening your "footprint" and thus spreading the load better.

Have fun. :thumb:
Maybe I'll avoid the mud puddles at least until after I have my Escape raised about an inch (if its even possible to do so without killing my gas mileage on the road). For the first few months, all the off-roading I'll do will be fording through creeks up in Northern California and a few streams here and there in Southern California where I live. I'll also be occasionally climbing small hills (again, nothing serious) and the aforementioned 15 mile long dirt trails to "secret" camping spots in Northern California.
 

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I survived the water whole in my signature...
 

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Well, i've done some mild/soft off road with my E, Mud holes (mostly dry, not swamps as Robtoma's signature :D ), hills, etc. Basically to go from point a to point b in my farm, haven't found problems yet (apart from plowing mud and dirt with the front spoiler)...

But one question... where is the Alternator located?

BTW, the only mod is bigger BFG AT Tires, and turn the TC off when off road.
 

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it is located near the CV joint (above it and above the steering joints) in the passengers side. its in a very vulnerable spot to be damaged.
 

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II agree with everything posted. I am slowly doing more and more stuff I shouldn't be doing in the "E" but I do it much slower then the guys with the Bronco's and jeeps. I do not crawl but mainly do old wagon trails and explorations. I think what saves my rig is being hyper vigilant to my surroundings and either having somebody with me to spot or walking any areas I feel uncomfortable passing through. The rotary and electronic 4 wheel drive work surprisingly well in mild and moderate runs. Not so well on the rocks because of the lack of travel in the suspension and rear bumper seems to hang up very often. I would deff purchase a sidewinder wench and straps. as well as the A/T's.
Northern California has great runs for the Escape.
PICS!!!!!!!
 
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