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Suspension & Lifting

18062 Views 45 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  dragon
Okay, first post here goes....

I am looking to increase my 2002 Escape's off road performance, so I figured to start with a suspension lift.
However, all I can find is an Old Man Emu 1.75" lift kit,
Of course, I will also be putting on larger tires, looking at 31s?

Will this make the vehicle at a much higher risk of roll over, or just slightly? I also heard that this is a bad
idea as the Escape has eight CV Joints and it can create alot of issues?

And don't say buy a Wrangler, I already have an Escape and $500 for suspension upgrade isn't bad vs $5,000
for unknown condition and reliability Wrangler.

If it is to much of a head ache I will just go with stock height and forget it!

**I only do moderate trails and light mudding. Nothing crazy like rock crawling!**
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Old man is a sweet lift kit. You can also do a lot of mods yourself if you research and ask the right questions. You only have one other option as far as the front struts if you do not go EMU and that is TOP-R for after market struts.
With the old man kit it should come with everything you need. If you go over, I believe 2" you will have to add an extension to the pitman arms or have your tires wear uneven.
Suggestions, before spending the money on the lift, get yourself a skid for the front and a skid to cover the brake and gas lines that run along the driver side undercarriage. Before putting whatever lift you get EMU or TOP-R be sure your brake lines are long enough.
The skids are easy to make or I will gladly make them up for you at a decent price. I will also send you the dimensions if you have the material and equipment to make them up yourself for free.
there is another thread stricktly on lifts but I can't find it right now. i'll have pics up tomorrow of the top-r front struts.
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alot of guys like the kyb struts. I like the monroe sense a trac in the front because it works off of velocity. KYB might too but I've always used the monroe.
I've been using my oe struts for 3 years and they work just fine. You can order a product called a coil spring stabilizer and it stiffens the front struts up pretty decent.
I have a set of 1.25 CMS struts for sell right now. They only have about 20,000 miles on them. They fit the OE struts and add about 1 and 3/16 " of lift. I only have the fronts springs and i used them to level out my "E"
alot of people like to level the Escape. If you purchase a set of CMS coil springs for the front you will level the "E", if you purchase new coil springs for both front and rear it will remain lower in the front and higher in the rear. If you intend to trailer anything behind the escape I recommend getting all 4 coil springs. As far as the 31" go it will be close. I would take measurements of the wheel wells with your tires turned both left and right, then measure again with each tire on a curb or something that will compress the struts and take the same measurements. I know 30's fit.
I am officially the new Top-R dealer for the united states..Pretty sweet deal. I'll post more info as I learn the ropes.
The quality of the CMS and EMU is great as long as you limit yourself to moderate and mild off-road. Unfortunately the travel in the OE escape is maybe 2" if that. The CMS springs give you 1.25 of lift but leave only 3/4" of travel. So your bottoming out all the time. If you like a stiffer feel you can purchase coil spring stiffners/stabilizers and they work pretty well as long as you tie wire them in, just in case something odd happens and your struts expands farther then it should.
I just finished a two day run at the slab. One day alone and today with about 30 guys with a mix of jeeps, Toys, explorers broncos and one escape :yes: . The only guys that were doing the hill climbs and the crawling were the guys that have spent a ton of money on gearing and suspensions. Out of approx 30 people probably 10 had the extreme rigs. I was able again to keep up with all the rigs and got lots of jaw drops and looks when I pulled up in the escape. I have to admit, I tried two hill climbs, and I really don't like them but my spotter wanted to go so what the hell. I just said we will try but not burn the tranny out, but only made it to the middle of each hill. One of the them I hit soft sand and just spun out and the other I made it to the vert but the "E" just doesn't have the proper gearing. I did learn that even with the ABS disconnected the 2008 still kicks into 4WD. I have a few pics of the trails we took but my camera died. I have two sweet picks of the crawling.
The Top-R struts in my book are excellent and are probably the next best thing to $1,400 coil-overs. I like them better then the EMU and better them my old RS 5K. I like the RS 9000 better then both. The Top-R is stiff on the dirt and smooth on the pavement. We only aired down to about 20PSI and that was fine, it ended up being a lot dryer then expected. I did rip one portion of my skid off, but that was my fault, not paying attention to the spotter. I hit about a 24" rut with my passenger side front and, I thought, :censor: there goes the suspension. After rocking and tapping the brake to slide over to the port side a little I got out and once passed the rut, I took a look and just found the skid missing one bolt and bent. The suspension held up very well. the rear suspension actually was making some loud thumps but I can't figure out what it is unless I need to make a bumpstop again. I figured they would never bottom out but I'm hoping that's all it is. It drove 4 hours home just fine. OH, I made my own path while people were watching the crawling, not recommended unless you don't care about your paint job. I actually don't so, I'm okay with it. :tease: I'll post the few pics I have later, now I'm going to rest my back...Another thing the plastic on the rear passenger side bounced loose and went shooting into the front driverside. Very weird that that happened. All in all the "E" gets a big thumbs up for staying together. this was the roughest trip I've been on and I figured a good place to test the Top-R Struts, I have proudly placed the GIZ 4X4 sticker on the window next to the Rancho and Secret Weapons!!
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price is approx 1200 us plus western union fee. Comes with front struts, rear shocks, adjustable. New Pitman arms, sway bar coil springs and dust boots. Easy to install if you have a coil spring compressor.
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