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3rd gen Ford Explorer, expedition swap


New Member
December 11, 2020
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City, State
Boone, NC
Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 Ford Explorer XLT
As we all know, there’s next to no support for off-road suspension once 3rd gen explorers came around. Aside from the irs/ifs systems, the actual cab, shape, dimensions of them are great for off-roading/overlanding. They’re spacious but still small enough that on most trails they’re nimble. I want to build it but don’t want to spend $10-15k doing it. I’ve seen some badass builds here but I’d like to not spend that much unless genuinely necessary, which is something we can call agree on.

I’ve seen the btf and xyz branded lift. However they’re not true suspension lifts. Everyone’s ball joints are near vertical and adding the strut spaces takes away wheel travel.

i want wheel travel and 35s. The 35s for being able to tackle obstacles (they look cool, duh) but the wheel travel so I can take bumps if Ol Dora goes air borne but also to flex better so I can do more advanced trails.

Nissan and Toyota use a process called Jidoka when producing everything they make. Basically, they use as few different parts as they can, making a lot of parts cross platform. They make a product, it works well, so they try to incorporate it everywhere they can.

this is long winded, I know, I’m getting to the point, sorry😅

Nissan Frontier/Xterra owners do a thing called Titan swaps, they take Titans and swap the diffs, axles and suspension components (minus the shocks/struts) and create a budget beefed up frontier/xterra that has almost a mid/long travel kit because the titan has long control arms.

My curiosity is, could the same be done with an expedition? Could you take the axles,diff, and control arms off an expedition and bolt them onto an explorer? Would an 04 Expedition lower/upper control arms(front and rear), diff/axles bolt up to an 04 explorer? Again, this would essentially create a budget mid/long travel kit, it would naturally lift it but you’d get more wheel travel out of it. Hopefully someone on here is a Ford Tech/Engineer and maybe knows? Thank you!


Pumpkin Pilot
Staff member
Elite Explorer
February 8, 1999
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City, State
Wayoutin, Aridzona
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 XL Pumpkin Edition
With enough fabrication you could make just about anything work, but I doubt the components would bolt up. A friends shop took the IRS out of an Expedition and installed it in an F150. It fit and it worked well, but it sure wasn't a bolt in project.


High Voltage.
Elite Explorer
February 2, 2002
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Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Mountaineer AWD
For the work certainly involved, I’d go all the way and put solid axles under it. Of course, for that kind of effort I’d start with a second Gen v8 so all the work isn’t wasted on blown motors, transmissions, and transfer cases. None of which will play nice with the 35s.

Cross platform design works for the manufacturer because its cheap.