Adapting parts from other vehicles to personalize your rig was the original method of customization, because there were no off-the-shelf aftermarket parts to buy. It started with engine and suspension swaps, then slowly migrated to interior and body panels. Jeremy Small of Phoenix is familiar with this concept, and his '00 Ford Expedition is no exception to the rule. Jeremy picked the Expedition because it isn't a common choice when it comes to the show scene.
Personalizing this SUV was going to include more than just some body and suspension mods, but that's where he got started. As a do-it-yourself kind of guy, Jeremy (aka Tire Masters) shaved all the essentials, such as the door handles, emblems, third brake light, rear wiper, rear lights, and gas door, to smooth the body. Finishing off the body mods included a sliding rag top, rear wheeltubs, roll pan, and sunken fuel cell.
Jeremy also did all the chassis work himself. Firestone 'bags, custom upper control A-arms, a wishbone rear link system, and Rancho shocks give the Ford an adjustable suspension system. Tucked into the body are 22-inch KMC wheels with 5-1/2 inches of backspacing. The rubber mounted to the double-deuce rims are Dunlop's 285/30/22-inch SP Sport 9000s.
The interior is set in black and red to accent the exterior colors, except the four Recaro race buckets equipped with five-point harnesses that are the first hint that this is not your normal frame-laying build. The next hint would be the large white nitrous bottle partly recessed in the custom center console that stretches from the front floorboard and through the two sets of race buckets. The dash and door panels' custom sub' box and headliner were all stripped, smoothed, and painted, or smoothed and covered in tweed.
The Blue Oval is equipped with an arsenal of audio and visual entertainment. Spoundwerks in Phoenix installed all the goods and performed the surgery on the center console. Alpine's 1VAD900 head unit with CD and DVD capabilities takes all the audio and visual signals, including the information from the Xbox and PlayStation, and delivers the goods to monitors and amplifiers. Here, the visuals are pumped into a 10-inch monitor in the dash, a 15-inch monitor that hangs from the ceiling, and two 7-inch monitors that are flush-mounted into the backs of the front Recaro seats. Low-impedance audio signals are fed into six JL Audio amps that increase the signal and deliver them to the drivers. Four sets of 4x6-inch JL Audio splits take care of the mids and highs, and two 13-1/2-inch 'woofers feed the tunes through 2,000 watts of JL power for the lows.
With all this bling, Jeremy wanted to inject some of the grassroots that made up customization to begin with. The engine was taken to S.V.C. in Scottsdale, where power was surgically crafted to the SUV. The techs at SVC took the 4.6L modular V-8 and tore it apart. Precise machine work put the engine into perfect form. This truck was to be supercharged and a force induction cam was in order, so a cam from a Ford Lightning was fitted to the aluminum heads. Ford Racing 48-pound fuel injectors were installed to make up for the increased air the centrifugal supercharger was going to dish out. Procharger's Pro1 compressor was installed along with a Nitrous Express holeshot nitrous system to get the heavy hulk off the line fast. JBA headers and Flowmaster 3-inch exhaust system get rid of the spent charges and add a rowdy sound to the engine rumble.
Jeremy's Expe' is a true inspiration to what we'd like to see more of in a feature truck. So many times at photo shoots, the builder isn't proud of what's under the hood. Unfortunately, the 4.6L two-cammer gave up the ghost on the dyno, so Jeremy is uncertain how many ponies the Ford was making. He is under construction on a 5.4L that will be based off the Ford Lightening motor. It is estimated to have more than 540 hp off the bottle and about 700 on funny gas. We'll keep our eyes peeled to see what the end results are.