2005 Ford Escape XLT getting some love.

NomadEffect

Member
Hey All,

I’ve been using these forums as a source of info for the last month or so and I keep meaning to get a post together on my little Ford project.

Basically my girlfriend and I live in NYC and after 5 years the city has got to us a bit and we’ve decided to start exploring the east side of the US.

We already own a 2005 Ford Escape and we know exactly what issues it has. I think that having owned about 14 different cars now, that’s the biggest plus to starting this project.

We just sourced some new/old wheels that came with some decent BF Goodrich All Terrains on Craigslist and the OME lift springs should arrive next week.

We also nabbed some fancy number plates that should confuse a few.

We’re super open to anyone’s help across this little project. I’ll try and update this as much as I can.

Our Instagram is @NomadEffect everything will be updated there as it happens.

Ben
 

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Ari3sgr3gg0

Active member
The Escape is a great little vehicle, I may be biased because I own one though. It has a small foot print but very limited ground clearance, just pick your paths well and it can go some surprising places. No true 4x4 but it's computer controlled AWD does well. It's a FWD primarily so it has good pull as long as the fronts get grip. A set of sand ladders just for the front will get you out of most anything in this vehicle. Have fun and post plenty of pics
 

Airmapper

High-Tech Redneck
As a former Escape owner I'm always happy to see someone enjoying theirs. Mine wet my appetite for exploring off pavement and I do believe made me a better driver because of it's limitations. I totally agree with the post up above mentioning to pick your path, it's most significant off road feature is the driver, you can do some surprising things with it if you know what you are doing. I've done just that, and I've also miscalculated while trying and got myself stuck. Have fun, and be careful.
 

ExplorerTom

Explorer
I used to own one as well- although it had a Mercury badge on it. Great little car. Drove from CO to FL and back by myself (met the family at the airport) and just took my time. I slept 4 nights in the back of it. Great trip. Great car.

Stopped at some fun sights along the way (a keen eye should be able to recognize each):

 

OuterLimits

I control the horizontal and the vertical
we’re super open to anyone’s help across this little project. I’ll try and update this as much as I can.
Ben
With some decent tires, the Escape gets around on and off-road pretty well. No need to toss a bunch of money at it.

I would recommend a tire deflator and a 12VDC air compressor. Add some basic recovery gear and have fun!
 

NomadEffect

Member
So it’s been a fair bit of life since I posted an update but we’ve been pretty busy on the Escape.

I had bought some new gas arms for the rear window a while ago, I chucked them on about a month ago and about a week later I opened the window and the window hinge sheared right off. So we ordered some new hinges and all seems good on the back window now. I actually use it because it doesn’t drop and smash the top of my head now.

The biggest headache so far was when our right rear shock popped through the top of the wheel well due to rust. We hit one of the many Grand Canyon size potholes in Manhattan and the noise was crazy. The crack that greeted me when I removed the inside panel was scary.

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After some intense googling I found that this is a very common issue in the 1st gen Escapes and that a replacement panel is readily available on Amazon. So I ordered one and we set about cutting out all the rust and welding, bolting and riveting the new panel in. We spent a fair amount of time on it so that we know that this is not going to be an issue again for the foreseeable future.
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I don’t have any pics from when I chucked the strut back in but we’ve been putting some serious miles on her and she’s holding strong.

We’re doing everything on a budget so we were looking for a roof rack setup that would cover a large amount of the roof so we can add a Rooftop Tent with hopefully extra storage up front. So again after a lot of googling we purchased a used No Boundaries rack that came on the 2004 Escape with the rear bumper and trailer hitch setup. We got it super cheap from a wreckers in NJ.

I got the inner bumper and hitch installed easy tonight. It’s a way better setup than the bumper that was on the car as well as being a lot less rusty and the factory hitch doesn’t stick out past the bumper. So it’s a win/win. (Pics show the bumper and hitch without the plastic re-added.)

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All was going great until I touched the back left wheel well and my hand went straight through into the car. So next up I’ll be welding, bolting and riveting a piece of steel over the hole I’ve just found and while I’m at it I’m going to repair some pretty bad rust that was also on the rear left fender and reinforce the top of the shock mount with some strips of steel. 512427512428
 

Todd n Natalie

OverCamper
I used to own one as well- although it had a Mercury badge on it. Great little car. Drove from CO to FL and back by myself (met the family at the airport) and just took my time. I slept 4 nights in the back of it. Great trip. Great car.

Stopped at some fun sights along the way (a keen eye should be able to recognize each):

The house from Breaking Bad? Not sure about the second place.
 

ExplorerTom

Explorer

NomadEffect

Member
Hey Guys,

We started a little youtube channel to show the progress of what we're doing to the Escape.

I found it a lot easier than an illiterate human attempting to update through posts haha

Check it out:
Would love the support!!
 

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