Steve Turner
Former Editor, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
November 1, 1998
Photos By: Chuck James

Step By Step

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Like all Bassani exhaust systems, the Expedition arrangement features all-stainless steel construction and bolt-on simplicity. This setup features 3-inch mandrel-bent tubing outfitted with all the necessary stock-location hangers. Naturally, Bassani’s Quiet Thunder muffler handles the sound control.
Obviously, clearing the stock exhaust parts out of the way is step one, with Steeda’s Steve Chichisola performing the duties. The only complication was removing the stock flow tube from the back of the cat pipe. Chichisola cheated with an air chisel and freed the pipe. After that, is was just a matter of sliding it out of the factory hanger and over the rear axle and to the scrap heap it went.
Up and over the rear axle, the Bassani tailpipe is a breeze to install. The welded-on hangers slide right into the factory rubber grommets.
Nothing is completely bolt-on; Chichisola had to notch the cat-to-muffler flow tube to clear this little tab on the cat pipe.
The Bassani system requires no welding. The entire system clamps in place, making it a sure driveway job.
Here’s the complete system installed. The Quiet Thunder muffler features a louvered internal construction which is said to promote scavenging. According to Bassani, the packing material will not erode. When combined with the stock Expedition cats, the Quiet Thunder muffler delivers a mellow tone at idle, which gets deeper with rpm, but smooths at cruising rpm.

Ford trucks are a going thing. Trucks are paying the bills for the cars at the Blue Oval, and the popularity of Ford's modular-powered sport-utes and pickups is creating a niche in the Ford performance aftermarket. Granted trucks have always had a share of that market; but the new trucks, particularly the hyper-popular Expedition, are commanding increased scrutiny.

Beyond aftermarket wheels and tires, exhaust modifications are usually at the head of any modification list for cars or trucks. In the case of Baldy Boyd's Expedition he went about things in reverse. He trekked the big sport-ute down to Steeda Autosports in Pompano Beach, Florida, for a Vortech supercharger and Steeda suspension tweaks. Boyd was happy with the increased power and better handling, but you can always have more. Plus, he really didn't like that stock exhaust pipe hanging askew the passenger-side rear tire.

As Steeda developed some more suspension gear and techniques gleaned from working with Ford truck engineers, Boyd decided to add the new stuff plus a Bassani after-cat exhaust system. We happened to be in the neighborhood, because we drove the truck down there, so we photographed the upgrades and experienced the results. The exhaust system sounded and looked great, although we couldn't really feel a seat-of-the-pants difference. The spring and sway bar changes offered more lateral control, but the biggest benefit was disconnecting the electronically assisted power steering. By simply unplugging the wiring, the steering became more linear and driveable. The stock steering is vague and overassisted before suddenly delivering control only after it's well into a turn. The unplugged version is definitely better.

Because the truck had already been modified, we didn't get all the goods on the suspension modifications, but we did capture the exhaust installation. It looks easy enough for driveway work.