Navigate in Style

Full Effect's '98 Lincoln Navigator

The guys at Full Effect in San Bernardino, CA have been dedicated to customizing Fords for years. They can turn an ordinary vehicle turn into an extraordinary sport truck. When the '97 Ford Expedition was introduced, their business was booming, driven by the popularity of the behemoth "sport" utility vehicles. Full Effect specializes putting the sport back into sport utility.

So what can these guys do with a top-of-the-line Lincoln Navigator? The Navigator is a great truck, but not only is it one of the most expensive on the road, it is also one of the biggest and worst handling. Bill Thomas, owner of Full Effect, decided to find out how far they could take the sport utility.

The first task at hand was to bring the center of gravity down. The truck was lowered a total of 5 inches all the way around using their custom suspension components.  The front suspension of the Navigator was given new upper and lower control arms made out of tubular steel and built for extreme durability. Suspension ComponentsThe front also received custom springs and shocks. The rear suspension consists of custom Firestone airbags with the stock 4 link set up. The rear airbags were custom-fabricated just like the factory-style rear Firestone air bags, the difference is that they are shorter, allowing the factory load leveling system to function properly. In the case of this custom Navigator, the system was converted to a manual-adjust system with air gauges, compressor, and air tank.

Full Effect offers the lowering components in custom kits, and backs them with a 3-year/36,000 mile warranty. Perhaps the most attractive thing about the Full Effect kit is that it allows the truck to be aligned to factory specs, something  the competition does not offer, and something to consider when purchasing 20-inch tires that cost $300-400 a piece.

The real beauty of the lower suspension system, other than the awesome street-stance, is the handling. With the new suspension components the truck handles noticeably better, it is much easier to get in to, the ride quality is virtually the same as it was off the dealer's lot. But who really cares about the comfort, this lowered Navigator has loads of custom sport truck appeal.

Ground Effects

The suspension is only one aspect of this custom sport utility. Full Effect does more than just suspension. They designed a set of aftermarket fiberglass pieces, called Side FX, that replace the factory running boards and also in the truck's sporty appeal.

After doing the lowering and adding the Side FX, the next step was to choose a set of wheels and tires. The wheels chosen were 20x8.5-inch chromed Niche
Bella wheels, mounted using custom Motorsport Technology adapters. The wheels are wrapped in Michellen Pilot MXX3 rubber, 245/40ZR20 in the front and a 275/35ZR20 in the rear.

To give the exterior of the truck the final touches, the front and rear bumpers and the roof racks were all painted to match the truck.

Interior Interior
The guys then moved to the interior where they found a way to make the most luxurious sport utility even more comfortable. The stock Navigator already comes with a center console ice chest, and they wouldn't dare think about changing that. But the second row of seating needed some more attention. The guys at Full Effect designed a center seat that folds down into a console with a matching burl wood top. DashWhen in the upright position, the seat matches perfectly, and is complete with factory-matching leather. Their new console bolts directly to the floor where the original console mounted, and offers room for yet another passenger.

Other upgrades to the interior include a complete burl wood dash kit, white-faced guages, and a full Alpine stereo system. The stereo includes an Alpine navigation system, 6-inch monitor, VCR, 12-Disc CD changer, and a 10-inch alpine sub mounted in the rear side panel, along with an array of Alpine amps.

The stock 5.4L V8 engine provides ample power, but the addition of a K&N air filter and Bassani exhaust coax out the last few horses. Jason at Full Effect informs us that a Vortech supercharger is planned, which would make this one powerful sport utilitiy.


Truck: 1998 Lincoln Navigator Navigator Rear
Owner: Bill Thomas / Full Effect
Front: Full Effect Upper and Lower Control Arms, Springs, and Shocks
Rear: Firestone Airbags
with stock 4-link
Engine: 5.4L V8
Paint: Laser Red Tinted Clearcoat Metallic

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