Ford F150 Lift Kits | Which Type Is Right For Your Truck? – What’s Up With That?


Hey, guys, Justin with americantrucks.com,
here with a quick What’s Up With That video, lift kit edition. The purpose of this video is to explain to
you guys, in a nutshell, the big three styles of lift or leveling kits that you will encounter
here on the site when shopping for your F150. Now, these kits are gonna range from your
low budget levels to your middle-of-the-road smaller lifts, and then finally, those big-baller
kits that will get your truck up to four to six inches or even higher. Now, one thing to consider is that these different
lift or leveling kits will all have their pros, they’ll all have their cons, along with
requiring varying degrees of modification to get everything in place. Now, which one will be best for you, your
truck, and your budget? Well, in order to find out, let’s break things
down starting with our most basic option of the three, the leveling kit. Okay, so technically, a leveling kit isn’t
a lift kit, right? I mean, a lift kit implies that you’re raising
the front and the rear of the truck, whereas a leveling kit just simply addresses the front
end. But this will be great for the owners who
wanna achieve a more leveled appearance, bringing that front end up anywhere from one to three
inches, while keeping things extremely simple in the process. Now, one of the biggest pros of a leveling
kit is again, that simplicity. A lot of times, leveling kits consist of two
strut spacers that get mounted to the top of your factory strut assembly, which is not
only gonna be super affordable at right around 1 to 200 bucks on average, but also very easy
to install. And best of all, there’s no cutting or permanent
modification, and are completely reversible if you ever wanted to put your truck back
to stock again. Now, the cons really are dependent on how
aggressive or tall you go with your spacer up front. Now, if you stay in that one to two-inch range,
generally suspension geometry isn’t terribly altered. And therefore, the ride quality and more importantly,
the longevity of parts like your CVs or ball joints, will be in good shape. However, once you start going a little bit
more aggressive like a three-inch option per se, that geometry starts becoming less than
ideal. And at that point, you do run the risk of
accelerating wear and tear on your front end components of your F150. Also, if you’re the type of owner who does
a lot of hauling in the bed of your truck or a lot of towing, leveling the truck might
not be ideal as that leveled ride height will sometimes lead to some noticeable rear-end
squat given a heavy payload or a big tow. Now, you’re also gonna be taking a small bite
out of your miles per gallon, but ultimately, that will be pretty minor here with the leveling
kit compared to the bigger lift options that we’ll talk about in a minute and really will
be dependent on your tire size. And this is a great time to mention that most
leveling kits in the 1 to 2-inch range or even two and a half inch range will be able
to comfortably fit a 33-inch tire with a stock or similar offset of around +44. Now, some two and a half and even 3-inch kits
will claim the ability to fit a 35-inch tall tire with a stock offset, but that’s usually
when using a pretty narrow tread width. And even then, things are going to be very
close to rubbing or even require modification. But bang for your buck wise, leveling kits
will always be hard to beat when looking to keep things cheap, keep things simple, and
not have to do a ton of modification to fit a slightly bigger tire. Up next we have our middle-of-the-road option,
which will be a coilover style lift in the zero to 3-inch range. Now, not only will this be a big step up as
far as components are concerned, but also ride quality and off-road performance but
at the cost of a much higher price point. Now, companies like Fox, Icon, and Eibach,
all produce a variation of this style lift, which traditionally will include an adjustable
coilover upfront to replace that stock assembly. And in turn, you will have the ability to
raise the front end anywhere from zero to three inches depending on your option. Now, on top of the coilover, a lot of times
companies will even toss in a brand new tubular upper control arm, along with a new ball joint
assembly to help maintain better geometry and alignment for one, but also to allow for
full movement or travel of that new coilover setup. This will also help with preventing any spring
contact, which can sometimes happen with a more aggressive front end lift and a factory
upper control arm. Finally, guys, most of these coilover style
lifts will include a rear shock to match up with that front coilover, in addition to a
small block in some cases to bring that rear end up slightly, but that’s not always the
case. Now, I would say the biggest pro of going
with a coilover style lift will certainly be that massive improvement in ride quality
and performance off-road because again, you are replacing those factory dampers with a
superior part. So, if you’re more into off-roading or wheeling
and you want something that will perform great and not just be for looks only, I would say
a coilover lift is a great option to check out. Secondly, like those leveling kits we talked
about earlier, the coilover lift kit will be completely reversible and not require any
cutting or permanent modification. Simply remove the factory stuff, bolt in the
replacements and you are good to go. Unfortunately, coilover setups are not without
their downfalls, right? I mean, first up is the price. They are not exactly cheap, as you’re gonna
be looking at between $1,000 to $3,000 depending on the brand and just how radical you go with
that front coilover setup. Whether you go with a basic adjustable option
or you’re looking at a big diameter resid option that will handle anything you can throw
at it. Secondly, because these coilover only lifts
typically max out at or around 3 inches, don’t expect to fit a set of 37s under your truck
or even a set of 35s for that matter, without some pretty heavy trimming or modification. In fact, most of these coilover only lifts
will comfortably accommodate a 33-inch tire. So, if you’re looking to go big with tire
size, you might wanna consider our third and final lift option instead. Last but not least, because some of these
things max out at three inches without including things like drop knuckles or diff drops, that
front end CV angle can get a little dicey depending on your final ride height. So, just something to consider there. But what if you want to go big? Well, our third and final option will be the
way to roll and that, of course, is with a full blown suspension lift kit and all of
the trimmings. Now, these typically range from 4 to 7 inches
here on the site and will make room for up to a 37-inch tall tire, depending on the kit
you decide to go with. Now, these kits will typically involve a bunch
of parts, including drop knuckles, cross members that will drop that front diff, driveshaft
spacers, rear shocks and blocks, and in some cases, even a new set of coilovers upfront. Now, I do wanna point that out because with
most of your more budget-friendly options from Zone, Rough Country, or Ready Lift, you’re
gonna be reusing those factory front strut assemblies, but with a massive spacer on top. So, in my opinion, these will be better geared
for the guys who wanna lift their truck and get some bigger meats under there, but without
really adding or gaining any off-road performance outside of ground clearance. Now, some of the biggest pros about these
big lift kits will no doubt be your bang for your buck. Case in point, you can get into a 6-inch Rough
Country lift for right around $1,000 bucks. Granted it is very much an entry-level kit,
but if you’re looking to go tall for cheap, that is a great option. On the flip side, you can certainly option
out one of these bigger lift kits with some reservoir coilovers, which will certainly
add to the price, of course, but you’re also gaining much better performance and ride quality. Now, the second thing I like about these kits
is that they’ve included all of the components necessary to maintain proper geometry upfront. And this does mean dropping that front differential
to keep those CV angles happy, along with some other parts to maintain much of the factory
geometry as possible, which is obviously very important when you’re lifting your truck this
much. Now, all of this does come at a cost, and
that is difficulty in this case of installation. Unlike our first two options, these full-blown
suspension lift kits involve permanent modification of the truck, including cutting, which cannot
be reversed or put back to stock. So, if you’re leasing your truck, this would
obviously not be the best way to go. Now, the next con really isn’t much of a con
per se, if you know what you’re getting into, and that is the performance or lack thereof
of these big suspension lift kits off-road. Now, sure, you are getting more ground clearance
which will inherently make your truck a little bit better off-road, but if you think bolting
up a 6-inch Rough Country kit will magically transform your rig into a trophy truck, well,
you’re gonna be a little bit disappointed. Again, a lot of these kits do reuse the factory
struts upfront, along with massive blocks in the rear, which can ultimately lead to
axle wrap, which together, doesn’t make for the best recipe off-road. However, if you’re looking for appearance
with a big old set of tires, this really is the best way to go. Well, guys, we hope you enjoyed this installment
of What’s Up With That. And, hey, if you have any more questions about
any particular modifications or categories you’d like us to tackle, feel free to fire
away in the comment section. But in the meantime, I’m Justin, thanks for
watching. And for all things F150, keep it right here
at americantrucks.com.

About the Author: Michael Flood

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