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Old 03-21-2012, 04:50 PM
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Write-Up: 03-04 Leveling Kit, w/ Pics

This is for a NON-COILOVER F250 Superduty, and will be somewhat brand specific to the Rough Country 498s 2.5" Leveling Kit. It is a full front leaf spring replacement kit, and to keep things symmetrical, the rear blocks were replaced with F350 OEM blocks.

This lift will allow for 305/70R16 tires, (or a 33” x 12” tire)

FYI, a good site for comparing tire sizes: Tire size calculator

Without further ado, let’s get started….

Tools Required:
Floor Jack, Jack Stands, Hammer, Sockets 10mm, 15mm, 18mm, 30mm, 21mm, 24mm, Wrenches 15mm, 21mm, 24mm.

Additional Tools Used:
Multiple Floor Jacks, a Bottleneck Jack, Pry Bar, ” Breaker Bar, ” Drive 8” Extension, Air Tools – Impact Guns and Air Wrench, 4”x4” wood blocks, Multiples of the above sockets, and a 7/8” deep socket.

Bonus:
PB Blaster, a couple of buddies, a case or two of beer and classic rock radio (your choice there)

Be safe!!!

Installation Steps:

1. Position vehicle in park, E-Brake set and rear wheels chocked

2. Raise the front of the vehicle, and secure with jack stands. Jack stands can be placed behind front spring shackles, or as I did at the outer most points of the front framing crossmember.

3. Remove the front wheels and shocks

4. Remove the front bumper. The four nuts just outside of the front tow hooks (18mm) and the bumper support bracket at the frame (15mm). You will have to unplug the fog lights if equipped and remove wiring from bumper, and the block heater plug to completely remove and place aside, out of the way.


Last edited by SixStringMadness; 03-21-2012 at 05:05 PM.
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Old 03-21-2012, 04:50 PM
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5. The bottom condenser mounts will needs to be removed in order to remove the front spring bolts. They can be access once the bumper is removed.



6. With the vehicle supported with jack stand, apply some lift to the axle with a floor jack. (We chose to do this from either end with two floor jacks).



7. Using a 30mm, remove the factory track rod from the axle and the frame. (this one might take a couple beers unless you have a really good impact tool)



8. With the axle still supported by floor jacks and taking care not to damage the condenser, remove the front spring bolt and the rear spring bolt, retain both for reuse.

9. Remove the rear spring shackle bolt and shackle, retain for reuse.



10. Remove the factory front U-bolts, ensuring the axle is still supported with floor jacks.

11. Lower the front axle to gain clearance between the axle and spring. Be cautious to not damage the connecting brake and vacuum lines. Remove the factory leaf spring.



12. Install the new leaf spring. There is very little room to work with considering the bow in the unloaded spring, and the limited slack in the brake and vacuum lines. We installed the rear shackle and spring bolts first, as we felt the front was easier to man handle with the rear secured. With the axle secured, I used a bottleneck jack between the frame and the rear portion of the spring to flex the spring for additional help in getting the bolts through the shackle/spring. With the rear of the spring secured, and in combination with a pry bar I used a ” drive extension to feed into the bolt hole and with a breaker bar to gain more leverage, to assist pushing the front spring bolt through the front spring bushing/bolt hole. We also found it helpful to remove the sway bar connecting rod to better maneuver the axle. We also needed to chop the U-bolts a bit, as they were to long for a deep socket to fully tighten the nuts.


Last edited by SixStringMadness; 03-21-2012 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 03-21-2012, 04:51 PM
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13. Install the new front U-bolts and front shock. Be sure to install the shock bushings, and the bushing sleeve into the bottom bushing.



14. Repeat steps 8 through 13 for the opposite side.



15. With both sets of springs installed, reinstall the wheels and lower vehicle to the ground.



16. It is time to reinstall the track rod. Ensure the bushings are installed in the new track rod, and install using the factory bolts/nuts. In order to assist with the lining up of bolt/bolt-hole, it will help to have someone inside the truck turning the steering wheel back and forth. We also found it useful to use the same technique with the ” extension with breaker bar in the bolt hole to torque the track rod in order to assist feeding the bolt through the bolt hole.

17. I upgraded to the dual steering stabilizer, but I suggest possibly holding off until after getting the alignment that you will need to have done. Otherwise plan on removing the center support and adjusting a couple of inches after the alignment.



18. The rear block swap-out took about 30 minutes. We lifted the rear of the truck at the axle, removed the wheels and the U-bolts from the springs. Then we set axle down on jack stands, and lifted the rear of the truck at the hitch to unload the springs and remove the 2” F250 blocks, and then raised the truck to fit the F350 blocks under the springs. The front of the differential did need to be lifted slightly to align the pins to fully rest the weight of the truck on the springs. Once aligned and settled, reinstalled and tightened the U-bolts. Reinstall the wheels, and set the truck on the ground.

It will be necessary for 100 and 500 mile intervals to check and re-torque all the nuts.

My finished product after alignment, and 285/65R18 Nitto Terra Grapplers, wrapped around Moto Metal 951’s

Before



After



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Old 03-21-2012, 08:06 PM
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This my friend is a great write up and has been bookmarked for future use!
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Old 03-22-2012, 04:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonwe View Post
This my friend is a great write up and has been bookmarked for future use!
Good to hear, if you have any questions about the project, post up and I will do my best to assist
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:29 PM
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Quick update, I have added 1/2" of shim plates to the drive shaft carrier bearing to eliminate a shudder in the driveline I felt on take off.

Seems to have resolved the issue.
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:25 PM
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Good write up. You probably could have gotten 35x12.50 under there. I'm stock height running 305/55/20's (33x12)
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agjake11 View Post
Good write up. You probably could have gotten 35x12.50 under there. I'm stock height running 305/55/20's (33x12)
You're probably right, but I have not intention of going any bigger than 33". I'm quite happy they way she sits now.

Still got plenty of get up and go too.
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:39 PM
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Very nice write up, truck looks great!

I think, even with the 2.5 in leveling kit, you can only run 33 on the pre 05 trucks, any thing bigger will rub at full lock (darn front leaf springs ) If you don't mind that, then 35s are possible.
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TooMuch03 View Post
Very nice write up, truck looks great!

I think, even with the 2.5 in leveling kit, you can only run 33 on the pre 05 trucks, any thing bigger will rub at full lock (darn front leaf springs ) If you don't mind that, then 35s are possible.
I haven't looked at it full-lock, but you're probably right.

The 951's have a -12 offset, it might keep them off the leafs, but would likely rub the bumper instead...
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