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Long Story-2" to 3" Lift, Lots of thoughts and questions....
I have reached the point where it is time to replace my OEM Rancho shocks. I also have decided that I would like to get rid of the "raked lowrider" look on my stock suspension 2003 6.0 CCLB. Since I want to get Bilstein 5100's I want to make my suspension changes at the same time to avoid spending money twice on shocks.
I'm hoping my questions and research can help some of the common questions that members come up with when deciding to lift a truck. I've done lengthy searches on X-codes, mini spring packs, add-a-leafs, hangers/shackles, and leveling spring packs. My impressions from searching are as follows:
No matter the route taken, I know I will need an adjustable track bar.
- Add-a-leafs - Initial lift is good but sag over time and tend to distort factory springs, also found reports of hardware wearing into the factory springs causing damage that required replacement.
- Leveling spring packs - Mixed reviews here, some like 'em, some hate 'em, some sag, some don't, some ride rough, some don't. Seems like a gamble what you experience if going this route.
- Mini spring packs - The only ones to consider are made of spring steel such as those made by ICON or Deaver. Non spring steel packs gouge the main leafs and the mini pack leaves tend to crack.
- X-codes - I would only buy these new (Dealer quoted $375+tax per pair) some users mention a lift of 2" but research seems to show they settle down to 1.25"-1.5" For the money however, they have the best ride for the lift they provide.
- Hangers and Shackles - Reuse the factory springs for the smoothest ride and provide the exact lift they advertise i.e. 2.5", 3". Prices range from $310 (2.5" lift, Rough Country Suspension, crash bar included) to $824 (3" ICON, total cost of crash bar kit and shackle/hanger kit)
I want to lift my truck 2-3" front AND 1.5-2.5" rear in order to maintain the factory rake. I need the rake because I tow a 14,000 lbs. gooseneck trailer and when it is hitched to my truck I still have 1/2" or so rake downward to the front of the truck. To achieve my goal, I will need either a 5" (for 2" front lift) or 6" (for 2.5" or 3" front lift) rear axle lift block to replace my factory 3-5/8" rear block.
As of now I do not plan on changing out my 265/75/16 Goodyear Duratracs, however, if I do upsize when it's time for new tires, I would go to 285/75/16 so that I could keep my stock rims and stay close to recommended rim widths. Also I need to stay close to stock tire height to minimize my gear ratio change from taller tires since I tow heavy.
I intend to use hangers and shackles on the front to maintain the factory ride and gain some suspension travel.
SO! Here are my questions regarding this lift plan:
- At what height lift, front and rear, do I need to install longer swaybar end links to maintain proper swaybar geometry and travel?
- At what lift height will the rear driveshaft carrier bearing need to be spaced down to minimize vibrations? Is my planned 1.5"-2.5" increase in rear lift (that's the difference in height overall from the factory block being removed) going to require spacing the carrier bearing?
- Will this change in rear axle block height cause more/severe axle wrap while towing my trailer? Will I need traction bars to minimize axle wrap while towing? I don't hot rod the truck when towing heavy and I don't have any tunes on the truck so I'm running stock power levels empty or loaded.
- For the towing weight I'm working with, is there a better type of rear lift block to use? One Up Offroad sells blocks that have top and bottom plates for the U bolts to pass through effectively keeping the bolts and blocks from spreading or walking? Is this helpful or necessary?
- Why is there such a price difference between the ICON and Rough Country hanger kits? ICON's 3" kit is made in the USA, what about Rough Country's 2.5" kit? Does ICON's hanger not need the crash bar because it's made better?
WOW, this turned into a long post, sorry 'bout that. I've never lifted a truck before so please go easy on me, I just want to do this right the first time and not turn the truck into a death trap or a rolling set of problems.
Thanks in advance for any thoughts, comments or suggestions.
2003 F-350 CC LB XLT 4x4
Feb 2003 6.0 Liter Diesel and Torqshift 5 spd Auto
FS2500 Engine Oil and Transmission Bypass Filters
Dieselsite Coolant Filter
C-Betr Spot Mirrors
Cobra 29 ST NW WX CB
Weatherguard 117 Toolbox
Weatherguard Weekender Ladder Racks
B & W Turnover Gooseneck
Last edited by ponyexpress94; 08-06-2013 at 12:21 PM.