Big Lift, Big Wheels, Big Tires, and Big-Time Looks
Harley Camilleri –
Feb 26, 2014
Photo 1/28 | 1401 Ford F 150 Three Quarters Front View | After: With the McGaughys lift kit and 20x10-inch Gear Alloy Big Block wheels with Nitto tires, the Ford was ready to tackle anything in its way. To better complement the new look of the wheels and tires, we also installed a black mesh grille from Paramount Restyling.
Photo 2/28 | 1401 Ford F 150 Three Quarters Front View | 1. Before: This EcoBoost F-150 was still fairly original when it rolled into our shop. Our goal was to make it something way more fun to drive.
Photo 3/28 | 1401 Bilstein Struts Ford F 150 | 2. Even though the truck rode on stock wheels and tires, it had been given a leveled stance from these adjustable Bilstein struts.
Photo 4/28 | 1401 Tie Rods Ford F 150 | 3. The tie rods were removed from the steering knuckles and the brakes set aside to allow us access to the suspension components.
Photo 5/28 | 1401 Electric Impact Ford F 150 | 4. Using an electric impact, the ball joint nuts were loosened and the knuckles were busted free from the control arms.
Photo 6/28 | 1401 Ford F 150 Bilstein Struts Holders | 5. The upper and lower hardware holding the Bilstein struts in place was removed.
Photo 7/28 | 1401 Ford F 150 Slipped The Struts Out | 6. We then slipped the struts out of the truck and set them off to the side.
Photo 8/28 | 1401 Ford F 150 Front Sway Bar | 7. Using an Ingersoll Rand electric impact again, the front sway bar was disconnected and dropped from the frame.
Photo 9/28 | 1401 Ford F 150 Lower Control Arms | 8. The F-150’s lower control arms were next on the removal list.
Photo 10/28 | 1401 Ford F 150 Suspension Lift Components | 9. One modification needed to be addressed prior to installing any of the suspension lift components. It started with pulling this support crossmember from the Ford.
Photo 11/28 | 1401 Ford F 150 Frame Mount | 10. The “foot” on this frame mount was in the way of the McGaughys crossmember’s new placement. Following the instructions included with our lift kit, it was cut off with a reciprocating saw.
Photo 12/28 | 1401 Ford F 150 Front Crossmember | 11. Original hardware held the new front crossmember into the frame mounts where the control arms used to reside.
Photo 13/28 | 1401 Ford F 150 Rear Crossmember | 12. The rear crossmember slipped right into the previously chopped mount with the stock bolts.
Photo 14/28 | 1401 Ford F 150 Sway Bar | 13. McGaughys created these mounts to allow the sway bar to work as designed with its lift system.
Photo 15/28 | 1401 Ford F 150 Lower Control Arms | 14. Getting the truck aligned was going to be easy since the kit was designed to offset the lower control arms with eccentric cams.
Photo 16/28 | 1401 Ford F 150 Bilstein Struts | 15. Even though we could have left the additional two inches in place on the Bilstein struts, the decision was made to drop the spring setting to stock to assess the truck’s lifted height unassisted.
Photo 17/28 | 1401 Ford F 150 Tubular Mounts | 16. Fabricated tubular mounts were added to the struts’ upper mounting plate.
Photo 18/28 | 1401 Ford F 150 Workbench | 17. Pre-prep work on the workbench had our unit bearings swapped from the old knuckles to the taller McGaughys counterparts.
Photo 19/28 | 1401 Ford F 150 Strut Assemblies | 18. Even with the added height of the new upper mount, the strut assemblies could be set right into place.
Photo 20/28 | 1401 Ford F 150 Knuckles | 19. The new knuckles dropped right into place between the control arms using the factory ball joint nuts.
Photo 21/28 | 1401 Ford F 150 Front Suspension | 20. We buttoned up the front suspension by routing the brake and ABS lines. New mounts were part of the kit to allow everything to work correctly at the now extended position.
Photo 22/28 | 1401 Ford F 150 Compression Struts | 21. To prevent the taller crossmembers from moving, compression struts were employed. A threaded insert was slipped inside the transmission crossmember to accommodate the rear mounts.
Photo 23/28 | 1401 Ford F 150 Installing The Compresion Struts | 22. Everything was left loose to make installing the compression struts manageable.
Photo 24/28 | 1401 Ford F 150 Mcgaughys | 23. All tightened up, we noted how nicely McGaughys had tucked everything to maximize allowable ground clearance.
Photo 25/28 | 1401 Ford F 150 Installing The Rear Suspension | 24. Installing the rear suspension lift was a quick affair. First the shocks were removed.
Photo 26/28 | 1401 Ford F 150 Rear Axle | 25. With the rear axle supported, the original U-bolts were tossed and the new McGaughys 4 1/2-inch lift blocks were installed with longer U-bolts.
Photo 27/28 | 1401 Ford F 150 Extended Lengh Gas Charged Shocks | 26. Extended-length gas charged shocks were bolted between the shock mounts.
Photo 28/28 | 1401 Ford F 150 20x10 Gear Alloy Big Block Wheels | 27. Compared to stock, anything would look better, but these 20x10 Gear Alloy Big Block wheels and 35x12.50R20LT Nitto Terra Grappler M/T tires gave the Ford F-150 a tough appearance.