Here it is before the lift; notice the considerable front end sag.
Here is the Kit. It is a Tuff Country 2.5 inch kit with extended radius arms. It came with blocks for the rear, which I did not use. All of it was very high quality, and had a thick textured powder coat on it, needless to say I was impressed, accept for the blocks.
This is what I decided to use in place of the blocks. It is a 2.5 inch add-a-leaf by
Pro-comp. It is designed to go with there 4 inch kit for Bronco’s and F-150’s.
Here are the rear leaves as they came from the factory.
The kit said you needed to take the whole leaf pack off to put the add-a-leaf in but I did not see why, I just un-bolted the U bolts, ground of the upper rivet head, then dropped the axle. To get the factory clamp off that held the leaves in alignment I just pulled the bottom leaf out and then pulled the others sideways, thus bending the bracket and allowing the whole set to fall off.
Here are the factory leaves, the add-a-leaf fit in just under the large one still attached to the truck. The second smallest one had the factory alignment clamp on it so I ground off the head of the rivet holding it on and removed it. Then I cleaned all the leaf’s off with a wire brush greased up the plastic ends and fit them together with the add-a-leaf.
I dropped the axle just enough so that I could get the leaf’s in, after I got everything lined up correctly I used a 9” C-clamp to compress the whole thing together. Then I used the new bolt supplied with the kit and bolted the whole thing back together. I had to use an angle rotary tool with conical bit to remove some of the rust and metal inside the factory shim so that the new bolt head would fit; which was significantly deeper than the factory rivet.
To finish putting the leaf’s together I used the 9” C-clamp and a 4” C-clamp to compress the top three leaves and put on the new alignment clamps. Using the 9” clamp to compress the leaves and the 4” clamp to hold the alignment clamp on, so I could bend the tabs over with a hammer.
After the leaf’s were re-assembled all was left to do was re-bolt the U-bolts and torque them back to factory specs. I also changed the shock, which took nearly as long as putting in the add-a-leaf.
Here’s a picture with the tire back on, I was surprised at the amount of lift it gave me.
Here’s the front before I started, notice the wear on the crapy AutoZone shock that has about 4000 miles on it.
A picture of the nerf bars that would have to go to make way for the new extended radius arm brackets.
Removing the coil was not to bad, used a lot of PB blaster the 2 days before I started and it helped a lot, I would recommend that to any one attempting a lift. After removing the coil and coil seat I found the large stud that holds on the top of the radius arm and the bottom retainer for the coil. After trying to get it off with a wrench for about an hour I called it quits and ordered a 1 1/8” extra deep socket from Snap-On and at 50 dollars I was not a happy camper, but the truck has been in Ohio for 9 years so let’s just say there’s some rust on it. Once the socket came I heated the bottom of it by sticking my propane torch into the TTB arm and hitting it with my impact wretch it came off. I didn’t bother to take the shock aft of the axle off because I was throwing it and the radius arm away.
New spring next to old, not a huge difference but the old one was so warn it would compress about 3” once the full weight was put on it.
The new mounts for the radius arms are to be mounted 15” back from where the old ones were attached. It was not very easy to get the old mounts off; I had to grind off the tops of the rivet heads, and a few bolts that were hopelessly rusted on. With the old ones off I measured the 15” back and clamped the new one on. I used a small plastic “D” clip to hold he brake line up a little so that it would not rub on the bracket. Overall the passenger side went smoothly.
Here is one of the new arms mounted on the Truck. Notice the cam adjusting bolt on the pivot point of the new radius arm. The Tuff Country kit does away with the ford style radius arm bushing, and gives you a grease-able bolt in a poly bushing, much better than having to change those bushings all the time, also giving the alignment shop and easy adjusting point.
Here is the front put back together with out shocks, and I still had plenty of slack in the factory brake lines.
This is the passenger’s side pivot arm bracket, it was fairly easy, unbolt the 4 bolts that hold the old one on, and bolt this one up in its place. The axle pivots also have the cam adjusting bolt allowing for a moderate amount of camber adjustment.
This is the driver’s side axle pivot mount, funny looking little thing.
Here is the new drop bracket installed. I had to use the old hole for the pivot arm and the old bolt to re-mount the bracket, the other bolt is in a new ½” hole I had to drill, the kit came with the new grade 5 bolt.
This is the driver’s side with everything removed, went a lot faster since I knew what I was doing.
The driver’s side radius arm bracket was not as easy as the passenger side, because the fuel lines, parking brake wire, and 2 wire looms of wires were in the way. I had to unbolt the fuel line holder from the frame and zip tie it up out of the way of my drill bit.
Same for the parking brake wire. After I got the new bracket on I had to drill 2 new holes for the fuel line holder and move it up towards the engine. To get it to fit there I had to bend it slightly so that it would not rub the top of the frame, but also so that the fuel lines would not rub the kick-down on the tranny.
Here it is reassembled and back on the ground, I was still waiting on some of the shocks, but I took the picture anyway. I ended up netting 5.5” of lift, because the front was sagging so much, I was very surprised in the end. All I had left to do was re-mount the last 2 shocks and take it to an alignment shop.
As soon as i get pics of the whole thing finished i will post them, it rides far better than it did before the lift, slightly stifer, but no more clunks or random noises from bumps, so far very happy with the reults