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3” Body Lift for 1986 w/ 5.0 AOD Transmissions 4WD Written by 86Beast (9/23/2011)

Tools needed:
 Ratchets: 3/8, 1/2 & Extensions for Ratchets: 3in, 6in, 10in
 Sockets: Ranging from 8 to 20
 Set of Screw Drivers (Phillips and Flats)
 Wrenches up to 7/8
 Cutoff Grinder or Sawzall or Hacksaw (if you have neither but this should be last resort)
 Breaker bar or Breaker Pipe(extra pipe laying around will work)
 PB Buster (2 cans at most)
 Carb Cleaner
 WD-40
 Welder (Optional)(Or get someone to weld it for you)
 Replacement Bolts, Washers and Extra Nuts in case of bolt breakage
 Loctite Thread Locker (recommended RED)
 Brazing torch
 Bench Grinder (optional )
 Steel flat bar (size is dependent upon your application) 4 ft length should be good
 Zip ties, heavy duty type.
 Small screws and bolts (for the Radiator relocation brackets)
 Bench vise
 Tap to chase threads
 2 HiLift Jacks (or some method to lift the body 4 inches to clear installing new body lift blocks)

*This tech write up does not cover the e-brake. My cable are shot and don’t work. I would suggest you check it prior. You may need to create drop brackets for it.

First off only work on one side of the truck at a time! Loosen only one side of truck at a time. This will keep everything lined up. If you fail to follow this instruction your truck body will be off center which will cause all kinds of issues.

Day 1:
Hit every body mount with PB buster PRIOR to doing any work. Don’t cheap out on it either. Coat it very well from the top and the bottom. Especially the front clip mounts by the front fenders and the cab mounts under the dash! I hit mine with PB buster and it never made it all the way down the bolt and ended up snapping. Let them sit for a full 24hrs.

Day 2: Hit them again with more PB buster. Let them sit until the next day.
Tear down Time!
1. Block all four wheels front and back to confirm you’re not going to roll in any direction.

2. Unplug your battery and check the length of the Negative battery cable to confirm it has the needed length to reach the ground point after the 3” inch of body lift. If not replace it first.

3. Make sure all wires connected to body are long enough for the lift. Fix if needed. None of mine needed to be extended but I will throw that out there anyway.

4. Loosen the fuel filler neck hose located at the fuel fill up location under truck. Looks like a radiator hose.

5. Below the tail gate and above the rear bumper is a strip of rubber that needs to be unbolted.

6. Spray a little WD-40 (or PB-Buster depending on your rust situation) on the steering telescoping shaft. This will prevent any bending or tweaking of parts. If needed you can unbolt it from rag joint prior and get the shaft loose. Might be a good time to replace it (Rag Joint) if you do this. In my case this was not needed because I replaced the rag joint awhile back so the shaft was already loose.

7. Unbolt your radiator shroud and let it hang there on the fan. This will be repositioned once the lift is installed and tightened up.

8. Unbolt the transmission shift linkage rod from the shift bracket. This is because once you lift the body it will bind up the trans and you will get stuck in between P and R and the truck will roll.

9. *Parking brake may be an issue and may need to be unhooked. My p-brake cable is shot and not hooked up at the moment. If after you lift truck the brake is stuck closed you will need to create an extension for the binding parts.

10. Unscrew the trim at the back of the bed that holds carpet down. Carpet can then be pulled up to expose the body mount access plates. All cab plates look like this:


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And trim looks like this:


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11. Start off on drivers side of truck cause this has the most issues to deal with and getting the tuff stuff done first will make the rest of the process easier.

12. Start off with the front clip mounts located at the front of the inner fender. You can access these under the truck for extra leverage by using a 3in & 6in or 10in ratchet extensions connected together with the ½ ratchet wrench. I would use a breaker bar or pipe here. Bring your muscle here. The bastards are tight and have been on there for 20+ years. Don’t be surprised to break them off. The body shims on mine where rusted together so I ended up grinding the piece off and separating them and reusing them.

13. Place another ratchet on top of the body mount bolt. This can be accessed just to the side of the air duct tube that runs to the front clip on the driver’s side. This is in a bad spot to hold but good as the ratchet handle will run against the fender and allow for some serious force. The passenger side mount is located in the same general location except this time it is in front of the battery down on the bottom as well and will also wedge for serious leverage.


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14. Next climb into the cab on driver’s side under the dash and pull the plastic kick panel and pull the carpet back. This will expose a small round cover that houses one of the front cab mounts. This can be removed using a Phillips screw driver. You may need to pry the plate off with a flat screw driver but be careful or you’ll damage the seat and it won’t seal or sit right. Place your ½ inch ratchet on the bolt directly in the mount access point. Under the cab is a square nut. Take your 7/8 wrench and place it against the frame or place some small wood block between the frame and the wrench and let it wedge against the wood inserts. Have a helper just hold the wrench there in place for the initial removal. Climb into cab and place your breaker bar or pipe on the ratchet handle and give it a whirl. It is hard, very hard! Once the bolt comes loose the excepted method to separate the body mount hardware is to screw the bolt in a few threads and try and hit it with a small sledge hammer. BE WARNED THIS IS NOT RECOMMENDED BECAUSE IF YOU MISS YOU HIT THE BODY AND THE PLATE WILL NOT SEAT OR SEAL RIGHT. THIS IS BECAUSE THERE IS NOT ENOUGH ROOM TO SWING HARD ENOUGH TO SEPARATE THE BODY MOUNT HARDWARE UNDER THE DASH. I recommend taking your sawzall or cutoff grinder and chopping it into 2. Then trying to reuse it. Do the same method on the passenger’s side. If they break you will have to buy new hardware.


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15. Move on to the mount that is located directly behind the drivers (Same place on passenger’s side) seat. Remove the body mount plate again using caution not to bend or ruin the seat. Have your helper take the 7/8 wrench and get directly below the mount and place the wrench on it. Either wedge the wrench against frame or place spacer wood block in between the wrench and frame. Back in the cab place the ½ ratchet on the bolt and get your breaker bar or pipe and crack them bastards loose. If they come out without breaking go ahead and screw the bolt back in a few threads and place and old socket and extension or wood block and hit the head of the bolt…. Hard! This will separate the body mount hardware.


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16. Move to about the middle of the bed now and roll the carpet up to expose the mount access plates. Remove the plate again being careful. Place your ½ wratchet on the bolt. Have helper climb under the truck and place the 7/8 wrench on the square bolt. Apply wood spacers if needed. Break the bolt loose. If they come out without breaking go ahead and screw the bolt back in a few threads and place and old socket and extension or wood block and hit the head of the bolt…. Hard! This will separate the body mount hardware.


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17. The last body mount bolt is located at the end of the bed and it exposed and not hidden by any access plates. You can see them in the picture above in the lower left. The same on the other side. Place ½ inch ratchet on bolt and 7/8 under frame. If they come out without breaking go ahead and screw the bolt back in a few threads and place and old socket and extension or wood block and hit the head of the bolt…. Hard! This will separate the body mount hardware.
Time to lift the driver’s side of the body.

18. There are a different methods you can use to lift your body that range from floor jacks with wood blocks (probably the easiest) to winching/ratcheting from a major support beam around cab roof. I used to HiLift Jacks (or man killers as my grandpa calls them) because that is what I had. You need to lift the body approximately 4 to 5in to clear the new body blocks. If you are adding new body mounts as well maybe a bit more but I encourage you to go a little at a time till they slide in.

19. To lift the truck using HiLift’s place the jacks near the 2 points pictures below. I am unsure of their names but the pictures will show what I am referring to. You will NEED to have 2 people to do this part. Put your helper on one jack and you on the other. TAKE YOUR TIME!! Both of you need to go one click at a time at the same time while lifting. This will keep the jacks from becoming unbalanced and sliding off as well as keeping the body from any unnecessary tweaking . Place rags or something in between the jack necks just in case it slips or gets close to
the body.… (You have been warned on this part, I have a nice long scratch on the passengers door thanks to slipping jack)


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For the rear there was a seam that worked well. But be warned there is not a really easy way to lift the back of the cab using high lifts. So be careful any route you take. I used the seam near this point. I don’t know the name but it was right near this point:


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20. Once you insert the new lift block and mounts if applicable slide a new bolt down the hole and see if you can get the bolt out the bottom. It may take a bit of work to line them up but once lined up screw on the old nut washer that was originally there. Try to snug it a little to help keep things in line just in case. Do this same procedure all the way down 1 at a time. That way when you lift the passenger side things won’t shift on you. A little side note is that if you need to you might be able to loosen the passenger’s side a little to line up the holes but I stress I did not have to do this and loosening to much will cause you issues later.

21. Once you have all the new mounts, blocks and any new hardware in place tighten them down pretty good. This will keep things in line when you go to lift the passenger’s side.

Time to lift the passenger’s side
22. Follow the directions from the driver’s side. They all apply the same.
Brackets and Relocations

~Auto Trans Column Shifter
23. Next is to extend your auto trans column shifter linkage. Take measurements before you cut your rod on how much you will need to extend it. Mine was extended 2in to leave room for adjustments. I have read posts that people have not had to extend this linkage. In my case I did have to. At the bottom of the linkage rod just before the adjustment section (where connects to trans) you can either cut the last small straight section in the middle and extend it by welding in a piece of heavy duty tubing or weld in a new piece of rod to extend. I opted for the tubing piece. My brother welded the rod and it came out ugly but it is solid and works. I purposely did
not mention what the right size should be cause your needs may be different. Always stake measurement before cutting! Make sure before you do any final welds you can shift into all gears smoothly and with no issues. Make sure this is done correctly because if the trans shifter is not engaging gears all the way you’ll be doing trans work soon.


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~Radiator Shroud Bracket and Relocations
*Note this same setup work if you upgrade to or have a 3 core radiator.
24. I have read a few posts that say you need to cut the bottom of the shroud off for this to work. Not so. Position your shroud down till it clears the fans all the way around. This can be accomplished by moving the bottom of the shroud to the right (drivers side a little and up near the trans lines). Once in the right position you will have about an inch all the way around for
clearance for the fan.


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25. Once in the correct position spin the fan by hand checking clearances all the way around.

26. Now have helper hold the shroud in place (may be able to wedge it temporarily) and take a measurement for the new radiator shroud drop brackets. Again your drop measurement may be different from mine so I am not going to list the sizes.

27. Cut your length of metal for both sides. Drivers may be considerably shorter. This is due to rad shroud relocation. Place in a bench vise and heat up one end using your brazing torch. Twist the end till it is 90deg different from the other side. See picture below of what I mean:


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28. Cut small holes in both ends. Again not listing sizes as your applications may be different than mine.

29. Drivers side: Drill 1 small hole on the side of the original mounting locations of the shroud fin towards fender. This is where the flat metal will bolt to.


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30. Attach the bracket for driver’s side to the outside and bolt new drop bracket to it. Snug it but leave loose enough to make any minor adjustments. Attach top of drop bracket to the original hardware location using stock bolts and stock location but leave a bit loose for adjustments.

31. Passenger’s side: Drill 1 small hole on the inside of the original mounting location of the shroud fin towards center of shroud. This is where the drop bracket will bolt to.


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32. Attach the bracket for passenger’s side to the inside fin and bolt new drop bracket to it. Snug it but leave loose enough to make any minor adjustments. Attach top of drop bracket to the original hardware location using stock bolts and stock location but leave a bit loose for adjustments.

33. Make any final adjustments and add some Loctite blue to the bolts on the shroud end.

34. On the bottom of the shroud you can drill 2 small holes for zip ties to just secure the shroud from the bottom of the radiator supports. You can likely build some kind of small brackets but zip ties worked fine for me and are holding well.


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~Tran Tunnel
35. The trans tunnel is now to high and will not allow shifting out of 4wd into 2hi. You have a few options here to either extend rod, extension brackets for transfer case shifter rods connection find a different shift rod or notch the tunnel cover. I choose to notch the cover because I had no extension rod material left, the extension brackets will need to be heated and bent and a very tight angle and when I tried this I could not get a small enough bend without giving up the sturdiness of the rod that is required when shifting for fear it would just break off.

36. To access the Trans Tunnel you need to pull back the carpet and remove the bolts holding it in place. I think they were an 8 or 10 socket. You may need to gently pry the tunnel up if it has never been removed. Again be careful not to damage the seal or seat.

37. Once you have the tunnel removed you can start taking measurements for shifter forward movement distance. I had to notch mine on the left side of the tunnel quite a bit for the complete forward movement. Just remember to measure twice or 5 times and cut once. Once you cut this there is not going back, unless you’re a good welder and I am not.

38. Reinstall trans cover. The shifter boot will no longer work. You will need to find a universal boot. I have no source for this yet other than the kind that sit flat on the floor with a simple split in the middle.

~Rear bumper and Front Bumper
39. The rear bumper can be raised by simply taking the brackets and swapping them and flipping upside down and rebolting it.

40. The front bumper cannot be lifted. The accepted method is to cut the frame horns and reweld them 3 inches up to level the bumpers. This can be found on the board.

~Exhaust
41. The tail pipe hangs like a broken dogs tail. I hacked mine off just behind the rear axle just after the section that jumps over the axle tube about ¾ of the way up. It has been suggested you can cut it farther up and use turn downs but if it is to close it will resonate in the cab. Your choice.

Gap guards
42. I made my own gap guards out of some sheet metal. I took card board and cut a piece and stuck it under the truck behind the body and traced it from the front of the truck with the rear wheel off.

43. I also had to trim out a section for the fuel filler neck hose so the sheet metal would not cut it on a flex.

44. I then took my drawing and traced it on to a piece of sheet metal and cut out the template.

45. I measured out the long body support beam that runs the width of the body in the rear. I then added those to the template and cut them out.

46. Test fitted and trimmed to fit. On the bottom of the guards I went a little wide so that if the body flexed the guard would not slip in between the frame and body and get crushed.

47. I then painted them with some flat black textured paint.


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48. Once I knew everything fit I employed my son to wash the frame.

49. I then drilled a hole through (yellow hole) the body support for the guard to bolt to. The support already had 2 holes (red arrows) from the factory that were perfect. The front of the guard goes all the way to the top of the under body.

50. Bolt them on and put tire back on. The purple line shows how tall guard is.

51. Guard template can be used for the other side as well but no need to cut out a section for the filler neck unless you have a dual tank setup back there.


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52. Now that all this stuff has been done run around and torque all your body mounts bolts and add a little red Loctite. Check all wiring, shifting through all gears, nothing is binding, hung up or stretched out.

53. Slap on some 35’s and take her for a test drive. If everything goes good check body bolts in a few weeks just to be on the safe side.


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Here is my Before and After’s :)

Before:


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After:


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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks.
 

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Just updating with pictures of my finished front bumper lift. I had to cut the frame horns and simply move them up 3in and reweld then on. Then boxed the bottom of the frame horn, triangled gussets on both sides of frame horn bottom to top and out to front of frame horn. Don't have pics but easy to measure. The diagram is like this. I welded on all sides of brackets in and out etc...:







 

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Just adding that I upgraded to a 4core radiator and it was a straight swap with the shroud, line locations etc. Only gotcha was that the brackets were a little tall so I had to remove the rubber seats untill I get them shaved down a bit to fit the rad.

Before anyone asks why I went with a 4 core because the other one blew and there are no longer any repair shops so I had to buy a new one. I figured what the hell.. why not.. :toothless
 

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Thanks.
 

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Thanksfor the write up! Great detail! About how long did this take you to accomplish? I'm going to start installing a body lift on my f150 tomorrow.
 

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Thanksfor the write up! Great detail! About how long did this take you to accomplish? I'm going to start installing a body lift on my f150 tomorrow.
Originally it took a solid weekend (if I remember correctly). But knowing what I know now (posted in the writeup) it is a probably a 1 1/2 day job. That is if you are a slow worker like me :thumbup


I just bought 1" pucks so i can gain just that little bit of hight off the frame. Do you think ill need longer then stock hardware? I know the front cab mounts have plenty but never got a good look at the others.
My guess is no. Reason I say is because I don't recall there being alot of threads after the bolt. Just cranking the nut onto the bolt that barley fits on is not a good idea imo. The bolts are real easy to access, might go and measure whats it left of the bolt while still torqued down to the body and report back. Then you we can throw the addition data on this thread for future questions.

Good luck though :thumbup
 
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