2004-2008 Ford F150 Rough Country Leveling KitPosted in How To: Suspension Brakes on January 1, 2010 0) (
One of the cool things about the 2004-'08 Ford F-150 is that it doesn't take much suspension lift to fit 35-inch tires. In the case of Rough Country Suspension Systems' 2 1/2-inch leveling lift kit, it doesn't take much cash either. In today's economy, that's a good thing.
We recently traveled to Rough Country in Dyersburg, Tennessee, to install this kit under an '06 F-150 FX4. The kit lifts the front suspension via a pair of molded nylon spacers. These spacers are strong, easy to install, and they're formed to fit the strut hat, giving the appearance of a continuing strut. The kit includes all required hardware, and has an MSRP of only $99.95.
We also installed one of Rough Country's optional rear suspension kits to compliment the front. The kit we bolted in lifts the rear suspension by one inch and includes Rough Country's Performance 2.2-series shock absorbers, steel blocks, and U-bolts. It adds $150 to the MSRP of the leveling kit for a total of $249.95. Rough Country also offers a kit that utilizes their Nitro shocks, as opposed to the Performance 2.2 series shocks, and it has an MSRP of $199.
The installation of all the components was quick and painless and allowed fitment of the ever-popular 35s. In addition, the price is right, allowing us to be penny-wise and trail-crazy. Here are the basics of the lift components and how they all went together.
By The Numbers
A leveling kit has more benefits than just aesthetics. Whether you choose to fit larger tires or not, the improvements in ground clearance and approach angle will definitely improve your rig's capabilities off-highway. Here are some measurements taken from our test vehicle. Note that if you install the rear lift, as we did, the front overall lift will be decreased slightly.
Stock height with 32.1x11.0-18 tires
Front valance to ground (in): 13
Rear bumper to ground (in): 21 3/4
*Approach angle (deg): 33
Leveling kit with stock tires
Front valance to ground (in): 15
Rear bumper to ground (in): 22 3/4
*Approach angle (deg): 38
Leveling kit with 35x12.50-18 tires
Front valance to ground (in): 16 1/2
Rear bumper to ground (in): 24 1/4
*Approach angle (deg): 41
*(measured from passenger-side tire to outer edge of lower valance)
After installing the leveling kit, we fit our F-150 tester with a set of Dick Cepek F-C II tires and Torque wheels. We've always liked the F-C II's part all-terrain, part mud-terrain design. They're built on a mud carcass, which provides extra-deep tread for long life and higher load ratings. They're self-cleaning, have siped tread lugs, and "DC" Sidebiters for added traction and protection. The flat black Torque wheels are the same design we have on our project Power Wagon, and they have a tough satin clearcoat and they're TPMS sensor-friendly. We wheeled the F-150 in mud and sand and were very pleased with the performance of the F-C IIs. We also enjoyed the added ground clearance afforded by the combination of the Rough Country lift and the larger tires as we 'wheeled through the Tennessee backcountry. The rig looks pretty darn good, too.