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2004-2008 Ford F150 Rough Country Leveling Kit

Posted in How To: Suspension Brakes on January 1, 2010 Comment (0)
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2004-2008 Ford F150 Rough Country Leveling Kit

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)

The upper ball joint needs to be disconnected to remove the front strut. The upper ball joint needs to be disconnected to remove the front strut.
Next up, the lower strut bolts that hold the struts to the lower control arms are removed (shown), and then the nuts on the upper strut towers are removed. Next up, the lower strut bolts that hold the struts to the lower control arms are removed (shown), and then the nuts on the upper strut towers are removed.
At this point, the strut assembly can be removed from the truck. At this point, the strut assembly can be removed from the truck.
Installing the spacers is as easy as feeding three 2-inch bolts into each spacer from the bottom. There are hex counter-bores integrated into the spacers for each bolt, and this helps to ensure that each bolt is in the exact location they need to be for reassembly. Installing the spacers is as easy as feeding three 2-inch bolts into each spacer from the bottom. There are hex counter-bores integrated into the spacers for each bolt, and this helps to ensure that each bolt is in the exact location they need to be for reassembly.
The spacers are then installed on the strut with the stock hardware. The spacers are then installed on the strut with the stock hardware.
Reassembly of the front suspension is a reverse of the disassembly. The previously mentioned hex counter-bores in the spacers allow tightening of the six new 3/8-inch flanged lock nuts on the upper strut towers without having to use a wrench on the bolt heads. Reassembly of the front suspension is a reverse of the disassembly. The previously mentioned hex counter-bores in the spacers allow tightening of the six new 3/8-inch flanged lock nuts on the upper strut towers without having to use a wrench on the bolt heads.
Rough Country says the kit was developed using 35x12.50-18 tires on stock wheels. Since we were running 35s on aftermarket wheels with a different offset, we had to do some very minor trimming to the front flares (shown) and the air dam to eliminate tire contact. Rough Country says the kit was developed using 35x12.50-18 tires on stock wheels. Since we were running 35s on aftermarket wheels with a different offset, we had to do some very minor trimming to the front flares (shown) and the air dam to eliminate tire contact.
Lifting the rear is also a simple affair. It begins with removal of the stock U-bolts. Lifting the rear is also a simple affair. It begins with removal of the stock U-bolts.
With the U-bolts removed, the new dual-pin powdercoated blocks can be installed between the stock blocks and the spring perches. This system allows the factory bumpstops integrated into the stock blocks to remain in position. The new U-bolts are then installed and tightened. With the U-bolts removed, the new dual-pin powdercoated blocks can be installed between the stock blocks and the spring perches. This system allows the factory bumpstops integrated into the stock blocks to remain in position. The new U-bolts are then installed and tightened.
The new Performance 2.2-series shocks are then installed to complete the rear installation. Some features of these shocks include a large 41.4mm piston, 2.2-inch-diameter body, and 17.5mm chrome-hardened piston rod with micropores. The new Performance 2.2-series shocks are then installed to complete the rear installation. Some features of these shocks include a large 41.4mm piston, 2.2-inch-diameter body, and 17.5mm chrome-hardened piston rod with micropores.
Stock Stock
Leveling kit installed with stock tires Leveling kit installed with stock tires
Leveling kit installed with 35-inch tires Leveling kit installed with 35-inch tires

Bottom Line
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.

Sources

Rough Country Suspension
Dyersburg, TN 38024
800-222-7023
www.roughcountry.com

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