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Installing A Baja Kits Long Travel Prerunner Kit With Kings Shocks

Posted in How To: Suspension Brakes on September 27, 2016 Comment (0)
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The owner of this truck wants to get into adventure off-road touring, but he’s also a pragmatist and a little bit of a racer at heart. He says he’s done the Mojave Trail and a few others, but has been eyeing the Continental Divide trail after reading about it in a past issue of DS+OR.

The suspension on his 2008 F150 4x4 is stock save for some Bilstein shocks, but he thinks that he’s found the suspension system to get him and his Effie the length of the CD, and to be able to do it reasonably quickly to boot. What’s the fun in just plonking along when the trail is open and fun is to be had?

After consulting with Curtis Zamora at Rite Performance, it was decided that a Baja Kits Long Travel Prerunner system and King Shocks’ “Raptor Performance Series” shocks would be what he’d need to meet all of his requirements. The Baja Kits Long Travel Prerunner kit for the Ford will add two-inches of width per side and up the wheel travel to nearly 12-inches. The Baja Kits Long Travel Pre Runner kit is configurable to use the single King coil over, but a 3.0 bypass shock can also be added as well.

The King coil-over shocks are adjustable, 3.0 units coil-over units that have a remote reservoir and come with a collar that holds the upper end in place right into the stock shock tower. Some holes need to be drilled and a little grinding is needed to open up the hole in the top of the stock shock tower, but the King’s come about as close to the fabled “bolt-on” that you can get and have the type of performance enhancement the King shocks provide. Know that King offers OEM Performance upgrade packages for all major brands and models.

Baja Kits has 3 levels of suspension for 2004-2017 2- and 4wd Ford F150s, including the Raptors. They are the Race, Prerunner and Chase kits. According to Jordon Brenthel, “With this Baja Kit system, your stock F150 suspension is upgraded to outperform the capabilities of the Ford Raptor.” Baja Kits does it by having designed the kit entirely with 3D CAD to ensure that proper geometry and fitment were achieved. It uses boxed Upper Control arms with 1-inch Uniballs to provide more travel and strength compared to the stock UCA, while adding caster for a controlled and comfortable highway driving.

The Lower Control Arm uses a 1.5 inch Uniball and Stainless steel tapered misaligns to adapt to the factory upright and Delrin bushing on the inner pivots for zero deflection. All frame pivots use Trophy Truck grade bushings and hardware and is very maintenance friendly kit as Zerk fittings are there for you to easily lube the system (Baja Kit recommends Mobil One synthetic grease).

King Shocks and Baja Kits/Brenthel have repeatedly shown themselves to be in the top echelon of off-road racing products, but both also provide performance components that one can add to their stock truck, together or separately, to get a first class off-road rig.

Two other additions that will also be invaluable in completing any long off-road tours are the BFGoodrich KO2 tires and Pro Comp wheels. BFGoodrich made their bones at Baja and off-road based competition in general. BFG says that the All-Terrain T/A KO2 is their toughest All-Terrain tire ever and uses CoreGard technology to achieve it. And here we’ve never had a problem with the old A-T T/A, so if the KO2 is tougher? Great. The KO2 tread design features Upper Sideway Traction Bars, where the tread essentially wraps around the edge and down the sidewall. These will especially come into play when the tire is aired down and/or when you’re in deep sand/snow or rocks.

Pro Comp themselves are no stranger to competition, and they’re huge into both pre-runners and Jeeps. Their line of suspension products goes back to the early days of truck modifications, and they know how to build tough products. This owner knew that and chose Pro Comp for their wheel of choice. Being a 6 on 135-lug pattern, there were many good choices, but in keeping with the pain scheme, the Rockwell was the one that he went with. With the bead lock look, it has style and being Pro Comp, toughness is assured.

And that’s what this F150 4x4 needs to be to complete the Continental Divide trail it’s owner envisions running and more importantly, completing! And, if he happens to pass a Raptor or two along the way, so much the better.

Know that this is the just the first part of the suspension upgrade, and covers only the front suspension components and . Next issue will cover adding the King Bypass shocks, Deaver leaf springs with longer RPG Offroad shackles and some trick RPG Offroad rear shock mount upgrades, so stay tuned.

Built by Baja Kits, which is a subsidiary of off-road racing’s Brenthel Industries, the Long Travel Pre Runner Kit widens the stance by two inches per side, features boxed A-arms, longer axles and longer brake lines. It goes on with a minimum of effort and maintenance is easy thanks to the grease fittings found on the arms. It can be configured to use a coil over and a bypass, or a coil over alone.
Billed as their Raptor Upgrade Kit, the 3.0 King Shocks feature a remote reservoir and are adjustable. It’s hard to argue with King’s success. Their shocks are on most winning trucks and buggies, which proves not only that they work, but they last for the long haul as well. They will work perfectly for the intended purpose of spirited adventure exploring that this truck is being built for.
Both upper and lower Baja Kits arms feature 1-inch Uni-Balls. Construction is done in house at their Anaheim, CA facility, so that means made in the USA.
A stock Ford front suspension has its place, but that place may not be rolling over terrain that this owner has in mind for his F150 4x4. Time to make that vision a reality.
The various front suspension pieces are removed, but care needs to be taken when pulling the axle from the hub.
Now that the axle is out, heed some advice and take it to someone who knows how to get the things apart. This entire rest of the install is something anyone with a little knowledge and some tools can do at home. But, pulling the CV’s apart to replace the stock axles with the longer Baja Kits units is a huge, messy pain in the behind.
With the removal of the final pieces, it’s time to make this F-150 more than capable of dogging a Raptor on any trail, anywhere.
The upper King shock mount is a two-piece affair that uses the stock upper stock shock tower.
But, a couple of holes need to be drilled, and first they are marked.
A step drill is used to open them up.
The central hole also needs to be opened up a little, so that hole is marked and a grinding bit, a steady hand and a bit of patience is used to do the job.
Since the spindle needs to be modified too, it’s separated from the hub.
Baja Kits supplies a good install sheet, which shows exactly what to remove and where to cut.
A simple cutting wheel on an angle grinder makes short work of the modifications.
If you chose to do the axle swap, this is what you had to look forward to. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Rite Performance
Anti-seize is used on the bushings for the arms.
With the upper shock tower modifications done, the upper and lower Baja Kit’s arms are installed.
With the collar slid over first, the reservoir for the King Shocks is fed up through the now larger hole, and the shock is put into place.
A threaded pin goes through the upper collar, the shocks upper eyelet and tightened up.
The bolts that attach the inner CV joint to the front differential seem to get rusty, so they threads are cleaned using a drill motor and a wire brush.
Red LocTite is applied to the now clean threads.
The spindle and axle shaft assembly is installed.
Anti-seize is applied to the end that goes into the rack and pinion.
Baja Kits supplies an extension for the end links. The end that goes into the link is treated with LocTite.
With it tightened, the rest of the hardware is checked over again.
Baja Kits supplies longer brake lines, but the mount needs to be drilled out to accept the new fitting.
As much of the old fluid as possible is removed, new is added and the brakes are bled.
It was decided to mount the King Shocks reservoir up on top of the shock, so the King supplied mount had to be modified.
Baja Kits has another way they mount the reservoir, but putting the reservoirs on top was an easy fix. Basically the RP guys cut off a piece, drilled some new holes and on it went.
Zamorra says that he and Rite Performance will also be tuning this suspension on this F150, so expect to see that piece in a few months.
The combination of King Shocks and Baja Kits suspension gave this 4x4 Ford F150 a front suspension system that is very well put together.

Sources

BFGoodrich
877-788-8899
www.bfgoodrichtires.com
Deaver Suspension
Santa Ana, CA 92701
714-542-3703
www.deaverspring.com
Pro Comp USA
Compton, CA 90220
800-776-0767
http://www.procompusa.com
King Off-Road Racing Shocks
Garden Grove, CA 92843
714-530-8701
www.kingshocks.com
Baja Kits
949-642-3003
http://www.bajakits.com
Rite Performance
909-525-0300
https://www.facebook.com/RitePerformance
RPG Off-Road
866-691-7750
rpgoffroad.com

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