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Here is the complete Full Traction kit ready to go on. It includes new springs for the front, a track bar drop bracket, extended bumpstops, dropped pitman arm, antiroll bar extensions for both the front and the rear, rear add-a-leaves, rear blocks, extended U-bolts, shocks, and all the necessary hardware.
The high quality of the springs of the Full Traction kit impressed us. Instead of the standard 3- or 4-leaf packs that come in many Super Duty kits, the Full Traction springs are composed of a whopping 10 leaves. A spring pack with thinner, multiple leaves, such as the Full Traction springs, tends to ride better than one with a few thick leaves. Another nice feature of the springs is that they use heavy-duty vulcanized rubber bushings that eliminate the squeaking common to polyurethane bushings.
Another nice feature of the Full Traction kit is the adjustable laser-cut track-bar drop bracket. Most drop brackets feature one attachment hole for the track bar, but the Full Traction bracket provides three to fit its 4-inch, 6-inch, or 8-inch lift kits.
Bolting the new track-bar drop bracket into place requires a little bit of drilling but it is easy to do.
The kit also comes with extended bumpstops that replace the stock units. They are a bit bigger and softer than the stockers, and provide a less jarring feel when the Super Duty bottoms out.
A dropped pitman arm also comes with the kit to help keep the steering angles happy.
For shocks we used the FS 5100 series shocks from Full Traction but did get a sneak peak at the new FS 6100 series. These new shocks are externally adjustable by a knob, with nine valving positions available, from soft to firm. These were early prototypes. The production version of these new shocks should be available by the time you read this.
The last items to go on the front were the antiroll-bar extensions. Another nice feature is that Full Traction includes a set of antiroll-bar extensions for the rear for those whose trucks are equipped with a rear antiroll bar.
The rear of the Super Duty is fairly easy to lift. We used a small block and an add-a-leaf and mounted another set of Full Traction FS 5100 shocks. If you opt for an 8-inch kit, the add-a-leaf and block are replaced by a full spring.
On the highway, the high-quality Full Traction springs really made a difference. With them, our Super Duty exhibited a much-improved ride. We could really feel the springs cycle through their travel to suck up bumps of all sizes. Around town at much slower speeds the ride became a bit firmer but was still nice.
On the dirt, the extra articulation provided by the Full Traction springs let our big Super Duty go places it couldnt go in stock trim. The 6 inches of lift also kept the body out of harms way and helped improve the break-over angle of our super-long crew-cab longbed. In addition, the ride could be described as plush. Our 37-inch BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain KMs were about the limit for tire size and we experienced some minor rubbing. With some slight fender trimming they should be fine.
The Ford Super Duty has become a must-have for big-truck enthusiasts. Its heavy-duty components combined with its tough looks have meant big sales for the folks at the Blue Oval. Of course, part of the popularity of the Super Duty has to do with its simple leaf-spring suspension. For those wanting to lift the Super Duty, doing so means not having to deal with a maze of brackets and two days of install time at a professional shop. Instead, lifting the Super Duty is a simple affair.
Of course, with lots of Super Dutys out there and with plenty of owners willing to take advantage of their lift-friendly suspensions, lots of suspension companies offer lift kits for them. So how do you pick one lift kit over another? The answer is simple: quality. One of the newest kits, and one that caught our eye due to the quality of its components, is from Full Traction Suspension.
Eager to see how the new Full Traction Suspension system would perform, we opted to put the companys 6-inch version (4-inch and 8-inch lifts also are available) on our 99 Ford Super Duty crew-cab longbed. Though the installation is fairly simple, we decided to let the professionals at Performance Off Road & Automotive Accessories in Bakersfield, California, tackle the install so we could shoot the photos during the process. What follows are the highlights of the install, and its results.