2011 Ford F-250 6-Inch Skyjacker Suspension Review
When it comes to lifting a truck, there are many ways to go about it. For platforms such as the third-generation Ford 3/4- and 1-ton trucks, the options are plenty. Deciding which suspension system is right for your Ford often comes down to being realistic with your expectations and intended use of the vehicle. Take for example our friend’s ’11 F-250.
It’s a crew cab four-wheel-drive model fit with the powerful 6.7L diesel engine. Out of the gate, it has plenty of pep and heavy-duty components to easily handle moderate off-road conditions. The fact this particular model is fit with the stock selectable rear locker gives it even more off-road prowess.
Like many of you, he was searching for a lift to enhance the ride quality and aesthetics of the truck. His lift-kit solution came by way of one of the oldest and most respected suspension companies in business: Skyjacker Suspension. Skyjacker has been turning out suspension kits before many of you were born, and its 6-inch kit for the ’11-’16 F-250 is an excellent fit for those looking for a better stance and ride without spending a crazy amount of coin.
To check out the kit for ourselves, we stopped by the off-road experts at Low Range 4x4 in Wilmington, North Carolina, where they were installing the kit. There, we spent an afternoon shadowing the crew as they knocked out the bolt-on suspension. So how did it all turn out? Read on to find out.
Skyjacker offers a few levels and options for its Super Duty suspension line. For this kit, the company uses drop brackets that bolt to the stock radius control arm brackets. Ford spent some serous R&D getting the radius arms just where they wanted them. This means fitting them with durable bushings and building them to a length that helps maintain proper handling no matter if you are hauling a trailer or your family to dinner.
Providing the 6 inches of suspension lift up front is a set of Skyjacker lift coils. These massive coil springs are dampened by Skyjacker’s 9500 series performance monotube shocks. To make sure the stock brake lines remain unrestricted, new mounting tabs are used to flip the line at the frame.
To adjust for the new lift height, a front frame-side track bar drop bracket is provided. Moderating the suspension up travel are bumpstop drop brackets.
Getting the steering geometry back in check is a drop pitman arm. Note that the late-model Super Dutys have an especially large stock pitman arm, which it too big for your average parts store puller. You can order the correct pitman arm puller for around $40 from a variety of online retailers.
Another steering upgrade included a dual stabilizer kit from Skyjacker. The tie rod-mounted system helps tighten up the frontend, which is especially helpful when controlling a 37-inch-tall tire. Making sure there’s not cornering quirks are sway bar drop brackets that allow you to retain the stock front sway bar and links.
Moving out back, a driveshaft spacer is installed. This is done to allow you to retain the stock rear ’shaft and adjust for the added lift.
As is the case with the front, Skyjacker offers a few options for the back suspension as well. This truck is using Skyjacker’s rear lift block option, which will be paired with a set of aftermarket traction bars to make certain the axle stays in place.
Modern 4x4s have an added layer of complexity built-in thanks to advances in traction control and advanced braking systems. This means two, not one, braided stainless steel brake lines were required to properly extend the fluid plumbing on the Sterling 10.5-inch rear axle.
Since this truck spends its time in the Southeast, a mud-terrain tire was a must. The 37x12.50R20 Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ P3 tires here are fit with a unique silica-reinforced tread compound. This equates to a load-range E tire that’s capable of going the distance under the heavy Super Duty platform. We found the extra sipes and tread pattern to work great on-road and off. You will have a noticeable mud-terrain hum, but we’re not counting that as a bad thing. The 20-inch wheels are Moto Metal MO969s.
There’s no question that there are a few practicality tradeoffs when going with something as large as a 6-inch lift on a truck that’s as big as a Super Duty out of the gate. Despite the tall step-in height, the truck rides and drives excellent down the highway. The 37-inch-tall tire is as large as we suggest going on a daily driven truck and found that it works surprisingly well with the stock differential gearing. This is largely thanks to the 6.7L diesel engine. Overall, for navigating the backroads and beaches around coastal North Carolina, we dig the setup. If going big isn’t your thing, Skyjacker does offer smaller versions of its Super Duty lift systems for every generation of the late-model 3/4-ton truck.