2011 Lift and tire mod...need advice. - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Suspension Tech General discussion of suspension for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 01-25-2012
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2011 Lift and tire mod...need advice.

I have searched and looked at tons of pictures but want to run this by everyone before I start wrenching. This is a great site with lots of good info. Glad I found it !!

Last week I purchased a 2011 4x4 Sport. The truck will be my DD and I will use it for hunting and hauling my canoe around. It will be used off road some but not wheeled heavily on trails etc. I will put no more than 8000 miles per year on the truck.

The truck has the 5280 GVWR option and the "payload option 2" package. Spring rates on the door tag are 11CC. It currently has 300 miles on it and sits 1 1/2 inches low in the front from the factory. Rear measurement from floor to bottom of fender is 33.5 " in the front and 35" in the rear.

I have plans to run 285/75/16's on the OEM wheels. With that said I am not a big fan of body lifts and I don't want to spend a fortune either. I am looking for no more than 3 inches of lift and I will not be running any tires larger than 285's.

I went to a local junkyard and had them pull the TB keys and rear lift blocks out of a 2005
4x4 XLT. The rear blocks are 2 1/2 versus my current 1 1/2 so I will get an inch lift in the rear.

I have read where the "pre-keys" will get me somewhere near 2 inches in the front. By installing both the pre keys and the rear lift blocks I should be approximately 1/2 " low in the front which is the stance I am wanting.

At this point will the 285's fit and will I be able to flex the truck at all? "Minor" rubbing at full lock is not an issue with me, but I don't want to rip stuff up.

If I decide I want more lift, I will do the shackle mod in the rear for another inch. To get another inch in the front I would need to adjust the TB's some more. Having already did the Pre-key mod for 2 inches of lift, will I be able to get another inch without killing the ride or killing the front end parts?

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Old 01-25-2012
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Go with a smaller tire. 265 is what I have on stock rims and I rub my front sway. My bars and springs are the same code as yours. I think guys that run 285 and don't rub do so on an aftermarket rim w/ more backspace or offset.

I know others will chime in with "I don't rub comments" and I think it happens cus of the stock backspacing so please wait and see what others have to say.
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Old 01-25-2012
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thanks. How much lift did you get with the pre key and after cranking them more how is the ride?
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Old 01-25-2012
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I find it rough at times mostly at a speed bumps. But I also accept it as a t-bar truck. I got a couple inches. Search my name, it's in a thread I made.
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Old 01-25-2012
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Just body lift it
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Old 01-25-2012
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Originally Posted by 04RangerDave View Post
Just body lift it
^^^ Agreed.
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Old 01-25-2012
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You'll get 2-2.5" max out of those keys when you crank them up and it will ride like crap and your cv's will not be happy with you. I'd recommend you just do the block and keys with a mild crank (1.5") and run 265's. I've been through ALL mod stages of these trucks and that's just my opinion, others will disagree

+1 for a body lift, especially if you must run 285's
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Old 01-25-2012
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I agree w/ adrian
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Old 01-25-2012
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thanks guys. I do not want a truck that rattles my teeth out. I think I will pre-key and put in the rear lift blocks and then drive it to see how it rides. If I decide to go with the 285's I will do a small BL. I just really like the looks of the 285's over the 265's.

Morris I am searching for your thread and some pics of your truck.
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Old 01-25-2012
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the longer shocks from rancho make a big difference for ride quality
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Old 01-25-2012
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I have heard that but haven't looked to hard to get a set.
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Old 01-26-2012
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Originally Posted by spadanko View Post
the longer shocks from rancho make a big difference for ride quality
What longer shocks from rancho? If he is only Changing his block from 1.5-2.5" then he does not want longer shocks.. If I were in his position I would get bilstein 5100's for a ranger

The stock rear Bilsteins that came off my 06'fx4 were the same length as my buddies stock ranchos that came off his 11' sport 4x4
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Old 01-26-2012
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went to goodyear today to check out the duratrac. I like the looks of it and I like the fact I can get it in a load range C. I had my tire guy order 6 of them from the warehouse in case I go with them. He told me that it is sometimes hard to get them to balance properly without spinning the tire on the wheel a couple of times. He ordered 2 extra in case we have that kind of issue.

If I go with the 285's it will probably be the BFG AT's as they are load range D.

I am not real excited about doing a BL because then I have to modify the hitch, tow hooks exhaust, etc etc. I am leaning towards 265's. My tire guy did say he will mount two of each for me and we can look at them, turn lock to lock etc, before I make the final choice. I need to get the pre-key, twist and pre-block done first.

I know the truck will ride better, and get better mileage with 265's, but 285's look so good........

no plans for changing shocks. I need to line-x and tint after the lift and tires.

decisions...... decisions.
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Old 01-26-2012
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If you put in the prekeys and blocks, and set it at level, you'll probably end up with the 1" lift in the rear, and around 2" in the front, because the newer trucks sit at more of a rake than the older ones. Setting the truck level or close to it shouldn't be putting too much strain on your front end. I agree that you definitely don't want to crank up the older keys, as your front end will hate you, and it will ride like absolute crap. I would personally level it out, and then look at a 1" or 2" body lift if you have rubbing issues. Your hitch and exhaust would be fine unmodded with a smaller body lift IMO. Personally, rather than the pre-08 blocks, I'd have gone with some lift shackles. You're better off with the smaller block.
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Old 01-26-2012
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If it helps your final descision I put my old t-keys in my buddies 08' fx4 with a mild crank and he got 265/75 duratracs and it looks perfect, I'll try and get some pics for you
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Old 01-26-2012
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Originally Posted by ME00Stepside View Post
If you put in the prekeys and blocks, and set it at level, you'll probably end up with the 1" lift in the rear, and around 2" in the front, because the newer trucks sit at more of a rake than the older ones. Setting the truck level or close to it shouldn't be putting too much strain on your front end. I agree that you definitely don't want to crank up the older keys, as your front end will hate you, and it will ride like absolute crap. I would personally level it out, and then look at a 1" or 2" body lift if you have rubbing issues. Your hitch and exhaust would be fine unmodded with a smaller body lift IMO. Personally, rather than the pre-08 blocks, I'd have gone with some lift shackles. You're better off with the smaller block.
+1 shackles>blocks
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Old 01-26-2012
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just out of curiosity what is the benefit of the shackle over the block to gain the inch or inch and a half in the rear. I got the 2005 parts for free and havn't put them in yet so I am not opposed to making a change. I appreciate the input from guys here that have this knowledge and I only want to do this once.

Adrian pictures would be excellent !!
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Old 01-26-2012
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Originally Posted by BLK02 View Post
If it helps your final descision I put my old t-keys in my buddies 08' fx4 with a mild crank and he got 265/75 duratracs and it looks perfect, I'll try and get some pics for you
Firsthand I think this looks good.

The shackles will provide extra articulation whereas the block just raises and does nothing else.
The downside to shackles is they move your axle forward or back slightly. I forget which. I think that is how pedro messed up his bedside when offroading. I could be wrong, wait for him to chime in.
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Old 01-26-2012
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The shackle theoretically moves you axle forward but I have the beltechs on the tallest hole and you can't tell. I still haven't gotten the pics from my buddy, hopefully tomorrow
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Old 01-26-2012
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A shackle wont change orientation of an axle forward and back all it will do is point the pinion up a little higher. Before my 05 went to a SAS I ran 295/75R16's on the stock ranger rims. I did so at stock ride height for a short period of time. It did fine around town rubbed the fender flare over curbs, up driveways etc. I maxed the bars out and installed an AAL in the rear. It no longer rubbed except at full lock on the street. On light trails both the front and rear flares came in contact with the tires.


Also I had 265/75R16's on mine with no rubbing whatsoever any where at all, bone stock. They were in fact a dealer add on for my truck.
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Old 01-27-2012
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Originally Posted by cdawall View Post
A shackle wont change orientation of an axle forward and back all it will do is point the pinion up a little higher...
Acutally, they will. Depending on the height difference, it may not be noticable. The reason it moves the axle forward is because the spring is pivoting on the front perch. Ideally, you would lower the front perch a little when installing lift shackles, but if you're only going a couple of inches, it's not going to be a big deal.
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Old 01-27-2012
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thats why i said theoretically lol, it DOES move it forward but wont be noticable unless you had some rediculous foot long shackle
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Old 01-27-2012
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Adrian thanks for the PM reply. I will be doing the pre-key, pre-block, and mild TB crank Monday. Installing the load range c 265/75/16 Goodyear Duratracs on tuesday morning. I will get some before and after pics taken so i can post them up.
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Old 01-27-2012
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Originally Posted by ME00Stepside View Post
Acutally, they will. Depending on the height difference, it may not be noticable. The reason it moves the axle forward is because the spring is pivoting on the front perch. Ideally, you would lower the front perch a little when installing lift shackles, but if you're only going a couple of inches, it's not going to be a big deal.
The difference is not going to be any different than a different position in the suspension movement. Compress the rear on any truck and it will move fore and aft. So I guess you are correct technically it has moved however the only change that you will be able to see is the pinion being shifted up.
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Old 01-27-2012
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Originally Posted by BLK02 View Post
What longer shocks from rancho? If he is only Changing his block from 1.5-2.5" then he does not want longer shocks.. If I were in his position I would get bilstein 5100's for a ranger

The stock rear Bilsteins that came off my 06'fx4 were the same length as my buddies stock ranchos that came off his 11' sport 4x4
sorry i meant just the fronts, part# RS5374. i have maxed t bars and they made a huge difference and no the stockers werent worn out
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