Shackles + Leveling Kit vs. Superlift - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 01-30-2012
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Shackles + Leveling Kit vs. Superlift

Please excuse my lack of knowledge on the topic, but I'm looking for a bit more info on shackles and a leveling kit (keys) vs the superlift...
I have a 3" BL already, but want more lift... Bigger tires are already a starting point, but until my current tires wear out, that's not happening because I want to get different wheels at the same time and my $$ situation will not currently permit both...
I have done some searching for the last 2 hours and still can't get a definite answer....
I am wondering about the Shackle lift + 3" leveling setup that some people have on their trucks...
Will the 3" leveling keys put stress on my front end?? My truck will not be seeing a lot of offroading and the $3000+ price tag of the superlift (shipped to Canada) seems pretty steep for a truck I'm most likely going to sell in about 3-4 years (when I finish university).

What are the pros and cons of the shackle + leveling kit route vs. the superlift route?
Shackles seem to run about $80 and the leveling kit seems to run about $180... so for ~$400, I'd have them at my door, and its something I most likely could do myself (whereas the superlift I'd definitely want to get professionally installed)

Thanks for any insight on this...
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Old 01-30-2012
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Those keys will definitely put stress on your front end. If you don't want to put the cash into the Superlift then shackles and cranking your bars a bit would likely be the better way to go.
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Old 01-30-2012
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since you have an 08 you can swap in 06 and earlier keys too.
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Old 01-30-2012
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since you have an 08 you can swap in 06 and earlier keys too.
<2007
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Old 01-30-2012
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<2007
2006<2007
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Old 01-30-2012
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2006<2007
Just saying it's 2007 and older keys, not 2006.
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Old 01-30-2012
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you wont get 3'' out of keys without severe strain, simply dont do it, do a proper lift if you want to go higher, I cant belive I got my DBR shipped for only $500 more than the superlift, kinda hilarious how much those stupid brackets cost new
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Old 01-30-2012
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So even something like this will massively wear down the front end??

When I first joined, everyone figured my truck had already been pre-keyed already
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Old 01-30-2012
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It'll only be bad if you max crank, if you put those in and rasise 1.5" you'll be fine.. You might as well find a set of used pre '07 keys for $30 because they will do the same thing
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Old 01-31-2012
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I think I'll just save for the superlift... Seems like if I'm gonna lift it more, go big or go home...
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Old 01-31-2012
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good attitude!
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Old 01-31-2012
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I think I'll just save for the superlift... Seems like if I'm gonna lift it more, go big or go home...
Do it big.
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Old 01-31-2012
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I think I'll just save for the superlift... Seems like if I'm gonna lift it more, go big or go home...
That's the way to do it! Keep an eye out on Craigslist and Kijiji... got mine off Craigslist in Calgary!
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Old 02-03-2012
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Hmm I will do! There isn't too much right now as far as that goes... What should I look for if I do buy a used superlift?
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Old 02-03-2012
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Just check to make sure nothing is bent, damaged etc. Look up a picture and list of what is in the kit and take it with you to make sure everything is there. I think I have a pic of mine laid out from when I got it... lol. I'll see if I can find it for you.
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Old 02-03-2012
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Here you go:

Attached Thumbnails
Shackles + Leveling Kit vs. Superlift-img_3232.jpg  
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  #17  
Old 02-03-2012
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good option but expensive
i dont know about your year specificaly, but my 2011 took a few cranks to raise 2 inches with stock porkchop with lots left on the bolt, after driving it around a bit i ended up lowering it to 1.5 inches as it was a bit stiff.
I believe due to maxing out the shocks, If i can figure out how to space the shocks out (i'm cheap) then i wont buy the longer shocks to get the comfort all the way back
My opinion If you neeed more that 2 extra inches, get a proper lift kit
If you just want two extra save a bunch of cash, Get shackels if you dont do much hauling, or maybe a add a leaf or air bags if you do some hauling, I would not reccomend blocks due to axel wrap and i dont like the look. Another option is I hear of a one piece progressive rear spring that gives you additional 1-2 rear inches and supposivly rides really nice too (cant remember name).
a mild crank 1-2 inches will not make the ride too rough it you replace the shocks with longer ones, I believe rancho makes some. but be warned about possible exessive wear to the CV joints and ball joints and other front end joints. (the higher you go, the increased stress, the faster it will wear)
Cost
front, Free (dont buy a new porkchop/ torsion key thing)
rear, $60 and up for shackels or block or add a leaf (air is about 250 for manual inflation/ control)
Shocks (highly reccomeded for rough ride) $120-250ish

Superlift 2g +
uses blocks on the rear (not a fan)

Used coil front 1g (front)
two people selling kits on forum now, only buy used, seems to be a very nice kit

Hope it helps
I have debated lift options for a while
did 2" shackles and 1.5" crank so far, will do 3" BL when I need new bigger tires.....
will buy longer shocks if i cant figure out how to make OEM rancho's fit better
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Old 02-03-2012
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putput, your front end being stiffer from a crank isn't the shocks, it's the angle of the CA's and the preload on the bars that makes it so stiff.

Fink132, on the lower end I would get pre-08 keys for your truck and level it out with the back, then maybe an AAL kit or shackles if you want the back a little higher. Don't get aftermarket keys. They're a waste of money, and if you crank them you'll wear out every front end component 10x quicker than it should, along with it riding like complete garbage.

There are also a few RCD lifts in the classifieds for around $1K that will take care of the front. Get some Expo leaves and shackles for the back. This will give you 5" of lift, and an improved ride over stock.
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Old 02-03-2012
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stepside
Thanks for your input, however the shocks are the greatest limitation I found through lifting my truck.
I support this by when I disconnected the front shocks at ride hight with truck on the ground, the shock still pulled in. In my experience this is not normal at all and is because the truck was literally pulling on the shocks.
Ok my homemade redneck solution is by adding 1 nut and 1 washer ontop of the flat lower shock mounts (I would have added more spacing but that was the max with still keeping full thread contact with the lower nut) I must state I dont "reccomend this for anyone"
Anyways that said after adding the spacing to the shock mount (about 1/2 inch), the trucks front end raised 1/2 inch!
That tells me the shocks where limiting the torsion bars "crank" or over crank in this case

In the rear I actually also lowered the rear shackles to the 1 inch position in stead of the 2 inch position and the truck only dropped a 1/4 inch both sides!
This tells me that my shocks where also limiting the travel of the rear springs
This said my truck is a FX4 and has blocks as OEM and the same may not effect non blocked trucks with the shackle or other
OK so measurements at wheel arc to ground centered on wheel
OEM new 2011 FX4
33.5" front 35.5 rear
After mild crank and 2" shackles
35" front 37 rear
After spacing front shocks and lowering rear shackles to 1" position
35.5 front 36.75 rear

The truck sits at last measure and rides substantialy better, not like OEM but alot better than after inital lifting

This is my experience with my truck as described, I'm not gonna say everyone will have the same but some may and please use my experiences to help where they can

I did read posts of others defending this position of needing to replace shocks with longer and I agree totally
I will be planning to purchase new longer rear shocks first, then returning to 2" shackle position and possibly change my OEM block with a slightly taller one and then going BL when I get bigger rubber as OEM rubber is already looking a little thin at the current ride hight

In regards to the CV joints I personally dont think the lift is causing an overly stiff and bouncy ride, The CV's wear at a higher rate by working at a more severe angle at the cv joints making them less "strong". I may be wrong about this but with my knowledge base I dont see it causing a "suspension" issue. Instead its the higher spring rate of the cranked T bar and the tension between the over extended shocks and the spring.

Hope it helps clear it up

Last edited by putput; 02-03-2012 at 05:59 PM. Reason: i suck at writing
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  #20  
Old 02-03-2012
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Superlift opinion

Be advised that if you have the Superlift installed by a shop they may charge allot, $1200 was my quote. I installed mine by myself on the ground with a few jacks, but it was allot for one person, I would advise some help, impact wenches and a lift if you can get it. If you look at a used kit, make sure you get all the brackets as pictured, the shocks may be worn and the sway bar disconnects can become worn and are the weak part of the lift, Iíve read of people breaking them, I havenít but after a 1.5 years they are loose and rattle over bumps. To save some money you may look at getting a driveshaft locally, most shops can do this for under $400, also you may look at doing shackles in the rear instead of the blocks, but getting the truck level may be harder. I stacked the Superlift block on top of the factory block, no problem but some people donít recommend it. I like the kit overall, ride is comparable to stock, more capable offroad with larger tires, but the torsion bar design keeps the ride a bit stiff for me (no more than stock).
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  #21  
Old 02-07-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by putput View Post
stepside
Thanks for your input, however the shocks are the greatest limitation I found through lifting my truck.
I support this by when I disconnected the front shocks at ride hight with truck on the ground, the shock still pulled in. In my experience this is not normal at all and is because the truck was literally pulling on the shocks.
Ok my homemade redneck solution is by adding 1 nut and 1 washer ontop of the flat lower shock mounts (I would have added more spacing but that was the max with still keeping full thread contact with the lower nut) I must state I dont "reccomend this for anyone"
Anyways that said after adding the spacing to the shock mount (about 1/2 inch), the trucks front end raised 1/2 inch!
That tells me the shocks where limiting the torsion bars "crank" or over crank in this case

In the rear I actually also lowered the rear shackles to the 1 inch position in stead of the 2 inch position and the truck only dropped a 1/4 inch both sides!
This tells me that my shocks where also limiting the travel of the rear springs
This said my truck is a FX4 and has blocks as OEM and the same may not effect non blocked trucks with the shackle or other
OK so measurements at wheel arc to ground centered on wheel
OEM new 2011 FX4
33.5" front 35.5 rear
After mild crank and 2" shackles
35" front 37 rear
After spacing front shocks and lowering rear shackles to 1" position
35.5 front 36.75 rear

The truck sits at last measure and rides substantialy better, not like OEM but alot better than after inital lifting

This is my experience with my truck as described, I'm not gonna say everyone will have the same but some may and please use my experiences to help where they can

I did read posts of others defending this position of needing to replace shocks with longer and I agree totally
I will be planning to purchase new longer rear shocks first, then returning to 2" shackle position and possibly change my OEM block with a slightly taller one and then going BL when I get bigger rubber as OEM rubber is already looking a little thin at the current ride hight

In regards to the CV joints I personally dont think the lift is causing an overly stiff and bouncy ride, The CV's wear at a higher rate by working at a more severe angle at the cv joints making them less "strong". I may be wrong about this but with my knowledge base I dont see it causing a "suspension" issue. Instead its the higher spring rate of the cranked T bar and the tension between the over extended shocks and the spring.

Hope it helps clear it up
You better make sure your not binding ball joints at full droop by extending your shocks like that, I would never recommend extending a shock because you added preload, it's the same thing as forcing more downtravel even if the rest of the components can't handle it
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