When thinking of off-road performance and Ford, it is easy to immediately think of the Raptor. A ready-to-go rig of course, but it comes with a huge price tag. Thankfully, companies like Baja Kits and Fox Shocks have stepped up to give the Raptor’s little brother, the F-150, some love.
The Ford F-150 FX4 is good option for a standard 4-wheel drive full-size truck. Comfortable with good amenities and with an easily modified factory coil-over system. Combining the shock and coil spring simplifies suspension systems by allowing the package to be replaced as a whole. Though not a first for front suspension systems, Ford’s version utilizes technology they have been improving on for years.
Leveling these trucks is pretty easy and straight forward. There are many spacers on the market to bring the front end up but they aren’t all created equal. For users that want to emulate Raptor performance, Fox Shocks and Baja Kits have you covered.
When Ford shifted to aluminum bodies for the 2015 model year, Fox had to go back to the R&D department to reconfigure their products that fit the truck. Ford dropped nearly 750lbs, a substantial weight savings that has a significant impact on shock valving and coil spring rates. Fox has had decades of experience tuning shocks and with the help of Eibach springs, the new system was launched.
Fox’s Adjustable Factory Race Series 2.5 coil-over reservoir shock is built with a smooth bore zinc-coated and seamless steel body with black-anodized, CNC machined 6061-T6 aluminum components. The ride height collars allow for the shock to be adjusted from 0 – 2-inch or 4 – 6-inch, depending on the kit you get. The remote 2.5-inch diameter alloy reservoir features Fox’s Dual Speed Compression (DSC) adjustment system, allowing drivers to quickly adjust the compression with the turn of a dial.
For the rear shocks, Fox has matching piggy-back reservoir 2.5-inch shocks designed for 0 – 1.5-inches of lift. The rear shocks are built with the same precision and high-quality materials as the front and also include the DSC adjustment system for easy tuning.
Swapping out the coilovers is a good start but to really get the full potential out of the independent front suspension, adding a new upper control arm is the next logical step. Baja Kits has been building performance suspension systems for years and has a fully boxed, computer-aided designed arm that will net up to 9-inches of wheel travel. Not all the way to the specs of the Raptor, but close.
Baja Kits’ control arms are designed to have more caster built into them to improve the truck’s stability when paired with a lifted coil-over. Trophy Truck grade uniballs replace the weak stock upper ball joints, alleviating the concern of maxing out the travel and strength limitations of the ball joint. The uniballs include a machined bolt that perfectly fits the taper of the stock knuckle, which means there is no drilling required and the truck can be returned to stock if need be.
Whether it’s to avoid the high price tag of a Raptor or just giving an F-150 some performance love, some Fox coil-overs and shocks, and Baja Kit’s upper control arms are a perfect combination.