Not Just A Leveling Kit

Not Just A Leveling Kit

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.

Stock F-150s come with a substantial rake from the factory. There are many ways to fix that but going with performance parts is always the best choice.

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.

Baja Kits uses Computer-Aided-Drafting to custom build performance upper control arms that can handle severe stress while increasing the caster angle to give lifted F-150s better stability both on and off-road.

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.

The Trophy Truck style uniballs that Baja Kits uses to replace the factory ball joints have a built-in taper that matches the taper on stock ball joints. The pure strength and better articulation means cleaner travel that exceeds the factory components.

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 knows performance and translated that knowledge to boosting the abilities of the F-150. Many of the components and materials used in the construction of the Factory Race Series 2.5 coil-over are the same as what are used in their extreme duty, race proven shocks.

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.

The Dual Speed Compression (DSC) system allows drivers to tune their vehicle to their preferences and the specific terrain the truck will be on. Simply twist the knobs and feel the difference!

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.

The stock F-150 suspension is effective but not designed for heavy off-road suspension.

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.

After getting the stock coil-over and upper control arm out of the way, the new Baja Kits boxed arm gets bolted into the factory location. Pro Tip: a little bit of grease on the outsides of the Delrin bushings make install much easier and helps the arm move as needed for final attachments.

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.

The Fox coil-over bolts into the stock location using new hardware. The steering and sway bar need to be removed for access and the extra suspension droop to get the coil-over swapped.
The rear shocks are also a direct bolt in. Having the reservoirs as a piggyback system makes installed incredibly easy.

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.

The front reservoirs come with a specially designed bracket from Fox. On this 2017 F-150, the factory turbo intercooler had already been replaced by an aftermarket unit that relocated behind the grille, leaving a prime location for the bracket to bolt to. Pro Tip: Using heat shring tubing cleans up the look of the provided hose clamps.