The Ford Ranger, a vehicle the US manufacturer is trying to bring back as a people’s pickup truck hasn’t always been a series of its own. The Ranger nameplate was first used by Ford in 1958 for a sedan vehicle called the Edsel Ranger. In 1967 Ford used it once again in its fifth F-series pick up trucks. This model was still not exactly what the people at Ford imagined it to be. Whilst it took Ford nearly 13 years to make the Ranger a series of its own, it was finally what it was always meant to be, a small pickup that could and did the same job as its bigger brother the F-150. 1982 was the birth year of the Ranger series and in 1985 alone Ford sold a quarter of a million Rangers. The second generation Ranger was another success as it came with features that appealed to a broader demographic.
Since the introduction of the second generation in 1993 and up until 1995 Ford sold about a million units more than 300,000 a year. Between the second and third generation there was an EV Ranger which didn’t sell as much – this trend continued heading into their third generation. Their latest fourth generation Ranger has brought back the small pickup people once loved with the latest in automotive technology much like the new F-150. Like any pickup the Ranger has still retained its capability to go off-road but since it has become more of an urban vehicle the reason to incorporate a suspension Ford lift kit is even more apparent.
Suspension Lift Kits
A suspension lift kit is a bundle of components and tools used to lift the factory suspension higher to provide certain benefits. All suspension lift kits for Ford trucks in general help increase ground clearance which helps improve a vehicle’s off-road capability. They also increase the load carrying and towing capacity, improve on and off-road ride comfort as well as the appearance of the truck.
What Type of Lift Kit Is Best?
In the case with suspension lift kits for Ford trucks the best solution is with a rear Ford lift kit. These kits are the most popular option since they provide the best ride quality and are the most affordable solution.
How To Install A Suspension Lift Kit on Your Ford Ranger
Tools (What You Need)
Other than the components and tools provided in the kit you’ll definitely need certain types of tools to successfully install the lift kit. You’ll need vehicle jacks and stands, a hammer, extra nuts and bolts, safety wire, penetrating oil, pry bars, torque wrench, lug wrench, a standard 11 mm socket and wrench set. Whilst not mandatory you may want to have an impact wrench, breaker bar, torsion bar unloading tool, spring compressor, a reciprocating saw, drill and drill bits handy.
1. First you need to ensure that you will safely perform this type of installation so make sure to disconnect your Ranger’s battery. To do this, first start by disconnecting the negative battery terminal and then loosening the lug nuts (do not remove them).
2. Next, lift up the back of the vehicle with the jack to a level that will ensure that you have enough space to fit underneath the vehicle and move around during the installation. Place rated safety stands alongside the floor jacks to ensure a safe installation. Make sure you have a jack under each weight point.
3. Once you have everything set it’s time to remove the wheels/ tires and then follow up by removing components such as the U-bolts, springs and shocks. Set the springs, shocks and U-bolts somewhere where they won’t be in your way in case you need to place them back. If you have a hard time removing old parts form your Ranger use the hammer or reciprocating saw depending on how ‘stubborn’ the part at hand is.
4. If your kit requires you to assemble the springs then look for provided instructions. When you’re finished assembling them it’s time to take your new U-bolts and mount them in the same place where your old ones were. To do this you need to have them vertical and aligned the same way the old ones were.
5. Next, you need to assemble the shocks. This is best done following kit instructions since not all Ford lift kits are made the same. Once you have them fully assembled go ahead and install them, again, following kit instructions.
6. Finish the installation by checking if every bolt and nut is tightly mounted using a torque wrench. This tool will tell you the exact torque level a bolt/ nut is at so you know you have them fastened at the correct level. Refer to the instruction manual provided in the kit for the correct torque levels.
7. Lastly, remove the safety stands and lower your vehicle whilst keeping it level. Check for loose components once again and retighten them if any. Don’t forget to reconnect the negative battery terminal and tighten the lug nuts before you close the bonnet and take your Ranger for a test run.