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2004 - 2008 F150 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 Ford F150's with 5.4 V8, 4.6 V8 or 4.2 V6 engine
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  #1  
Old 11-17-2011, 10:03 PM
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How I lowered my '07 4X4 ....

I got her lowered this past Saturday so now she's 1.75" closer to earth in front and 2" closer to earth in the rear making for easier entry and easier reach into bed from sides. She drives well too.

Click the image to open in full size.

My method up front was a bit unorthadox, I simply shortened the stalk of the stock FX4 front shocks 1-5/16" on the eye end and rewelded them in stages, cooling them after each short weld. The FX4 shocks have a shorter travel, so removing the 1-5/16" doesn't affect travel compared to stock, and at that amount, she will bottum earlier than a 2WD and top out a little lower as well. The 2WD shocks will lower the truck as well, but have longer travel than 4WD shocks. I did not get the shock bodies hot at any time, patience was practised. Because the shock / strut mounts partway in on LCA between BJ and inner pivot center, the shock's lower bolt moves 75 percent of wheel travel ... or it may be said that the wheel moves 1.333 times as far as the shock bolt in relation to the truck frame / etc. 1.3125 (1-5/16") X 1.333 = 1.7499 (call it 1.750").

At the rear, I just removed the blocks and used shorter 2WD U bolts. It more than suits me for all my uses.

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Old 11-18-2011, 12:18 AM
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Looks great!
P.S. nice lookin truck!
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Old 11-18-2011, 11:10 AM
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Hmm, I like the truck but lowered 4X4?
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Old 11-18-2011, 02:25 PM
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looks good.....if you like a LOW 4X4
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Old 11-19-2011, 12:55 AM
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Thanks

As to liking lowered 4WDs, that wasn't the point. I just like a lower truck (than newer 4WDs are), and I like having 4WD (and besides, 2WDs are almost non existant here in these parts when it comes to 2004 and newer) , and I like the short flareside look (also rare around here) and this route combined it all.

In no way did I limit the truck's capabilities as to my purposes, It'll still bring the trailer up out of the back yard on wet grass without spinning or get me where ever it would get me in the snow before, but now it's easier for the wife to enter and it's a shorter reach into the bed along the sides and it drives a little better than even it did before.

It's not "permanent", I still have the longer U-bolts and blocks and a set of shocks and it's back .... if I wanted.
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Old 11-19-2011, 01:12 AM
Coskid Coskid is offline
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TBear I like the way the truck looks but with the snow you guys get there in the valley sometimes would not of been my choice. But then again you get much better and quick road clearing then i do I think.
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Old 11-19-2011, 02:36 AM
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They usually do a good job with snow here, deep ain't usually a problem like packed ice or packed snow might be. We've had a few deep ones though, like that Blizzard of '93 and the big one in late December '09 the police car left a single 6 foot wide trail coming down my road and the grille was packed.

I came from Muscadine Al. to home in 17 hours in a blizzard New Years '97 in a '85 Tbird loaded with stuff, it too left a wide track getting in that night .... long day!

Over the years, I learned that patience is a virtue in snow and ice.

I rekon it'll make it OK .... if it get's too deep I'll take the Forester.
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Old 11-22-2011, 09:47 PM
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looking good
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Old 11-23-2011, 09:30 AM
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That's a nice look.

I plan to drop the rear end 2" to get rid of the factory rake. I'm sure that I'll still be able to go anywhere I can in stock form. It will likely handle better after I drop it.
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  #10  
Old 11-23-2011, 04:30 PM
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Smile

Thanks all!

I think she'll still clear ... or at least take the top off of ... any snows I'm likely to take her out in with Perelli Scorpion ATRs on! While I really like these tires (so well, I bought a set of new takeoffs from another member here last year to have on hand), I'll point out there are better "snow tires" out there. These wear well, so well that I think the rubber a bit hard for best snow traction.

As a follow up ... I did an allignment on the front end since posting last and after just one short evening drive.

Camber was way off after the lowering, way too much tilt in at top (about 1/2" measured from bottom to top of 20" wheel's lip).
Toe was out a lot as well ... (a good 5/8" total).
Caster was "OK" but I added a hair when correcting the camber.

Camber and Toe affect tie wear a lot... but Caster not so much (it mostly affects direction stability and willingness to return to straight).

The truck drives just super well now!

I think it must have been out before lowering as it used to "dart" around just a little before I lowered it like I had to pay more attention to lane position and less to mirrors, etc.
No "darting" or "wander" now, she stays much straighter .... so either I have better toe figures now or that extra Caster helped a ton.

It was easy to see when I got under there that it had never been alligned since it was built as the LCA bolts had never been moved ... so likely it was out a little before my lowering and subsequent allignment. She only has 37,000 and change on her odometer. (I know that negative Camber increased as a result of lowering as I had measured it at stock height just prior, but I didn't bother checking the Toe or Caster prior to lowering as I knew I'ld be checking afterwards and changing Toe anyway. Out of curriosity, I wish I had now.)

I did mark witness lines on both sides of each adjustment point before touching them with a wrench. While adjusting Toe I also corrected that ever so slight and just barely noticeable slightly off center steering wheel position as well.

I also loosened and retorqued UCA inner bolts (110 ft lbs) as well as LCA inners (250 ft lbs) and lower shock bolts at LCAs (351 ft lbs spec, I'm close! .... ugh!) with the front at the new lower ride height to unwind the bushings.

I used ramps for adjusting and tightening.
I drove it off of the ramps and pulled forwards onto my level surface to check settings each time until I had her right. I performed checks and rechecked each setting in at least two different ways to make sure I had it right, I checked Toe three ways probably several times each.

A bit "****" sounding I know, but I'm retired ...
... it's a good time to aquire new skills I think!

Alignment is all about angles and angles are easily determined using patience and good levels and precise measurements and cross checking with some calculations doesn't hurt. The hard work is swinging wrenches under a truck on ramps when figures like 258 and 351 ft lbs are called for, not much room for swinging a long torque wrench.

I also looked at the Moog # K100025 or Specialty Products # 86250 camber bolt nuts / blocks at $40 a pair or $80 total yesterday, but by then I was done. They'll wait for now.

After rolling out from under the truck one time and catching the lower side of the tag cover and busting it, I also raised my custom made tag mount and tag a little and install a new cover.

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  #11  
Old 11-23-2011, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudeman View Post
That's a nice look.

I plan to drop the rear end 2" to get rid of the factory rake. I'm sure that I'll still be able to go anywhere I can in stock form. It will likely handle better after I drop it.
Thanks ..... I believe removing the blocks will just about level it near perfectly.
You can go after Ford 2WD U-Bolts as your longer 4WD U-bolts will run out of threads taking up slack. Or you can try to find some spacers of thick walls with 9/16" holes to place under the nuts.

Stengel Bros # 361-434 also work, they are 9/16-18 fine threaded and come with deep well nuts and hardened steel washers. You can get some local cheaper nuts in same thread spec to use as a "locking nut" against them for cheap after last torquing as "deep well nuts" don't have the nylock lock ring feature. These are what I used, they feature rolled threads, not cut threads and the nuts are like 3/4" tall or more ("deep well nuts").

I simply primed and painted them really good prior to install and again afterwards.

Quote:
Square Bend 9/16 x 3.0625 inside x 8.375 long Grade 5 (2 U-bolts per kit with nuts and washers 9/16-18 X 3-1/16 X 8-3/8 ). Ford OEM Reference: D7TZ5455A or E7TZ5455A
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  #12  
Old 11-25-2011, 09:23 AM
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NICE !!!!!!!!
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  #13  
Old 11-26-2011, 12:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbear853 View Post
Thanks ..... I believe removing the blocks will just about level it near perfectly.
You can go after Ford 2WD U-Bolts as your longer 4WD U-bolts will run out of threads taking up slack. Or you can try to find some spacers of thick walls with 9/16" holes to place under the nuts.

Stengel Bros # 361-434 also work, they are 9/16-18 fine threaded and come with deep well nuts and hardened steel washers. You can get some local cheaper nuts in same thread spec to use as a "locking nut" against them for cheap after last torquing as "deep well nuts" don't have the nylock lock ring feature. These are what I used, they feature rolled threads, not cut threads and the nuts are like 3/4" tall or more ("deep well nuts").


I simply primed and painted them really good prior to install and again afterwards.

I'm just going to install some drop shackles and extended shock mounts.
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  #14  
Old 11-26-2011, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudeman View Post
I'm just going to install some drop shackles and extended shock mounts.
If you're just dropping two inches, the removal of the blocks is easiest I think and it doesn't change the pinion angle where as drop shackles pivot the rear of the spring up tilting ther pinion down .... unless you're changing the front hangers too.

I have carefully measured my shocks at rear, to bottom the shock I'm gonna have to bottom the axle on the snubbers. I have thougt about extenders but I don't think they are really needed unless you're hitting the frame snubbers.

The 2Wd and 4Wd shocks are the same mounting, the lengths and travel differ some, with the 4WD shockls being 1" longer bottomed out and 2.25" longer extended. The specs were obtained from Monroe.

Rear Shock Lengths ...........2WD shocks ............... 4WD shocks
Compressed Length ............... 15.500" ....................... 16.500"
Extended Length ................... 25.000"........................ 27.250"
Travel Length ........................ 9.500" ........................ 10.750"

Just offering FWIW .....
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There's 2007 and there's 1977...
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Old 11-23-2014, 05:49 PM
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Well, .... 3 years and 11+K miles later. About time to follow up I think.

Truck drove great but over the last couple years I had noticed a very slight, not aggrivating, but just noticeable tendency to wander with road irregularities, like where one side of the lane dips ..... like most of "my favorite roads" do. On interstate or other highways, it never has wandered to speak of.

I also notice that tire wear is superb, even though the fronts are worn a little more on the edges .... which was the case back at 37K 3 years ago when it was still stock height. I think they've done well as they are now 48K miles old and still have 5/32+ tread in groves .... so no complaints.

But to that very slight "wander". I had checked everything under it, no looseness anywhere. All ball joints and tier rod ends are snug still. So I thought about checking my "TOE" adjustment .... as a toe out attitude will lead to some wander or darting otherwise known as "oversteer" .... where as toe in will result in less wander or "understeer" and straight line stability. Been thinking about it some time actually .... just procrastinated I guess.

Three years ago I set my toe using some spacers against the wheel lip to space a pair of cast aluminum levels out from the wheel while levels sitting up on blocks off the floor above tire bulges. I weighted them and pulled a tape across at frt and rear and set toe in to near 1/8" at front as best as I could see then.

Well, recently (week or so ago) I made a "new to me" toe checking tool that is light weight, is very rigid, and that is adjustable in that it will allow me to index off the machined wheel lip at frt and rear across center of the wheel of my several vehicles, and transfer that to the floor to be recorded on masking tape stuck to the floor at exactly 30" for measuring across with a steel tape. I also added "feet" made of 1/8" X 1" aluminum angle to give me a sharp edge to mark against on the floor (tape).

As long as I use same tool to do both sides, any slight error that possibly exist in the tool will self cancel it's self out like if it adds 1/16" on rear when marking drivers side, it'll add same 1/16" on front when marking passenger side.

I found that my toe was now actually "dead on zero" as near as I could see with my reading glasses on. Using some math, I can decipher an angle from these numbers.

That's within Ford specs .... but only barely and not optimum .... it's no toe in, no toe out. Spec is 0.20 degrees, =/- 0.20 degrees so Ford was OK with between 0.00 and 0.40 degrees positive toe (in).

Well, that was not my intent then and it explains that very slight wander. I just needed me some positive "toe". So I adjusted a hair in on each tie rod end, just a hair ... and repeated measuring each time after backing the truck and pulling back into position .... until I had about 0.268 degrees toe in .... after overshooting 0.20 several times. So, that's where I'll leave her.

Quote:
Rear and front measurements marked on floor, 30" apart as my "new tool" plots them,
lay steel tape across marks while indexing zero end at 10" mark for precision,
read other end and simply deduct the 10,
walk back to other side and confirm 10" mark is still on mark on blue masking tape,
walk back and confirm reading,
deduct 10 and record, measure other set of marks same way,
rearward measurement was 9/64 greater than forward measurement,
9/64 ths = 0.1406
0.1406 /30" = 0.0046875
0.0046875 arc tan = 0.26857 degrees to be exact
call it 0.27 or 0.26 degrees .... close enough, I settled here.

Working back towards the target, 0.20 degree tan = 0.003490
0.003490 X 30 = 0.1047
0.1047 X 64 = 6.70 / 64ths ....
and I can't see that fine on my steel tape that's long enough to measure across the front.

Now, 7/64ths = 0.10937
0.10937 / 30 = 0.0036458
0.0036458 = 0.2088 or call it 0.209 degrees ....
but chasing that is how I overshot it several times before settling as I did.

I also checked the camber on both front wheels and found that it is still just under a 1/4" tilt in at top measured with a level on a level floor. The wheel lip is 20" and 1/4" tilt is about 0.71 degrees .... well within specs .... so I felt pretty good about that. That night we took her for a drive, she was better!

A day or so later I pulled her around to check again in better light, still holding at 9/64 ths toe in. I also took a few pics of my very rigid, very light, and adjustable to fit wheel toe tool!

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Made of 3/4" plywood glued and screwed together, I can add slots or holes to fit other wheel setups though I don't think it'll be so accurate on steel wheels that have "run out" .... the bottom of the legs are 30" apart at farthest ends and I have "shod" it with two pieces of 1" aluminum angle to give me a straight precise line to mark on the tape.

In case you want to mark two sets of lines just to compare, just move legs out a hair and mark again.

The extra two sets of exposed threads are just two more spacers I stored there for now. Of the 7 vehicles I might use this on, 5 have aluminum alloy wheels with a machined finish at the lip that is true. Two, my '77 F150 and the wife's '03 Forester have steel wheels ..... so I'll have to turn them against a stationary dial indicator and find two points 180 degrees across center with same readings.

We've taken the truck out twice, once to supper in Shenandoah, Va. and more recently, last night to Staunton and Waynesboro .... and now there is "no wandering" .... she just goes down the road straight and true with little attention needed.
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...
two good years for trucks ...



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and whatever you do, Have a Safe Trip!
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Old 11-23-2014, 05:49 PM
 
 
 
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