There has been quite a bit of discussion here lately about lift kits on our EX's. So I thought I would share my install experience with the kit I chose.
First off... my requirements for this lift were as follows (in no particular order):
Cheap! my whole Excursion project has been on a tight budget
Eliminate the soft saggy OEM front springs (i.e. no shakcle lifts)
Clear 35" tires (Nitto Dura Grappler 305/70R18)
Good & Safe ride
So I lucked up on a set of V-codes, by finding an entire axle from a F-350 on craigslist for $100! It had springs & 4.10 gears in the axle (to be installed later). Next I started searching for leveling kits for the F-250/350. Since I already had these V-codes I didnt need a complete replacement spring like the Pro-Comp set. Also found many kits that are "mini spring packs" that resemble nothing more than a glorified block - just a stack of short leaves. I finally settled on the Tuff Country kit because it's mini pack has long leaves that extend out and add spring lift, not just block lift. I felt this was much safer and likely a better ride and lift since my used v-codes were high-mileage and likely a bit sagged...
I looked around online for the best price and found that Summit had a similar kit for less money, plus I had a 10% discount code for them too. My suspisions were confirmed when i received the kit - it was made by Tuff-Country for Summit and just re-packaged. It had the T-C part number right on the springs - sweet! Here is the summit kit (currently on sale for $237) Summit Racing SUM-G782 - Summit Racingฎ Front Suspension Leveling Kits - Overview - SummitRacing.com
There is also a gas version for V-10 owners. i liked the fact that they had different versions for the gas and diesel trucks, unlike the block style mini-packs or shackle kits. This told me that I would be getting some extra spring rate with this lift.
For the rear i got a set of F-250 C-code springs from a low mileage truck at my local salvage yard. And I also got the tapered 3.5" F-350 rear blocks from there as well. The c-codes have a separate overload leaf at the top of the pack which I had to remove (no stops for it on or EX Chassis).
Ok enough typing, blah, blah, blah..... Install went like this:
the kit - summit instructions/Tuff Country part number
Before lift ~ 39"
Spring pack has to be bolted to the V-codes, making it a complete spring pack. I painted the V-codes and added new slider bushings at the ends (these are the old-style springs). C-clamps are your friend!
New springs in place...
U-bolts and Rancho RS9000's
New track-bar bracket from kit.
At this point I was like !!!
Was not expecting 4.5" (it was more like 4.75 on the opposite side)!!! I had figured it would go up about 3.25" to 3.5", based on what I had read about V-codes + 2.5" from the lift. And since my V's were well-used I never guessed It'd be this tall...
I will post the rear install in my next post... gotta run for now.
Thanks for the reps! I will post the time and cost here as well. It will take me a bit to figure it up.
Now on to the Back...
It bears noting that since I ended up with over an inch taller in the front than I expected, the rear took more work than I planned.
My original plan was to use the C-codes + the 3.5" tapered block to give me a level stance. When I tried that, it sat nearly an inch lower in the rear! Back to the drawing board... I had remembered reading other members posts about using the anti-wrap snubber off the stok EX. springs as a spacer for more lift. So I cut off the snubber and used only the portion that goes under the springs. this gave me another 3/8" or so... still not enough.
So, final answer, I took it all apart again, disassembled the spring pack, added one leaf from the old EX. spring pack to the C-code pack and reinstalled with the snubber spacer piece.
Finally, just slightly higher in the rear than the front! Hate that I had to do it twice!!!
Before lift ~41"
With the snubber piece, but no extra leaf
This is the final setup, leaf added and EX snubber piece on the block
Good shot of the tapered block
After ~44.5" Total of 3.5" lift
Now here's the before and after pics...
After lift, with old tires (285's)
Current pic with 35" Nitto Dura Grapplers
Absolutely lovin' my Excursion now. It looks just like I want it to and drives and rides great!
so, by my calculations, the Summit kit gave you 3 inches more of lift. Not bad at all.
It is right at the amount I determined it would lift mine with the Buckstop bumper. Your measurements confirm my thoughts. I have a V-10 and yours is PSD, so the bumper makes up for the weight diference. I did buy the gas version, but now I think that was a mistake. The Tuff country application book lists the gas one as for 351 only. Oh, well, I will find out if it works. Probably a different spring rate. The springs look identical.
I am completely happy with the ride now. The adjustable Rancho's help with that too. I haven't messed with them too much, but I did crank them up a little while towing and it handled beautifully. It's a 3/4 ton truck... and it still rides like one, and I love that! But its not at all harsh IMO. It just feels very controlled and very solid. I'm still grinnin' every time I drive it.
So have you installed your kit yet Bion? Do you already have v-codes that you are adding the kit to?
EDIT: I love "Zombie Crusher" thats great! Mine has been dubbed the Deth Star II, by a co-worker who used to own a lifted black Suburban - which I had named the Death Star for him...
No, I havn' installed the kit yet. I have V -codes in the front, and I already have the modified B codes in the back. I was the first to add a leaf from the old pack along with the cut off snubber leaf. You can see my old posts on it. I'm really glad it worked out well for you.
My current measurements are 42.35" rear, (OEM Excursion block) and 40.1 front. The installation of the front bumper brought the front down from 40.8 inches. so, with a 2.25 inch difference, it was just too much.
I am hoping that since I bought the gas version springs, it will just level it out. But, we won't know untill It gets on, and then I'll worry about the rear.
Right now, I am in process of getting the last of the tooling together, and will be doing a complete teardown and rebuild of the front end. It just makes sense to me to do it all at once and get it all over with. New gears, ARB lockers, Seals, tie rod ends, and have to change my front spring hangers back to the original 2005 versions (long story).
Mine will be out of commission for the work starting next Tuesday.
Boy, your ex looks good with everything. Now I am sorry that I bought 285' last month. oh well.
Per the request by blowhole, here is an approximate breakdown of my time and cost for this lift:
Front: The Summit price is 262.95 and I found a discount code (2RETYV - put it in the "source code" box at checkout) for 10% off. Shipping is 11.95+7.50
Total shipped: $256.10 (currently it's on sale for even less, D'oh! )
Front V-codes off Craigslist $100 with axle, so I'll call it $50 since I wanted the 4.10 gears too.
New Slider Bushings $30.00
TOTAL FOR FRONT LIFT: $336.10
Rear: I got a bunch of different parts from the salvage yard (owned by a friend of my family) so its hard to break down what exactly I paid for the springs. But I will estimate it at $200.00 for the springs and blocks. the rest was parts from the X spring pack
TOTAL FOR REAR LIFT: $200.00
Time-wise, I probably have 8hrs front and 8hrs rear... with myself and a helper.
Front took so long because I had to press the leaf spring bushings out of my old X springs and press them into the V-codes. The ones in the V-codes were very worn out and sloppy. This was an extra step that most wont have to do. At the same time I added the new slider bushings - which aren't needed if you get the newer style V-codes. I bet the front could be done in nearly half that time without those issues.
***THIS JUST REMINDED ME - BEFORE INSTALLING A KIT LIKE THIS*** Make sure you disconnect both ends of the front sway bar before trying to install this lift. We fought the first side for an hour before figuring that out... once disconnected, everything went smoothly. Much easier to move the axle that way
OK, as for the rear, This also took so long because I did it twice (almost 3 times, actually) as mentioned earlier... I had to take it all apart to add the final leaf to get the height where I wanted it. Again, I think it would take half the time if you know your set-up and what height it will give you.
Neil, Great timing for me on your thread. I was getting ready to pull the
trigger on the Pro-Comp lift for my 2001 7.3 X and saw your thread. My question is how bad were your front springs? Mine are so bad the bump stops are completly gone and I bottom out on any bump. Do you think mine are too far gone for the spring pac. Thanks for your help!!!
Edit- I reread your post and saw you found some V's to replace your stock springs!
Last edited by hhcobra; 01-28-2010 at 07:38 PM.
Reason: RE-read post--
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