Ford F-150: How to Install a Body Lift

Installing a body lift can seem like a daunting task, but with the proper tools, time, and skill level, it can be accomplished and save you hundreds of dollars as well.

By Pizzaman711 - November 11, 2014
Contributors: Paul R Morck Jr

This article applies to the Ford F-150 (2011-2014).

Before we get to the instructions, read both these and the ones specific to your kit multiple times. If you feel as though you are not up to the task, then consulting your local off road shop is recommended; otherwise, there is the risk of you messing up something on your truck.

Pro Tips

  • Spray the bed bolts and body mount bolts daily with WD-40 or PB Blaster for at least a week in advance.
  • Keep a box of sandwich bags and a permanent marker to keep track of where you remove nuts and bolts from.
  • Keep camera handy. It's useful to take photos of where you remove pieces from in case you forget where they go.
  • Buy extra T-47 torx bits; there’s a high chance you’ll break or strip one.
  • Wear gloves, use proper eye protection, etc. Just be safe.
  • Measure 100+ times, so that way you only need to cut or drill once. Material can be removed easily, but it can’t be added.

Disclaimer

We take no responsibility for any damage that may occur to your vehicle or yourself during install. This install is for 2011-2014 Ford F-150 with the Ecoboost V6 and factory trailer hitch; if your vehicle varies from this, you should consult the install instructions for your kit and only use this as a reference as steps may vary.

Materials and Tools Needed

  • Welder
  • Angle grinder or cutoff wheel
  • 1/2” and 9/16” drill bits
  • T-47 Torx head bit
  • Jack
  • 4x4 wooden block
  • Socket set

Preliminary Steps

  1. Park truck on flat, dry ground and block all four tires so your truck can’t roll in any direction.
  2. Disconnect negative (black) battery cable first, then the positive (red) cable.
  3. Remove both airbag fuses from the passenger kick panel fuse box (see owner’s manual for specific fuse numbers).
  4. Remove spare tire.

Front Bumper

1. Record distance between front bumper and fenders on both sides. Keep that number on a piece of paper. Remove tow hooks (if applicable) via the 2 bolts on each one.

2. If you have fog lights, disconnect the wiring harness or remove the bulb with the harness. Pinch the clips on the plug and pull back to disconnect. The bulb and harness is removed via the twist lock system holding the bulb in place.

3. Remove all air flaps in front of radiator via push pins; be careful not to damage the push pins.


4. Remove bolt in center of hood release on the bumper to be able to remove the mechanism, then remove the two bolts that were on both sides of the mechanism.

5. Remove the four nuts on the frame flanges, then remove the bumper.

6. Unclip transmission cooler hoses from radiator (you can completely remove this if you wish).

Under the Hood

1. Remove air intake duct on driver side via the pipe clamps.

2. Remove power booster vacuum hose from the power booster.

3. Remove fan shroud from the top of the radiator via the push pins.

4. Remove wiring harness clip from passenger side of the shroud.

5. Disconnect ABS wiring harness via the push clips on both front fender wells.

6. Remove grounding strap from firewall.

7. Remove three bolts holding ABS brake controller on driver side frame.

Along the Frame

1. Remove brake line from retainer below the steering shaft u-joint on the driver side.

2. Remove bolt that holds grounding strap on passenger side by the body to frame mount.

3. Remove bolt that holds wiring strap from inside of the frame rail on passenger side.

4. Apply the parking brake. Using vice grips, clamp the parking brake near the rear cable sheath that leads to the brake drum. Release the parking brake (don’t unclamp the vice grips). Pull cable sheath towards the front of the vehicle to remove it from the hole, and then pull it out the slot.

Inside the Cab

1. Set the front wheels straight ahead and then block or strap the steering wheel so it can’t be turned (a 2x4 jammed in place works perfectly). Under the dash, remove the steering u-joint bolt and slide the joint down to remove.

Floor Shift 4x4 (if applicable)

1. Put transfer case in neutral. Remove the shift knob by unscrewing it. Remove four screws to separate upper shift boot from lower. Remove four bolts to separate lower shift boot from the floor. Remove bolt to release the transfer case shift level from the linkage.

Fuel Filler

1. Remove Easy Fuel clip. Remove three bolts to separate fuel filler from the bed.

2. Loosen fuel hose clamp holding the assembly to the tongue, and slide the clamp away to allow for the fuel hoses to move.

Rear Bumper

1. Record the distance between bumper and tailgate on both sides. Disconnect rear license plate lights from the bumper by unclipping the wiring harness. Disconnect back-up sensors from the bumper by un-clipping the wiring harness (if applicable).

2. Remove trailer connectors. The 4-pin connector will slide out from the side. Remove the grey plastic lock from the big connector, then disconnect it by unplugging it.

3. Remove rear bumper if you have a tow hitch, via the 3 nuts and bolts on each side. If you don’t, unbolt from the frame.

Cab Install

1. Record the distance between cab and bed on both sides. Then, use a T-47 Torx bit to remove all bed bolts.

2. Slide the bed rearward about an inch; be careful not to pinch the fuel filler. Remove all body to frame bolts on the passenger side of the cab. Remove the middle two body to frame bolts on the driver side of the cab; loosen but don’t remove the front and rear bolt. Using the jack with the wooden block on top, slowly raise the body on the passenger side until it’s high enough to get the body lift block in. Install lift blocks along the passenger side.

3. Place a bolt into each of the body mounts on the passenger side but do not tighten. Lower the cab. Remove all body mount bolts from the driver side. Following the same procedure as the passenger side, install the lift blocks. Ensure the body hasn’t shifted on the frame; if it has, re-align it carefully by shifting it. One at a time, coat each bolt in Loctite and torque to 55 lb-ft.

Bed Install

1. Slide the bed forward until it's near its original position. Using a jack with a wooden block on top on both sides, slowly raise the front of the bed. Install lift blocks on both sides on top of the mounting pads.

2. Using the same procedure, install the lift blocks for the rear of the bed. Install lift blocks in remaining positions. An 8’ foot bed has four more; all other beds have two more.

3. Lower the bed onto the blocks. Install a bolt through a washer at each mounting point, making sure it goes all the way through the body mount. Do not tighten. Ensure the bed hasn’t shifted; if it has, re-align it carefully by shifting it on the frame. One at a time, coat each bolt in Loctite and torque to 55 lb-ft. Reattach the parking brake cable.

Spare Tire Modification

1. Remove two bolts and the spare tire cranking mechanism from the mounting plate.

2. Install two lift blocks and then the cranking mechanicsm of the mounting plate using the bolts and washers provided.

3. Insert the guide tube through the hole in the included bracket. Install the bracket and guide tube onto the mounting plate using the included bolt, washer, and Nylock nut.

Rear Bumper Modification

1. Remove 6 bolts and the bumper support or the hitch from the rear bumper.

2. Mark and cut the passenger side lower bumper support bracket off of the rear bumper support. Repeat this step for the driver side.

3. Install kit brackets onto the rear bumper support on both sides using the six bolts, six nuts, and twelve washers. Make sure to align the bracket so it's centered in the hitch mounts and then tighten.

4. Mark and drill a hole using a 5/16” bit on the passenger side of the bumper bracket. Install the 1” studded bracket into place and tighten. Repeat this step for the driver side.

5. Mark and cut both sides of the bumper to clear the hitch and bumper support. It's suggested to test fit it first before cutting anything. Some trucks will need it, others won’t.

6. Install bracket onto both sides of the bumper using the OEM bolts. Using 2 bolts, four washers, and two nuts, attach the lower bumper support mount but don’t tighten.

7. Position bracket between the bumper and bumper support in the middle of the bumper.

8. Mark and drill 7/16” holes into the rear center bumper support.

9. Install the bracket onto the bumper support using three bolts, six washers, and three nuts.

10. Install the entire bumper assembly back onto the vehicle using the OEM bolts. Adjust bumper to match the measurements you recorded, then tighten.

11. Reconnect license plate light and backup sensor harnesses (if applicable). Re-install trailer harnesses; use zip ties to secure any loose wires.

Install Bed Crush Blocks

1. Set a crush block on each frame mounting pad. Install a bolt, two washers, and a nut on each crush block. Note: you can also weld these instead of bolting if you prefer.

Extend the Fuel Filler Hose

1. Remove the clamp holding the filler hose to the gas tank, then disconnect the hose.

2. Mark and cut near the base of the filler neck. Install the included pipe using the clamps in the spot you just cut. Install the fuel filler assembly onto the bed with three bolts. Install the fuel filler neck on the bed mounting tongue with the clamp.

3. Re-install the easy fuel clip.

Under the Truck

1. Reconnect group strap on passenger side near body to frame mount.

Floor Shift 4x4 Modification (if applicable)

  1. Mark a line along the side of the transfer case shift level, right above the bend.
  2. Mark a line running down the center of the shift lever across the line you just marked, to make a plus sign.
  3. Cut the lever into two pieces at the line you first marked.
  4. Position the shift lever extension between the two pieces; ensure the second line you made is aligned on both the top and bottom piece.

5. Weld the extension in place. Slide the lower shift boot onto the lever, then slide on the upper boot. Reattach the transfer case shift lever to the linkage, then check and make sure it is operating correctly. Line up and install the lower shift boot into the floor, then attach with the four bolts. Attach the upper shift boot using the four screws. Install the shift knob by screwing it back on.

Steering Linkage Extension

1. Position the steering extension on the steering wheel shaft, then torque the included bolt to 33 lb-ft.

2. Slide the steering U-joint onto the extension. Ensure the steering wheel hasn’t turned, then torque the bolt to 33 lb-ft.

3. If applicable, operate the adjustable pedals to check for interference with the steering U-joint or solenoid. If there is interference, slightly bend the brake pedal sideways just enough to clearance it.

ABS Brake Controller Bracket

1. Install both spacers onto the side of the frame for the using the supplied bolts. For the top hole, drill a 5/16” sized hole 5/8” toward the inside of the frame into the OEM bracket. Secure the ABS bracket using the OEM bolt.

Firewall Ground Strap Extension

1. Install the flat 3” bracket onto the firewall using the OEM bolt. Install the ground strap onto the bracket using the supplied nut and bolt.

Engine Compartment

1. If necessary, use zip ties to secure the battery cable to the A/C line, and secure any other loose wires or vacuum hoses. Install fuse box onto the radiator core using the four OEM bolts.

2. Remove old power booster vacuum hose and install the new supplied hose, using the OEM clips to secure it.

3. Re-install frame wiring harness strap on passenger side. Some adjustment may be needed to get it to properly align.

Air Intake Modification

1. Remove MAP sensor bolt and MAP sensor, taking care not to damage the sensor.

2. Measure, mark, and then cut the airbox cover 2 ¼” up from the inlet.

3. Install the cut airbox cover onto the airbox. Attach the air intake duct to the small section of the airbox housing using the OEM clamps.

4. Using the hose extension and supplied clamps, attach the extension to the small section of the airbox housing pipe and onto the airbox cover. Adjust to ensure proper airflow, then tighten the clamps.

5. Re-install the MAP sensor.

Front Frame Horn Modification

1. Using the included bracket as a template, mark, drill, and cut the frame horns. Cut 2” strips on the top of both sides of each frame horn. Make sure there is no lip left so the bracket can sit flush.

2. Measure 1 ¾” between the top of the slotted hole on the outside of the frame horn, and then center where you will mark. Once the hole mark is centered, drill a 9/16” hole.

3. Mark and cut 2 ½” in and 1 ½” up out of the outside lower corner of the driver side frame horn. Mark and cut 2 ½” in and ¾” up out of the inside lower corner of the driver side frame horn.

4. Repeat steps 6 and 7 for the passenger side.

5. Use a rust protection product on the exposed metal from the cutting.

Front Bumper Modification

1. Remove both front bumper brackets from the front bumper by removing the four bolts on each bracket. Remove the OEM studded bracket from the bumper bracket.

2. Carefully, use the included studded bracket to mark for the new holes in the OEM bumper brackets.

Your marked bracket should look similar to the one below:

3. Make sure the included studded bracket matches up to your marked holes, and then drill a 9/16” hole at each mark. After drilling, check fitment of the studded brackets. If studs do not align, make the proper modification so that they do.

4. Measure multiple times, then mark where the front bumper needs to be trimmed to clear the frame horns.

5. After making the measurements, trim the front bumper.

6. Install the bumper brackets onto the bumper using the OEM hardware.

Installing the Front Bumper

1. Place the front bumper into the frame horns with the included studded brackets, and lower studs in the two holes in the frame horn. Using the included main bracket and hardware, secure the front bumper to the frame horns. Use the washer in between the bracket and the bumper. The studded brackets are notched for the driver and passenger side; make sure that each notch is towards the outside of the frame horn.

2. Once all the hardware is in place, align and center the bumper to your previously recorded measurements. Tighten everything up.

Under the Hood

  1. Reattach all air flaps to the radiator core and bumper using the push pins.
  2. Re-clip the transmission cooler hoses back into the clips on the radiator core support.
  3. Re-install the hood release mechanism via the bolt in the center, then install the two OEM bolts on both sides of it.
  4. Place the included frame horn plate into each frame horn, using the included hardware to install.
  5. Re-install tow hooks; some additional trimming may be required for clearance.
  6. Reconnect the fog lamp wiring harness.
  7. Install the included air deflector extension with the included push pins.

8. Install the air flap on the front bumper radiator lower support with the OEM push pins. Some trimming may be necessary to properly clear the transmission cooler or power steering cooler lines.

Post-Install

  1. Re-install the airbag fuses into the fuse panel.
  2. Connect the positive (red) battery cable, then the negative (black).
  3. Start the engine, wait for the thermostat to open, then check and fill the cooling system.
  4. Double check all hardware to make sure it's tight and installed properly.
  5. Turn the steering wheel from full lock on one side to full lock on the other to ensure there is no binding.
  6. Test drive to check for issues with braking, the transfer case, and shifting.
  7. Test the parking brake.
  8. Wait 500 miles, recheck all hardware, and then check with your regular maintenance again.