Ford F250: How to Install a Lift Kit

Lifting an F-250 is a big job for one person, but installing a lift kit with the help of a friend is a breeze.

By Jeffrey Smith - January 2, 2015

This article applies to the Ford F-250 and F-350 Super Duty (2005-2010).

Having a professional install a lift kit can be expensive. Doing this task at home can be a fun project for the truck novice truck owner and an inexpensive upgrade for the long time DIY mechanics. Lifting the F-250 is not a DIY nightmare, but it's no walk in the park either.

Installing a lift kit requires a lot of wrenching and some muscle to move the heavy parts in and out of placement. In fact, it is recommended to find a friend for assistance. Replacing some of the heavy springs in the suspension can be tough, especially when trying to hold them in one hand and mount them with the other. An assistant is really the most important "tool" for this task.

Take heart though; it is really not that difficult with a friend and it will take a good part of the afternoon, but you'll be surprised at how easy it all went. Also, you'll be very happy with the amount of money you just saved by doing it yourself.

Materials Needed

  • A good quality floor jack (at least 1 ton)
  • Heavy duty jack stands (one for each corner of the frame)
  • Large 6x6 landscape timber wood blocks
  • 3/4" air compressor and air tools (Note: a 1/2" impact wrench is not going to cut it)
  • Breaker bar and a piece of pipe (If you don't have air tools)
  • WD-40
  • Lift kit
  • A friend for the heavy lifting

Step 1 - Raise your truck

First, loosen the lug nuts on both sides of the truck. Using a hydraulic jack, lift up the truck as high as possible. Lower the truck onto a pair of high-lift jack stands placed underneath the frame. Then, remove the lug nuts and the wheels.

(Related Article: How to Jack up a Truck - Ford-Trucks.com)

Figure 1. Make sure the jack stands are firmly in place under the frame rails.

Pro Tips

  • Spray all the nuts and bolts the night before with WD-40.
  • Lifting your Super Duty can be a challenge depending on the size. High-lift jack stands are a good idea.

Step 2 - Uninstall the sway bar, track bar and shocks

Remove the front sway bar and set aside. Then, unbolt the track bar from the frame bracket. Remove the lower shock bolt. Super Duty trucks with radius arm suspension will also need to disconnect the front wheel speed sensor clip.

  • Figure 2a. Unbolt the sway bar mounts from the frame.
  • Figure 2b. Remove the bolt securing the track bar.
  • Figure 2c. Remove lower shock bolt.
  • Figure 2d. Remove speed sensor clip from radius arm.

Step 3 - Disconnect brake hose bracket from axle

Remove the bolt from the hose bracket that is mounted to the axle. Discard the original mounting bracket because there'll be a new one provided with the lift kit. Loosen the nut from the hard line and rotate the block up 180 degrees. Then, re-tighten. This will move the brake line hoses out of the way and prevent stretching when the extension kit is installed.

Figure 3. Unbolt and disconnect brake hose bracket from axle.

Step 4 - Lower front axle and axle arms

Lower the front axle just enough to remove the coil springs from the shocks. Remove the factory bump stop brackets. Then, remove the factory radius arm bolts from both sides and lower the axle arms.

Figure 4. Once the axle is lowered, the coil spring will come out without much effort.

Pro Tip

Removing the Pitman arm is not necessary; however, it makes the job much easier because it allows access to the five bolts holding the track bar in place. There is a single bolt connecting the Pitman arm to the steering drive ink. Remove this bolt and then move the Pitman arm out of the way.

Step 5 - Remove track bar bracket and install the relocation bracket

Remove the five bolts holding the track bar bracket in place. There are three in the front and two more in the frame rails. Once the track bar is removed, install the new relocation bracket and re-mount the track bar using the existing hardware.

Figure 5. Installing the track bar relocation bracket.

Step 6 - Install spring and shock lifts

Install the 3.5" lift spacer onto the top of the spring. Slide the spring back onto the axle pad. Before lifting the axle up to insert the spring and assemble back into the pocket, put the new spring isolator on top of the spacer.

Figure 6. 3.5" lift spacer fits nicely into the top of the coil spring.

Step 7 - Install the lower shock extensions

In particular kits, the lower shock extensions allow for re-using the exiting shocks. A better idea is to upgrade the shocks now, so the set up is better suited to your lift kit.

Figure 7. Lower shock extensions allow use of existing shocks.

Pro Tip

High performance shocks will not need to install these extensions. The new shocks will be enough to do the job.

Step 8 - Install sway bar extensions and bump stops

Install the new sway bar extension brackets along with the new bump stop extensions, which work with your existing bump stop brackets.

Figure 8. The bump stop extensions are easily installed.

Step 9 - Re-attach the brake lines

Re-attach the brake line axle pad bracket, and install the extended length hard line bracket that comes in the kit. Then, secure the line using the factory block clip.

Figure 9. Brake line axle pad bracket with factory bump stop in background.

Step 10 - Re-attach Pitman arm and sway bar

If you removed the Pitman arm, re-install it to the drive link. Rotate the sway bar and remount to the new extension brackets.

Figure 10. Re-attaching the Pitman arm.

Step 11 - Install new drive shaft spacer

In order to maintain the correct angle of the drive shaft, install the new carrier bearing spacer on the end of the drive shaft. This spacer is included in the lift kit. This completes the front end lift.

Figure 11. Unbolt carrier bearing bracket and insert new spacer to maintain proper drive shaft angle.

Step 12 - Jack up the rear end

Loosen the lug nuts on your rear-wheels and lift the vehicle by the differential casing. Slip a small, flat square of wood (or something similar) between the jack and the differential, so it spreads out the lifting force and protects the differential casing. Lower the truck onto the jack stands, but don't lower the jack completely.

Figure 12. Be sure to use the jack stands on the frame rails.

Step 13 - Remove axle plate and lower axle

Remove the lower axle plate and lower the axle just enough to remove the factory blocks. Once the factory blocks are removed, you can then remove the U-bolts.

Figure 13. With the rear axle plate removed and axle lowered, the block is easily removed as shown.

Step 14 - Install new rear axle blocks

Once you have the factory blocks and U-bolts removed, you can place the new blocks into the axle pad. Position the blocks so while the bottom block fits into the axle pad, the top block fits into the leaf spring. The axle may need to be rotated to achieve a proper fit. Once you have maintained the proper placement, install the new, longer U-bolts over the leaf spring and into the lower axle brackets.

Figure 14. New 5" rear axle blocks lined up correctly and installed.

Pro Tip

The kit in Figure 14 uses 5" rear blocks with a 3.5" front lift to give this Super Duty a nice rake.

Step 15 - Install new wheels

Install your new 35" tires and sweet new rims. This kit allows up to 35" wheels, but your kit may vary. Once the tires are installed, start up the truck and rotate the wheels, so that the track bar fits into its top bracket. Install with the factory bolt. Double check your work and the tightness of all bolts. Be sure that you have replaced all cotter pins that were removed with new ones.

Figure 15. This lift kit accepts 35" wheels.

Featured Video: Ford Super Duty Lift Kit Installation

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