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Beware of the 3" Body Lift Kit!

Discussion in 'Shocks, Suspensions, Lift Kits' started by sundown, October 24, 2000.

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    1. sundown

      sundown Active Member

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      City, State:
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      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      96 Sport
      My shop guy is half way thru installing the 3" body lift on my 96 Sport. The kit from Off Road Warehouse sucks the big one! The steering shaft extender doesn't fit. The bumper brackets don't fit, some of the bolts are too long, and there is no shifter extender included.

      Now I knew about some of it, but when I spoke to their guy Mark, he just spouted on and on about how easy it was to modify to work. BS!

      Now, it appears that my buddy Mark doesn't work there anymore....when I called ORW to ask about the problems, they said that Performance Accessories said that the kit (a Ranger kit) will never fit the Explorer. Now THERE'S a news flash! They said they won't be packaging them anymore because of all of the complaints and problems. This doesn't help me, and now I'm looking at cutting and welding the damn shifter! ORW offered to give me a credit if I returned the kit.....now isn't that a great deal now that I'm 4 hours into it!

      For others who might have to install this kit:

      1. Some bolts are too long. Use washers or get shorter bolts.
      2. Steering extender will need to be ground out to fit, or grind down the steering shaft.
      3. The rear bumper brackets need to be heated and unbent.
      4. On a manual, you will have to modify (extend) the shifter on your own, either welding or a machine shop will be involved.
      5. Plan on it taking twice as long as it should.
      6. Don't believe anything ORW says about it.

      Grrrrrrrrrrrrr.
       
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    3. rpenner54

      rpenner54 Moderator Emeritus Moderator Emeritus

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      Just so you are aware, the majority of bolt on mods such as this never go as planned. There is ALWAYS something that screws up and makes it so you have to re-work something or modify it some just to get it to work. Its just part of the game you gotta play once you start doing this sort of stuff to your rig. Which is no consolation I am sure but its just the way it is. Heck I would say the majority of us here have run into a frustration like this a few times. I know that it took me a little over a week just to install my own lift kit. This was only supposed to take 2 days or so.
       
    4. GJarrett

      GJarrett Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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      Ditto Ryan. I am sorry this is frustrating and I hope your post helped get it off your chest. However, remember:

      1) There is NO 3" body lift for your '96. When you bought a kit designed for another vehicle it goes with the territory that you will have to modify the parts to make it work.
      2) The steering shaft extender shouldn't work in the first place. You either have one designed for a '91-'94 Explorer which isn't even modifiable, or one designed for a '98-'00 Ranger which can be, given some careful dremeling out and custom fitting or column grinding.
      3) Same thing for the bumper brackets. They weren't designed for you in the first place.
      4)And the bolts weren't either,
      5)And etc.

      Now, on the good side, it is fairly easy as modified - modifications go. This is not hard, just tedious. Tedious is not the same thing as difficult. You can get a little dremel tool and play with the extension for a little while until it fits. You can go shopping for a couple of different length bolts. We did fine at Home Depot. Our gals went next door to shop for shoes, and we stayed and shopped for bolts. Pretty easy stuff.

      You can re-use some of your longer rear original body mount bolts in other places to use as correctly lengthened bolts there (For example, take your rear "E" position body bolts and transfer them to the "B" sector short bolt section and voila! it works for a lifted vehicle). Etc. Ingenuity is half of the fun.

      And you might also want to check your airconditioning line clearance by your alterntor pulley wheel before starting the engine. Just a hint. Your printed installation directions for a Ranger never addressed this issue, did it? Ask Sinjin[PEZ] how much that costs when you disregard the fact that you are installing something not made for your vehicle.

      All this may be frustrating and tedious, but nothing is difficult about it. Rather amazing when you consider that none of the parts you are using are designed for your vehicle.

      My '99 has a 2" body lift for a '91-'94 Explorer combined with doubled rear bumper brackets for early models and front bumper relocation brackets for a 3" Ranger lift. I wasn't expecting them to bolt right on with no problem.

      Also, you should expect the general lack of accurate information from any 4x4 shop, not just ORW. How many new model Explorers has your local shop lifted before? Is it possible that you are the first? What kind of experts does that make them into?

      I have found that all 4x4 shops I have come into contact with will spout off opinions on what you can do and all of them don't have a clue what they are talking about. They know J**ps and a JEEP IS NOT AN EXPLORER. Re-read what I just said to let it sink in because you really NEED to keep that in mind the next time you walk into a 4x4 shop. In case you didn't pay attention; re-read it again until you understand that they DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT. Most of them haven't figured that out yet and will continue to give you wrong information because their knowledge is based on experience with a totally different vehicle.

      That is what make this website so valuable. These people DO own, drive, modify, and fourwheel in Explorers.

      Concering your newly-lifted Explorer, I am excited for you. Once you get it back you will be very happy you did the lift. I hope your frustration goes away at that point. I believe you will be very pleased with your new mod. Have some fun with this. Be sure that they charge you a labor quote based on their original estimate [​IMG]

      [Edited by GJarrett on 10-24-2000 at 07:20 PM]
       
    5. sundown

      sundown Active Member

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      Yeah, but....

      Ya, I'd agree with you guys if it wasn't for the load of sunshine I was sold along with the kit.....

      Like I said, some of it was expected. But when you specifically ask about a shifter extention, and are assured that it is included, you don't like to hear from the SAME store a few weeks later that what you REALLY need to do is cut and weld it.....that's a real bummer, and, IMNSHO, a hell of a way to sell a kit.

      Sorry for venting, but as the shop tab rises, so does my blood pressure! Hopefully, it'll be worth it....
       
    6. olivesman

      olivesman Active Member

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      all i have to say is DON'T PAY ANYBODY TO BUT A BODY LIFT ON!!!! that's a waist of money. it takes minimal mechanical knowledge and can be completed in a lazy afternoon of two or less hours. about your pro performance stuff, they sent me the wrong stuff, too. just keep yellin at em. good luck w/ your rig! -russel
       
    7. 2001ExpSport

      2001ExpSport Elite Explorer

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      3"

      Man, all the stuff you guys are talking about makes me a bit weary about getting a 3" body lift for my truck. It seems I will have the toughest time being a '01 model. At any rate, I looked at the Perf Acc. kits and nothing for late model explorers. Looks like I will have to buy a 94 kit and run into the same problems you guys are having along with new bumper mounting problems on my '01.

      Any suggestions as to which kit would be best? Seems to me that the 94 kit would work ok excluding the steering shaft ext.

      Also, anything special needed for automatics? Are the fuel line and rad hose needed?
       
    8. olivesman

      olivesman Active Member

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      w/ an auto. you'll probably have to cut and weld a small shift extension. it's not a big deal. pro perf. makes some good stuff. i think you'll like
       
    9. SDMike

      SDMike Member

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      I'll have to agree with Gjarret. If you asked the same question to two different salespeople at some off road shops you more than likely will get two very different answers. I take every answer I get from these "off-road experts" with a grain of salt. Granted, there are very knowledgable people that know their stuff, and then there are those who think they know or just will tell you anything to give you an answer. I've had this happen to me more than once, which is why this board is such an important resource of information. I've done some mods to my truck that some off-road shops would never suggest or tell you...In regards to your lift from ORW, it's sucks that you're having some problems. I had the same 3-inch performance accessories body lift done on my '95 sport with all the modifications needed to make it fit almost three years ago, and I haven't had any problems (knock on wood). So hopefully it'll work out for you...
       
    10. amigo

      amigo Active Member

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      Just to add a little in[ut to the subject. I put a 3" Trailmaster bodylift in my truck. The only problems i seen was with the 4x4 shifter (not long enough) but it stills works fine, no problem going into or out of 4 wheel. The other was the bumper relocation brackets for the front don not fit without cutting the frame in front on an angle. Needless to say my bumpers are still 3" lower than my body, but i'm about to add a 5.5" superlift, so i'll have soom custom tube bumpers made like Ricks when it's done. As far as steering extension, didn't need it on the year model explorer I have.
       
    11. Dre

      Dre Elite Explorer

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      All you guys with 3" body lift problems look at my site and a nice page I devoted to this subject. All the guys thinking about doing it either learn from me and others that done it or bring your rig over and we'll figure something out. If you've been that route once it's easier next time around.

      here we go: http://www.geocities.com/andre_hryn/Explorer/

      Later,
       
    12. firefighter43

      firefighter43 Member

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      I installed the Ranger 3" body lift on my '97 Explorer with the help of one of my friends. It was actually a lot easier than I expected. The front bumper brackets worked fine, but I had to weld my chrome brush guard to the frame because the mounting hole are now 3" above my frame! I didn't even attempt to raise my rear bumper due to the fact that my duals and reciever hitch would then look awkward. Instead I opted to have a piece of polished alum. fabricated to fill the gap. With minimal effort, I ground out the steering extention. The manual tranny shift extender took some creativity though. Here's what I did:
      1) take the shaft supplied w/ the kit and notch it and flaten the one side so it will fit in the factory shift lever
      2) take an 18mm deep well socket and hack approx. 3/4" off the wrench attaching end
      3) slightly grind out the round end so the supplied shaft will fit in it
      4) weld the shaft to the socket and the socket to the "nipple" that goes into the tranny
      Everything else worked fine and took us maybe 6 hours total. Any questions, feel free to e-mail me.
      --CoDean
      esfn43@aol.com
       
    13. ExplorGM

      ExplorGM Active Member

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      Save yourself the headache...

      The 2" kit, again for the 91-94, does not need a steering extension, can be installed without ever removing the bumpers, and only needs new bolts to complete. A little less lift, but fewer headaches as well. That plus the 2" suspension lift gives plenty of room for 32" or 33" tires.
      Rick
       
    14. JayR

      JayR Active Member

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      Hey Rick, I have a 2 1/2 inch skyjacker suspention and was looking into the 2 inch body, what are the pro's and cons of it. I know that the steering might bind and stuff but can you list like
      Pro's Cons

      thanks alot man
       
    15. firefighter43

      firefighter43 Member

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      Rick,

      Where did you get a 2" suspension lift for your truck? I thought they didn't make a lift for the '95 - '97's. If you are refering to the cranking of the torsion bars and rear leafs, I've already done that and there is no way my 33 x 12.5's would have fit w/ only 2" of body lift.
      --CoDean
       
    16. JayR

      JayR Active Member

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      Firefighter, he was refering to having plenty of room for 33s with a 2 inch body and a 2 inch suspension.
       
    17. soupbone

      soupbone Active Member

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      interested in 2"

      Ok so is the PA part # 792 for 90 to 94 2" kit the right one that will fit with some *work* on my sport?


      thanks
       
    18. BenS

      BenS Golden Monkey Addict

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      ExplorGM -

      You mentioned that new bolts need to be purchased. How many in the 2" 91-94 Explorer Kit can be used on a 1997 explorer install? Also, did you move your bumpers up in the front or rear? Thanks.

      Ben
       
    19. bnorton25

      bnorton25 New Member

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      What size bolts and how many would i need to put a 3 inch lift on my 1992 Explorer?
       
    20. Dan Whitaker

      Dan Whitaker One fast putty tat Elite Explorer

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      And we have a winner for the oldest post revival. I do give you props for using the search feature though :)
       
    21. BradenTuman

      BradenTuman New Member

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      What year is your explorer?
       
    22. RangerX

      RangerX Elite Ranger Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I'll answer for him since he hasn't been on this site since 2002. He had a 91, different generation than your 95.
      Props to you for using the search feature!
       
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    23. 2001ExpSport

      2001ExpSport Elite Explorer

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      Wow, this thread is still going huh?
       
    24. Trailman James

      Trailman James New Member

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      Just did a 3 inch body lift on my 94 limited, that with a 2 inch suspension should clear my 33/12.50's with 15×8 steelies. Two things that got me was 1. The bumper brackets needed drilled out as they were off by 1/4.
      2. The steering extender caused it to bind when turning. Granted they sent the hardware to account for that, its still a pain. 7 hrs solo. Still need to mount rear bumper. They stiffed me on one 12mm x 220 mm bolt. daystar product by performance accesories. Yes i just resurrected this post. Youre welcome :)
       

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