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Lift kits for 5th gen. Explorer

Discussion in 'Modified 2011- 2019 Explorer Sport Tuning' started by rusty813, June 17, 2011.

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    1. Mr. Jonas

      Mr. Jonas New Member

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      I went ahead and pulled the plug on the lift project. I was a little bummed initially because i found out that lifting the Ex was possible right after i had purchased new tires, but i was able to sell my rims and new tires for enough to cover the cost of new 17 inch rims with 265/70/17 Dick Cepek Fun country tires. The lift i bought was not from traxda but rather an online competetor that cost me about 40% of what Traxda was charging and gave me 3 inches of lift in the front and 2 inches in the back so it was bigger which is always cooler. In the end i got almost 5 inches of added height and ground clearance.

      THERE WAS DEFINITE RUBBING when i first put the wheels on since my new rims had more backspace than the factory 20's that I was running. I had to remove the plastic mud flaps and play with the pinch welds a little to get rid of the issue. It was a bit of work but definitely worth it. I have since put on a 52 inch curved LED light bar that makes the ex look mean, and also purchased a rooftop tent so i can camp anywhere my Ex can get me (which is surprisingly a lot of places thanks to the lift)

      10,000 miles later there are no issues with any suspension components and my brakes still work just as well as they did before. I was hesitant to go ahead with the project because of all the "horror stories" and precautions people were listing on the forum, but i couldn't be happier with my decision. Doing all the work is definitely a risk but hey, no risk no reward. That's just my 2 cents.

      My pictures won't show up on this comment but if you hold the control button and click in the icon and hit open image on new tab, the image will show up

      If you have any questions feel free to message me

      [IMG]https://www.dropbox.com/s/i8qtb3fbjjzp67q/FullSizeRender%5B1%5D.jpg?dl=0
      [​IMG]
       
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    3. Mr. Jonas

      Mr. Jonas New Member

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      The first image didn't work so I'll repost it. Also here is a pic of one of our recent expeditions

      hold the control button and click in the icon and hit open image on new tab, the image will show up

      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]
       
    4. boominXplorer

      boominXplorer Elite Ranger Elite Explorer

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      I'm sure there is no one that will come out with that kind of a lift for it. It's nearly impossible to because of the cv angle that would have to come out of the transmission. You also have a uni body, no body lift can be done.
       
      Last edited by a moderator: September 5, 2017
    5. KayGee

      KayGee Active Member

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      I would think you could pretty much 'lift' almost any unibody vehicle by using strut and subframe spacers. It shouldn't be too hard to make spacers out of aluminum block and get some longer mounting bolts, but no idea how many other mods you'd need to do to make it all work. Not sure how much lift you can 'reasonably' get from this method either, but I assume it would vary by vehicle.

      I believe people have been doing these type of lifts on Subaru vehicles for many years now.
       
    6. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Not working for me.
       
    7. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Many members have successfully "lifted" their 5th gens. as you can see in this thread.

      Peter
       
    8. boominXplorer

      boominXplorer Elite Ranger Elite Explorer

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      He already has the traxada lift, you can't stress the cv axles any more than the 2-3" lift he has now. He is looking for another 4+ inches which is not going to happen.
       
    9. boominXplorer

      boominXplorer Elite Ranger Elite Explorer

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      Sure you might be able to squeeze another inch or two out by messing with subframe spacers but 4"+ is not safe without spending some time fabing up an entire system to drop the engine and trans subframe.
       
    10. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Yes, I was aware of that. I was just replying to your statement, "You also have a uni body, no body lift can be done." Perhaps my understanding of "body lift" isn't the same as just a 'lift'. I believe he wants 4 -5 inches in total height, not in addition to the 2 or 3 he already has. In any case it is bound to affect the powertrain warranty should something fail because of it.

      Peter
       
    11. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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      Body lifts just lift the cab by putting taller bushings between the frame ( which he wouldn't have) and the cab. No body lifts on unibodies.
       
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    12. Alptbird

      Alptbird Elite Explorer

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      Guys this thread has been a great read, I am new to the forum and have been scanning thread after thread so I don't duplicate other issues that have been discussed already. So here is my question with the lifts. I noticed the rears have a lower spacer between the shock and arm and the front has the spacer for the sway bar end links. Have any of you noticed more suspension noise as a result of the spacers. The sway bar endlink spacer looks like it may cause some noise and the rear lower spacer on other vehicles I have done this on have cause clunking noises when the weight shifts left right front rear? Trying to figure out if I want to pull this trigger. Also if I use air bags in the rear coils mostly for towing, does this raise the rear to much with the lift?
       
    13. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Welcome to the Forum.:wave:
      I believe you are the first to bring up adding air bags to the suspension.

      Peter
       
    14. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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      Most bags will give much more stiffness than they will lift.
       

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    15. Alptbird

      Alptbird Elite Explorer

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      In my towing applications in the past that has been true as far as the stiffness. But on the pick up trucks of my past it would lift the load so there was no saggy butt disease. I would assume "to a point" it would do the same here. The air bags are going on this weekend.
      I am torn on the suspension lift. if it causes noises due to the lower shock spacers I may have to find another way. Little clunks and bags drive me nuts. I grew up listening and feeling the vehicle so I can know when a failure was about to occur and safely get out of harms way. Unfortunately the option of a Bilstein 5100 series lift shock isn't available to the 5th gen Explorer...yet. So if any of the forum members have the lifts and experienced noises or faults I would love to hear about them. The kit is cheep enough and easy enough to install.
       
    16. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      There are many members that have towed close or slightly over the maximum towing weight and have not reported any problems or a need to add air bags. I don't think you can compare the Explorer to a pick up truck. Staying within the towing weight guidelines and with the use of a weight distribution hitch I don't see any need for air bags.
      http://www.explorerforum.com/forums...-whats-the-most-weight-you-have-towed.441043/
      http://www.explorerforum.com/forums...do-you-tow-with-your-5th-gen-explorer.325799/

      Peter
       
    17. Alptbird

      Alptbird Elite Explorer

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      You are right comparing the Explorer to a truck isn't fair by any means. I was in more reference to the droop in the rear like the first picture where guy has his boat or down a little further where they are pulling a nice mustang. Typically when the rear is loaded and the suspension sags a little it has the tendency to unload the front end a little. Mentally draw a line from front to rear of the vehicle unloaded, then load the vehicle that line tips to the rear, right? The front being unloaded affects steering, stopping and all around drivability. Along with a weight dist. hitch you also need to distribute weight in a more balanced fashion from rear wheels to front wheels, in order to help maintain drive ability. With the air bags, even though the initial weight is still basically on your rear wheels, if you can stiffen the rear end enough that the mentally drawn line effectively straightens back out. Meaning the weight of the vehicle has some additional weight carried on the front end, the brake will be more effective and the steering won't get as light when the symmetry of the vehicle returns to normal. The difference of 100 lbs. on the front wheels will make a huge difference in stability. I am not try to tow in access of the Explorers abilities, but I do want to maintain as much control over the Vehicle as possible.
      Hope this help you see what my thoughts are with the bags.

      As a side note I really didn't want to get to an off topic discussion of the OP, I do appreciate your reply's. Really I do.

      Back to the initial question, the noise in suspension with the lift. Any issues or concerns? The lift definitely make the EX a better looking Ride. I just want it to be as quiet a ride as before.
       
    18. jce132

      jce132 New Member

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      Hey Alptbird, I have not heard any noises coming from the suspension lift in the few months I have been driving with the kit on. The front swaybar spacer has that small lip on it, so that when it's installed it snugs up pretty tight around where the factory swaybar would be bolted. I could see the rear spacer making some noises, but again, I haven't heard a peep from it yet. What I have noticed is the usual increase in body roll when cornering, and the steering doesn't feel as crisp and responsive. However I've also mounted larger tires with pretty aggressive tread, those contribute to most of the steering feel, vibrations, etc.

      I've only towed a heavy load (about 3500 lbs) once with the traxda kit installed, and it performed well. I don't recall a lot of sagging, but then again the load really wasn't that heavy.
       
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    19. Alptbird

      Alptbird Elite Explorer

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      Update on the bags they installed pretty easy. As did the pump. At 5lbs of pressure the ride does not change but the rake is slightly higher. As for its help with saggy butt syndrome it is awesome. It raises and stiffens the rear perfect for a loaded trailer. At 15 lbs of air pressure unloaded you get an inch and half lift out of it. Which makes for one ugly rake. It took 35lbs to level the explorer with a 4300 lb weight (measured on a scale) trailer. It rode like a Cadillac...no issues with control or power, though I was pushing the brakes limits on a down hill grade.

      So, will airlift air bags lift the back of the explorer, yes, will you want to drive around every day with them pumped up.... NO.

      Looks like a lift/leveling kit for the front is a must. And maybe the whole kit while retaining the bags for the special towing situations.

      Thought I would share. Kinda wished I had the lift kit today it would have been moments more to install the rear kit. Thanks jce132 for your experience with the lift.
       
    20. CodeLimited

      CodeLimited New Member

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      Hey everyone,

      I joined the explorer group getting a 2016 Ford Explorer Limited recently. I been lurking here for awhile reading up on some aftermarket changes. I had a couple questions for everyone after searching and reading some of the threads

      For some reference I had lifted trucks, SUV's, and Jeeps.

      And last questions! Has any more people lifted their 2016+ explorers withe Traxda 2" lift? I've seen the SEMA one that was posted on here, but it's hard to judge difference in height since those wheels and tire are different.

      I do a lot of hiking, camping, offroading (I don't offroad to much anymore-too many people sitting on trails) and it was a little embarrassing scraping on a curb which I've never had with any of my lifted vehicle obviously.

      Thank you all for your replies!
       
      Last edited by a moderator: November 14, 2017
    21. kny21

      kny21 New Member

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      Bumping to see if we can get some updates from folks that have been running this lift for the last couple years. Everything I see seems to be short lifespan reviews with no issues outside Akmechanic's case so I'm hoping we can get some more contributions.

      Paging the following I've seen post initial lift results hoping they can stop back for a moment:
      @OKExplorerSport, @KlausJ, @danbman64, @Bowne24, @aLLSTaR Explorer, @Pwerdbybeard , @RBNASLT, @dangelj316, @JAPAPIA, @ve2zyc, @jce132, @Andres R, @Frankie Pham, @Mr. Jonas

      It seems a lot of folks moved away from stock rims and/or downsized due to tire selection or cost, but does anyone know the largest tire you can fit on the stock 20" (sport) rims?

      Edit: The tire question is in regards to a lifted vehicle and not a basic “what can fit on the rim?”. Please leave alone where it is more pertinent to the topic in hand.

      Thanks,
       
      Last edited: November 16, 2017
    22. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Welcome to the Forum.:wave:
      Just FYI, danbman64 was last seen here May 14, 2015. RBNALST, dangelj316 and JAPAPIA were last here over a year ago.

      Peter
       
    23. Alptbird

      Alptbird Elite Explorer

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      I am going to be installing the traxada 2.25” front 1.5” rear lift/level in the next couple days. I will try and get some before and after pictures. I am not changing my wheels or tires yet. The air bags did what I needed as far as towing. But I still want the clearance. And a more level look. But I am getting the wheel refinished, so it my be silver vs black wheels.
       
      Last edited: November 20, 2017
    24. Alptbird

      Alptbird Elite Explorer

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      Finished the install today, I will post up some pictures before and after when I get day light. I would have been able to post some today but me and my infinite wisdom pulled a Homer Simpson and forgot to release the drive shaft and fubared the driver front half shaft. By the time I got it from the part store it was 6pm and dark. So, a fair comparison pic will be taken tomorrow morning. I also painted the wheels satin black after refinishing them. So that is part of my delay too. But on the preliminary measurements, pre-alignment, I picked up 1 1/2 up front and 1 3/4 in the rear. This is a 2 1/4 front lift and 1 1/2 in the rear.... math is a little odd, but I imagine the air bags in the rear are adding to it as well. Camber and toe actually looks pretty good with the plates I use for my track car. So not sure there will be much change.

      Side note stock ride quality... no. Not bad but stiffer. Front end for sure
       
      Last edited: November 21, 2017
    25. Alptbird

      Alptbird Elite Explorer

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      and here are the pictures

      FE148F83-EA54-486D-A8EF-DB9CC86879D1.jpeg

      DA8F5C10-F465-48AE-A7FF-4980FB991522.jpeg

      F3FFC994-C92B-412C-840E-C79DA84379BD.jpeg
       
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    26. Alptbird

      Alptbird Elite Explorer

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      HAs anyone experienced a low speed Shimmy after installing the Lift kit? it happens between 15 and 30 mph below and above that it is steady as a rock.
       

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