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Lift kits for 5th gen. Explorer

Discussion in 'Modified 2011- 2019 Explorers - Tuning & Mods' started by rusty813, June 17, 2011.

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    1. Alptbird

      Alptbird Member

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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?
       
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    3. 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
       
    4. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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

      Alptbird Member

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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.
       
    6. 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
       
    7. Alptbird

      Alptbird Member

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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.
       
    8. 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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    9. Alptbird

      Alptbird Member

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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.
       
    10. 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
    11. 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
    12. 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
       
    13. Alptbird

      Alptbird Member

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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
    14. Alptbird

      Alptbird Member

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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
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    15. Alptbird

      Alptbird Member

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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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    16. Alptbird

      Alptbird Member

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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.
       
    17. Alptbird

      Alptbird Member

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      Driver side half shaft.... problem solved.
       
    18. dangelj316

      dangelj316 New Member

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      Hey guys, sorry its been a while. I've had the lift installed for a while now and I'm starting to have some problems. I started getting a lot of front end noise so I took it into FORD to get it looked at (pay $100 FORD fixes anything warranty). They ended up calling a lower control arm and strut bad on the right front. It was nice and tight for a while but then the link connecting my sway bar to the right front lower control arm snapped at one of the knuckles. So I took it back to FORD and they fixed it for free. It was good again for a while but i'm starting to get noise again. I'm leaning towards the links that connect the sway bar to the lower control arms on both sides. Been thinking about getting something like this:

      Tuff Country Sway Bar End Links

      Not too expensive, and it would be tougher than the plastic ball joints on the sway bar links. Anybody have something like this installed on their Explorers? Thanks guys!
       
    19. Andres R

      Andres R New Member

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      Can you clarify what do you mean by "a while"? I have had the lift and new wheels/tires for 1,500 miles and everything is looking good for now. Thanks,
       
    20. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I think he means its been a while since he last posted (Jan. 11, 2016).

      Peter
       
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    21. Andres R

      Andres R New Member

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      I was wondering if you could tell me what is the mechanics behind releasing the shaft. I did it because it was in the directions but I really have no clue for the reasoning. Thanks,
       

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