3rd Gen Explorer Lift Options | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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3rd Gen Explorer Lift Options

Serious Explorations Forum Members,

I hardly ever log on here. I have a 2002 FORD Explorer XLT 4.0L 4x4. I have thought about lifting it for over a year now. I know that there are not many options. It is currently stock with 245/75r16 tires (31x10) on the stock wheels. I am looking into doing the new Rancho Quick lift loaded struts all around on it. I don't want to lift the rear (it sits stinkbug/rear high stock) I just want to level it out (maybe a hair nose high...I am from the west coast). I have seen a few members on here say good things about the btf spacers. I may eventually go that route but want to do one thing at a time. I've read about Brandon making control arms. Is anyone running a set of his uni uca's? Also is anyone running one of his spacer kits with limit straps (to prevent ball joint failure). Secondly I know the reccomended tire size is a 265/70r17 or equivalent (which is 32x11). What is the possiblity of running a 33x12.50r20 without a body lift? I am willing to trim the inner fender (plastic part maybe just a corner of the sheet metal if necessary) The frame already hangs down on these things I don't want to make it any worse. Thanks For The Help In Advance.

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I haven't seen anyone running the rancho's but I'm looking at that myself so please post some pic's/review if you get that done. I think a few guys are getting the control arm done but that's in progress to date. Plenty on spacer lift's, not many if any, are running the limiter strap's yet but again a few guy's are looking into that. My tyres are 265/70/17 and I think that is roughly 10.5x32" but I'm looking at 295/75/16 (32.5x11.5) or 305/75/16's (33x12.5) down the track and they should fit with the lift height wise but fitting the width, I think, will require the appropiate rim offset and backspacing or wheel spacer's and I'm not looking forward to the extra stress on the front end running 33's!!!!. Hope this help's mate.

Thanks it helps a little bit. I posted a message on BTF's website inquiring info but sounds like the UCA's and Limit Straps are all works in progress. I really want to do a 33" tire stuffed under there.

Me too, but I don't think I'm as close to it as you. It's been worked on for a while so shouldn't be too long now!!

There has been alot of success with the btf 2.25"/1.75" lift and new moog upper ball joint's and you could alway's get your limiting strap's separately if your worried about any damage.

Yeah I mostly drive my truck on the street and don't offroad it so I'm not too worried about blowing a ball joint but figure the straps are better to have than not.

I'm going to go with the strap's as well. I've lost count of the amount of times I've had a wheel off the ground in the bush. Definitely better to be safe than sorry.(especially as most of them are under $30.00 a pair)

Yeah. I was just talking to a guy from Australia. He is in the military and is here for some training. He said he was from Queensland. Cool guy. We talked about Parkway Drive and I Killed the Prom Queen. :rock:

Queenslander's are good people that's for sure mate.

On those rancho quick lift's I saw a post on here that said the bloke who put them on only got 1/2" lift in the front and 1 3/4" lift in the back! I'm really going to need more feedback on the rancho's before I invest the coin in them. That was just one opinion and it was an older post tho'. Also saw that they can't be used in conjunction with BTF spacer's, not sure on that comment yet either.

I know the ones I'm looking at are the new quick lift loaded (that are the complete strut assembly not just the shocks). They are advertised as 1.5" front lift and 0" rear lift. I do not want to lift the rear at all. I mainly want to level the front. I know the quicklifts are adjustable from what I've read. My plan was to do the quick lifts first. Then talk to Brandon about doing some uca's in the front and adding the 2.25" spacers on top of the quick lifts. I am pretty much looking to max the front suspension potential without having to build some type of drop down bracket. I am willing to do a combination of upper arms, spacers, and shock to achieve a leveled or possibly nose high look. If I had do adjust the QL's (down) to run the spacers that's fine. Ideally I would just throw king coilovers and BTF arms all around on it but I'm not looking to spend that kind of money since it is my daily driver.

Cool cool mate, sound's sweet.

Here is a couple of pics of some explorers I like:
The first one has a nice stance. I could live without the body lift and think some bigger wheels would look nice. It has a 3" spacer lift in the front a 3" body lift and 16" wheels with 33" tires:

<a href="http://s1197.photobucket.com/albums/aa439/SUL73NAZ/?action=view&amp;current=32056350003_large.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1197.photobucket.com/albums/aa439/SUL73NAZ/32056350003_large.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
<a href="http://s1197.photobucket.com/albums/aa439/SUL73NAZ/?action=view&amp;current=nosehigh.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1197.photobucket.com/albums/aa439/SUL73NAZ/nosehigh.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
The second one has a BTF 2.25" front 1.75" rear lift with a 3" body lift on 32" Nitto Terra Grapplers with 20" KMC Hoss wheels. The back is way too high (sits stink bug). I would also like to see it on some 33x12.50r20 tires because the tires look kinda small on there:



I like the first one. Ronin8002 has a wicked rig. He's running a 1 1/2" bodylift and 1 3/4", 1 1/2" BTF's. 265/75/16's, real nice.


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Thank you for the comments! Looks higher in person actually. Measured from ground to top inside curve of the fenderwells is over 38" front and back. Over 13" under the running boards too.


Brandon @ BTF is a lot easier to reach on the phone, by the way. The number on his site is good...that's how I ordered my spacers a few months ago.

The upper control arms are a work in progress because he needs someone with a 3rd gen to bring their truck in as a guinea pig. He might cut you a deal on them if you volunteer :)

I'm going with limit straps since no one has followed through with that though. I don't need them because of the balljoints.....with the 1.75" front lift my spindle touches the coil right at full droop. It would never be a problem for regular street driving or light offroad because you'll probably never max out your suspension in that situation. It will help for more rough stuff though.

A limit strap setup should not be hard to make. Right now I'm looking at a way to make it bolt-on so I don't have to weld on tabs, but I don't want to have to do a lot of drilling either, so we'll see.

As for your other questions, it might be possible to get 33" (285/75) on there without a body lift. I would think you'd have to use wheel spacers though. Also remember a 33" spare will not fit in the spare tire carrier....but a 265/75 will.

You might be able to get 33" to fit on the truck if you do a 2.25" front BTF with a 1.5" body lift, but hard to say because I don't think anyone has reported that the combo works. With the 3" body lift and that size BTF spacer 285's definitely do fit and sits really nice and high.

You've got a lot of options. I'd love to see someone help Brandon get those upper arms figured out though ;)

Subscribing want to lift our 06 looking at the rancho with maybe 265/75/16's

I actually just bought some new tires for mine, 2002 Eddie Bauer no life all stock just bought some 285/75/16 and they fit perfect without scrubbing, that is street driving. Take it off road they will hit the fender but im not gonna be do that so lol but I am looking into the btf spacers but I also did find some 2" lift struts online as well butttt they are pricey about 185 a piece! But I'm sure it would be professional and prop ride a lot smoother and if u wanted u could prob add 1.5" spacers with it and get u bout 3"