93 Explorer lift and flex | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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93 Explorer lift and flex


Active Member
June 11, 2011
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City, State
Seaman, Ohio
Year, Model & Trim Level
1992 Ford Ranger XLT
I am wanting to put a 4" lift on my Explorer Sport, how can I get the most flex for my buck? I want to take it out to "Hells Revenge" in Moab, Utah.

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Well I've heard for the most flex from the Ttb you Would Want Cut and turned Beams , and Maybe Extended Radius arms as well , I'm Sure more people will chime in that Have more Knowledge than I , Good luck with your choice and Build !

To start with, use a lift kit with soft springs or build your own kit. James Duff and skyjacker TTB springs will flex more than pretty much any other TTB lift kit springs.

If your building your own lift, make sure the passenger side beams axle pivot (the one on the driver side of the vehicle) is a single piece unit and does not use a drop plate to lower the axle pivot. The drop plates make it so the diff will hit the plate when the suspension compresses.

Now for the extra things you can do...

Use f-250 shock mounts so you can run longer shocks up front.
Get extended Radius arms to the RA bushings don't bind during flex.
use rubber bushings (In my experience they do flex more)
Make sure the tires don't hit anything when flexing (cut the fender etc)
Open the hole on the passenger side axle beam where the axle goes through so it doesn't hit when flexing.
If your going to wheel it, personally I'd do the c-clip eliminator for the front axle (search for c-clip eliminator made easy)
After all that, the only thing left is really cut/turned beams but you don't "need" them to get a bunch of flex. Using cut/turned beams means you don't need axle pivot drop brackets (assuming they are turned the right amount) and it increases ground clearance where the axle pivot but it might change how much droop you can get due to how the lower shock mount is and it reacts differently when off-camber.

Here are a couple shots of our X showing its flex through the different mods..

Duff lift (3.5" springs with spacer) with duff brackets

th-RTI-459 by maniak_az, on Flickr

Duff lift (3.5" spring with spacer), f-250 shock mounts and extended RA (using Ballistic Joints instead of RA bushings)

truckhaven-57 by maniak_az, on Flickr

truckhaven-55 by maniak_az, on Flickr

Duff springs (3.5" + spacer), Cut turned beams, f-250 shock mounts and extended Radius arms.

Truckhaven-mlk 2012 -5 by maniak_az, on Flickr

Here is its latest. Now using 6" skyjacker springs, cut/turned beams, f-250 shock mounts and extended Radius arms. Its about the same flex as it was with the Duff springs EXCEPT we get more droop since the spring is longer.

I know all the pics aren't of the X doing the same thing so the flex amounts isn't quite the same (heading uphill like on the last pic means you get less stuff since there is less weight on the tire), but you get the idea.

Also, when you go for more lift you need to take care of the steering too but that doesn't really affect flex.


What would your preference be Maniak, personally I'm in favor of the Duff lift (3.5" springs with spacer) with duff brackets and the 6" skyjacker springs, cut/turned beams, f-250 shock mounts and extended Radius arms. Its about the same flex as it was with the Duff springs.

The duff 3.5" springs with spacers worked really well for me but I wanted more. Since the spacer wasn't a spring, it meant it wouldn't droop as far as it could if I had a long enough spring. Same for stuff, the spacer doesn't compress BUT, we could already hit the airbox with the tire at full stuff.

Also, Keep in mind, the Duff spring is a progressive rate spring and it rides much different than a constant rate spring. We were getting much more initial travel from the duff spring. The Current springs (skyjacker) make the front end feel more planted at speed.

The Skyjacker springs I have up front now are a little stiffer than I want (400+ ppi IIRC). I'm going to see if they soften up with some more miles/wheeling but I don't think they will. I will probably end up switching to some non TTB springs that are in the mid 300's ppi.

If you don't want to deal with drop brackets the cut/turn will let you run the lift without using drop brackets, but if you already have drop brackets I don't think the cut/turn is worth the extra money for most people.

The f-250 shock mounts is a must if you want more flex. Otherwise you just can't get a long enough shock in there...

Same with the extended RA. You don't need Ballistic joints on them but you really do need extended RAs to get nice flex.


Hey Maniak, out of curiosity, do the Duff Shock mount brackets allow for a big enough shock to keep from inhibiting the droop? I haven't see the F-250 shock mounts before (although I'll bet a quick search will bring it up) and would like to get your opinion on how the match up to the Duff shock mounts.



Ok so since I work for Min. wage you would recommend the Duff, am i correct?

Ok so since I work for Min. wage you would recommend the Duff, am i correct?

Duff is the most expensive kit on the market.but i would say its the best on the market also;)

Ok so min wage, what would ya'll recommend?

Ok so min wage, what would ya'll recommend?

I don't know now you can even afford gas on min wage!!think it would be easier if you post the price range that your expecting to spend.

JD has different pricing levels on their kits. You can spend around $600 or as much as $1700 IIRC.

For what you're wanting to do, I'd probably suggest going for a Stage 2 5.5" kit and do a SOA with your stock springs on the rear. Be sure you get the dual-purpose spring buckets that will accept an early Bronco or F-150 coil if you want to get away from the crazy-stiff TTB-type coils though, their normal single-use buckets will only accept a stiff TTB coil.

Of course if you're handy with a welder, you could build a lot of stuff yourself saving a ton of cash (big one being the extended radius arms). I have around $700 wrapped up in mine and that includes a custom steering setup as well (which is absolutely required if you want to maintain decent street manners with any flexier coils).

Last, I would say stick with the stock beam geometry if speed-running isn't it's primary use (sounds like it won't be), your stability on off-camber hillclimbs and sidehills should be better (less track narrowing/jacking).

What you're after sounds a lot like what my BII build is, maybe you can grab some ideas for yours from mine (link in sig below).

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