alignment impossible? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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alignment impossible?


Well-Known Member
August 14, 2002
Reaction score
City, State
Vero Beach, FL
Year, Model & Trim Level
'91 Sport
well i bought a set of used rancho 2" lift coils from a 4x4 shop in ga. i put them in this weekend and it lifted the front 3 inches! i know this because i measured the distance from the ground to the bumper in the front and the back when it was stock and if i lift the back up 3" with my hi lift jack the front measures 3" of lift too! i have a couple questions that i need the answers to:

1. supposing my old coils were sagging and that is the only reason for the big difference, i should be able to get it aligned, right?

2. do i need to lift the back to the level of the front before i take it in to the shop to get it aligned?

3. if i cant get it aligned, does anyone know anything about the tuff country axle pivot drop brackets in jc whitney for $150?

p.s. my budget lift is beginning to cost more than the james duff lift- im mad- please help

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You got 3" out of the coils because they haven't settled yet. Bounce the hell out of the front end. That extra 1" will settle out of them in a few weeks. You most certainly should be able to get it aligned at a shop, and the rear lift doesn't really have anything to do with the front alignment.

It will settle some, maybe not an inch if you were sagging to begin with (not at all uncommon).

DEFINATELY raise the rear before you get the thing aligned. It will change the camber/ toe in/ castor settings if you don't. Your front end will be in a different relation to the ground and it will be different.

It should align, but you might have to put in some camber excentrics. This will cost some $$$ so be prepared. Mine had those in it when I got it, but I have heard that is pretty rare. The alignment shop will tell you all about it. I think Moog makes the highest???

PM 410Fortune for details on the camber deals if you have questions...

Oh, you should have went with the Duff kit! On the Rough country drops, you get what you pay for. Sorry about the bad news...

yeah i thought i would have to get the rear lifted first cause the front wheels are sitting at a different angle to the ground now. yeah i should have gotten the duff lift:( oh well im stuck with it now. remember i said the coils were used- i think theyre settled already. the extral lift might be because the cars riding on the outside of the tires which are lower compared to the middle of the tread (remember they are at an angle) thanks for the help!

one more question- will the alignment shops have the camber bushings or do i need to order them?

You will probably need to order them, but they will be able to order them most likely.

I guess I didn't notice those coils were used. Rancho lifts come with drop brackets and extended Radius Arms. Those coils are only 1 piece of the lift. Oh, they are 2.5" coils too...

IF the coils gave you 3" of lift it MAY NOT be able to be aligned without axle pivot drop brackets.

Each truck is different so the alignment shop is the only place that can tell you how far out of camber it is.

The max adjustment shims available for your truck are 2.75 degree correction.
You will save some $$$ if you buy them and install them yourself prior to the alignment shop.

You must lift the rear of the truck prior to alignment.

2" over stock is the MAXUMIUM lift you can go without drop brackets, and this is just a RULE OF THUMB, because each truck is different.

If you get it aligned ask if they will do an adjustment for you in a couple weeks, in case of settling. Yes the used coils should be settled already, but each truck is different so whi knows.

Now if they tell you it cannot be aligned, call around and find somebody else, try to find somebody who is familiar with lifted TTB setups.....

The Rough Counrty drop brackets may not be the greatest but they may work perfect for your needs, they are small drop brackets so they may not have the problems the other taller brackets have....

I was waiting for you to chime in Jaime

well i took the springs off today to save my tires and i called the 4x4 shop i got the coils from. they were pretty helpful. the guy said that the coils i got came off of a ranger xcab and it didnt have axle pivot drop brackets either, just the coils. he said i would need to put about a 2.5 degree shim in there and the front would squat down a little more when i lifted the back. the good news tho is that the springs came off of a truck running the same setup as i want to. im going to lift the back and take it into a shop to see if mine can be aligned without the drop brackets.

where can i get these shims and how do i figure out what degree i need?

Ok slow down.

Start from the beginning

Heres what I gather so far.
YOu have a 91 Explorer sport 4x4
You bought Rancho 2" lift coils for it
The coils are used and were previously installed on a Ranger

When you installed the coils on your truck it lifted it. You have NOT taken it to get it aligned yet?

Any alignment shop worth a grain of salt should be able to get and install the correct camber shims.
I presonally believe you will need the 2.75 degree shims.

You can get the shims at any good parts store.
Carquest is an excellent source because they carry MOOG brand shims which are the best.

Without taking measurements on your truck it is impossible to say which shims you need for sure.
You can buy the 2.5 degree and the 2.75 degree and take them both to the alignment shop, return the ones you dont use.

Also ALL OF THIS HAS BEEN COVERED 100 times if you use the SEARCH button.........

Also SLOWLY re read this entire post, it seems you have missed a few things......

well i did use the search button and i looked at practically every post that had the word camber in it.

i was confused because i thought i bought 2" lift coils, they gave me 3" of lift, but rancho makes 2.5" lift coils and the shop told me it could get aligned but every other source i have read says i cannot.

what should i believe then? it was on a properly aligned ranger without drop brackets but everyone else says it cannot be done.

the back isnt lifted yet and i wanted to ascertain whether or not i should order the drop brackets at the same time as the rear lift to save $$ but im getting two different stories. im just going to get the rear lift and take it to some shops to see. its my daily driver so if i have to wait for drop brackets to come in my tires are going to get chewed up, thats all

Okay well every truck is different.

Dont forget that.

Also if you search for Camber and come up with 600 posts with the word camber in it, try searching for camber shims to narrow it down.

2" lift over stock with stock drop brackets is really pushing it, with 2.75 degree shims it is possible that you will still have + camber = tires will wear out on the outside edge.

The truth is no one can tell you for sure.
You need to lift the rear BEFORE you get the front aligned, and nobody can tell you if the front can be aligned w/o drop brackets until it is up on the rack.

Because every truck is different the 2" lift coil + 2.75 degree shim = perfect alignment is a rule of thumb.

If you indeed did install coils that netted you 3" of total lift you will need drop brackets for the axle pivots.
Now if you need axle pivot drop brackets you will also need radius arm drop brackets or extended arms, so basically you are looking at a lift kit.

I know thats not what you wanted to hear, but whoever sold you those coils either lied, or they had drop brackets, or they have more weight on the front of their truck then you do if it was in fact aligned with proper camber.

Either get a lift kit, or get some shorter coils.
Also are you SURE the coils are installed properly? If they are not seated in thebuckets just right you will get more lift then you should have.

i think i figured out why the coils were giving me so much lift.

because i havent lifted the back yet, the front axle is rotated backwards some in relation to the ground.

this turns some of the positive camber i have into toe in which makes the wheels want to come together.

the easiest way for the wheels to move together at this point in the suspension is for the suspension to droop more.

one bit of evidence of this is that when i drive in reverse, the front end squats down and the camber is almost corrected.

im going to get the back lifted and put 2.75 degree bushings in there and see if that doesnt fix it

Yes that was covered a few times above. You need to get the back lifted, then align. You will also have to use the 2.75 cams because thats the largest made....

Good luck!
I drove around for 2 years with +2 degrees + camber and I went through almost 3 sets of tires in that time....