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better groung clearance


Well-Known Member
May 29, 2000
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Year, Model & Trim Level
91 EB 2x4
i have a 91 eddie bauer 2wd and i am looking for an inexpensive and easy way to get a couple more inches of ground clearance. I know a suspension lift is the best way but they are also kinda expensive. I have been thinking about taller shocks and helper springs and getting my springs retensioned(i have over 293k miles). when a go over even a mild curb, the front shackles(i beleive thats what they are called) on the rear springs will scrape. does anyone have any suggestions/comments as to how i can get better ground clearance?

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oh ya! i forgot to mention that i would like to maintain a soft ride and would like to not adversaly affect or effect (i dont know which :D) my handling either.

get a set of coil spacers and warrior shackles

Ground Clearance:


Remember, Since the lowest parts of your Expl. are the diffs, pretty much the only thing that gives you more ground clearance is larger stance tires. Stockers are about 28-29" Dia. To get higher, you need to go up 2" for each 1" of clearance you want to gain, hence you want 2" more clearance, then you need 4" taller stance , or 33" tires. If you want the least expensive option, Many folks are able to run 31" tires with no other lift / mods on the earlier (91-92) Expls. After that, Ford made some mionor mod that makes this not work too well. I tried 31's on my unlifted '93 and had lots of rub. This(31's) will give you about 1"or a little more clearance and is the only route that won't do noticeable things to the ride and handling. The next move is to go with 2 to 2 1/2" of suspension lift. This will let you fit 32"s. You'll very likely need another couple of inches (about 5" total) to fit 33's. This can be accomplished by going straight to a 5 -5 1/2" suspension lift, or by a combo of suspension and body lift. More than 2" of body lift creates a whole new set of problems requiring a new steering shaft, longer hoses, wiring, bumpers etc.

Personally, I run 33's with 2 1/2" of suspension lift and 2" body lift. This keeps the CG lower, cause the heavy stuff
( eng trans, frame etc) is only up 2 1/2".

Anything you to do to lift the Suspension and Body WILL definitely effect the steering , ride, and handling. How much depends on the lift height and method you choose. I definitely DO N OT reccomend coil spring spacers, and taller shackles as the answer. Remember for good O.R. performance, you not only need to UP, but DOWN, That is, you need more suspension travel, or articulation, so that the wheels can drop into low spots, as well as go over high ones, thereby maintaining traction.

[Edited by Ray Hutchinson on 10-15-2000 at 10:30 PM]

ok i guess im going to start saving up for a suspension lift and some bigger tires. I am only 2 wheel drive and most of my offroading is dirt raods open fields and getting up and over curbs but i do love the look of the 91-94 explorers jacked up to the sky. Does anyone know how hard it is to put a suspension lift on? Four Wheel Parts said it was like $1000 for a 6 inch skyjacker lift (labor included). I beleive brian green has this lift on his 92. I would like to do this my self to keep costs down. Also, would getting this much suspension lift soften my ride? and what is envolved with a suspension lift, i.e. what has to be changed/modified? and how big tires could i fit with this amount of lift? i dont want to go too big because i dont want to hurt gas milage too much.

6inch skyjacker kit is a good kit thats what i have but remember u have to get a 200+ aignment job also. The reason i suggested the coil spacers and warrior shackles is u only wanted a couple of inches for cheap u might want to go with a body lift and bigger tires witch will give a good clean stance and better ground clearance with stock susp. and ride

seeing as i dont really do alot of off roading i think i could just go for the coil spacers and shackles and just later get the 6 inch lift. how hard are these to install and how much do they cost? how many inches should i gain and do i have to get any alignment jobs done?

I've got the 6in sky jacker lift on my 91 4x4. The only problem on the install was drilling out the rivits and rusted bolt. The alignment cost me only 150 to get done.

Susp. Lift


I installed my own Rancho suspension lift about 6 years ago, so some of the details are lost to senior moments ;) , but I did it in my driveway, with the chassis on jack stands. I agree drilling the old rivets out, and a few new holes was a pain. It works best if you have a 1/2" right angle drill motor! Also loosening the studs and bolts top and bottom of the TTB's to install the new radius arms was a challenge . Had to use a 5' pipe "cheater bar" on the wrench to break them free, and to properly re-tighten. They have to be really TIGHT!. Changing out all the neoprene bushings to polys was a problem, especially in the rear leaf spring eyes. The poly spring bushings weren't part of the lift kit, but definitely worth it. Having a couple of floor jacks, and a helper are very useful for bringing things like the TTB pivot points back up into position, and for putting the rear add a leafs together, you need some big c-clamps. Bottom line, It's do- able. especially if you have help, but I wouldn't do it again :)


I know rough country sells coil spacers for rangers and xplorer for i think 80 bucks.Look at the sale trade buy threads Iam pretty sure someone was selling some on there for cheap i saw a picture and they look nice but i think somebody told me he's really back ordered so u should check it for w.p. shackes u can pick them up for 50-60bucks and i agree with ray that after the 1-2 lift u should get a set of 31's for an xtra inch

[Edited by CMartin91 on 10-18-2000 at 12:59 AM]

shackles are not that hard to put on but coil spacers require taking off the coil which is not all that hard to do either if u have the right tools u also have to buy 1 inch longer grade 8 bolts for the coil spacer to bolt into place on the i beam

[Edited by CMartin91 on 10-18-2000 at 01:09 AM]