is this correct for a 3" body lift? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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is this correct for a 3" body lift?


Moderator Emeritus
November 14, 2000
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City, State
Glade Hill, Virginia
Year, Model & Trim Level
'97 XLT & '06 Limited
originally copied from some site earlier today. (can't remember where)
Some of you Explorer owners may already know that bodylifts for 95-01 Explorers are currently unavailable. But wait! All is not lost! Performance Accessories makes a series of 3" bodylifts for the 95-01 Rangers. The Ranger is identical to the Explorer from the cab forward so it appears that these kits will work on Explorers. Well, they do and we have been very successful with installations. Performance Accessories produces two kits, one for 95-97's and one for 98-01's. The main difference with these kits is the steering extension and bumper brackets. The 98-01 kit will work on ALL 95-01 Explorers with the exception of the steering extension on 95-97's. Here's the catch, you need the steering extension from the 95-97 kit for 95-97's, but the 95-97 kit does not have the correct bumper lift brackets so after a few hit and misses we found it easier to order the 98-01 kit and then specify that you need the 95-97 extension. When purchasing your bodylift kit, order the 98-00 kit #883. If you have a 95-97, make sure you exchange the 98-00 steering extension for the 95-97 extension. The extensions are very different and cannot be interchanged so make sure you specify which one you need.
This sounds like it makes sense, but I'm asking because I do not remember reading anything like this before on this site. I know I've read about the 98+ kit working, but nothing about the steering column.
I will be ordering this soon, and wanted to make sure I'm getting what I want.

When they find out it's for an Explorer are they gonna give me any grief? Do they have any problem switching the extension, or will that cost $$?
I just want to be prepared for what they have to say.

Out of the two places I tried, I couldn't get either one to substitute the steering extension. The first shop I called, contacted Performance Accessories regarding using the Ranger kit for an Explorer. All PA would say was there is a reason they don't make a kit for the late model Explorers, but they wouldn't say what that reason was. The second shop (Offroad Warehouse) apparantly has done several of the lifts. However when I asked the guy on the phone for some advise, he made is sound like they only did a couple and not for a long time. I ordered my kit through them since their price was the best that I could find. They would not sustitute the steering extension nor would they let me purchase it seperately. They called PA and were told by PA that they do not sell items seperately from the kit. I ended up ordering the kit for the '95-'97 Ranger since it has the correct extension.

The bumper brackets won't work from the '95-'97 kit, however the front bumper brackets from the '98-'00 Ranger kit will need some tweaking to get them to work anyway. Neither kit's rear brackets will work as they originally came. The front brackets from the later kit are flat metal and if installed without modification will leave your front bumper pointing at the sky. The front brackets from the older Ranger kit won't even come close to working.

I bought some 1/4" plate steel, 6" wide and made my own bumper brackets. The front brackets I modeled after the newer Ranger kits' brackets. I used various washers, cut the piece of plastic on the valance to the inside of the fog lights and cut the metal part of the front bumpers that now made contact with the front of the frame. That is what it took to get the front bumper level.

The rear brackets are just a piece of flat metal approximately 3"x7 1/2" with four holes in it. It went much easier than the front. I had to notch out the bottom of the rear bumper where it made contact with the frame, but it wasn't difficult. I drilled a hole behind my license plate, towards the top of my bumper to allow access to my spare.

Either kit will require some new bolts. I can't remember if it was two or four. A couple of the original bolts can be reused in a different location. Some of the new bolts can be used.

Be careful of the A/C hose that will be very close to your fan belt once you lift it. I used some metal straping material, screwed on to the frame to hold my A/C line out of the way. Figure on a weekend's worth of work for a couple of people from start to finish.