James Duff 2.5 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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James Duff 2.5


Well-Known Member
December 10, 1999
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Year, Model & Trim Level
96 XLT
I am real close to getting this kit...I want to put it in myself...could I fit 33's possibly?...also what do people think about this kit, it sounds like a really good one to me and is better than a cheaper body lift cause it is complete with shocks and all...anyone, thanks

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I have the JD lift and I like it a lot. But there is no way you can fit 33's with it. Maybe 32's, and that will likely require trimming. If you want 33's I would reccomend the Skyjacker 4" Stage II. Or you could get glass fenders.

according to Duff 33s are a possiblility and 32s are guaranteed without flares or trimming...honestly 32s would be fine...but you like the kit and all?

32x 10.50 on 8" rims with 3.75 backspasing will fit the duff kit with a little trimming (what we have) . If you are going to keep it on the street and keep you sway bars on you may get away without the trimming... If you wheel and disconnect your sway bars you will hit the back of the front wheel well and there is a good change you will hit the front bumper.

Mark, I am about to order this kit actually...I am not sure what you mean by backspacing...and i am not sure what you mean about disconecting the sway bars, I dont know the benefits of this and I dont know where they are...could you clarify please?

Offset is how far out or in the center of the rim is compared to where the mounting plate of the tire is. Here is a page that explains it better. http://www.tirerack.com/wheels/tech/offset.htm

As for the way bars.. The swa bars connect the 2 sides of your suspension (left and right) together using a horizontal bar. The swa bars job is to try to eliminiate or minimize the amount of flex/travel one side of the suspension has compared to the other side. It will allow both the left and right tire to go up/down at the same time, but it limits how much one tire can move compared to the other tire.

On the street this keeps you from getting too much body roll and makes the vehicle handle better.

Off-road you want the suspension to move since a tire in the air isn't going to give you any traction. When you disconnect the sway bar your suspension is now free to move indipendently. The left tire is allow to move down without something trying to keep it from going down.

This is a simplified version.. since depending on the type of suspension you have (solid axle, TTB, IFS) putting force on the left tire puts some force on the other tire, but that is more advacned than you need for now.

You just need to remember that if you remove or disconnect your sway bars you will have more body roll on the street, but more suspension movement when off-road. This is why I said if you keep your sway bars on you may be fine with the 32x11.50's since the suspension wont' move much. If you disconnect the sway bars you will get more suspension travel and more of a chance of things hitting the tires.

I just noticed I said 32x10.50 in a previous message.. I mean 32x11.50.

I hope that helps some.


I like the kit. I am getting ready to add the Extended Radius Arms in 2 weeks, got em sitting at the house! I am also going to add F150 spacers for an extra inch in the front and I am doing a SOA in the rear. I think it is pretty reasonable to fit 33x10.50s rather than 12.50s, that is my goal. I should be ok, but Ill know for sure soon:D . My kit Has the Variable Rate 3" coils also. I love the front end, but the rear sucks, the addleaf made it stiff and rough.

I have the 2.5" Stage 2 Duff lift and like it so far, but I havnt had a chance to drive it yet :( seeing that my tranny blew out the day before I installed the kit
If you follow my swap page there are pics of my truck with 33x12.5x15 on the stock rims, but note that right now my truck has no weight in the front (motor/trans removed at the moment) the rear tires have clearence but if I flex the truck I see a problem with the clearence happening, as for the front, I have no idea how its going to clear with the motor and fender wells back in...

i had 33x12.50 Super Swamper Radials on 15x8 rims with the james duff kit on. They had no chance to fit at all. Had to put on a body lift and they still rubbed under no compression when i turned. But I could cut a little sheetmetal and make them fit perfect. No trimming in the rear...
Besides the tire problem the kit is great. Little expensive. I've got the whole Stage 1 kit for sale except the radius arm drop brackets.

thanks ya'll...stay tuned cause it should be here in the next couple days...and then I need to look into some 32's and selling my brand new virtually 30's...and I guess I need wheels...well one thing at a time