James Duff Lifts | Page 2 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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James Duff Lifts

Good job!

Now you are addicted. :)

Duff has new radius arms that have heim joints and look pretty good!
ZThey are pricey, but the extended radius arms are the single biggest improvment you can make for ride and suspension flex...

The basic kit without the arms is simply just raising the truck, the longer arms can gain you 30% more flex.

Lets see some pics!!

4.10's plus 31" tires = NICE and quick

LEts go wheeling!!!!

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Some Pics!

Thanks, guys, for all your suggestions and info. Yep, now I'm hooked. I've been fighting it pretty good until now--just little mods here and there. Gotta go see what I can break next. ;)


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Another one


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I had plenty of room for the 31x10.50s:


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ok so let me get this right u guys installed the james duff kit... and also left in the f-150 spacers? and that would come out to how much lift? almost 5 inches? if so what did u do to the rear SOA? because i have the spacers and shackles, and a 2 inch body lift and i was lookin into this kit because i am gonna run 33x12.50x15 pro comp M/T's and i am doing this soon so please help me out.....

JD Lift


I only have the 2.5" JD kit installed with the supplied coil spring spacers (not F150). The JD gets the lift in the rear with add-a-leaf and some extended shackles (though not as long as the Warrior ones, I think).

I think that if you use the JD kit, replace the supplied spacers with the F150 spacers, and use the Warrior shackles, you'd have about 4.5" in the front and something less than that in the rear (my understanding is 3-3.5"). If you don't mind dragging your X's butt around, that'd work OK. You may even be able to level it out or further raise the rear with another AAL or something. It'd ride pretty stiff, though.

I would highly recommend JD's lift kit. Appears very solid and well thought out If you have the $$$, actual lift leaf springs (like OME's) would be a nice improvement, and from what others say the extended radius arms are helpful.

where do u get the ome-36 springs?

If you go SOA in the rear, the lift is 4-5.5". using the stock shackle and no AAL.

Thats right. I got the Duff 3" Progressive Coils w/ F150 Spacers. Mine was used off a Ranger Project that Totalled, so I only had AAL for the rear and I put on some Cheapo Shackles. When I put in the spacers, I did an SOA in the rear and removed my Oveload bringing it real close to the Front lift. The SOA rides a ton better than the AAL, and it flexes alot better. It does sit a tad higher in the rear. I now run 33x10.50s and they stuff nice, and don't rub. Rims w/ a good offset will help too, but probably my saving factor is the 10.50s.
I am going to chop some fender action and go to 34s, possibly 35s, but then there is my gears...

KIrby N- whos' spring perch did you use on the rear axle for the SOA? and did you mount your shocks at the sway bart brackets? any pics?

I used Warrior's Larger spring Pad ($18) and it worked perfectly. Fit tight on the axle and w/ the center pin for the springs. I have my shocks mounted in the swaybar hole, but I will be moving it and using Warriors bar pin eliminator(~$20) for XJs in the bottom hole.

Here are some pics. Remember my shocks will be moved. Where they are now, I actually broke off the end of one shock. The angle is just wrong. I am now running XJ rear shocks for a 4.5" Lift. They are perfect. The Duff ones were too long (They were for a Ranger though)
Rear Suspension
Also, I will be putting on Polly bump stops in the stock location.
Here is a flex shot:Rear Flex
And here is a before:Before Flex
And After:After Flex

And Lastly, a side shot. It is actually uphill, so I don't know how accurate it is:Side

Also, I now have rims w/ more offset. The SOA cleaned up the rear as you can see, because I no longer have monster ugly shackles hanging down in the rear and screwing up my departure angle.

I think I highjacked a thread! I am sorry! Please PM me w/ other questions!

Road Manners

Here's an update on my JD lift kit, for anyone considering a mild lift. I love it! It gives plenty of clearance for my 31x10.50s. I think it looks pretty good combined with bigger tires and some Rockcrawlers. Best of all, overall my Explorer handles much better than it did before the lift! There's a little bit of body roll in tight turns, but it's not much worse than the stock swaybar bushings. Steering is much improved--the steering stabilizer is a must-have that I'd recommend for stock vehicles. Bump steer on the highway is significantly reduced.

My only complaint about road manners is the stiffness of the AALs. I feel sorry for passengers in the back when crossing speed bumps in parking lots or hitting potholes at highway speeds. The shocks all around a kinda stiff, but the back end doesn't give much at all.

As an aside, I'm thrilled with my gear ratio/tire size combination. I expected ridiculously high RPMs at highway speeds and reduced gas mileage. In fact, I turn 2650 or so at 70 and 2850 at 75 after changing the speedo gear. 80 mph is about 3000 RPMs in OD. Gas mileage is actually improved so far--17 mpg on the highway, when I was getting about 16.

Kirby N., no problem with using this thread. We're all here to trade information! And you are answering questions related to JD lifts. :) Sounds like if you swap out the spacers with F150 and convert to SOA, you can get about 4" in the front and 4-5.5" rear. A little more involved than what I wanted to do, but sounds like a pretty cheap option for getting close to 5" of lift.

Re: Road Manners

Originally posted by majorlag
Gas mileage is actually improved so far--17 mpg on the highway, when I was getting about 16.

My last tank I Avg. 12.88 MPG

Question for Maniak


I've been looking into copying your lift to get a little more clearance. Did you get a dropped pitman arm to compensate for the extra lift or do you find the radius arm bracket from Duff takes care of that? How's bump steer?


majorlag said:

I've been looking into copying your lift to get a little more clearance. Did you get a dropped pitman arm to compensate for the extra lift or do you find the radius arm bracket from Duff takes care of that? How's bump steer?


I have a new drop pitman arm, but haven't installed it yet. My steering box is bad (sector shaft moves around alot). When I replace the steering box I'll put in the new pitman arm.

My bump steer is no worse with the combined Duff + spacers than it was with just the lift.

two other things I did for clearance is double the RA bushing washer at the front of the RA bushing. This pushes the axle forward a little (taking it away from the fender by the door). The issue to watch with that is your passenger side extra washer "might" hit the bolt for the drop bracket. If so, it will limit your up travel (I modified the 2nd washer to fix this).

The other change I did was remove my inner fenderwell. I like being able to work on the side of the motor from above the tire, and my tire doesn't hit the inner fenderwell. The downside is of course mud on the engine (I don't ever notice any, but I live in Az) and that when I do go through some mud (or wet dirt) it throws the dirt into the door hinge. It squeeks when I open the door until I clean it. I will be adding a small inner fenderwell in front of the doors only just to keep the crap out of the hinges.