Rough country lift kit questions | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

Rough country lift kit questions


Active Member
April 25, 2011
Reaction score
City, State
Buckley, WA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 XLT 4x4
I have a rough country lift kit (4") and 5.5" superlift coils for the rear i have YJ 2" lift shackles. I was wondering how well this will work. I plan to also purchase 3" rough country leaf packs. Any advice on installing the lift, things to watch out for? this is my first time doing something like this.

Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

Ooo...seems like a little bit of a strange mix.

I can tell you right away that the back is going to look funky with the leaf packs only being 3". Did you get them used? If you are going new why not step up to the 4" packs to bring it level?

Have you considered doing a spring over axle conversion on the rear? If you are tackling the lift yourself trust me you can handle it. The front (in my opinion) is by far the harder part to do.

Check the registry on my signature for what I learned doing my lift. If you have any specific questions shoot me a PM.
When you get down to doing it if you'd like I can give you my cell if you want to ask questions during the process.

Mine was completely trial and error getting it right and I know it would've been nice to have some experienced help. I know if I were to do it over again I could've got it done a lot quicker.

Hope this helps.

I have the 2" lift shackles and i was thinking the 3" leaf packs because that would bring the rear to 5" in the rear and 5.5 in the front. The SOA is an option however, Ive been think very hard about it. And yes it is all used bought for 130 bucks. The part that has be stressing is the rivits for the front axle drop beam.

I see what you're doing, shackles and the 3" leafs. Makes sense.

Actually that's probably a better way to go if you have the leafs already because those shackles typically get very weak from rust.
Also keeping the spring under helps to prevent axle wrap.
If you have the parts I think you're on the right track going that way.

As far as doing the lift you're right about the rivets for the brackets being the hardest part. I said it in my registry and I'll say it again; a small grinding wheel and an air hammer are your greatest allies.
The Rough Country instructions say to drill them out and tap them with a hammer and it's next to impossible as far as I'm concerned.
It's hardened steel for one, it's incredibly difficult to get the drill at a straight angle, and when you're trying to "tap out" the remnants of 20 year old rusty rivets, well, good luck.

I will must likely use a cutting wheel on the rivits. Were there any other issues that you faced with installing the lift? I don't have leafs or shocks yet I'm still in the market for those some tires and maybe some xj fender flares if they fit? Do you recommend 33 or 35 inch tires for the 5 inches of lift?

Thanks for the help.

Well first I wouldn't recommend a cutting wheel for the rivets. A grinding wheel is the way to go because there is less risk of cutting into your frame that way.

Other than the rivets everything was pretty straightforward. Some of the brackets just took a ton of muscle to get on but I think if I had it to do over again it would be a little easier. Pay attention to the level of the tires/axle as you are putting brackets on and it will make life easier. What I mean there is depending on whether you have the axle jacked way up or at full droop the placement of your brackets will be affected.

I would definitely do some reading up and take opinions other than mine to see if 5.5" springs will work with 4" Rough Country drop brackets. If I recall correctly they will work with up to 6" of lift but when you're looking at modifying a truck like that you need to be damn sure before you start.

One other thing that you need to read up on is gearing.
It's not as simple as just putting big tires on a truck. When you increase the diameter of the tire you are changing the effective gear ratio of your axle. Without regearing if you go up to 33s and ABSOLUTELY if you go up to 35s you will see a horrible decrease in performance. You also risk burning up your transmission if you're auto or your clutch if you have a manual.
This isn't just me being overly cautious either. If you start reading around you'll find out that it's a very big deal to match the proper gear to bigger tires.
I have the lowest (highest) gears they put in from factory (I believe) and knowing that I wouldn't touch 33" tires with a 10 foot pole. The best ratio you could possibly have is 3.73 and even those aren't great with 33s and they'll be atrocious with 35s.

I already know about the gears... i would be screwed with my stock 3.27s, its another thing i know i need to buy first, i want 4.10s or 4.56s maybe down the line 5.13s if i deside i need it. But i will check into the front springs working with the lift brackets i was worried about them not working and having a terrible alignment

I cut all of my rivets using a cutting wheel. Cut and X in the rivet head and use a sharp chisel and hammer to knock off the head. After that they will push out the back. Takes only a couple minutes per rivet. you have the 4" radius arm drop brackets along with the beam drop down brackets? Since that is meant to bring everything to stock like angles then you "should" be ok adding the superlift coils but you will definitely need to go for an alignment afterwards as it will throw it off a little.

Yes I have the radius and axle drop brackets I've heard a couple times now that the springs should work so I'm hoping that's the case if not I can get the 4 " ones