Superlift vs James duff vs ??? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Superlift vs James duff vs ???


Well-Known Member
December 31, 2011
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Year, Model & Trim Level
92 Explorer Eddie bauer
Looking to lift the front of my 92 about 4" (to clear my new 33x12,50)
the rare i will just use some new shackels to get a inch or 2 extra.

My only experience with lift is my old XJ that i lifted 3,5"

Superlift 4" liftkit is about $1100
James Duff 5,5" is about $1900

is it a way to save some $$?

Feel free to post links and ideas:thumbsup:

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the James Duff 5.5 is a complete deal,, rear too ,,


it has everything ,

that i do not know,,

most guys use the Duff kit that i know of,,

I can't speak for Superlift.

The Duff stuff is top shelf stuff and very complete.

I'm running the stage 1 brackets and long arms. The kit pictured really is a complete kit. Extended brake lines and drop pitman arm to boot.

If you have the money, buy Duff!

You can, but you will need new camber bushings so you can bring the alignment back close to where it should be.
I run a Rancho 2.5" lift, and I put in some 4" coils, so basically the same result as with your spacers. You need the highest degree bushings available to compensate for the extra tilt you will have on the axle.

Can i do the JD 2,5" stage 2 and use my 2" coil spacers?

I am running close to 1.5" worth of spacers on my Duff 2.5 kit. I use half or a radius arm bushing and several or the RA washers for about 1.5".

The problem you'll run into is the coil keeper nut won't have enough threads to stay on. At 1.5", I barely have enough.

The other thing (and this is barely an issue) is, with the shorter coil, you get less droop, as the coil can only stretch so far.

Also keep in mind the shocks that come with the Duff kit are sized for 2.5". They do have 7" of travel but with that extra 1.5", you'll be biased towards the droop side, further reducing droop.

I now run Rancho 9000XLS adjustable with 13" of travel and did the F250 shock tower. I still have about 2"-3" of travel left on my shocks and longer springs could use all that up.

My set up preforms pretty well but could be a little better.


I ran duff 3.5" coils (I'm pretty sure that is what my replacement set was) with f-150 spring seats with Duff 2.5" kit axle pivots as our last lift combination before the cut/turned beams.

I ran my own extended radius arms and long travel shocks (f-250 shock mounts) since we started with the Duff 2.5" kit without arms.

The combo ran well, flexed well, but as Albino 94LTD said, droop was limited by the lack of spring (spacer doesn't flex) but the Duff coils themselves flexed well.

You can see the Duff coil extended all the way and the other one compressed almost completely in the following pic (click on it to see it on flicker so you can view it full screen). If you don't do the f-250 shock mounts and longer shocks you won't get that much travel though...

Truckhaven-mlk 2012 -5 - close up by maniak_az, on Flickr

Oh yea, I had no problems aligning things with the Duff 2.5" or Duff 3.5" springs with the f-150 spring seat using the Duff 2.5" lift drop brackets.

And last thing.. With the extra travel I was getting while using the Duff springs and the tight mount of the lower spring to the beam I managed to break a coil spring twice. If you look in that pic above you can see the spring is trying to bend 2 directions which isn't exactly good for them.


Thanx for the pictures.. i was sending a e mail to JD yesterday asking for the front lift only. just got my replay.. they are offering the front end lift only for $1335. but i will still need extended shackels and shocks for the rear end.

it will still cost more than the superlift kit but it looks like all of you use JD and that's the "tested" kit.. that makes me more comfortable.:D

Now i just need to find the $$ for it:eek:

Ill chime in on superlift. .starters I dont think they included the extended RA arms, mine did not...from the picture you posted of it it uses the old doughnut bushings and drop brackets that lower the stock crossmember. .. kit came with the brackets to lower the stock crossmember but no longer arms or anything. ..o and I only paid like $750-8500 for my complete kit so may be the difference, but using drop brackets and that type of bushings doesn't even compare to JD..jd uses its own crossmember, hemi joints and SOLID long arms..

I currently still run superlift pivot drop brackets and soa for rear..BUT I have upgraded to JD long arms and soon dual shocks..the superlift pivot brackets have been known to crack but a triangular gusset can be added..mine still have not and I beat on it...

Long story short..GO WITH JD...alot of people start with cheap kits like me and normally all end up with JD...

The Superlift kit you have pictured comes with their radius arms. I think you have to remove the old rear RA mounts. The kit comes with a new mount as the new arms are too long to fit in the OEM mounts. I think its the brackets in the center top of the picture. The design also does not allow for a lot of flex, as the shocks will contact the arms if you modify the suspension to flex more than the kit allows.
My driving style in off road is slow and steady, and I still managed to;
Cracked left side pivot drop bracket twice at the bolt tabs.
Broke the radius arm tabs off left side radius arm at the axle.
Broke replacement radius arm off at same spot.
Rear RA bushings only last about two years.
Bent right side shock because they contact the RA at full droop (had modified the RA's with heim's by then, so it did move a lot more than intented).

The Superrunner steering system would eat the bushings every time I engaged the ARB front locker and turned the wheel until I had some made with delrin.

What are your intentions with your Explorer? Are you going to wheel it, or just make it taller? Extended radius arms are not necessary if you are just wanting to make it taller to clear tires. Maybe a body lift?

I came up with a combo of lifts and ended up with 7.5, I used Skyjacker 6" class II front lift with 1.25 coil spacers and quick disconnect sway bar links I made and the rear used the Superlift spring over axle kit (which was well made) this set up has really worked well for me and have alot of flex too. I would not use the Superlift kit not well made, the only thing I would of like to change was the radius arms to James Duff because of the heim joints.


What are your intentions with your Explorer? Are you going to wheel it, or just make it taller? Extended radius arms are not necessary if you are just wanting to make it taller to clear tires. Maybe a body lift?

I do want to wheel it.. i now have my new sets of tires and it is ok for roade use with the small lift i got now.. but i ca't wheel it..

about 2,5 to 3" lift and 33x12,5-15

Then I would go with the Duff lift or do a SAS and be done with it.

If you get narrower rims, say 8-8.5" width, your tires will fit better inside the fender wells. It will also put less strain on the wheel bearings and force the sidewall to bulge out past the edge of the rims, protecting the rims. I am currently running 35x12.5x15's on 8" wide wheels.

Yes i know i need some 8" wheels.. :thumbsup::D

i got a good deal on the wheels and tire.. so maby i get a set 8" later and sell the whitespokes :)

i am waiting for a replay from JD on shipping to europe:eek::thumbsup:

JD lifts...

Dual shock coils and radius arms.
I just started a project...couple problems so far with JD parts.
When I finish the project I will list the issues. The problems and solutions will be more transparent then.
I posted some what prematurely because anyone who is doing recon on the options for parts and different manufacturers might look a little harder for quality control issues that have been posted. Understand the limitations of these modifications for what your intent might be.
I think I will end up posting issues that point to engineering and design....or lack far that proper fitting is an issue and there seems to be some functional limitations. Maybe I got some parts that have manufacturing flaws. I will try to sort it out. I have a bad feeling that the whole thing is mickey mouse...but I hope to eat those words.

I don't see a 4 inch lift in the duff lineup For an Explorer. Very interested my self.

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