Trailmaster 4" questions | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations
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Trailmaster 4" questions

Paul Gagnon

Poseur SUV
Moderator Emeritus
February 7, 1999
Reaction score
City, State
Sherwood Park, Alberta eh?
Year, Model & Trim Level
1992 XLT

A couple of questions for you about the Trailmaster 4" lift for '98-up (or anyone else who has seen it).

1) Do the drop brackets also drop the front diff? If not how are the CV joint angles kept acceptable?

2) How is the centre of the front drop down bracket attached to the crossmember?

3) Are the transmission mount drop down brackets two piece or one piece?

4) Is there an extension for the steering shaft?

5) Are there extended sway bar links or does the kit use drop down brackets?

Paul Gagnon
"No Brain, No Pain"
Dead Link Removed

[This message has been edited by Paul Gagnon (edited 12-08-1999).]

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I got a look at that Explorer at SEMA, but I wish you'd thought of those questions for us BEFORE the show!


Trail Master was good enough to mail me the install instructions for their Ranger kit, which is very similar to the Explorer. From these, I think the answers to your questions are:

1) The front diff is relocated with two drop down brackets, so the cv joint angles are stock. The diff bolts on to these on the right and left, and the center bolts to the new rear crossmember.

2) Both the new front and rear crossmembers are bolted to the existing crossmember through the holes originally containing the lower control arm (front in the front pockets, rear in the rear pockets). Neither of the crossmembers appear to be supported in the middle.

3) There appears to be a left and right transmission/transfer case drop down bracket that then uses the OEM center bracket.

4) There is no extension for the steering shaft, as the original steering unit is not relocated, but transfers via brackets to a new steering shaft guide tube and shaft, which then attaches to the OEM knuckles and links.

5) New sway bar links are included with the kit to mate the lowered OEM lower control arms to the OEM sway bar (which is not relocated).

Hopefully those answers are correct, given that I am drawing assumptions from the 98 Ranger installation instructions. Guess we will know for sure when the kit is finally released, and someone here installs it.

Great! That is what I was wondering about. Actually, I don't particularly like the way that the Trailmaster lift is designed. I just wanted to be sure about how it actually was put together before I came to that conclusion. Your answers confirmed what I thought I saw in the pictures.

I have some ideas for a bolt-on long-travel IFS lift but I don't have the time to do it or a vehicle that I can use as a prototype.

Paul Gagnon
"No Brain, No Pain"
Dead Link Removed