(approx) 3 Hours
Mechanical expertise or professional installation required.
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Hey, guys, Adam here with americantrucks.com. Today, we're taking a closer look at and installing the Rough Country 2-Inch Leveling Strut Extensions available for the '09 and newer F-150, excluding '10 to '14 Raptors. You should be checking this out for your own truck if you're looking to fit larger wheels and tires, if you're looking to get a little bit more ground clearance at the front end, and if you're looking to level out your truck's appearance.Now, from the factory, the F-150 has what's known as factory rake. That means the front end suspension is a little bit lower than the rear to help with towing and hauling applications. Now, most guys don't really like the look of that off the factory line, and if you're not towing every single day, you might not want that there in the first place, in which case, a leveling kit will bring the front end up a little bit to match the rear.The 2-inch leveling kit here among the categories is generally known to be the perfect leveling size to even out the truck's appearance without sacrificing any ride quality or putting any excess stress on your CV axle or other suspension components like your upper control arm ball joint. Now, the 2-inch kit just isn't high enough to put that added stress. So you really shouldn't have to worry about any excessive premature wear, and it'll still ride it like the factory truck.Now, this guy here is made from a proprietary composite material, meaning it is not a billet aluminum or it's not a steel construction like some of the other more generally basic ones in the category. This proprietary material is made to fit right on top of the factory strut assembly. So it doesn't require a spring compressor, and because it's not billet aluminum or steel, you don't have to worry about it rusting out. It's also not gonna bend, warp, or break under the load of the truck as per Rough Country.Now, this guy comes in right around 50 bucks, making it a pretty affordable way to go in the category. It's a little bit more expensive than the $30 kit, but it's not as expensive as some of the $100. It's a pretty good sweet spot right in the middle. Now, this is also gonna help you fit larger wheels and tires on your truck. You can fit comfortably up to 33-inch tires without any rubbing or modification necessary. Now, if you have 33 by 12 and a half per se that is a little bit of a wider tire, there may be some rubbing at full turn. Some guys don't mind that. Others may trim a little bit in the wheel well liner. It's all personal preference, but you can fit up 33s.35s on the other hand, you're gonna have a tight squeeze with this particular leveling kit. You might wanna consider the 2 and a half or maybe even the 3-inch option if that's your goal. Now, as far as ground clearance, it will help with some light off-roading situations. Two inches at the front end and height doesn't change a whole lot. So don't expect to be wheeling over some huge rocks going off-road, but for light obstacles, it can definitely do the trick.The install is gonna get a soft three out of three wrenches on our difficulty meter simply because four-wheel drive guys do have to pull vacuum from the four-wheel drive actuator in the knuckle, which does add a level of difficulty to it. You definitely don't wanna damage those parts in particular. Two-wheel drive guys don't have to worry about that. It's a little bit easier of an install process. So if you have the four-wheel drive, some specialty tools are required. If you're not comfortable doing it yourself, no shame handing it over to a professional. The good news is no spring compressor required.The install is gonna take about two, maybe three hours from start to finish. I'll walk you through the whole process. Let's get to it. Tools used in this install include an air impact gun, regular impact gun and/or a ratchet, swivel socket, 30, 15, 16, 27, 21, 19, 17, 13, 10, and 8-millimeter deep sockets, 15 and 17-millimeter ratcheting wrenches are definitely recommended, a pry bar, half-inch ratchet, hammer, and a vacuum pump for your 4-wheel drive actuators.All right. Guys, kicking off the uninstall here. Before we get started, I wanna make a quick mention that our 13 F-150 we're gonna be working on here has its upper control arm replaced. It might look a little different than the one we have here, but just know that the process is exactly the same. And this upper control arm here is not gonna change the height whatsoever. So, that's out of the way. Let's get started with taking our brake line and our ABS line off of the knuckle and up here towards the frame just to make sure we have a little bit more slack on it.All right. Now, there's two brackets here on the side, one for the ABS line and one for the brake line. The brake line is a 10-millimeter bolt. This guy's an 8-millimeter. I have the 10-millimeter here. Let's get that one out of the way first. Now, what I like to do is disconnect the bracket, and then I'm just gonna put the bolt right back on just so we don't lose it. All right. So now I switched over to an 8-millimeter to do the ABS. All right. Now, following those brake lines back up here to the frame, there's one more 10-millimeter. So let's switch back over and get that guy off. All right. So now all this has a bunch of slack, and we're not gonna be putting excess pressure on it.All right. Now we have to get our caliper out of the way. Now, in order to do that, I'm gonna use a 19-millimeter socket and a swivel socket along with my air gun to pop this bolt off and the bottom one down here. Now, it's gonna remove the entire caliper from the bracket. And I have my caliper hanger, and this is gonna help hang the caliper up onto the frame so we're not putting stress on the brake lines as well. I'm gonna put that guy there. From here, we're gonna work off the caliper.Next step, of course, is to get the rotor out of the way. Now, in most cases, if you pull on it, the guy's probably stuck on there. There's a little bit of rust and corrosion on the inside of that hub there, in which case, you can grab a mallet and carefully tap on the outside of the rotor here to dislodge it. There you go. Now we can set this aside.Now we're gonna switch back over to the 8-millimeter socket and get our dust shield out of the way. There's three bolts holding this guy on, two on the bottom, one at the top. All right. Now, I'm gonna grab a 3/16 hex socket, and we're gonna get the ABS sensor off of the hub. That guy comes out, very small screw. We're gonna carefully pull that guy out of the hub. And we're just gonna let that guy hang off to the side.Now we're gonna take our sway bar end link nut off. That's an 18-millimeter deep socket we're gonna use, and I'm also gonna use a swivel socket just to make life a little bit easier with this air gun. With that guy loosened up, I'm actually just gonna keep this on a couple of threads. We wanted to make this loose so that the lower control arm can drop down a little bit.Next up, let's loosen up the upper control arm castle nut. Now, this guy here has a retainer pin in the middle, which yours may also be bent on the other side. So you may need to unbend it, and you're basically just gonna pull it out from the middle of the castle nut. I'm gonna set this aside. Now, we're gonna use an 18-millimeter deep socket, again, the swivel, so basically the same assembly we used for the sway bar end link, and loosen this guy up.Now, what I'm gonna do is just take that castle nut and thread it on a couple of threads because we still have to dislodge the upper control arm from the knuckle, and we wanna make sure this is on to catch it so it doesn't pop out. So now let's get our tie rod end off. Now, I'm gonna use a 21-millimeter deep socket to loosen up this nut. Again, the same thing, thread it on a couple of threads. All right. Same concept applies to the tie rod end. We had the nut on a couple of threads. I'm gonna use a mallet to tap on the backside here right in the steel portion so I don't damage the ball joint there, and we'll have that dislodge from the knuckle as well. So if you need to, you can grab a ball-peen hammer and tap right on the side of the knuckle there as you just saw, and that should dislodge it.All right. Now we're essentially gonna do the same thing for the upper control arm. You can use a ball-peen hammer to hit right up against the knuckle there. You do not wanna hit the upper control arm ball joint. Make sure you're focusing right there. We're gonna do the exact same thing we just did but to the lower control arm to knuckle joint right here with this 15/16 nut. Perfect. So it doesn't look like we're gonna need to hammer that. It looks like it dislodged. If yours does not dislodge like this one just did, you can use a hammer and do the same process, hitting this, making sure you're not damaging the actual ball joint there.Now, this next step is a little bit more unique to the four-wheel-drive guys. Now, if you have four-wheel drive, we have to pull vacuum from the four-wheel drive actuator to disconnect the CV axle from the whole knuckle and hub assembly. The reason we're doing that is to avoid damaging the four-wheel drive actuator and/or the CV axle when we're lowering a lower control arm and lifting the truck. Putting that at such a high-stress angle pulling down on it in order to get the strut in and out can cause damage to the four-wheel drive, which is why you're gonna need this tool here, which is a vacuum pump, which is gonna help pull vacuum from the four-wheel drive actuator. We're gonna pull 24 pounds of vacuum using this gauge here. We're gonna disconnect everything we need to, set this aside, and pull the entire hub and knuckle assembly off.All right. Now, the vacuum line here is right above where the axle connects to the hub. I'm just gonna pull that guy straight back and disconnect. I'm gonna take my pump and connect the hose to the bigger fitting. All right. Now, I'm gonna pump this and focus on my gauge here to 24 pounds of pressure. Now, I'm gonna carefully set this aside without releasing the pressure. I'm gonna seat that right on our lower control arm now. Now, with that pressure pulled, I'm basically gonna disconnect the upper control arm and the tie rod end and then use a 13-millimeter socket to remove the axle nut. From there, I'll pull the CV axle out of the hub. Now, because we relieve that pressure, we'll be able to slide that right out. From there, I'll remove the lower control arm nut and pull the entire knuckle assembly off the truck.All right. So this is all gonna be kind of one motion. So I'm gonna take first off the upper control arm off. Keep that guy down there. I'm gonna put this nut back on just so we don't lose it. And our tie rod end is coming next. Tie rod end, that's gonna go back here. Next, what I wanna do is use a 13 socket to remove the axle nut, pull the CV axle out of the hub, and remove the lower control arm bolt. All right. So you can see this guy slides right out. Lift up here. Remove the lower control arm nut. I'm just gonna drop that to the ground, and this whole assembly is gonna come with it just like that. Pull the pump with me, and there you have it.All right. So here I have the entire hub and knuckle assembly on the ground, and I wanna show you guys what the reverse side looks like. This is where the CV axle actually connects to the hub. Inside is our four-wheel drive actuator, and you can see the teeth going all the way around. I still have our pump hooked up. So what I wanna do is I'm gonna show you guys what this actually does to give you some context as to why we need to do it. As it sits, I relieve the pressure. I did not remove any vacuum from this. Here I'm gonna pump, and as I pump, you can see the teeth start to lift up. Pulling vacuum the 24 pounds that we just did, as you saw, lifted the teeth of. That disengages the four-wheel drive actuator from the CV axle and allows us to slide it out. Now, if I were to relieve that, you'll see this seat back down and that would, in theory, engage the four-wheel drive. So pumped up and relieved. You can see it sinks back down into the hub. So this gives you some context as to why we need to do that.Next, we're gonna remove our bottom strut bolt from the lower control arm. The nut is a 30-millimeter and the bolt head is a 27. So you're gonna need some specialty sockets. I've got my 27-short socket on my half-inch ratchet and my 30-socket on my air gun. All right. Next, we can pull the bolt out. All right. Next up, we can remove the three top strut tower nuts. These are 15-millimeters. I'm gonna use a ratcheting wrench, definitely recommend this, and you're gonna get these guys off.All right. Now, to get our strut assembly out, I'm gonna use a pry bar right underneath of that right in this little seat here in the lower control arm. I'm basically gonna pry up and outward to get it out of its seat. Slide it down. Now we can set this guy aside. All right. Next up is gonna be the assembly of our spacers. Now, these spacers are a little bit unique in the category. They're unlike most of the other options out there, and I wanna explain what the situation is with this.Looking at one of these spacers, you'll see first and foremost there's RCA out, and if you rotate it upside down, RCB out. Now, A-out and B-out are side specific, but both spacers in the kit will have these labeled. A-out is what you want facing the outside of the driver's side of the vehicle. So when you install this on the strut and the strut goes in the truck, A-out is gonna be facing you when you're installing it, facing outside of the truck, outer wheel well. B-out does the exact same thing, but B-out labels the passenger side. So that'll be sticking out of the passenger side of wheel well. So because we're on the driver's side, I'm gonna be focusing on A-out.Now, you'll also notice, secondly, there are a couple of holes drilled throughout. Now, each hole are basically doubled. For A-out, you're gonna be using the bottom hole for your new studs. So through the back, you're gonna be taking your stud and putting it through the bottom hole on each of the pairs. So it'll look something like this.All right. So we have a stud coming out each bottom hole. Now, unfortunately, they're gonna fall out when we try to put them onto our strut. So what I'm gonna do is take a nut and just tighten them down just from the outside just to hold them in place. You don't have to worry about any washers just yet. So right from there, I'm gonna put them in my hand just like that and take one of the nuts, not a nylon locknut. It's the regular one. I'm gonna thread that all the way down so the stud gets held in place. Otherwise, that's gonna happen. All right. Do the same thing for all three. Perfect. So now we don't have to worry about them falling out on us.At this point, we can take the spacer and our strut assembly and drop it into place. Now, the strut studs at the top of the strut hat are gonna drop into the indented holes here, so not anything on the surface but in these indented holes. It'll only go on one way. So you just wanna rotate it until it drops onto all three studs just like that. I'm gonna have to put a little pressure on it to make sure it snaps in place.Now, we're gonna use new nylon locknuts included in the kit to tighten these guys down. Under the nylon locknut, you wanna make sure you're installing one washer as well, right? So I got a washer, drop it onto the factory stud nylon locknut. I'm gonna drop it on. I'm just gonna thread it on a couple of threads by hand. I do the same thing for all three.All right. At this point, grab a 17-millimeter deep socket and tighten down the 3 nylon locknut ones. Now, we can take off these nuts because the studs are being held on by the strut hat. We're gonna drop this into the truck. Now, when you're installing this into the truck, you wanna make sure that on top of these studs you're putting a flat washer and a split washer or lock washer on before the nuts. All right. So these three nuts are off. Let's drop it in the truck.All right. Now, again, when you're installing this, make sure on the driver's side you have A-out facing you. So we have that there, and that'll help you align it to the strut tower open holes. All right. With those guys through, grab a flat washer and a lock washer, right, and then follow that up with a nut. That one on it'll hold itself in place. Do the same thing for the rest. All right. So now what you can do is grab your 17-millimeter ratcheting wrench or whatever method of tightening you're using and tighten these down.Now, you'll see when trying to seat the bottom of the strut, we're bottoming out on the sway bar end link nut. So I'm just gonna take this guy off, and then it'll give us a little bit more range to pull the lower control arm down. So from here, pull the control arm down and seat the strut. I'm gonna take a pry bar and insert it into the strut seat. I'm basically prying up to get the bolt hole to line up. It might be a little bit of a trial and error, but you can get it to line just like that. All right. Lift the axle up, thread on the giant nut, and now we can tighten these two down. All right. So now you can grab your 30-millimeter socket and your 27-socket for the bolt head and tighten them down.All right. So next is to reassemble our knuckle and hub assembly. Now, in order to do that, we have to pull back in again. 24 is the magic number. I already have that taken care of here. We also lowered our truck down to the ground, and we're using a hydraulic floor jack to push up on the lower control arm. The reason we're doing that is these two angles due to our lift kit were at a little bit of a hard angle, and it wasn't lining up with the lower ball joint here and the CV axle. Now, the reason we're jacking that up is to make sure that this can go straight into the hub, line up with the actuator, and lock into place. You wanna make sure that you're doing this one properly.Now, this is the most difficult part of this entire process, getting this guy to click back in properly. You wanna make sure that the threading comes all the way through the hub. You wanna see past the threading just to that little chrome ring right around it. That's how you know it seats all the way in, and it'll be locked into place without any rotation abilities. So now what we're gonna do is lift this guy up, already took the nut off the bottom control arm ball joint, got that placed up here for safekeeping. Lift that guy up and line everything up and click it back into place.All right. So like I said, that is the trickiest part, making sure the threading comes all the way through. I'm gonna put our 13-millimeter nut right on that stud while holding it in place, turning it on as much as I can by hand. Then I'm gonna use a ratchet to carefully tighten it down. You wanna make sure it seats properly. You'll feel if it doesn't seat. And using a ratchet just makes it a little bit easier. There it is. All right. So once you have that tightened down, what you wanna do, with vacuum stall at 24, rotate this. The axle should move freely in that hub. Now, I'm gonna release the vacuum. All right. And then try it again, and it locks and you can't move that axle freely. That's how you know it's done correctly. If your axle still moves freely once you release that vacuum, you wanna go back and do it again, pull the nut off, make sure it seats all the way in, and repeat that process.From here, we're gonna start reconnecting our components and tightening those components down. At this point, let's tighten up the bottom nut here with 15/16 socket. All right. Next, let's do the upper control arm. So I'm gonna take that castle nut off, push the upper control arm through, and I might need to use a pry bar for this guy to finish that off.All right. So now we can put our nut back on along with the spacers. Now, before we tighten those guys down, let's take off the tie rod and nut and seat that back in the knuckle as well. Now we can grab our sockets to tighten them both down. Now I'm gonna grab my 19-socket and my swivel and tighten up the upper control arm, switching over to a 21 deep to tighten up our tie rod end. You wanna make sure the upper control arm castle nut here is lined up with the open hole in the stud. If it is not, you may need to either tighten it or you've gone too tight, need to crack it loose a little bit just to make sure they line up. Grab the retaining pin and put that back through.All right. Before we go any further, let's reconnect our vacuum line to the two little connectors at the back of the hub. And they just slide right on there. All right. So next up, what we're gonna do is swing our ABS line back into place on the hub, making sure we're being pretty careful with it. You don't wanna damage that. And then you can take that smaller hex screw and put that back in by hand and then grab your socket or Allen key and tighten it down.Next, slide your dust shield into place, making sure that the ABS hose is going through that little opening there and you're lining up these to the open threaded holes. Put those 8-millimeter bolts back in all 3 of them before tightening them down just to make sure they're all lined up properly. All right. Grab your 8-socket and tighten them down.All right. So now you can grab your rotor and put it back on the hub. I'm gonna take one of our lug nuts, and I'm gonna thread it on the stud just so the rotor doesn't pop loose when we're trying to put the caliper on. I find this to make your life a little easier. All right. So next, we're gonna take our caliper off the hanger on the frame and slide that guy back onto the rotor. Grab the factory nuts and put them back through. Now you can grab your socket and tighten them down. All right. So now I'm gonna grab my swivel socket and my 21-socket and tighten down our caliper bracket bolts.Next, we can tackle the ABS and brake line brackets. Now, if you remember correctly, the ABS line is an 8-millimeter then the brake line has 2 10-millimeter ones. So let's take those guys right off the knuckle here. All right. Now, the last step here would be to reconnect our sway bar end link. Now, unfortunately, with a lift kit here, it can be pretty difficult depending on the lift kit size to actually get the sway bar bolt to come back through enough to put your nut on top. That's gonna be the case here. Now, from here, you have two options. One, start repeating this exact same process on the other side of the front, and when you disconnect the sway bar over there, it loosens it up and gives you the ability to flex it downward to put the nuts back on.Option two would be to put the weight of the vehicle back down on itself, and when it pushes down and lifts the suspension back up with the wheel, it will push the stud back through. So you can take two options. We're gonna go ahead and repeat on the other side and then we'll be able to finish the sway bar up. But from here, guys, you wanna make sure you're torquing down all of your bolts as well. Definitely don't forget about that. Make sure you're looking up the proper torque specs for your specific gear gen and model. With that said, that'll wrap up the install. Just repeat on the other side, and you'll be good to go. That's gonna wrap up my review and install for the Rough Country 2-Inch Leveling Strut Extensions available for the '09 and newer F-150, excluding '10 to '14 Raptors. You can pick your kit up right here at americantrucks.com.
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Features, Description, Reviews, Q&A, Specs & Installation
Levels Front of Truck with Its Rear. Whether you replace the factory wheels of your Ford F-150 with larger ones, or there’s a height imbalance between the front and rear of the truck, you should install Rough Country 2-Inch Leveling Strut Extensions to retain ride quality. These spacers introduce 2 inches of height to the front to level with the back, thus improving the balance and handling of the F-150. These extensions are made to accommodate up to 33-inch tires.
Increases Ground Clearance. By raising the front of your truck to match with the back, you will keep its undercarriage farther from the ground. That way, you will be better protected from harmful elements such as rocks, sticks, and other types of debris.
Durable Composite Manufacture. These strut extensions are made from heavy-duty proprietary composite material. As a result, you don’t have to worry about them rusting, bending, or breaking.
Bolt-On Installation. Using common tools, you can install these strut extensions within 3 hours. These bolt onto your factory mounting points, and you will not need to disassemble your stock struts to do so.
Lifetime Manufacturer’s Warranty. Rough County guarantees that these strut extensions will be free from material or workmanship defects for as long as you have the vehicle on which they were installed. Some exclusions or limitations may apply; please see manufacturer’s warranty for complete details.
Application. The Rough Country 2-Inch Leveling Strut Extensions is designed to fit all 2009–2022 Ford F-150s except the 2010–2014 Raptor trim. They are sold as a pair.
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Rough Country 52200
CA Residents: WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm - www.P65Warnings.ca.gov
(approx) 3 Hours
Mechanical expertise or professional installation required.
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