(approx) 6 Hours
Light to Moderate mechanical skill required.
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Hey, guys. Joe from AmericanTrucks. In this video, we're gonna be going over the Rough Country 3-inch Bolt-On Suspension Lift Kit with Premium N3 Shocks, fitting all '09 to '13 four-wheel-drive F-150s, excluding Raptor models. Now, this is gonna be a great pick for your F-150 if you're looking to get a little bit more than just the standard spacer lift kit while keeping that relatively easy install and budget-friendly price tag.So what do we have going on with this kit? Where's our lift gonna be coming from? Well, in the front, you can see we have brand new N3 nitrogen-charged struts here as well as brand new springs. That's gonna make for a 3-inch lift in the front. At the rear, we have N3 nitrogen-charged shocks and brand new fabricated lift blocks. That's gonna make for a 2 and a half-inch lift in the rear.Now, all of the dampers in this kit, they're gonna be nitrogen-charged. Now, a nitrogen charge that is gonna do way better than the factory stuff at resisting what's called cavitation. Cavitation happens when you expand and compress a shock or strut rapidly. Little air bubbles tend to form. We all know air compressors easier than hydraulic fluid and that's where shock fade comes into play. That nitrogen charge, it's gonna up the pressure in these, keep that cavitation at a minimum, and keep your truck riding nice and smooth even in the roughest washboard circumstances when you're off-road.This kit is also going to include some brand new tubular upper control arms. They're designed for a 3-inch lift. It's gonna keep your ball joint at the optimum angle for this type of lift. Now, what that's gonna do, it's gonna give you the biggest range of motion, at the same time it's gonna keep wear and tear on that ball joint to a minimum. That is exactly what you want and they even throw in some really heavy-duty Clevite rubber bushings on here as well.Now, I mentioned earlier that this kit is gonna do a little bit more in the front than it is in the rear. Three inches in the front, 2 and a half inches in the rear. Now, what that's designed to do is dial out that factory rake. All F-150s and trucks in general for that matter, they sit a little bit higher in the rear, that's to dial out any extra added weight. If you have something heavy in the bed, if you're towing something, the truck would then level out. If you're not doing either of those two things often, it's more of a looks thing and this kit, by going a little bit higher in the front, a little bit less in the rear, it's gonna bring the truck nice and level and give you that aggressive off-road stance. As an added benefit to that, if you have any heavy-duty off-road stuff, steel front bumpers with a winch in it, brush guards, that kind of thing, that adds weight, adds a little bit of sag to the front end of your truck and this being a staggered lift can help dial some of that out as well.A lift kit like this is obviously gonna add some ground clearance as well. We're lifting all four corners, so this is going to be an improvement all around. Approach, departure, and breakover angle are all going to be improved, which is good for any off-road situation. Stock wheels and tires, 275/55, that's gonna clear in all situations. No problem whatsoever. Thrity-threes, also gonna clear in all situations. However, when you get up to the 35, even on flat ground, you're gonna hit plastic on both sides of the wheel well, so if you wanna trim that plastic you could, however, underarticulation is probably gonna get worse. You're probably gonna end up hitting body panels.Another thing I wanna mention here. If you do wanna run your factory wheels with this kit, Rough Country is gonna recommend you ¼-inch spacer just to make sure everything clears with the factory specs. However, if you do have any aftermarket wheel, they should work just fine with this lift kit.Pricing for this kit, gonna fall right around the $800 mark, which you're getting a lot for your money. There's a lot on the table here. Definitely a huge upgrade over that standard spacer lift kit. Your truck is gonna perform better than that standard spacer lift kit as well. It is a little bit more expensive than that standard spacer lift kit, but relatively speaking, this is definitely a budget-friendly focused kit. You're getting a lot for your money here. Rough Country even throws in a limited lifetime warranty as well.Install for this kit is going to be pretty simple for what we're gonna be doing today. No modifications required, no cutting, no drilling, nothing like that, but this gonna be a test of the toolbox still. We're gonna be seriously digging into our suspension components here. I'm gonna give it an easy two out of three wrenches on our difficulty meter. It should take you about six hours. If you've never done this before, expect about eight hours. But without any further ado, let me show you what tools you might need and how it's done.Tools required for this install will include impacts, safety goggles, some rust penetrant like PB B'laster, wrenches ranging from 27 millimeters all the way down to 13 millimeters. Ratcheting wrenches will help you a ton. Hammer, pry bars, breaker bars, torque wrench, flat head screwdriver, caliper hanger, U-joint, sockets ranging from 30 millimeters all the way down to 8 millimeters, a 5-millimeter Allen key, ratchets, vacuum pump, and not pictured in this shot will be the floor jack.So to start off our install here, couple things go without saying. Number one, get your truck up in the air safely. Throw some jack stands under there if you don't have a lift like we do. Secondly, get your wheel and tire off. Open up that suspension so you could start working on it. Then grab your safety gear. You wanna make sure everything is under control and you keep yourself safe while you're doing this job and the first tool we're gonna need here, it's gonna be the 8 and 10-millimeter sockets. We're gonna remove some of these brake and ABS line brackets. You don't want those to be under tension while you're doing this job. Eight-millimeter socket to this bolt right here. That's gonna pop off. We can remove it from that little bracket, flip that down. I'm just gonna thread this in finger-tight just for safekeeping.Moving upstream, we're gonna go to this bolt next, it's a 10-mil and that is gonna be the same thing. And we're gonna do this bracket up by the upper control arm as well. It's a 10-millimeter too. Next thing we're gonna take care of is gonna require that 8-millimeter socket. Before you put that on, go ahead and grab the wrench like so and then we're just gonna crank these two loose and that will undo our end link from the sway bar. And once you have the other side undone, you can push that sway bar up and that's good for now. That'll pop off later when we need it to.Next up we have our tie rod here. We're gonna use a 21-millimeter socket to remove the nut. And what we're gonna do here, actually, is we're gonna thread that on. What that's gonna do is it's actually gonna protect those threads a little bit because we're gonna have to hit this collar here with a hammer in order to break the taper on this ball joint loose. Now, with that broken loose, we can remove that nut from the bottom and remove the tie rod from the collar.Okay. So the next thing we're gonna work on is our brake assembly. The caliper is bolted to the knuckle with these two 18-millimeter bolts, one up top and one down at the bottom here. We're gonna use the 18-millimeter socket and a little bit of a U-joint to get at those and get them out of the way. And with those two bolts out, we're just gonna pry that off the rotor and then you could use a caliber hanger to put that out of the way. With the caliper out of the way, we can go ahead and grab the rotor and that will come off the hub just like so. We're also gonna have to remove this dust shield, it's held on with three 8-millimeter bolts. And we could put that aside. That gives us access to our wheel speed sensor. We're gonna use a 5-millimeter Allen key to get that bolt and then remove the sensor. Now, the next thing we're gonna do is remove this little dust cover here around our axle nut. In order to get that out of there, we're gonna use our flat head screwdriver and a hammer to sort of tap it underneath, then we can pry it away.We're gonna come back to the lower part of our knuckle in just a second. Before we take care of it, we're gonna come up here and take care of our upper ball joint. It's held on with a 21-millimeter nut. And just like our tie rod, what we're gonna do is thread that back on and this time it's actually gonna serve two purposes. One, it's gonna protect those threads in there and two, it's gonna catch this upper control arm and keep this from swinging up like that and smacking into this just by leaving that nut on there.So you saw it pop loose there. You saw how the nut caught it. What we're gonna do now is take a pry bar, relieve some pressure, remove the nut, then we can slowly keep this from bouncing up. Now, in order to safely remove our knuckle, we have to know what's going on with this hose right here. This is the vacuum hose to our IWE actuator. That puts the truck in and out of four-wheel drive, and obviously, it's run-off vacuum from the engine. You wanna make sure that those gears are disengaged before you pull the axle nut. So what we're gonna do is remove that vacuum hose. It just pulls off like that. Then we can come in here with our pump. We're gonna put that around the larger of the two nipples. We're gonna draw 24 inches, but before we do, if I spin the hub, you could see the axle spins with it. So as we go up in pressure here, you'll hear that click over and disengage. Now if I spin the hub, you could see it spins freely from the axle. So we're good. We're gonna put our pump aside and then remove our 13-millimeter nut. And you can pull down on the knuckle and disengage. At this point, you can release vacuum pressure for the time being and also remove our pump.Now, there's a lower ball joint that's held on with a 24-millimeter nut. And we're gonna do the same trick we have been doing. Thread that back on a little bit so it catches our knuckle when that ball joint breaks loose. And once that breaks loose, we can unthread that nut the rest of the way and then we could remove the knuckle.Now we can work on the rest of our suspension components with a really clear shot. This bolt through the lower strut assembly is pretty big. The nut is 30 millimeters, so we have that on the breaker bar and on this side on the impact we have a 27-millimeter for the bolt head. And we can pull that off. And I'm just gonna use the threads on there to sort of work that bolt out.So now we're gonna have to loosen up our lower control arm so it swings down and out of the way. Once these two are loose, you're gonna wanna catch this. This is a 27-millimeter nut on this side and the bolt head is a 21. And that doesn't have to be removed, just loose. Now, with those two loosened, you wanna be careful with the lower control arm. Again, that can sometimes fall down as you're loosening, but you should be able to completely drop that out of the way. Only thing left holding in our strut assembly at this point are three 15-millimeter nuts on top. With all three nuts removed, you can go ahead and drop out the strut assembly.Now we can get our upper control arm out of here. I already broke it loose off-camera with the breaker bar, but it's gonna be a 21-millimeter for both the nut and bolt head. And bolt will pull straight out. I'm gonna go ahead and put the nut on there. Keep that around. We're gonna reuse that later.So now we have all of our factory suspension components removed. I figured now would be the perfect time to stop down a little bit, put our new Rough Country stuff on the table next to our old factory stuff and draw some comparisons between these two kits. We're gonna start over here with our new strut. You could see that first thing's first, this new Rough Country strut looks a lot better. Factory stuff, all black. It's a little bit rusty. This one is gonna be silver. Definitely a nice fresh upgrade. But there is obviously some functionality here as well. This is gonna be a nitrogen-charged strut, which means it's gonna be better at resisting cavitation than that factory stuff, so over those bumpy washboards, this is gonna hold up way better. It's gonna take a lot more abuse before it begins to fade. Obviously, it's also a little bit longer. If I hold these two up next to each other, you could see it's got a couple of extra inches in length. That's where our lift is gonna be coming from. And the coils on the springs, they're a little bit tighter on the Rough Country than they are on the factory stuff, which in theory should lead to a harsher spring rate, little bit tighter as far as rebound goes.Moving on to our upper control arms, you could see our new Rough Country upper control arm. This is gonna be tubular, which is gonna be a little bit tougher than cast steel, which tends to be a little bit more brittle under braking pressure. Now, also, you could see the angle of this ball joint is gonna change. Factory, we kind of have this one flat plane here and our Rough Country is gonna be tilted up a little more that way. That's gonna give you the biggest amount of range of motion possible and at the same time, lessening the amount of wear and tear on that ball joint. Now, while we're on the topic of that ball joint, couple things to point out there as well. We have a Zerk fitting right on top so you can keep that nice and greased and when it does eventually go, that ball joint is replaceable, press it out, put a new one in, you're good to go. The factory one, that ball joint is stuck in there so when that does go, you'll be replacing this whole upper control arm, not the way the Rough Country is gonna work. So huge upgrade overall.So now we can head back to the truck. First thing's first, we're gonna need our new upper control arm and the factory hardware to tighten it in. So that's gonna slot right in there like so. And then we could come in with our bolts from the inside and push those through. And we can come in with those factory 21-millimeter nuts and get those started on the outside and tighten down. Torque spec for these is gonna be right about 125, 130. Torque spec for these is gonna be right about 125, 130-foot-pounds. With the upper control arm in, we can go ahead and take our strut, get that lined up with the bucket at the top, and I'm just gonna get one or two nuts on there finger-tight just to hold it still. Now we can focus on the bottom of our strut, which we're just gonna push that back a little bit. Pull up our lower control arm and get our factory bolts started through there. And it's gonna go in that direction, bolt head over here and the nut on the inside. Now we're gonna tighten that down, 30-millimeter for the nut, 27-millimeter for the bolt head. These are gonna get a lot of torque. This guy's going go all the way up to 350-foot-pounds, so big breaker bar for this.With the bottom tightened down, we can come back up to the top. We're gonna tighten down these three 15-millimeter nuts up here. And these don't need much, only about 30-foot-pounds up here. So now we're gonna tighten down our lower control arm, 27-millimeter socket for the nut, 21 for the bolt head. And what we're gonna do is push this back and try to align it up with where it was. You can see the metal is kind of eaten away here, so we're just gonna try to keep our old alignment. We're gonna take this to the alignment shop immediately afterward, but for now, just go factory. We're gonna do the same thing for the other side. Sway bar is in the way of the nut, so you will need a 27-millimeter wrench here.Now we're gonna reinstall our knuckle to the lower ball joint. That's gonna go up there like so. Now we're gonna reinstall our knuckle to the lower ball joint and we're gonna tighten that factory nut down using it 24-millimeter socket. Now we can reinstall the axle to the knuckle and what we're gonna do here, again, is we're gonna install our vacuum pump to the larger of the two nipples in the back. We're gonna draw 24 inches. Now you can put that side. And we're just gonna push up on that knuckle and make sure that's seated correctly. And you'll know when this is all the way in. You wanna keep an eye on this stud here. Once that bottoms out, I believe it should be about 15-mil long. You can measure that with a caliper if you want, then you can thread on the nut. And we're gonna tighten that down using our 13-millimeter socket. This is gonna get torqued to 30-foot-pounds. Before we reinstall that dust cap, I'm just gonna make sure everything is working with that IWE actuator with no vacuum pressure on there. You can see we're at zero right now. Spinning this should spin the axle, which it does and when you draw some vacuum into it, the hub should spin freely. That looks great so we can release pressure, pull off our vacuum pump, and tap on the dust cover with a hammer.Next up, we could work on our upper ball joint. Once we get this done, that'll be all of the hard parts. In order to do this, we're just gonna come down with pry bar here. I'm just gonna work my way down with the pry bars. So now that we're at this point, what we're gonna do is the line up the knuckle with the ball joint. Crank down. And once we have some threads through, we're gonna use our new 18-millimeter nut to secure the two together.Now we're gonna rebuild the rest of our suspension. We're gonna start with this wheel speed sensor. We're gonna use the factory bolt to secure that. Tightens down with a 5-millimeter Allen key. Now we can reinstall our brake dust shield. We're gonna use the factory 8 millimeters to get that back into place. Following that, we can go ahead and put the rotor back on, then our caliper. We're gonna tighten that down with the two 18-millimeter bolts on the back. Next, we can take care of our tie rod. That's gonna go right in here. And then push that all the way down. Then we can use the factory 21-millimeter nut to get that back into place.Next up, sway bar. We're gonna put the end link back in the sway bar. Before you tighten this back down, get the other side caught up. We already did that off-camera, so we're gonna go ahead and tighten down this nut. This is gonna take an 18-millimeter wrench. And to keep the ball joint from spinning, we're gonna use an 8-millimeter socket.So to wrap things up, we're gonna go ahead and reinstall our brake and ABS line brackets. One thing I forgot, last but certainly not least, you wanna make sure you reattach that vacuum hose for the IWE actuator.So that's the front taken care of. We go ahead and get started on the rear. First thing we're gonna need to do is support our rear axle tube. You could see I have a couple of pole jacks underneath here. Tools we're gonna need: 18-millimeter wrench, 15-millimeter socket on the impact. We're just gonna go ahead and disconnect our shock at the bottom and at the top.Moving right along, next thing we're gonna take care of our U-bolts, 21-millimeter socket to get these loose. Now we can pull out this bottom plate and the U-bolts too. And the next thing we could pull out is our factory lift block.All right. So just like we did before, we have all of our factory stuff removed now. I figured now would be the perfect time to stop down, put our new Rough Country stuff on the table, and talk about the differences between these two kits a little bit. Let's start with the simple stuff. U-bolts up here, our new stuff is gonna be a couple inches longer to accommodate our new thicker fabricated lift lock. Again, this is going to be a huge upgrade over this cast iron piece right here. It's also gonna be just a tiny bit thicker. This is where most of our lift is going to be coming from. Now, it doesn't exactly correlate to how much lift this is gonna give, but after you factor in suspension, geometry, pinion angle, stuff like that, this is going to end up being that 2 and a half-inch lift.Back here we have our brand new shocks, and this is actually a great opportunity to demonstrate why a nitrogen-charged shock is gonna resist shock fade. This is the old one right here. If I hold this up, you could see that it doesn't take much to compress and then if you watch that, it doesn't really rebound that fast. There's not a lot of pressure in there. It just comes up very, very slowly. If I put that down and hold up our nitrogen-charged shock, again, that nitrogen charge is gonna up the pressure in here. That pressure is gonna keep air bubbles from forming and that is going to hold up way better than this factory shock ever would. So to demonstrate this, I'm gonna hold it right there. Grab some wire cutters and if I snip this, you'll see. It's that pressure that is gonna keep those air bubbles from forming. It's gonna keep the shock nice and tight even through the roughest washboards. And, of course, that shock is also a little bit longer to deal with the extra travel from the lifts we're putting on this truck. So without any further ado, we're gonna go ahead and grab our new lift block. We're gonna head back to the truck with our U-bolts as well and get this installed.That lift block, gonna slide in just like so. One thing I do wanna make a quick note of here is we're probably gonna have to angle this in order to get this to line up. Also, these two studs right here, almost, you might need to clean up the rust on there in order to get them to fit. I already did that. It's still a little bit tight, but I think I can get it to work. Trying to get this lift block to jump into position. So now that we're lined up, I'm gonna go ahead and drop on our new U-bolts, then we'll reinstall that plate at the bottom and finish up with the rest of our hardware. Now we're gonna tighten down those new nuts on our U-bolts here. They're 22-millimeters. One thing about this, you wanna make sure this is done in an X pattern.Next, we are gonna grab our factory hardware and our new shock. We're gonna install this to the shock mounts where the old shock was and we're gonna slide the bolt head in from this side. Another thing to note, the piston is gonna be at the top, shock body is gonna be toward the bottom. Gonna go with the nut on the other side. Again, that is 18 millimeters. And before we tighten that down, we're gonna swing the other side in and get that started, then we can tighten this down. All right. So our bottom shock, it's gonna miss a little bit, so what we're gonna to do is press up. Hold her still and get that bolt in there pretty quick. And once it's through, push it all the way in. Get the 18-millimeter nut started and then we can tighten down this again, 18-millimeter nut, 15-millimeter bolt head.That is gonna do it. Just a couple of closing things to wrap up here, obviously, go ahead and do the same thing over on the other side. Make sure everything is torqued to spec and you can put the wheels back on and drive right to the alignment shop.So that's gonna do it for my review and install of the Rough Country 3-inch Bolt-On Suspension Lift Kit with Premium N3 Shocks, fitting all '09 to '13 four-wheel-drive F-150s, excluding the Raptor models. As always, guys, thanks for watching. Keep it right here at AmericanTrucks for all things F150.
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Features, Description, Reviews, Q&A, Specs & Installation
Get a Lift.While the Ford F-150 has great off-road capability straight off the showroom floor, a higher ride height can do wonders if you’re trying to scale some larger rocks and obstacles. Lift kits can be tough to choose from, as the included components are important, but what’s more important is the ease of installation. Luckily, the Rough Country 3 Inch Bolt-On Suspension Lift Kit with Upper Control Arms is an easy kit to use as it has all the components for increased ground clearance, while boasting an easy, bolt-on installation.
Bolt-On Suspension. The lift kit includes everything needed to lift the F-150 up to 3 inches, including new tubular upper control arms, lift blocks, and .25-inch spacers to retain your factory wheels. For added longevity and durability, the control arms utilize clevite rubber bushings and keep the ball joints at optimal angles for less wear and tear.
What Else is Included. The Rough Country 3 Inch Bolt-On Suspension Lift Kit with Upper Control Arms features N3 Nitrogen-charged shocks, a set of strut spacers and fabricated rear blocks.
Moderate Installation. While no cutting or drilling is required, it could take up to 6 hours to install the lift kit.
Warranty Information. The lift kit comes with a lifetime warranty. Please check the manufacturer’s site for more details.
Application. The Rough Country 3 Inch Bolt-On Suspension Lift Kit with Upper Control Arms fits 2009-2013 Ford F-150 4WD models, excluding the Raptor.
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Fitment: 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Details
Rough Country 54431
CA Residents: WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm - www.P65Warnings.ca.gov
(approx) 6 Hours
Light to Moderate mechanical skill required.
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