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Rough Country 3-Inch Bolt-On Suspension Lift Kit with Premium N3 Shocks (14-20 4WD F-150, Excluding Raptor)

Item T540324
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      Review & Installation Video

      Hey guys, Joe from AmericanTrucks. And today, we're gonna be working with the Rough Country 3-inch Bolt-On Suspension Lift Kit with Upper Control Arms, fitting all '14 and newer 4-wheel-drive F-150s, excluding the Raptor models. Now, this is gonna be perfect for, frankly, any F-150 owner out there looking at a lift, they're looking for better overall off-road performance, they want more clearance, larger tires, and they wanna maintain some of that factory ride quality for a budget-friendly price. All in all, this kit's gonna give you 3 inches of lift up front and 2.5 inches in the rear. And up front, that's thanks to the N3 struts. And in the rear, the N3 shocks and the fabricated lift blocks will give you 2.5 inches of lift. Now, this kit surprised me when I opened it up. These springs are already pre-installed on the struts, so you won't have to mess around with any spring compressors, nothing like that. And they have a spring rate that's perfect to accommodate this sort of lift. So, you'll get to keep some of that factory ride quality. Now also contributing to that factory ride quality will be the upper control arms. They're nice and durable, tubular. They're black powder-coated but most importantly, they change the angle of the ball joint so you get to keep that factory geometry and you get a little bit more range of motion out of it as well, which is exactly what you want if you plan on doing any off-roading. But if they do wear out, good news here is those ball joints are replaceable.Everything else you need will be included in the kit as well. After all, this is a bolt-on kit and it's designed to be that way. You have new hardware for the upper strut, the lower strut. We have some new U-bolts. All the bolts and nuts you need as well will be included in the kit. Now I said earlier, this is going to give you 3 inches up front and 2.5 inches in the rear. And with that, of course, you'll get some more clearance here but also, you'll be able to fit some larger tires, up to 34s in fact. We put the 33s on there, obviously no clearance issues whatsoever. I feel really confident in the 33s not rubbing under any circumstances. We put the 35s on as well. They did not rub but just a word of caution, if you do plan on doing any off-roading, they might rub under some extreme circumstances.Now you're probably wondering about the difference in lift height as well. Again, 3 front, 2.5 rear. Now that's designed to dial out some of the factory rake. All trucks and F-150s included in that do come from the factory with a little bit of what's called rake. And that means the front of the truck is going to sit a little bit lower than the rear of the truck out of the factory. Now what that's designed for is to dial out any added weight. If you're towing something, you have something heavy in the bed, the truck would then sit level. But if you're not doing either of those too often, that's more of a looks thing and that difference in lift height is gonna help dial that out and improve the looks of your truck.Pricing for this kit is going to drop in right around that $800 mark. Frankly, that is one heck of a deal for what you're getting here, definitely more on the budget-friendly side, and you are getting a lot all those off-road benefits. And also included in that price is going to be a limited lifetime warranty from Rough Country. But if the $800 mark was still a little bit too on the expensive side for you, Rough Country does offer this kit without the front strut assemblies and just some spacers instead. That drops in around the $550 mark. But just a word of caution there, you will lose a little bit of ride quality when comparing it to this full-on struck replacement.Before we move on to the install, I did just wanna make a quick note here. And this is going to be specific for the guys that plan on using their factory wheels and running larger tires. In order to run that setup here, you will need a 1/4-inch spacer or more. And again, that's going to be specific to the factory wheels, larger tires, and that's due to the offset on those factory wheels here. Now I have one similar to what you'd need right here. Now, this does not come included in the kit. But if you do fall in that category of factory wheels with larger tires, you need one of these, you can pick that up off of our website as well.Install here is going to get a harder two out of three wrenches on our difficulty meter. Now the reason I gave it a two and not the full-on three out of three here, this kit requires no modification, no cutting, no grinding, and the springs are even pre-installed on the strut out of the box so you won't need to mess with any dangerous spring compressors, nothing like that. It really is a full-on bolt-on and in the driveway it should take you five, six hours to get this installed on your truck. So without any further ado, let me show you what tools you'll need and how it's done.Tools required for this install are going to be an impact, U-joint, extension, ratchet, breaker bar, torque wrench, pry bar, caliper, flathead screwdriver, basic wrench set ranging from 21 millimeters all the way down to 15 millimeters. Ratcheting wrenches are going to help you a ton here, a basic socket set ranging from 22 millimeters all the way down to 8 millimeters, a 5-millimeter Allen key, PB B'laster is almost a must, hammer, dead blow, caliper hanger, and a vacuum pump. Now not pictured in this tool shot is going to be the pole jack.So the first thing we're gonna on our install here, we don't wanna stress our ABS or brake line so I'm gonna use a 10 and 8-millimeter socket to disconnect the brackets for those. So that's a 10 and then there's another 10-millimeter on this bracket up here. Then we're gonna jump back down here to the bottom one. This ABS line is held on with an 8, then we can pull those away, I'm actually gonna separate these two as well and we pull that away too. Now we're gonna take a 21-millimeter socket and disconnect our tie rod here. Now that ball joint up here is seized in this collar. So what I'm gonna do, thread the nut back on just to protect the threads on that ball joint and then I'm gonna hit this collar with a hammer to release the ball joint. Now we're going to loosen up our sway bar end link here. I'm just gonna get an 18-millimeter ratcheting wrench around there and then an 8-millimeter socket on top to hold the ball joint still. And we can crack that loose. Now we're gonna have to take the hub part at this point and I'm gonna start with this vacuum hose right here for our IWE actuator. That pulls straight off. Then I'm gonna move to the brake caliper which is held on with two 21-millimeter bolts.So now our caliper is ready to come off the rotor. You don't wanna stretch your brake lines out. Use a caliper hook, hook this right into the frame and then you can peel that away. Next up is our rotor here. Now if yours is seized on like ours, you can take the dead blow and knock this off. I'm just gonna put a lug nut on a stud to catch it and some PB B'laster around the hub here helps as well. Just make sure you don't get it on the surface area of the rotor unless you don't wanna stop when you put this back together. So, avoid PB B'laster on here, make sure it stays here and here. Now we can remove our lug nut and then we can take off our rotor. Now we're gonna remove this dust shield right here. It's held on with three 8-millimeter bolts. Now we have to remove this wheel speed sensor from our knuckle here. It's held on with this bolt. And it takes a 5-millimeter Allen key to remove that. I have mine on a ratchet just to speed things up. And just for safekeeping, we're gonna thread that right back into the knuckle. Now we have to get this little dust cover over our axle nut. You're just gonna grab the thinnest flathead screwdriver you can and a hammer, and sort of pry it out of there. And once that comes off, hold on to it because we will be reusing it later.So now we're gonna turn our attention to our upper ball joint here. Just like the tie rod, we're gonna back this nut off, thread it on to protect the threads and hit this collar to release it. On top of that, that nut is also going to prevent our upper control arm from flying up and into the truck, and hurting the truck for us. And to remove this, it is an 18-millimeter socket. And you can see that pop lose. So now we're just gonna spin that nut off by hand, holding onto our upper control arm with a pry bar. Now we're gonna hop back to the 21-millimeter socket and loosen up our lower ball joint as well.So now we move on to one of the most crucial steps here in not hurting our F-150 and that involves what's called the IWE actuator. Now, these actuators will put your truck in and out of four-wheel-drive and it's run off vacuum from the engine. If I spin our hub here, you'll see the axle spins with it. What I'm gonna do is hook our vacuum pump up to the big nipple behind to pull vacuum on it. And I'm gonna pump this up to 24 inches of vacuum. Now that should have disengaged four-wheel-drive. And as you can see, I can now spin this without the axle spinning with it. So we're in a good spot here. Again, hook this up to the big nipple, pull 24 inches of vacuum on it. Your hub should disengage from the axle here, then you can safely remove this 13-millimeter nut. Now the reason you wanna do this is you wanna disconnect them manually. If those two parts were connected, you might have to force them apart. And that actuator in there is only a rubber diaphragm and plastic teeth, so you wanna be extremely careful not to force the two apart. You wanna make sure that they're separated like this before you take that axle nut off and pull the whole knuckle off. Now those two should safely fall apart. And all I'm gonna do here is go back to our lower ball joint, unthread that nut, and pull our knuckle away from the truck. And it's at this point, you can also remove the vacuum.Now we're gonna remove our two 18-millimeter nuts that hold our strut assembly to the lower control arm. Now we're gonna move from the bottom of our strut assembly to the top here. There's three 18-millimeter nuts that hold our strut assembly to our bracket. Now the last nut is in a tough spot to get to with the air ratchet so I'm gonna use an 18-millimeter ratcheting wrench to loosen that up. So now we can pry down on our lower control arm using a long pry bar, then we're gonna push up on the upper control arm and get it out of the bucket at the top, then we can slide it straight out of the lower control arm. Now we have to get our upper control arm out of the way as well and I'm gonna use a 21-millimeter ratcheting wrench for the nut. And then for the bolt side, gonna use an 18-millimeter wrench. Then we can pull that bolt out and our control arm too.So with our factory stuff completely out of the truck, I figure now would be the perfect time to put it on the table next to our new Rough Country stuff and point out some of the key improvements our new gear is going to be making. And the biggest difference here is going to come from what's inside of our new Rough Country shock. This is going to be a nitrogen-charged shock. So that means it's going to ride a little bit stiffer but it's going to resist fade better than this factory shock would. This is designed for all-out comfort on-road use to soak up potholes. This has that nitrogen-charged to resist shock fade. If you're going over washboards, doing some serious off-roading, this is definitely what you want. And that's not to say it's not daily drivable. It definitely is, just a little bit more off-road focused. Now, secondly, this is also going to add to the durability a little bit. The shock body is going to be a little bit thicker, about 1/10th of an inch than the stock unit. That's going to add durability of the shock body itself. It's also going to up the volume of the fluid inside again, just helping resist that shock fade.Our new Rough Country kit also comes with this nice black spring pre-installed so you don't have o mess around with the spring compressor to transfer over the factory spring. That's really nice when it comes to the install. You don't have to go to your local auto parts store and rent one of those. It just comes like this, how it sits on the table ready to be dropped right in the truck. Now most importantly is going to be the performance aspect of that spring. Not only does it look good, but it's a performer off-road too as it has that spring rate that is specific for this kind of lift, which is gonna give you the most off-road performance and comfortable ride quality possible.On top of that, the visual differences are obvious. This has that nice silver finish and it features the Rough Country logo right on the side of the body, right below the spring there compared to our factory stuff, which is just black and looking a little bit worn out here. Now moving on to our upper control arms here, Rough Country claims theirs is going to be a little bit more durable on factory. It's hard to demonstrate that on the table but it definitely looks the part. I like that nice texture black powder coating. And most importantly here is going to be this functional aspect of the ball joint being at a steeper angle. This is going to allow you more downward articulation before that ball joint bottoms out again, which is exactly what you want on the trails. So without any further ado, we're going to grab our upper control arm here, grab that 18 and 21-millimeter hardware that we just uninstalled, and we're gonna head back to the truck.So now we're just gonna pop that control arm in and get it started with those 18-millimeter bolts. Now you wanna make sure you grab the control arm with the ball joint that's a little bit more biased toward the back and obviously, the stud of the ball joint facing down. And I'm just gonna secure it with those two 21-millimeter nuts. Now as I'm tightening this down, I wanna make sure that before I get to the point where I lock this upper control arm in place, that I bring it up a little bit and then give that the full tighten because you don't wanna flex that bushing in there once we get this all together. And now we can tighten down the other side as well. Now we could put our strut in place. I'm just gonna get one of the new nuts started to hold it into the bucket at the top. All right. So now we're right about there. I'm just gonna pull down on our pry bar and get that seated in the lower control. Now we can pull down on our lower control arm one more time. We're gonna align the bottom of our strut assembly and run the 18-millimeter bolt and flat washer included in the kit through there. Then on the bottom, we are going to come up with another flat washer and a 19-millimeter nut, and do the same thing for the other side, and then tighten that down. Now that we have the bottom all the way in, we're just gonna go back up top, we're gonna get our other two 15-millimeter nuts started and then tightened down. Just to give those the final tighten, I'm gonna be using the 15-millimeter ratcheting wrench.So now we're just gonna grab the knuckle here. Gonna get that lower ball joint and the axle started. And I'm just gonna put the nut on the lower ball joint finger tight and then we can focus on getting our axle situated in the knuckle. Now, you wanna apply some upward pressure to the lower control arm here to get them enough of that stud through the hub portion of it. Specifically, you want 15 millimeters of stud to stick out right through here. And then you can use that factory 13-millimeter nut to tighten that back down. And we're only going to go to 30-foot-pounds. So at this point, again, we have some upward pressure. We have that nut on the lower ball joint started. Before we put this back together on the hub, we just wanna make sure we pull vacuum on that IWE actuator again, and we're gonna pull 24 inches just as a reminder. Then we can put that aside and get our axle started in the hub.Now the measurement we're looking for here from the top of this stud to the face of that orange bearing should be at least 15.5 millimeters. So I'm gonna stick the caliper on there. And right now, we're reading about 15.9. So that means we know the teeth in the actuator are seated. So I'm just gonna throw that nut back on there. And again, this is the 13-millimeter nut from earlier. And then we're gonna tighten that down to 30-foot-pounds and we can release our vacuum. Now that's the hardest part out of the way. We're just gonna reinstall our cap by putting it in place and giving it a nice tap.So now we're gonna do our upper control arm into the knuckle here. They gave me you new 18-millimeter nut and flat washer for that. We're just gonna pull it down with a pry bar and sort of walk our way down the coils on the spring to get that seated. Now I'm gonna use an 18-millimeter socket and a U-joint to tighten that down. Now we can come to the lower ball joint and tighten that with a 21-millimeter socket. Now we're gonna put our dust shield back on and we're gonna make sure we get our wheel speed sensor into that cutout there. And we can slide that in place and secure it with the three 8-millimeter bolts. Now I can take our wheel speed sensor, pop that back into the knuckle. And we're gonna use the same factory bolt and secure with our 5-millimeter Allen key. Now after that, we can throw our rotor on and I'm just gonna put a lug nut on there to hold it still while we do the caliper, and we're just gonna slide that over the rotor and secure it with the two 21-millimeter bolts. And at this point, we can reinstall our vacuum actuator tubes. And again, we should have released vacuum on this earlier. You don't have to hold vacuum up until this point. Now we can reinstall our tie rod with the factory 21-millimeter nut. Now we can use the factory 18-millimeter nut to tighten down our sway bar end link. All that's left for us to do now, at this point, is get our brake line brackets reattached to the knuckle and frame. Gonna start with this brake line here and secure that with the 10-millimeter bolt. Our wheel speed sensor goes underneath of this 8-millimeter bolt. And all the way up here, our bracket for a lot of stuff get secured with a 10.So now you have all the brake line brackets tightened down, you want swap over to the passenger side and get the front buttoned up over there as well. And then you can move to the rear, which is exponentially easier than the front. We're gonna start by removing our shock. We're gonna use an 18-millimeter wrench and a 15-millimeter socket to remove it from the axle tube and the frame.Now you can't really see it that great but this nut back here does have sort of, like, a stopper arm on it, so you don't need the wrench for this, all you need is the 15-millimeter socket. Now we're just gonna use a 21-millimeter socket to take these four nuts off of our U-bolts here. Now that is going to loosen up our axle tube so you wanna make sure you have some upward pressure to secure that. Then you could drop away that plate on the bottom. You can also remove the U-bolts from the top. And we can pull out this lift block here as well after we come down a little bit with a pole jack.So now, again, we have the factory stuff off the truck. I figured now would be the perfect time to put it next to our new Rough Country stuff and point out some of the key differences and improvements that our new Rough Country stuff is going to be making. And just like the front, the first one is gonna be that nitrogen charge, right? This is going to be better at resisting fade. It's gonna provide a little bit of a stiffer ride quality but it's definitely not undailiable. You could daily drive this and be just fine. This is more for all out comfort just like the front factory stuff was. This is more for off-road performance, huge upgrade over stock. Secondly, the shock body is a little bit bigger here. This is about 2.1 inches. The factory body is about 1.9 according to my caliper. So that's just there for durability, more volume of fluid inside the shock. That's gonna help resist shock fade as well. Moving on to our rear lift blocks here, you can see our factory stuff is cast. This one is gonna be fabricated and black powder-coated. So that should add to the durability a little bit. And if I put the two next to each other, you can see just where that rear lift is gonna be coming from. And that brings us to our U-bolts here. Our new Rough Country stuff is gonna be just a little bit longer to accommodate this larger lift block. So, without any further ado, we're going to need our new block. We're going to need our U-bolts, and the new nuts, and flat washers included in the kit, and we can head back to our truck.Now we can take our lift block here and just slide that in between the leaf spring and the perch on the axle tube. Now, sometimes these are slanted, I double-checked with the caliper. These are perfectly flat blocks so there's no sort of angle to them. You can put them in whichever way facing forward once you have that seated in the axle. I like to bring this up a little bit and just try to get the top seated. And that doesn't always wanna go straight. So what I'm gonna do is just put some upward pressure on it here and let the dead blow take care of the rest. So now we're looking pretty good. Everything looks like it's lining up. We now take our U-bolts, just slide those around. Then we can grab that factory plate that we removed earlier, put our leaf springs through, and secure with the new hardware. Now we're just gonna take a 22-millimeter socket and tighten those nuts down. And similar to how you would change a tire, you wanna do this in a cross pattern here, making sure you evenly distribute the pressure on each bolt. Now we can come up to the frame mount for our shock. We're just gonna grab the piston end here and mount that up using the original factory hardware. So we're just gonna leave the top finger tight for now until we get the bottom started. And I have all the pressure off of the pole jack here. This is completely loose and you could still see we're a little bit too tall. So, all we're going to have to do here is have our bolt ready, and just line that up, and get it through. Now we can tighten this down. Again, 18-millimeter wrench, 15-millimeter socket. And we can't forget about the top. All you'll need for this is a 15-millimeter socket.And that is gonna do it for our install today. Before we wrap up here, a couple of things to note. The first thing we're gonna do to our F-150 here is go right to the alignment shop. Before we do that, again, if you plan on running your factory wheels with larger tires, you'll need to pick up one of these guys as well. That's gonna do it for my review and install of the Rough Country 3-inch Bolt-On Suspension Lift Kit with Upper Control Arms, fitting all '14 and newer 4-wheel-drive F-150s, excluding the Raptors. Make sure you subscribe for more videos like this and keep it right here at AmericanTrucks for all things F-150.

      Product Information

      Features, Description, Specs & Installation

      Features

      • Three-Inch Bolt-On Suspension Lift Kit
      • Upgraded Aggressive Appearance
      • Provides Increased Ground Clearance
      • Levels Vehicle Front and Rear
      • Designed for Easy Return to Stock Height
      • N2.0 Nitrogen Charged Shocks
      • Deliver High-Performance On and Off-Road Quality
      • Innovative Control Arms for Enhanced Durability
      • Lift height Provided with Struts and Rear Blocks
      • Simple Installation
      • Limited Lifetime Warranty
      • Fits All 2014-2020 Ford F-150 4WD Models, Excluding Raptors

      Description

      Aggressive Look. Upgrade the aggressive look of your Ford F-150 4WD with the Rough Country 3 Inch Bolt-On Suspension Lift Kit with Upper Control Arms. This kit will increase the ground clearance and level the front and rear of your truck. It was designed to ensure a simplified return to stock height if necessary.

      Superior Shocks. You’ll benefit from superior ride quality whether driving on the highway or off-road trails with the N3 nitrogen charged shocks included in this kit.

      High-Quality Components. The upper control arms feature Clevite rubber bushings to ensure augmented durability. They were designed to keep the ball joints at the right angles for decreased wearing. Lift height is effectively provided by the heavy-duty strut spacers and fabricated rear lift blocks.

      Simple Installation. The manufacturer has created a PDF instruction guide that can be downloaded from its website. The straightforward, bolt-on installation process will take around 5-6 hours to complete with basic hand tools and moderate mechanical knowledge. No cutting or drilling is necessary to complete the installation.

      Limited Lifetime Warranty. There is a lifetime replacement warranty covering craftsmanship defects on this lift kit. Review the warranty information for more details on limitations that apply.

      Application. The Rough Country 3 Inch Bolt-On Suspension Lift Kit with Upper Control Arms is designed to fit all 2014-2020 Ford F-150 4WD models, excluding Raptor models.

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      Rough Country 54531

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      Installation & What's in the Box

      Installation Info

      What's in the Box

      • (2) Upper Tubular Control Arms
      • (2) Fabricated Rear Blocks
      • (4) U-Bolts
      • (2) Premium Shocks
      • Hardware
      • PDF Instruction Guide
      4.6

      Customer Reviews (100+)

        Reviews of Rough Country Suspension products have an average rating of 4.6 out of 5

          Questions & Answers

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          Will It Fit My F-150

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