Review & Install Video
Hey guys, it's Joe from AmericanTrucks, and today, we're gonna be taking a closer look at the Supreme Suspensions 3.5-inch front, 3-inch rear pro lift kit fitting all '04 to '08 2-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive F-150s. Now, these are gonna be a great option for you if you're looking to get the most height possible out of a budget-friendly and relatively easy to install spacer lift kit.
So, diving into the pro lift kit from Supreme, what is this thing made out of? And it's CNC-machined high-strength carbon steel. It's sealed in that hard coating, which is gonna be great for corrosion resistance, and the rear blocks are black powder-coated. The kit also includes some brand new U-bolts to accommodate for those larger lifts blocks in the rear. And all the hardware, albeit not on the table, is included in the kit.
Now, once installed on the truck, this is gonna give you 3.5 inches in the front, 3 inches in the rear. And you can tell the front is a little bit shorter actually but, due to suspension geometry, that's actually gonna equal out to 3.5 in the front, 3 in the rear, exactly as advertised. Now, that's gonna give you a lot of benefits here, we're gonna start with the most obvious one. A lift like this, it's going to allow you to run some larger wheels and tires, all the way up to a 35. That fit no problem on our truck that we're working with today. However, I wouldn't recommend going further than that, 37s are gonna require a lot of cutting, 33s if you're looking to go on the safe side. But I would say, for this kit right here, 35s are definitely the sweet spot. Simply put, larger tires don't fall into holes as deep as a smaller tire would, that's gonna be great when you're off-roading. Obviously there are a lot of other benefits, 35s usually have a bit of a tougher sidewall, deeper tread, stuff like that. If you're looking to go for the full performance, mud tire, all terrains are good if you're daily driving your truck as well.
Now, another huge benefit, you're gonna get a lot of clearance out of something like this. 3.5 inches in the front, that's gonna help your approach angle. 3 inches in the rear, that's gonna help with your departure angle. And that's pretty obvious how that works, this isn't gonna give you a lot more clearance. But also, if you have any heavy-duty gear, steel bumpers, winch-capable front bumpers, that sort of thing, those are heavy, they can cause a little bit of sag on either end of your truck and something like this can help dial that out and bring the stance back to where it should be.
Now, while we're on the topic of stance, I do wanna talk a little bit about rake, and that is gonna be the reason for the difference in the lift height. Again, we have 3.5 inches in front, 3 inches in the rear. That 0.5 inch extra in the front is there to level out the truck a little bit more than it sat from the factory. All F-150s, and trucks in general, for that matter, they sit a little bit lower up front, little bit higher in the rear. That's to dial out any added weight, whether you have something heavy in the bed or if you're towing something heavy, that would pull the rear of the truck down a little bit, and then, it would drive level. Now, if you're not doing either of those two things often, it's just more of a looks thing and by going that extra 0.5 inch in the front, it's going to bring the truck more level, it's going to improve the stance and immensely improve the looks as well.
This kit on the table in front of me, the 3.5-inch front, 3-inch rear, this is gonna be the most aggressive spacer kit from Supreme. If you didn't wanna go this far, Supreme does have some other options that would not be quite as aggressive, they probably wouldn't be as tough on your other suspension components. But if you were looking for the most amount of height under your F-150 out of a spacer lift kit, this is gonna be it. Now, with that in mind, this isn't going to be the end-all be-all in terms of lift kits, this is not gonna compete with that $5,000 full-suspension lift kit, but if you are on a budget, you're looking to get the most amount of height under your F-150, this is gonna be a great option for you. Coming in right around 200 bucks, this is gonna be really affordable, Supreme even throws in a lifetime warranty.
Install for this is going to be relatively simple. Now, with that said, this is still a spacer lift kit, we're gonna be seriously digging into our suspension components here but I'm gonna give it an easy three out of three wrenches on our difficulty meter. At most, if you come with the right tools, I think this will take you about 4 to 6 hours to do in the driveway so, without any further ado, let me show you what tools you'll need and how it's done.
Tools required for this install will include an impact or two, ratchet, breaker bar, a wrench set ranging from 21 all the way down to 10 mil, a socket set ranging from 30 mil all the way down to 8 mil, an 8-millimeter Allen key, hammer, pry bar, blue Loctite, trim-panel removal tool. Now, last but not least, some safety glasses are gonna be a must for something like this, and not pictured in this shot will be the pole jack and floor jack.
So, first thing's first, for our install, grab some gloves, if you want them, safety glasses, pop those on, get your truck up in the air securely, get the wheel off. And then, once you have all of that out of the way, we can start with our install. The first thing we're gonna do, grab our 10-millimeter socket. We're gonna loosen up some brake line brackets, we don't wanna stress any of that stuff, brake lines, wheel speed sensors, while we're working on our F-150. I'm just gonna pull that off to the side and rethread in our bolt for safekeeping.
Now, while we're on the top of this, if you go a little bit north of that bolt, you'll see this clip right here. I'm just gonna take our trim-panel removal tool and remove that, otherwise this is just gonna rip out from the pressure, so better to do that now rather than later. We're also going to use the trim-panel removal tool to remove this vacuum hose that goes to our IWE actuator. And you can put that aside for now.
That's pretty much all the prep work done. Now we can get into the actual suspension components. This is the sway bar end link, we're just gonna disconnect that at the lower control arm. In order to do that, we're gonna use our 18-millimeter wrench and an 8-millimeter socket to hold the ball joint still. And we're just gonna work that free. It's kind of recessed into the lower control arm a little bit, which makes it tough to get to with the wrench. You wanna be careful not to spin the ratchet too hard, you really don't wanna round out that stud. And then, you can pull that nut off and this is good to go. As we drop the lower control arm down, this will fall right out.
Next, we're gonna take care of this tie rod, 21-millimeter nut on top. We're gonna start with the impact, however, if this ball joint does begin to spin, we're gonna switch over to the 21-millimeter wrench and we're gonna hold the ball joint still with a 10-millimeter socket. Not the case but the taper on that ball joint is stuck in this collar, so what we're gonna do, so we're gonna thread the nut back on a little bit and that's just to protect our threads for what we're gonna do next. We're gonna have to shock that ball joint loose. And you saw it break loose there, we can remove our nut, pull it down, and we can remove our tie rod.
After that, we can move right on to our upper ball joint. This is a little bit tough to get a socket into, you might be able to hit this with a socket if you have a U-joint, however, in our case, we're just gonna go right ahead with the wrenches, 21 for the nut, 10 mil to hold the ball joint still, and we're just gonna crank this apart. Now that this nut is only finger-tight, basically we're gonna do the same thing we did with the tie rod, we're gonna strike this collar to release the ball joint taper. However, this nut is gonna serve two purposes, it's gonna protect our threads, it's also gonna catch the upper control arm because this is gonna wanna spring up. So make sure you have at least a couple threads on this nut, and then we could hit this hammer to break the taper.
So that only took a few hits, actually not too bad for what is basically an older truck like this one. After that, we're just gonna take the pry bar, pull down on the upper control arm, release this nut, and we're gonna separate the two.
So, at this point, we have a little bit better access to our strut assembly than we did at the beginning. And you can tell, this is attached to the lower control arm with what is frankly a massive bolt. This nut on this side is 30 millimeters, the bolt head is 27 millimeters. At this point, we're kind of out of the range of normal everyday sockets and tools. What we're gonna do, in this situation, is we're gonna break this loose. I have a pole jack underneath the lower control arm, that bolt is under a lot of pressure, we don't want to pull it out and let this spring apart so we're just gonna find the sweet spot with the pole jack, and then, we should be able to pull that right out, take pressure off our pole jack and that will be the bottom released. You can see right there, I've gone down just a tiny bit and that bolt should pull right out. Now we just need to get that removed from the top and this thing will fall right out. 3 15-millimeter nuts up here, 2 up at the front are easily reachable. We'll probably use the ratchet and the socket to get to this one at the rear and we'll just clear the top of the strut assembly right there. After those three are removed, we can pull out our strut assembly.
Now, actually installing the spacer to our strut assembly, it's gonna be the easiest part, this is just gonna slip over the studs just like so, and then we're gonna use the 3 17-millimeter nuts included in the kit right here, to tighten the 2 together. Now, a couple of things to touch on before we do that. These holes are a little bit too small in diameter to get an impact socket in there, so we're gonna use the chrome thin-wall socket to reach those nuts. Also, the kit doesn't state to use some blue Loctite on these threads but a lot of the lift kits I've done have so, I'm just gonna hit those with a little bit of blue Loctite near the bottom to make sure this doesn't move anywhere once its installed. Right after that, just gonna put on our spacer...and get those nuts started on the threads.
So now our spacer is completely settled, we're just gonna head back to the truck and put our strut assembly back in. Now, one thing to note, it is now gonna be flipped 180 so you just wanna make sure that the holes in the bucket line up with the threaded holes on the top of the spacer because we're gonna be coming in through the top in just a second here with the bolts included in the kit to tighten that down. So, without any further ado, let's start the install and rebuild of this truck, starting off with our strut assembly. We're just gonna make sure this lines up. And we're gonna pop that in place.
Now, before we tighten anything down, we're gonna get the hardware started on the top finger-tight and we're also going to do that for the hardware at the bottom. Then, once we have everything installed, we're gonna tighten everything down. You don't wanna tighten things now, that'll lock the position of this strut in place and while that might work for one side, it might be really tough to get the bottom in after we lock in the top. So finger-tight first, make sure everything goes in, and then we'll tighten everything down. And what I'm doing up here is I'm gonna take these bolts, these tighten down with an Allen key, and that goes in through the top, as well as a flat washer and a lock washer, and then we're gonna reuse factory hardware for the bottom. Then, for the bottom, just gonna rotate the knuckle around to get a little bit more slack, and then get a pry bar underneath. Gonna lift up.
So now what we're gonna do is we're gonna rotate this knuckle around a little bit just to give us some more slack. We're gonna get a pry bar in between the lower portion of the strut assembly and the lower control arm. We're just gonna pry that into place and insert our factory bolt. Now, after that, you can tell I used a buddy to help me get that bolt through, as this can be a little bit tough, we're working in a small area here and an extra set of hands does help for that. Now that we have that in though, we're just gonna put the nut on the other side, 27-millimeter socket on the bolt head, 30-millimeter socket for the nut, and we're gonna tighten that down.
So now we're gonna jump back up to the top and tighten these new bolts down. I have an 8-millimeter Allen key, mine's on a ratchet just to speed things up a little bit. And these don't need to be too tight, only about 35 foot-pounds. They only expect you to tighten these down with an Allen key anyways, so we're gonna do exactly that.
All right. So now we come to one of the more difficult parts of this install and that is getting the knuckle attached back to our upper control arm here. So what we did was we lowered the truck a little bit, brought it all the way down to the ground. We actually have the rear tires touching the ground just for safety reasons, we have a jack under our lower control arm just to give us the shortest distance here possible. And what we're gonna do is line up our knuckle, line up the stud, and we're gonna work the two into each other. Gonna start with a small pry bar. It's gonna work down with the slightly bigger one. Work our way down one more time. Just gonna push in. And we have just a couple studs poking through there. And with those, we can reinstall our 21-millimeter nut and slowly release. And just like the uninstall to tighten that down, 21-millimeter wrench on the nut, 10-millimeter on the ball joint should do the trick.
Now we just have to start the rebuild. We're gonna start with the tie rod and that's just gonna get the regular old 21-millimeter nut. You can see our ball joint started to spin, so what we're gonna do now is we're just going to hop over to the wrenches to tighten this down, 21 and a 10-millimeter.
Next up we're just gonna reconnect our IWE actuator vacuum hose. That just slides on just like so. Now we're gonna pretty much wrap this side up with the sway bar. Just a quick note, you wanna leave this nut off if you haven't done the other side already because basically the sway bar connects both of the control arms. But to tighten that down, we're gonna use the 18-millimeter wrench, 10-millimeter socket to hold the ball joint still just as we have been doing.
We're gonna wrap this install up with some brake line brackets. We're gonna start with this lower one, with the 10-millimeter bolt. Since we are lifted now, that might be a little bit tougher to get to so I'm just gonna use the wrench. And the hardest step of the install for last, we're just gonna click back in this Christmas tree clip.
So that's the driver's side on the front wrapped up, if you haven't done so already, do the same exact thing for the passenger side, and then you can tighten down the sway bar on both sides. After that, you can move to the rear with me, and comparatively this is gonna be really really easy. Basically we're gonna be loosening up the shock from the bottom mount, removing some U-bolts, swapping it out for the new stuff as well as replacing our factory block with a brand new block. And yes, we are completely removing that factory block and replacing it. Now, before we get started loosening up our shock, a couple of things worth mentioning. We're gonna support our axle tube with the pole jack, and as we do this, you wanna keep an eye on these brake lines right here, you don't want those to get stretched out. Otherwise, your truck's not gonna stop. So definitely keep an eye on those, and then, we can loosen up the shock from the bottom mount.
The nut is going to be 18 millimeters and the bolt head is gonna be 15 millimeters. That should pop right out. And then, we could swing this away. Obviously, keep this hardware handy because we will be reusing it to reinstall this later. Now we're gonna swap over to a 21 and remove these 4 nuts on our U-bolt. Then we can remove that plate on the bottom as well as we remove the two factory U-bolts. And once that's done, we're just gonna lower our pole jack so we can pull out the factory block. And again, just keeping an eye on our brake lines, e-brake cable is getting a little tight but I think we can get away with it. Then we're gonna grab our factory block and, with the two next to each other, you can see how much bigger this guy is. We're just gonna put that in right into its place.
Then we're just gonna come up on our pole jack. And as we do, we wanna make sure that that leaf spring is seated correctly. Then, we're just gonna secure that exactly how it was from the factory with the new hardware. Our U-bolts are gonna go around on top and you wanna make sure these are seated correctly at the top as well. On the bottom, we're just gonna reinstall that plate and secure it with some flat washers and 22-millimeter nuts, both of which are included in the kit.
Now, to tighten these down, we're gonna do it in an X pattern. You definitely wanna do that to make sure the torque on these nuts is evenly distributed. Also, these studs are quite long, if you wanna use a socket, you might need to get these nuts started, and then chop off the bottom of the actual stud itself to allow you to get a socket up on there. My socket is deep enough just to barely reach those. So you're gonna go ahead and tighten this down.
To wrap things up, we're just gonna reinstall our shock, 15-millimeter bolt, 18-millimeter nut. And then, we can remove our pole jack. Now, the install is gonna be the same exact process over on the other side, and then, you're gonna wanna take your truck directly to the alignment shop.
But that's gonna do it for me. It's also gonna do it for the Supreme Suspensions 3.5-inch front, 3-inch rear pro lift kit, fitting all '04 to '08 2-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive F-150s. Thank you guys for watching. Subscribe for more like this one. Keep it right here at AmericanTrucks for all things F-150.