Lowing your truck to eliminate space in the wheel wells is not an easy task. You must know how to do it right, how much it costs, and the pros and cons. So, how easy is it to lower a Ford F150?
Lowering a Ford F150 is free for a 4×4, provided you have some essential tools. You can replace the 1.5″ block of the earlier generations with a 1.25″ block in the 4×4 F150. Buy any aftermarket block height you like, from 0 to 6. Get new springs or a shackle kit lower than 0 since 2WD vehicles do not have rear blocks by default.
Cheap OEM 4WD struts are pretty easy to find. Even though they are just 1.25″ taller, the 4WD struts on a 2WD will probably give you roughly 1.67″ of front lift. On the 4WD F150, the struts have a motion ratio of around 2/3, and the control arm frame hinges are spaced wider apart. This will lower your F150 at an affordable cost.
Read on to learn more about lowering your Ford F150 and what different options you have.
Lowered Ford F150
Allows the Ford F150 to Perform Aerodynamically
Lowering a truck is not just a simple modification to make your F150 look better. It allows your Ford F150 to perform aerodynamically, turn better, and decrease rollover risk.
May Void the Warranty
Of course, there are certain trade-offs. Lowering a truck may void the warranty, cause it to bottom out, or lessen its ability to haul and tow.
Several Options to Lower a Truck
You have several options to lower your truck. Which one you choose will depend on the amount of a drop you want, how much money you wish to pay, and how skilled you are with mechanics.
Once you have all the necessary tools, the cost will be significantly low. Choose trustworthy shops to get quotes if you want a professional to work on your truck.
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Pros and Cons of Lowering a Ford F150
There are pros and cons to lowering your Ford F150, which include the following:
- No huge gap between the wheel wells,
- Easier to handle,
- Improved cornering,
- Better looks,
- More aerodynamic,
- Higher fuel efficiency, and
- Better fits in garages.
- More challenging to see around other moving vehicles,
- Harder to locate in a parking lot,
- You cannot drive through 12′ snow banks, and
- You need to travel on suspension when you go off-road.
Factors to Consider Before Lowering Your Ford F150
Determine How Low You Want the Truck to Be
You must first decide how low you want the truck to be. Now, most people would like to lower their F150 by 3″ in the front and 4″ in the back, even though the goal here is to improve handling rather than lower the vehicle. Above all, you will want it to be a perfect fit.
3/4 sounds like a lot, but it is not particularly low by any standards. For instance, when you install an STX valance, the front bumper will be around 9″ off the ground, provided that the distance between the top of the front tire and the lip molding is one inch.
You can, of course, add one inch if you don’t have lip moldings. It should be adequate even though it might seem too low for clearance.
Add One Inch for the Rear Tire If You Don’t Have Moldings
The other thing to remember is that with lowered trucks, driving in the snow is the same as normal driving. This means that the weight will have little to no effect on the handling of your vehicle, and you won’t experience any rubbing or bottoming out.
Add one inch for the rear tire if you don’t have moldings.
Install an 18″ for Small Children
Moreover, you won’t need step bars when you lower your F150. You’ll probably only need them if you have young children. Otherwise, step bars are unnecessary, let alone they are inconvenient too for an adult.
If you still want to install step bars, 18″ should be a comfortable height.
Lowered F150 Ride Quality
Ride Quality Depends on Many Factors
Ford F150 is the most popular vehicle in the United States thanks to the excellent performance it delivers. Many people think lowering it will result in an unpleasant ride. That will ultimately depend on many factors, including:
- Pinion angle, and
Your truck will want to bounce if you add rear shackles and change the pinion angle. Moreover, a car will bounce if you install very firm springs without changing the shocks. That’s why it’s always a good idea to ask the kit’s manufacturer if the kit is a good match for your vehicle.
Just remember that cheap does NOT always mean bad, so the kit does not have to be too expensive to get a lower and pleasant bouncing ride.
Replace ball joints, links, and tie rods when you have a lowered F150 single cab with many miles.
It’s also a good idea to avoid heating springs and only use a shackle kit for the backside when you buy a lowering kit. By so doing, you won’t complain about the ride being bumpy as much.
We recommend getting the designated shocks along with the shorter, stronger springs. Moreover, adding a better swaybar will not be a bad idea.
How to Lower Your Ford F150
Using a lowering kit is probably the simplest way to improve the appearance of your F150. Stock trucks typically have a rear height at least 2″ higher than the front, giving the impression that your F150 is “raked” and has a large gap between the rear tire and wheel well.
You can also use lowering shackles or lowering springs. These can lower a truck’s back end by 2 to 3 inches and are affordable. Shackles typically cost $50, while leaf springs often cost less than $200.
Below are four ways you can lower your Ford F150:
1. Lowering Springs
These are simple to install. You’ll need to hoist the truck and have all the necessary tools. The installation should not take a lot of time.
Lowering springs can lower your Ford F150’s front and rear back by 2 to 3 inches. Rear leaf springs alone will lower the truck while keeping the rest of the truck’s body in place. However, you should get a complete lowering spring system if you want to lower your truck by more than 2-3 inches.
Front and back springs cost $440.
Parts and installation cost $600.
2. Lowering Shackles
Lowering shackles are a less expensive option that will work just as well if all you want to do is lower the rear of the truck without lowering the front. You need a jack stand, and you are good to go.
Installing lowering shackles should not take more than one hour, and you will not need specialized equipment.
The cost of professional installation can easily reach $100 or more, but luckily, in most cases, you won’t need to. Anyone with a simple socket and wrench set can complete it themselves.
It only costs $50.
It costs around $100 to $200 with parts included.
3. Ford F150 Lowering Kits
Using lowering kits is easy; once you get a handle on it, it should not take too long to set up.
However, you will need to put in a little more effort if a 2-3″ drop in the back of your F150 is insufficient or if you want to lower the front as well. For a 2-3″ front and 3-4.5″ rear drop, control arms, lowering struts, and a flip kit will be required.
You can easily spend between $400 and $500 on a comprehensive level drop package. Professional installation can cost at least $400 to 500 more because it can take 8 to 10 hours to complete the task.
However, this drop does not significantly reduce driveability while still giving your Ford F150 that elegant appearance.
F-150 2015-2020 Complete Lowering Kit
The F150 2015-2020 kit fits both the Super Crew and Super Cab 2WD and 4WD.
It reduces the front ride height by around 1.5″ and the rear ride height by about 2.5″ to give you the desired lowered and level sport truck stance.
The kit comes with laser-cut steel lowering shackles with urethane bushings, precision-tuned front coils, and a strut spacer for front height adjustment.
RideTech Ford F150 Rear Suspension Lowering Kits
The RideTech F150 lowering kit lowers the truck by up to 5.5 inches, transforming it into a high-performance muscle truck with improved stance, handling, and ride quality.
These RideTech kits have everything you need to lower the back of your Ford F150 chassis and are entirely bolt-on and adjustable:
- Adjustable shocks,
- Aluminum body,
- Monotube/gas pressure,
- Adjustable valving,
- Lowered stance,
- Adjustable ride height,
- 3 to 5 in,
- Improved ride quality and crisper handling,
- Bolt-on installation, and
- No welding.
4. Lower the Control Arms
Lowering control arms will maintain the proper suspension angles when you have a lowered 4×4 F150. Otherwise, your suspension will act up, and your ball joints will wear out more quickly than they should:
DJM Flip Kits
Flip kits are time-consuming, but installing them is not that difficult. When using a flip kit, you must mount your leaf springs underneath the axle instead of on top.
By so doing, your truck’s rear will drop by several inches. You can also use flip kits together with lowering shackles and leaf springs.
It costs around $60-$100 and takes a few hours to complete if you do it on your own. Professional installation, however, costs around $200 to $350.
Big Drops 4″+ to 6″+
Options are available for a 4-6″ front and 5-9″ rear drop for people wishing to get their Ford F150 as low as possible and who are more interested in appearance than hauling capacities.
You will need spindles, together with a combination of shackles, a flip kit, or a combo kit, to provide this ground scraping look. For big drops, the cost is anywhere from $500 to $900 or more.
Installation can take up to 12 hours and may require welding. Remember that when you want to get your truck this low, you will need a professional for this and can’t simply do it on your own.
Again, what are the benefits of a lowered F150? Aside from enhanced appearance, a lowered F150 is more aerodynamic, easier to handle, and has better fuel efficiency. Several options are available if you plan to lower your F150, but the simplest way is to use lowering kits.
Other Ways to Lower Your Ford 150
There are other ways to drop a Ford F150; the outcomes depend on your chosen suspension setup:
1. Torsion Bars
This suspension is standard on heavier trucks since it can support heavier weights. Although the amount of drop you can get with these systems is constrained, they are quite simple to modify. All you have to do here is loosen the torsion keys’ hardware.
Aftermarket torsion keys are available for some models that let you change your suspension and have a more compact design to help with your F150’s road clearance.
2. Suspension Arms
You can use springs with unique suspension arms if you want to lower the rear and front of your truck.
This is a good option when you are on a budget too, and it will help a great deal with handling your Ford F150. Moreover, you can lower the front suspension without significantly altering the chassis.
3. Rear Flip Kits
A real flip kit is a simple and affordable solution to achieve a more dramatic drop on your F150. It allows you to reverse the factory mounting of the rear axles beneath the leaf springs. You can accomplish a 6-inch drop while keeping the factory ride by putting a rear axle on top of the leaf springs.
Although this technique will allow you to lower your F150, this will also reduce the load capacity of the rear suspension.
To go about this issue, you can install “helper bags” that will increase the load capacity by providing more support.
Ensure to inflate the bags, as this will ensure maximum functionality by preventing “suspended squats.”
Belltech Rear Flip Kits
The Belltech rear flip kits let you lower your F150 by moving the truck’s rear axle from below the leaf spring to above it instead of just lowering springs. The rear axle pinion shaft will be correctly positioned about the driveline, ensuring that vibrations never become an issue.
This method will offer a significant drop in addition to better handling and performance, mainly when you use coil-overs with adjustable dampers that can soften and tighten up.
Coil-overs can also be used on late-model trucks, but doing so will require complex installations.
Conclusion – Lowered Ford F150
As you can see, there are many ways to lower your Ford F150. From lowering kits and shackles to suspension arms and coil-overs, your ride will be superior to most others on the road, even with a slight drop. Just make sure to choose the level of drop that your F150 needs.
Above all, lowering your Ford F150 will not only provide a much better ride and improved handling, but it will also improve the hauling capacity.
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Lowering your truck can seriously affect your ride quality because of how much it changes your suspension geometry.Does lowering a truck make it handle better? ›
According to Motor Trend, lowering a truck improves handling, traction, and aerodynamics, but only if you do it right. Do it wrong, however, and you'll end up with a spine-busting ride that won't do you favors when off-roading or cruising on the highway.What are the best ways to lower a truck? ›
- Lowering Springs. Back in the day, customizers would cut or heat up springs to lower vehicles. ...
- Drop Spindles. ...
- Torsion Bars. ...
- Suspension Arms. ...
- Leaf Springs and Shackles. ...
- Rear Flip Kits. ...
- Coil-overs. ...
- Full Chassis Replacement.
- Reduce the unsprung mass.
- Soften the suspension system.
- Change the wheels and tires.
- Modify the chassis.
- Eliminate the vibrations.
- Get new leaf springs.
|More road feel||Reduced ride comfort|
|Stiffer ride||Impractical for rough roads|
|Less roll when cornering||Accelerated or uneven tire wear|
|Better handling||Chance of bottoming out|
Upgrade or swap out your parts.
Shocks aren't the only thing that you can upgrade. If you bought cheap coils, consider upgrading them with better and softer ones. If you went with a mono-leaf out back, get rid of it and find a softer leaf spring pack — they're out there — that'll suit your needs.
Lowering the suspension allows for better vehicle control by the driver, which enhances the road's feel and enjoyment. On top of all that, there are fewer vibrations, and you get to decide how your car drives on various surfaces. Less air drag is the second most significant advantage of lowered suspension.Why does my lowered truck ride rough? ›
In most cases, a lowered truck that rides poorly is due to the owner skimping on something somewhere along the line. Cut (or even worse—heated) springs, improperly valved shocks (or using the factory shocks), and not maintaining enough suspension travel are the usual culprits.How much should I lower my truck? ›
Again, we strongly recommend you purchase a comprehensive bolt-on lowering kit for dropping your rig. For stock-height pickups that are regularly driven on the street and highway, lowering about 2 inches in the front and 4 inches in the rear is about the farthest we recommend (depending on make/model).Does lowering a truck affect 4x4? ›
Number two, on nearly every model of four wheel drive truck a couple of inches of lowering does not hurt the ride quality, in fact it quite often improves it. And the handling as always better with a lower center of gravity. It's just purely the physics of lowering the mass closer to the road.
A set of lowering springs is the most common method for lowering the ride height on your car. With a shorter height than your vehicle's factory-equipped springs, lowering springs will drop the height of your vehicle. Most off-the-shelf springs will lower a car between 1 and 2.5 inches.Why do I feel every bump while driving? ›
Feeling every bump
One of the main roles of the suspension system is to smooth out the bumps on the road. If you start to feel every bump on the road, it's a clear sign that there is a problem with your shock absorbers or struts, that needs to be checked. An easy check is the bounce test.
Well-known member. Dealer said FX4 package would have a gentler ride quality on road compared to the suspension of the non FX4 package.What suspension gives the smoothest ride? ›
An air suspension offers a number of advantages compared to conventional springs or struts. One is a smoother ride. Air is compressible while hydraulic fluid inside a shock absorber is not.Do lowering springs ruin ride quality? ›
The portion of the shock absorber that gets reduced by the lowering spring is the part that's built for smoothing out the smaller bumps and dips in the road. By eliminating that part of the shock, the car's ride quality will be harsher.Do lowered cars ride rough? ›
At the same time, using a lowering spring with too high of a spring rate creates a rough ride that will be difficult to control over all but the smoothest of roads, and can often lead to dangerous and unpredictable conditions like bump steer.