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2011 Sport 4x4 Lift Options


VanIsleRanger

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Manual
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Total Lift
0"
Tire Size
30"
Hey everyone, this is my first post on this Forum after just getting an account set up last night, so bear with me if I am rambling, and sorry for all the questions. I am wondering about what are some good options for lifting my 2011 Ranger Sport 4x4. I want to lift it not only so I can get 33" tires on her, but also so I have a little bit better suspension and more ground clearance for the trails. I was looking at add-a-leaf kits, full leaf pack replacements, extended shackles, shocks for the rear, torsion bar cranks, new torsion keys and new shocks for the front, but after much reading on TRS and other websites there is still alot I don't understand and want to know, which is why I am making this post. It seems I have a few basic options for what I am after, and I wanted to go through them to make sure I understand correctly, and also to ask related questions. Here are my options as I understand them, and my questions regarding each option:

Add-a-leaf Kits: I am aware that adding a leaf to your leaf pack will increase ride height a bit. However, I am not entirely sure how it works. Firstly, what is the difference between a long-leaf add-a-leaf and a short-leaf? Does one raise the ride height more than the other? Is one better in some way than the other? Secondly, is there any way to determine how much height an add-a-leaf kit will add to your truck before installing it? Or is it the kind of thing you have to install then take measurements afterwards and see what you're working with?

New Leaf Packs: I have also considered getting entirely new leaf packs for the rear. I have seen a few leaf packs designed specifically for lifted trucks to go off-roading, but I am wondering if these are necessary for moderate trail driving, as that is the most I will be doing besides daily driving. I am also wondering how much lift a new leaf pack would give me, and if there is some way to tell how much before buying? I have seen leaf packs for sale that specifically mention they will fit the truck, but they don't say how much lift they will give the truck. Is there some sort of number I should be looking for that indicates this? Or a measurement I should be aware of that indicates it?

Extended Shackles: I have also looked at getting extended shackles for some extra lift in the rear. Basically my only question about shackles is, are they considered a suspension lift or a body lift? And are they recommended overall?

Rear Shocks: I know that the stock shocks that are currently on my truck are made for the stock ride height, and if I lift the rear I will need new shocks that are made for that ride height. I am a bit confused about finding the right shock for my ride height. Firstly, will I need to install the extended shackles/add-a-leaf/new leaf packs in the rear in order to determine ground clearance and find shocks that fit? Or is there a way to calculate what size shocks I will need before doing any modifications to the rear suspension? I have seen shocks online listed as being made for "lifted trucks and SUVs" but I am not sure how much lift they are made for or how any of that works. Any information about finding the right rear shocks for my lift would be much appreciated.

Torsion Bar Crank: As for lifting the front, I know that a torsion bar crank is a good option for beginners, which is exactly what I am. Firstly, I am wondering if there is any way to check if my torsion bars have already been cranked, and if so, by how much. I have measured the ground clearance from the pavement at the center of my wheel to the inside of the wheel well, and on the front of the truck I am currently getting 32.75" on the drivers side, and 33" on the passengers side. Do these heights indicate that there has been a torsion bar lift done by one of the previous owners? The truck came with slightly bigger than stock tires (30") so I am wondering if the previous owner did a t-bar crank to make room in the front for those tires. Secondly, if my torsion bar has not been cranked, how do you crank both sides evenly? I have read that you just count the rotations as you are adjusting the bolts, but I want to be sure that is the best way as it seems to leave plenty of room for error. Thirdly, how much lift can I get out of a t-bar crank and will my alignment/steering or anything else need to be adjusted after I crank them?

New Torsion Keys: I have seen aftermarket torsion keys for Rangers online, and I am wondering if they are worth getting over just a stock torsion bar crank. Do aftermarket torsion keys provide more lift than stock cranked torsion bars? Do they require you to crank them to lift the truck like the stock ones do? And as for amount of lift, I see that many aftermarket torsion keys advertise the lift amount in the product description. However, is this listed lift amount accounting for the key being cranked? I'm not entirely sure how that works so any info would be awesome.

Front Shocks: As for replacing the front shocks once I either crank my torsion bars or buy new torsion keys, I have the same question as I did regarding rear shocks. How do I know what length shocks to get? Do I have to lift the truck first, then measure it out to determine what shocks I need? Or is there a way of determining which shocks will work before I do any modifications?

I know that was an insane amount of questions, but I am a total newbie and after about a month of trying to teach myself everything I can about my truck and my options, these questions still remained. I figured this would be the best place to ask them as I have heard many good things about this forum from satisfied Ranger owners. Thanks in advance for the help.
 


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MikeG

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235/75r15
Can't speak to the torsion bars.

Add-a-leaf: There are no hard and fast rules, because it depends WHAT you add, and how much arch it has, and what the spring rate is, etc. But, I can assure you, adding leaves WILL increase the spring rate. At some point it will ride like a dump truck and you may not much care for that. Pluses - cheap(er), if you don't much care that YOU are doing the work. Plus you can 'shop' in the junkyard. If you have to pay someone, the labor for add-a-leaf (if the springpack has to be taken apart) is going to be the same, or nearly so, as a replacement springpack. For the bolt-on add-a-leaf, that looks like a lot less trouble. The bolt-on ones, though, mostly are about increasing the spring rate (load capacity) not lifting your truck, from what I can tell.

Replace the entire spring pack, and it's easier. Pick your increased ride height desired, and load capacity. That's it. All it takes is money at that point...... or money, and some elbow grease to put them in yourself.

With greater spring travel, you'll need longer shocks, and watch that you don't run out of travel with the brake lines.

Shocks could be a fairly long discussion, but first settle on the ride height.

Extended shackles: you'll get about half the increase in ride height, as the increase in the length of the shackle (since it only lifts at one end of the spring). By the way, if you get too carried away with that, then it can mess with the driveshaft angle, and sometimes you'd have to correct with shims. I'd rather just get the right springs to begin with, personal preference.

Lift blocks are easy, just put them between the springpack and axle, but they will increase the likelihood of springwrap under acceleration. Just one of those trade-offs.
 

VanIsleRanger

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Sport 4x4
Engine Type
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Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
0"
Tire Size
30"
Firstly, thanks for such a speedy reply. And thanks for the helpful answers!

Replace the entire spring pack, and it's easier. Pick your increased ride height desired, and load capacity. That's it. All it takes is money at that point...... or money, and some elbow grease to put them in yourself.
Good to know this. I wasn't aware that adding leafs will increase the spring rate, and not necessarily lift my truck. I have no idea what my desired ride height is though, I just know I want to be able to clear 33s and have some more travel in the back. Is there some sort of a chart or other way to determine what ride height would be best for my needs?

As for extended shackles, I have heard that the extended shackles for Chevy's work on Rangers. What are your thoughts on those? Worth getting?
 

MikeG

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2WD
Total Lift
2"
Tire Size
235/75r15
The clearance in the back won't be nearly the problem that clearance in the front is. Remember that you have to turn the front wheels.... ;) A tape measure should tell you how much lift in the back you'll need, with 33" tires compared to your current tires. 235/75r15? Those are around 29" tall, and that's a common size, but just a guess on my part. Measure how much downtravel there is between the bumpstop and the axle (or frame, wherever it is). Then you can eye ball it if you know the width of the 33s and guess whether it will hit the fender. A big carpenter's square will be your friend here, along with the tape.

And then the other variable is the spacing on the wheels (how far out the stick from the vehicle. Stock wheels? And there are different widths of tires.... skinny 33s vs fatter ones, etc. You have requirements that are a little vague at this point.

Shackles are just metal brackets. If they have holes in the right places and are the right dimensions, then it doesn't much matter where you got them. But I don't have any way of knowing whether they would work or not.

You could do a combination of things - small block, longer shackle, maybe a little 'help' for the springs. It all adds up.

Front will be an entirely different can of worms.
 

09fx4guy

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Pre Key w/ #1 Bars
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265/70R16
MikeG is right. The rear is the easiest part, the front is the crazy part. If I may offer my .02 cents...

Let's get some info on your truck- Can you tell us what the gear ratio for the axles is, 4.10 or 3.73? Are the wheels 15 inch or 16 inch?

Are you dead set on 33 inch tires? Or would you be willing to go to 32 inch tires? If you have 3.73 gears, 33 inch tires will be a little bit rough. As you go with larger tires, performance will be changed as you go to larger tires. Look on the website here in the tech section for the gear ratio and tire size chart, you can see what I am referring to.

The first thing to look at- What is the spring code on the door tag? It should be something like "11CC" or "BBCC". The first two letters represent the front torsion bars, and the last two digits are the rear springs. As far a the front, 1 is the strongest bar, B is midgrade, and F is the weakest bar. C is the stronger rear leaf spring, and i think K is the weakest.

You can get quite a bit of lift with some earlier ford parts. Here is what I did for my truck.

In the front, I replaced my B torsion bars with #1 torsion bars. Then I used Torsion keys from a 2007 and earlier Ford Ranger. These keys will allow a little more lift compared to 2008 and later keys. You can also get aftermarket keys, but I did not need to go that high. Then I used a set of Rancho RS55374 (i think) shocks for a lifted Ranger. This combination should easily fit 32 inch tires, as my 31 inch tires fit with plenty of clearance. I do not have the keys maxed out, so I still have some decent ride quality.

If you wanted to go higher in the front, you may have to look into the superlift kit. If you lift too high in the front without the superlift kit, you will wear out the front driveshaft and several suspension components real quick.

In the rear, I purchased a set of rear blocks from a 2007 and earlier Ranger that are about 2.5 inches instead of the factory 1.5 inch blocks you should have. Then I used a set of Belltech 6400 shackles to the closer hole, not the furthest hole. Then a set of Rancho RS55126 (I think) shocks.

Like I mentioned, 31 inch tires fit with plenty of room, 32 inch could fit as well.

Sorry for rambling answer.
 

PetroleumJunkie412

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I run 31s on my 2011, and can run 33s with no issue.

Turn your phone sideways, and click on the build thread for my 2011 in my signature.
 

sgtsandman

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You can get 31s to fit well just doing a “Pre-2008 Lift”. 32s might work but will be a little stuffed. There isn’t much out there as far as lift kits for your truck, which would the be the better all around option for what you are looking to do. The lift is pretty tall though and can cause front drive shaft issues.

You could do a combination of a “pre-2008 Lift” and a body lift. The ground clearance with the rear axle would be about the same since the only thing lifting it any higher is your tire height.

What are you aiming for? Just a look? Off road ability?

The point about your gearing is a good one too. If you are looking to off road, you might want to consider getting 4.56 or 4.88 gears for the front and back.

There are times my truck struggles some with 31s and 3.73 gears on hills. Especially if I’m hauling a load or towing. Take a look at the tires vs gears chart in the tech section.
 

85_Ranger4x4

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Here are the common extended shackles for a Ranger:


I used them in conjunction with heavier springs to eliminate my factory lift blocks, no complaints.
 


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