Looking for a 3.5-Inch suspension kit for your 2019 and newer Ford Ranger 4×4? Here’s a look at your options.
Rough Country / Skyjacker / Superlift:
Sell a 3.5-inch lift kit with new upper control arms, a strut spacer and provides brackets to relocate the front differential. They also provide templates for cutting and drilling the factory differential mounts so you can bolt their differential mounts to them. The Rough Country kit has forged aluminum upper control arms while the Skyjacker and Superlift kits have tubular upper control arms.
Fabtech offers a 3.5-inch suspension kit that uses strut spacers and new upper control arms but DOES NOT include any brackets to relocate the front differential. Fabtech also offers their kit with new intrusion beams to make room for larger tires.
Fabtech also sells their intrusion beam kit separately.
Sells a 3.5-inch lift kit with new upper control arms and either a strut spacer or new longer struts. They also include brackets to relocate your front differential. Some of their kits also offer a replacement intrusion beam to allow for larger tires. BDS also offers their intrusion beam separately.
Calmini / Icon Vehicle Dynamics:
Calmini sells new upper control arms, a strut spacer, and new longer struts. They do not include brackets to relocate the front differential.
Icon Vehicle Dynamics kits include longer replacement struts, new tubular or billet upper control arms and the option of rear springs or shocks with remote reservoirs. Their kits DO NOT provide brackets to relocate the front differential.
ReadyLift Intrusion Beam:
ReadyLift only offers up to a 3-inch leveling kit, but they do offer replacement intrusion beams for more tire clearance.
What Is An Intrusion Beam
The anti-intrusion beams on new Ford trucks are intended for collision safety reasons. While important, the factory beams do not provide adequate room for tire clearance when installing larger tires after adding a lift kit. Some companies offer replacement intrusion beams that allow more room for larger tires.
Front Differential Brackets:
I’m not sure what to think about some companies offering the drop brackets for the front differential, and other companies not offering them. Rough Country seems to be the kit receiving all of the reviews right now. I found this review interesting where the person says he didn’t use the differential lowering brackets:
“Looks incredible with the lift on the truck. It definitely raised the front 3.5″ and the rear only 1″, which is not a problem because my FX4 was a little high in the back. The aluminum knuckles made the job super easy because the ball joints just fell out. HOWEVER, you DO NOT need the upgraded shocks. The old shocks work just fine. I have also been off-road a few times and the diff lowering brackets are not required. They require you to cut the original brackets and I did not feel comfortable doing so. All in all, the ride height is amazing and still on stock tires, it is taller than a Tacoma on the same lift. Can’t beat a great lift for $550.”
What Tires Fit With A 3.5-Inch Lift:
According to BDS:
Tire & Wheel Combinations For Kit With Coilover
- 275/65r w/20×9 and 6.18″ back spacing
- 285/66r w/18×9 and 5.5-5.75″ back spacing
- 305/55r w/20×9 and 5″ back spacing
*Trimming may be required*
Tire & Wheel Combinations For 3.5 Kit With Spacer
- 285/70r17 w/17″ and stock back spacing
- 285/65r18 w/18″ and stock back spacing
- 275/65r18 w/18×9 and 6.125″ back spacing
*Trimming may be required*
- Use 33/12.50R18 tires w/ 18×9 wheels w/ 5″ BS w/ minor trimming
- Use 33/12.50R20 tires w/ 20×9 wheels w/ 5″ BS w/ minor trimming
Rough Country States:
“This kit was developed using a 285/55/r20 for a no rub on a 20 x 9 +30 offset.”
- Max Tire Size – 285/65R18
- Wheel – 18 x 8
- Aftermarket Wheels Must Have a Minimum of 93.1mm Center Bore & Maximum 6.5” Backspacing.
- Wheels with Less Than 6.50 Inch Backspacing May Require Slight Trimming.
- Nine (9) Inch Wide Wheels Will Require Trimming.
This kit was developed using a 285/70 R17. Any larger or wider tire & wheel combination other than listed may require vehicle trimming.
- 285/70R17 on 17×9 Stock Wheel
- 285/65R18 on 18×9 Stock Wheel
- 285/55R20 on 20×9 Wheel With +30MM Offset
I was surprised that some of these companies provide brackets to relocate the front differential and others do not. The Rough Country and Skyjacker kits look almost identical except that the Rough Country kit has forged aluminum upper control arms. The Superlift kit has different brackets for the front differential than the Rough Country and Skyjacker kits. The BDS kit appears to have the same style of differential brackets as the Superlift kit. The BDS kit also uses a longer shackle to lift the rear instead of a spacer block like Rough Country, Skyjacker, and Superlift does.
I also noted that only BDS, Calmini, and Icon are offering kits with a longer replacement front strut. Only BDS, Fabtech and ReadyLift offer a replacement intrusion beam for more tire clearance.
I also like how Rough Country has plastic caps to cover the top of the joint in the upper control arm to keep the grease fitting clean.