Body lift prep & tips

Discussion in 'How-To Submissions' started by gcextreme, Apr 27, 2013.

  1. gcextreme

    gcextreme GCEXTREME Vendor

    There are alot of threads about doing body lifts. Specially for 98+ Rangers with the torsion suspension, since a 3" body lift is the cheapest way to lift the truck up for larger tires.
    So since there are so many threads, I thought I would create a list of PREP & TIPS for doing the lift. I have posted these tips up in a few threads, helping others that had questions about doing a body lift.

    So here's my quick write up.
    DISCLAIMER: I nor will be held liable or responsible for damages or injuries. These tips are intended to help make the body lift process go easier.


    This is not a full instruction list, just a quick list of tips and tools. Please read and follow the full instructions that came with your kit.

    Required tools:
    Propane or Map Gas torch
    Dead blow hammer
    Regular heavy hammer
    Drill and drill bits, and drilling/tapping oil/lube
    Wood blocks
    4x6 or 4x8 piece of lumber, about 6’ long.
    PB Blaster or WD40 or Liquid Wrench
    Flashlights or other moveable lights.
    Hose Cutters
    Impact Wrench, electric or air.

    You will want the following ratchets and sockets.
    ¼ drive Ratchet and sockets, metric and SAE.
    3/8 drive Ratchet and sockets, also metric and SAE.
    You will also need various extensions for these ratchets, 1” to 3” long.

    ½ or ¾ drive Ratchet (long breaker bar) and metric and SAE sockets, preferably impact sockets.
    You will also need some extensions for these as well. The front core supports, you will need 20” worth of extensions to get at. Either one long 20” or use a 10” and two 5”s.

    Most stock bed bolts require a torx/star drive to remove, I believe it’s a T57… its best to have a variety and have them in socket form to put onto the breaker bar.

    SAE & Metric Wrench sets, preferably the ratcheting types.

    Don’t wait to tackle the body lift all at once, in one weekend. Prep early, start doing stuff 2-3 weeks in advance.

    First, every day for two weeks, spray down all the bed and cab bolts, as well as all the bumper bolts with the PB Blaster or WD40.

    After 2 weeks or so of spraying the bolts down, use your torch to heat up the bed bolts and break them free with your breaker bar. Go ahead and remove them one by one, clean the threads up with a wire brush and then put each back in and re-tighten. Then do the same for the 4 cab bolts. Don’t worry about the front two core ones up by the radiator, those will have to wait.

    Now tackle the bumpers, and the tow hooks. The tow hooks are a major pain. It will take a lot of time to remove them. Once you get your tow hooks and front/rear bumpers off, you can put the front bumper back on, keep the tow hooks off.

    Now the rear bumper, there are brackets and bolts on that to heat up and also remove. Go ahead and remove the bolts, and put it back together and back on the truck.

    You are doing all this work so when the time comes to spend the day doing the actual lift, you won’t be spending all day fighting with these bolts, making things go a lot faster the day of the lift.

    Start by measuring the gap between the bed and cab, write it down.
    Remove the rear bumper.
    Remove the fuel filler neck.
    Now loosen up all the bolts, they should be easier to loosen. Remove the bolts from one side of the bed only.
    Use a jack of a long piece of lumber to lift up the side and slide in the spacer blocks.
    Put new bolts in, don’t tighten all the way, and then repeat for the other side.
    Then snug everything down, not too tight, and check your measurement on your bed/cab gap.

    Now remove the front bumper, it should be a lot easier to remove now.
    Follow all the other instructions in the kit, unbolt the radiator, wire connectors, grounding straps, steering rod, manual shifter (if you have a manual) etc. and do one side of the cab at a time, like you did the bed.
    Total time to complete stuff on the day of the lift, about 8-10 hours.

    After a week of driving, double check and tighten all the bed and cab bolts.
    It is highly recommended to use BLUE LOCTITE on the bolts.

    REMEMBER THIS IS NOT A COMPLETE list of detailed instructions, this is just a quick list of tips and advice.


    Next if you have a 98-00 Ranger with the stock fender flares/mudflaps, and you are wanting to go with some 33x12.5 tires, you will have to remove your stock mudflaps...specially the front ones...
    the tires will rub in the back of the wheel well on tight turns and when on uneven ground... like turning into an incline etc...

    You will also need to trim your front valance.

    look at this pic

    Diagram Pic

    Look at the front tire areas around the stock mudflaps and upper front valence.... this is fine on even ground... but on bumpy ground flexing the suspension it rubs... and more with the wheels turned.

    heres the best i have with a trimmed valence and removed the stock flares and flaps and put on bushwacker flares


    ALSO take in mind if u go with a wider tire that sticks out past your fenders and/or flares, u will be getting rock chips in your paint!! Trust me! Get some wider flares!

    After going thru all this... i wish i had went with 32s!!!! Nice big tires still and still more wheel well room for flex!!


    Also compare these pics

    Explorer rims with 31"BFGs, no body lift.

    Explorer rims with 31"BFgs with 3"body lift.

    New 33" tires and rims with 3"body lift, and my old black aluminum topper.

    Also heres some close ups, this is with about 1.5"-2 Tbar crank:

    Back of the front wheel well...

    Front wheel well with the tip of the valence that needs trimming off.

    Also, if you have stock flares, or no flares, the 33x12.5 tires will stick out past them, and in some states this is ILLEGAL. But the main issue with them sticking out past the fenders/flares is you will be getting rock chips in your paint, trust me, you will want to invest in wider aftermarket flares.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope these tips and suggestions are helpful to people in the future.
    If I missed anything, or if you would like me to add something, please feel free to chime in.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2013
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  3. klinger86

    klinger86 Moderator

    oh and dont be like me... if you have earrings in make sure you clear the front valance before you try to get up.... i didnt check to see if i was clear and almost pulled the ball on my earring thru the hole it hurt like a biotch for about 2 weeks...
  4. OP

    gcextreme GCEXTREME Vendor

    Lol ouchies..
  5. scott5640

    scott5640 EdgeRunner

    also make sure u do the lift on a flat surface or ull be like me and having to use a jeep to pull the cab forward due to lifting it on a driveway with a steep angle

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