Ford Wants You to Get Jacked

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
ford wants you to get jacked

While Ford Motor Company doesn’t have any trouble offloading F-150s and Rangers on a truck-hungry populace, there’s always another way to sweeten the pot. To boost the appeal of its full- and mid-size offerings, the automaker will now offer off-road levelling kits, perhaps saving a unlucky pickup from scraping its chin.

Developed by Ford Performance Parts, the kits are a dealer-installed affair, offering buyers a way to leave the store with a touch more brawn.

“Truck customers are asking for options for increased capability and customization, and the new leveling suspension kits for Ranger and F-150 deliver on that need,” said Eric Cin, global director of Ford Vehicle Personalization and Accessories, in a statement.

Whereas butchy buyers can always opt for a F-150 Raptor for the ultimate in ditch-hopping, brust-busting off-road prowess, some owners might prefer something a little tamer. A way of adding that extra little bit of capability they can’t find from the factory. Of course, a Ranger Raptor is off the table for North American buyers, at least for now. In offering these packages, Ford is perhaps recognizing an empty seat in its truck lineup.

What does the package bring? For starters, there’s FOX shock co-developed with Ford Performance and tuned for better cooling capacity when the going gets rough, new front coilover springs with an optimized spring rate, new upper front mounts with polyurethane bushings, and a 2-inch front lift.

The added ride height up front apparently does wonders for trail stuff. Ford claims that, with package installed, the Ranger increases its approach angle by 21 percent, with a 10-percent increase in breakover angle. F-150 models with a 145-inch wheelbase can expect a 22-percent increase in breakover angle with kit installed. Breakover angle increases 7 percent.

Offered only on current-generation F-150 and Ranger 4×4 models, the kits carry a price tag of $1,495 and will be available through your dealer later this fall.

[Image: Ford]

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  • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Sep 20, 2019

    I think this is good. I saw Honda offered a similar sort of suspension upgrade for the Fit that would make it a sort of "Fit Si" (no additional power sadly). I'd rather get the factory certified stuff if available.

  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Sep 21, 2019

    Leveling kits are just plain stupid and show that at least 1/2 of truck buyers aren't doing any real work with their vehicles. You jack up the front end a few inches so the truck sits level. WTF happens when you put a load in the box?

    • See 3 previous
    • DenverMike DenverMike on Sep 22, 2019

      Even with the Level Kit, the back end remains about 2" higher. "Level" is just a saying. Besides, the important thing is its chin is up off the pavement and decent size tire-upgrades clear the fenders. Plus it gives trucks a sporty look, not afraid to hop a curb and whatnot.

  • BEPLA My own theory/question on the Mark VI:Had Lincoln used the longer sedan wheelbase on the coupe - by leaning the windshield back and pushing the dashboard & steering wheel rearward a bit - not built a sedan - and engineered the car for frameless side windows (those framed windows are clunky, look cheap, and add too many vertical lines in comparison to the previous Marks) - Would the VI have remained an attractive, aspirational object of desire?
  • VoGhost Another ICEbox? Pass. Where are you going to fill your oil addiction when all the gas stations disappear for lack of demand? I want a pickup that I can actually use for a few decades.
  • Art Vandelay Best? PCH from Ventura to somewhere near Lompoc. Most Famous? Route Irish
  • GT Ross The black wheel fad cannot die soon enough for me.
  • Brett Woods My 4-Runner had a manual with the 4-cylinder. It was acceptable but not really fun. I have thought before that auto with a six cylinder would have been smoother, more comfortable, and need less maintenance. Ditto my 4 banger manual Japanese pick-up. Nowhere near as nice as a GM with auto and six cylinders that I tried a bit later. Drove with a U.S. buddy who got one of the first C8s. He said he didn't even consider a manual. There was an article about how fewer than ten percent of buyers optioned a manual in the U.S. when they were available. Visited my English cousin who lived in a hilly suburb and she had a manual Range Rover and said she never even considered an automatic. That's culture for you.  Miata, Boxster, Mustang, Corvette and Camaro; I only want manual but I can see both sides of the argument for a Mustang, Camaro or Challenger. Once you get past a certain size and weight, cruising with automatic is a better dynamic. A dual clutch automatic is smoother, faster, probably more reliable, and still allows you to select and hold a gear. When you get these vehicles with a high performance envelope, dual-clutch automatic is what brings home the numbers.