By on September 20, 2019

Image: Ford

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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32 Comments on “Ford Wants You to Get Jacked...”


  • avatar
    Jon

    Good idea. Those curbs at Target and the school pickup line aren’t getting any shorter.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Anybody know how that price compares to most of the aftermarket kits + expected labor rates?

    My local independent tire shop seems to do a good business in “leveling” kits of pickups that just ensure that the front is as high as the rear. Generally though it’s just a spacer.

    • 0 avatar
      phxmotor

      If it retails for $1,495 you know it’s just a handful of spacers costing Ford $8.60 … at most.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Yeah I was wondering because most of the target market is just going to have a local shop do it and pay $50 an hour in labor and not $75 at the dealer.

        • 0 avatar
          jack4x

          $125 an hour at my local Ford dealer. :(

          As for the question its hard to know until we see exactly how this compares to aftermarket. I would guess something similar in a leveling kit would be about $300-400 plus install. The big advantage of this kit of course being that you can roll the $1500 into your 84 month note.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Alternatively:
    lebanonfordperformance.com/2019-ford-f-150-pick-your-power-for-39995/

  • avatar
    micko4472

    All of Ford’s trucks are way too big to be considered as serious off
    roaders – at least for the kind of off-roading that’s worth doing. The
    Raptor is fine for running around in the flat desert, but don’t try to
    use one for any serious off roading in places like UT and CO.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      That Ranger isn’t really any bigger than my FJ-80 Land Cruiser. It went plenty of places that were “worth going”. You can take that argument all the way down to Single Track on a 125cc dirt bike.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    How about building actual bumpers that don’t drag arse to begin with. The plastic bumpers proliferating midsize trucks is ridiculous, and the cheap car like look easily keeps a huge number of potential customers away

  • avatar
    Rick Astley

    The girlfriend purchased a 2019 Ranger (Lariat, FX4 off-road, tech package, Super Cab), what Ford needs to offer is a factory lowering kit which wont neuter the load ratings.

    That truck is unreasonably tall. The bed is something like 4′ off the ground and if you ever want to tow, a 6″ drop hitch is the absolute minimum you can get away with. 8″ or 9″ would be preferable for low hitch height trailers.

    It’s not an off-roader, it’s not a rock crawler, it’s a light duty truck for all-around needs…. Which doesn’t include having to use a ladder to put things in the bed. And she’s quite tall (considering the height of girls I usually date) at over 5’7″. Utterly pointless truck height beyond sausage contests

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      100% correct. The Ranger and other current midsizers are way too tall already, I want a drop kit. The height of my old Ranger Splash was perfect!

      Heck my ’02 Dakota is normal height and it could stand a 2″ drop. I don’t off road and neither do most truck owners. The most off road I go is when you have to park in a grass field at a temporary event like an outdoor concert venue.

      The sooner this BroDozer culture dies the better. I’m not a fan of sitting in traffic looking UP at truck bumpers, in an accident I’m going under it for sure. From the view point of my Corvette these trucks should have aircraft tail numbers they are so high up.

    • 0 avatar
      Jon

      I’m going to assume you have a vested interest in this truck because you will be driving/using it often.

      “factory lowering kit which wont neuter the load ratings”

      If these two things are mentioned in the same sentence, you need to reevaluate why a truck was purchased. Although i understand the context of your desire.

      “if you ever want to tow,”

      Ill go out on a limb and assume she didn’t buy the truck to tow (anything that will push the limits of the load ratings). But i would love to be told I’m wrong on this one.

      “It’s not an off-roader,”

      Then why get the FX4 package if not for off-roading?

      If its too tall, Toyota offers a 2wd Tacoma that sits a lot lower and is much more reasonably priced. Overall, it sounds like she bought the wrong truck for you and your purposes.

      • 0 avatar
        Rick Astley

        “I’m going to assume you have a vested interest in this truck because you will be driving/using it often.” A: couldn’t care less, it’s the first pickup truck i’ve ever driven that was actually owned by somebody. I bought a Civic RT4wd wagon for hauling my FE390 motor and cruise-O-matic back/forth to the shop while building it

        “If these two things are mentioned in the same sentence, you need to reevaluate why a truck was purchased. Although i understand the context of your desire.” A: she just wanted a truck as she likes them more than the A6 she got out of for this.

        “Ill go out on a limb and assume she didn’t buy the truck to tow (anything that will push the limits of the load ratings). But i would love to be told I’m wrong on this one.” A: Load rating was indeed a requirement as we have a ~4,500 lb trailer which moves. And she is also used to having high powered sea-doo’s that she will get back into, so she wants a toy hauler.

        “Then why get the FX4 package if not for off-roading?” A: FX4 package is mandatory for the terrain management features. Surely you are aware of how OEM’s bundle packages these days….

        “If its too tall, Toyota offers a 2wd Tacoma that sits a lot lower and is much more reasonably priced. Overall, it sounds like she bought the wrong truck for you and your purposes.” A: If you’ve driven a current gen Taco then you would have plenty of reasons not to buy that ancient truck. And overall it sounds like she bought the wrong truck for YOU. There is a difference and i’m sure it’s more than the mailing address where the monthly bill goes. She made her choice and spent her money on what she wanted. I have no dog in the fight when it comes to her truck. Once she picked out what she wanted, I helped with options and ensuring the dealership didn’t sell her lifetime undercoating.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    Customization is what consumers want. Good for Ford. Dealers will love the added income on these incremental sales. A winner!

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      It seems like they want customers to pay to fix Fords mistakes. Wouldn’t need this if Ford didn’t nerf the front end with air dams and plastic bumpers nor would it be needed if the truck sat level to begin with instead of looking like it was assembled by a shade tree mechanic without all the parts available. But the second half seems to be industry wide. The plastic bumper nerfing the front end however is all Fords fault.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        If GMs air-dams were any lower they’d qualify as snowplow prep packages.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        The low airdam is for fuel efficiency/CAFE compliance and designed to be user discarded. But most owners don’t mind them or f/r ride heights/stance, especially fleets. Plus once loaded and or tongue weight, you don’t want the rear to go much below “level”.

        It’s a different story if you’re more concerned with running bigger tires, offroading, sporty looks and whatnot.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          I understand why it’s there, however you don’t see vehicles like the 4Runner with factory installed air dams and yet I average over 20MPG in mine. Seems Toyota figures out a way to design the front end (albeit plastic fantastic) without any airdam. In many cases removing the air dam either leaves a non-fluid look or leaves metal brackets exposed.

          The stance is ok in certain vehicles but the Colorado and Ranger for example look awful with the front end buried into the ground and then a 4’,6” tall bed at the end.
          If your selling a package such as the Fx4 supposedly intended for off-roading then there should be no reason the vehicle leaves the ground with these capabilities nerfed.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            If the ass-up stance and ground scraping airdams only net 800 ft per gallon savings, Big 3 pickups have the most to gain for fleet averages of their respective brands, by far.

            Most owners figure out how to camo exposed brackets or bumper slots, but actual pickup buyers mostly prefer pickups that ride high and simple spacers for the front are usually enough to satisfy and allow 33X12.5 tires before rubbing (fullsize) or looking awkward. Pickup makers are selective on who they listen to.

      • 0 avatar
        thegamper

        Even with massive airdams, trucks have way more ground clearance than 90% of new truck buyers will ever need. How tall is a curb? 6 inches? Why not sell trucks that are drastically lower? It would be amazing if the truck design pendulum would ever swing in the direction of less annoying to every other driver on the road.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          We don’t need to give up ground clearance to fix that issue, look at a 99 4cyl 4×4 Frontier, I can walk up to a stock truck and reach from the drivers side and touch the passenger side bed rail. The beds low, the cabs low, and the ground clearance looks to be within an inch of the Leveled Ranger pictured above, on stock tires.

          I don’t disagree Damper, I think these midsize trucks look positively horrible, extremely tall cab on a very narrow frame. It just doesn’t look good.
          Another issue is the price, that 99 retailed for around $12-14k brand new, the closest your going to get a base pickup with only 4×4 and rear jump seats in 2019 is $30k. I’m all for petitioning a return of normal sized midsize trucks but the price better match. At $30k I’m in V8 territory and a plain Jane midsize with a 4 cylinder is not getting my money.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    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.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    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?

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      And risk scratching the paint or chipping the bedliner? Are you crazy?

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      You raise the back just as much?

      They’re meant to be personalized, modded to your specific needs/wants/desires. For most, their low front clearance is the biggest fail of pickups. Except it’s the cheapest/easiest to fix (now made easier).

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      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.


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