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The beauty of driving a brand-new truck is enjoying the handling and comfort that only a brand-new truck can offer. But there’s a common misconception floating around out there that tells us that modifying a factory-fresh suspension system in any way whatsoever compromises the manufacturer’s cushy ride and damper. Well, let us be the first to tell you that buying into reasoning like that will get you (and your truck) nowhere fast. This isn’t the Stone Age, man. The days of using ill-fitting parts pulled from the junkyard have long past. Today, you can have it all, a freshfrom- the-dealership pickup with an upgraded suspension setup that better suits your lifestyle.

MaxTrac Suspension has stood at the forefront of fabricating suspension lift kits for trucks of all years, even though it invests a lot of resources into developing packages that cater to the newest of the new models. Take this ’15 Ford F-150 for example. Its latest offering will soon jack up the front 7 inches, and the rear 4, which will turn this truck from tame to insane in no time flat. The stars of the front-end components are the 4.5-inch front lift spindles. Now, these babies are what help maintain the factory ride quality because they were designed to keep the stock suspension geometry intact. The 2.5-inch strut spacers allow for use of the OE strut assembly, which further promotes a softer ride. At the rear, 4-inch blocks, along with MaxTrac’s own shocks, bump the rear up easily and with much comfort. Installing this assemblage of suspension parts will not only result in a more aggressive ride stance, but it will also give the F-150 better agility by clearing room for larger, off-road tires underneath the fenders. This is what you call a classic win-win situation.

Here she is, Ford’s ’15 F-150. It’s a beautiful truck but a little on the bland side. It can’t help it, but the guys at MaxTrac can.

Speaking of the exterior, there was slight rubbing up front, but we’ll touch on that next issue. Don’t worry, it’s nothing major, but it is pretty typical when upgrading to a beefier tire. The 37- inch Nitto Trail Grapplers were a big step up from stock, and at full lock, the factory bumper was just hugging them too tightly. Honestly, it will give the guys a good excuse to build up the truck’s attitude to better match the beastly look of its increased altitude. Stay tuned as a complete bumper and side step package from Addictive Desert Designs will help free up a few necessary inches. With that little disclaimer out of the way, let’s dive right into installing this MaxTrac lift kit already. Follow along as this clean ’15 prepares for life in the dirt. Watch as its transformation plays out step by step, and you’ll see just how easy it will be to push your own truck straight to the top.

MaxTrac Suspension
714.630.0363
Maxtracsuspension.com

KMC Wheels
Kmcwheels.com

Nitto
Nittotires.com

Here’s a peek at the components that will be making the F-150’s new stance possible. Lift spindles, front strut spacers, extended DOT brake lines, rear blocks and new rear shocks. The list of parts isn’t too huge, but the towering height it creates is.

To kick off the dissection of the stock suspension system, the tie rod end was unbolted from below the spindle.

To get the rod free from its position on the spindle, a couple of love taps from a mini sledge were in order.

Next, the retaining clip holding the brake line in place on the spindle was loosened and removed.

The caliper was removed from the rotor and hung from the frame so as not to put any strain on the brake line. Allowing the caliper to hang freely from the line itself is a definite no-no in a situation like this.

With the caliper safe, the rotor was removed.

Since the spindle will no longer be necessary once it’s removed, everything connected to it will have to be disconnected, including the wheel speed sensors.

The bolts holding the hub assembly to the spindle were loosened.

Once the bolts were freed up, the hub assembly was pulled out from the spindle.

Next, the bolts holding the spindle to the control arms were unbolted.

Again, the mini sledge was brought out to knock the spindle free from the ball joints.

Next, the sway bar was disconnected. This will help gain a little more maneuverability as the installation progresses.

The top of the strut assembly was unbolted.

Once the top was of the strut was loosened, the two lower shock bolts were removed.

With the strut assembly completely unbolted, J.J. was able to yank it out from underneath the truck.

With the strut assembly off of its perch, J.J. installed MaxTrac’s 2.5-inch strut spacer. The bottom plate secures to the existing bolts, and the bolts on the upper plate will serve as the new mounting points.

The strut was compressed to help the taller assembly fit back into place.

The strut was moved back into its top perch and bolted into position.

The bottom of the shock was reinstalled and secured tightly.

A grinder was used to shave a little extra clearance space on the lower control arm for the spindle. This was only done on the front edge.

J.J. proceeded to hold the new MaxTrac 4.5-inch lift spindles where they will be mounted permanently.

Both ends of the new spindle were bolted to the control arms.

Next, the lug assembly was mated with MaxTrac’s lift spindle.

The wheel speed sensor was reinstalled.

MaxTrac’s spindles have a brake line tab mounting position just like the stock versions. A screw holds the bracket and the line securely in place.

With the taller stance, the stock brake lines quickly become too short. Luckily, MaxTrac has planned ahead and provides longer brake lines with its lift kits.

With the longer brake lines hooked up, J.J. reconnected the calipers to the rotors.

The tie rod was secured to the new lift spindle.

To wrap the front portion of the installation, the sway bar was reconnected. Everything pretty much can be installed in a straightforward fashion with minimal modifications.

Starting at the rear, the lower shock mount was loosened and the bolt was removed.

The upper shock bolt was also loosened and removed.

The bracket that holds the brake lines in place was loosened in order to begin the installation of the new lift block kit.

MaxTrac’s 4-inch blocks install as easily as lifting the leaf spring pack and sliding it underneath on top of the lower perch.

The longer U-bolts were thrown on top of the leaf springs and the nuts were tightened to lock the lift block in place.

The final piece of the puzzle are a new set of rear shocks that mount in the factory location.

With a lift this large, a new set of wheels and tires is absolutely mandatory (unless you want to get made fun of). The crew selected a set of 20×9-inch KMC Bully wheels and 37×12.50 Nitto Trail Grappler tires for ample traction and overall ruggedness.

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