12° North Industries
Joined: Thu Nov 23rd, 2017
Interests: The great outdoors, nature, back to basics
Reputation Points: 605
I’ve been looking and debating about whether or not to go full on max Trac 4” lift or use there lift coils and do a level, but not with the cheap blocks and I decided on the level. I’ll be able to fit 31” tires, and it’ll look better. Lol, the other day the new Honda Civic pulled up next to me and we had about the same ride height.
The problem: I can’t find 2” extended shocks anywhere (some say for 2-3” lift but they mean spindle lift. Fab tech and and rough country are the two I remember.)
The solution: use the shocks from the torsion bar trucks.
The question: are they the same style of shock mounting? Meaning the threaded rod on top and the eye at the bottom. Also, are the torsion bar shocks the same length stock as the coil spring ones?
Just offering a perspective and some insight..
I'd say you're doing well with your researching but I would like to offer some experience behind some of the actual products on the market and keep you in what I think is the budget level best for your expectations and usage.
Most 98-11 Rangers use torsion bars on 4WD, I say most because the 2WD I believe carried coil springs until 2010-2011 (still confirming the year). Most kits are going to offer you generally 4WD options from most companies. The torsion bars for ford are all marked via numbers because each torsion bar is a different spring rate much like springs.
You can find shocks in any length by nearly any manufacture with the exception of the shops not willing to help you find what you're looking for because that's work and to some degree, the lesser brands do not offer some sizes as they just make application specific shocks/struts. I would not just specifically assume a 2" longer shock is correct assertion for the situation. I would suggest measuring droop and compression at all 4 corners of the vehicle and know the measurements needed and get those. Yes, a little bit more effort and money but at least you know it's correct and for your vehicle.
Most leveling coils, doing the same or similar as say Daystar urethane or Aluminum spacers, a lot of times you can use the OE size shock. Not all leveling kits require longer shocks and each company will usually try to suggest what shock to use. The springs will provide a better ride than the spacers regardless of material made from. Not so much On road, but definitely on washboard type roads, you'll know.
There are also bucket kits that will allow you to add in much more capable options should you ever chase that but outside of mentioning it, I don't think that's the direction for you.
You would be best going on RockAuto if you're being budget conscious and want to make use of at least one of the site vendors here.
Unless you can get an adjustable Heavy-Duty, 1"/ 2"/ 3" rear shackle, which we don't currently know of, we'd recommend just replacing the shackles and maybe consider adding some urethane bushings just due to age condition, etc. to compliment the above spring pack, good for better than 1.5" of lift and you will go from 1140lb springs to 1750lb springs. Your helper springs will net you about 350/500lbs of payload but no lift, and the shackles aren't going to give you any payload capability and your putting all your faith into a component known to fail on most rangers, especially if you're in the snow belt at all. Texas could NOW be considered the snow belt these days.
All in all the helper springs are also a set spring rate and a static spring rate. By that I mean it's not configured to your spring back specifically to work with it and I know what some companies say but I'd bet a body part they have fewer than 5 versions they use between full size and mid size vehicles. This is what accounts for the rough choppy ride.
A spring pack will be springs matched to increase payload, will offer lift, and give you a smoother result and ride at the end of the day. The cost differences and installation aspects are nearly a wash in effort and with dollars.
If you were to find a set of adjustable rear shackles, setting them on 1" or even 2" with the above mentioned spring pack to get the nose of the truck in a slight rake might lend to adding to some MPG with even a 2" lift.
I mentioned the lift because that was one of the things I was contemplating. MaxTrac makes a 4” lift KIT but I didn’t want to go that high. I decided on the 2” lift coils, not part of a kit. I’ve been driving around on front lowering coils and stock shocks for about 5 years. I didn’t know the coils were swapped until I went and redid the front end parts. The ride is bad, so I’m sure the coils and new shocks that appear to work together will be fine. If they don’t work, I’ve also thought about getting coil springs from a 4wd ranger and putting those in. I know the rear will be a harsher ride, but I keep a truck tool box with a jack, jack stands, jumper cables, miscellaneous fluids, 2 3/8” chains 15’ long....basically the rear is pretty loaded. If it doesn’t work then I’ll have all the parts to go back to stock.
my truck is in my signature. It’s a 2008 ranger 2wd.
A secondary note, If you're going to be loaded with a toolbox outback, as many customers are for us out here in Las Vegas and the South West in general. My suggestion here is two-fold. (1) Lightens the load so you can use that payload capacity for other needs or uses. Not sure what you use the chains for but if its for towing or pulling people out but they can be dangerous even when used properly.
Even if the chains are overkill in dimensional aspects, that doesn't always mean the integrity of things they are attached to are. I would suggest a snatch-strap for pulling friends and family out. We happen to carry and favor ARB but Bubba Rope, Kinetic, Smittybuilt, etc.. and for just a towing purpose, a standard 3-4" tow strap, 30ft long from your favorite trailer shop or if you have to, Harbor Freight works alright.
Jumper cables, you can make a decent pair DIY with some good ring terminals and some Anderson plugs. You can also see what we offer in a kit form - Our Onboard Jumper cable kit One smaller cable attaches to the battery all the time, the red "Anderson plug" lower in the front grill or tucked to under the bumper area facing out, when needed, plug and play with 18-35ft cables all in a neat & handy package.
Takes up a bit less effort, no popping the hood. I will have to get some pics of the two kits we've done on both a Ranger and a Newer Tacoma. Some may say well I can't take them in another vehicle, true! But no one's going to borrow them and not never bring them back or lose them either. Help organize your tool box too. But there is always this as an option too - Litium Battery Jump Pack
After taking 2 days to finish up this, lol. I hope any information helps or inspires some thoughts.
Last edited on Thu Mar 25th, 2021 12:33 am by 12° North Industries
James / Elena / Brendon / Sean
12° North Industries
Las Vegas, Nevada 89118