In the mid-'80s, Ford introduced radius arms and I-beam suspension to the truck market. Not long after, the automotive aftermarket made use of the long travel ability and rugged design to build some of the most capable haulers in the desert scene. Both of Ford's light-duty Ranger and F-150 trucks were redesigned by the mid-'90s, replacing the I-beam and radius arm with a more cost-effective A-arm. But, the larger F-250 and F-350 kept the rugged I-beam suspension design. Since the larger trucks don't necessarily provide a good trophy truck platform due to their heaver components, how do you get a bit more off-road performance without compromising the benefit the larger trucks provide? The answer came to us in the form of Fabtech's F-250/F-350 2WD 6-inch lift kit.
This kit from Fabtech easily provides the additional clearance to run 315/70R17s wrapped around 17x8-inch rims with 4-5/8 backspacing. Ford uses three different pitman arms for these trucks, and you can save yourself a lot of frustration by determining which of these pitman arms is on your truck. This way, you won't have your truck torn down and time added to the install process by figuring out, after the fact, the pitman arm supplied in the kit doesn't match the one on your steering box.
The Fabtech kit we got didn't require removing any radius arm mounts to replace with drop brackets. It came with some killer redesigned radius arms that made the job easier on the install and way more appealing to the eyes. The toughest part on the install was the drop brackets for the I-beam mounts, but other than that the installation was cake. After the install, we drove the freshly lifted Ford and found the new Fabtech shocks and springs provide a stable ride, even with the lifted roll center, without compromising ride quality.
Check This Before You Order
It would be in your best interest to take a trip to AutoZone and rent a pitman arm puller tool to check which style drop pitman arm you would need for your truck. The pitman arm is fitted by splines on the steering box shaft. These splines force you to install the pitman arm correctly by the use of master splines. Ford uses three different master spline configurations for its steering boxes. Take note of the master spline orientation, so when the kit is ordered you can resolve the pitman arm question right off the bat. Use this diagram to tell the sales staff which part number you'll need in your kit.