How to Lower a Ford Ranger With 18s

Written by don kress
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How to Lower a Ford Ranger With 18s
Hand tools and a willingness to get dirty are necessary to install a drop kit. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Installing lowering springs onto the front and blocks on the rear suspension of the Ford Ranger fitted with 18-inch wheels is the most effective and economical way to decrease the ride height of your Ranger two-wheel drive pickup truck. Installing the suspension kit takes a little less than an afternoon to accomplish, and requires little more than ordinary hand tools to complete. Larger wheels such as 18-inch rims have no effect on the lowering of the truck when utilising springs and blocks.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Automotive jack
  • Jack stands
  • Lug wrench
  • 1/2 inch drive socket set
  • Rear suspension block kit
  • Spring compressor tool
  • Front suspension spring lowering kit

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Jack up the truck and support the frame using jack stands. Be certain that the truck cannot rock or sway during the installation of the suspension kit. Use the lug wrench to remove the wheels and tires from the truck, then set them out of the way.

  2. 2

    Position the jack under the rear axle of the truck, and then remove the shackles which secure the axle to the leaf spring using the socket set. The shackles are attached to a mounting plate under the leaf spring with four nuts. The top of the shackle is secured over the top of the axle shaft. Discard the old shackles. The suspension block kit includes replacement shackles and nuts.

  3. 3

    Raise the axle of the truck a few inches with the jack until you can slip one of the suspension blocks between the axle and the leaf spring. Align the mounting pin on the suspension block with the mounting hole on the axle, and align the mounting pin of the leaf spring with the mounting hole on the suspension block. Lower the axle slightly, and then place the new shackles over the top of the axle shaft, down past the suspension block, then through the mounting plate at the bottom of the leaf spring.

  4. 4

    Install the bolts onto the threaded ends of the shackles which protrude through the bottom of the mounting plate and tighten them down securely. Perform the same operation on the other side of the truck before continuing to the front suspension.

  1. 1

    Position the jack under the lower control arm on the front suspension of the truck to support it. The lower control arm is just below the brake disc and secures the truck's spindle to the frame. Loosen the nuts on the bottom of the lower control arm to release the shock absorber.

  2. 2

    Raise the jack to compress the spring, then install the spring compressor tool onto the stock spring. At the top and bottom of the spring you will find bolted-in mounting tabs securing the spring. Remove these tabs by unbolting them with the socket wrench. On the end of the lower control arm at the bottom of the brake disc, locate the lower ball joint and its corresponding ball joint nut. Loosen and remove this nut.

  3. 3

    Lower the jack and the spring will be released as the lower control arm descends. Remove the spring from the truck, and then gently undo the spring compressor tool with the socket wrench to relieve the tension on the spring. Install the spring compressor onto the replacement spring.

  4. 4

    Position the replacement spring the stock spring was removed from, and then raise the lower control arm and replace the lower ball joint nut. Slowly release the spring compressor tool to seat the spring into its position, and then reinstall the spring mounting tabs and finally the shock absorber lower bolts connecting it to the lower control arm to finish the assembly. Installation of the spring is the same on both the driver's and passenger's sides of the truck.

  5. 5

    Re-install the wheels and tires onto the truck and lower it to the ground.

Tips and warnings

  • Springs and suspension blocks are the least expensive way to lower your Ford Ranger while maintaining the truck's suspension geometry.
  • Use caution when working with the truck springs, as they can be dangerous when mishandled when under compression.

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