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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all, I've owned my stock 2016 2.7 FX4 Screw for about a year and while its been a great off-roading machine so far, it's time to up-the-ante. Opinions on my choices, as well as any suggestions on an appropriate UCA would be appreciated. Goal is to make a significant improvement without going all out (no mid/long travel build).

What I like doing with the truck:
  • Desert/Forest Camping/Overlanding
  • Hitting desert/forest roads at 15-20mph, with people/cargo (goal is to go 25-35mph comfortably)
  • Mildy technical climbs, but no rock crawling
  • Occasionally Hauling 1-2 Motorcycles
  • Commuting
(No jumps. No real towing.)

What I'm looking at purchasing:
  • Kings 2.5 Front Coilovers with Remote Adjustable Res
  • Kings 2.5 Rear Shocks with Remote Adjustable Res
  • Rear Spacer 1.5-2"
  • Method 701s 17x8.5, +0 offset
  • 35" tires, specific width and brand undecided
  • UCA (Probably going to go with a Camburg (1.25") or Fabtech (1") Uniball)
  • Rough Country Adjustable Vertex Coilovers 2in (Front)
  • Rough Country Adjustable Vertex Shocks [Accepts 0-3in] (Rear)
  • Method 18" 309 Grid Titaniums (+18mm, 31.3lb each)
  • 295/70/18 LTs (hopefully on lighter side)

ALL the items above add up to around $5.5k $6.5k, much cheaper than any baja mid-travel kit, and still way less than trading for a Raptor. I think it'll be a great investment given my hobbies and the fact I only plan to keep the truck for 5 years or so (before swapping back to stock, selling any good condition items and upgrading). I presume everything should last about that time frame with mild abuse. ALL THOUGHTS APPRECIATED! THANKS AND HAPPY TRAILS
 

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If you aren't going to change the geometry any more than you appear to have planned, then I'm not sure you need anything special from the UCA other than the increased spring clearance, and perhaps the claimed additional articulation of the aftermarket "ball joint"? (example : Icons "delta joint")

There's a bunch of UCA's in that category.



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Discussion Starter #3
You are right. Lots to choose from. I made a little list (below) and it seems the most affordable middle ground are the Fabtechs, tubular 4130 with a 1" uniball.

I read on a thread somewhere of a guy that bought UCAs on a level and still rubbed on droop. That would be a major disappointment imo, and part of what I'm trying to avoid by sharing my plans. Again any first-hand experiences would be appreciated. Some below list backspacking req, some dont.

BDS Tubular$699.00Ball Joint, 1.5" Dia Steel, 5" Backspace -> 12.5",Stock ok -> 11.5
Icon Delta Joint$849.95Delta Joint, 5" Backspace -> 12.5", Stock -> 11.5"
Rancho Tubular$319.00MOOG Ball Joint, No backspace req listed
Total Chaos Tubular$862.451" Uniball, Claims 1" Gained Back
Pro-Comp Tubular$539.991.25" Uniball, 5" Backspace for 12.5" tire
TruTravel Uniball$699.001" Uniball, 3/4" Heim Joints, 4.75" Backspace for 12.5" tire
BajaKits Boxed Uniball$899.001" Uniball, 4.75" Backspace for 12.5" tire
Fabtech Tubular$630.741" Uniball, 5" Backspacing Req
ReadyLift Series 1$899.891" Uniball, Boxed Plate Design
SkyJacker$399.89Ball Joint
 

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My advice is don’t do so much lift. If true overlanding, a lift will only hurt you. I would look at something like a 0-3” Icon kit instead. Will save money and probably perform better. You do not want height nor do you need it with those size tires. I would instead invest in body protection.

Also regarding UCAs, if a kit come with, throw them on. If you stay below 3” of lift, I would keep the stock UCA assuming it’s on good shape and see how it drives/handles. You may not need a new one. I have the Bilstein 6112 and they do not contact at full droop. Remember, these lifts do not increase wheel travel, higher lift just changes you geometry. That’s why many overlanding rigs do not have much lift, just a good set of coilovers.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My advice is don’t do so much lift. If true overlanding, a lift will only hurt you. I would look at something like a 0-3” Icon kit instead. Will save money and probably perform better. You do not want height nor do you need it with those size tires. I would instead invest in body protection.

Also regarding UCAs, if a kit come with, throw them on. If you stay below 3” of lift, I would keep the stock UCA assuming it’s on good shape and see how it drives/handles. You may not need a new one. I have the Bilstein 6112 and they do not contact at full droop. Remember, these lifts do not increase wheel travel, higher lift just changes you geometry. That’s why many overlanding rigs do not have much lift, just a good set of coilovers.
Im not sure I understand your first paragraph. The items I proposed only provide 2" of lift/level. That's too much for overlanding? I have to say I generally disagree, but I'm certainly curious why you believe that.

I've seen the icon kit, but pound-for-pound (adjustable), its twice as expensive as the vertex.

I've always read that for F150s:
2" level = dont need UCAs (unless you want full articulation <-- im after this)
2.5" level = helpful but not required, would clash though
3" level, UCAs required.

Thanks for your help.
 

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Im not sure I understand your first paragraph. The items I proposed only provide 2" of lift/level. That's too much for overlanding? I have to say I generally disagree, but I'm certainly curious why you believe that.

I've seen the icon kit, but pound-for-pound (adjustable), its twice as expensive as the vertex.

I've always read that for F150s:
2" level = dont need UCAs (unless you want full articulation 2.5" level = helpful but not required, would clash though
3" level, UCAs required.

Thanks for your help.
I think what threw me was the comment about a. 2” spacer and coilovers in the rear. I am not aware of rear coilovers, just shocks. So if shocks are the case, they don’t provide lift so no worries there.

My mistake I misread.

2” is perfect for overlanding. I would still look at contact with stock UCA while on a lift. Probably won’t be a limiting factor. I find the helps with full articulation to be more marketing speak at these heights.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I think what threw me was the comment about a. 2” spacer and coilovers in the rear. I am not aware of rear coilovers, just shocks. So if shocks are the case, they don’t provide lift so no worries there.

My mistake I misread.

2” is perfect for overlanding. I would still look at contact with stock UCA while on a lift. Probably won’t be a limiting factor. I find the helps with full articulation to be more marketing speak at these heights.
Yes I believe my copy/paste on the RC vertex made a typo (corrected). I'm aware that the fronts add 2" and the rear is only shocks which accept 0-3". But I do plan on adding a ~1.5" spacer in the rear, as I prefer a bit of rake since I haul motos and a decent amount of gear in the bed when camping.

I guess I could wait on the UCAs and see how everything clears, it seems many are suggesting to do so. I wanted to do this in a bit of one-and-done, but maybe thats jumping the gun a bit.
 

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Considering how nice the hardware is that you are swapping for, and you ARE going to have the truck in a condition that swapping UCA's is easier, why not?

Afterall, there is the benefits of spring clearance and articulation improvements over the oem ball joint.

Just my opinion, of course.

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Discussion Starter #9
Considering how nice the hardware is that you are swapping for, and you ARE going to have the truck in a condition that swapping UCA's is easier, why not?

Afterall, there is the benefits of spring clearance and articulation improvements over the oem ball joint.

Just my opinion, of course.

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This is what I flip-flop back and forth on. I'm already in there, why not get it all taken care of and squared away, needing only one alignment. Hence, I'd like to have a choice (or two) in my pocket on the chance there's a black friday deal I can't turn down.

Right now, Fabtechs with the 1" uniball seem to be the best all-around. I can't find any bad reviews, at least.
 

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Just ordered UCA's and softer rear spring, then fell on this thread.
I camp a lot and drive lots of trails in upper midwest, 15-30 MPH max over forest service and logging roads. Difference is backpack style camping, no motorcycles, 2wd. About the heaviest load I have is 800 pounds including passengers.
Big fan of Icon suspension. Have a Stage 1, 2.5 front set to min lift 1 3/4 inch on a 2wd, Icon 2.0 rear.
Went to SPC adjustable upper ball joint UCA's for the adjust-ability (I also like smart handling on pavement). The SPC's have a very robust ball-joint larger than Moog with extended clearance, but a hell of a lot easier/cheaper to replace than a Delta or even uni-ball. Icon rear leafs for less stiffness. Future plans include upgrading the fronts during service to remote adjustable, maybe a set of 2.5's for the back.

Sounds like a concerned on-off road truck described by justanengineer. As such I'd recommend less emphasis on cost more on sensible but high quality well integrated components. I question the Vertex 2.0 though. Nearly as costly as 2.5 and I'd question the off road driving capability. 2.5's are better base to upgrade from as they can be rebuilt with upgrades as desired instead of full replacements. I'm looking for wheel trtavel so the UCA's were in planning from the start. Uniballs wear fast, Deltas fix that at a cost, I went for better articulation with adjust-ability with a much stronger than OEM joint. Also getting an allignment for crisp handling on pavement.

Anyway best of luck with the mods! Keep us informed please, always interested! KM
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Just ordered UCA's and softer rear spring, then fell on this thread.
I camp a lot and drive lots of trails in upper midwest, 15-30 MPH max over forest service and logging roads. Difference is backpack style camping, no motorcycles, 2wd. About the heaviest load I have is 800 pounds including passengers.
Big fan of Icon suspension. Have a Stage 1, 2.5 front set to min lift 1 3/4 inch on a 2wd, Icon 2.0 rear.
Went to SPC adjustable upper ball joint UCA's for the adjust-ability (I also like smart handling on pavement). The SPC's have a very robust ball-joint larger than Moog with extended clearance, but a hell of a lot easier/cheaper to replace than a Delta or even uni-ball. Icon rear leafs for less stiffness. Future plans include upgrading the fronts during service to remote adjustable, maybe a set of 2.5's for the back.

Sounds like a concerned on-off road truck described by justanengineer. As such I'd recommend less emphasis on cost more on sensible but high quality well integrated components. I question the Vertex 2.0 though. Nearly as costly as 2.5 and I'd question the off road driving capability. 2.5's are better base to upgrade from as they can be rebuilt with upgrades as desired instead of full replacements. I'm looking for wheel trtavel so the UCA's were in planning from the start. Uniballs wear fast, Deltas fix that at a cost, I went for better articulation with adjust-ability with a much stronger than OEM joint. Also getting an allignment for crisp handling on pavement.

Anyway best of luck with the mods! Keep us informed please, always interested! KM
Great feedback! Thanks!

The Vertex's are pretty new, but all the 6" lift guys seem to think they are awesome. FYI, Vertex's also have a 2.5" piston, just like Fox 2.5's, but the lift if apparently limited to 2.0 inches for front.

They are only "as costly" if you compare a Vertex front/rear kit to a Fox front only, but not all around, which is my desire. As mentioned in the OP, I only plan to rip this truck around for max 5 years or so. I'm hoping they will last that long. Maybe a gamble, but I don't feel too big of one. I'd ask for reviews on the 2" Vertex's but it seems they are just too new for feedback.
 

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Icon delta joint all day, one of the best in my opinion


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Big difference in 5 year ownership. I keep my trucks a lot longer last one went 19 years. Hence my choices. KM

PS: Took another look at the Vertex. Not sure if they are re-buildable but are a full 2;.5 inch bore. My bad assumption going off the designation 2.0. km
 
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Discussion Starter #14
Big difference in 5 year ownership. I keep my trucks a lot longer last one went 19 years. Hence my choices. KM

PS: Took another look at the Vertex. Not sure if they are re-buildable but are a full 2;.5 inch bore. My bad assumption going off the designation 2.0. km
Understood, different strokes. My younger-self always preferred old beaters with rough edges. Nowadays, I like the benefits of getting new tech every 5 years or so.

A couple things I've recently confirmed/realized:
  • Vertex shocks are not rebuildable (according to RC). I haven't had a first-hand look so idk, but I generally trust their feedback.
  • Vertex shocks come with a 3-year warranty (Compare to Foxs 1 year or Kings 90 days warranties)
    • I guess this means they expect them to last 3 years under a variety of conditions
    • Full warranty detailed have been requested but not yet obtained from RC
    • That said, I could technically buy a backup set for the same price as 1 set of Fox's
  • Fox shocks are supposed to be rebuilt every 500miles off-road or 50k miles on-road
    • I'd imagine this might happen 1-2x over 5 years, not sure the cost, maybe 3-400 each time?
    • Does anyone even do this? I searched and didn't find much.
 

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Just my opinion, but you could have 2 products of equal quality and one be warranted longer than the other. Or put another way, warranty is not indicative of quality guaranteed.

As for a manufacturer recommended "rebuild interval", especially with a product like dampers,..... I actually have had shocks and forks (motorcycle) rebuilt a few times in the past. The biggest, and almost ONLY complaint, is the inconvenience. Afterall, the vehicle is not available and the shipping can be a real nuisance. But, it's also possible to find a good local expert at such things, although "local" might mean driving a few hours, depending on where you live.

But honestly, the average person doesn't even appreciate a good shock, nor do they consider replacing one until it's deteriorated long past what it was when it was new. My point being is that a high-end damper like a rebuildable Fox or Icon or King is still an amazing damper even beyond the "recommended" rebuild time. In fact, if it hasn't been damaged or leaking, even if it's at 75% of what it was brand new, it's a far cry from an oem or cheap throwaway with the same amount of miles/use.

We're actually very fortunate as consumers that so many high quality suspension pieces are available for our trucks. It's crazy how crowded the space actually is. Sure, it's a little pricey, but in my opinion it's cheaper for my F150 than it has been most of my life on motorcycles.

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Discussion Starter #16
Sure, it's a little pricey, but in my opinion it's cheaper for my F150 than it has been most of my life on motorcycles.
We relate there!

Yeah its a little pricey. What gets me is that Fox/Icon/King/DirtLogic are all at a completely different price point (double+) than the RCs, a company that seems to really be trying hard to make strives the last decade. That and the fact that I haven't heard any bad things makes me interested in giving it a shot. I'm also not trying to do extreme offroading either (read: 50mph speeds) which is what the Foxs/Kings are likely tailored for. I'm looking more for a practical balance of on/off road damping adjustability, which I think RC might provide since the Vertex were originally designed for 6" lifts trucks, which, are often just mall-crawlers (not all! sorry to the outliers!).

All that said, I'll be completely honest I have no idea how their are going to feel.
 

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Shock rebuild service Filthy Motorsports
Icon recommends 40000 miles and I assume similar prices. My sisters live in Phoenix so I may do a visit and drop my truck at SDHQ for rebuild and upgrade to remote valving next spring. I'll have plenty of testing opourtunities on the way home to WI.
A big perk of being retired! KM
 

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Discussion Starter #18
After much reading, research and deliberation, I think I've decided go with the King 2.5s with adjustable remote reservoirs instead of vertex. Some may being saying I told you so, idk, we all find our own path I guess :) .

First reason being increased ride height to fit 35s (Fox is out due to +2"), second for their spring rate (600lb), and third for their progressive damping shock and customizability. I've reached out to FilthyMoto to see if their thoughts compare and if they have any suggestions.

FYI, Although RC said they would send me the spring rate, valve specs and warranty details for the vertex coils, it never happened...
 

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Those are awesome dampers! There's a reason they get such good press.

However, the Fox 2.5 's give enough clearance for 35's. Or at least my 34.8's present no issue.

From what I've gathered, the Fox spring rate and damping is less off road worthy than the Kings. On the street, I can dial them back to pretty soft, for what they are. Many might still consider them too firm for their liking. Especially if they are used to Bilstein 5100's.



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Just an encouragement to spend more (ignore this otherwise), but what about the rear springs? I'm happy as can be with my Icon setup but have been thinking that the back while controlled is too stiff in initial spring rate. Been noticing the back more now than ever and have a set of Icon rear Raptor springs on the way, a bit lighter in rate at the stock +1 inch ride height, the package does include an extra leaf for custom adjusting rates. Looked hard at Deaver but the adjust-ability and price drove me to Icon. Will post after the installation. KM
 
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