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Discussion Starter #1
So I've been doing a lot of research before I purchase a leveling kit for my 2016 and haven't found an answer to my question yet (Yes, I used the search function extensively).

Here my question: Is there a way to install a leveling kit without damaging the IWE's?

Seems like some have issues and some are lucky and don't. I know that during reassembly, you can remove the two lower strut assembly bolts that connect the strut to the LCA to help with installation, but what about removal?

Would a spring compressor help so that you don't have to pry the LCA down to remove the strut? Is that what is causing the IWE damage during the installation?

Any help would be appreciated.
 

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Ppl get damaged Iwe's when installer removes axle shaft and doesn't re-install it correctly. There is no reason to remove the axle shaft for strut replacement.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
That makes sense. Thanks for the clarification.
 

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That makes sense. Thanks for the clarification.
Don't get me wrong, they can still fail under normal use. But pretty much everyone that had theirs damaged after leveling install was due to improper work.
 

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you don't need to remove the axleshaft...
i just installed a 2" leveling kit on my truck this weekend in my garage at home with basic tools following this videos instructions to some degree
and IWE's are fine.
I have a 2016 truck, so no bolts were rusted. I had no problem but a couple tips...
1. Remove the brakeline brackets and especially the ABS line brackets to get enough slack in the line or you'll end up snapping them.
2. You WILL have to remove the two rear bolts of the LCA (@ 1.35min, he says loosen them... NO, take them out and pull the lower control arm all the way out) or you are not getting the strut back in with the extra 1.1/3" spacers on top. Don't even try it, you will break something in the process. Also, that allows you to skip step @2.15min hammering out the two bottom bolts from the strut. They sit in there very very tight and you'll end up banging them to ****s. Using a spring compressor might help you to not have to do either removing the two rear bolts of the LCA or to bang out the bottom bolts of the strut. But I don't have a spring compressor and it might be in the way when you try to get everything back inside. After all you need about 2" clearance up top to get out of the strut housing and 4" on the bottom to get the strut bolts out. Once you add the spacers you are looking at a total of 8" that you'll need to compress the springs. I think it will not work. you'll be better off banging out the bottom strut bolts if you are reluctant to remove the LCA, but I found removing the LCA was the lesser of two evils with a lower chance of causing damage. But that's just MHO.
3. Have a good strong ratchet tie down to get the knuckle back into the upper control arm @3.00min. putting a jack under the lower control arm will not push it up far enough and you'll end up lifting the truck of the jacks running risk that the whole thing comes crashing down.
4. You MUST get an alignment after you are done.

You'll need...
8mm, 10mm, 18mm, 21mm, nuts/wrenches a rubber hammer to knock the knuckels out, a crowbar, a rachet tie down and some general mechanical skill. I would rate this a easy to medium difficult task without ****ing anything up. Use some common sense before you go with a big hammer or a crowbar to work. If something really doesn't want to move there might be a reason... If you really can't find a reason, use a bigger hammer
 
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20160416_130545.jpg Here is the end result... Now i need 34" tires 
 

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I just leveled my 14 which has the same new strut mount and LCA as the 15-16's. The directions above are good,but here's a few things that I did to make it easier. I did use spring clamps to compress the spring so I didn't need to undo the hub or unbolt the LCA. Pulled the strut out with bolts in, but on install needed to have the bolts out until the strut was in place due to the extra length.
#3 I also used a wooden handle mallet in the spring to get leverage and pull the upper arm down to reconnect the upper joint. A jack alone will not work!
 

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I also installed a 2.5" AS spacer with nothing more than hand tools in my driveway.
There is no need to disconnect the driveshafts.

It was admittedly a bit of a nightmare getting the struts with spacers back in though.
The 2nd side went far smoother than the first.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for your help guys! I keep looking at my truck thinking it needs a level or a subtle lift. Trying to decide between a 1.5" spacer or the RC kit that includes front and rear spacers. I'd like to keep a slight rake.
 

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The best thing is to measure and decide. I know I wanted to go with bigger tires, and will need the clearance. I am also considering a lift, but figured I would have a better idea of how much after I had the tires on. Once you go lift there is no going back so I figured a level was the way to go for now.
 

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This is a pretty old thread, but in case anyone comes across this thread I'll put in my experience and 2 cents. Long story short: I removed my cv axle from the hub and re-installed it without drawing vacuum and didn't break the IWE.

I purchased a AutoSpring 2.5 inch leveling kit and installed it myself in about 4 hours total. GET A FRIEND TO HELP! This wasn't difficult to do by myself until I had to get the strut back in and hold the knuckle in place and align the LCA all at the same time, it wasn't impossible but definitely frustrating. Anyways, the install was easy until on the passenger side I tried to put the UCA bolt back through the knuckle after installing everything, but the knuckle wouldn't move in any further towards the truck and I thought that I had accidentally pulled the cv shaft out of the hub.

So I removed the axle from the hub end and realized that I had just over extended the cv axles a little when prying on the LCA so I simply pushed the cv axle joints back together and pushed the axle shaft back into the hub until it was fully seated and re-tightened the nut. What I think saved me from breaking the IWE is before moving the truck I engaged 4hi/low and then rolled a few feet in 4 low and cycled through 4hi low and 2wd and I believed that seated the iwe properly. I have no noise and 4wd works just like it did before.

Also the Autospring 2.5 inch level is a great product, it is built well, made the truck nearly level, so close to level that it looks perfect. If anyone wants pictures I can upload some.
 

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a week ago i had a leveling kit installed on my 2014 4 dr 4x4, the next day it sounded like i was dragging cans under my truck. I isolated the problem to the front drivers side wheel. Damaging the IWE's is pretty common i found out through a lot of research. I returned to where i had it installed (3 times) he took everything apart and found nothing wrong. I am hoping once i replace the IWE's it will fix the problem. As for now the only thing i can do to make the noise stop is to put it in 4wd and drive a bit, once i do that the noise stops. I wish i wouldn't have got the leveling kit to be honest but it looks bad ass lol. It is still under factory warranty so i am going to have the dealership replace the IWE's.
 

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So, I've watched a ton of YouTube videos on this and will soon be installing a 2.5" leveling kit on my 2019 4x4 F-150. There is one video I watched where a guy just unbolted the LCA from the frame (the 2 rear bolts) and used a jack underneath to drop it. He had no issues whatsoever getting out the strut assembly, and he didn't have to mess with the axle shaft. Also, as far as people saying you need spring clamps to rotate the top of the struts 180 degrees, i saw another video by AmericanTrucks where the guy clamped the lower strut bolts into a vice and used leverage to easily push the bolts the same amount in the opposite direction which is easier than using a spring clamp. As far as removing the LCA rear bolts, everyone in the comments says its not bad as long as you use a paint marker to mark their position before removing the nuts so you can get it somewhat back to the same position before getting your alignment. I'll try these methods and hopefully it'll go smoothly. The guy in this video seemed to have zero issues and is still commenting on the video to this day saying he never had problems. I may even document the video myself and post my own YouTube video... Who knows.


LINK:

 

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So, I've watched a ton of YouTube videos on this and will soon be installing a 2.5" leveling kit on my 2019 4x4 F-150. There is one video I watched where a guy just unbolted the LCA from the frame (the 2 rear bolts) and used a jack underneath to drop it. He had no issues whatsoever getting out the strut assembly, and he didn't have to mess with the axle shaft. Also, as far as people saying you need spring clamps to rotate the top of the struts 180 degrees, i saw another video by AmericanTrucks where the guy clamped the lower strut bolts into a vice and used leverage to easily push the bolts the same amount in the opposite direction which is easier than using a spring clamp. As far as removing the LCA rear bolts, everyone in the comments says its not bad as long as you use a paint marker to mark their position before removing the nuts so you can get it somewhat back to the same position before getting your alignment. I'll try these methods and hopefully it'll go smoothly. The guy in this video seemed to have zero issues and is still commenting on the video to this day saying he never had problems. I may even document the video myself and post my own YouTube video... Who knows.


LINK:

Also, I am aware that he is missing steps in this video.
 

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That is how I did mine. Dropped the LCA from the frame side and lifted it back into place with the jack once the shock was loosely secured into the upper mount. The alignment probably won't be right after, but you should do that after the level anyways.
 
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Also, I am aware that he is missing steps in this video.
Your alignment will almost surely be off, you are pulling the bolts out of an elliptical adjustment slot. Your alignment may be off undoing the ball joint but has a significantly better chance of being okay post install. Yeah I’ve heard the stories where people do this and their alignment was just fine but odds are not in your favor.

This all a moot point if you’re planning on having it aligned anyway, which is the best option. You may run into the alignment Tech that wants to put adjustment cam kits around the lower control arm bolts. This is not necessary though they may tell you that it is but it does put $$$’s in their pockets.

Now, I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you that I think there are real benefits to be had by putting a shock like Bilstein’s adjustable shock as opposed to putting a hockey puck on top of the OE. That however is a different story.
 

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I didn't remove the LCA bolt or need spring clamps. The entire assembly got spun around 180 degrees, then you can rotate the lower ears with a screwdriver to get it to bolt back up.

I did loosen the LCA bolt, but didn't remove it.

Sent from my moto z4 using Tapatalk
 

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I found this video invaluable. Except you don't have to compress the springs and spin the top hat like he did.




Sent from my moto z4 using Tapatalk
 
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