Installation: My next step was to actually put the thing together, this meant gathering parts and information from around the internet. Curiously enough there is a small circle of people with lifted Crown Victorias (off road, not big rims) around the internet, when all else failed they were quick to respond.
After about a year I had slowly purchased just about everything I needed to get the car lifted, and a handful of parts that at 100,000 miles probably needed replacing anyway.
Parts: While researching I found it to be a total pain in the ass to find a complete list of everything used on any particular car. So here is my complete list:
- Universal Car Lifts 03+ Crown Victoria Extended Front Upper Arms
- Universal Car Lifts 03+ Crown Victoria 3″ Spacers Front/Rear
- Moog K8837 Front Upper Control Arm Bushings
- Moog 80668 Front Coil Spring Set
- Monroe 553001 Gas-Magnum 65 Shock Absorbers
- ACDelco 45D0127 Professional Front Upper Suspension Ball Joints
- Gabriel 81892 Heavy Duty Gas Shock Absorbers (Fits 2002 F-150)
- Pro Comp AT Sport 265 70 R16 Tires (31’s)
- 8mm 70.5 5×4.5 Hub Centric Spacers (Front)
- 1998-2002 P71 Wheels (Front)
Everything about the install was pretty straight forward and self explanatory.. except for the Universal Car Lifts parts. They are more or less the only game in town so their parts are something you just kind of have to bear with. I had a few issues a long the way and their customer service was very quick to respond, so they get an A+ for that.
Extended Upper Control Arms: I originally purchased the extended upper control arms because I was planning to go with a bigger lift. I feel like they are probably overkill for this setup and leave the car with positive camber that can’t be aligned out. It drives as straight as an arrow but the wheels definitely stick out a bit more at the top. (Maybe I’ll lift it more in the future…)
Onto my concerns with them. Firstly, the units I received were spray painted and not powder coated as promised. UCL offered to replace them at no charge but I was too far a long and I didn’t really care much anyway. My second issue was that the arms were made with a bit too much spread between the mounts and had more lateral slack than I was comfortable with after getting them bolted on. Some grade 8 washers took care of that problem.
My final issue, which is not a build quality problem was that you can’t clear the stock 17’s with the extended upper arms installed. I stacked two 8mm wheel spacers in an attempt to push the wheels out enough to clear and it wasn’t enough (pictured above). This isn’t the fault of the arms, their intended use is after all for giant wheels. I was planning to drive on the stock wheels while I waited for my new tires to come in but that didn’t really pan out.
3″ Lift Spacers: The spacers themselves required some minor adjusting of the bolt holes on one side to line up properly with the bolts on the top of the strut. The parts themselves otherwise seem very beefy and well made.
Trimming: Very simple, I removed everything that’s was in the way. I trimmed the lower half of the bumper and its supports, I shaved off a bit behind the front wheel, a lot in front of the back wheel (extended trailing arms would help with this), and a tad above the back wheel. I put plastic door trim around the cuts and it looks decent, I’m not too worried about rust but a clear coat over the cuts would probably help prevent it.
Brake Lines: The same way they do it on most budget truck lifts I simply unbolted the rear brake line brackets to allow enough slack for the line to extend as needed while driving. There is more than enough slack and nothing rubs or bends.
Rear Sway Bar: I ran it for a while without the rear sway bar, which was pleasant on the trails but kind of swooshy on the road so I put it back on.. it also helps to keep the springs in when the rear is fully flexed (they don’t try to pop out but just to be safe, welding them in or longer springs may be in the future). I have the stock end links for now and it seems to handle about the same as before.
Wheels: From the beginning my plan was to use the older 1998-2002 16″ P71 wheels in the front, they have less backspacing and push the wheels out about 1.73 inches (44mm). It turns out that still wasn’t quite enough to clear the extended arms so on went a set of 8mm spacers which ended up being perfect. Just enough to clear the arms but not so much that the lugs don’t grab every thread. The rears are stock 03+ 16’s.
Rear Shocks: The tops bolt right in, for the bottom I had to cut off and use the extended spacer bits from the stock units.
Torque Specs: Somehow these were impossible to find so here they are if you need them LINK