Here is an article I wrote for my favorite truck site www.fordf150.net.
There have been quite a few questions
on a ¾ drop on our trucks. I figured I would kinda talk to what I have and the
pros and cons.
I have the Roush suspension. Although the intent here is not lowering the
vehicle but making it handle better, it does lower the truck by ¾. Since the
questions were about fit I will only talk about that and not the handling
The first thing you have to ask yourself is “Do I want to go that low?” ¾
is not very low by any standards (except for those mudders), even though it may
sound like quite a bit. The front bumper is 9” off the ground, that is with my
STX valence. This is higher than your average car. Point here is that driving in
the snow is no different than if you were in a car.
The first pic shows the truck from the side. Note that I have the factory 17”
tire which is 30” in diameter, 275/65/17 (I think). You can see that there is
1 ½ inches from the top of the front tire to the lip molding. If you don’t
have lip moldings you can add an inch. This may seem a little low for clearance
but it is enough. The second pic shows the tire to well lip molding. I have
driven this setup with a load of 1800# of lumber and two adults in the front
(twice) and did not have any problems of rubbing or bottoming out. The rear
tires have 2 ½ inches clearance, add one inch if you don’t have moldings.
With a truck this low you don’t need the step bars. Since I have small kids I
made sure we had step bars. They really loved the bars. When I lowered the truck
I realized that for an adult the bars were a nuisance. I felt that they were in
the way, the bars were too low to be useful so I removed them. The new step over
height is 18”, which is comfortable. My little kids can still manage to get in
the tuck without the bars.
So the pros and cons
The wheel wells look filled in, not that big gap.
Easier to get in and out of.
Better cornering (I had to add that in).
More aero dynamic, might get better gas mileage (??)
Fits in garages better.
Harder to see around other vehicles in traffic.
Can’t find truck as easy in a parking lot.
Can’t go plowing through 12” snow banks.
Suspension travel – important if you go off roading
Next thing to consider is the ride quality. Many people seem to think that if
you lower your truck you will get a harsh ride. That depends on several items
like springs, pinion angle and most importantly shocks. If you just put on
shackles in the rear you change the pinion angle, your truck will want to
bounce. If you install springs that are very stiff and don’t change the shocks
you will get a bouncy truck. Best thing to do is to question the manufacturer of
your kit if they have done any engineering to make the parts match. Many cheeper
kits will give you a lower ride and a nice bouncy ride.
I intentionally didn’t get into any brands. That is another discussion and
depends greatly on what you want and your budget. And in general, you get what
you pay for. If you go out and buy a hanger and shackle kit, don’t expect the
ride and handling to improve.