We were looking for a solution to level our 2006 2WD F-150 to gain a little more fender clearance and stance up front. When choosing to install a front coil/strut lift such as we’re doing on this Ford, there are several methods typically used to gain lift. Of course, choice will depend on your budget and expected use for the truck to choose the kit that works best for you. Methods of front coil strut lift include the use of strut spacers that make the overall strut longer, coil spring spacers that add preload to coil springs, and replacement strut shocks. Let’s consider the performance differences for a small front lift. Bilstein builds a replacement shock to offer lift for a Ford F-150. When used, the strut assembly retains use of the factory coil spring, but adds preload to raise the ride height. Since there is an increase in preload, Bilstein designs their replacement shock with increased rebound dampening. Bilstein also optimizes shock dimensions to gain more travel over stock. The Bilstein replacement shock is not just a performance shock upgrade; it’s also priced around the same as any other factory-strut replacement shock! The 5100 series is ride height adjustable and allows for several different lift heights. Along with the front shock upgrade, we installed a set of their 5100 series high gas pressure monotube shocks on the rear. Bilstein makes these upgrades for both the 2WD and 4WD F-150 trucks. 01. Installing the rear Bilstein 5100 shocks was a very simple bolt-on affair. They have the same compressed and extended dimensions as the factory shocks, but offer us an upgrade to a high pressure gas shock with self-adjusting valving.01. Installing the rear Bilstein 5100 shocks was a very simple bolt-on affair. They have 02. Pulling the front strut units off was a little more involved than the rear shocks. The top of the strut tower is free once three nuts are removed using a 15mm wrench. The large nut on the bottom is 30mm and is best loosened with a deep wall socket. To extract the strut we popped the steering tie rod off the spindle and soon had the strut off the truck.02. Pulling the front strut units off was a little more involved than the rear shocks. Th 03. Here is where the more difficult portion of the swap occurs. Swapping coil springs can be dangerous due to their stored energy. We fabricated a small welded fixture to hold the lower strut eye along with a base plate to secure the strut tower plate, and used our 20-ton Harbor Freight press to swap the coil springs. An alternative if you don’t have the proper tools is to have an auto shop swap the springs for you for a few bucks.03. Here is where the more difficult portion of the swap occurs. Swapping coil springs ca 04. The Bilstein struts have grooves to allow the lower coil spring plate to be placed in one of three locations. These provide stock ride height and two lift height settings. We moved the retaining ring up to the top groove to gain the maximum lift height.04. The Bilstein struts have grooves to allow the lower coil spring plate to be placed in 05. The struts are reassembled using the new Bilstein shock and the stock coil spring, bumper, and spring plates. With the use of the higher preload/lift setting, it is necessary to compress the spring more when putting the shock back together.05. The struts are reassembled using the new Bilstein shock and the stock coil spring, bu 06. Here’s the upgraded strut assembly. We found the Bilsteins increased our down-travel by almost 1-inch over stock. With the truck back on the ground, we could see the taller ride height. After a short drive to let the suspension settle, we rechecked our dimensions and found the front of the truck sat a solid 2 inches higher. The truck was close to level now.06. Here’s the upgraded strut assembly. We found the Bilsteins increased our down-travel Sources Bilstein 14102 Stowe Drive Poway CA 92064 858-386-5900 http://www.bilsteinus.com By Jay Kopycinski Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!