Early Bronco Lifts – Suspension & Body

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Lifts for early Broncos come in two flavors; body lifts and suspension lifts.

Body Lift – A body lift simply raises the body further off the chassis. The entire body of a Bronco, including everything from the floor pans and bed up is attached to the frame with 8 bolts. A body lift adds a spacer (1″, 2″ or 3″) between these 8 attachment points to raise the body. Just remember that only the body (and anything attached to it) raises. The engine, transmission, drive shaft angles, suspension, steering geometry, axles and tires stay exactly where they are. A body lift won’t affect the way your Bronco handles or tracks down the road, with the minor exception that your center of gravity is slightly higher. Body lifts are good for getting a couple more inches of tires clearance, more space under the hood for taller engines or more room to work for certain transmission swaps like the NP435.[ad name=”Adsense 300×250 in articles right”]

Suspension Lift – Suspension lifts are available in many forms from several different vendors, usually in 2″, 3.5″ and 5″ sizes. I’ll just hit the highlights of the most common systems without going into any one specific vendor. The cheapest type of suspension lift (and for a reason) uses taller (and usually stiffer) replacemtn coils up front and lift blocks under the rear leaf springs. The lift blocks are cheap and easy to install, but also have a tendancy to get spit out under severe stress. The next step up uses add-a-leafs instead of lift blocks. This is a single stiff leaf the gets added into the existing rear leaf packs. These are more secure then blocks, but can provide a harsh ride and limit articulation. Also, with both blocks and add-a-leafs you’re still using your original leaf springs, which may be worn and sagging. the third step up, and the preferred way to go, is a complete kit with matching components. These kits include progressive rate front coils and new multi-leaf rear spring packs. They also typically include matched shocks and may have replacement shock mounts or hoops to allow for greater articulation and longer shocks. Truely complete kits will also include all the parts needed to properly adjust for the changes in steering geometry caused by the lift, including drop brackets and/or adjustable drag links. A well designed lift kit can not only increase your off road articulation, but improve your street ride as well. Unlike body lifts, suspension lifts actually raise the entire vehicle off the axles. This increases drive shaft angles and length, usually requiring new shafts. It also affects steering geometry, which must be corrected to properly set alignment and avoid conditions like bump steer, wandering and wobbling. The higher the lift the harder it can be to track down and solve these conditions.