As you can see in the
photo below the 31" tires on my recently purchased 1990
Ford Bronco are shot and since I need new ones they must be
bigger! Isn't that a rule? I searched the web for a couple
weeks and read a lot of threads on FULLSIZEBRONCOS.COM
before deciding to go with a 4" SuperLift kit from 4WHEELERSUPPLY.COM.
It arrived in about a week with no tax and free
3 ton Jack
2 Ton Jack
3 ton Jack Stands
2 Ton Jack Stands
Metric & SAE socket set and wrenches
Needle Nose pliers Long straight and 90 degree bent
4 1/2" Grinder with cut off wheel
Dremel tool with cut off wheel and other bits
Air Chisel with various bits
Pitman Arm Puller
18V Cordless Drill
90 Degree Drill
Tie down (mini come-along)
to have on hand:
Carb or Brake Cleaner
Grinder cut off wheels
Dremel cut off wheels
Kit included the brackets for a 4" or 6" lift,
coils, shocks, shock boots, pitman arm, extended brake lines
and blocks with U-bolts for the rear axle. Before starting a
lift on a Full Size Bronco it is a good Idea to have at least
two sets of jacks and jack-stands. I will get into more
details later, but you might want to borrow a set from a
friend / neighbor if you only have one.
Side Radius Arm Bracket Stock Vs. Lift
you have the frame on jack-stands and the front tires removed
you need to loosen the 1 1/8"
nut on the end of the drivers side radius arm. Place a jack
under the drivers side of the axle close to the outside to
relieve the pressure on the radius bracket. There is one bolt
to remove and three rivets (shown by the arrows in the picture
below). I used a combination of a 4 1/2" grinder with a
cutoff wheel, a Dremel tool with a cutoff wheel and an air
chisel to remove the rivets. Once the rivets are removed
take the radius arm nut and bushings off and set them
Now is a good time to
remove the drivers side shock and coil. The shock has a 12mm
nut on top and a 18mm nut 18mm
and bolt on the bottom. The coil has a 15mm
bolt on top and a 1 1/8" nut
with a retaining washer on the bottom.
Drivers Side Axle
Pivot bracket Stock Vs. Lift
move over to the drivers side axle pivot bracket. First remove
the axle pivot bolt. Then remove the others. It had two 18
mm nuts toward the front of the cross-member and two 15mm
nuts with 18mm bolts on the
passenger side. You will need to remove the 14mm
nut holding the gas line at the front of the cross-member.
Replace the bracket that holds the two bolts as in the picture
above into the lift bracket. You need to reuse the front
facing 18mm nuts and the 18mm
bolts and 15mm nuts from the stock bracket. You
will also need to drill two holes and install additional nuts
and bolts that are included with the kit.
replacing the axle pivot bolt it is best to have two jacks,
one at the differential and one behind it where the
drive-shaft is with a jack-stand on the axle as close to the
hub as possible to pivot it into place. This will enable you
to control the X-Y-Z axis and get it into place.
Now it's time to move
onto the most fun part of the lift. Removing the stock
passenger side axle pivot bracket. It has 6 rivets to remove.
They are located high up in the cross-member and won't come
out easily. My brother came over for the weekend and helped me
to remove the rivets. We went back and forth with the grinders
and air chisel to remove them. It wasn't easy.
My brother grinding
passenger side axle pivot bracket not only included replacing
the bolt but included drilling two new holes in the
cross-member for two additional bolts. With the Bronco in a
level position make sure it is exactly 90 degrees to the
ground. Just make sure you move
the brake lines out of the way before doing this. Luckily
my neighbor Russ had a 90 degree drill to drill these holes
out. Now install the passenger side axle pivot bolt. use the
same method as the drivers side.
Once the lifted axle
pivot brackets are in place it is time to install the lifted
radius arm brackets. They might need a little help to get them
into place. I first placed the bracket on the ends of the
radius arms then used the jack dance to get them as close as
possible. Then I used a come-along type strap to pull them into
place to get the bolts lined up.
Now that all the
brackets are back in place install the new coils and shocks.
Install the coil first. Lower the end of the axle, insert the
lower coil bolt and retainer. Jack the axle up until the coil
just touches the top of the tower and turn it until it is in
the right place to install the top clip and bolt it up. Then
install the shock. I found it easier to bolt the bottom first
then pull the top up and bolt it down.
Back to the steering
linkage. I spent way too much time with my brother trying to
remove the stock pitman arm with various pulley removers,
breaking two of them before we drove around town checking
various auto part stores trying to find a proper pitman arm
puller that wasn't too expensive. After 4 other places we
ended up at AutoZone that has FREE tool rentals (ok you pretty
much buy it but get your $$ back when you return it). Still it
beat out any other place. I was afraid I was going to break it
also since it took the pressure of both my legs and my
brothers hands with a 3' breaker to make it finally cry uncle.
It took an amazing amount of force to get the new one fully
seated also. Reinstalling the rest of the linkage was a piece
Next day: rear end
lift. With jack stands securely on the frame raise the rear
axle until the suspension is at a neutral position.
Since the stock U-Bolts required a 21mm
deep socket, which I did not have, I got out the trusty 4
1/2" angle grinder with a new cut-off wheel and made
quick work of them. Make sure you have the rear axle as close
to equal pressure as possible and be vary careful doing this
since they will want to pop when you cut thru them and I don't
want to see anyone hurt doing this.
the Superlift kit
comes with blocks to raise the rear end. I would prefer to do
a shackle flip but $$ prevents me for now from doing that so I
will install the blocks. I have heard that others had removed
the stock wedge when adding the block but that would have left
my axle at the wrong angle to the drive shaft. With both the
block and wedge it looks to be at the right angle.
After removing or
cutting the U-Bolts you need to remove the 4 12 point 12mm
bolts that hold the drive shaft to the axle. Next remove the
stock shocks. They have a bolt and nut on the bottom and a nut
on top. I had a problem with the blocks that seems to be very
common. the hole that is supposed to fit in the wedge pin /
leaf pin was too small to fit. I used a dremel with various
bits to widen and deepen the hole. Once they fit I installed
the rear axle with the wedges and lift blocks along with the
new U-Bolts. I tightened the nuts down until just before they
were snug and spent a few minutes making sure all the U-Bolts
and the axle were aligned before torquing them down.
Re-install the rear drive shaft and the new shocks.
Bronco After Lift
Later On - 33"
Super Swamper Tires Installed