How to Lower a Ford F100by Harvey Birdman
The Ford F-100 was the last medium-sized pickup truck made by Ford before the F-150 came to dominate their truck lineup. Lowering a F-100 is a great way to increase it's road handling and to make it look better. By lowering the suspension, the truck will hug the ground more in the corners and not roll as much. However, lowering the F-100 requires two different kinds of suspension components because the front uses regular coil suspension while the rear is a leaf-spring suspension setup.
Drive the F-100 somewhere out of traffic and with a lot of room to the sides; the flatter the surface, the better. Put the truck in "Park" and pull the parking brake up. Empty out the truck bed and the cabin. Jack up all four corners of the F-100 by sliding the car jack under the frame, jacking it up and then sliding in a jack stand. Make sure all four corners are equally elevated. Remove the wheels from each corner with the tire iron.
Unbolt the L-beams from both front wheel suspension setups. Use a car jack to compress the spring and then carefully pull the spring out from the suspension. Repeat this process for the other front wheel. Then, slide in the new lowering spring and bolt on the lowering L-beam. Repeat the installation on the other side as well.
Unbolt the U-bolts that secure the rear leaf springs to the rear axle. Then, unbolt the shackles that secure the leaf springs to the truck's frame. Take the old leaf springs out and then bolt the new lowering leaf springs in with the U-bolts. Use the lowering shackles that came with the lowering leaf springs to attach to the frame.
Bolt on all the wheels and then lower the truck off of the jack stands. The truck will sit lower now but no part should be scraping the ground. Take the F-100 for a test drive to make sure nothing is dragging and that you are still capable of getting over speed bumps.
- "Haynes: Repair Manual: Ford Pickups and Bronco: 1973 through 1979"; Haynes Publishing; 1988
Things You'll Need
- Car jack
- Jack stand
- Wrench set
- Lowering struts
- Lowering L-beams
- Lowering leaf springs
- Only perform this upgrade if you have an extra vehicle for errands as the project can easily take a full day or two to complete.
Harvey Birdman has been writing since 2000 for academic assignments. He has trained in the use of LexisNexus, Westlaw and Psychnotes. He holds a Juris Doctor and a Master of Business Administration from the Chicago Kent School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in both political science and psychology from the University of Missouri at Columbia.