For future reference for all the DIYs out there. You will find this install much easier to do if you do not remove the steering knuckle from the upper ball joint. Instead remove the two lower control arm pivot bolts from the frame and let the arm separate from the frame removing the strut from the bottom.
When reinstalling the strut first attach the upper nuts loosely to the top of the strut tower. Then raise the lower control arm up to the strut and install the lower strut bolt. After this you just have to use a floor jack or transmission jack to raise the lower control arm back into place. Makes it much easier. Some kit instructions actually recommend doing it this way.
You don't have to fight the compression of the strut against the upper control arm while trying to get it reattached to the steering knuckle this way. You also don't risk over extending the half shaft by letting the weight if the assembly hang on it. They can be a pain to get back together when pulled apart.
I install 3-6 kits a week on late model F150s. It's about a 45 minute job for me to do both sides using this technique whereas the other way adds time to the install.
Food for thought....
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On the rear, installing upside down(boots on the bottom) or up right? I read it on other thread saying supposed to be upside down. Am I correct?
There should be some sort of marking on the shock indicating which end is up.
I had Rancho RS9000's installed on my 2007 by a shop and they put them in upside down (boot up in this case) and the truck was downright dangerous! It was unbelievable, the back end tried to come around on me several times before I realized what the problem was.
I did mine last week, not hard to do at all, please anyone attempting to do this on their own DO NOT USE harbor freight compression tool, it disintegrated to a million pieces on me I just about chit my pants, I went to O'reilly's and they loan a nice strut compression tool when you return it back they give all your money back, took me a while longer then it could have just like anything else I do I go over board, got rid off all my rust under there, I was surprised to see the rust on a truck with less than 20 k on it and I'm not in the salt region. I went to the max setting on the shock the truck is perfectly level but the other day after I got a full tank of gas it looked lower in the back just a tad. the ride is definitely stiffer in the front and much rougher across rough roads, I was not happy about that. Oh well
Materk, zero regrets not going to the top notch. I'm confident my truck would have been nose high and I've read a few things about it really stressing out the suspension and making some iffy angles in the 4x4 linkage
Buck183, good call, thanks for the advice
cerhai, also good call on keeping away from the harbor freight merch, the cheap tools can serve a purpose, but not when dealing with your truck!
Also want to note with the 1.5" setting I have no complaints with the change in ride. It is minimal under normal straight driving conditions, but really decreases body roll in turns and makes a noticeable difference in steering wheel response.
Thanks to Buck's advise I went w/ removing two bolts on lower control arm. Removed sway bar and tie rod end. Pretty much followed Buck's direction. I took more pics so here it is. Air tool make much easier and swivel for pass side. It's little tighter on pass side on lower control arm. Rear is breeze. I think most time consuming part of rear is taking the wheels off. I would suggest to put lower bolt first.