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1997 - 2003 Ford F150 General discussion on the Ford 1997 - 2003 F150 truck.

1997-2003 FAQ Thread

 
Old 03-12-2013, 11:11 PM
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Default 1997-2003 FAQ Thread

This is an FAQ thread for the 1997-2003 section here that should serve as a resource to answer a lot of the common questions and problems with these particular trucks. This thread also has links to different how-to threads and advice and pictures with common modifications for these trucks.

Vehicle Identification:


Wheelbases:
Standard Cab Flareside: 6.5' bed - 120 wheelbase
Standard Cab Styleside: 6.5' bed - 120 wheelbase
Standard Cab Styleside: 8' bed - 139 wheelbase

Super Cab Flareside: 6.5' bed - 139 wheelbase
Super Cab Styleside: 6.5' bed - 139 wheelbase
Super Cab Styleside: 6.5' bed - 157 wheelbase

Super Crew Flareside: 5.5' bed - 139 wheelbase

Axle Codes:
B6-3.73 limited slip
H9-3.55 limited slip
B5-4.10 limited slip
X27-3.31 open
X19-3.55 open
X26-3.73 open
X27-4.10 open

03 vs. 04: https://www.f150forum.com/f6/03-5-4-f...-facts-151947/

How To's:

Mechanical:
Chop Cats: https://www.f150forum.com/f6/wanna-ch...k-here-195581/
Gotts Mod: http://www.fordf150.net/articles/idx...ification.html
Zip Tie Mod: https://www.f150forum.com/f6/zip-tie-mod-190509/
Exhaust: https://www.f150forum.com/f11/exhaust...re-myth-78102/
Electric Fans: https://www.f150forum.com/f6/how-inst...c-fans-174672/
Chattering Rear End: http://www.fordf150.net/howto/differentialfluid.php

Exterior:
Projector Retrofit: https://www.f150forum.com/f6/lightnin...-guide-195523/
Painting Flares/Bed Rail Caps/Valance: https://www.f150forum.com/f71/how-pai...-budget-74111/
Side Molding Removal: https://www.f150forum.com/f6/diy-side...emoval-176904/
Tire Size Calculator/Comparison Tool: http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/tirecalc.php
35's/Tbar Crank/Axle Codes/Gearing: https://www.f150forum.com/f6/35s-tbar...please-197341/
Big 3: https://www.f150forum.com/f75/big-3-s...ng-how-174540/
Extra Battery: https://www.f150forum.com/f6/extra-ba...e-sort-153101/
Train Horns: https://www.f150forum.com/f6/my-train-horns-133259/
Reverse Lights: https://www.f150forum.com/f6/how-reve...itches-198916/

Interior:
Led Full Guide: https://www.f150forum.com/f6/97-03-le...-guide-174498/
Cluster Change: https://www.f150forum.com/f6/99-03-le...change-171349/
Audio Basics: https://www.f150forum.com/f6/audio-ba...pgrade-172964/
Odometer Fix: https://www.f150forum.com/f75/97-03-odometer-fix-93814/
Sub Box: https://www.f150forum.com/f6/idea-faq...nsions-145098/
https://www.f150forum.com/f6/finished...type-r-148503/
Fix Compass and Temp Read-Out: https://www.f150forum.com/f74/how-fix...trucks-144566/
Gun Rack Fab and Install: https://www.f150forum.com/f6/gun-rack...-heavy-152435/
Behind The Seat Amp Rack: https://www.f150forum.com/f6/behind-s...p-rack-149326/
https://www.f150forum.com/f6/refabbin...ifiers-147128/
Door Lock Actuators: https://www.f150forum.com/f6/best-rep...tuators-59568/
https://www.f150forum.com/f6/how-rep...uators-199074/

1997-2003 Lift Options:

Torsion Bar Cranking:
Preferred method of raising the front of the truck on the cheap, a better option than buying keys; keys are not recommended.
*4wd only
http://www.fordtruckclub.net/forum/s...ead.php?t=1786

Leveling Kit: For 2wd trucks a leveling kit will consist of spacers to place on top of the coil spring to give the truck an extra couple of inches.

Spindle Lift Kit: Another 2wd only option, these will typically raise the front 3"-4", allowing you to fit a 33" tire with ease. This is a very straightforward lift option, the stock spindles are simply replaced with new ones. Fabtech is one of the quality options for this lift http://www.fabtechmotorsports.com/pr...lay=FORD%202WD

Blocks:
Common method to raise the rear, fairly straight-forward yet they should be used with caution. NEVER stack two blocks on top of one another, this is extremely dangerous and should be avoided. The stock blocks on these trucks come with bump-stops, when you replace the stock block you will no longer have bump stops. This can lead to bottoming out your rear suspension and could lead to damage at the rear of the truck. I would personally recommend getting some aftermarket bump stops that sit on top of the leaf or buying blocks with the bump stop built in.
It is worth noting that wheel hop can be increased with larger blocks.

Lift Shackles: These are actually shorter shackles that replace the stock shackles to allow the leaf spring to sit lower on the frame, raising the truck. Lift's from shackles are in the 1" to 2" range and are a fairly cheap option for raising your truck.

Body lift:
These can be found in the 1", 2", and 3" range. Body lifts lift the body off of the frame. The suspension of the truck remains in tact, giving you all the ride characteristics of a stock truck. A body lift kit is typically in the $200-$300 range and provides a cheap way to fit bigger tires on your truck.
Note that you will be lefts with gaps between the body and the frame, this can be covered up with gap guards purchased from the body lift manufacturer home fabricated if you're handy.

Add-A-Leaf: This lift option is for the rear leaf springs on the truck. An extra leaf is inserted into the spring pack, raising the truck a couple of inches. Due to the nature of this lift your rear springs will stiffen, resulting in a stiffer ride. This is a very good option for those of you that tow or haul frequently.

Suspension lift kits:
2"-3" lift kits:
These kits are typically comprised of torsion bar keys, possibly a rear block, and sometimes shocks. These are offered from many different manufacturers ranging from $99 to $300. However most people are probably better off cranking their torsion bars and buying a rear block instead of purchasing a kit.

4.5"-5" lift kits:
These are typically in the $1000 range and provide a fair amount of lift at a reasonable price. They typically include front and rear drop crossmembers, torsion bar brackets, knuckles, and blocks for the rear; new leaf springs or add-a-leaves for the rear may also be an option. This will be a much more involved install than any of the aforementioned lift methods for the front of the truck. Rough Country makes a good kit in this range.

6" lift kit:
Zone Offroad kit https://www.f150forum.com/f6/zone-off...install-64030/
Fabtech http://www.fabtechmotorsports.com/pr...lay=FORD%204WD
Skyjacker http://skyjacker.com/
These kits come in different variations and different price ranges. Some kits may widen track with and component build quality may vary.

7.5" lift kit: This kit will allow for clearance of 35" tires on a 2wd pickup. These kits include new springs, spindles, drop brackets, and blocks or leaves for the rear. Once again Fabtech makes a quality kit in this range http://www.fabtechmotorsports.com/pr...lay=FORD%202WD

Long Travel: Long travel kits are typically found on prerunner trucks and allow for a lift as well as greatly increased travel for rough terrain. Long travel kits are more expensive than a typical lift kit but it is the only option for a true prerunner. There are a couple companies that have long travel kits for these trucks on the market right now
http://www.dixonbrosracing.com/content/view/13/3/
http://www.dirt-tech.com/tp_front_su...8_03_f150.html
http://www.filthymotorsports.com/Cam...am-ltravel.htm

For more lift a suspension lift and body lift can be used together as some members here have demonstrated. Also torsion bars can sometimes be cranked in addition to a lift kit to provide a couple more inches of lift.

After any type of front end suspension adjustment it is always a good idea to get the truck aligned afterwards. failing to do so could lead to uneven tire wear and premature wear in front end components.

Pictures of various member's trucks at different heights and lifts, found on other threads here:

Stock on 285's


crank and block on 285's(~33)


crank and block on 315's(35's)


3" body lift and 285's


3" body lift, block, and keys


5" and 37's


6" lift and 35's


4" suspension and 3" body on 37's


7.5" suspension (2wd) on 35's
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:20 PM
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I support this thread! And vote STICKY!!

But you're missing one lift option.... Solid Axle Conversion!! See my album haha
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:40 PM
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**Axle code 25, 4.10 open diff**
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:10 AM
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All I did was put it together, a big thanks to all of you guys who put together the how to threads, put up pics, and the veteran guys who have shared their knowledge on the forum. Now I just hope people actually use this thread haha
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:32 AM
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Those write ups sound great, can't wait to see them.

A really cool write up I found on another forum that I just remembered http://www.f150online.com/forums/199...e-shifter.html

Also I have some more information to add to the thread but I hit a text limit, if there is any way a mod could help me get around that somehow or at least put a second post directly under the original just to keep it neat that would be great
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:52 AM
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1997-2003 Build Thread Links

https://www.f150forum.com/f78/03-scab-build-joy-156245/
https://www.f150forum.com/f78/97s-mod-thread-109748/
https://www.f150forum.com/f78/my-200...ks-4x4-144560/
https://www.f150forum.com/f78/2000-f150-build-108623/
https://www.f150forum.com/f78/just-a...-build-129128/
https://www.f150forum.com/f78/lanes-...-build-156100/
https://www.f150forum.com/f78/lukes-...thread-145606/
https://www.f150forum.com/f78/bhall-...thread-177718/
https://www.f150forum.com/f78/99-fla...thread-178079/
https://www.f150forum.com/f78/delilah-2000-f150-126865/
https://www.f150forum.com/f78/01-f15...mation-173044/
https://www.f150forum.com/f78/2003-f...-build-186150/
https://www.f150forum.com/f78/my-bui...-ready-156179/
https://www.f150forum.com/f78/genera...-build-112075/
https://www.f150forum.com/f78/p-kidd...thread-167040/
https://www.f150forum.com/f78/2002-f150-4x4-125879/
https://www.f150forum.com/f78/2002-f150-4x4-125879/
https://www.f150forum.com/f78/2003xlt-179383/
https://www.f150forum.com/f78/2000-f...-build-128357/
https://www.f150forum.com/f78/jordan...thread-159100/
https://www.f150forum.com/f78/mitche...s-pics-180035/
https://www.f150forum.com/f78/tackle...-build-195826/
https://www.f150forum.com/f78/knowle...thread-188719/
https://www.f150forum.com/f78/99-4x4...thread-172590/
https://www.f150forum.com/f78/1998-f...-black-197154/
https://www.f150forum.com/f78/thekings-build-189646/
https://www.f150forum.com/f78/daily-...-nf155-175020/
https://www.f150forum.com/f6/my-1997...-thread-98765/
https://www.f150forum.com/f6/my-2000...thread-105196/
https://www.f150forum.com/f6/1998-f1...-thread-98480/
https://www.f150forum.com/f6/scab-4x...roject-109519/
https://www.f150forum.com/f6/project...lcomed-104783/
https://www.f150forum.com/f6/longnap...-build-129825/
https://www.f150forum.com/f6/1999-f-...t-hulk-108871/
https://www.f150forum.com/f6/project...monster-92104/
https://www.f150forum.com/f6/myfx4pr...thread-180188/
https://www.f150forum.com/f6/project...c-heavy-76167/
https://www.f150forum.com/f6/03-harl...thread-134933/
https://www.f150forum.com/f6/cant-qu...thread-128467/
https://www.f150forum.com/f6/myfx4pr...thread-180188/
https://www.f150forum.com/f6/next-truck-norris-185357/
https://www.f150forum.com/f6/millers...thread-199202/
https://www.f150forum.com/f6/02-supe...-build-108367/
https://www.f150forum.com/f78/built-bama-198425/
https://www.f150forum.com/f78/sleepy...w-truck-198156
https://www.f150forum.com/f78/06mali...thread-151480/
https://www.f150forum.com/f78/slowly...ogress-141914/
https://www.f150forum.com/f78/hoffmans-build-199170/
https://www.f150forum.com/f78/2001-f...reside-199429/
https://www.f150forum.com/f78/2001-f150-build-199496/

Last edited by 95FordMN; 03-13-2013 at 01:02 AM.
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:30 AM
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A couple more to add...
https://www.f150forum.com/f6/simple-...gs-aux-199957/

https://www.f150forum.com/f6/how-use...ms-off-199905/

I think a thread on different exhaust clips would be convenient to have as well. I know browning could contribute to this one.
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by ibd2328 View Post
A couple more to add...
https://www.f150forum.com/f6/simple-...gs-aux-199957/

https://www.f150forum.com/f6/how-use...ms-off-199905/

I think a thread on different exhaust clips would be convenient to have as well. I know browning could contribute to this one.
Started an exhaust clip library https://www.f150forum.com/f6/exhaust...ibrary-200002/

Last edited by BrowningSCrew; 03-15-2013 at 07:55 AM.
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Old 03-21-2013, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by dmfavata View Post

I have been looking into this also. I think you need to take the headlight switch and have it tied to the ignition. This way when the ignition is off the headlights can't come on.
Well I'd want to be able to turn my headlights on with the key off, I do that quite frequently
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:22 PM
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Found out a few things on how to do that.
The easiest thing to do, is just not have any lights flash when you lock your doors.
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