The Professional Choice

Why Complete Kits are Important

Johnny Cash wrote a song about collecting a bunch of good working parts that were not designed to work together and found it doesn’t always end well! Don’t believe me, click up there! (Turn up your speakers)

You can build a radical engine by combining parts made by different manufactures but you really have know what your doing! The same thing is true when it comes to suspension parts.

Phone ringing: Hello this is tech how can I help you? Man I got a real problem, I lowered my truck and it’s low and I like that, it looks pretty good and I like that, but I can’t get the front end to align and it rides like crap, I don’t like that! (Tech)  how did you lower it? Well I been saving and shopin for awhile and got great deals on a set of spindles, then I went down a little more with some coils and later decided to slam it by adding control arms. Then I put in a flip kit and added lowered leafs and shackles to get the back slammed, how can I fix it so I get a good ride and not destroy my tires?

Advanced installers and experienced shops have done enough suspension work to know which parts you can combine without bad side effects to get “the look”. And really their knowledge came from doing it wrong sometime in the past. So if you want to do your own work and your not an expert seriously consider buying a complete suspension kit. The parts in kits are designed to work together in an optimum way, with out nasty surprises, and you should not have to buy any other parts to finish your job and get to driving around! While it is fun to fool around in the garage it’s more fun to drive around!!

24 Responses to Why Complete Kits are Important

  1. Hi I was going to give my buddy my Calmax 3/4 drop from my 2007 Tahoe for his 2007 escalade. The upper and lower control arms for the two trucks have the same part number. Is there a reason the 2007 escalade is not listed for the calmax 3/4 drop kit? Can you tell me if it would work or not. I’ve looked everywhere online and haven’t found one escalade that has used this kit. Thank you very much

    • Anthony,

      Unless your buddies Escalade is all wheel drive, your gold! His rear shocks are computer controlled though and may require some adjusting to be happy with the new ride height.


  2. Hi Mark,
    I am slowly making progress on my 2003 Ford Ranger (mainly due to available time and first time doing this). I am getting ready to install the front shocks (1315s) from the kit. My question is in regard to the parts with the shocks. There are the rubber bushings, etc for the top of the shock but in the packaged parts for the lower mount there are three parts – 1. a tube with flattened ends and slots for bolts 2. a short seamless tube and 3. a short tube type sleeve that has an unwelded seam. It appears that part 1 above is the correct one for the Ranger. Are the other two for other applications? If number 1 is the correct part, I assume I just need to push it through the lower rubber bushing. Is that correct?

    Thanks much for answering all of my questions!

    • Randy,

      You use the dog bone looking part and push it through the lower bushing. It will bolt up to the control arm!


  3. Hi Mark,
    I am continuing to work at getting the 4/5 kit installed on my Ranger. Ran into some issues I needed to deal with on the pickup so I have had some delays.

    I am ready to install the new front springs and was wondering about the little L-shaped piece that is welded into the lower control arm spring pocket (on the inboard side of the pocket). Is this for the end of the bottom coil to fit up against? On the factory control arm there are two small holes (on the outboard side of the pocket)and you are supposed to position the spring end between the two holes.

    Thanks again for your help on this!

    • Randy,

      The little tab is to give the end of the coil spring a place to seat. It keeps the spring from rotating as well, but sometimes the spring will actually rotate a little away from the bracket. If you run into this don’t worry just seat the coil against the bracket during installation and you should be good!!


      • Thanks, Mark. That’s what I was wondering but wanted verify. Have another question for you. I greased the sleeves as I was assembling the control arms per the instructions. However, later I watched an older video of the assembly for some other vehicle. In that video it showed grease being put on the end of the bushing during the assembly as well? Do I need to take the control arms back off to do this or will the grease work it’s way to the ends well enough when I grease the zerks?


        • Randy,

          It depends on your conditions. I wouldn’t go through all that work unless you have a serious squeaking issue. As a rule I would apply grease to the outside just because they are moving parts, but in your case some grease will find it’s way out around the bushings so wait and see!


  4. Dear Mark,
    What I mean about the ride comfortable is;
    1. There is any required PART –other than DJM brand- I need to fix on my vehicle to make it softy and stable ride as possible?
    2. There is a DJM front suspension match my vehicle?


    • Talal,

      There are no other parts needed if you have the full 4/7 kit. The only exception would be shock absorbers, you must have shorter shocks for the rear or the factory shock will bottom out and cause a hard bumpy ride. Did you buy and install the recommended shock part # 2200?


      • Dear Mark
        Yes i already install the Full 4/7 Kit
        But for the rear shocks, am using the #1900
        1. Do i have to replace them with the #2200?
        2. What the difference between them?

        Thank you an advance.

        • Talal,

          My mistake on the part number, I should have looked instead of using memory! The 1900 is correct for the 4/7 kit. A 2200 is for the 3/5 + 4/6 kit. It sounds like you have all the correct parts, so maybe review the installation of the kit. Make sure you have not over tightened the shackles, control arms, etc, all the moving parts need to be able to move without being loose. Also check that you have removed the factory bump stop and replaced it with the supplied bump stop, this gives you more travel in the rear!


          • Dear Mark
            really appreciate your replay, no harm done. Your replay is comfort me with the correct part number.
            as long I’ve install all the correct parts and the bump stop, am very pleased with it.
            Maybe (90% sure) there is wrong with the kits installation!! ill check with the garage ASAP.
            Thank you Sir and have a have day 🙂

          • Talal,

            Your welcome, just wanting you to have the best results & experience with your custom truck!


  5. Hi There,
    I purchased the Complete Kit (4-7) and Fix on my New GMC Sierra 2014, one cabin.
    My car has lost the factory comfortable after installation! With little vibration.
    So the question is, what can I Fix/Do to get the comfort as I can get?
    FYI, Im not regret at all for the Great Kit 

    • Talal,

      To drop your truck 4/7 will mean you lose suspension travel, and that means you have to drive more carefully than you would at stock ride height. I am not sure what exactly you mean about the ride? Could you be more specific?


  6. Hi Mark,
    I purchased the 4/5 drop kit and now have a few questions for you.

    In the kit, it doesn’t look like the upper control arms use the twin tube design. Is that correct?

    From reading the instruction sheet, it appears that when drilling through the grease zerk hole for the lower control arms that you don’t drill through the inner sleeve. Is this so grease gets to the outside of the inner sleeve but doesn’t need to get to the bolt?

    Does the inner sleeve in the twin tube design have a somewhat loose fit inside of the outer sleeve – diameter wise?

    Is the outer sleeve of the twin tubes supposed to be inset (about an 1/8 inch) from one end of the urethane bushings?

    As for the length of the inner sleeve, it says in the instructions that it should be about .050 inch longer than the outer sleeve. What kind of tolerance is allowed on this? If they are too long or too short, what does DJM recommend – especially if they are too short?

    In the upper control arm package, the bolt for mounting the ball joint to the spindle is marked with KSFC M . Do you know what grade of bolt this is? I haven’t been able to find any specifications on it. The reason I ask is that I had ordered bolts from Ford since I wasn’t aware that bolts were provided in the kit. The Ford bolts are marked 10.9 .

    And one final question (for now anyway) – does DJM have any torque specs for the different bolts used in the kit? Or should I use the Ford Shop Manual factory torque specifications?

    Sorry for so many questions. I just want to do this install the best I can. And thank you in advance for all of your help on this. Your previous answers have been very helpful!

    • Zach,

      I sent a note to the GarageX guys. I know they have been very busy with stuff and the last I heard we were close to getting the second episode on the F150. Stay tuned I will let you know as soon as I hear!!


    • Randy,

      It is correct the upper arms don’t use the twin tube sleeve set up. Regarding the grease zerks it is ok if you drill through the inner sleeve but it is not necessary. When there is no inner sleeve the grease gets onto the mounting bolt and if you do have an inner sleeve it is the inner sleeve that pivots inside the outer sleeve so thats where you want the lubrication. When you tighten against the outer sleeve it keeps you from squeezing the urethane bushings preventing unnecessary friction and squeaking. There is of course a little play in the tubes to allow for lubrication and easy rotation.

      I do not know what bolt your referring to, we do not supply a new ball joint bolt, you should use the Ford part. The 10.9 designation is a metric equivalent to grade 8 sae.

      As with most of our suspension parts unless otherwise stated always use the factory torque settings.

      Sorry about the delay I thought my response posted with your questions!


  7. Hi Mark,
    Thanks for your reply! Sorry for not responding quicker. The Ranger will be a daily driver and will be used for occasional light hauling – sheet of plywood, 2x4s, etc.

    Another question for you. I see from the Instruction sheet (Rev #7.04) that DJM uses Specialty Products Company alignment kit #87500 on Rangers. My pickup uses coil springs but I see that the Specialty Products website says: “Some Ford Explorers and Rangers have a torsion bar suspension with limited caster and no camber adjustment. This kit will provide up to 2 degree positive or negative camber/caster adjustment.” Wasn’t sure if this meant the kit was only for Rangers/Explorers with torsion bar suspension or if it meant it provided more adjustment for these but also worked on Rangers that use springs. Also, does this kit provide more adjustment than factory alignment parts?


    • Randy,

      Some of the Explorers and a very small number of 2wd Rangers have a torsion bar front end, since you have a coil spring front you don’t need to worry. The Specialty Products #87500 is will work on your Ranger if there is no way to adjust with the factory mounting hardware. Click here to watch a video of how to install the alignment kit and you will see what I mean. If your Ranger has cam washers from Ford then you don’t need the alignment kit, if it does not then the #87500 is perfect for you! Hope this helps!! Let me know.


  8. Hi,
    I recently purchased a 2003 Ford Ranger 2 wheel drive standard cab with the 2.4 Liter engine, manual tranny, no A/C and very basic. I am new at lowering a vehicle so I have a few questions for you. At this point I am planning on staying with the Ford wheel and tire. The tire size is P225/70R15 and the factory wheel size is 15×6. I am still trying to decide between the 2/3 drop kit and the 4/5 kit.

    1. Will the factory tire and wheel combo have any clearance issues with either of these kits?

    2. If I go with the 4/5 kit and the Ford tire and wheel setup, do you know what the final ground clearance would be?

    3. Are the springs in the kits different depending on the engine that is in the pickup – 2.4 L, 3.0 L or 4.0 L?

    4. Will I need to install new alignment parts? As far as I know it is still as it was from the factory and hasn’t been aligned in the past.

    5. What brand of ball joints are in the 4/5 kit?

    6. Are the ball joints greasable?

    7. If/when the ball joints need to be replaced are they the same spec as the factory Ford ball joints? (Can I go to the local auto parts store to get replacements for a 2003 Ford Ranger?

    8. With the 4/5 kit do I need to use the notch kit on the frame?

    I may have more questions later but this should help a lot in my decision making.

    • Randy,

      Congratulations on your new project! Yes the factory wheel and tire combo will work with all of our kits, in fact we almost always do our R&D on trucks with the factory wheel & tire combo. Our springs are the same for all engines for the Ranger, the weight difference between them is not enough to really matter. Regarding alignment, look at your upper control arm mounting bolts and determine if they are adjustable, if so your good, if not you can easily buy a kit to fix that. All the ball joints we use are purchased from the same suppliers that NAPA, Autozone, or any auto-parts use. They are greaseable and can be purchased locally. Your parts are the same as factory replacement parts! In the 4/5 kit there is not a c-section, it is available as an option if you need it. Most people don’t need it but it’s nice have around if you might need one! How are you planning to use your Ranger, this can have a lot of influence on which kit to use? Let me know any other questions!!


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