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Discussion Starter #1
I bought a 1990 f150, 4x4, and the previous owner put 6" lift springs on it but just put some weird bracket extension on the shocks, and the shocks need replacing soon so I figured I'd get shocks with the full travel. Any idea of how big/how to calculate what size I need?
 

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Sounds like the kept the stock shocks.
 

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There are many off-road and racing and truck stores, especially here in SoCal. They have shock travel charts available. I would start by double-checking the lift height and finding the lift kit manufacturer. Then take that info to the off-road store or check with the kit manufacturer for the correct shock. Beware, there are many lifted "macho-man mall cruisers" running around with suspension mods that are only marginally safe. You will never see a lifted truck racing, but in my experience, off-road race shops (SCORE racing) are the most knowledgeable when modifying the suspension. I would deal with one of them, they know what actually works.
 

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There are many off-road and racing and truck stores, especially here in SoCal. They have shock travel charts available. I would start by double-checking the lift height and finding the lift kit manufacturer. Then take that info to the off-road store or check with the kit manufacturer for the correct shock. Beware, there are many lifted "macho-man mall cruisers" running around with suspension mods that are only marginally safe. You will never see a lifted truck racing, but in my experience, off-road race shops (SCORE racing) are the most knowledgeable when modifying the suspension. I would deal with one of them, they know what actually works.
Well I'm in central Florida, lol. But I know of a few 4x4 shops nearby so I'll give them a look. I don't know what the manufacturer is, there's nothing on the springs themselves, or the extension on the stock size shocks. Thank you for the advice!
 

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You can also try the old motorcycle racer's trick. Put a tie wrap around the shock shaft, tighten it just enough so it slides up and down, but stays put. Then jack the truck up to extend the suspension travel to the max, push the tie wrap down to the bottom, remove the jack (of course) and drive the truck. Then measure how much travel you have used. Now measure the shock mounting points at full extension and at as much compression as you can get. Add the homemade extensions into the equation. That will give you an idea of how much travel you need and what the shock length should be. Now find an aftermarket off-road site (one that actually races) and check out the charts. Just FYI, I am not a Bilstein fan.
 

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You're in an environment you may need to be lifted. I only believe in lifting enough to for your tires and rarely do you need more than a 36" tire... unless you plan on swampin'.
 
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