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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I posted this here and on another board as general information reguarding the common 4wd Titan lifts and the corresponding shocks. If the mods want to make this stickey, fine with me. If the other Titan boards want to put it on their sites, even though Im not a paying advertiser, that is fine too. I wrote this as a service to all lift buyers, wether you buy from me or any other vendor, this will help you make an educated decision.

Since there are so many questions and options and, often, mis-information. I will post this and hopefully answer most questions regarding the currently available lifts. We will start with 4wd lifts. All the current lifts Rancho, CST, Fabtech, Procomp are very similar and all work well. I will not discuss the Bulletproof kit as it is mostly a custom application. They all ride just like stock in the front (as they use spacers and keep the stock strut assembly) except the Rancho, and it rides very close to stock. The rear is typically a block and different shocks, although the Fabtech is different by using an AAL and block. All the kits move the front wheels forward about 1". All the kits can run STOCK wheels and run 35" tires (exception is the CST kit on stock wheels with 325 tires or Toyo/Nitto MT...the lugs will hit the spindle). I don’t care what any one says, we do it everyday. All the kits can use aftermarket coilovers. As of now the options are Fox, from anyone who sells CST. The other options are from PRG and we offer custom Sway-a-way coilovers and 2 versions of the Radflo coilovers for bracket lifted applications. The long DRE versions have been discontinued. Also, it is not recommended to use the regular DRE coilovers or the 2.0 Radflos as they are longer than the stock struts and will allow the upper a-arm to hit the coilbucket (unless an aftermarket a-arm is used) except on the CST kit using the weld-on droop stops. The SAW replacement struts (stock or for use with the UCA) will not fit any bracket lift do to their unique upper mount.

All the kits are very similar. No kit will make noise or have issues. ALL NOISE PROBLEMS STEM FROM POOR INSTALLATION or some form of part failure. The kit itself will not be noisy.

CST 7"-
-Actually about 6-6.5" lift in front and 4" block in the rear. Kit typically has about 1-1.5" rake.
-Kit does not come with rear shocks, they may be added by the retailer though. Typically CST house brand shocks (really Edelbrocks) or Bilsteins, or white shocks on the cheap end of things.
-Kit has one-piece subframe and is powdercoated gloss black. Is the subframe stronger than a 2 piece? Probably, but I’ve never seen a problem with the two-piece kits either.
-uses a fabricated spindle upright. These are nice, but offer fewer rim options do to the shape of the riser tube and the tire may rub if the wheel has too much backspace (too little and the tire will rub the inner fender). Also it’s harder to tighten the upper ball joint, even harder to remove later.
-Kit requires cutting for the rear differential bolt (as do the Rancho, and Fabtech kits). It CAN go back to stock, but welding a plates over the notch is recommended.
-Welding is required for the "droop stop". CST builds the spindles a bit shorter than they should be (my opinion) and the upper a-arm will hit the coilbucket (like a leveling kit, but worse) so they added these weld-on tabs w/ urethane striker pads to let the upper arm rest on these at full droop. You can install the kit and add these later actually. Or you can add an aftermarket upper a-arm and there will be enough clearance that you will not need to weld at all. Remember, this in only for THIS kit.
-Kit comes with flat aluminum skid plate under the diff. nice but makes jacking it up a ***** later.
-kit comes with heim jointed sway bar endlinks, these are a very nice option, but can be added to other kits for a nominal price.
-bumpstop brackets are silly and were designed on a pre-production titan where the bumpstops were taller and therefore do a piss-poor job on any post'93 titan). Easy solution is to add a 2" tall urethane bumpstop.
-Has braided DOT brake lines (only the Fabtech kits doesn’t!!)
-4" offset-pin fabricated blocks come with this kit. They are powdercoated gloss black also. The u-bolts are actually the correct length on this kit too, most are too long.
-as with all CST spindles, they will eventually make a popping noise at full turn do to the spindle hitting the steering stop. It can be lessened with a dab of grease and a bit of grinding
-Most expensive of all the kits
-In typical CST fashion, the instructions pretty much suck.
-this kit is actually the lightest of all the kits and easy to ship
-Doesn’t have stupid faux-strut-braces like all the other kits

Procomp Stage 1
-Best instructions of all the lifts
-Easiest to install do to no cutting or welding, but some grinding helps
-lifts 5.5" in front and uses a 3" billet off-set pin rear block. U-bolts are too long and need to be cut to look right. Sits with the front just a tad lower than the rear with a stage 1 kit. Stage 2 will lift the front about 1.5" more inches and the rear will sit about 1/2 lower than the front.
-Steering stops are HUGE and need to be ground down to regain most turning, this is true of Fabtech kit too.
-Comes with braided brake lines
-square front cross brace is nice for jacking truck, but looks like it hangs down a bit
-uses square eccentric bushings to locate the subframes, very nice touch
-crappy semi-gloss black finish.
-comes with braided brake lines, has best rear brake line brackets of all the kits.
-lots of tire clearance, just like the Fabtech and rancho kits
-This is the only kit that doesn’t "require" cutting or grinding, but installation is easiest if you grind a bit on the stock lower subframe to install the new drop brackets.
-best front bumpstop bracket of all the lifts
-PC sway bar end links are the nicest of the FT, or rancho kits, but a far cry from the CST. The CST versions can easily be bolted on, without even using a jack...this goes for the Rancho and FT kits too.
-comes with rear twin-tube shocks....made by tenneco (rancho, fabtech, etc) they ride pretty nice, but only for a short time until they crap-out
-kit is fairly easy to ship, has 4 or 5 boxes about 50 lbs each
-typically priced well, since procomp is owned by the same company as 4wheel parts, you can usually get them cheap.

-Requires cutting for clearance for the front diff bolt.
-requires "stretching" the stock metal brake lines....dumb, dumb, dumb. Best to add a longer brake line
-includes 1/4" thick skid plates for front diff, but looks kind of funny as they tend to hang down.
-rear uses a 2" tapered cast block and an add-a-leaf from 1983. The ride is typically too firm for most people after the AAL is installed and is stiff enough to break the stock shackles. A taller block can be used instead of the aal.
-The only positive of this kit is that the spindle upright is very tall and way overbuilt. This leads to the potential of being the tallest kit using coilovers, custom spacer and aftermarket UCA (about 9" total), add about $1500-2000 to get the extra height.
-typically this kit sits about the same height in front as the CST and about 3" of lift in the rear, it sits pretty level.
-Sway bar end links on this kit are junk, will slip to one side of the urethane bushing and start to make noise....upgrade to the CST versions.
-this kit can be ordered without rear shocks and is by far the least expensive of all the kits.
This kit is HEAVY (about 50lbs heavier than any other kit!!) and is fairly expensive to ship
-my experience shows this kit to be the worst as far as fit and finish.
-For a 2wd, you can cut the diff brackets and have a really clean look, this kit can go to about 10" of lift on a 2wd using the right combination of parts.

-a nice kit. Rancho's insurance will only let them advertise 4" max lift. This kit will actually give about 5" of lift in front and uses a tapered 2" cast block for the rear, it typically sits with the front just a tad taller than the rear
-biggest problem with this kit is that Rancho requires you to by their front shocks, interesting sales pitch as they are a shock manufacturer. This adds to the cost and the labor as the stock struts need to be broken down with a spring compressor to install. the shocks offered in the kit are basically just longer stock shocks. They could have built this kit using the spacers just like the other manufacturers. you can add the 9000 series adjustable shock if you like gimmicks, but your getting the same quality as the regular shocks.
-The spindle on this kit is slightly shorter than the other kits and adding an aftermarket coilover will cause upper a-arm to coilbucket interference unless an aftermarket arm is used.
-this is a nice kit, but is the most difficult to upgrade and in my opinion offers the least lift for the dollar.

as for coilovers to add to the lift. Here are the current options

Fox- will bolt onto any of the kits except Rancho (will work on Rancho w/ aftermarket UCA). These are an emulsion shock, meaning there is no internal or external reservoir. These are great shocks but all the others offer at least an internal res. which makes for more consistent damping. These also come with a CST spec'd spring, most users notice a lot of premature spring sag and these springs are too stiff for most 2wd. The springs can be upgraded but will cost an extra $200. These typically ride pretty smooth with fairly good bottoming resistance but not as good as the others. *** the extra price of better springs and these are by far the most expensive of the bunch.

Radflo 2.5" dia. coilovers- Im going to lump the internal and external reservoir versions into one group as they function the same on our titans. These offer more potential travel then the Fox if using an aftermarket upper a-arm and come with different Eibach springs for 2 or 4wd titans. Radflo is a custom shock manufacturer and builds these shocks for PRG Products and PRG then builds the upper mounts and supplies the springs and does the finally assembly. These are the smoothest riding of all the coilovers, with very good bottoming resistance. The internal res version are about the same price as the Fox, the external are about $150 more.

Sway-a-Way- These are built and valved for PRG products in the same way the Radflos are built for us. We order the shocks bare and built to a certain length and certain valving. We then provide the appropriate Eibach spring and do the final assembly. These are the most aggressively valved coilovers available. The ride is still great but is a bit more firm than the Radflos.

DRE- no longer available for the bracket lifted titans. These are a great shock, but the limited spring length (same issue the Fox has) meant that many users were not able to get the height they wanted.

Fabtech stage 2- These are really a copy of the SAW but most people have issues with them. I don’t have a lot of personal experience with them but the valving and spring seem to be way off and many people have had noise issues. I have no experience with FT rear high-end shocks, so no comment on them.

Procomp stage 2- As you can see im a big fan of the PC lift kit. But their coilovers have had many issues. Lately people seem to be happier with them and the price is good, but we don’t sell them because they are not serviceable and have a pretty checkered past. Thier mx-6 rear shocks seem good, and most people like them.

Rear shocks
Bilstein-these are typically the 5100 (5125 or5150 also) series and are a generic length and valving. The ends need to be modified to fit a Titan properly. Since Bilstein offers so many configurations, the best option is just to know the way each shock works and then pick the best one for the application. These are a "mono-tube" design just like the high end race shocks but are not serviceable and use rubber mounts on the ends, where a true race shock will use a bearing.

CST- These are made by Edelbrock and are a very good shock. Only issue is that there are not a lot of valving choices. Many manufacturers re-badge the Edlebrocks as their premium line, and they get a choice of say 4 or 5 valving options. If that particular valving works, perfect.

DRE-there are no long shocks available for the lifted Titans. They only have shocks for Titans with up to about 2" of lift.

Radflo-These are a 2" dia body race shock. rebuildabel, revalvable. These have an external reservoir and are custom valved for the titan. We offer these in 3 different lengths to get the optimum performance form your lift. These are, in most opinions, the best riding of all the available shocks for the Titan. we set these up as to make then 100% bolt on and to keep the bearing (uni ball) mounts.

Sway-a-Way- These are a 2.25" body and a very beautiful shock. Very close in performance to the Radflo. These are valved specifically for the Titan and we offer these in 2 lengths to cover all the applications. These are also a direct bolt-on.

Fox- there is not direct bolt on application. Typically the bearing mounts are pressed out and a urethane bushing is installed. There are not Titan specific 2.0 rear Fox shocks. Although many shops will sell them, you are getting a generic shock, not one fitted or designed for the rear of a titan.

all white-bodied-shocks-- Typically made by Tenneco and rebadged by Rancho, Procomp, Fabtech, blah, blah ,blah. I’m not going in to the details here, but these are all non-servicable disposable shocks. Just like the factory parts but with better stickers.

Premium Member
1,897 Posts
Discussion Starter · #28 ·
What about the Rough Country 6" kit?
I personnally havent installed one of thier kits yet, but I am good friends with an engineer over there, and the kits look very nice. The kit is very similar to the other kits but it uses a cv spacer like most chevy kits and the front end sits about 1" wider per side than the other 4wd kits. It is also pretty expensive compared to the others.
An update on Procomp. They just did a price restructure and have raised the min. advertised price to around $1500 for the stage one kit. And thier wholesale pricing went up about 15%. So you should be able to buy the kits around $1475-1500 where they used to be around $1300ish.
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