Advice 5"-6" lift for '22 7.3L Gasser

Tuthmose

Tremor Member
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2022 F250 XLT Carbonized Gray, 7.3L
I sent this question to CJC over the weekend, but while I wait for a reply, I figured I'd ask here too. My truck isnt a Tremor - she's a lowly '22 F250 XLT - but this forum seems far-and-away to have the most knowledge about this kind of thing.

After much pondering, reconsidering, measuring, and research, I find I am really set on doing a 5”-ish lift and 37s on 18-inch rims. From everything I’ve read, the Carli Pin Top seems to be the ticket to deliver what I'd like in terms of offroad capability and tight handling on-road. BUT . . . the truck is a 7.3L gasser. And that fact leaves me at a loss to figure out what to do.

Overall, I must say I don’t mind the factory ride. I don't find it to be too bad over bumps – it’s a big truck, after all, and I love the stiffness in turns; it’s got a lot less body roll than my old ’11 Tundra. While I certainly don’t want to spend all this money and make the ride WORSE, I don't need "Cadillac smooth" either. I’d like to see more small bump compliance and a slightly tamer ass-end on big bumps. But as long as the lift delivers better off-road capability at speed with even minor on-road ride improvement, I’d be happy. That’s why I’ve settled on the Pin-Top as my first choice. I know Carli and CJC say it's a worse on-road ride than the Backcountry, but I keep seeing forum posts from owners praising its stiffer “sports-car”-like handling on pavement. Given the choice between “easy-chair” and “sticks the turn like a slot car”, I’ll take the latter every time. Tighter handling matters more to me than being able to sip tea one-handed over a pothole.

So, as I see it, I’ve got four choices:

Option 1: Go with the Carli 5.5” Diesel kit as is, at the risk of a rougher ride and having to do more adjustments to the rear because of the added front height. I am going to put an aftermarket bumper on it, with a 12k lb winch, so that’s probably another 300lbs on the front end. That still leaves it at about 350lbs lighter than a diesel model, though.

Option 2: Go with the Carli 5.5” Diesel kit, but substitute springs from the 5” BDS 7.3L gasser kit (or some other source?), and accept whatever compromise comes from the Carli shocks not being specifically tuned for them

Option 3: Just go with the BDS 5” kit with the Fox 2.5” shock option, although from what I’ve read, it isn’t quite as capable and doesn’t ride as nicely

Option 4: Some sort of custom mix-n-match that I don’t have the knowledge to know can be done?

The final question will be what to do about the rear. I want to preserve the factory rake, and the load-bearing capacity, while taming the empty-bed bounce somewhat. It’s carrying a RSI cap full time, and possibly and aftermarket bumper. I really don’t want the hassle, reliability issues, and expense of air bags. I’m thinking l do an add-a-pack and a PMF spacer? Or do I source custom springs? I think tackling that is contingent on what lift option I go with, though, so that can wait until I decide on that first part.

I know that's a whole big ol' wall of text, but I figure more info is better than less. Thanks to all who waded through all of that. Any advice or insight anyone cares to share would be greatly appreciated!
 
I sent this question to CJC over the weekend, but while I wait for a reply, I figured I'd ask here too. My truck isnt a Tremor - she's a lowly '22 F250 XLT - but this forum seems far-and-away to have the most knowledge about this kind of thing.

After much pondering, reconsidering, measuring, and research, I find I am really set on doing a 5”-ish lift and 37s on 18-inch rims. From everything I’ve read, the Carli Pin Top seems to be the ticket to deliver what I'd like in terms of offroad capability and tight handling on-road. BUT . . . the truck is a 7.3L gasser. And that fact leaves me at a loss to figure out what to do.

Overall, I must say I don’t mind the factory ride. I don't find it to be too bad over bumps – it’s a big truck, after all, and I love the stiffness in turns; it’s got a lot less body roll than my old ’11 Tundra. While I certainly don’t want to spend all this money and make the ride WORSE, I don't need "Cadillac smooth" either. I’d like to see more small bump compliance and a slightly tamer ass-end on big bumps. But as long as the lift delivers better off-road capability at speed with even minor on-road ride improvement, I’d be happy. That’s why I’ve settled on the Pin-Top as my first choice. I know Carli and CJC say it's a worse on-road ride than the Backcountry, but I keep seeing forum posts from owners praising its stiffer “sports-car”-like handling on pavement. Given the choice between “easy-chair” and “sticks the turn like a slot car”, I’ll take the latter every time. Tighter handling matters more to me than being able to sip tea one-handed over a pothole.

So, as I see it, I’ve got four choices:

Option 1: Go with the Carli 5.5” Diesel kit as is, at the risk of a rougher ride and having to do more adjustments to the rear because of the added front height. I am going to put an aftermarket bumper on it, with a 12k lb winch, so that’s probably another 300lbs on the front end. That still leaves it at about 350lbs lighter than a diesel model, though.

Option 2: Go with the Carli 5.5” Diesel kit, but substitute springs from the 5” BDS 7.3L gasser kit (or some other source?), and accept whatever compromise comes from the Carli shocks not being specifically tuned for them

Option 3: Just go with the BDS 5” kit with the Fox 2.5” shock option, although from what I’ve read, it isn’t quite as capable and doesn’t ride as nicely

Option 4: Some sort of custom mix-n-match that I don’t have the knowledge to know can be done?

The final question will be what to do about the rear. I want to preserve the factory rake, and the load-bearing capacity, while taming the empty-bed bounce somewhat. It’s carrying a RSI cap full time, and possibly and aftermarket bumper. I really don’t want the hassle, reliability issues, and expense of air bags. I’m thinking l do an add-a-pack and a PMF spacer? Or do I source custom springs? I think tackling that is contingent on what lift option I go with, though, so that can wait until I decide on that first part.

I know that's a whole big ol' wall of text, but I figure more info is better than less. Thanks to all who waded through all of that. Any advice or insight anyone cares to share would be greatly appreciated!
I will let others comment on suspension but your tire size will look small on that large of a lift. I would go 38x13.5x18
I ran that size with 4in lift
 
I have the back country kit on mine, which is only three inches, with the Deaver springs in the rear. The Deaver make the ride so much nicer along with the tuned Carli shocks. I don't tow heavy but if I needed to I would just bag it.
 

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Oh dang I didn't know the gasser could only get 3" lift. I wonder why that is?

@BLACKCHERRY I'm sure knows why. My guess is that they won't advise doing a diesel kit on a gasser. Probably too stiff due to the weight difference.
 
Oh dang I didn't know the gasser could only get 3" lift. I wonder why that is?

@BLACKCHERRY I'm sure knows why. My guess is that they won't advise doing a diesel kit on a gasser. Probably too stiff due to the weight difference.
Pure speculation, but I'm going to guess the 7.3 becomes a dog with the larger tires that would be commensurate with a lift greater than 3", and the manufacturer doesn't want negative reviews for something that is out of their control.
 
You'll get different opinions on the matter. Carli doesnt technically make a 5.5" kit for the gasser (something about the stock steering linkage doesnt have enough adjustability range to account for the extra 0.5-1" of height that comes from running the heavier diesel coils on a gasser), but several people run them by just adding a heavy bumper/winch to the front of the truck.

OUO and BDS offer gasser specific lifts if you want something taller than a level. Depends on the look you are going for and the size of tires you want to run. The 23+ trucks can fit 38's on a level though so it's not needed unless you just want the look. My bigger concern would be what gears you have (since your truck isnt a Tremor), 4.30's would be more than enough if you wanted to run 38's but might be a little sluggish if you are running the 3.73's which are that standard gear for non-Tremor gassers.

People get upset at the suggestion, but if you are planning on running 37's or smaller and not adding a ton of weight like a slide in camper, the 3.73's will be fine (my FX4 gasser has 3.55's and I have had zero issues on 37's towing and hauling in the ~8000lbs range around here in SoCal, the 4.30's arent needed unless you are running a constant heavy load in the bed, are towing frequently, and/or live in "real" mountains)
 
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I'm gonna go out on a short, rational and logical limb and guess the sole reason anyone offers "gas" lifts and "diesel" lifts hinges entirely and summarily on the difference in front coil rates due to the substantial weight difference between the two engines. If there are further differences between the two with respect to suspension, axles, brakes, and steering - evidenced by p/n variations - then I'm all ears.
 
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I'm gonna go out on a short, rational and logical limb and guess the sole reason anyone offers "gas" lifts and "diesel" lifts hinges entirely and summarily on the difference in front coil rates due to the substantial weight difference between the two. If there are further differences between the two evidenced by p/n variations then I'm all ears.
A lot of companies dont even bother adding sku's, they run the same coil on both and just add a disclaimer that ride height will be a little higher on a gasser.

The justification Carli provided is that the take rate for gasser lifts greater than level height is too low to justify the R&D needed to develop new coils and shock tuning (as well as the complexity of managing additional sku's) for something that is such low demand. Again, on the new trucks you can fit 38's with a level height suspension, which is the max I'd go with on a gasser (and you would want the deeper gears at that point if you were). Anything taller is for looks only.

For the OP, Option 3 seems to be your best plan, send the shocks to Accutune to dial it in a little better. I am strongly opposed to the "mix and match" approach for any of this. I would wager that less than 5% of the people who run a top of the line Carli system actually use the full capability, for the other 95% I doubt they'd notice the difference of the BDS kit in most of the driving they do, and then you arent having to make compromises of mismatched components.
 
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OH WAIT! I figured it out!...trade it in for a diesel then go Carli 5.5" w/ e-venture. Now how's that for problem solving?

In all seriousness you're probably better off going the gasser 3" kit with a PMF block under the deaver springs. That's what I'm doing with my kit to maintain most of the factory rake. I confirmed it doesn't negatively impact the ride.
 
Thanks for the feedback so far.

I should probably clarify that I DO, in fact, have the 4.30 gears with the locking rear.

I'll not deny I very much like the look of the taller lift, but there are (to my odd mind, anyway) some more practical reasons for wanting the extra clearance bought by "mere" 37s with that height. The mountain on which I live, and the approach angle of our driveway, used to stuff the front oversized tires on my old Tundra, despite it never happening elsewhere in normal use. i am to avoid that with my new rig. The nasty winter ice storms that seem to be our new norm also mean I must have room to run front chains, so I'm trying to buy space to get that clearance (which will mean fiddling with offset too, but I'll get there when I get there). Hopefully that makes my goal make a little more sense?

If the only actually *prohibitive* issue with running the Carli diesel setup is maxing out steering components, is there any aftermarket jigger-pokery that can address that strain?
 
Im happy with the 5" BDDS lift on my 7.3. I like how it has replacement radius arms and springs instead of drop brackets. Just opt for the nicer shocks and the rear leafs and I think youll be pretty happy.
 
Thanks for the feedback so far.

I should probably clarify that I DO, in fact, have the 4.30 gears with the locking rear.

I'll not deny I very much like the look of the taller lift, but there are (to my odd mind, anyway) some more practical reasons for wanting the extra clearance bought by "mere" 37s with that height. The mountain on which I live, and the approach angle of our driveway, used to stuff the front oversized tires on my old Tundra, despite it never happening elsewhere in normal use. i am to avoid that with my new rig. The nasty winter ice storms that seem to be our new norm also mean I must have room to run front chains, so I'm trying to buy space to get that clearance (which will mean fiddling with offset too, but I'll get there when I get there). Hopefully that makes my goal make a little more sense?

If the only actually *prohibitive* issue with running the Carli diesel setup is maxing out steering components, is there any aftermarket jigger-pokery that can address that strain?
Increased approach angle is a valid reason, especially if you are adding a bumper/winch since a lot of them stick out further than the factory bumper.

That said, you have to ask yourself how you will use the truck (and be really honest with yourself), if you dont need the high speed offroad performance of the Carli, just get the BDS kit (I am saying this as a diehard Carli fanboy), get the 4 link while you are at it. Not having the compromises of working around the diesel coils/shock tuning/steering linkage issues will likely yield a better (or at least comparable) ride on the road and in the vast majority of situations offroad as well (excluding high speed, think running 60MPH+ on rutted up "Raptor" trails/desert roads). If you opt for the upgraded 2.5 series shocks from Fox you can send them to Accutune and get the ride even more dialed in for something like $120each (or leave them off your build and buy them directly from Accutune). You'll be miles ahead from a $ spent perspective and you'll avoid the biggest issue that leads to people being disappointed in their suspension systems which is getting the wrong kit for what you want to do with the truck.
 
leave the 5' lifts for wannabees runnin kids to soccer practice. real offroader isnt jacked to the moon. 3" at most with skidplates underneath and 37s would be the way to go
 
OneUpOffroad....do it right the first time.
 
leave the 5' lifts for wannabees runnin kids to soccer practice. real offroader isnt jacked to the moon. 3" at most with skidplates underneath and 37s would be the way to go

5" lift on an XLT is only slightly taller than a Tremor.
 
OneUpOffroad....do it right the first time.

Im, not a BDS fanboy particularly, and I did choose it because it is MUCH cheaper than other options... But looking at what came in the kit, I don't see where the downfall would be other than the cheap shocks. The Radius arms are beautiful, and everything else is just brackets (like for the sway bar and track bar). It has front springs instead of spacers as well.
 
i had some of these same questions when looking to lift my '20.
Dan said the biggest issue is maxing out the drag link with the 5.5". he said it would run out of adjustment.

the difference in the coil rate between the diesel and gas coils is 250 lbs. the diesel weights about 500 lbs more.
diesel coils do not ride bad, IIRC.

I sure wish Carli had a taller gas coil available
 
i had some of these same questions when looking to lift my '20.
Dan said the biggest issue is maxing out the drag link with the 5.5". he said it would run out of adjustment.

the difference in the coil rate between the diesel and gas coils is 250 lbs. the diesel weights about 500 lbs more.
diesel coils do not ride bad, IIRC.

I sure wish Carli had a taller gas coil available

My BDS kit came with a drag link bracket drop and I did not do an adjustable drag link and my axle align fine. There is an aoption to flip the cam to if your axle isnt centered. An adjustable drag link isn't necessary.
 
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