Driveway Transformation: Suspension Upgrades And More For A 2014 Ford F-150 4×4

With 170,000-plus miles on its odometer, this 2014 Ford F-150 4×4’s suspension was showing its age. Problems included shock absorbers that weren’t absorbing, the truck’s frontend was doing the shimmy and shake at highway speeds, and its tires had some wildly uneven wear. Since the owner had no plans to sell or trade in his truck, he set out to give it what he called a “mid-mileage update.” His plan was to upgrade the truck’s suspension and address other issues to breathe new life into the F-150.


Pre-rejuvenation, the F-150 had uneven tire wear, vibration at highway speed, and more unpleasantness.

A Driveway, A Set Of Jack Stands, And Some Hand Tools

To accomplish that goal, he blocked off a Saturday on his schedule, called a buddy to assist, and went to work swapping in a variety of new parts. And he completed the tasks in a driveway with hand tools and the truck perched on jack stands. Along the way he found that all the truck’s ball joints were shot, the front struts had very little rebound, and the rear shocks had zero rebound.

In addition to replacing worn suspension parts, he also wanted to level the truck. He considered installing a basic leveling kit, swapping in new shocks and struts, and new upper control arms with bushings and ball joints. That piecemeal approach would’ve worked, but then he spotted a much better alternative at RealTruck. It included everything he wanted, designed specifically for his truck, in one package.


ICON Vehicle Dynamics Stage 2 Adjustable Coilover Kit

The ICON Vehicle Dynamics Stage 2 adjustable coilover lift kit got the nod. The vehicle-specific kit he chose (there are several options) includes internal-reservoir 2.5 front coilovers with ICON-engineered Eibach coil springs, 2.0 rear shocks, and tubular upper control arms with Delta Joint high-angle ball joints. The kit has 6061 aircraft-grade aluminum CNC machined components, and it includes all hardware and components necessary for installation.

Additionally, it allows 0-2.63 inches of ride height adjustability. Furthermore, it installs with no drilling, cutting, or welding and has a lifetime limited warranty. ICON says the kit can be used with factory wheels and tires. But, it’ll allow fitment of up to a 33×11.50-inch tire. Finally, the kit provides increased wheel travel and ride quality over stock with no change in towing capacity.


Toyo Open Country A/T III Tires

A bit larger diameter tire was on the owner’s wish list. He also wanted more sidewall to offer a better footprint when aired down on the trail. To attain those goals, the owner chose a wheel with less diameter, and a set of P285/70R17 (32.7-inch-diameter, 11.2-inch-wide) Toyo Open Country A/T IIIs. These replace the P275/65R18 (32.1-inch-diameter, 10.8-inch-wide) tires that were on the truck. The Toyo Open Country A/T IIIs have a new tread compound and design for superior off-road grip, confident wet braking, and handling. The evenly distributed void area not only enhances traction both on- and off-road, but also ensures a smooth and quiet on-road ride. Moreover, the presence of lateral grooves and multi-wave sipes provide optimal traction across all surfaces, including snow. Additionally, staggered shoulder lugs with biting edges improve grip, enhancing the limits of off-road cornering.


Lock Off Road Baja Wheels

The F-150’s owner chose Lock Off Road Baja wheels which are named in tribute to the renowned off-road race series. The Baja blends the rugged influence of racing design with a traditional lightweight classic motorsports aesthetic. This creates a strong connection between off-road capability and proven performance. The Lock Baja achieves a delicate balance of strength, style, and weight reduction, meeting all specifications with precision engineering. It’s offered in three coated finishes—Matte Black, Matte Gunmetal, and Matte Bronze. These finishes not only enhance visual appeal but also ensure durability. In fact, they’re capable of withstanding the harshest elements. The Baja wheel in Matte Black was selected for this F-150.

New Lower Control Arms And Tie Rod Ends

Instead of replacing the F-150’s exhausted lower ball joints and control arm bushings, the owner chose to swap in new lower control arms from The cost ($140 per arm) offers more than just replacing the ball joints and control arm bushings, it saved a bunch of time and effort because the ball joints and bushings were preinstalled. He also ordered and installed a set of new tie rod ends since he had things apart anyway.


Stock Front Suspension

The stock front suspension needed attention. Worn items included upper and lower ball joints and shocks. Additionally, the owner of this F-150 wanted to fit a slightly larger tire.

Straightforward Install, No Drama

The install was straightforward. Since the lower control arms were being replaced, each knuckle and all of the control arms were removed. Normally, only the upper control arms would need to be removed to install the ICON kit. Each coilover has one bolt at the bottom and three bolts at the top. The top bolts are accessed underhood. With the stock coilovers removed, the new ICON units were installed. That was followed by the new upper and lower control arms and the factory knuckles. Finally, the new tie rod ends were installed. Along the way, all fasteners were torqued to spec and then torque was re-checked after 100 miles of driving. Of course, we had the vehicle professionally aligned following the install.


Completed Front Suspension

The owner reports that installing the new ICON suspension components from RealTruck wasn’t difficult. However, installation difficulty may vary depending on the condition of the vehicle. This F-150 has spent its life in a road salt-free area, so corrosion wasn’t a problem.


ICON Rear 2.0 Aluminum Series IFP Shocks

The ICON 2.0 Aluminum Series IFP rear shocks installed easily. These shocks have a 5/8-inch polished shaft and are valved specifically for the 2014 F-150.


The F-150’s owner is ecstatic with the results of the upgrades. He notes that the ICON Vehicle Dynamics spring rates are perfect for his F-150. The shock damping is also spot on. He also praises the Lock Off Road Baja wheels. Not only does he like the style, but they’re also easy to clean after hitting the trail. This is due in part to the wide spacing between the spokes. Additionally, he heaps praise on the Toyo Open Country A/T III tires. Traction is great on- and off-road and the owner appreciates the additional footprint when aired down on the trail.


Like Driving A New Truck

The F-150’s owner says, “This combination of wheels, tires, and suspension kit rides amazingly well. I am beyond impressed with the ride. I was concerned that it would be too stiff but in fact, it rides perfectly. It is comfortable at all speeds, on- and off-road. It soaks up the bumps and is very quiet and smooth. This is exactly the combination of ride comfort and capability I was looking for. I am very happy I didn’t go the cheap box-store route with parts selection. After installing these parts I feel like I am driving a new truck. I’m in love with the old ride once again!” Finally, he’s also impressed with how easy it was to get the suspension, tires, and wheels from RealTruck. It was simply one-stop shopping.

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About the author

Ken Brubaker

After learning to drive in a 1967 Rambler American, Ken was addicted to all things with an engine and wheels. He has owned a wide range of vehicles including a pair of 1977 Pontiac Trans Ams and a 1997 Jeep Wrangler.
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