The Ford Flex is spacious, robust, and good for outdoor and long trips. Unfortunately, its ground clearance is not enough to handle off-road conditions. But thankfully, it can be lifted. In this article, I’ll discuss lifted Ford Flex – how to, cost, and recommended kits.
A properly lifted Ford Flex can be a very good off-roader. With increased ground clearance, it can get over higher boulders without worrying that it will bottom out or be high-center because you can fit it with bigger tires that will give it better traction.
Ford Flex can be a good off-roader if it is lifted enough. It has enough stock properties that will enable it to handle the rough and tough road. The only problem is its stock ground clearance. If you can increase its ride height, it can handle unpredictable terrains. Many lifting kits for Ford Flex will make it go off-road efficiently.
Read on to learn more about lifting a Ford Flex to make it an off-roader, how it is usually done, and how much it will cost.
Lifted Ford Flex Overview
Once a Ford Flex is properly lifted, it will be a competent off-roader. If you provide enough increase in ground clearance, it can handle bigger and taller boulders without the risk of bottoming out or high centering.
Installing bigger and wider tires will also provide this vehicle with improved traction.
While the lowered Ford Flex in stock form does not have enough ground clearance for off-road driving, it still has a ride height of 5.9 inches.
That height will already enable this vehicle to negotiate unpredictable and rough terrains – but only up to a certain limit. You have to lift it more if you want it to be a bona fide off-roader.
Ford Flex can handle lifting modifications because it is a full-size crossover SUV or wagon. Ford Motor Company manufactured only one generation of Ford Flex from 2009 to 2019.
It was launched as the replacement for the Ford Taurus X. The Ford Flex also took over the functionality of the Ford Freestar minivan.
If you are not satisfied with the stock ground clearance of your Ford Flex, you can raise it to your desired height, as high as possible. It can be done with a specific procedure that uses Ford Flex lift kits that you can buy from aftermarket suppliers.
Why Lift a Ford Flex
When you look at the Ford Flex, it appears like a family commuter vehicle. But do you know that when it comes to handling, this full-size SUV is capable of delivering powerful performance – even in off-road conditions?
Low Ground Height
This vehicle comes with generous interior space. It can accommodate several people, together with their outdoor gear. What seems to limit it, as far as its outdoor capability is concerned, is its low ground height.
But that can be solved easily by modifying its ground height with a lifting kit specifically designed for Ford Flex. Combining a lifting kit with high-quality suspension upgrades, Ford Flex can effectively handle rocky and muddy terrains while remaining stable and confident on the pavement.
If you lift your Ford Flex, you will enjoy the benefits of its increased ride height. Once you have correctly lifted it and installed bigger and wider tires, you won’t worry about clearing taller boulders and rocks because your Ford Flex won’t high center or bottom out.
More Capable of Off-roading
Your Ford Flex will be more off-road capable if you will also install high-quality suspension components. With these additional lifting parts, your Ford Flex will acquire improved articulation when negotiating uneven ground. You can even use it for rock crawling.
Difference in Handling
You will also notice a big difference in its handling when you install a lifting kit, bigger and wider tires, and high-quality suspension. Some kits can even the vehicle’s front and rear axles’ heights.
You will notice the improvements when your Ford Flex moves from side to side. And if you install steering stabilizers, you will have more control of your Ford Flex while off-roading because it will dampen its bump-steer movements.
Tips on How to Lift a Ford Flex
Before enjoying the benefits of a raised lifted Ford Flex, you should know how it is lifted. You may not perform the process yourself, but you must know how it is done to appreciate its capabilities better.
If you visit Ford Flex lifting community forums, you will be able to see how they do it. Owners of this vehicle have used different methods of lifting their Ford Flex. You may profit by reading their accounts of how they lifted their vehicles.
Rotate the Front Spacers at 180°
A forum member who goes by the name of Lifted Flex said that they had lifted their 2013 Ford Flex by 2.5 inches. What they did was buy a 2015 Explorer lift kit. Then they rotated the front spacers 180° according to the recommendation of the lifting kit manufacturer.
Replace the Front Half-shaft Axles with a New One
This Ford Flex owner also recommended replacing the front half-shaft axles with a new one that comes with a new style. The factory components are insufficient because they don’t allow the required extra traveling angle. They say these components are available at O’Reilly auto parts.
Tire Alignment After the Installation of the Lift Kit
This lifted Ford Flex owner also said they bought the lift kit on Amazon at less than $200. The kit installation was not very difficult, and it took them only around three hours to complete. They also recommend tire alignment after the lifting kit installation.
Effect of Lifting on the Suspension Geometry
Another forum member commented on the content provided by Lifted Flex. This forum member just wanted to give a sort of cautionary comment regarding the process of lifting a Ford Flex.
This forum member discussed the effect on the suspension geometry of the Ford Flex if you will install a lift kit. For instance, the vehicle’s rear suspension is designed according to its original ride height.
Additionally, the curves of the camber and toe are not linear. The suspension will operate in a different section of the curve when the vehicle is lifted.
What happens is that, as the Ford Flex rolls, it will not gain as much camber at the back as it would if it had a lower ride height.
This could mean that you will have a lesser grip proportionately at the rear in relation to the front against a factory ride height. If you need to perform emergency maneuvers, it will be very easy to lose the back end while attempting to steer around an object.
This forum member is not suggesting that lifting a Ford Flex should not be done. They are just saying that anyone considering installing a lift kit to their Ford Flex should consider this possibility.
Again, can you put a lift on a Ford Flex? You can install a lift kit if you want to increase your Ford Flex’s ground clearance.
How to Choose the Right Ford Flex Lift Kit?
You only need two essential components to lift your Ford Flex successfully. The first assembly is the lift kit, and the second is the leveling kit. These two components perform different functions to able to achieve one objective.
Let’s discuss the details of each:
1. Lift Kits
The lift kit is the component that will lift your Ford Flex. To achieve the lift, you have the option of choosing from several types of lift kits. The kind you choose will depend on how high you want your vehicle lifted.
The first type is the small lift kit. This kit will increase the vehicle’s ride height from two to five inches. The second type is the large kit. This kit will increase the vehicle’s ride height by six inches or more.
2. Suspension Lift or Body Lift
There are also two ways of lifting a vehicle. You can do it by lifting its suspension or by lifting its body. This is another lifting aspect you should consider when raising the ride height of your Ford Flex.
The suspension lift will raise the vehicle’s height, but it will also change its basic structure. As such, it is more expensive than the other method.
The other method is body lift. This method raises the vehicle’s ride height without altering its basic structure. This is less costly than a suspension lift. That’s why it is the most preferred by Ford Flex owners who want to install bigger tires without affecting their basic structure.
3. Leveling Kits
Aside from raising the ride height of the Ford Flex, it is also important that the vehicle is still on an even level from front and back after it is raised. That’s where leveling kits come in. Leveling kits provide balance to vehicles that experience balancing issues.
Imbalances occur when the vehicle is carrying a heavy load. However, leveling kits can only provide balance to a car if the height that it is raised is within two inches only. You will need a suitable lift kit if your Ford Flex is raised over 2 inches.
How Much Does It Cost to Lift a Ford?
As you already know, your lift kit choice will directly affect your costs. The two basic lift kits can provide the lift you want for your Ford Flex. However, there is a wide variation in their prices on the market. This is due to their different sizes and varying capabilities.
Lift kits are more expensive than leveling kits because they can raise all vehicle components. In this respect, here are some points you need to remember about their costs:
- Regular leveling kits have a price range that starts at $200 that can go up to $1,000.
- Lower scale lift kits that can raise a Ford Flex by two to five inches can cost from $400 to $12,000.
- Higher scale lift kits that can increase the ride height of a Ford Flex 6 inches and over can cost between $10,000 and $15,000.
To give you real-world figures, here is a website that offers different lift kits that you can use to raise the ride height of your Ford Flex. There are several types of lift kits on this site that you can consider.
How to Lift a Ford Flex
There are two ways you can lift your Ford Flex. You can do it yourself if you have the basic skills and the necessary tools. But if you want to raise your Ford Flex higher than 5 inches, and if you want it done correctly, you have to turn to the professionals.
Let’s discuss these two options:
1. DIY Lift
The first option is to do it yourself. But before you make a decision, you should take stock of your skills, knowledge, and tools to do the job. Some basic kits are simple to install, and you may think you can do it yourself without difficulty.
But you should still consider that you can only install a lift kit that you are familiar with and has the skill and knowledge to install properly. Remember that just one error can result in an incorrect build making your Ford Flex unsafe to drive and operate.
You may spend more money if you make mistakes than if you had asked a professional to do the lifting in the first place.
Even if you are well-versed with the procedure and have installed the lift kit correctly, you are still advised to have your Ford Flex examined by a professional mechanic to see if everything has been done correctly. This is also recommended if you have installed a Ford Flex lowering kit.
2. Professional Lifting
If budget is not a concern, the best option is to get the lifting done by a professional. In general, the cost of installing a lift kit is the same as the price of the kit itself. However, asking a professional mechanic to do it will give you the confidence that it will be performed properly.
So, you will know that your Ford Flex will be safe to drive. There will also be fewer chances of making a mistake during the installation.
Admittedly, it will cost you more if you hire a professional mechanic to do it than if you would do it yourself. But consider that fewer mistakes also mean fewer expenses. Likewise, more mistakes will eventually add up to your costs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Reading this article may have sparked some questions in your mind. Just keep on reading, and you may find your answers below:
What Is a Lifted Ford Flex?
A lifted Ford Flex acquires a ride height higher than its factory setting. Many owners want to raise the ride heights of their Ford Flex so that they can drive their vehicles off-road.
The Ford Flex, out of the factory, is a capable vehicle. So, their owners want to lift their ride heights so they can go over rocks and boulders without bottoming out or high centering.
What Is a Stock Ford Flex?
Straight from the factory, a Ford Flex is a full-size crossover wagon or SUV. Ford Motor Company manufactured this vehicle line from 2009 to 2019. The Ford Taurus X replaced it. The Ford Flex also functionally replaced the Ford Freestar minivan.
Why Is the Ford Flex a Good Candidate for Lifting?
The Ford Flex has a 5.9 inches ride height in its stock form. Some owners have gone off-roading with their Ford Flex in their stock forms.
So, this vehicle is a good candidate for lifting. It has a powerful engine, and its body is strongly built. It needs to have that added height to handle the surprises that off-road conditions present.
How Long Does It Take to Install a Lift Kit?
It depends on the type and size of the lift kit that will be installed. Professional mechanics skilled in performing lift procedures can do it from 7 to 15 hours.
If you want to do it yourself, even if you have adequate knowledge and the right tools, it will usually take you twice that time to install a lift kit.
In Closing: How to Lift Ford Flex and How Much
If a Ford Flex is lifted correctly, it will be a good and effective off-roader. With higher ground clearance, this vehicle can handle higher boulders without the risks of bottoming out or high-centering since you can install bigger tires that will provide better traction.
If you want to raise the ride height of your Ford Flex to more than 6 inches, your best option is to hire a professional mechanic. This will ensure that the lifting procedure will be done correctly. That will give you peace of mind that you can still safely drive your Ford Flex off-road.