Ford F-150 Performance Accessories Premium Lift System Install

Oct. 07, 2009 By Dan Sanchez

The 2009 model F-150 looks great with a set of 35-inch diameter wheels and tires on it.

Lifting your 2009 Ford F-150 to accommodate larger 35-inch wheels and tires doesn’t necessarily require a full suspension lift. One of the most popular and inexpensive lift systems on the market, is Performance Accessories’ Premium Lift System. These lift systems combine a 3-inch body lift with a 1.5- to 2-inch leveling kit, allowing full-size domestic and import trucks to be easily raised without spending thousands of dollars for a full suspension.

The body blocks are nylon reinforced and are the basis of the kit. These body blocks are extruded at the company’s facility in Arizona and are extremely durable and economical.

Because the 2009 model Ford F-150 is so popular, many owners simply want an economical way to raise the vehicle and fit a 35-inch all-terrain or mud-terrain tire underneath. We waned to find out what would be the most economical method to lift the F-150 and found that full suspension kits ranged in price from $1,100 to more than $2,500 in some cases. Leveling kits were very inexpensive, but they only provided enough lift to raise the vehicle an inch or two. Body lifts are another economical source, but three inches of lift still wasn’t quite enough to fit 35s under this new body style.

The body blocks fit over the factory body mounts with the provided heavy-duty hardware. You’ll need a lift and long jackstands to raise the body and insert each one across the entire frame.

We found Performance Accessories’ Premium Lift System to be a possible method to fit a set of 35s onto the F-150. The Premium Lift System combines a body lift and leveling kit at an affordable price, and when you add the cost of the wheels and tires, the entire upgrade seems affordable. We looked on as the company installed their kit #PLS709 made for the 2009 F-150 equipped with 4WD and the 5.4-liter V-8 engine.

The CNC machined steering extension is a stout piece that fits under the dash of the ’09 F-150. This ensures that the steering linkage is solid and has the proper geometry.



New brackets (right) mount in the factory location but raise the mounting level so the bumpers fit like factory with the raised body. 

What’s cool about the Premium Lift System is that it doesn’t affect the factory ride or alter the suspension geometry. It simply utilizes the company’s nylon-reinforced body blocks, along with an aluminum upper coil spring spacer and polyurethane intermediate spacer to provide up to 5 inches of lift on this particular model. The kit also includes urethane gap guards, a CNC-machined steering extension, black powder-coated steel brackets and heavy-duty hardware to lift the F-150 in six to eight hours.

Here you can see how the new brackets fit into the inner bumper mounts that must be removed and drilled for the new studs.

Although there aren’t any modifications to the factory suspension, there are alterations to the front and rear bumper brackets, the radiator fan shroud, and the removal of the factory coil and shock assembly. But while this may seem like a lot of work, and it is, it’s much easier than dropping the front differential, cutting, wheel alignment, and all of the other modifications that are typically associated with a full suspension lift.

To make room for the added height and new bumper stud positions, the bumper mount on the frame must be trimmed, as shown in the areas in white.

Raising the vehicle on a lift and using a long jackstand allowed each body block to be inserted between the factory mounts and frame. Once this was done over the entire portion of the frame, the front and rear bumpers are removed. New brackets have to be installed to raise the bumpers up from the factory location on the frame. This requires removal of the bumper mounting brackets to cut for clearance and drill for new mounting bolt holes. This is much easier if you use a plasma cutter, but a cutting wheel will also do the job.

A new hole is also drilled into the frame mount to accommodate the new bracket.



Without the factory inner bumper mount in place, you can see how the new brackets raise the bumper position.

A new steering extension made from CNC aluminum was installed under the dash to lengthen the steering column for the added ride height. Likewise, the factory fan shroud must also be removed to add extension brackets, allowing it to properly clear the fan.

The lower plastic fascia on the bumpers, around the tow-hook area, are also trimmed and the frame is finished off with a black cap to improve the appearance.

Once all the modifications to the bumper and fan shroud are completed, the front leveling kit is added. This requires unbolting the tie-rod and spindle nuts, allowing the coil and shock unit to be removed from the suspension. Using a coil spring compressor, the top coil mount is removed and a new urethane coil spacer is installed. The factory bolts on the top mount are exchanged for longer bolts provided in the kit. This accounts for the aluminum top coil spacer that fits over the reassembled unit before it all goes back into the vehicle.

The F-150’s fan shroud is a two piece unit. Spacers are added to extend the bottom portion down allowing for fan clearance.



The rear factory bumper braces on the frame are also trimmed to accommodate the new brackets.

The new brackets bolt in place along with some additional bracing to offer superior strength and support between the bumper and the factory hitch.

When the bumpers are placed back on the vehicle it looks like nothing was changed.

Part of the front leveling kit includes new urethane coil spacers. Compared to the factory spacers on the right, the Performance Accessories spacers add extra lift without extra tension on the coil spring.


Removing the coil and spring assembly requires unbolting the spindle nut, shock bolts and tie-rod nut.

Using a spring compressor the top spring perch is removed.

The longer studs will provide room for the small top coil spacer that provides additional height to the reassembled coil and shock unit.

New studs will be used so the factory studs are punched out.

The entire assembly is then bolted back into the factory position.

Urethane gap guards are installed on the factory inner fender liners to give the installation a factory appearance.

With everything buttoned up, the F-150 is nearly five-inches taller and was outfitted with 35-inch diameter wheels and tires. The ride was exceptionally smooth, not much different than stock. Furthermore, there was no need to align the vehicle or make any other modifications to accommodate the lift.

Best of all, the system retails for around $799 plus labor, making the lift affordable, and it's one that provides the look and ride most Ford truck owners want.
Performance Accessories
P.O. Box 3450
Chino Valley, AZ 86323
(928) 636-7080 Newsletter
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