Recently, a friend of ours found a decently low-miles Ford F-250 with the legendary 7.3-Liter Power Stroke engine. To find one of these trucks, at least this clean, is tough to find in an untouched state. Literally, from the nose to the tail, this truck was untouched. As someone who is wanting to turn this into a better performing workhorse, we knew we would need to reach out to Sinister Diesel.
Sinister Diesel offers virtually anything and everything diesel with a specialization in these Power Stroke engines. We reached out to the owner of Sinister Diesel, Brian George, and discussed a gameplan for this truck and we’re excited to announce this will be a multiple part story until this truck is exactly what we’re after. Great fuel mileage, more horsepower, more torque, and a better-looking ride.
“We offer a ton of parts for these trucks in particular and we want to make sure the readers out there don’t forget that we can take care of their older trucks,” said George.
These kits aren’t allowing you to pull more weight or making your front end more capable. What the Sinister Diesel leveling kit is for is to literally level out these raked trucks. Not only will this level your truck, but it will also allow you to run a larger wheel and tire. You aren’t planning on doing wheels and tires though, right? I laughed, too.
If you’re here, you’re looking at wheels, you’re looking at tires, it’s just the way it is. We can’t be happy and we’re constantly trying to modify something, am I right? Well, we’re thinking the same thing. Although we haven’t picked up our new rubbers and wheels yet, we’re heading in the right direction by installing this for now.
Installation is simple and can be done with basic hand tools. Since this truck is twenty years old, we are expecting the factory hardware to be a bear but we’re optimistic. For starters, we unboxed our parts and as you can see, it comes with everything necessary to complete the installation. (2) Leveling Blocks (Leaf Packs), (4) U-Bolts, (2) Center Pins, and (8) Nuts and Washers.
With the truck on the ground, you need to remove the driver side Panhard bar bolt. Next, you will remove the sway bar end links. Now it is time to safely lift the truck and support it with jack stands by the frame rails. Allow for enough room to let the suspension sag some as you will need it to be free. Once lifted and supported, unbolt the shock bolts.
Moving on, you will want to take a C-clamp, or in our case, vise-grip pliers, and clamp the two leafs together on the side you’re working on. With the stress of the suspension and the leaf packs held tight, you can now begin to remove the U-bolts and their hardware. If you don’t have an impact, I’m sorry. These are long-winded and they are tough to get out but an impact will make life much easier.
With the U-bolts out, you need to remove the center pin holding the two original leafs together to allow a flat surface for the new leaf packs. You can now lift the truck up once again as high as the brake lines will allow and reset the jacks. You can now move over to the opposite side and loosen the U-bolts on that side and it will free up some of the tension.
With everything freed up, you can now replace the bolt in the new leveling blocks with the supplied bolt and install it onto the factory leaf pack. More than likely, you will need to move the axle back into place to line everything up. Once the center bolt is completely in and secured, you can use a cut off wheel to cut off the excess bolt material.
You can then snug the U-bolts up but do not tighten them until the other side is done. Once the other side is on, you can then begin reinstalling the shocks, sway bar, and Panhard bar. Once you’ve got all of your parts back on, you can then tighten your U-bolts to the factory specification. Sinister recommends driving 20 to 25-miles and then checking the torque on the U-bolts again to make sure they haven’t come free with the movement.
We are excited that the truck turned out the way it did. Since Sinister recommended we upgrade to an adjustable Panhard bar or track bar, we’ve already got one coming. Hopefully the next time you see this, the truck will have a rugged looking set of wheels and tires, an adjustable track bar, and this leveling kit. What suspension do you have on your truck?
For more information about Sinister Diesel and all of the products for your ride, be sure and check out their website here. Stay tuned to Diesel Army for the latest on performance parts, truck features, and event coverage.