Transit Ford 2WD 2" lift kit ( Van Compass vs Foes Racing USA )

dankine

New member
Lots of good reviews and comments on Van Compass 2" lift kit, Anybody rides on Foes Racing kit ?
 

WanderingBison

New member
Lots of good reviews and comments on Van Compass 2" lift kit, Anybody rides on Foes Racing kit ?
I’m considering the same decision and visited Foes on the way back from Baja in January. I’m leaning towards the Foes kit because of the design which includes a new suspension arm that seems to keep the geometry better.

The install for the Foes kit seems simpler, faster which means money if you are paying someone for the install.

That said, I don’t have experience with either kit so I would also love real world experience reports.




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grampswrx

Observer
There was one guy on the fordtransit forum with the foes kit. He said the ride was exactly the same as stock after the lift. Which makes sense because the springs and shocks are the same. The VC kit install is supposed to be something like 18-20 hours while the foes kit is 8. So that install difference has me leaning toward the foes kit.
 

grampswrx

Observer
Professional installation at VC is $2000. So either they are charging nearly $200 per hour, or they take more than 11 hours to complete the job. That's according to their website. The quote I got from Agile Offroad for install on the Foe's kit was $880. The Foe's kit installed at Agile was $2200 (1300 for the kit, 880 for install). If you go VC and and have them install it its $3700 ($2k install, $1700 for the kit). That's a big difference to me.
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
Part of the extra cost at VC (for them to install) is that they are not a auto shop, they primarily design and fabricate aftermarket parts, so the higher price reflects that. Obviously if you have a local shop, they would charge you less based on a purely hourly rate. You might ask if VC has a preferred installer in your area? Might get lucky.

My experience with other VC kits is that the hour estimates are pretty accurate.
 

grampswrx

Observer
My local shop told me $2k for install. I would love to find a place that will do it cheaper as I think the VC is a more robust kit.
 

Van Compass

Observer
We actually charge $1200 to install. We work with two techs and bust out the install in 5-6 hours typically. 100/hr per tech. We have stopped offering installation services and need to take the rates off the site though.

We are trying really hard to develop more fun products for our customers and let install shops we trust help our customers that are not DIY people.

If you are in SoCal I would also reach out to Shoreline Motoring in Huntington Beach. They help with a lot of our installations and have a pretty good install rate.
 

Van Compass

Observer
Here are the differences from our point of view and some reasoning why the VC kit is more expensive.

Van Compass 2.5" Transit lift kit -$1700
Includes:
  • Front strut spacers, built in camber correction - 1/4" hot rolled steel
  • Front subframe drop spacers - 4140 heat treated steel
  • Front bumper support brackets - 3/16" hot rolled steel
  • Steering shaft extension - 4140 heat treated steel
  • Steering rack shim - 3/16" 5052 Aluminum
  • Steering shaft boot kit
  • Rear 2" lift blocks - Solid 1018 Steel
  • Rear bump stop extensions - 6061 aluminum
  • Rear 1/2" lift shackles - 1/4" hot rolled steel
  • Longer u-bolts
  • All hardware
Foes/Transit Offroad 2" lift kit: - $1400
  • Front strut spacers - Aluminum
  • Cut and welded front control arms for camber correction
  • Rear 2" lift blocks - Solid Aluminum
  • Longer U-bolts
To start off - The VC kit provides 1/2" more lift. You can also break up our kits to do a front 2.5" only, front 2.5/rear 0.5", front 2.5/rear 2" or a full 2.5" lift.

The Foes/ Transit offroad kit puts the front control arms at an angle when the lift is installed. They only provide a strut spacer to create the lift instead of spacing the entire suspension assembly. The end of the control arm is cut and welded in a new location to fix the camber issue they create with just a strut spacer installed. We are worried about the rear control arm bushing position and loss of wheel travel this will cause. The bushings downward travel is close to max articulation at ride height with the Foes kit. This limits droop travel and puts the bushing into a bind when the suspension drops out. The additional stress on the bushing will cause it to ware out faster. Our kit uses spaces on the strut and sub frame to keep the suspension bushings in the neutral position and wheel travel is retained. Steering tie rod ends, ball joints and the front sway bar are kept in the factory neutral position with the VC kit.

Rear bushing shown at ride height:
504642



The other problem we see is with the Foes method of lifting is finding replacement parts for the front end. The complete control arm is typically replaced when the bushings ware out. The bushings are a major PITA to remove and most shops will not mess with them or charge you $$ to get them out. They are pressed into the arm, the rubber is bonded to thin metal housings. Typically have to be cut, melted and pressed out. Ford sells a complete Motorcraft Control Arm with new bushings and balljoint for $55. You would most likely have to buy new control arms from Foes when the time comes for new bushings or spend a bunch time and effort on the job.

The Foes kit does not include rear bump stop extensions. This will allow your larger tires to get into the sheetmetal of the van when loaded down over uneven surfaces or big bumps. Foes will also allow your leaf springs to arch negative since the lift blocks set the bumps stops 2" further from the axle landing pad. Excessive negative arch will ware out the leaf springs over time. The included bumpstops in our kit also allow you to use our rear shock relocation mounts that move the rear lower shock mounts up. This allows you to cut off the bottom of the stock mounts for more ground clearance.

The VC kit has a few more steps to installation and does cost a bit more. You do get more parts for your money and a proper method for lifting your van that does not cause additional stress on ware items. If you plan to add a lot of other mods to your van and keep it around for a long time I would spend a little more now knowing future problems are less likely to happen.
 
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luthj

Engineer In Residence
With a McPherson strut, large changes to the lower control arm (LCA) angle can result in undesirable shifts in the vehicles roll center. This sometimes introduces jacking forces, which may only appear at high lateral loads (Oh S%&T moments). Changing LCA angles will also impact your camber curve. Strut suspensions already have marginal camber curves, so making them steeper can accelerate tire wear, and can contribute to bump steer (darting around bumps).
 

Macarrra

New member
Good afternoon folks,

Just in the decision making process for VC or Foes, and this was helpful, with detailed explanations from the crew at VC, thanks.

Can anyone discuss their real-life experience with the Foes solution? Do they experience unusual tire wear or have they had any strange tendencies to roll?

The difference in price isnt massive for the kit, but the labout costs make a big difference where I live, where labout costs are off the charts.

Much appreciated folks.

Regards,

Thomas
 

vanisl4runner

Adventurer
Can anyone discuss their real-life experience with the Foes solution? Do they experience unusual tire wear or have they had any strange tendencies to roll?

The difference in price isnt massive for the kit, but the labout costs make a big difference where I live, where labout costs are off the charts.

Much appreciated folks.

Regards,

Thomas
Not many people can give their real-life experiences as not many have bought the FOES kit yet. I’m a certified mechanic though, and have made an educated guess based on the pictures that I’ve seen of both kits installed on vehicles.
The VC lift kit does add more weight then the FOES kit because of all it’s spacers. It is a much more complex install as well although it would not be brutal. The VC though, lifts the van up, but the front subframe, remains the same height above the road unless you put taller tires on. So you do not actually gain ground clearance. What you do increase is your approach, departure and break over angles.

As for the bushings, VC is correct when they say they may wear out faster or the FOES KIT. what is not factored in though, is that the larger tires needed to actually gain ground clearance in the front on the VC kit, will actually cause strain on the suspension bushings/ball joints, even if they’re in the neutral position. Not to mention, the speedo, odometer, abs function and fuel economy will be affected with the taller tires.

IF you’re not going for massive tires
IF you’re not hauling heavy loads
IF you’re not doing crazy off roading (it’s a van)
IF you want your ABS function to Be unaffected

Then the Foes kit will be just fine and will probably go the distance. Should you ever need to replace the bushings, the labour saved installing the foes kit, compared to the VC kit, will probably pay for some new ones.

Just my opinion, but I think both kits are equally awesome.
 

BajaVan

Observer
Not many people can give their real-life experiences as not many have bought the FOES kit yet. I’m a certified mechanic though, and have made an educated guess based on the pictures that I’ve seen of both kits installed on vehicles.
The VC lift kit does add more weight then the FOES kit because of all it’s spacers. It is a much more complex install as well although it would not be brutal. The VC though, lifts the van up, but the front subframe, remains the same height above the road unless you put taller tires on. So you do not actually gain ground clearance. What you do increase is your approach, departure and break over angles.

As for the bushings, VC is correct when they say they may wear out faster or the FOES KIT. what is not factored in though, is that the larger tires needed to actually gain ground clearance in the front on the VC kit, will actually cause strain on the suspension bushings/ball joints, even if they’re in the neutral position. Not to mention, the speedo, odometer, abs function and fuel economy will be affected with the taller tires.

IF you’re not going for massive tires
IF you’re not hauling heavy loads
IF you’re not doing crazy off roading (it’s a van)
IF you want your ABS function to Be unaffected

Then the Foes kit will be just fine and will probably go the distance. Should you ever need to replace the bushings, the labour saved installing the foes kit, compared to the VC kit, will probably pay for some new ones.

Just my opinion, but I think both kits are equally awesome.
I really can't see how it's a "much more complex install" We at VC used to do our full kit install in 5-6 hours. I don't see the Foes kit being much quicker. The most time consuming part is pulling the struts off which you still have to do with either kit.

It is true that the only way to gain ground clearance with our kit is with larger tires, but the same it true with any suspension upgrade on a vehicle with a live rear axle. The only way you're gaining ground clearance under the lowest part on the transit (rear axle height) is with going up in tire size.

Another front end issue along with the rear control arm bushing is the lower ball joint and steering tie rod at nearly max operating angle at ride height. At droop they are extremely bound up. Note the yellow arrows denoting both those items. Remember, the image below is at ride height.
IMG_2517-TRANSIT OFF ROAD-2.jpg

-Rob
 
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