Brent Foes is a man who loves to make things. A recent Mountain Bike Hall of Fame inductee, it was his skills and expertise in building off-road race trucks that would eventually lead him to design and build the first 6″ travel mountain bike in the early 90’s. Since then, Foes Racing USA has been making bikes in the United States blending Brent’s off-road racing knowledge with meticulous craftsmanship. And while bikes are and will continue to be the focus for Foes, Brent can’t help himself from trying to make other things better.
Ford Transit Lift Kit
Things like their Ford Transit van. Like many bike companies out there, Foes originally purchased the Transit as a method of getting gear to the races and to transport their raw frames to the powder coating facility. Brent says that he liked a lot of things about the Transit – they’re less expensive than Sprinters, easier to work on, and fairly well built. However, he couldn’t help but feel that it would benefit from bigger tires. But to get there, the van would need a lift.
After looking around for aftermarket parts and finding nothing available, he did what he always does – Brent made the parts himself. Since the first kit was made, another company has come out with a lift kit, but according to Brent the Foes Ford Transit Lift Kit is simpler, easier to install, and actually provides better ground clearance rather than just a body lift.
Brent mentioned that lifting the back of the vehicle was easy, but once you mess with the front suspension there’s no way to adjust the camber. To compensate, the lift kit includes new factory lower control arms that have been modified to adjust the camber back to the stock settings once the front has been lifted by 2″. Installation of the front lift is relatively straight forward requiring removal of the lower control arms and the front strut, adding a 2″ billet aluminum spacer, and reinstalling the strut, the new control arm, and finally adjusting the toe alignment. Because this isn’t a body lift like the competition, there is no need for a steering shaft extension or steering rack shims making it easier to install, and easier to put back to stock if you need to. The rear lift is accomplished by simply adding a 2″ lift block spacer and new U-Bolts.
The result is a 2″ lift all around which provides clearance for 245/75r16 tires without any major trimming. That’s about 2″ taller than the stock tires again providing more ground clearance and the ability to run slightly more aggressive tread if off roading is in your van’s future. Brent also mentioned that they worked with the Ultra Wheel Company to get a compatible wheel for the Transit in their Ultra 450 Toil 5 Lug. According to Brent, the wheel offers an additional 1/2″ offset which provides more room clearance between the tire and the spring.
Initially just a pet project for their own van, as these things usually go, people started asking about where they got the lift kit. Naturally, that led to the idea that maybe they should sell them, so Foes put together an official 2″ lift kit with everything needed for $1,400. We’re told the kit is compatible with vans that are model year 2015 or newer.
Of course, Brent couldn’t stop there. After installing the lift kit, he noticed that it was a bit more difficult to get into the back of the van. So he whipped up a couple grab bars that bolt into existing holes in the door frame on the inside. These will sell for $120 a pair. There’s also a light bar mount that allows you to mount a 20″ KC LED Light bar which runs $250 each or $500 for the mount + light combo.
And those are just the products available now. Brent says he has plans for a gas tank door protector which will prevent the door from being ripped off (which is apparently a common issue with the Transit), plus rear bumper options with steps, or built in trailer hitch and LED back up lights. All of these are simply accessories that Brent wants for his own van, but he figures if they make his life easier – other people will want them as well.
In the end Brent made it very clear that he doesn’t want this to take away from his bicycle business saying, “Bicycles are my passion, and I love making those. But I like making other things too.”
To order any of the parts above give Foes Fabrication a call at 909-971-3774, or send them an email.