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Long-Term Updates - March 2013

Posted in Features on March 1, 2013
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If you don’t have a truck bed to mount a spare tire in and you don’t own a Jeep that 100 different companies make a rear tire carrier for, then your options for carrying spare equipment are often limited to what you can fit in the cabin (or onto the roof if you’re into making your 4x4 more top-heavy).

That’s why we started using the Hitchgate by Tiregate on off-road outings in our SUVs. It’s universal to any 4x4 with a rear trailer hitch (and easily swappable to another vehicle) and it holds a fullsize off-road spare tire, spare fuel, and other accessories if you choose it that way.

It’s easier to get closed and locked with the locking pin than similarly designed swing gates, but more importantly our Hitchgate holds everything securely without a lot of rattling thanks to anti-rattle mechanism inside the receiver.

Control Arms, Steering Links, and Replacement Coilovers
We’ve run ReadyLift’s upper control arms and their heavy-duty steering kit on our Fast F-150 for a number of months now. With those we’re running a set of Fox Performance Series bolt-on replacement shocks and all are working without issue. While the setup didn’t increase our overall suspension travel, the components have allowed us to make the most of the IFS travel we do have.

We set the coilovers to provide about 2 inches of lift to level the truck. The slightly stiffer coils work well with our 33-inch Interco VorTracs. The internal floating piston-packed Fox shocks have valving stacks that provide excellent damping for heavier tires in the dirt while keeping the street ride comfortable.

The stronger-than-stock ReadyLift upper arms and steering links mean we don’t have to worry much about bending or breaking these. All the rod ends are replaceable and the new parts don’t flex under load quite like the stock parts. However, the polyurethane bushings in the arms offer firm mounting with no metallic noise. The complete package means our F-150 handles more precisely and tracks uneven terrain better than the factory setup.

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