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Suspension & Lift Kit Buyer's Guide

Posted in How To on September 1, 2006
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Every year, as new trucks and SUVs emerge from their respective manufacturers, it always seems as though race technology is downloaded from the previous year's race vehicles right into the production models for the following year. This year especially has proved this observation, with some of the best-engineered and assembled kits in the industry incorporating race-inspired bumpstops, coilover shocks, and long A-arm technologies. Today, these items are now the rule and no longer the exception.

So, as you peruse the latest and greatest kits for your rig, keep in mind that some day you just may be driving a SCORE racer if technology continues on the track it's on.

See source guide at end of story for contact information and links.

King Racing Pre-Runner Shocks
King's Pre Runner Series shocks are a common sight on prerunners and trail trucks alike. Quality features include: billet 6061-T6 machined aluminum parts, a fully threaded seamless steel cylinder, and a large 7/8-inch-diameter shaft that has been hard chrome-plated for strength.

The externally mounted reservoir attaches to the shock body via an Aeroquip high-temperature blue hose and contains a high-temperature fluid for maximum viscosity. Best of all, each shock is completely rebuildable and revalvable for whatever type of terrain you come into contact with.

H&M Motorsports '97-'03 Ford F-150 Prerunner Suspension
With many years designing some of today's best race truck suspensions, H&M Motorsports has developed a prerunner suspension for the '97-'03 Ford F-150 platform. With an extended front track of 5 inches per side, the system relies upon 4130 boxed lower control arms, custom-milled billet spindles, and machined aluminum upper A-arms. The supporting hardware, including the aluminum tie rods, has been engineered with racing in mind.

Optional items for the kit include coilover King shocks, an idler arm upgrade, and a weld-on shock hoop with engine crossbar brace.

Camburg Engineering A-Arm Ford F-150 Kit
Camburg's prerunner suspension kit has been designed for all '97-'03 Ford F-150 trucks. Utilizing the same technology as full-on race trucks, the suspension features billet aluminum hubs with 2-inch bearings, billet aluminum upper A-arms and fully boxed and internally plated lower arms with 1.5-inch uni-ball joints.

The steering components are also built with durability in mind as exhibited by the Heim joint ends and DOM tubing.

Full Throttle Suspension '99-'05 Chevy 2500/3500 16-Inch Lift System
This completely bolt-on 16-inch lift kit system for '99-'05 Chevy 2500/3500 2WD and 4WD vehicles is designed to be one of the few extreme lift kits on the market that not only looks good but performs just as well.

Rubicon Express Long-Arm Jeep Kit
Available in 4.5-, 5.5-, and 7.7-inch lift heights. The Tri-Link suspension package is the newest addition to the Rubicon line of legendary performance suspension products. Combining great on-road handling with amazing off-road ability is what this kit is all about.

This package eliminates the rear track bar that can cause lateral axle movement and also provides more off-road stability than a standard four- or five-link rear suspension. This kit includes all the performance of the original long-arm kits with everything you will need to have a three-link triangulated suspension in the rear. This kit features a pivot ball assembly attached with 5/8-inch Grade 8 hardware, providing superior strength and up to 32 degrees of misalignment.

Light Racing GM 2500HD/3500 JounceShock System
This proven system, previously found on government vehicles for military and border patrol use, has been designed specifically for newer-model GMC and Chevrolet 3/4- and 1-ton trucks. The JounceShock system protects the suspension components from bottoming out or from damage resulting from hard landings. Each kit contains everything needed for installation, including hardware.

2500 Chevrolet Silverado Rock Krawler Desert Race Suspension
The new 8.5-inch desert race system for the '05 Chevy/GMC HD truck platform consists of a coilover IFS system that features new long-arm A-arm technology. The new technology makes the upper A-arm the same effective length as the lower A-arm, which means that the change in camber is minimized to prevent the outer CV shafts from binding. Factory track width is maintained. The rear of the suspension features a trailing arm with a coilover design that removes the rear leaf springs. For the ultimate in off-road performance, look no further.

'06 Dodge KORE Suspension System
KORE's latest kit for the '06 Dodge Ram employs variable-rate coil springs with progressive Deaver Spring leaf packs. The end result is pure comfort either on or off the road. The custom 4130 chrome-moly track bar and digressive tubular steel antisway bar validate this kit as a true contender. With the majority of the kit's components being constructed of 6061 and 7075-T6 billet aluminum, the durability to withstand jumps, ruts, or rocks is not an issue. Mil/Spec limiting straps are included with the kit as well as the necessary bracketry, HD polyurethane bumpstops, and braided stainless steel brake lines.

Explorer Pro Comp Nissan Titan/Armada Suspension System
Pro Comp's Nissan Titan suspension lift kits provide a smooth, comfortable ride while responding to off-road conditions. Get the right height, clearance, and attitude on your truck and maintain that factory ride quality while improving handling. The 6-inch system comes with all of the necessary mounting hardware as well as detailed instructions.

All-Pro Off-Road '05 IFS Toyota Tacoma Suspension Kit
All-Pro Off-Road's new front coilovers are adjustable from 0 to 3 inches of lift and exclusively feature Walker Evans shocks and include a spanner wrench, new upper shock mounts, and 650-lb-in coils. The shocks are available in a valving selected specifically for these vehicles, with or without a reservoir, or with a 12-way adjustable compression-damping remote reservoir. The new upper A-arms are constructed of TIG-welded, 4130 chrome-moly and have zerk fittings for easy bushing lubrication. A top-quality 1-inch uni-ball provides maximum articulation without binding up like the factory ball joint. All-Pro's arms are designed to correct suspension geometry on lifted applications while providing additional strength and travel. All-Pro Off-Road also offers matching rear suspension lifts.

Fabtech '05 Toyota Tacoma 6-Inch Suspension System Fabtech's latest Toyota Tacoma 6-inch suspension system features its proven IFS technology with extended-length steering knuckles and arched crossmembers for excellent on- and off-road performance. The lift is achieved by using Fabtech's Dirt Logic 2.5 adjustable coilover shock system. The factory rack-and-pinion steering remains in the stock location for ease of installation. This system also includes a 1/4-inch-thick differential skidplate, sway bar drop brackets, impact struts, and rear performance shocks.

Full-Traction '99-'04 Ford Super Duty Coilover Suspension System
Full-Traction's latest kit for the Super Duty deletes the front leaf packs and replaces them with a new-school four-link and coilover suspension. Available as a 6- or 8-inch system, the four-link conversion is fully bolt-on and accepts all major aftermarket 2.5-inch or 3.0-inch shocks from the likes of King, Bilstein, Fox, and Sway-A-Way.

Truxx Chevrolet K1500 Silverado Lift Kit
This lift kit is the newest available for the '99-'04 Chevrolet K1500. The kit lifts the front of the truck 2 to 3 inches, which brings the front and rear of the truck to the same height, eliminating the "tail-in-the-air" stance that the trucks come with in stock configuration.

Installation can be completed in less than two hours, and the kit doesn't sacrifice the smooth stock ride quality. Made in the USA out of the finest steel, the complete kit includes instructions, alignment specs, and dedicated support.

Donahoe Racing 7-Inch '05 Ford Super Duty Upgrade Suspension System Donahoe Racing's new 7-inch upgrade system was designed for those who currently have a Donahoe Racing 4.5-inch '05 Super Duty suspension system and want to go bigger. Utilizing most of the 4.5-inch components, this system maintains an incredible ride and unbeatable performance. Best of all, the system allows for 38-inch tires and gives you options on both shocks and rear springs.

Sources

Rubicon Express
Rancho Cordova, CA 95742
877-367-7824
www.rubiconexpress.com
Full-Traction Suspension
Bakersfield , CA 93313
661-398-9585
www.full-traction.com
Dixon Bros. Racing
Lompoc, CA 93436
805-570-3685
http://www.dixonbrosracing.com/
Carli Suspension
N/A, AK
714-532-2798
www.thecarlisuspension.com
All-Pro Off-Road
Hemet, CA 92543
951-658-7077
www.allprooffroad.com
Explorer Pro Comp
800-776-0767
Rize Industries
El Cajon, CA 92020
1-619-477-0110
www.rizeind.com
King Shock Technology Inc.
www.kingshocks.com
H&M Motorsports
www.hnmmotorsports.com
Full Throttle Suspension Inc.
Fresno, CA 93722
Light Racing Specialty Products
www.lightracing.com
Rock Krawler Suspension Inc.
www.rockkrawler.com
Kroeker Off Road Engineering LLC
www.koreperformance.com
Fabtech Motorsports, Inc.
www.fabtechmotorsports.com
Rough Country Offroad Products
www.roughcountry.com
CST Performance Suspension
www.californiasupertrucks.com
NCD Customs
www.ncdcustoms.com

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