JD Fabrication Improves Our Silverado 1500
The ’99-to-‘06 Chevy Silverado 4x4 is a popular truck and many are still in use today. They serve as daily drivers, and then turn into weekend warriors by hauling bed toys, getting us to campsites in the outback, or hitting the dirt in one form or another. While the stock front suspension on these trucks is decent, there’s certainly room for improving the handling and the ability to keep the tires well planted off-road.
JD Fabrication has been building kits to improve Chevys, Fords, and Toyotas for a good number of years. If you’re looking to toss the entire front suspension and go with a long-travel alternative, they can help you there. For owners who don’t need that level of performance and want a more affordable option, JD now has a mid-travel IFS 4WD kit that can be installed in less than a day.
The kit replaces the upper A-arms with custom tubular pieces, while retaining the factory lower arms and shock mount location. New upper shock mounts are provided and must be welded to the frame rails. This opens up the option to use a high-performance aftermarket shock to dampen the front end and provide better resistance to fade with the addition of a remote reservoir, if desired.
Our kit was installed at JD’s shop in Escondido, California, and supplemented with a set of 6-inch-travel Prodigy remote reservoir shocks from Pure Performance. We measured an increase in useable suspension droop of about 1.75 inches.
Once done, the truck handled more precisely on the road and in the dirt due to less A-arm flex. Besides that, the overall handling felt tighter. On uneven ground the extra droop kept the front tires planted more firmly and the truck feels better on cross bumps/ruts that always seem to pitch IFS trucks back and forth.
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With the install complete, we headed over to Tag Motorsports in Escondido, California, where Casey Soto put our truck on the rack and dialed in the alignment by adjusting the rod ends on the new upper A-arms. Unlike the factory eccentric setup, the rod end configuration will hold alignment far better after bouncing through the rough stuff.