Getting Ready For Tow, Haul, And Chase Duty: SuspensionPosted in How To on February 1, 2012
Well that didn’t take long. We bolted a couple parts on last month just to make our truck a little more user friendly (for us), and now it’s too late; we can’t stop. Our new F-250 is quickly shedding stock parts in place of more personal touches like tires, wheels, and a new suspension. But our main goal with this truck is for it to be ultra functional. We want to make sure we keep this 2011 Super Duty as practical as possible for tow, haul, and chase duty.
Last month, we added a 2-inch Daystar spacer-and-shock kit to the front end to get a tad more clearance for our regular off-road excursions. That definitely helped keep the front bumper out of trouble, but we still had some low-hanging running boards along the rockers. We ended up removing those as well, and improved both the breakover clearance and the ease of entering and exiting the vehicle with a set of Bestop PowerBoards. Both of those modifications kept our Super Duty safer off-road, but we quickly found ourselves needing more; more traction, and more performance from the basically stock suspension.
Tires and wheels were first up. We got online and checked out Discount Tire’s website, looking for what would fit our truck. A 35-inch tire fit almost stock, but the minimum wheel size we could fit over our brakes was an 18! We ended up with our favorite wheel we could find on Discount Tire’s website (www.discounttire.com)—a Raceline Raptor 18x9 wheel—and picked them up from a local Discount Tire with a set of 35-inch Nitto Trail Grapplers.
The tire and wheel package looked great on our truck, seemingly helped the stability of the truck, and hugely improved the off-road prowess of our Super Duty. But the suspension was still stock except for a coil spacer. We had to upgrade. We didn’t want to go any taller, but there are some really rough freeway sections that made the rear end almost skip sideways, the shocks were toasted, and the rear spring packs didn’t take into account the fact that the truck isn’t always loaded down with a 10,000-pound trailer.
At only 2.5 inches taller than stock, the Pure Performance Max Travel Pro system seemed like the right choice. It upgraded our suspension to progressive-rate coil springs, a front four-link, Deaver mini packs, and nitrogen-charged shocks. The package rode great and made the 7,800-pound truck more controllable in the dirt, but we did sacrifice some payload capacity. In coming months, we’ll likely add air bags to the rear to support any heavy loads.