Building a Do-All Truck for Off-Roading and Towing
After 40,000 trouble-free miles and trying out a number of suspension combinations, heights, types of shocks, and tires on our Ford 3/4-ton diesel 4x4 truck we finally figured out what we wanted for our 2011 Super Duty.
We simply wanted a package that would improve on-road ride and handling, be able to go fast down dirt roads and through small whoops, take us into places we shouldn’t be with a crew cab, and handle heavy loads in the bed and on a trailer. Was this so much to ask? It turns out that most of the time, it is.
If it rides really well over fast bumps, then it probably can’t tow worth a dang. And if it’s really good at towing, then it’s probably rough as heck in the dirt. Having a “do-all” truck is the dream of most 3/4- or 1-ton 4x4 diesel owners, but most of the time there is something sacrificed in the build.
From the day we picked up this Super Duty from Ford, there was a plan for the truck’s intended use and build theme: Towing, hauling, and chasing. We’ve figured out what we believe to be the best of both worlds for our Super Duty’s suspension—allowing us to pound around in the dirt in comfort while still being able to tow more than most passenger vehicles could ever dream of.
After a fair amount of trial and some error, we’ve had a successful few months of testing on this current suspension package with a combination of pieces from Atlas Spring, Daystar, Hellwig, Pro Comp, Pure Performance, and Trail Master. We’ve tried to include all the best suspension options for a 3/4-ton, plus a couple new ones.
No, this is not a complete package you can buy out of the box. We based most of this around a Pure Performance 4-inch-taller four-link conversion kit, but then we added air bags, a sway bar, full leaf springs, a track bar drop, and a new pitman arm. Like many enthusiasts, we enjoy custom tailoring our trucks.
01. Mike Gold at Revolution Vehicle Dynamics helped us remove the previous taller suspension we had on our truck to swap to the shorter Pure Performance Chase kit. The Chase Series kit uses a 4-inch-taller-than-stock progressive-rate coil spring, 11-inch-stroke Prodigy shocks, and a four-link kit to convert the Super Duty suspension from a radius arm to a four-link design.
The Chase Series kit also comes with mid-rate, mid-travel replacement leaf springs (not shown here). It can be ordered without springs if you have your own plans out back.
PhotosView Photo Gallery