2015 Dirt Sports + Off-Road Long-Travel Suspension GuidePosted in Product Reviews on November 12, 2014
Being able to go fast without compromise is something many of us strive for. Having monster wheel travel and heavy-duty suspension technology used to be something only top race teams could have, until now. From extreme rock terrain to whooped-out dirt roads, come the latest developments in long-travel suspension for your race, prerunner, and desert trucks.
These systems will in most cases add both height and wheel travel to your ride, and many come with big name shocks and springs. These kits are in many cases designed to bolt on and can be installed in a day by a knowledgeable shop. They may require some body modification (fenderwell extensions) or they may fit within the confines of the stock units. Each system is different, but all of the manufacturers listed here produce quality units.
Dirt Sports + Off-Road sought out the latest designs and applications from top suspension manufacturers, many being direct bolt-on systems or requiring minimal fabrication. These long-travel suspension systems are sure to increase performance and help your vehicle take flight in 2015.
Readylift Ford F-150/Raptor
ReadyLift’s Ford F-150 SVT Raptor suspension upgrade kit provides up to 11 inches of wheel travel for ’10-14 year models. It features heavy-duty box steel upper and lower control arms that are laser cut and internally gusseted, and fit with large 1.5-inch Teflon-lined uniball bearings.
The ReadyLift Ford F-150 Raptor kit works with stock Fox shocks or aftermarket coilovers and can accommodate up to 35-inch tires. It also fits on ’05-13 Ford F-150 2WD and 4WD trucks using stock Raptor front CV axles. Wider fiberglass fenders are required for non-Raptor models, and rear suspension components are also available. Heavy-duty off-road series steering kit and extended length sway bar endlinks are included.
(877) 759-9991 www.readylift.com
Total Chaos Toyota Race System
The Total Chaos Long-Travel Race System maximizes ground clearance and weighs 16.8 pounds less than their standard TC +2 LT kit. The TC Race System is legal for multiple racing sanctions that have track width rules.
It features 4130 chromoly tubular upper arms that are extended 2 inches, boxed lower control arms that are internally gusseted, extended 2 inches and pre-tabbed for dual shock capability. Upper and lower ball joints include heat-treated stainless steel 1-inch uniballs for maximum wheel travel and component strength. The Total Chaos long-travel race kit provides 3 to 4 inches of lift, a track width increase of 4 inches, and 11.5 inches of travel while retaining 4WD.
The system is available for both 2WD and 4WD ’05-15 Toyota Tacoma, ’07-14 FJ Cruiser, ’03-14 4Runner, with applications for Tundras available as well.
Total Chaos Fabrication
(951) 737-9682 www.chaosfab.com
Baja Kits Chevy 2WD/4WD
The new Prerunner suspension from Baja Kits for ’07-14 Chevy 1500 delivers 11.5 inches of wheel travel, 3 inches of lift, and 2.5 inches of added track width per side for even greater stability and handling. This kit was specifically designed by Brenthel to outperform a Ford Raptor, retain excellent on-road handling, and directly bolt on to your Chevy Silverado.
Baja Kits by Brenthel uses heavy-duty CAD boxed upper and lower control arms with Grade 9 hardware, Trophy Truck grade uniballs, while damping the truck with King 3.0 coilovers. The Prerunner Kit can accommodate up to 35-inch tires using fiberglass fenders and requires no welding to install. To further enhance your Silverado’s off-road performance, Baja Kit by Brenthel makes a rear suspension four-link system that delivers 27 inches of wheel travel.
Baja Kits By Brenthel
(800) 767-2208 www.bajakits.com
EVO Jeep JK Long-Travel
The EVO Double ThrowDown System is engineered for those who like to go fast in their Jeep Wrangler JK. The system delivers 14 inches of wheel travel by utilizing a coilover and bypass shock at each corner. EVO’s long-travel suspension is ride height adjustable and built from precision laser-cut 3/16-inch steel.
The rear JK EVO-Lever suspension matches the front 14 inches of vertical travel and allows the use of coilover and external bypass shocks without the need for major cutting. EVO utilizes ¾-inch chromoly Heim joints, stainless steel misalignments, and Grade 8 hardware in their system. Long-travel suspension from EVO Manufacturing can be fitted with up to 42-inch tires and is available for ’07-15 Jeep Wrangler JK (two- and four-door models).
(714) 879-8913 www.evomfg.com
SDHQ Offroad Ford Raptor
SDHQ Offroad gives the Ford SVT Raptor 16.5 inches of clean suspension travel with their long-travel system. CAD-engineered and tested, the SDHQ Ford Raptor suspension increases the track width by 2 inches per side for added stability. For added strength and durability Delrin lower pivots, 1-inch upper uniballs and 1.5-inch lower uniballs are used. Over 85 feet of TIG-welding goes into the construction of SDHQ’s 4130 chromoly boxed and internally gusseted arms and race spindle.
The system can run Icon coilover and bypass shocks along with Light Racing bumpstops. SDHQ race spindle can be fitted with 300M ProAm Racing axles.
(480) 633-2929 www.sdhqoffroad.com
Blitzkrieg Motorsports Chevy Silverado 4wd
Blitzkrieg Motorsports continues to build a quality long-travel suspension kit for ’08-13 4x4 Chevy Silverado ½-ton trucks. Their long-travel suspension kit uses the factory A-arm pivot locations to link a set of fully tabbed and slotted boxed upper and lower A-arms that deliver up to 15 inches of travel. Blitzkrieg uses 1-inch uniballs, along with 17-4 Clevis tie rod for added durability.
Uprights fabricated using 4130 steel designed to accept stock 4WD hubs and custom 930 inner CV joint axleshafts. The overall width is increased to 91 inches, so fresh fiberglass fenders are in order. Coilover shock mounts, bumpstops, and limiting straps require some fabrication to complete installation.
(714) 524-1099 www.blitzkriegoffroad.com
JD Fabrication Ford Ranger
Play or race, JD Fabrication has the right parts to maximize wheel travel on your Ford Ranger. The new JD Fabrication I-Beam design delivers 18 to 20 inches of clean travel and can be used in BITD 7200 class. The I-beam is lengthened by 5 inches to bring beam pivots out of the frame, allowing more travel with less camber change.
JD Fabrication’s I-beam can be made with an overall width of 83 to 85 inches, and is constructed from 4130 chromoly using 1.25-inch rod ends. Match it with JD Fabrication’s steering kit, shock hoops, and King coilovers for even more suspension performance.
(760) 740-0442 www.jdfabrication.com
HM Racing Designs Ford Raptor
HM Racing Designs’ Ford F-150 Raptor long-travel kit creates up to 18.5 inches of wheel travel. A set of new upper arms, lower arms with sunk in shock mounts, and custom upright have been designed using factory mount points. To ensure reliability, 1.5-inch lower and 1-inch upper uniballs are used.
Also included are HM Racing Designs aluminum tie rods, steering clevis bolts and all upper A-arm mounts and hardware. All HM Racing Designs Long-Travel Kits are constructed from 4130 chromoly using Grade 9 hardware. The kit is designed with room to run both coilover and bypass shocks and a hydraulic bumpstop.
HM Racing Designs
(951) 304-3132 www.hmracingdesign.com
Camburg Toyota 4WD Long-Travel
Camburg’s Toyota long-travel system yields up to 16 inches of wheel travel. With applications for ’05-14 Tacoma, ’07-14 Tundra and FJ Cruiser—Camburg’s high-quality design is said to deliver nothing but the very best in A-arm performance.
Consisting of stout boxed A-arm, uniballs in the lower frame pivots and lower ball joint replacements, the systems add performance and strength. Camburg is able to adapt the uniball to the factory spindle using heat-treated stainless steel adapters. The stock coilover mounts do not need to be cut if running Camburg’s spec 8-inch travel 2.5 reservoir coilovers by Sway-A-Way or Fox. The Camburg system can be upgraded with a dual shock mount and a 2.5 bypass shock.
(714) 848-8880 www.camburg.com
Mazzulla Offroad Chevy/GMC
Mazzulla Offroad’s Stage 2 kit is designed to give lift, a wider stance, and up to 14 inches of travel. Designed for those looking to build a mild street legal prerunner, Mazzulla uses high-strength machined Delrin bushings and 1-inch uniball bearings for long-lasting durability.
Need more travel? Then bump it up to Mazzulla’s Stage 3 for 18 inches of wheel travel. Applications include ’07-13 Chevy/GMC 1500 2WD/4WD pickups as well as earlier models.
(909) 708-6540 www.mzoffroad.com
Icon Toyota S2 Performance System
If keeping a factory track width on your Toyota truck while still gaining high-speed off-road performance is important, Icon Vehicle Dynamics’ suspension system and the new S2 Modular Performance Shock System is worth looking into. Icon’s 6061 billet aluminum upper control arm increase wheel travel and prevent wheel bind associated with factory A-arms. The 100 percent bolt-on skid plate/secondary shock mount system allows you to add an additional shock without replacing your factory lower A-arms or removing the OEM bumpstops.
The S2 System was engineered specifically to maximize vehicle performance alongside the already proven Icon V.S. Series coilover shocks. The Icon S2 Modular Performance System is available for ’05-14 Toyota Tacoma, ’07-14 FJ Cruiser, and ’03-09 4Runner.
Icon Vehicle Dynamics
(951) 689-ICON www.iconvehicledynamics.com
Offroad Design Chevy 4WD
Get that classic Chevy cycling 14 inches of vertical travel with Offroad Design’s coilover conversion kit for ’69-91 4WD trucks. The kit uses 2.5-inch King coilovers and a four-link suspension design. Offroad Design uses Currie Johnny Joints for added strength and durability on their 2-inch .250 DOM link arms (7075 aluminum also available). There is minimal lift, as little as 2.5 inches to keep a low center of gravity and minimizes roll steer.
Offroad Design’s newer high clearance brackets help tuck the link arms closer to the frame, increasing belly clearance. Axle brackets are available for GM D44, 10-bolt and Dana 60 axles, as well as ’77-79 Ford D60 axles. The kit can also accommodate suspension heights up to 12 inches.
(970) 945-7777 www.offroaddesign.com
Giant Motorsports Daily Driver Link
Giant Motorsports is well known for their long-travel rear leaf-spring systems, but their latest Daily Driver Link is sure to stir things up. Filling the void between standard bolt-on leaf-spring kits and race-ready four-link kits, the Giant Daily Driver Link is designed for those who drive their prerunner both on the street and in the dirt. The primary air shock allows movement of rear axle in this unique rear link design.
This rear long-travel suspension will make your off-road truck more predictable with less sway and still delivers an impressive 25 inches of wheel travel using factory frame mounting points. Unlike a three- or four-link setup, street legal prerunners using the Giant Daily Driver Link won’t have to worry about passing smog because of modified fuel tank location. It is available for all Ford Rangers, fullsize Ford, Chevy, Dodge, and Toyota trucks.
(714) 265-1450 www.giantmotorsports.com
RPG Ford F-150/Raptor System
The Raptor Performance Group Stage 4+ kit was designed from the ground up to work as a single unit. The bolt-on kit optimizes the factory SVT suspension with larger RPG tuned Fox Racing Shox 3.0 internal bypass front coilovers (now available with dual speed compression adjusters), 3.0 external bypass rear shocks, and 2.5 air bumps.
RPG Race Line upper control arms use 1-inch inner spherical bearings and 1.5-inch outer spherical bearings to increase strength and add wheel travel. The RPG Stage 4+ kit also includes a rear frame support and gusset kit to strengthen a known F-150/Raptor rear frame weakness. Completing the system is a set of progressive-rate National Springs. Optional steering tie rods are available to further enhance the suspension. The RPG 4+ kit also fits ’05-13 Ford F-150 2WD and 4WD trucks.
Raptor Performance Group
(RPG) (866) 691-7750 www.rpgoffroad.com
KORE Off-Road Dodge Ram 1500
KORE Off-Road’s long-travel suspension system for ’09-13 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 trucks delivers 14 inches of wheel travel. The Baja racing inspired suspension system increases front and rear width to 90 inches for greater stability at high speeds.
The KORE Tactical Series Suspension system includes Front 3.0-inch Fox Internal Bypass billet piggy back reservoir coilover shocks, Rear 3.0-inch Fox Internal Bypass piggy back reservoir shocks, upper and lower A-arms, high-angle tie rods, front and rear weld on shock mounts, CV axle extensions, sway bar endlinks, sway bar brackets, coil springs, and all needed hardware. The KORE Tactical Series suspension system provides up to 4 inches of lift and clearance for 35-inch tires.
(760) 855-1219 www.koreperformance.com
Carli Suspension Ford Dominator 3.0 System
Designed as the do-it-all suspension system, this suspension system is not a “lift kit,” it is a true suspension system. Our Ford Suspension system brings dramatic improvements to the every day street ride, and plenty of damping for the off-road enthusiast. At the heart of our Dominator Suspension System lies a King shock package which delivers impeccable performance and reliability.
This system gives 4.5 inches of lift with 12 inches of wheel travel in the front and 13 inches of wheel travel in the rear. To maximize the full potential of this system, it comes standard with full Deaver Progressive Leaf Springs and Stainless Shock Shafts from King for long life in hostile environments. Dominator 3.0 systems are available for ’05-14 Ford F250/F350 4x4 models.
(888) 99-CARLI www.thecarlisuspension.com