Suspension lift systems and components for 4x4sPosted in Product Reviews on July 5, 2016
Suspension literally sets 4x4s apart from cars and 2WD trucks. The typical 4x4 owner spends early and often on suspension kits and components. The ongoing quest is to create the optimal blend of ground clearance, suspension travel, and handling predictability. This guide presents a slice of the available options. Most of the manufacturers below offer several other systems and solutions, so peruse these companies’ websites for even more info.
AEV Ram Dual Sport 3-Inch Lift
For ’14-’16 Ram 2500/3500 4x4s, AEV’s Dual Sport system is designed with OE-level engineering to clear larger tires while maintaining factory load carrying and improving vehicle handling. The kit retains the factory springs and supplies 3-inch cast-aluminum coil spacers and 2-inch rear cast-iron blocks. Bilstein 5100 shocks are custom-valved for the kit.
Bilstein 8125 Shock
The new 8125 Series remote-reservoir monotube shock is engineered for serious off-road use. Designed to be owner-rebuildable, the 8125 is available in multiple lengths in two body diameters: 46 mm and 60 mm. The bodies are threaded, and dual-rate coilover hardware is included. Other features include a 22mm case-hardened piston rod and a high-temperature three-stage sealing system.
CST GM 1500 8-Inch Kit
CST’s kit for ’14-’15 GM K1500s creates room for 37-inch tires. It uses a one-piece front subframe, lift spindles, and front spacers that mount under the OE coilovers. The rear uses 5-inch lift blocks. Corrective components and hardware are also included in this U.S.-made system.
Daystar Jeep Renegade Lift
Daystar offers a 1 1/2-inch lift system for the new Jeep Renegade to allow owners to increase tire diameter two sizes over stock. The kit is designed to be totally bolt-on, easy to install, and FMVSS 126 traction-control compliant. Claimed benefits include factory ride quality and stability.
DT Profab Ram Long-Arm Kits
For many ’94-’12 Ram 4x4s, DT offers long-travel kits and builder components. The 5 1/2-inch long-arm kits have race-bred boxed long-arms, steering box braces, adjustable track bars, and rear blocks. Options are Bilstein shocks (including front multi-shock applications), brake lines, and skidplates.
Energy Suspension Replacement Bushings
To improve handling and ride quality in popular 4x4s (Toyota Tacoma kit shown), Energy Suspension offers polyurethane bushings to replace the OE rubber components. Available poly parts include front and rear sway bar bushings, front and rear bumpstops, front spring isolators, front track bar bushings, rear leaf spring bushing eyes, and cab mounts. The benefits include improved turning, acceleration, and braking, plus longer service life.
Evo DoubleD Pro JK Suspension
Evo’s high-end Jeep Wrangler JK suspension system converts all four corners to coilovers. Custom spring rates combine with proprietary valving on the King remote-reservoir shocks to optimize handling. Lift height can be adjusted between 3 and 5 inches. The kit’s Drag Link Flip is engineering to improve handling, steering response, and ground clearance. An optional long-arm upgrade kit features adjustable arms with rebuildable Johnny Joints and a high-clearance crossmember.
Fabtech JK Coilovers
Designed for maximum Wrangler JK front suspension damping, Fabtech has a new bolt-on Coilover Conversion kit. This system replaces the factory front coil spring buckets with a hoop-style system to securely attach Dirt Logic 2.5 coilover shocks. The Dirt Logic 2.5 reservoir shocks are valved to improve driving conditions both on- and off-road.
Full Traction Super Duty Four-Link Conversion
This bolt-on builder’s kit allows owners of ’00-’04 Super Dutys to convert to a coilover front suspension system. Included hardware for a four-link swap works with aftermarket lift kits ranging from 4 to 8 inches, accommodating coilovers with up to 3-inch body diameters and a 24 1/2-inch extended length. The kit is engineered to reduce caster change through suspension travel by more than 50 percent. A NASCAR-style front swaybar is included.
Full Traction Suspension
Icon ’15-’16 F-150 2.5-Inch Kit
Icon’s mild suspension system is engineered for the F-150’s aluminum-bodied ride characteristics. It uses adjustable and rebuildable Icon 2 1/2-inch-diameter front coilovers, which have Eibach springs and 2-inch-diameter rear monotubes. Remote reservoirs are optional. Up to 2 1/2 inches of adjustable front lift is possible. The front also uses replacement upper control arms with uniballs. Icon claims a 12 1/2 percent increase in wheel travel, plus improved ride quality.
Icon Vehicle Dynamics
Jack-It ’99-’04 Super Duty Leveling
This leveling kit for earlier Super Dutys accommodates 35x12.50 tires (with minor rubbing possible) or 33s free and clear. The kit includes progressive-rate front springs, a track bar relocation bracket, rear add-a-leafs, and necessary hardware.
JBA Toyota UCAs
JBA Offroad offers replacement upper control arms for lifted late-model Tacomas, 4Runners, and FJ Cruisers. They are side-specific and contoured to clear the springs at full suspension droop. JBA engineered the arms to handle up to 40 degrees of off-centerline functionality during uptravel and 50 degree during downtravel. The ball joints are greaseable and replaceable.
Kelderman Replacement Front Air Springs
For many Ram HD and Super Duty applications, Kelderman’s 2-Stage Front Air Suspension replaces the factory coil springs. The system locates the airbag into the factory spring buckets. Shock mounts for the included Rancho 9000 adjustable dampers are built into the bag plates. Claimed benefits include adjustable ride height to compensate for extra weight from aftermarket bumpers, winches, or snowplows. An optional leveling kit accommodates more aggressive wheel/tire combos.
Kelderman Air Suspension
MaxTrac Chevy Leveling Keys
MaxTrac offers forged torsion bar leveling keys for late-model Chevy 2500/3500 HD pickups. Claimed to be 25 percent stronger than the OE cast units, these torsion keys are powdercoated and provide 1-3 inches of adjustable lift. The kit includes zinc-plated shock extenders.
Nitro Land Cruiser Control Arms
For ’98-’07 Toyota Series 100 Land Cruisers, Nitro Gear designed upper control arms to provide up to a 50 percent increase in downtravel. They’re profiled for improved tire/wheel clearance and use standard sealed ball joints and bushings with zerk fittings. Construction is TIG-welded chromoly DOM tubing.
OffRoad Design Chevy Shackle Flip
ORD creates 2 1/2 or 4 inches of rear lift in ’73-’91 GM trucks by replacing the factory rear tension shackle with a compression shackle. This helps eliminate rear leveling blocks and can create lift using the factory leaf springs. The shackle brackets are made from fully welded, 1/4-inch gusseted plate. Grade 8 hardware is included.
Off Road Unlimited GM Leveling
ORU’s GM 4x4 leveling kit for ’01-’04 HD trucks combines reindexed 2-inch-lift torsion bar cogs with extended-length shocks. The shocks are valved specifically for the application to ensure optimum fit and ride quality. The kit clears up to 285/75R16 tires. Estimated installation time is approximately two hours.
Off Road Unlimited
Old Man Emu JK 4-Inch Bypass System
The OME BP-51 kit features bypass shocks that have externally adjustable dampers and 51mm internal bores. These remote-reservoir bypass shocks were engineered specifically for all Jeep JK models. The complete 4-inch system includes coil springs, a steering stabilizer, an adjustable front panhard rod, bumpstops, and swaybar disconnects.
Pro Comp GM 1500 6-Inch Lift
Pro Comp’s 1/2-ton GM 4x4 kits cover current model-year trucks. The system is designed for easy installation and features replacement ductile-iron steering knuckles with one-piece crossmembers that restore CV angles while maximizing ground clearance and diff protection. The basic kit includes front strut spacers and replacement rear ES9000 shocks. Options include upgraded shocks and struts, including an MX2.75 front coilover kit.
Quadratec JK Lift
Quadratec offers 2 1/2-inch and 3 1/2-inch suspension systems for ’07-’15 Wranglers. The shorter kit fits 34s and includes replacement coil springs, shocks, and relocation/extension brackets. The 3 1/2-inch version is designed to clear 35s and adds longer coils and shocks, track bar brackets, and cam bolts.
Rancho RS5000X Shocks and Struts
Rancho uses a patented valving system for its RS5000X line. This valving uses progressive engagement and tuned compression control. RS5000X models feature 2 1/4-inch body diameters and 1 3/8-inch sintered iron pistons; bore displacement is 35 mm. A protective boot is included with each shock or strut.
RCD Chevy 1500 6-Inch Kit
The RCD system for ’14-’16 GM K1500s uses CNC-machined replacement cast-iron steering knuckles, T6 billet aluminum axle spacers, a two-piece lower subframe, and polished steel “Twin-Link” anti-compression struts. Zinc-plated billet sway bar links with urethane bushings optimize geometry and function. Options include Bilstein and Fox shocks.
Race Car Dynamics
ReadyLift Super Duty 5-Inch Kits
ReadyLift offers three levels of lift for ’11-newer Super Dutys to clear up to 38-inch-tall tires. Top of the line is the Series 3. It features replacement radius arms, which are boxed and have greasable urethane bushings. Replacement front and rear springs are included, as are OEM-style rear leveling blocks. A billet spacer allows the stock driveshaft to be retained.
Rough Country Super Duty 4-Link Kit
Rough Country’s bolt-on system converts ’04-newer Super Dutys to a four-link front configuration. The kit includes 1 3/4-inch-diameter links with 1-inch Heim joints, 1/4-inch-thick frame mounting brackets, sway bar link extensions, a track bar relocation bracket, a pitman arm, and a steering stabilizer relocation bracket. Rear lift options include blocks with add-a-leafs or new rear leaf springs.
Rubicon Express JK Coilovers
Rubicon Express offers a Wrangler JK coilover conversion kit featuring Fox shocks. Advantages include increased wheel travel, optimized shock damping, and the ability to customize spring rates to suit specific needs. Fox’s threaded shock bodies make it easy to fine-tune ride height, and remote reservoirs increase fluid capacity for cool, consistent shock damping. This system is long-arm compatible.
Rusty’s Builder Parts
Rusty’s Off-Road offers an enormous selection of custom tabs, brackets, gussets, control arms, track bars, and more to help build custom and long-travel suspension systems. Rusty’s can also build track bars and control arms to your specifications and with a wide variety of ends, including rod ends, forged Flex Joints, OE rubber, and more. All products are made in the USA.
Skyjacker F-150 6-Inch Kit
Skyjacker offers 6-inch and lower kits for current-model F-150s. The 6-inch system utilizes high-clearance crossmembers and CNC-machined steering knuckles. The rear lift features ductile-iron lift blocks and Hydro 7000 shocks. Clearance for 35s is one benefit, and 37s require trimming the inner fender liner.
Popularly known as “air bumps,” JounceShocks are patented, rebuildable, nitrogen-charged secondary shocks that add additional compression damping and control rebound. The result is increased bottoming protection and better handling/stability. Kits are available for popular applications, and a variety of components accommodate many custom setups.
Superlift King Series Chevy 8-Inch Lift
For ’07-’16 Chevy/GMC 1500 trucks, Superlift offers an 8-inch lift kit with premium King remote-reservoir coilover shocks. The shocks are application-engineered to replace the OE GM struts. Other kit features include replacement steering knuckles, CAD-engineered front crossmembers, and rear blocks with add-a-leafs. The system is Stabilitrak-compatible.
Synergy Ram Long-Arm Kit
The Synergy Mfg. Dodge Long Arm System is designed for increased performance, stability, and ride quality both on and off road. The massive 2" diameter Front Lower Long Arms offer best in class ground clearance and allow the use of larger tires without rubbing. No bump stop spacers required. Long arms and track bar feature zero maintenance Dual Durometer Bushings (DDB) for increased longevity and vibration dampening.
TeraFlex Revolver Shackles
Revolver Shackles utilize rotating hinges that allow leaf springs to flex and compress under minimal stress. TeraFlex Revolver Shackles are self-supporting and fold against themselves on level ground. Because the shackles are a bolt-on kit, they can be installed easily with aftermarket suspension systems to maximize articulation and wheel droop. They are available for Toyota FJs and popular Jeep applications.
Trail Master Chevy 4-Inch Kit
For ’07-’13 GM 1/2-ton 4x4s, Trail Master has a value-oriented 4-inch lift system. It uses all-steel strut spacers, replacement upper control arms, differential drop brackets, and a laser-cut skidplate. Rear leveling comes from 2-inch blocks. NGS nitrogen-charged shocks are included.