Bolting On a Suspension System, Not Just a Lift Kit
Finally! Someone has made a fullsize 4WD IFS kit that increases wheel travel. We made the plea numerous times over the years: an IFS kit that would not only increase the height of the truck, but also increase the amount of suspension travel.
Rockkrawler has answered our prayers with its new Desert Race IFS coilover conversion system for '99-and-newer Chevy 1500s. The system raises your vehicle about 5 to 6 inches and allows the fitment of 33-inch tires, or 35-inch tires with some minor fender trimming.
The front kit includes Fox coilover shocks, drop knuckles, subframes, shock mounts, and other necessary hardware. And since the coilovers will now be suspending the vehicle, you can ditch your torsion bars. The rear of the truck kit gives a combination of rear add-a-leaves and blocks, but the rear of the Tahoe and Avalanche kit has a new long-travel five-link setup.
We ordered a kit (the five-link of course because we're suckers for extra work, especially when we're having the pros at Robby Gordon Off-Road put it on) to try out on a Chevy that we hadn't even found yet. Since this was the first kit of its kind that we know of, we wanted it ASAP. By the way, anyone out there got a new Tahoe we could punish?
Here is the entire Coilover Desert Race System from Rockkrawler Suspensions. We had previous good experience with one of its kits on our own vehicle, so we were optimistic about this kit's operation. The system gives about a 6-inch lift in front and 5 inches in the rear. The front is a torsion-bar-eradicating Fox coilover setup, while the rear is a five-link setup using four new control arms, a new track bar, coils, and long-travel shocks.
We did the installation at Robby Gordon Off-Road in Anaheim, California, with techs Jorge Flores and Jaime Amundson. They started by removing all the old suspension and the front drivetrain. It is necessary to remove some original brackets and hangers in the kit as Flores is doing here.
Rockkrawler's instructions also dictate removing the upper mount of the differential, as it will not be used in the truck's future form. We don't really like this method of mounting, since we're suckers for as much bracing as possible, but the way the kit is designed, it requires you to do so.