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2008 Suspension Systems Buyer's Guide

James J. WeberPhotographer, Writer

This month, we present a bevy of hot new suspensions designed for some of the more popular trail rigs we encounter on our excursions. Each suspension system featured is built with the utmost quality by a reputable company. In addition to the suspension kits, we have also included some popular aftermarket shocks that complement the kits. Enough said - enjoy the guide!

All-Pro Off-Road IFS Toyota Tacoma Suspension Kit
All-Pro Off Road's new front coilover suspension system for the Toyota Tacoma is adjustable to provide 0 to 3 inches of lift and features Walker Evans shocks exclusively. The system includes a spanner wrench, new upper shock mounts, and durable, 650-lb-in coil springs. The shocks are available in a valving selected specifically for these vehicles, with or without a reservoir, or with a 12-way-adjustable, compression-damping remote reservoir.The new upper A-arms are constructed of TIG-welded 4130 chrome-moly and have zerk fittings for easy bushing lubrication. A top-quality, 1-inch uniball provides maximum articulation without binding up like the factory ball joint. All-Pro's arms are designed to correct suspension geometry on lifted applications while providing additional strength and travel. All-Pro also offers matching rear suspension lifts.

For more information, contact: All-Pro Off-Road, (951) 658-7077, www.allprooffroad.com.

Rubicon Express JK Short-Arm Suspension Kit
Rubicon Express's JK short-arm suspension package utilizes the factory mounting brackets and achieves a lift height of 2 to 3-1/2 inches. The kit features rebuildable Super-Flex joints in both the upper and lower control arms. Adjustable heavy-duty track bars and brackets are also included as well as front sway-bar disconnects. The high-strength steel coil springs are tailored for either two- or four-door models. Each kit contains lengthened, braided stainless steel brake lines.

For more information, contact: Rubicon Express, (877) 367-7824, www.rubiconexpress.com.

Full-Traction 3-inch Ultimate Jeep JK Wrangler Suspension System
Consisting of rebuildable, fully adjustable upper and lower control arms that have been manufactured from durable 2-inch, 0.250-inch-wall DOM steel tubing with 4130 chrome-moly Heim joints, this bolt-on system will clear 35-inch tires. Additional components of the kit include: heavy-duty, adjustable front and rear track bars; new-generation front sway-bar disconnects; rear links; bumpstops, offset brake-line relocation brackets; and ride-frequency-tuned coil springs for a comfortable ride.

For more information, contact: Full-Traction Suspension, (800) 255-6464, www.full-traction.com.

Rough Country Toyota FJ Cruiser 6-inch Suspension System
Rough Country's '07 FJ Cruiser 6-inch suspension system maintains the vehicle's stock ride quality while increasing its ground clearance. Using high-strength, custom spindles up front and max-flex rear control arms mated to durable mounting brackets, the kit allows installation of 35-inch tires. Custom-tuned rear coils and shocks provide a smooth ride. An adjustable rear track bar is also standard with the system.

For more information, contact: Rough Country Suspension Systems, (800) 222-7023, www.roughcountry.com.

Tuff Country H3 Hummer EZ-Ride Suspension System
Tuff Country's H3 Hummer system allows the truck to be raised 4 inches thanks to the new EZ-Ride suspension that has been designed around the new driver-/passenger-side steering knuckles and front and rear crossmembers. These crossmembers are connected by a heavy-duty skidplate designed to protect the front differential and stabilize the crossmembers. This kit also allows the torsion bars to remain in the factory location, eliminating relocating of the stock torsion bars. Front sway-bar end links use a Heim joint that eliminates any binding in the front sway bar. Also included are differential relocation brackets, performance bumpstops, and your choice of rear lift methods: add-a-leaf or full rear-spring replacement.

For more information, contact: Tuff Country, (800) 288-2190, www.tuffcountry.com.

Bilstein 5100 Series Shocks
Based on the popular 5100 Series line of replacement shocks, Bilstein now offers its 5100 Series line in height-adjustable units for trucks with coilover front suspensions. The new coilover-style shocks utilize the vehicle's existing stock coil spring with applications available for the '99-'06 Toyota Tundra, '04-'06 Toyota Tacoma, and the ever-popular FJ Cruiser.

Each shock features multiple snap-ring grooves on the body to accommodate the various spring seat positions that allow for height adjustments from 0 to 2.5 inches, depending upon the application. Additional features are vehicle-specific, split digressive valving and Bilstein's industry-leading, high-gas-pressure monotube technology. As with all 5100 Series shocks, these new height-adjustable shocks feature bright zinc-plated bodies and come with a lifetime aftermarket warranty.

For more information, contact: Bilstein, (800) 537-1085, www.bilstein.com

Superlift Rockrunner Long-Arm Suspension Systems
Superlift's Rockrunner long-arm lifts are available in 4-inch and 6-inch heights for the Jeep Wrangler TJ and Wrangler Unlimited. Both kits utilize high-articulated Rockrunner link arms at each corner to provide exceptional ground clearance, full steering, and incredible suspension flex. Built with quality and durability in mind, the Rockrunner arms feature internal swivels at the Heim-joint ends, steel-encased rubber bushings at certain link-mounting points to ensure bind-free articulation and vibration dampers. The Rockrunner arms bolt directly to the TJ axles and are anchored to a two-piece skidpan assembly. The desired lift height is derived from taller-than-stock coil springs.

The base-model kits include compression-travel-control components, threaded-style sway-bar quick-disconnects, and adjustable track bars with mounting brackets. Additional components included in the 6-inch kit are rear sway-bar disconnects, a dropped pitman arm, and extended-length, braided-steel brake hoses.

For more information, contact: Superlift Suspension Systems, (888) 299-4692, www.superlift.com.

Pro Comp Stage II X Flex Jeep JK Suspension System
Pro Comp Suspension's new 4-inch Jeep JK Stage II X Flex suspension system has been designed for performance. Replacing the factory lower control arms are CNC-formed units made from 3/16-inch, A36 plate steel that has been plated for additional strength with 1/8-inch-thick gusset plates. The replacement high-angle spherical ball end is rebuildable and features polyurethane bushings. The factory alignment specifications are retained thanks to adjustable-length front upper control arms.

Heavy-duty, adjustable front and rear track bars are made from 4130N chrome-moly tubing to retain proper axle alignment. Additional custom components of the kit include: billet bumpstops, offset brake-line relocation brackets, replacement front and rear coil springs, and a set of matching MX6 monotube gas shocks.

For more information, contact: Pro Comp Suspension, (800) 776-0767, www.explorerprocomp.com.

Deaver Leaf Springs
Deaver's Progressive Series springs are high-quality 9- and 10-leaf units fabricated from the highest-grade 5160 steel. Employing a higher-leaf-count spring allows for the use of a thinner leaf material to yield a more flexible progressive leaf stack and thereby produce a much smoother spring-rate curve throughout the complete suspension cycle. Other design features include diamond-cut inner leaf ends to minimize the shear points, antifriction pads inserted between the leaves for a smoother ride and quiet operation, full military-wrapped spring eyes for superior durability, and OEM bushings.

For more information, contact: Deaver Spring, (714) 542-3703, www.deaverspring.com.

King Externally Adjustable Bypass Shocks
King's 2.0- and 2.5-inch-diameter externally adjustable bypass shocks feature 6061-T6 machined billet-aluminum parts; fully threaded, seamless steel cylinders; and large, 7/8-inch-diameter shafts that have been hard chrome-plated for extra strength. The shocks are available in two- and three-tube configurations that allow for precise adjustments of the compression and rebound damping circuits. Reservoir units are available as either piggyback units or remote-reservoir units. Best of all, each shock is completely rebuildable and revalvable for whatever type of terrain you come into contact with.

For more information, contact: King Shock Technology, (714) 530-8701, www.kingshocks.com.

JKS ACOS Pro Suspension System
The original adjustable coilover suspension system for Jeep Wrangler TJ, XJ, ZJ, and JK vehicles has incorporated an integrated bump shock into the coilover system to help prevent the suspension from bottoming out when the vehicle is traveling at high speeds or supporting heavy loads. In addition to the bumpstop technology, the system allows for quick adjustment of ride height without the removal of any components by a simple turn of the spring-retention ring. An adjustment range of between 1-3/8 inch to a full 3-3/4 inches is achievable, depending upon terrain and tire and wheel sizes.

For more information, contact: JKS Mfg., (308) 762-6949, www.jksmfg.com.

Old Man Emu Jeep TJ Heavy-Duty Suspension System
Named after one of the strongest birds on the planet, whose legs are able to handle extreme amounts of weight, the OME Jeep TJ kit consists of custom replacement coil springs and matched shock absorbers. The OME heavy-duty suspension compensates for any heavy add-on items such as front bumpers, jacks, winches, and lights. Each kit includes installation hardware, coil-spring pads, and complete instructions.

For more information, contact: ARB 4x4 Accessories, (425) 264-1391, www.arbusa.com.

Trail Tough Suzuki YJ Suspension System
Trail Tough Products' new YJ suspension system for all Suzuki Samurais allows for the full replacement of the OE Suzuki suspension, front and rear, for that of a Jeep YJ, allowing for the use of 33-inch tires and 6-1/2 inches of lift. The obvious benefits of the conversion are wider axles, larger gearing, and a more stable and performance-oriented off-roading experience.

Each kit includes new front and rear YJ mounting kits with Missing Link Shackles, complete knuckle-over-steering components, urethane bushings, extended brake lines, an extended slip-yoke, driveline spacers, front and rear upper and lower shock mounts with adjustable spring perches, and a new set of shocks.

For more information, contact: Trail Tough Products, (877) 789-8547, www.trailtough.com.

TeraFlex Jeep JK 4-inch Suspension System
TeraFlex's 4-inch JK suspension system contains everything needed for a weekend of hardcore trail-running on 37-inch tires. Included in each kit are new upper and lower FlexArms, matched shocks at all four corners, front sway-bar disconnect brackets, and an extended rear track-bar bracket. Additional items included with the kit are new bumpstops and new hardware. It is important to note that this system can be installed on both the Rubicon and Unlimited versions of the JK. Driveline modifications are required on all two-door versions.

For more information, contact: Tera Mfg., (801) 288-2585, www.teraflex.biz.

Gen-Right Three-Link Front-End Kit
Always at the forefront of off-road engineering, Gen-Right Off Road introduces its new three-link front-end kit for all Jeep TJ and YJ models. Whether you're looking to increase suspension performance or move the front axle forward to achieve a 100-inch wheelbase, this is the kit to do it.Included with each kit are 3/16-inch, laser-cut and CNC-machined brackets and mounts. Currie Johnny Joints have been used for ease of maintenance since they are rebuildable and greaseable, while the control-arm tubing is crafted from thick-wall 1/4-inch tubing that can be easily adapted to any length. The control-arm inserts are machined specifically with left- or right-side threads for adjustments.Each kit contains chrome-moly Heim ends at the track-bar ends and has Grade 8 hardware. The kit can be used with coilover shocks, 2.5-inch air shocks, or regular coil springs and may be used with 8- to 10-inch-travel shocks, tires up to 35 inches in diameter, and vehicles with 12 to 14 inches of wheel travel.For more information, contact: Gen-Right Off Road, (805) 584-8635, www.genright.com.

BTB Products Toyota FJ Legend Series Suspension Kits
BTB Products' Toyota FJ Legend Series lift kits are the perfect complement to one of the world's best and most widely recognized four-wheel-drive vehicles. Available in 2-inch or 4-inch sizes, each kit consists of custom arched leaf-spring packs that provide both a smooth highway ride and great articulation on the trail. Each spring pack is load-tested and assembled with antifriction pads between each leaf to minimize any unwanted chatter. Included with each kit are Rancho shock absorbers, replacement U-bolts and backing plates, new urethane bushings, extended stainless steel brake lines. and new shackles. New hardware is also included with each kit for ease of installation.

For more information, contact: BTB Products, (702) 568-1511, www.btbprod.com.

BDS Suspension Jeep JK Suspension
BDS Suspension's Jeep JK 6-1/2-inch suspension kit has been designed to allow 37-inch tires and increased capability on the trails. The heart of the system is the upper and lower control arms that feature flex ends and are adjustable, thereby allowing for the pinion angles to be fine-tuned for increased performance.

Included with the kit are new Pro-Ride coil springs, which are capable of full coil-bind, a new pitman arm, adjustable track bars, and DOT-approved, Kevlar-lined stainless steel brake lines for the front and rear. A front sway-bar disconnect is standard as are BDS Suspension's 5500-series shock absorbers.

For more information, contact: BDS Suspension Co., (517) 279-2135, www.bds-suspension.com.

Skyjacker 4-inch JK Suspension System
Skyjacker's 4-inch suspension system for the JK is full of heavy-duty parts that can handle whatever is thrown in their path. Softride coil springs provide 4 inches of lift and all the control you could need for any terrain. In addition to the benefits and control of the front and rear coil springs is the built-in durability of the replacement heavy-duty lower links. Skyjacker's Single Flex lower control arms replace the factory units and have durable, greaseable polyurethane bushings at the frame-mount ends for longevity and increased performance. At the axle end, the arm has Skyjacker's Next Generation (NG) rebuildable rod ends, which feature a forged steel alloy CNC-machined for accuracy and gold/zinc-plated for extreme duty. Also incorporated into the NG rod ends are separate ball joints with Pivot Plus bolt inserts. These distinctive V-shaped inserts allow more pivot or rotation of the joint - upward of 35 degrees of maximum rotation, which translates into more articulation for the entire suspension system.

Other key features of the Skyjacker system are the sway bars that are reset to proper form and function with front double-disconnect links and extended-length rear links. The track bars are locked into position with heavy-duty relocation brackets, while the transfer case is realigned to its proper angle. The bumpstops are relocated as well for excellent travel on extension and rebound.

For more information, contact: Skyjacker Suspensions, (318) 388-0816, www.skyjacker.com.

Clayton Off Road Jeep TJ/LJ Long-Arm Suspension Systems
Backed by a lifetime warranty against bending or breakage, Clayton Off Road's TJ/LJ 4-inch and 5-1/2-inch suspension systems are fabricated from 1/4-inch-thick, square tubular arms and laser-cut, weld-on frame brackets. The rear system is a four-link design. Best of all, either kit allows for the use of 35-inch-tall tires.

For more information, contact: Clayton Off Road Mfg., (203) 757-0339, www.claytonoffroad.com