THE LATEST OFFERINGS OF SPRINGS & THINGS
BY Harry Wagner
PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF SKYJACKER AND HARRY WAGNER
WITH FEW NEW platforms from GM, Ford, Jeep, Ram, or Toyota, suspension manufacturers have gone back to the drawing board to offer up better products for popular current models. This means that you have even more suspension options without having to fork over a bunch of cash for a brand-new truck. That leaves more money in the bank for new tires, wheels, and other must-haves.
We rounded up the hottest new suspension kits from this year’s SEMA Show, a trade show where the manufacturers tout their latest offerings. Despite being introduced back in 2007, the Jeep Wrangler JK was still the hottest 4x4 at the show and still has the most new attention to suspension.
SKYJACKER 6-INCH GM LIFT
The redesigned Skyjacker 2011-2013 Chevy/GMC 2500HD suspension kit reinforces and strengthens the truck’s capabilities while providing 6 inches of lift, allowing you to clear 35-inch tires. This kit also maintains OEM steering geometry and retains factory alignment specs. The 6-inch kit includes CNC machined steering knuckles and front and rear ¼-inch steel crossmembers. The kit also features torsion bar drop brackets and a differential skid plate. INFORMATION: Skyjacker, 318.388.0816, www.skyjacker.com
RANCHO RS7000MT STEERING STABILIZER
The new Rancho RS7000MT steering stabilizers utilize monotube technology, allowing for faster dissipation of heat and providing exceptional resistance to overheating during extreme use. Rancho lowered the nitrogen pressure in the steering stabilizer when compared to a shock application, so the RS7000MT has enough pressure to reduce wheel shimmy, bumpsteer, and vibration without causing the stabilizer to constantly try and fully extend. INFORMATION: Rancho, 734.384.7804, www.gorancho.com.
DOETSCH MONOTUBE SHOCKS
Doetsch has a full line of 2.0 monotube shocks for stock and lifted applications. They begin with 14mm chrome-plated rods fitted in a 46mm seamless bore and use high-pressure nitrogen with floating piston technology. Since they are made right here in the USA, custom valving is available within a few days. The 2.0 monotube shocks are also available in a rebuildable version with or without remote reservoirs. INFORMATION: Doetsch Enterprises, 800.8.SHOCKS, www.doetsch-shocks.com.
KING JK BUMPSTOP KIT
King Shocks now offers a hydraulic bumpstop specifically for the front of the JK Wrangler. The bumpstops are 2 inches in diameter with 2 inches of travel to fit inside the coil spring in the factory location. These bumpstops only come into play in the last 2 inches of suspension travel, when they help absorb and dissipate energy without the harshness of rubber or foam bumpstops. No welding is required for installation. INFORMATION: King Shock Technology Inc., 714.530.8701, www.kingshocks.com.
RUBICON EXPRESS JK LONG-ARM KIT
The new RE long-arm kit for two- and four-door JKs features adjustable chromoly upper and lower control arms with PT-MEG Super-Ride Bushings and Super-Flex Joints. The kit’s full-width, heavy-duty transmission crossmember allows for an easier installation because no welding is required. Systems can be ordered in 3½, 4½, and 5½-inch lift heights with optional high-performance monotube shocks. INFORMATION: Rubicon Express, 877.367.7824, www.rubiconexpress.com.
SUPERLIFT 6-INCH F-150 SYSTEM
Superlift’s recently released kit for ’09-’12 F-150 4x4s is currently the only F-150 lift able to demonstrate proper function of Ford’s Electronic Stability Control and exceed the requirements mandated in NHTSA FMVSS-126 (rollover standard). The kit was CAD engineered to fit 35x12.50 tires with no fender trimming. Replacement steering knuckles maintain the factory track width and retain alignment specs without increasing the turning radius. In the rear, spacer blocks level the truck and maintain the factory ride. INFORMATION: Superlift Suspension Systems, 888.299.4692, www.superlift.com.
BDS CHEVY COILOVER KIT
BDS now offers performance suspension systems for ’07-’13 Silverado/Sierra 1500 trucks featuring Fox coilovers. These new coilovers are available as an upgrade for current BDS GM ½-ton lift kits or as a complete 6-inch performance suspension system. Matched with a pair of Fox 2.0 rear shocks, these coilovers drastically improve the ride and performance of your BDS lifted Chevy/GMC truck. INFORMATION: BDS Suspension, 517.279.2135, www.bds-suspension.com.
METAL CLOAK TJ/LJ LONG TRAVEL
Metal Cloak’s new 3½-inch TJ and LJ lift is packed with innovative components like their revolutionary 6Pak shocks, upper and lower control arms fitted with Duroflex Joints, and new solid chromoly front and rear track bars. Metalcoak’s unique Dual Rate Coils are designed to provide a much longer free length, retaining the coils in the buckets at full droop and provide a ride that maximizes ride quality and control on the street and on the trail. INFORMATION: MetalCloak, 916.631.8071, www.metalcloak.com.
SKYJACKER 4½-INCH XJ LIFT KIT
Skyjacker’s new 4½-inch lift kit for the Jeep XJ Cherokee features high-clearance lower link flex control arms, massive inner and outer link brackets, upper flex control arms, and an adjustable front track bar. The kit has been designed with front sway bar links and integrated upper and lower links for no caster change throughout the suspension travel. Also included are replacement coils, Softride leaf springs, stainless steel brake hoses, and corrective steering components. INFORMATION: Skyjacker Suspensions, 318.388.0816, www.skyjacker.com
FOX RACING INTERNAL BYPASS SHOCKS
Fox Racing first introduced its internal bypass shock as factory equipment on the Ford Raptor. Now JK owners can enjoy the same suspension control as Raptor owners with these 2½-inch-diameter Fox shocks that bolt into the stock shock mounts. By using internal bypass holes, Fox provides position-sensitive valving without the noise and packaging constraints of a traditional external bypass shock. INFORMATION: Fox Racing Shox, 800.FOX.SHOX, www.foxracingshox.com.
ICON VEHICLE DYNAMICS JK COILOVERS
IVD is now offering a coilover conversion kit for the JK Wrangler. It is completely bolt-on and designed to improve suspension articulation and performance. The coilover offers the ability to adjust and tune your shocks based on weight and conditions you are faced with while providing you the best ride available. Available as an upgrade to your current suspension or a complete kit. INFORMATION: Icon Vehicle Dynamics, 951.689. ICON, www.iconvehicledynamics.com.
OLD MAN EMU 4-INCH JK LIFT
Old Man Emu is famous for its well-engineered suspensions with excellent ride and handling characteristics, but traditionally the suspensions have only come in a 2-inch lift height. Lifting the JK Wrangler by 4 inches introduces a range of challenges, which the OME engineers have addressed with a complete suspension solution. In addition to coil springs and Nitrocharger shocks, the kit includes an adjustable forged track bar, sway bar disconnects, caster correction, and everything else you need for a complete suspension solution. INFORMATION: Old Man Emu, 425.264.1391, www.arbusa.com.
RANCHO JK LONG-ARM KIT
The new Rancho high-articulation front and rear long-arm design provides 4 inches of lift and fits a tire up to 37 inches tall. It includes Rancho-exclusive, heavy-duty, tubular-style front radius arms, an adjustable front track bar, front and rear coil springs, upgraded front and rear bumpstop spacers, and extended-length brake lines to accommodate the increased articulation. The front and rear upper links are adjustable, allowing for caster adjustment. Any of the Rancho performance shock absorbers (RS9000XL, RS7000MT, and RS5000) are available to complement the system. INFORMATION: Rancho, 734.384.7804, www.gorancho.com.