Industry Articles

How To Improve The Suspension On Your Pickup Truck

Written by the Brant Jones Team

Suspension systems for trucks have several advantages.The suspension prevents the car from sagging at the back due to excessive weight. This ensures that the tires remain in good operating condition. It makes the grip levels more accessible, freeing more engine power for the truck's forward movement. The suspension also improves the truck's traction and provides more significant turning and braking capabilities.

Upgrade the shock absorbers of the truck 

Upgrading your shocks is one of the quickest methods to improve your suspension. This may be all you need but be wary of being too forceful. Any time you deviate from OEM equipment, you're taking a chance. The majority of the time, an upgrade means "better." Of course, this may aid in managing a droopy rear end and the maintenance of tire contact with the ground. However, this does not always imply a smooth and enjoyable ride.

However, if you intend to pull hefty loads, it's generally a good idea to use high-duty shocks to protect your back end from bottoming out. Unless you're adding a lift kit, avoid shocks designed to compensate for rather than give a lift. Your shocks will have less travel and will most likely be ruined.

Add springs to assist

If you intend on doing any heavy carrying, you might consider stiffening your springs. You could easily add another leaf to a leaf spring or use 'spring helpers,' which attach to your current springs to boost stress and strength.

Coil springs are more popular on the front end, and they may be strengthened with relatively cheap, easily-applied supports. A polyurethane brace may be inserted into the spring coil to reduce spring play without providing any more ride height. These spring aids keep the suspension from squatting and may even raise the ride height of your truck, giving it a slightly raised look.

The hollow rubber spring is an alternative to the aforementioned. These rubber springs, which lie between the frame and the axle and only engage with the axle when the truck is loaded, generally replace the original bump stops.

Get a torsion bar installed 

Torsion bars are used on particular trucks, adjusting the front wheels' height. When the back of the truck is empty, this torsion bar maintains the front of the truck equal to the rear, thanks to a strengthened suspension system. The torsion bar may be lowered to keep things even on rides with many people in the back. As a result, a rear suspension system can never be too much or too little for your truck's front suspension to manage.

If your truck doesn't have a torsion bar, you can have one installed to give you this choice. However, you'll need to make sure the specs are appropriate for your truck. If your truck already has a torsion bar, see your owner's handbook for instructions on altering the ride height.

You may raise the ride height of your truck by adjusting the torsion height in the front, improving the rear leaf spring support, and upgrading the shocks on all four tires. While this will not increase your truck's travel range, it will increase the clearance between the tires and the wheel wells.

Increase the tension in the torsion bars

Many trucks have adjustable torsion bars in the front end, allowing you to adjust the ride height to match a lift in the back or keep it level if the rear springs are being taxed. Adjustment techniques may be found in your owner's handbook. Better still, because you'll need to re-align your truck after altering the ride height, hire an alignment professional to do it for you.

You can keep your truck level under load with torsion bar adjustment in the front, leaf spring assistance in the rear, and heavy-duty shocks. Keep in mind that torsion bar modifications only raise the clearance of your wheel well over your tire, not your travel range.

Install a lift kit

When it comes to utilizing a lift kit, use your best judgment. Lift kits range from a few inches to twelve inches and beyond. Don't let yourself get carried away. Even a few inches may make a significant impact. However, the more clearance height you increase, the more likely you'll need new shocks to match. 

Select the appropriate lift kit size. If you already have spring assist and stronger shocks installed but are still riding low in the rear, a 2" or even 1.5" raise kit may be the way to go. This is generally another polyurethane component for coil springs that lowers the place where your spring joins to the chassis.

This shim fits between your springs and your axle for leaf springs and occasionally with shackles to change where they join on the chassis side for shackles. If you're fortunate, you'll be able to raise the back end and level the front riding height using torsion bars. Unless you're happy with your rear end sitting higher than your front while the car is unloaded, you'll need a raise kit that covers all four wheels in certain circumstances. 

Fine-tune suspension 

Consider obtaining a suspension tune-up before you start installing additional items. Even if your truck was recently serviced, the suspension is likely to have had minor adjustments. Remember that suspension tune-ups are often performed to get a truck ready for everyday use.

Your suspension may need a more dynamic reaction if you often move big loads or travel across rough terrain. A knowledgeable technician can adjust your suspension to fit your truck's intended purpose better.

Final words 

A suspension upgrade is required if your truck's suspension cannot sufficiently handle the truck's weight and absorb the irregularities of the road and trail. When you follow these tips, you will be able to improve your truck's suspension effectively. 

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