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ETRY M O E G N IO S N E P S U S

The wheel may be off the ground but forward movement is still maintained. Balance and traction always trump travel

incorporated to ensure the amount of down-travel doesn’t exceed the working limitations of the CV joints or ball joints. So why do we keep forgetting them? Why is it that few suspension manufacturers offer extended bump stops with their kits? If, for example, you install a two-inch lift kit, while articulating, the vehicle might not even reach the factory bump stops anymore. Coil spring destroying coil bind and inversion of leaf springs will occur, and you will actually get less suspension travel, as the axle is not being forced downwards where it belongs (known as forced articulation). Worst of all, if you have fitted larger tyres they will still rub, as the wheel will want to push to the factory bump stop despite having a lift kit installed. The other benefit of fitting extended bump stops is being able to install longer shock absorbers, which hold more oil, therefore resist cavitation (shock fade) while working hard offroad. In summary, ask your suspension expert why they don’t provide extended bump stops, and if they claim it is for additional up-travel, walk away…

While lifting your truck has a range of benefits for the off-roader, it also affects the suspension geometry that factory engineers spent a lot of time getting right. The result? It can turn an easy-to-drive 4X4 into an absolute pig, both on and off the tracks, yet so many people are content bolting in longer springs and shocks and calling it good, despite the dangers. On a solid front axle equipped vehicle you’re playing with the caster, pinion angle, driveshaft angles, brake line length, centre of gravity, Panhard rod angle and changing the range of movement within the suspension bushes to name the big ticket items. IFS rigs will need to look at camber through the range of movement, ball joint angle, half-shaft (CV) angles, and tie-rod alignment. As you’ve probably guessed, this is not stuff you want to wade into without knowing what you’re doing. There are a fair few ways to correct your steering angles and suspension geometry for just about any lift these days. Sure, it may cost extra, but having steering and handling that’s as good as, if not better than, the factory setup is worth it. Keep in mind that significantly altering your ride height will always bring about a degree of compromise in the way your vehicle drives, so don’t be surprised when your lifted, big-tyred truck no longer accelerates, stops, turns or drives in general like it did off the showroom floor.

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UNSEALED 4X4 ISSUE 013  
UNSEALED 4X4 ISSUE 013  
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