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Winter suspension upgrade questions

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Old 11-19-2010, 11:11 PM   #1
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Winter suspension upgrade questions

Firstly, I'll explain my driving habits. I am a driving enthusiast, and enjoy twisty paved roads. I also like bombing along on unpaved county roads. Generally these do not have big bumps and dips, but can have potholes made from mud and large trucks, and washboard. I soon plan to add a rear sway bar because I am displeased with the lack of "sportiness" in my TRD Sport model on pavement. I don't plan on doing any serious rock crawling. Light trail riding perhaps. I hope that gives an idea of the kind of driving fun and I have or plan to do with my pickup. I drive my Subaru with serious summer and winter tires to its full extent, and though I know I drive a truck also, I would like it to handle better than it currently is capable of. I also plan on installing an aftermarket plate bumper of around 120 pounds weight, as well as sliders, rear bumper and perhaps under-chassis skids.

My stock leafs are in negative arch slightly. Since this truck is fairly new and low miles, I am unsure how this may have happened, but I do know that this is bad for load carrying and handling. Since I like to have decent handling, I wish to keep the CG as low as possible. I have ruled out lowering the truck because I do wish to keep a reasonable amount of ground clearance, and the cross member is low enough as is in stock form. I would also like to maximize wheel travel without resorting to a SUA setup. The most I plan to tow in the future is 200 pound tongue weight, 1500 pound trailer weight. This would be a sailplane trailer.

What I'm looking at:

Rear suspension:
Custom Alcan springs (1" lift over stock, no overload leafs). Perhaps the Wheeler's Alcans?
Defined Eng. shackles
Some form of improved bump stops (Wheelers or Timbrens)
All Pro U-bolt flip
Upgraded rear shocks - King or Icon

Front suspension:
King or Icon external reservoir coilovers
Upgraded ball-joint UCAs?

Questions:
Is having equal amounts of bump and droop travel optimal, or can one have less bump travel and maintain good off-road characteristics for what I plan to do?
Are there any disadvantages to the All Pro u-bolt flip for handling or axle wrap?
King or Icon for on-road performance? From what I've read Icon may be firmer for on-road where Kings are preferred off-road.
Can I still align the wheels well with upgraded UCAs at stock height? I know they are necessary for maximum travel with the stock LCAs. I plan on using 31.5-32.5" tires.

I know I'm missing a question in here, but I look forward to the responses. Thanks for reading this lengthy post.
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Old 11-20-2010, 05:24 PM   #2
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I'm pretty sure that all of your suspension upgrades, although great, will lead to a less "sporty" ride on the street.

No matter what suspension components you get, a swaybar will hinder their travel; no need for UCAs if no lift; they will greatly increase durability though.

As for the tuck/droop ratio: for the giant potholes and such, you'll be happier with more droop. But yes, in the middle is a good place to be.

IMO, outfit the truck for off-road and then get that Subaru dialed in for the twisties.
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Old 11-20-2010, 05:30 PM   #3
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ktmrider is one of the sharper tools in the shedktmrider is one of the sharper tools in the shedktmrider is one of the sharper tools in the shedktmrider is one of the sharper tools in the shedktmrider is one of the sharper tools in the shedktmrider is one of the sharper tools in the shedktmrider is one of the sharper tools in the shedktmrider is one of the sharper tools in the shedktmrider is one of the sharper tools in the shedktmrider is one of the sharper tools in the shedktmrider is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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Icons are digressive, meaning they are stiffer on small hits but softer on large hits

Kings a progressive, meaning they are softer on small hits but harder on large hits.


IMO progressive coilovers are the way to go for mostly street rides. Ive ridden in a tacoma with kings, and I have progressive foxes and the ride is very plush.
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Old 11-20-2010, 06:18 PM   #4
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If I understand this correctly, it sounds like the Icons would be better for me. Stiffer on the road yet softer off road, right? I like a firm yet controlled on-road ride.

The Subaru is not getting modified any more. I put a nice set of Dunlop Direzza Z1s on it, and it handles plenty fine to me. The truck may replace it as the daily driver eventually, but I also want it to be capable of going more places than a car.
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Old 11-20-2010, 09:43 PM   #5
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ktmrider is one of the sharper tools in the shedktmrider is one of the sharper tools in the shedktmrider is one of the sharper tools in the shedktmrider is one of the sharper tools in the shedktmrider is one of the sharper tools in the shedktmrider is one of the sharper tools in the shedktmrider is one of the sharper tools in the shedktmrider is one of the sharper tools in the shedktmrider is one of the sharper tools in the shedktmrider is one of the sharper tools in the shedktmrider is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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if you like a firm ride then yes, but you will feel the imperfections of the road more.
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Old 11-20-2010, 09:50 PM   #6
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Why do you think you need a rear sway bar? With a solid axle there is no camber change with body roll. Is your truck pushing (understeering) in corners?
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Old 11-21-2010, 07:28 AM   #7
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Yes, very much so. I want the handling to be more neutral. It understeers heavily.
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