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