Where the Dominator 3.0” is more balanced, the tuning in the UnChained System is enough to put the build quality of the rest of the truck to the test. At this level of suspension, customers should install a cage as the off-road capability far exceeds the capability of the truck itself. The Front Boasts massive, long-travel 3.5” King Shocks with an off-road oriented tune; the rear, 3.0” 4-Tube King Bypass Shocks. The 4-tube bypass will have far more bottom-out resistance than their smooth-body counterparts and their capability is user tunable to achieve exactly the rear ride desired by the purchaser (More on this in “The Details”).
What does all this mean? Uncompromised off-road ability with an amazing on-road ride resulting in a truck that’s a blast to drive in all environments.
The Details: The Carli 6” Systems are an entirely different animal than the 3” offerings. There is no entry level; every system is equipped with a custom tuned shock package and Radius Arm Conversion. The longer, flatter links cycle more linear travel and offer a superior ride quality over extending a short arm to work with a 6” front lift. Complete with a Driver’s side axle shock, Carli radius arms allow the axle to roll as to not bind during articulation; think of it as the strength of a radius arm and articulation capability of a 4-Link. Further, the drop brackets that affix the radius arms to the frame bolt on with no modification to the existing, factory control arm brackets (ensuring the truck can be returned to stock). The arms themselves boast “X” bracing internal to their gusseted, clam-shell structure and are constructed with 3” Currie Johnny Joints and an internally gusseted, 1-piece Crossmember (Dominator and UnChained only) making them both serviceable and nearly indestructible.
The UnChained Suspension system is the only kit running a shock tune specifically for off-road. At this level of suspension, customers should install a cage as the off-road capability far exceeds the capability of the truck itself. This system was tuned with 37” x 13.5” Toyo M/T at 40F/35R.
The UnChained system features front Carli Signature tuned, King 3.5” remote reservoir shocks so large, we needed bore the factory spring buckets for them to cycle properly. As the old adage goes, there’s no replacement for displacement. In an effort to provide customers with the best product, we do not sell off-the-shelf King shocks. We spent countless hours dialing in an off-road oriented tune to ensure we maximized the performance of these monster-shocks while maintaining good road manners. To ensure the rear performance is on par with the front, Carli spec’d KING 3.0” 4-tube Bypass Shocks round off the rear.
For those unfamiliar, a bypass shock has external tubes with one-way check valves that are fully adjustable to allow users to tailor the amount of fluid that bypasses the piston/valving on either the compression or rebound stroke within the effective range of the bypass tube. Typically, there will be a tube surrounding the compression zone (at ride height) that will allow fluid to freely move around the piston giving a supple ride. Once a large hit is encountered, the piston will move upward closing off the port, thereby forcing all fluid through the valving which substantially increases the shock’s resistance in this secondary zone. This acts as an internal bump-stop of sorts and gives tunable progression to the shock making it the perfect dual purpose setup.
Conversely, on the rebound side, we normally spec tubes that are oversized and deep in the travel stroke to allow a high volume of oil to bypass ensuring the shock shaft comes out quick enough to maintain contact with the ground (doesn’t get hung-up in the bump-zone after a large hit). As the shock extends and closes off the rebound tube, all the valving on the rebound side engages to slow the shaft as it reaches maximum extension, top-out. Simply put, the larger the shock diameter, the more capable the setup; the more tubes and “zones”, the more adjustability; the larger the tubes, the more fluid can flow around the piston and the more valving you can run to increase the stopping power in the “bump-stop” or “top-out” zone.
We round off ALL our King shocks with shafts machined and polished from a solid piece of 17-4 Stainless. Unlike King’s standard shafts, there is no coating to wear off, weather is far less likely to hurt them and if there is a small chip, you can round the edges with emery cloth to ensure the seal housing isn’t damaged as they’re not brittle like the stock, hardened shafts. Note that all King shocks are built with a plated steel body. If subjected to inclement weather for extended periods, we recommend wrapping your shocks in 3M to provide a moisture barrier that’s replaceable.
Your truck will sit 6” higher in the front with 60% more suspension travel than the factory platform thanks to the taller, lighter rate coil springs. The rear is lifted 4” via Carli’s Full Progressive Leaf Pack. The Full Progressive Leaf Pack replaces the entire factory leaf spring assembly increasing travel and drastically increasing comfort throughout the entire usable travel stroke at the cost of a 15% payload reduction from a standard 2500. This payload reduction can be supplemented back to factory capacity with the addition of the Long Travel Airbags (with optional spacer for 6” systems) for the best of both worlds; ride quality and payload capacity/load control. The Full Progressive Leaf Pack requires no block to achieve the 4” rear lift height.
When pairing added travel with the taller ride height, the position of the factory, front sway bar will need to be altered as well. For this, we include a Replacement Torsion Sway Bar. Carli’s Torsion sway bar removes the entire factory sway bar assembly replacing it with a torsion bar supported by fabricated drop brackets and delrin bushings. Fabricated sway bar arms and dual 5/8” FK heim end links round off the package. This is the single best bang for the buck, ride-quality upgrade offered by Carli Suspension (in close competition with the full progressive leaf spring upgrade).
When lifting a straight axle truck, all linkage, brake lines and bump stops need to be addressed. We include extended stainless brake lines, an adjustable track bar track bar drop bracket, bump stop drop brackets, drop pitman arm, and recommend the purchase of a carrier bearing drop bracket in the rear for those running a 2-piece driveline.
Wheel and Tire: This system will fit up to a 37” tire on wheels no more than 9” wide with 4.5” of backspacing. The more rubber, the better the small bump compliance will be at proper inflation pressures. The ride will firm up as you go larger in wheel diameter. For more details, see our article on wheel and tire selection and tire pressures:
Tires and Wheels: How Do They Affect My Ride?