This system is designed for the customer that keeps their truck on the road with an eye for quality and appreciation for bang-for-their-buck. At the heart of this system is a 2.5” lift, Linear Rate Coil Spring paired to matched travel Fox 2.0” IFP Shocks that have been custom tuned, in house, for superior ride quality and handling SPECIFICALLY to the air-ride truck. The tuning in these shocks is completely different than those offered for the coil spring trucks. The included Adjustable track bar centers the axle to the frame.
We do not need to deep dive the base kit components, they’ve been sufficiently covered in our other articles covering the coil-spring trucks. Same goes for the shocks, we’ve spent PLENTY of time detailing our tuning process to hone the ride of these HD trucks – the same applies here as these shock packages are all air-ride specific tuning we developed during this R&D cycle. If you’d like any further info on this process, hit us at the shop and we’d be happy to chat about our process in as much detail as you’d like!
So let’s look into the rear, starting with the airbag spacers. They’re included because the air-ride trucks have 1″ less rear to front rake when compared to a coil sprung truck. Our choice was between making a shorter coil and shock combo to a truck already starved for suspension travel or space the rear to match our 2.5″ spring; we chose the latter to maximize the travel and ride comfort. For the leveling system, this required some engineering as you can’t just throw a 1″ spacer on; the length of the factory stud doesn’t facilitate this. We designed a 2-piece spacer. Half bolts to the bag, half bolts to the axle – in between, chromoly spacers to support the load, then it all bolts together.
It installs seamlessly. The whole assembly snaps together like an ultra-satisfying adult lego set. The pins pressed into the upper half of the bracket mark the rear and provide a failsafe for the airbag.
The links; what’s to say about the links? The factory links are cheesy polimer ends. This part sees no real load but polimer isn’t our style. We machined exact length rods for the 2.5″ Systems and 3.25″ Systems from aluminum rod then thread the ends to accept our zinc-steel ends. The ends snap into position with authority and are provided with a spring clip keeper for insurance.
Lastly, the bump stop drops. Nothing much to detail here. The Leveling Systems will be provided with a 1-7/8″ Bump Stop Drop. These bolt in place of the factory 7/8″ bumps providing a 1″ total drop over stock to compliment the 1″ airbag spacer provided. The bags bump out exactly as they do factory and are essentially shifted down 1″. The rear shocks provided with the leveling system maintains the stock rear travel.
This system will NOT be upgradeable to any of the 3″ Carli Suspension Systems. It’s designed to be a solution for customers wanting a quality system with minimal lift and part inclusion. Customers can purchase the Pintop leveling shock package for a huge boost in on-road control and off-road performance as well as ancillary components compatible with this lift height but there isn’t compatibility between the 2.5″ leveling and 3″ lift systems.
We recommend slight eccentric bolt compensation to correct caster after the lift as there are no Radius Arm Drops. For this reason, customers may experience a slight bow in the coil spring. We did not experience a coil bow in any of our test trucks but it’s possible at the 2.5” lift height without a Radius Arm Drop Bracket.
Wheels and Tires:
We recommend a 35” tire on a wheel that’s no more than 9” wide with 5.5”-6” Backspace. An 18” diameter wheel will be best to ensure optimal ride quality (more rubber = better small bump compliance) and an unloaded tire pressure of 45F/40R is recommended. The addition of a Carli Low-Mount Steering Stabilizer is recommended for any tire over factory size. For more details, see our article on wheel and tire selection and tire pressures:
Tires and Wheels: How Do They Affect My Ride?
As pictured above, this truck has stock, 20″ Laramie wheels with 35×12.5″ Toyo MT tires. The leveling systems are designed for those that want a leveled stance. Changing to larger tire is optional – many leave the factory wheel and tire combo.
37s are doable on the Leveling Systems. They require a wheel no more than 9″ wide, +12 to +18mm offset with minimal trimming. These 37″ x 12.5″ Nitto Ridge Grapplers were mounted once the truck was completed.