If you’re looking for the best on road ride we offer with a huge boost in off-road capability, grab a Dominator. If you’re after a suspension that will allow more off-road performance than the chassis to which it’s bolted, this is your huckleberry. With the Unchained Suspension System, we recommend a roll cage and axle truss. This system is far more capable off-road than even the Coilover-Bypass System.
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.
The truck will sit 4.5” higher in the front and have more wheel travel thanks to the taller, Progressive Rate Coil Springs that mount into the Fabricated Carli Spring Buckets. Radius Arm Drop Brackets reset the pivot point and keep the travel linear for the best ride while Sway Bar Links or Drop Brackets reset the sway bar engagement point. The included Bump Stop Drops protect the shocks from over-compressing while the Adjustable Track Bar centers the front axle and Stainless Brake Lines firm up braking and ensure there is enough line for the newfound travel. To round off the front end, we include Caster Shims to tighten the steering.
The rear is outfitted with a Full Progressive Spring Pack requiring no block to achieve proper ride height; thus, travel is extended and wheel hop/axle wrap minimized at the cost of 15% less load capacity than a stock F250. If capacity is a concern, we offer Long Travel Airbags to restore the payload capacity to that of a SRW F350.
This system boasts Carli Signature tuned, King 3.0” 2-Tube Front and 4-Tube Rear Piggy-Back Bypass Shocks so large, we needed to fabricate custom mounts to fit them; as the old adage goes, there’s no replacement for displacement. The 3.0” shock has a piston surface area 45% greater than a 2.5” King and 126% larger than a factory 2.0” shock making it far more efficient in all situations. Additionally, as explained above, we’ve added bypass tubes to this pinnacle off-road system. The massive surface area and bypass tubes ensure we can achieve unmatched off-road performance while offering a civil & controlled on-road ride. To fit these shocks, we provide fabricated mounts that lift the upper mounting point and position the shock away from the frame while the standard bump stop extensions were shortened to allow for more up-travel to compliment the additional down-travel from the longer shock. In an effort to provide customers with the best product, we designed a custom piston to determine proper base flow rates to ensure the shock works well in the heavy duty truck platform; we then tuned the shocks based on seat-of-the-pants feel. 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. The shocks are finished with King oil good to -55° F. 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.
Aesthetically, there will be one huge bypass shock at each corner. The purpose for which the truck’s being built should be a huge consideration when purchasing the Unchained. On Road, it’s great; Off-Road, extreme caution should be taken as this system is far more capable than the truck. Being bypass equipped, customers can expect to hear clicking from the opening and closing of the check valves in the external tubes of the shocks. On the bright side, the suspension is tuned by Carli but fully adjustable to the customer’s preference. Customers can turn tubes for more float and ride comfort or engage more valving for better control and off-road performance. From Carli, these shocks are setup with a wide open rebound and neutral compression; we also provide a recommended tuning spec.
As with the Coilover Bypass, it’s recommended that users purchase a Differential Guard for axle protection, High Mount Steering Stabilizer to keep the steering as controlled as the suspension and Fabricated Radius Arms for strength and Limit Strap mounting. Again, at this level of suspension, a roll cage and axle truss is also recommended if the system will be used to its full off-road potential. On our 4.5” Bypass equipped Ford Systems, we recommend 17”-18” wheels, no more than 9” wide with 4.5”-5” of backspacing with a 37”, E-Rated Tire. 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?