Help Fine Tune My Lift Plans

Discussion in 'Lifted & Offroad Suspension' started by Jeremy09LTZCrew, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. Jeremy09LTZCrew

    Jeremy09LTZCrew Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Alright, so I've posted a time or two in here trying to figure out my lift plans and I genuinely appreciate all the help I've gotten. I'm still a long way from understanding the intricacies of everything as I've never been the gear head type, mostly just due to time and never having a vehicle I wanted to make all the mods to. So, I'm trying to edumacated myself and I'd like some feedback on my current plans.

    First, before getting into the specifics, a little background on intended use. I currently live in Washington state. When I go camping I enjoy trying to find some out of the way spots and some fun trailes. Obviously, due to the sheer size of my truck there are a lot of places I can't get to. (Take a look at my albums if you want examples of this.) Therefore, additional clearance is needed as I've bottomed out a couple of times. Additionally, my best friend lives in Arizona and I've toyed with the idea of moving to that area after my time here in Afghanistan is done. I plan to take it out to the desert with him whether it's me visiting him via a roadtrip or moving down there, so I'd like it to be functional and have at least decent articulation. I have no intention of driving it like the raptor in the top gear episode, meaning I'm not planning to catch a lot of air. I just want to be able to get some speed up. Basically, I'm looking for an overall offroad capability. It's also my daily driver, so I'm not going to abuse the heck out of it offroad, but I want it to more than handle what I do with it recreationally.

    Btw, yes, I know it might make sense to just buy an offroad toy, and that might be in the cards down the road. But I plan to keep this truck for a long time and am already planning on the investment.

    Also, I'm not looking to go cheap. I plan to make quite an investment, but obviously want to ensure it's done well and done thoroughly.


    I'm looking at some aftermarket coilovers. I've looked at a few different types from, fox racing shocks, cognito motorsports, etc.. I've read good things of all of them, so I have no idea what I'm going to end up with. I'm also planning to match the coilovers with a 6" lift. Cognito offers a 7", but I'm not sure I want to go over 6. Am I overthinking that? I was thinking about a 4" for a while, but honestly, I just prefer the look of the 6. I think it just looks right so I'd like to stay in that range. I realize each of the coilover manufacturers can match them with any aftermarket lift. If I remember correctly, kingshocks is already matched with fabtech and rancho. They can match others, but need the measurements for the specific lift. I haven't decided on a specific brand lift kit. I've read a lot of great things about the cognito lifts, but again I'm not sure if I want the 7. Also, I know cognito tends to be more expensive than a lot of others. I don't mind spending the money to get everything as quality as I can, but I don't want to spend it just to spend it. Hopefully this makes sense. I also would rather not pay for shocks with a kit if I'm getting the coilovers anyway. Yes, I'm sure I could turn around and resell them, but I'd rather not have to deal with that.

    Therefore, with all of that said, I guess my questions are: Am I right about the height considering intended usage? Is there something I'm missing? Would I be better off just matching the cognito coilovers (fox brand coilovers) with their lift since I'm at least getting it from one vendor with pieces intentionally designed for each other? Is it as simple as contacting any lift vendor and explaining I want the whole kit minus the shocks if I'm getting coilovers from elsewhere? Considering the intended usage, is there an advantage cognito brings to the game? Would a BDS, Rancho, Skyjacker, Fabtech, etc.. give me the exact same thing?

    Lastly, just in case anyone's going to ask, yes I'm planning to regear when I get this done. I haven't decided between 4.10 or 4.56 yet, but tending toward 4.10 just for slightly better economy since it is the DD.

    As always, thank you for your inputs, and remember I'm still getting teached up on all of this stuff, so there's a lot I've yet to learn.

  2. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    For offroad use you're likely looking at wheels no larger than 18" as you'll want plenty of tire wall between you and the ground (to protect your investment), as larger wheels mean lower profile and less protection. That said, what size tires do you plan to tuck under the fender wells? That'll impact your 4.10 versus 4.56 decision...
  3. Jeremy09LTZCrew

    Jeremy09LTZCrew Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Oh, forgot to mention that.. I'm planning to get some 16s or 17s and set of tires to match for use when I want to go play. My current 20s will be as the DD. It won't be a big headache since I won't be doing it every day. At most it'd be 1 to 2 weekends per month. At the most. And I'm planning on 35s.
  4. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    You'll probably want the 4.56's for the 35's. 4.10's will get you economy but you probably won't have as much fun when you go playing if you're rolling with 4.10's.

    I just came from 3.73's to 4.56's and wrestled with the 4.10 versus 4.56 issue. I'm glad I went for the shorter gears. VERY glad.
  5. Jeremy09LTZCrew

    Jeremy09LTZCrew Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    That makes sense. Considering the weight of the truck already, I don't wand the additional weight of the tires and suspension lift to be an issue, so I'm pretty sure I'll end up with the 4.56. I just figured either would be an improvement over the stock 3.42. I've also not heard of a single person regretting the 4.56 change.

    Any additional thoughs on the height or specific lift itself? And that's part of why I don't want to go over 6". Over that and I might be tempted to go 37s and if I'm being honestly, I really don't have a need to go that big, especially when it's just going to hit my economy and crap that much more. I'm trying to be aggressively practical, if that makes sense.
  6. aloxdaddy99

    aloxdaddy99 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I have the King Shocks level kit on my truck and love it. I am planning on installing Cognito's Upper Control arms in the future. Just a correction King has the measurements for Fabtech and BDS. I believe Rancho kits do not come with shocks, so that will save you some headache. I wanted to go Rancho when I got my level kit but I was told they didn't have anything for the 11 Sierra (this was about a year ago). As Mfleetwood and many others have stated in other threads the 4" Rancho kit is actually closer to a 6" lift. I have never spoken to or seen a Cognito kit in person. With that said I would say a Fabtech kit would work for your intended usage as well as a Rancho kit. I would not go over 6" though. In my opinion you will start to get top heavy and in the sand at speed having a higher center of gravity is not really a good thing.
    As far as your choice of rims go I would say look into 18" rims. If you go smaller in diameter you will limit yourself if you want to install a bigger brake kit or something like that in the future.
    Keep us posted on what you picked.
    1 person likes this.
  7. Jeremy09LTZCrew

    Jeremy09LTZCrew Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I actually came across your thread regarding your king shocks a couple days ago. That thread is part of what made me start looking at those. And honestly, I couldn't remember the second manufacturer they already had the shocks fit for. I just threw out a name and hoped I was right. Honestly, I'm not sure I've read much negative about Rancho, Fabetch or BDS. So just for simplicity I might just go with one of the latter two if I go with the Kings. I agree with the lift height. As much as I personally, love the look of an 8, I believe the center of gravity will start becoming too much of an issue at that point. Additionally, I have a 4 and 7 year old to think about. On the bright side, the 7 year old is the height of a 9 year old and the 4 year old is lean as heck, so I could just throw him inside. (For anyone without a sense of humor, I would never condone throwing a child into a truck.)

    Also, I'm glad you brought up the brakes as I was considering upgrading the brakes as well at some point. I had just skipped over that thought when considering wheel diameter. I'm guessing my offroad set will be 18s then.

    So it looks like at the moment I'm looking at kingshocks coilovers with a 6" from... someone. I'll have to do some extensive research on each to make some kind of decision. It seems they're all in a similar price bracket.

    So, that leaves me with this, is there something else I'm going to have to look at regarding the lift? 6" Lift, Kingshocks coilovers, 35s, 4.56 gears. Am I going to be worried about brake lines or anything of the sort? Anything else I should be considering that I seemed to have left out?
  8. Sierraowner5.3

    Sierraowner5.3 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    lift, wheels and tires will add weight, so 18's will help with that, because bigger rims means you can clear bigger rotors, better pads and so on will help you stop. better braking is always better. upgrading brake lines is something that you may want to look at.

    other things to consider are bushings, leaf springs and so on. change one thing, and it goes down the line. sounds like you are doing your research, so you should be ok.

    good luck with everything.

  9. 07XCSB

    07XCSB Active Member 2 Years 1000 Posts

    I would like to add one little thing. Go braided steel extended brake lines from Russell or another quality company. It really sucks being on the trail and tearing a rubber brake line. BTDT. Plus the steel braided won't soften and swell when the fluid gets hot from excesive braking.

    Sounds like you have a good solid plan for your truck, look forward to seeing it come together.
  10. Jeremy09LTZCrew

    Jeremy09LTZCrew Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Thank you for adding that in. That's one other thing I remember reading and had totally forgotten about. It's the things like that I want to ensure I take care of while everything else is already happening down there anyway.

    And slowly, the plan is coming together. It'll be a few months, but now I have the idea almost set and know what the budget needs to be. If anyone has anything else to throw in that I've not mentioned, please don't hesitate. This is going to be my first lift and i'd rather learn from other's mistakes than figure it out the hardway later.

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