I just recently completed a head stud/gasket install and I am tackling my next project. SUSPENSION. I know I have a 6" Superlift lift kit...I can wrench but I know hardly anything about suspension kits. My set up is 37X13.5R20 and as stated, I have a 6" lift. I'm looking to replace the shocks (don't even know what kind are on there, no labels or anything), steering dampers/stabilizers (sound right?). I want to get the suspension right before I purchase new tires. Any suggestions or what to replace and or what to look for? Any help is appreciated and any comments are welcomed.
If you can do a head/gasket job you can surely do some suspension work. Most of it is fairly simple and straightforward, its just a matter of understanding it all and how it all works together.
As for the shocks and steering stabilizers most guys choose to go with Bilstein 5100s. For your everyday lift and everyday driving and even some moderate off road use this shock will suit you just fine. I will also almost guarantee you that the 5100 will ride and perform better than whatever no-name shocks your running. You can even get the Bilsteain 5100s for your steering stabilizers! Your best bet is going to be Top Gun Customz. Give them a call and tell them you want some shocks for your truck. You will probably talk with Derek, he is very nice and will get you the right parts. Remember to mention the ORG and you will get a 5% discount!!
Now as far as the rest of the suspension goes before you get new tires and to make sure your truck can be perfectly aligned there are a few things you will want to check. Tie rod ends, steering drag link and end, pitman arm, and ball joints. Start by jacking up the front of the truck and supporting it with jack stands. Once both wheels are up off the ground start with one side and put your hands on the wheel at 9 and 3. Shake the wheel left and right and check for any play or movement in the lower tie rod end and upper drag link end. If you see any play they should be replaced. Also when shaking the wheel back and forth look at the end of the drag link by the pitman arm, check for any play there and in the pitman arm itself. Now go over the the drivers side and do the same thing, at 3 and 9 shake the wheel left and right and check the tie rod end. This is the only thing you will need to check on the drivers side.
Next is ball joints. Still with the truck jacked up put your hands at 12 and 6 and shake the wheel in and out. Try to push the top of the wheel in and pulling the bottom of the wheel towards yourself. If you see any play and the wheel wobbles up and down you will need new ball joints, uppers and lowers if your going to do them you might as well do both because its A LOT of labor. Check both driver and passenger side for any wobble.
How many miles are on your truck? My truck just rolled over 100K and I am in the process of replacing just about everything. Both lower tie rod ends, drag link and drag link end, pitman arm, and ball joints, and some new stabilizers. Their is a lot of movement in the front ends of these truck and a lot of parts that like to go bad, especially if you have a lift and big tires, it puts a lot of stress on all the components.
If you need a diagram of where all these parts are and what they look like and where they are I can take some pictures in the morning and post them to give you a little guide. I can also help you out with getting parts, always use high quality stuff when it comes to suspension, I say either Moog or Motorcraft, their are some others but they seem a little overpriced for my taste.