If you own a Ford Super Duty built between 1999 and 2004, this story is for you. Recently, Full-Traction of Bakersfield, California, developed a new system designed to improve over-the-road ride quality while greatly increasing trail prowess. Full-Traction calls its new offering a four-link conversion system. We dubbed it a worthy conversion because that's exactly what it is. We were very impressed with the kit's high-quality components and were delighted with its performance both on- and off-pavement. The kit evolved from Full-Traction's involvement in the ever-popular JeepSpeed racing circuit. We know what you're thinking: How does JeepSpeed racing have anything to do with a Ford truck suspension? The answer lies in the desire to go fast.

Steve Kramer, owner and president of Full-Traction, found that his '01 F-250 couldn't handle the rough stuff like his company-sponsored JeepSpeed Cherokee racer could. Big surprise, right? But Kramer wouldn't have it that way. So late one night at his shop, he decided to dissect the issue and sort out the shortcomings associated with the Ford leaf-spring frontend. Kramer spent a few hours under each rig, all the while taking notes on each suspension setup. Full-Traction already had a four-link suspension system available for the newer '05 coil-spring Super Duty, and because the older Ford's frames were very similar in design to the newer truck's, Kramer knew he could simply modify a few existing parts from his '05 kit and adapt a slightly different version to that of the '01 model. When he emerged the next morning, a winning concept was born. Basically, Kramer figured out how to convert his front leaf-spring suspension to a four-link like his Cherokee-a four-link with a Panhard bar. The only difference is that Kramer's kit uses coilover shocks instead of coil springs, and the components are much bigger, of course.

More than just a cosmetic attitude adjustment, this system increases front-wheel travel significantly, therefore improving articulation and ultimately traction and control. The kit is available in 6- and 8-inch versions. We opted to test the 6-inch system.

We like this kit because it features heavy-duty brackets intended to take a thrashing, plus, it uses those sweet, rebuildable Johnny Joints on each of the four 2-inch-od, 1/4-inch-wall DOM control arms. All the welds throughout are impeccable, and the overall fitment of the system was, without question, outstanding. All the correct parts and pieces were included with the system, and installation was a simple bolt-on affair for our friends at 4 Wheel Parts in Redondo Beach, California. Easy-to-interpret instructions were also supplied with the kit. Follow along as we highlight the installation process and detail what makes this kit a worthy conversion.

How She Rides...
We anticipated a significant improvement over the stock ride. However, in particular, we greatly underestimated the enhancement this kit provides on pavement. Especially going around corners, this kit is light-years ahead of the stock setup. We'd even say it's better than that of the new '05-and-later coil-spring Super Dutys. Much to the delight of our donor truck's owner, this kit performs awesomely in the dirt, as well. Going over small roller whoops at speed is now way too much fun, and the speeds at which you still feel safe and comfortable are actually very dangerous without a 'cage. The steering feels more responsive than ever, and the wheels have a more predictable return-to-center feel than before. All in all, we give this kit two thumbs way up.

Wheels And Tires
For this particular project, we wanted a set of wheels that complemented the truck's new top-notch suspension system. We found what we were looking for in Pro Comp's Extreme Alloy line with the 6089-series chrome wheel. These wheels are a good balance between light weight and high strength. We like the open-spoke design and feel confident that the chrome-plated finish won't detract too much from the truck's new, aggressive look. Our tire of choice was the brand-new 37x12.50R17 Pro Comp Extreme Mud Terrain. This newcomer looks to be a formidable player in the light-truck market. We can't say much about the dependability of this tire yet, but we will assure you that the carcass upon which this new tread is based has been around for some time now. However, Pro Comp did manage to drum up a nifty new slogan, "Amor-Tek3 Carcass Construction," which promptly caused us to do backflips with excitement after reading it. The carcass is constructed of two radial polyester body plies and one angled polyester body ply. These three plies should improve puncture resistance, and the new tread design fits our needs perfectly.

SOURCE
Eibach Springs
264 Mariah Circle
Corona
CA  92879
800-507-2338
http://www.eibach.com
Full-Traction Suspension
6951 McDivitt Drive
Bakersfield
CA  93313
661-398-9585
www.full-traction.com
Fox Racing Shox
130 Hangar Way
Watsonville
CA  95076
619-768-1800
http://www.ridefox.com
Pro Comp
400 W. Artesia Boulevard
Compton
CA  90220
866-232-0665
http://www.procomptires.com
Fabrication Specialties
11259 Regentview Avenue
Downey
CA  90241
714-447-3127
www.fabricationspecialties.net
4Wheel Parts Performance Center
809 S. Grand Avenue
Santa Ana
CA  92705
714-542-9800
www.4wheelparts.com
  • «
  • |
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • View Full Article