We used numerical values to answer a series of questions about the suspensions. The testing we did was designed to simulate the way a typical Chevy truck owner would use his truck, not to see what Chevy IFS kit is the best hard-core trail kit. With the results we acquired over the three-day program, we were able to come up with a number of categories to help you better decide which kit might be best for you.
We were going to tell you that we took the total scores of each suspension and cross-referenced them with the price of each kit (as tested) using some special formula and equation, but once we started looking at numbers, this was a no-brainer. At a total testing price of $2,147 and coming in second place by fewer points than you have fingers, the Superlift kit absolutely was the best bang for the buck that you could get. And since the overall winner of the Chevy Runaround was a drop bracket and new upper A-arm kit, we can definitely say that this was the number one knuckle kit in our test program.Winner: Superlift with 1,029 points total and coming in at $2,147
The whole reason we buy trucks is to have a bed to haul tools, toys, or other equipment, right? At the 4 Wheel Parts Center in Azusa, California, we filled up a Shur Trax water bag for each truck in the program. The Shur Trax water bag holds more than 400 pounds of water-enough to simulate a loaded-down truck bed, and enough to change the way each truck drove. We were looking to find what truck handled best on the highway and backroads with a utilized truck bed. Trucks were made with suspensions designed to haul big loads and we wanted to make sure that the winner of this section was staying as close to its roots as possible.
Winner: Rough Country with 305 points
Runner-up: RCD with 284 points
Second Runner-up: Superlift with 282 points
We spent the final day of the program at the sand dunes, getting a feel for how these trucks handled being thrown in the sandbox and at higher off-road speeds. The sand is somewhat soft and forgiving, but can be very dangerous if care is not taken. We did all sand testing with 12 pounds of pressure in the tires.
Winner: CST with 340 points
Runner-up: Superlift with 326 points
Second Runner-up: RCD with 311 points
Some fire-road and dirt-trail driving gave us good feedback about how these trucks handle in the dirt. Though they are by no means hard-core trail rigs, the trucks handled the light wheeling we did with them very well, and were actually pretty fun to drive on the fire roads. The good on-road abilities of these trucks and suspensions gave them similar characteristics when whipping around rough dirt roads. The best dirt performer was going to have a nimble feel to it, while being able to absorb some big holes, ruts, rocks, and roots that were in the path.
Winner: CST with 250 points
Runner-up: Superlift with 245 points
Second Runner-up: RCD with 226 points
Simple enough: We looked at the price of each kit as tested. In the specs for each suspension, you'll be able to find the base price of each kit and the price of each kit as tested. We used the price as tested to come up with the best bargains in the suspension pack.
Winner: Trail Master at $1,485 (base price of $1,485)
Runner-up: Skyjacker at $1,888 (base price of $1,438-the best base price)
Second Runner-up: Superlift at $2,147 (base price of $1,725)
At the beginning of the program, we all met at the 4 Wheel Parts Center in Asuza, California, to examine how each suspension looked on the undercarriage. We looked at what components were utilized, the quality of them, the way they were put together, and what possibly hung too low. Judges and suspension reps noted their likes and dislikes, and we factored the complexity of each kit into the score as well.
Winner: Rancho with 192 points
Runner-up: Rough Country with 189 points
Second Runner-up: RCD with 183 points