UPPING THE STANCE
would. Picking one that can offer everything—great off-road traction and low highway noise while also looking great—can be tough, but lucky for us truck owners tire manufacturers have paid attention to our wants and needs and developed what they refer to as the “hybrid” terrains. The Mickey Thompson Baja ATZ P3 is one these so-called hybrids that combines a design suited for low highway noise and long tread life with an aggressive mudterrain tread for the ultimate in off-road traction. The ATZ P3 has a taller lug profile for excellent lifespan (45,000-mile limited warranty) and good traction offroad. The silica-reinforced tread compound offers great wet road performance, longevity and cut/ chip resistance.
For this truck, we went with a 285/55R20 tire—in Load Range E, of course, so we can continue towing heavy. To mount these up on the truck, we obviously had to replace the stock 18-inch wheels with a 20-inch variation. Again we turned to Mickey Thompson for the 20x9 SD-5 wheel just released for the 2011+ GM 8x180 lug pattern. The SD-5 wheel has a nice 5-spoke design with a matte-black powdercoat and machined accents for great contrast that looks awesome on just about any color truck. The wheels and tires were dropped off at Lynn Wood Automotive in Clinton, Utah, to be mounted and balanced. They had to install some new tire pressure sensors and ordered some new splined black lug nuts for us as well. We finished off the leveling kit install in about five hours and drove right over to the tire shop so the new shoes could be installed and the truck could be aligned. Even though we’d marked the cam bolt locations before swapping out the upper control arms, the new geometry of the taller stance had thrown the front camber way off. The Lynn Wood Auto techs had to make some adjustments to get everything within spec so we’d be sure to get the best tread wear and tire life possible from these ATZ tires.
Note the position of the upper ball joint at the control arm. Kryptonite has designed this system to allow the ball joint to bolt to the top or bottom side of the control arm depending on where you set the truck’s overall height up front with the...
The cam bolts that attach the control arms to the chassis use these adjustable half-moon washers for obtaining proper front-end geometry. Take note of their position upon disassembly so you can try and get them back in a similar position once it all...
Old versus new. With 120,000 miles on that stock shock, it’s amazing the truck still had any smooth ride left to it. The new 5100 Bilsteins should make a noticeable improvement in overall feel and ride.
All back together and ready for an alignment.