UP­PING THE STANCE

Diesel World - - Tech -

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.

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