Work­ing & the Week­end

Cog­nito Mo­tor­sports and Icon Ve­hi­cle Dy­nam­ics trans­form a work truck into a week­end war­rior


Some­times, here at Truckin, we get so caught up in SEMA ve­hi­cles and cover trucks that we for­get most peo­ple (us in­cluded) have to use their trucks for work and play. All but the most pol­ished of show trucks of­ten find them­selves cruis­ing the boule­vard Fri­day night, head­ing to Home De­pot Satur­day morn­ing, then off to the camp­ground for the night be­fore load­ing the truck back up for work Mon­day morn­ing.

Our friend Al­lan re­cently found him­self in a bit of a pickle: He needed a new work truck but de­cided it would also pull a trailer and his fam­ily on the week­ends. So the two-wheel-drive stan­dard cab was ditched in fa­vor of a ’16 GMC 2500HD crew cab. He even found one with no bed so he could throw his ex­ist­ing ser­vice bed right on. Since the truck will find it­self in plenty of of­froad sit­u­a­tions in the fu­ture, we de­cided a bet­ter stance and a fool­proof front sus­pen­sion would be just the ticket. We also wanted to squeeze 35-inch tires on it.

Af­ter a quick call to Casey at SoCal Su­perTrucks in San Bernardino, Cal­i­for­nia, we de­vised a plan. Icon Ve­hi­cle Dy­nam­ics makes a stout tubu­lar up­per con­trol arm and 2.5-inch shock sys­tem that cor­rects the ge­om­e­try when the tor­sion bars are cranked up for 2 inches of to­tal lift. We also con­tacted Cog­nito Mo­tor­sports for its mon­ster al­loy series in­ner and outer tie-rod steer­ing kit as well as its pit­man/idler arm sup­port kit. With the Icon and Cog­nito combo in place, all that was left to do was head over to New Cen­tury Tire in West­min­ster, Cal­i­for­nia, to fill the wheel­wells with a set of 17-inch Fuel Beast wheels wrapped with 35x12.50R17 Gen­eral Grab­ber X3 tires.

In less than a day’s work, we were back on the road in the new HD, and it was run­ning taller and stronger than it was when it came from the factory, with a lot of pre­ven­ta­tive main­te­nance built in to keep the truck on the road a long time. Check out the in­stall be­low and visit the web­sites listed in the source box to see what’s avail­able to lift and strengthen the front end of your truck.

1. Cog­nito Mo­tor­sports has a sys­tem to strengthen up the HD steer­ing sys­tem, which we’re tak­ing ad­van­tage of early to avoid re­plac­ing parts down the road, the Pit­man and Idler Arm Sup­port Kit. It ba­si­cally dou­bles the strength and sup­port of both arms’ con­nec­tion to the cen­ter­link, keep­ing them from wear­ing out pre­ma­turely, which tends to hap­pen when these trucks are lifted. Cog­nito’s Al­loy in­ner and heavy-duty outer tie-rod kit adds a ton of strength to the tie rods, vir­tu­ally bul­let­proof­ing the steer­ing sys­tem.

2. Icon Ve­hi­cle Dy­nam­ics’ tubu­lar up­per con­trol arm kit is a bolt-in kit that has the ge­om­e­try to al­low the tor­sion bars to be cranked up 2 inches. And when you’re look­ing for a per­for­mance alu­minum­bod­ied shock to fit your new configuration, Icon of­fers that, too. Its 0-to-2-inch 2.5 VS Ex­tended travel shocks are built ex­clu­sively for this setup.

3. Fuel makes this Beast wheel (D564) in a cool color (black and tinted) and a con­ser­va­tive off­set (+20 mm), which was per­fect for this HD.

4. At this point, we’ve ex­ten­sively tested the 35-inch Gen­eral Grab­ber X3 tire, and we thought the red-let­ter side­wall would punch up the work truck a lit­tle, so we or­dered up a set of 35x12.50R17s.

Our friend Al­lan traded in a carpet-less GMC work truck for a newer one—ex­cept this one hap­pens to be a crew cab Du­ra­max 4x4. Since it would serve dou­ble duty haul­ing at work and on the week­ends, we had plans to give it an at­ti­tude ad­just­ment and cor­rect the known front-end is­sues with GM HD trucks while we were at it.

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