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.