If you are not comfortable tuning I would do the HPT and find a competent tuner. Did the I3 and diablew. He made standard changes and made it better. He provides a solid service for basic changes. That said I would find a "guru" and get the thing all the way tuned up meaning FUELING, TIMING, TRANS TQ MANAGEMENT, Cam phasing AND ALL THE SECRETS . The new GM stuff is super complicated with all the tables and relationships not LS simple. 1slow is correct if you are the patient type and want to learn it, there isn't any real limitations. Just for a lot of us who can learn and have ability sometimes time is the constraint.
2" is small for a 5500 lb vehicle. 2.5" with large shafts to me is adequate, but you could easily do 3" and not be over dampened. Depend on a lot of other factors of course. I really wish they did not take so long to release, would have saved me some money. Instead went all out on good 2.5's. Do make a big difference but not cheap. Glad you all like what you got, Bilstein is hard to beat for value.
Your alignment can effect this too. I cut and am running the same plates without issue with more offset. Just shows your mileage may vary. I purposely trimmed as much as possible so I'd only have to do it once. I didn't cut into the pinch liner. Just hammered it flat with a mini sledge. Actually came out so clean you can't tell I did it unless you knew what you're looking for.
Don't be a chicken. Norcal is not that big of deal and you can run what you have. 22x12 is not an easy fit. Now you know not to trust all the YouTube guys especially custom offsets. In the real world it doesn't work that easy. Can be done for sure but not without mods. Plus who wants 33s with a 7" lift.
Unfortunately this is common in the off road business. Most really are bozos. But truth is a lot of the boutique shops just don't have the scale of the larger guys that sell thousands of car parts. I've worked with some industry leaders on other off road areas(bikes & buggies) and the best of the best guys have small shops, some even out of they're garage. They get easily overwhelmed when they don't have and can't afford the staff to have real good customer service. not making excuses for them, just a large corporation will usually /but not always have better customer service. Good luck with whatever you end up with. It is nice to call/ship/install sometimes and not have to wrestle with any drama or rip offs. Hate to say it but in general the car/aftermarket/off road industry sucks hard. Only a few smart/standup guys out there that really deliver.
JBA is a smaller shop (USA made not Chinese). Makes a lot of arms. Communication was why I didn't go with them, was trying to contact them while they were moving their shop to a larger facility. Couldn't talk to a person. That said they have a huge following with a lot of parts in circulation combined with a good reputation. Ben Brazda recommended them over everything else out there and all he sells is high end suspension. They are big in the Toyota and jeep world. I have had experiences with vendors who had poor communication and awesome products before. SO not sure I would be scared about it, a lot of times they're just working. But understand your apprehension. For you since you already have CST, they should know whatever combo of components you have and how to get you to where you want to go. The difference between the top arms probably isn't too much, there are a few "better" designs, but not sure you would feel a difference between them. I would look at what kind of bushings (frame side) they use. Any geometry improvements? Any quality difference in the ball joints? MFG boxed vs. tubular? Whomever has it all together I would go with. You will notice geometry/Caster/camber improvements (ball joint angle) more than anything else.
Ben was the guy who recommended the JBA's. Pretty easy guy to work with. Customer service was actually pretty good. Delivery times were as promised or better.
I don't think those can be beat for the money. no rubbing, huge angularity out of the ball joints, super rigid. good bushings. The only downer is I hear their paint isn't the best. But everything else is solid. Ball joints are awesome, check their site for the info on them, pretty impressive. Many positive reviews from the tundra crowd.
If you are sensitive to mods you will notice arms over stock for sure. Especially when it gets rough. Not night and day but completes a proper high end performance set up. And ball joint angles become a non issue. Front end will work better, arch through the travel better with less deflection. To the other poster. I know somebody makes lower arms, but for true long travel set ups. I think Baja kits does. With the correct shock now your talking big money for upper and lower plus long travel shocks. that kinda mod is reserved for pre-runners in my book. Plus may require supporting frame mods. Not for a 100% street truck unless your a total poser. Also think $7~ $10k front end only for that level of mods. ( Upper & Lower arms, real fender mods like aftermarket, bracing, shocks, and correct offset wheels for the design intension) Camburg Engineering makes them too IIRC. But way beyond what I would spend unless I wanted a real deal streetable pre-runner.
Cognitos feel like they added some rigidity to the front end. Hindsight I would of bought the JBA's but at the time they were moving their shop and I couldn't get a hold of them. Both will work well with extended travel shocks. A plus for the JBA is no clearance issues and that proprietary ball joint is pretty special.
Warm soapy water, clean from inside out, let fully dry (they dry real slow- overnight or full day). Could even probably use dishwashing liquid. Just get a full rinse. Easy Peasy, Just make sure everything is seated properly and snugged up but not overtightened to where you pinch anything.
Yeah depends on the set up and the ride you want. Mine has the 700# springs and it feels pretty soft overall. Has loosened up some since new for me. I would probably run 800# springs if I had to do it again. (standard 6'6" bed, crew 4x). Also in hindsight I would have got the adjustable comp/rebound versions. I would want to play with them more for my tastes. the 3" would be nice but for $1k more over the already not cheap price of the 2.5's seems like a lot. To the OP (2 years ago) 14 coils showing is a problem, no wonder.
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