After hundreds of hours of R&D and thousands of miles of real world on and off-road testing, ICON engineers have developed products that provide a true performance upgrade over the factory components found on the 2017-UP Ford F150 Raptor. The Gen. 2 Raptor is faster, lighter, and smarter than its older brother - suspension mounting locations have changed, a significant amount of weight was trimmed off of the truck, and new technology has been introduced both on the side of safety and performance. In typical ICON fashion, the new Raptor was pushed to its limits in stock trim to build a list of performance “needs and wants”. After this process, the ICON engineering team began to go over the truck front to rear to identify any opportunities to overcome the limits of the OE suspension and achieve the gains laid out in the previous phases of R&D.
The front end geometry of the Gen. 2 Raptor was found to be fairly similar to the previous model truck, however the shock mounting points had been moved higher up on the chassis. Seeing this as an opportunity, the team was able to design a 3.0 Series coilover that has more shaft travel while utilizing a barreled coil spring for more efficient packaging. The vehicle-specific valving featured in these shocks and the all new ICON-engineered spring work together to provide exceptional on-road ride quality with excellent off-road characteristics. ICON’s multi-stage hydraulic “Bump Zone” adds to the performance capability by providing an exponential increase in damping ability during the last 40% of compression travel for superior bottom-out resistance. In the ride zone, these 3.0 Series coilovers see a 50% increase in damping ability with the use of a significantly larger piston than what is found in the factory shocks. New 10” finned aluminum reservoirs provide a generous amount of shock oil while also providing an increase in surface area (over 200%) for enhanced cooling and consistent damping. The addition of ICON’s CDC Valve technology provides 10 settings of damping adjustment allowing the end-user to adjust the “feel” of the shocks for different terrains and vehicle cargo configurations.
ICON's billet aluminum upper control arms are designed with built-in caster correction for predictable handling and feature on-vehicle camber/caster adjustment for precise vehicle alignment. These upper control arms include ICON's patent pending Delta Joint. The Delta Joint is a heavy duty high angle ball joint that combines the durability of a ball joint with the performance characteristics of a traditional uniball. While the industry standard uniball does a great job of allowing the control arms of a vehicle to articulate with little bind, they do have an inherent weakness that leaves more to be desired when used in a daily driven application - exposure to the elements. The Delta Joint features a zinc plated housing providing the first layer of corrosion resistance, while a tough grease seal keeps potentially harmful elements out of the inner workings of the joint. Metal on metal construction and a greasable design increase the longevity of the Delta Joint while at the same time allowing for noise-free operation. What makes the Delta Joint unique is that it brings the best of both worlds to ICON upper control arms with features that make it more robust than a uniball, and at the same time capable of greater angularity than a typical ball joint.
The rear of the updated Ford Raptor was a highlight for ICON engineers, as new changes proved to be for the better. One significant change was that the shock mounting layout went from a parallel style setup to an offset design. While this is great for controlling axle wrap, it required a thorough reevaluation of the way ICON shocks would need to function to make the most of the refreshed rear end. In the R&D process it was found that Gen. 2 had more available wheel travel than the original Raptor, and by way of an offset upper eyelet ICON engineers laid out a 3.0 Series bypass shock that maximized travel while utilizing the factory shock mounts. To control the rear end in specific ranges of travel, these shocks feature 3 unique bypass zones – 2 on the compression stroke and one rebound. Unlike other shocks that have a loud bypass “click” when functioning, ICON bypass valves feature damped valve stops for quiet and precise operation. Easy-to-adjust knobs allow for quick changes to shock tuning without the need for tools, enabling the user to dial in their ride with minimal down time. When in use on and off-road, ICON’s patented Anti-Wobble Link stabilizes the shocks to prevent rotation and possible collision. Additionally, urethane shin guards protect the shock shafts and rod ends under grueling off-road conditions.
The function of the bump stop is to control and limit the final position of the suspension during up-travel. The factory bump stops have a limited energy absorption capacity and an uncontrolled release of this energy upon rebound – translating into a harsh ride and poor handling during more aggressive driving in rough terrain. ICON addresses this weakness with a hydraulic rear bump stop kit which includes heavy duty steel clamshell brackets, a billet aluminum frame crossmember, adjustable tension rods, hydraulic bump stops, and all of the necessary hardware required to complete the installation. Combining all of these components helps to increase energy absorption and chassis rigidity resulting in predictable handling and confidence inspiring performance.
To compliment ICON's rear 3.0 Series bypass shocks and hydraulic bump stop kit, ICON engineers decided to scrap the OE rear leaf springs and develop a replacement that addressed a couple issues found in the R&D process. The result is a user-adjustable, multi-rate leaf pack that offers a major performance gain for almost every Raptor setup imaginable. To increase the ride quality of the truck and gain additional droop travel, the spring rate was designed to be slightly lighter than factory, which was found to be on the stiff side for smaller, choppier terrain. While most Raptor owners will embrace the improved ride quality this provides, there are those who have outfitted their trucks with a significant amount of weight and require more load carrying capability. Understanding this, ICON engineers designed the leaf pack with an additional leaf (included with kit) that can be exchanged or added to the pack, yielding an additional 20% or 40% spring rate that will work well for heavier vehicles. The resulting spring pack produces a ride that is much smoother in all terrain, significantly reduces axle wrap, while also adding durability and strength.
Holistic Engineering - the ICON Difference: When developing suspension components for a new vehicle, ICON takes a different approach than many others. Rather than focusing in on one particular part, ICON engineers look at the vehicle as a whole, identify inherent strengths and weaknesses, and set a target for performance. With a focus on maximizing wheel travel and improving ride quality, ICON will develop components that address (and often times replace) OE limiting factors. This "holistic engineering" philosophy often results in the development of several parts designed to work together as a system to provide a balanced on and off-road performance upgrade. Because ICON is designing and manufacturing all of the components necessary to improve the performance of a vehicle from front to back, end-users can rest easy knowing they are dealing with ONE manufacturer, ONE standard of quality, and ONE awesome warranty to back it all up.
ICON Vehicle Dynamics products are proudly designed, manufactured, and assembled in Riverside, California by a team of passionate off-road enthusiasts. With a reputation for quality, performance, and service it's clear that ICON Vehicle Dynamics is the top choice for performance suspension systems and shock absorbers for the 2017-UP Ford F150 Raptor.