INSTALLING ICON’S RXT FORD RAPTOR SUSPENSION (ARTICLE BY FOURWHEELER NETWORK)
No matter how good something is, there’s always room for improvement. That was what the crew at ICON Vehicle Dynamics thought when they took a good look at the Ford Raptor.
They figured that the basic front suspension was pretty good, but it could be improved upon and they did it with their uniball-based upper control arm and 3.0 Performance Coil-Over Shock. Made from 6061 billet aluminum, the control arm features the stronger-than-stock PTFE-line stainless steel uniball and rod ends to increase action and adjustability.
The 3.0 Performance Coilover Shock features a remote reservoir and what ICON calls their “Compression Damping Control Valve,” which offers 10 compression settings. The shock also has an internal hydraulic system that covers the last 40 percent of shock travel, and works much like an external hydraulic bumpstop does. It also has an adjustable ride height that goes from 1-3-5/8-inch of lift.That’s on the front, but it’s the rearend where ICON has made the most improvements to the Raptor. Gone is the stock three-blade leaf spring and in its place is an eight-leaf, modular design pack (it can be configured in three different rates) that when combined with their new RXT shock, the give the rearend more travel than stock. The springs have friction separators at their tips and middle to make the action smooth.
The all-new RXT reservoir-equipped shock features a unique side-mounted upper eyelet that allows for 39 percent more shock travel. It actually travels up and past the stock upper shock mount, thus giving the Raptor more wheel travel than stock.
Then there’s the Rear Hydraulic Bumpstop System. It’s a crossmember that not only mounts hydraulic bumpstops over the axlehousing, it stabilizes the frame as well. The ICON Hydro-Pneumatic bumpstops are nitrogen filled, have 2.5 inches of travel and gives the rear suspension an added cushion when the going gets rough.
Hydraulic bumpstops are way better than the stock rubber unit when it comes to limiting travel, and the stock units actually bounce onto the area where the leaf pack mounts. The new ICON unit hits on a metal plate mounted to the side of the leaves, making it not only better, but there’s also less of a chance of damaging the leaf pack.
The ICON crew was busy working on two vehicles the day we were there. This kit is one that experienced home mechanics can install themselves. For those of you with a Raptor and want to get all the fun out of it that’s possible, it’s an opportunity worth taking.With its uniball and RSMX PTFE-lined rod ends and 6061 billet aluminum construction, the ICON control arm will give the front suspension greater ability to make use of the available travel and is much more easily adjusted.
Unlike the stock bumpstop that hits the leaf springs the ICON bumpstop plate is attached to the axle tube. Now the rear suspension is just as refined as the front. And gone is the stock’s tendency to harshly bottom out during big hits and possibly buck the truck to the side.