I noticed that after i installed the King Off-Road Shocks my truck still looked like it had just tad too much rake. First I thought about dialing in 1/2″ of lift but I was wary of preloading the springs too much and altering the comfy ride. I came across 1/2″ Top Hat Lift Spacers from PRG so I ordered up a pair. When they arrived they just sat in my garage until I had a chance to put them in last week.
The machined spacers are actually only 1/4″ thick, but from what I understand the suspension geometry of my truck has a 2:1 ratio, so that 1/4″ at the shock end equates to 1/2″ at the wheel end. Before installing I had to round up some hardware. The King shocks use bolts to attach to the coil bucket up top, so I went to the local hardware store and picked up new grade-8 hardware that were all 1/4″ longer than the original King hardware to compensate for the added spacer thickness. After raising the front end on jack stands, I elected to unbolt the uniball on the UCAs to give me enough room to squeeze the spacer in without having to unbolt the bottom of the shock.
For a moment I was a little worried because the spacer had a larger outside diameter than the King shock top hat, but it turned out that the spacer fit perfectly flush underneath the coil bucket area.
As noted in my down travel post, I already had 2-5/8″ of suspension down travel. With the spacers installed the suspension down travel amount didn’t change – which makes complete sense since I did not alter the shock length in any way. However, the lower control arm was now extended an extra 1/2” lower than before. Combined with the extended King shocks there was concern that the suspension would be too extended and that the lower spring perch would contact the front axle driveshaft. With everything torqued down and in place, I double-checked the clearance and found that there was still a lot of clearance:
So after the relatively trouble-free installation (which took about 30 minutes with hand tools), the end result of installing the spacers was:
- They relocated the physical position of the King shocks 1/2″ lower than OEM, which in turn added another 1/2″ of total suspension down travel up front (in relation to the chassis);
- The spacers added another 1/2″ of overall lift while not altering the preload of the King springs;
- The overall look of the truck was closer to level (see pics below);
- At the alignment shop, the 1/2” difference in suspension component position gave them more room to get my front wheels set to 0-degrees camber (before it was maxed out at +0.6)
There was a question asked regarding the possibility of “shock crush” when I added the spacers, but I contacted King and this was their reply:
“Nothing to worry about there – your custom shocks were built to extended further (compared to our off the shelf Frontier shocks) to allow for the extra droop travel you gain from installing the TC UCAs. However it does not change the compressed length, and even if you add up to a 1/2″ thick spacer on top (you mentioned you added a 1/4″ spacer) you won’t bottom out your shocks before the LCAs hit the OEM bump stops.”
…so that’s that. Also keep in mind: my shocks are NOT off-the shelf versions, so my results might not be what your results are if you add spacers to your setup.