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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I recently bought a Silverado 3500 High Country DRW. I don’t have anything to tow, I just like the way they look :) (here comes the hate comments lol)

I’m trying to figure out what will soften up the ride. What springs and shocks can I run? Should I do air bags? I’ve been researching sculastic but those seem kind of janky. Any help is greatly appreciated as I am new to the HD Diesel world. Came from a ZLE, so it’s pretty much the same ride quality minus the jump of the bed lol.

Rims and tires are next but I don’t even know how to replace dually wheels lol.
 

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Cognito comfort ride torsion bar are supposed to help. I’ve got a set sitting in my shop floor now. Haven’t put them in yet


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I have the Sulastic shackles on my truck and love them. They really do help the ride out.
 

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^^Same here^^.
 

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So I recently bought a Silverado 3500 High Country DRW. I don’t have anything to tow, I just like the way they look :) (here comes the hate comments lol)

I’m trying to figure out what will soften up the ride. What springs and shocks can I run? Should I do air bags? I’ve been researching sculastic but those seem kind of janky. Any help is greatly appreciated as I am new to the HD Diesel world. Came from a ZLE, so it’s pretty much the same ride quality minus the jump of the bed lol.

Rims and tires are next but I don’t even know how to replace dually wheels lol.
Sulastic shackles are one of the best modifications I added to my truck.

Don’t do a leveling kit or crank up the torsion bars, it will make your front end ride stiffer than it does already.

Waiting to see if the Cognito comfort ride torsion bars are worth the investment.

A good set of shocks definitely helps ... I recommend the Bilstein 5100’s on a stock truck.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So bilsteins and sculastic? That would hopefully improve the ride quality greatly?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So these shocks will perform better than some reservoir shocks like king or fox? There’s a click felt when turning the steering wheel back to mid during driving now. Feels like something broke lol.
 

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So I recently bought a Silverado 3500 High Country DRW. I don’t have anything to tow, I just like the way they look :) (here comes the hate comments lol)

I’m trying to figure out what will soften up the ride. What springs and shocks can I run? Should I do air bags? I’ve been researching sculastic but those seem kind of janky. Any help is greatly appreciated as I am new to the HD Diesel world. Came from a ZLE, so it’s pretty much the same ride quality minus the jump of the bed lol.

Rims and tires are next but I don’t even know how to replace dually wheels lol.
Have you aired down the tires?
Running around empty, it doesn't need the pressures that the door sticker shows.
 

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I've got Sulastic Shackles installed when I first bought the truck - great improvement. BUT the best improvement I've done was the BDS 2-3" Coilover Conversion. Yes, expensive, but it rides almost like a 1/2 ton and I'm not losing payload capacity.


The youtube link isn't my truck (That one is a GMC Denali), but you get the idea.
 
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Don’t do a leveling kit or crank up the torsion bars, it will make your front end ride stiffer than it does already.
I didn't find that to be the case with my truck. I adding a leveling kit and raised the front 1.75", switched to Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT tires and Fox Performance 2.0 shocks. My truck not only looks like it should have from the factory, it now rides like it should have. I did all 3 at the same time, so I don't know if one affected the ride more than the others, but it's a big improvement over stock.
 

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Those Fox shocks fixed the ride for sure. I'm currently debating on those or the Bilsteins.
 

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I didn't find that to be the case with my truck. I adding a leveling kit and raised the front 1.75", switched to Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT tires and Fox Performance 2.0 shocks. My truck not only looks like it should have from the factory, it now rides like it should have. I did all 3 at the same time, so I don't know if one affected the ride more than the others, but it's a big improvement over stock.
Any time one cranks up the torsion bars to lift the front end of a truck it increases the front suspension stiffness. However, being that you only went 1.75” higher than stock, the increased stiffness was surely less noticeable (hopefully with the addition of higher arched aftermarket upper control arms). Problem is most guys want it level front to back which is ~ 2.50” for a 2500HD & ~ 3” for a 3500HD ... which causes a dramatic increase in stiffness. But there is one thing you will want to be aware of ... your increased ball joint angles. The upper and lower control arm to ball joint connection is pretty much flat at the stock ride height. But if you look underneath now, even with just 1.75 inches of increased height, the ball joint angles will no longer be flat. If the upper control arms are not changed out when the torsion bars are cranked up (which I am guessing your kit included the upper control arms), there is no longer sufficient room under the factory upper control arm and the metal stop, which causes an abrupt stop when the suspension drops and a rougher ride thru bumps vs the increased stock bump stop clearance. Then if the aftermarket shocks do not allow for increased travel and the new upper control arms allow more suspension travel, it can and will over time damage the shocks by trying to make them travel further than their design limit. And the list goes on and on and on with leveling kits. I pulled my leveling kit out and went with a differential drop lift kit because it properly maintained the factory geometry and angles ... and the torsion bars are kept at the factory settings to keep that nice front end ride. But no doubt our trucks look better regarding any front end height increase vs. the factory look. Honestly ... this is how an HD truck should look like from the factory because 35 inch tires look proportionally correct for the size of the truck ... in my humble opinion.

1083902
 
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I pulled the trigger on sulastic shackles and Bilsteins this week to improve the ride. I don't plan on leveling or lifting. From everything I read on this forum it should ride nearly like a 1500.
 

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I pulled the trigger on sulastic shackles and Bilsteins this week to improve the ride. I don't plan on leveling or lifting. From everything I read on this forum it should ride nearly like a 1500.
You will not regret those two purchases. It will ride as close to a 1500 as you can get still having a torsion bar front suspension in an HD.
 
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PSI in your rear tires also make a huge difference.
Your probably looking at around 50-55 psi in your rear tires being the best setting for ride when empty, and the Sulastic shackles both will help when not towing.
If you do the chalk method you'll figure out the best psi for ride and tire wear.
Mark the tires like pictured below (sidewalk chalk works pretty good) then drive 100-200 yards on a flat pavement surface to check out the wear pattern.
If its pretty even chalk wear (y)
If its wearing more in the middle, you have too much air in the tires (n) you'll be a human bobble head.
If the wear pattern is more on the outsides you don't have enough air in your tires (n)
Mines a SRW 60-65 fronts 50-52 rears when empty, when towing 65 fronts 80 rears.
 

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But there is one thing you will want to be aware of ... your increased ball joint angles. The upper and lower control arm to ball joint connection is pretty much flat at the stock ride height. But if you look underneath now, even with just 1.75 inches of increased height, the ball joint angles will no longer be flat. If the upper control arms are not changed out when the torsion bars are cranked up (which I am guessing your kit included the upper control arms), there is no longer sufficient room under the factory upper control arm and the metal stop, which causes an abrupt stop when the suspension drops and a rougher ride thru bumps vs the increased stock bump stop clearance.
I was under the impression only LD leveling kits required changing the UCA, that the HD's didn't need it. Mine was just keys so it wasn't a kit per se. I do understand what you're saying though. I had an '02 Silverado 2500HD before this truck and did the same thing; keys, larger tires and shocks (Bilstein for that one). That truck was used harder than this one; I owned a travel trailer, did excavating on the side and regularly towed 8-9k to support that and even took it off road a few times (mostly things like fire break roads). After 12 years I sold it with 160k and never had a front end issue. While GM probably has made some changes between '02 and '18 the front suspension appears to be very similar so I'm anticipating the same results. That's the hope anyway, time will tell.

Then if the aftermarket shocks do not allow for increased travel and the new upper control arms allow more suspension travel, it can and will over time damage the shocks by trying to make them travel further than their design limit.
The Fox shocks are spec'ed for up to 2" of leveling so I'm good there. The rears are stock ride height because I didn't do anything in the back.

But no doubt our trucks look better regarding any front end height increase vs. the factory look. Honestly ... this is how an HD truck should look like from the factory because 35 inch tires look proportionally correct for the size of the truck ... in my humble opinion.

View attachment 1083902
Without a doubt, your truck looks 10x better than how it was delivered. I didn't want to go totally level though, I wanted the nose to slope down just a touch. Supposedly better for fuel economy - less turbulence under the truck - and also means when I'm loading the bed or pulling I don't go nose high.

Here's a before and after...





Is that your trailer in the back of the image? If so, doesn't the tail squat under load if you start level? Even with a WD hitch I'd imagine you're riding nose high, aren't you?

FWIW... It seems GM may have finally gotten the hint as the '20 and '21 HD trucks I've seen appear to be pretty close to level from the factory. Only took them about 2 decades to get their head out of their @ss and realize that's what the customers want.
 
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I was under the impression only LD leveling kits required changing the UCA, that the HD's didn't need it. Mine was just keys so it wasn't a kit per se. I do understand what you're saying though. I had an '02 Silverado 2500HD before this truck and did the same thing; keys, larger tires and shocks (Bilstein for that one). That truck was used harder than this one; I owned a travel trailer, did excavating on the side and regularly towed 8-9k to support that and even took it off road a few times (mostly things like fire break roads). After 12 years I sold it with 160k and never had a front end issue. While GM probably has made some changes between '02 and '18 the front suspension appears to be very similar so I'm anticipating the same results. That's the hope anyway, time will tell.



The Fox shocks are spec'ed for up to 2" of leveling so I'm good there. The rears are stock ride height because I didn't do anything in the back.



Without a doubt, your truck looks 10x better than how it was delivered. I didn't want to go totally level though, I wanted the nose to slope down just a touch. Supposedly better for fuel economy - less turbulence under the truck - and also means when I'm loading the bed or pulling I don't go nose high.

Here's a before and after...





Is that your trailer in the back of the image? If so, doesn't the tail squat under load if you start level? Even with a WD hitch I'd imagine you're riding nose high, aren't you?

FWIW... It seems GM may have finally gotten the hint as the '20 and '21 HD trucks I've seen appear to be pretty close to level from the factory. Only took them about 2 decades to get their head out of their @ss and realize that's what the customers want.
I was under the impression only LD leveling kits required changing the UCA, that the HD's didn't need it. Mine was just keys so it wasn't a kit per se. I do understand what you're saying though. I had an '02 Silverado 2500HD before this truck and did the same thing; keys, larger tires and shocks (Bilstein for that one). That truck was used harder than this one; I owned a travel trailer, did excavating on the side and regularly towed 8-9k to support that and even took it off road a few times (mostly things like fire break roads). After 12 years I sold it with 160k and never had a front end issue. While GM probably has made some changes between '02 and '18 the front suspension appears to be very similar so I'm anticipating the same results. That's the hope anyway, time will tell.



The Fox shocks are spec'ed for up to 2" of leveling so I'm good there. The rears are stock ride height because I didn't do anything in the back.



Without a doubt, your truck looks 10x better than how it was delivered. I didn't want to go totally level though, I wanted the nose to slope down just a touch. Supposedly better for fuel economy - less turbulence under the truck - and also means when I'm loading the bed or pulling I don't go nose high.

Here's a before and after...





Is that your trailer in the back of the image? If so, doesn't the tail squat under load if you start level? Even with a WD hitch I'd imagine you're riding nose high, aren't you?

FWIW... It seems GM may have finally gotten the hint as the '20 and '21 HD trucks I've seen appear to be pretty close to level from the factory. Only took them about 2 decades to get their head out of their @ss and realize that's what the customers want.
Just kindly wanted to mention something to think about when hitting potholes regarding the reduced clearance between the upper control arms and the bump stop. Especially since you recently made this change to your truck and should be able to feel a ride difference in the next few months. If it feels rougher when you hit the potholes, clearance is probably insufficient. However, I am definitely glad to see you did it right by not exceeding 2 inches of lift, which causes all sorts of more serious angle & clearance issues. I learned the hard way from leveling experiences on my current truck. Started with just turning up the torsion bars, then went with a less expensive leveling kit, then a high-end leveling kit with aftermarket knuckles, then finally installed the 4 inch differential drop lift kit that is still on it today.

That is our travel trailer in the background. ~8k unloaded, ~10k loaded with water & gear, 34.5 ft long. I installed a set of Airlift air bags with a wireless controller on the rear suspension of my truck shortly after purchasing it new. Therefore I am able to get my truck back to level with the trailer attached simply by adding air pressure to the air bags using the wireless remote control. It took me an afternoon when I first installed the air bags to get the air pressure vs. hitch height dialed in correctly (1 inch of trailer slope toward the truck, etc.). Performed this initial setup with water in the travel trailer first ... then with no water since this is usually the case on the way home from dry camping. Determined the optimal setting is to run 65 psi in the air bags when the trailer has water and 40 psi when it is empty. My airbags also have a jounce bumper inside the bags which keeps them from bottoming out if the air pressure is set too low for the full suspension articulation caused by the big dips in the road. Something I was glad to have ordered because they actually bottomed out a few times on the first couple trips even though the truck was level ... so I ended up increasing the air pressure a little higher than needed to level the truck ... simply to avoid bottoming out in the big dips.

Side Note: I also removed the factory metal bump stops under my upper control arms and installed limit straps (recommended for Cognito upper control arms). Now if my suspension tries to open up too far (beyond the factory stop position), the limit straps stop movement at the same factory limit, however, being a nylon (?) strap, the movement restriction is a gradual stop, not an abrupt stop like the factory metal stop.

And you are right GM takes forever to pull their head out of their a-s. I am dealing with one of those ridiculous issues right now because GM left no way in the L5P ECM programming to change the axle ratio. So there is no way for those with lift kits and bigger tires to install the correct final drive (axle) ratios without spending thousands of dollars on an unlocked ECM and aftermarket software / tuning. But I will be danged if GM is going to control me on what I can do with my truck ... where there is a will ... there is a way. I should have one of the first L5P’s with the factory ECM intact running a 4.30 axle ratio by the end of next week. Really looking forward to RV season with the proper axle ratio for 35 inch tires.
 
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