Truck Terms

4-Link Suspension:
Each tire is on its own independent suspension. A normal suspension is just a front and rear suspension. This enables maximum performance when off-roading because each tire can stabilize to the bump that it is on.

Bead Locks:
When turning fast or moshing, bead locks keep the tire connected to the rim. There is nothing worse than the tire separating from the rim in the middle of the desert.

Bed Cage:
Typically found on pre-runner lifted trucks and used to mount shocks which would be too long to mount in the factory location. This is important because on suspensions with added travel, a longer shock is needed to prevent the shocks from over extending with the added travel.

Block Kit:
A steel or aluminum block used to lift the rear of most ½ ton trucks. Some blocks come straight and some come tapered. The reason some are tapered is as you drop the axel down, you will need to account for the pinion angle to eliminate a driveline shimmy.

Body Lift:
This lift is never more than 3” tall. It is designed to lift the body of the truck from the suspension. Again, only the body is lifted.

Chip:
Trucks have computer chips internally. By replacing your stock chip with a performance chip you are simply upgrading your computer system, which will allow for more horsepower and better gas mileage.

Coil Over:
A coil spring and shock that is all one unit. Normally, the coil spring and the shock are a separate unit, but a coil over is the two parts in one unit. Most truck companies like Ford, Nissan, and Toyota have moved to a coil over system.

Dual Reservoir Shock:
Two reservoir shocks side by side.

Exhaust:
An inexpensive way to add horsepower and a deeper sound to your motor is by replacing the muffler. Replace the muffler and pipe from the catalytic converter back. This can be done on most trucks for under $200.

Fiberglass Fenders:
A lighter fender that helps fit a larger tires. Most fiberglass fenders will allow you to clear a 37” tire on a regular lifted truck and a 40” tire on a Super Duty.

Grill:
This is the front part of the truck. Just above the bumper. Many custom or billet grills are designed by a variety of companies. A custom or billet grill can really set your truck apart.

Headers:
After market exhaust system from the engine block to the catalytic converter.

IFS System (Independent Front Suspension)/Solid Axle: With an IFS system, each front wheel can travel independent of the other. With a solid axle system, one front wheel movement will affect the other front wheel. Solid axle systems have been around for a hundred years, while IFS systems have been around for about half of that. IFS rides better due to its independent action, can be built very strong, and is used in race and buggy applications. IFS can have more ground clearance if angles are run higher. Solid axle systems are typically stronger in factory vehicles than IFS systems. Solid axle systems have fewer components to wear out, are easier to lift, and usually absorb more abuse in lifted applications. All GM trucks and SUV’s use IFS. All new Dodges and Fords use IFS except for the ¾ ton and up, which use the solid axle system. Nissan and Toyota use IFS in their newer vehicles.

Intake:
An intake replaces your air filter. It works by sucking in cooler air and dispersing it through your motor. This adds anywhere from 8 – 18 horsepower depending on your truck and the intake.

Leaf Spring:
A piece of springed steel used to achieve height in lifted trucks. Leaf springs can also be used in long travel vehicles in order to add travel. To gain travel, a shackle is usually present. Typically used on ¾ or 1 ton vehicles.

Long-Travel Kit:
The standard suspension kit comes with only new upper arms, whereas a long-travel kit replaces the upper and lower control arms. Most long travel kits widen the track width, which increases wheel travel. A long-travel kit keeps a lifted truck lower to the ground in order to achieve more travel, which is useful when jumping, moshing, hitting whoops, and numerous other dirt activities. Travel is the distance the suspension can be pushed before hitting the frame.

Lower Control Arm (lower a-arm):
Tubular piece that connects the chassis to the wheel.

Re-gearing:
Trucks are geared to turn the tires that are sold with them. When you lift your truck, it is sometimes a good idea to re-gear it because the motor has to work much harder to turn the added weight of your new tires.

Reservoir Shock:
Allows for more oil to be used which helps keep the shock cool, last longer, and can even increase travel. In the past, reservoir shocks were found exclusively on off-road trucks, but because they look amazing, they can be seen on almost any lifted truck.

Rim Size:
These are very similar to tire size. A 16 x 8 wheel simply means 16” tall by 8” wide.

Shock Hoop:
A round piece of tubing that shocks attach to in the wheel well.

Skid Plate:
Front piece of metal that attaches to the bumper and it protects the motor from debris while off-roading.

Spare Tire Mount:
Mounts a spare tire in the bed of the truck in case you get a flat.

Spindle:
Adds approximately 3-4” to the suspension and extends tires out 1.5 inches. Typically, it is one piece cast and usually to the upper and lower ball joint. It makes the lift functional. When you do a spindle lift, make sure you get your truck re-aligned and re-pack the bearings. You don’t have to change the shocks with a spindle lift, but it is less expensive if you want to change them because it’s only a few more bolts.

Steering Stabilizers:
This is a shock that extends across the front axle. When you are turning and hitting a bump, it stabilizes the ride so you don’t spill your slush puppie.

Suspension Lift:
A lift used to increase the size of the truck. The entire truck is lifted by lifting the suspension of the truck.

Tire Size:
When a tire says “35 x 12.50,” it means that the tire is 35” high and the tread is 12.5” wide. Sometimes you will see a 315/75/R16 tire size. The first number is the width of the tire in millimeters, the second number is the percentage of width in relation to the tire height, and the last number is the wheel size. In the example above, the tire is 315 wide, it is 75% tall as it is wide, and it can fit 16” rims.

Traction Bars:
Traction bars are used to control axle wrap. Axle wrap is the physical rotating of the drive axle housing (in the truck world it would be the rear axle) under power. Wheel hop comes from axle wrap, the spring starts to bend, and then pops back straight causing the wheel to hop. Axle wrap can get worse with more leverage, such as taller tires. Traction bars are positioned in a fashion that will prevent the spring from bending, and thus the axle from rotating (wrapping).

Torsion Bar:
Torsion bars are a type of spring, just as coil springs and leaf springs are also types of springs. Torsion bars carry load by twisting. This is why torsion bars will normally have a hex on each end to control the twisting motion and carry load.

Upper Control Arm (upper a-arm):
Tubular piece that connects the chassis to the wheel.