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Discussion Starter #21 (Edited)
Has your turning radius greatly diminished after install the Fabtech? My turning radius is aweful and I almost always have to pull in to a stall then reverse and go back forward to get into a parking stall. Also when driving over painted stripes on a road my tires will chirp while going over the lines.
I don't think the lift did as much damage to the turning radius as the wheels and tires I chose did. It wasn't that much worse than stock but it did eat the outside edges when turning. That's mostly due to the fabtech spindles I'm pretty sure. I messed around with some different alignment specs and only improved it slightly.

What's "DB" stand for?
DB = drop bracket. The big lift kits use brackets that drop the lower control arm mounting points along with taller spindles to get lift.

Don't use the title of the world's best film in vain !!!
You said that already ; )
 

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Here is a quick pic to show the difference in subframe spacing. and the 5" FT drop is accentuated with the equivalent of a 1" spacer kit on the strut extension....the LCA sits about the same angle as a stock truck with a 1" lift....it should be very close to 6" overall at the front fender. Anyway, enjoy BTW, shown is a CM 2wd drop bracket...dimensionally same as 4wd.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Here is a quick pic to show the difference in subframe spacing. and the 5" FT drop is accentuated with the equivalent of a 1" spacer kit on the strut extension....the LCA sits about the same angle as a stock truck with a 1" lift....it should be very close to 6" overall at the front fender. Anyway, enjoy BTW, shown is a CM 2wd drop bracket...dimensionally same as 4wd.
Thanks for the heads up Greg! So then the bracket drop for the CM kit is only 4"? And the other inch is made up with the coil spacer? Makes me wanna rethink getting a Calmini lift this time if it's gonna be an inch shorter. I have some pretty big leaf packs that I don't wanna have to replace.
Do you have the FT and CM spindles laying around? Would love to see some comparison pix of those if you have them!
 

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Discussion Starter #25
we are moving to a bigger shop right now. ill get some pics in a couple days
OK, cool. No rush.
That's exciting! Didn't know you were gonna be making that happen so quickly. Nice! Bet you'll be happy for the extra space and the much shorter commute :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #27
He said they were moving a bit farther up the hill towards Grass Valley. I know he told me more specifics but I can't seem to remember right now... Something about a lake up the hill somewhere?
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Sounds familiar but could have been from something else we were talking about too.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
OPs updated with some current info based on new experience with the Calmini kit. Let me know if I missed anything or if anyone has questions.
 

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Great write up! I've been wanting to upgrade my suspension for a few months now but can't decide whether to go with just a coilover setup or a calmini DB kit. There are several prime fishing spots that I'd like to go to but would need more clearance than I have now. My problem is that its also my DD which is used to transport the kids, aging mother, and my boss during his monthly visits. :-(
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Thanks! Mine is my DD too. Only time it's an issue is when it's a bit tall for some people to get into or when it doesn't fit in parking garages. Great thing is that it usually means your truck gets priority seating at the valet : )
 

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Discussion Starter #34
About how much does an install run?
Depends on where you go and their shop hourly rate. I always do my own installs. Only reason I had Fabtech do the old truck was because they needed to do the R&D and fitment testing for the newer truck so they included it in the discounted price.
I would guess that somewhere around 500-600 is fairly typical assuming full front and rear install. If you are skilled with a wrench and a st of install instructions you could do it yourself in a weekend. I did my Calmini kit in a day on the garage floor using jack stands and a floor jack and air tools.
 

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Depends on where you go and their shop hourly rate. I always do my own installs. Only reason I had Fabtech do the old truck was because they needed to do the R&D and fitment testing for the newer truck so they included it in the discounted price.
I would guess that somewhere around 500-600 is fairly typical assuming full front and rear install. If you are skilled with a wrench and a st of install instructions you could do it yourself in a weekend. I did my Calmini kit in a day on the garage floor using jack stands and a floor jack and air tools.
Thanks. I'm assuming you prefer the Calmini kit now that you've had both?
 

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Discussion Starter #36
Thanks. I'm assuming you prefer the Calmini kit now that you've had both?
Absolutely! The Fabtech kit just has too many R&D issues. The Calmini cust service dept is horrible and their inventory system is archaic but the product has far fewer problems. That being said, don't expect it to turn your truck into an off road warrior by itself. All it does is get your chassis farther from the ground without some serious upgrades.
 

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What choice of coil over did you go with on the calmini DB kit?
Oh wait I see from your sig you went with 2.5" radflos with 700 pound springs. How do you like this set up, do you think its significantly better than the sway aways?

Thanks for the write up.
 

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Discussion Starter #38
What choice of coil over did you go with on the calmini DB kit?
Oh wait I see from your sig you went with 2.5" radflos with 700 pound springs. How do you like this set up, do you think its significantly better than the sway aways?

Thanks for the write up.
I can't make a comparison to the SAWs from personal experience as I've never had their products on any of my trucks. I have friends with the SAWs and some have had great luck, others not so much. From most accounts their cust service leaves a bit to be desired. Of course there are also those who have had bad luck with the Radflo products so YMMV. No product is perfect or infallible.
My personal experience with the Radflo COs has been excellent! I've had at least 3 different sets of Radflo COs on my different trucks and different configurations and I've never had a major issue with any of them, even the ones I bought used. And let's be honest, I'm not all that nice to them. The 2.5s on my current rig take a routine beating at high speed through inhospitable terrain and have performed as close to flawlessly as one could expect. No leaks and no failures in close to 15k miles (several hundred of those being off road). I do replace the misalignment spacers on occasion as they tend to deform a bit from tightening them down but that's about it. I haven't even had to change out the bearings on them yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #40
Thanks.
Do you think the calmini kit needs after market UCA?
Not unless you plan to do some serious wheeling. The stock suspension components work well with the Calmini geometry. What I don't like is the 5" shock spacer. Sure, they work well enough for mall crawlers but I wouldn't recommend doing too much real off roading with them. If you can afford the hit just go ahead and buy full length COs, the rewards are well worth the expense.
If you plan on going much beyond 6" of lift (assuming you go to COs, 7-8" of lift is possible) that's when I would recommend going to aftermarket UCAs. You'll get better handling on and off road and you'll greatly diminish the possibility of coil bucket contact.
Same deal with the rear. If it's just for looks the blocks and shackles and included shocks are fine. If you want something that performs off road you'll want to upgrade to full custom spring packs and good shocks.
Just be prepared, it's really easy to turn a $2000 lift into a $6000 lift.
 
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