We are starting our series off with our BAJA FORGED Ford F250 4wd. This was the perfect platform for what we needed but it can be a pretty big truck for most. We wanted a vehicle that could handle the weight we were adding, still be able to tow our 32 ft fifth wheel, and act as a chase truck with a good ride. So we chose the F250 as the platform since it checked all the boxes on our list.
I want to start off by talking about what is underneath this truck and what it takes to support the heavy load that was added. The number one thing that gets overlooked when someone is setting up their vehicle is their suspension set up. When building these amazing vehicles to go out and do what you need it to do, a lot of people focus on the camping set up first and not what is supporting you getting there and back. Adding that new heavy load is one of the number one things that affects the way your vehicle handles as well as adding wear and tear in a different way.
Your stock suspension is set up to carry your factory weight and most are set up to handle mostly street with light off-roading. When adding this new weight it puts a lot of stress on your suspension, steering components, and much more that can break or fail when you are out on a trail.
We have been on wash boards roads that have done more damage than a more technical sections. This is why retorques are extremely important before AND after going on a trail. Also, always make sure to BRING TOOLS with you when heading out.
On our F250, we installed the ICON Vehicle Dynamic 4.5″ stage 5 kit …this kit includes 2.5 Shocks, Dual Rated springs kit, adjustable trac bar, Dual Steering stabilizer and Upper and Lower 4-link system. We get asked a lot by our customers why we push ICON so much and the truth is we believe in their product! ICON offers a holistic engineering style, which means they build all their components to work together for the best possible engineered product. We offer may different suspension brands and are familiar with most of them out there and all brands offer different pros and cons. When we suggest a brand to our customer, it’s because we know it’s the best one for your set up, even if we don’t sell the brand.
In addition to the ICON kit we added the Hellwig Product front and Rear Sway Bars, plus their Bigwig Airbags and the Viair OBA (On Board Air) system as well as the Transfer flow midship Tank to get that extra mileage range we were looking for.




In this article, let’s focus on suspension. This kit comes with a Dual Rate spring…If you notice from the picture above that the top of the spring has a tighter coil than the bottom of the spring. This is how you can tell it is a dual rate, otherwise the coil spring will look the same from top to bottom. The top of the coil is the 1st phase of the spring, this is for street driving. The bottom half where the coil starts to change is called the 2nd phase and this portion is used for the heavier conditions or off-road. I always recommend going with a dual rate spring to give you the best of both worlds. Some companies also have a heavy duty spring that can help with that added weight, like a roof top tent or the extra gear, but those are mostly for vehicles that have a rear coil spring set up.
This suspension set up has a 2.5 VS PB CDCV shocks…. Now for the average person that is a mouth full of acronyms, but here is the break down of what that all means. 2.5 is the diameter size of the shock body. VS means “Vehicle Specific”, this is more important than most people think because not all shocks are VS. Some companies will have the correct length and ends you need for your vehicle but only offer a few options for the valving… and the valving in how the shock works is everything! PB means “Piggy Back” which is talking about the reservoir that is located on the side of the shock body ( you can have a PB or a RR, “Remote Reservoir”, which is attached by hose that can be mounted away from the shock body or to another location of your choice.) CDCV is short for “Compression Damping Control Valve”. CDCV technologies allows for 10 different compression damping levels that can easily be adjusted by a knob located on the reservoir. This allows you personally to adjust how you would like your vehicle to ride due to the terrain or load you have on your vehicle. Say your vehicle is a daily driver, so you set the CDCV knob to the softer settings. Now if you want to hit the trails on the weekend, you can get out and adjust those knobs to a harder setting. We played with ours a few times while going out to see what setting we liked ours set to and now we know when we head out just where we want to set them for the perfect ride. So we just used the word “Compression” . Compression is self explanatory, its when the shock compresses from a bump or force. The opposite motion of compression is “Rebound”. Rebound is when the shock returns to its original state after being compressed.
Lets dive inside the shock for a minute. The valving of the shock is what helps control the flow oil inside the shocks. There are small flat valve stacks that sit on top of the shock shaft that is located inside the shock body. The oil for the shock get pressed through the valve stacks and depending on the size of the valve stacks, it regulates how fast the oil flows through it. These shocks have a combination of oil and nitrogen. When you are told your shock has a 210 psi, “Pounds per Square Inch,” they are talking about the nitrogen charge. This is something you have to check every once in awhile. You don’t want to run your nitrogen below 100 psi because it could cause the nitrogen to leak out and then you have no nitrogen and a shock that will not work at its full potential. Check with your shock manufacturer to see where they recommend to set your shocks psi at. We normally charge $10 per shock to recharge them. We check ours before every off-road trip.
Next, at the very top of the photo above, there is a long black bar that has a heim joint at one end, this is the adjustable trac bar. The trac bars job is to center the axle underneath the vehicle correctly. When lifting a vehicle it is recommended to go with an aftermarket adjustable trac bar to make sure that adjust for the shift in the axle position from it’s new ride height.
Honestly… when getting into shocks and all the different types it can get to be overwhelming! So even though I might cover some of the tech lingo and the basics on how it all works, there are some really great videos out there that will cover the more in depth discussion on how a shock works and all the differences. I included some videos below that ICON provided and I suggest checking them out…..
In this article I covered some of the basics on the suspension set up we have on our Ford F250 Super Duty and wanted to help you understand more of the tech lingo as well as the function of it. But really this series is about the importance of your vehicle set up. There are reasons these companies spend so much time and effort to create these products that work. They really do make a huge difference and we want to make sure when you are making this investment into your vehicle that you are making the best decision for your set up. We’re always here to help you select the best suspension combo for your set up.
Overlanding series: Part 1 was all about suspension… but if you follow the rest of the series, I will cover some more products and the importance of them as well as help guide you in setting up the perfect rig for you and your needs!
In this 6 parts series, I will try to cover all the different suspension platforms, but let me know if there is something you would like to see covered in this blog series and I will make sure to include it.
Thanks for reading, till next time…
-Sara Morosan-


For a complete build sheet on our Ford Super Duty and a part list, visit our website where you can view the complete gallery of the build process, purchase all the products and learn more about the complete build!


ICON1K ‘Test & Tune’

Take a seat and ride along with ICON’s R&D team as they put in some off-road miles for new product testing and validation purposes. Taken straight from the dash cam of ICON1K test sessions, these videos are perfect to play in the background while enjoying some chill beats and off-road driving

ICON shock absorbers are high quality, rebuildable, race style shock absorbers designed for optimal performance. A unit of this caliber on your vehicle does require some routine maintenance to ensure that they continue to look and perform at their highest level.
Tune in with Scott from ICON Vehicle Dynamics as he explains what the ICON CDC Valve is, how it works, and provides recommendations on adjusting the shocks for your vehicle setup and driving style.


Holcomb Valley in Big Bear, Ca
Holcomb Valley is located in the mountains of Big Bear, CA
just off of Highway 18
Since this is right in our back yard, it’s one of the places that we visit the most during the summer! You will notice that we do a lot of trail rides up here and camp outs. Big Bear has a lot of outdoor activities to offer including ….a lake for fishing and boating, horse back riding, camping, off-roading, and great history. Make sure to check it out.
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