Finally decided on suspension, Camburg, no, Evil Offroad, no, RPG, no, SVC, no, HM, of course, When You Know, You Know!

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06z

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First off, this is the first time I have ever written a build thread, It’s not something I planned on doing. I just have so many asking for it, I’m doing it for all the SCAB owners out there as no more will be produced. Sad time, but SCAB sales were low, and I do understand but it still sucks.


Well as the title states, I finally decided on HM Suspension’s Ford F-150 / Raptor Long Travel Suspension Race kit, 95”. With over 28 years of design, engineering, testing and Race Proven in the Trophy Truck class with the Seafoam Raptor, HM’s F150 / Raptor Suspension is by far the best available suspension system period IMHO.


First let me give you my frame of mind while comparing different manufacturers designs before I decided on HM Suspension.


In late 2021, I decided that I wanted at least 39’s. I would have loved to go 40’s, but the only ones I liked that were reasonably light for a 40, were BFG KR3’s that are 12.5 inches wide. All other 40’s I found were heavier and 13.5 “wide. So, at this time I settled on BFG 39’s at 88.9 lbs. that are also 13.5 inches wide. I bought 6 tires. A few months later I found someone who could get me great condition used KR3’s. So, I sold my 39’s. I also wanted stronger wheels. I have seen Method cast wheels crack under hard use. went with Titan7 Forged wheels and sold my Methods. I saved 10 lbs of unsprung weight right there alone per wheel. Now off to glass.


What fenders and bedsides? This is when I remembered Zombiekillers “Donkey” Build. His truck is so sick. That’s when I found McNeil Racing made the 1 piece tilting front clip and bed sides he had on his truck. Well, these will work great on my scab. So, I decided to order them when they had a Memorial Day sale. About 6 weeks later, I scheduled the install. Then my truck was at his shop for a couple of months to get them installed and painted and that’s when I did a suspension deep dive.


I looked at Camburg, SVC, Foutz, Evil, Blitz and a few others. I did not like the look of a bent or crooked arm as some have, I know it is cheaper and faster to manufacture but I wanted a specific look. This shouldn’t have mattered as performance should have been my focus. Some call theirs long travel but use the stock shock bucket and a 8” stroke shock, W?F? I wanted long travel but needed to understand all the “Marketing” verbiage they use on their sites. The way some websites are set up, it seems that a “Bolt on kit” is the lowest cost, UNTIL you add the shocks, bypass shocks, bump kit with bump stops and bypass shock mounts, extended axel shaft’s etc. Some come with a new spindle, and some do not. That’s when you start to head down the Long Travel vs Mid Travel and 8” stroke vs 12” stroke rabbit hole. This is when the real learning began. For example, I was considering a Camburg or SVC front suspension. Camburg called their kit Long Travel, but it is only 1.5” wider than stock per side and uses a 8” stroke shock and the stock shock bucket which is prone to cracking under heavy use. Today the Camburg kit costs $16,572 for KING Coil overs, bypass shocks, slapper bump kit with king bumps and bypass shock mount. It uses the fragile stock spindle. It looks like they were designing a new spindle, not sure if they finished it. ADD made a spindle that was around $3K. Now an apple-to-apple comparison is more like $19,572. I do like the way their kit is with the slapper arm and you can slowly add to it. but that is where the similarities end. That is what a TRUE long travel system made from 4130 chromoly with 12” stroke shocks, complete chromoly shock mounts that replace the stock fragile shock buckets, a chromoly brace that ties both shock mounts together and comes with a spindle too. Also what material is each part made from, Only a few use 4130 chromoly on all components, If their site doesn’t say 4130 chromoly, run.


So with all of this confusion, I ended up asking a couple shop owners who install this stuff and have no bias as they have no ties to any manufacturer. They have installed other kits, serviced and driven all the different kits out there. My question was, If you were building your own Raptor, what suspension would you go with?


“We have driven and serviced all the kits out there and I would only use HM Suspension. We used to have a HM built Prerunner and that was one of the best handling trucks I have driven. HM has spent a lot of time getting their geometry right. Geometry, Geometry, Geometry. It handles so well, it doesn’t sway like some others do. It tracks better, has no bump steer and has the best added supports installed on the frame and the lower control arm mounts. No one does it the way HM does it. HM has the most proven design as they have raced it and put all they learned in the past into their design.”


They also finished 9th in a heavily modified Ford Raptor aka the Seafoam Raptor, in the Trophy Truck class with no suspension or drivetrain failures throughout the series. Their suspension is so much more stable in comparison to kits that move the lower shock bolt towards the center of the truck to get more travel. This causes the vehicle to sway when turning. Get this, with HM’s race engineered system no sway bar is needed. They spent a lot of time cycling the suspension in CAD, about a week. Then properly tested it. It’s that good. More on this later. NO and I mean NO other suspension has over 28 years of experience including racing, designed into them. Well, that is what got me to HM.


When I first contacted Kevin Mahan, The GURU behind HM Suspension, he was in the process of updating to the Third Generation of HM Suspension for Raptors/ F-150’s. A 92” and a 94”. I told him my truck was still at McNeil’s, a 1 piece tilt and bedsides were being installed. I found out that McNeil’s 1 piece front end was designed on Kevins personal truck. He recommended that we do a 95” wide kit which would fit perfectly with 40’s as that is what the 1 piece front was designed for.

As far as the rear end goes, I wanted to keep the stock Raptor axle, I had ICON Springs and Fox factory shocks on it. I asked Kevin if this would work and he said not when driven hard with 40s. So I asked about sprung over versus sprung under and obviously for me the best route would be to go sprung under. So he recommended a cage for the rear and some King shocks so we went with King Kong 4.0’s as if I would ever upgrade to a four link, I already have 18 inch 4.0‘s. A Currie 4 inch rear axle with Evan Weller 10 inch third member with 4.88 gears to match the front that I already had upgraded. The reason I went with 4.88 is on the front diff if you go to 5.13 the pinion gets so small that it can break. So better safe and honestly, it has worked out perfectly. Last but not least I decided to go with a fuel cell for two reasons, add more fuel capacity so I don’t have to run stupid gas cans in the bed and most importantly, get all the weight as far back as possible to balance the truck out. That’s the reason the 40s are laying flat in the bed against the tailgate, maximum weight to the rear and use of the rearview mirror. My old RPG chase rack had the 37s standing up with two gas cans in between and my rearview mirror was worthless.

As the HM team was building my truck, I was able to stop by and check out the progress. I’ve been blown away with their process of installing their amazing suspension system they’ve designed. The rear bump stop system is completely welded in chromoly so there will be no bending of any components. This is by far the best bump stop you can get. They are amazing at what they do. The quality of their fabrication is second to none. My mind has personally been blown away with the capabilities of this truck with under sprung leaf springs and even more importantly, their front suspension system. I am truly impressed with the craftsmanship and design of this system. I am still blown away that for a little more money, you get a MASSIVE increase in performance with their suspension system. I would say get one now before Kevin realizes how much more he could really charge for these.

Life is good when you know you’ve made the right decision. Interesting enough I was recently given the opportunity to drive a SVC built truck back to back with mine. It was unbelievable how much sway the SVC truck had. In comparison, the HM truck feels like a sports car with no play in the steering wheel and how flat the truck stays even with steering wheel input. Also, the turning radius on the SVC is abysmal.



Here is the video, thanks to Helio for his help when I was deciding on what suspension system to use, and for this awesome video.
Just FYI, the suspension hasn’t even been tuned. just imagine how much more we can get out of it!

HM, When You Know, You Know!


 
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TomDirt

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If you later swap out the SUA for a 4-Link, will those bump stop mounts need to be relocated?
 

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06z

06z

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Ahh from the video it Kevin made it sound like the recon was for gen 3 only.


It would be an upgrade for all Gen's of Raptors. It is next level 4 link that NO other shop is doing. It’s built like they’re elite pre-runners. It should come on a Raptor R ;)
 
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