Lets answer the question Which suspension upgrade is right for me?

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Johnny@Hammerbuilt

Johnny@Hammerbuilt

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That does appear to be an early version of it before they powdercoated them from the shop
 

taquitos

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That’s not how the Sdi top hat works.

It keeps the top nut on the end of the shock shaft in the same position as it is stock, it just adds preload to the spring by shifting the spring perch down from the top, as opposed to shifting it up from the bottom like the traditional RPG style collar. At full droop the top of the shock shaft, and thus the bottom shock bolt and tire itself when the shock is fully extended, are at the same position at full droop as stock.
Well at least it’s not dumb then. I hate the lift kits that you usually see where it just moves the top of the shock down. It is quite expensive for what it is though.
 
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Johnny@Hammerbuilt

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Well at least it’s not dumb then. I hate the lift kits that you usually see where it just moves the top of the shock down. It is quite expensive for what it is though.
Few reasons why:

Theres nothing like it, remotely. The SDI top hat utilizes two methods to gain height which ensure you dont sacrifice ride quality. You get 10mm of extra pre load then Everything else is 10-12mm of extra height on the top hat. Thus giving you about 1.75” of extra height without sacrificing travel in either direction.

Theyre billet. Billets not cheap. They couldve used a lower quality material to cut costs but at the end of the day this was made to be stronger than the OEM top hat which is known to fail under certain conditions off road.

Its designed to utilize the OEM spring. Less noticeable under warranty for sure but not immune.

Overall is it really THAT expensive for what it is? Fully subjective honestly. When labor costs are the same thing between these, perch collars, and springs, the minimal ~$100 difference between them all is almost null and comes down to how do you use the truck and which system is best for you.

Ive seen the SDI too hat used in conditions such as Baja, TRR and local off road events and it goes beautifully. SDI did a lot of testing on the top hats to show if you dont want to go FRS, you want eClik, and you want extra height, then theyre the option for you.
 

BoostCreep

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Well at least it’s not dumb then. I hate the lift kits that you usually see where it just moves the top of the shock down. It is quite expensive for what it is though.
Yea those spacers that push everything down are junk.
 

taquitos

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Few reasons why:

Theres nothing like it, remotely. The SDI top hat utilizes two methods to gain height which ensure you dont sacrifice ride quality. You get 10mm of extra pre load then Everything else is 10-12mm of extra height on the top hat. Thus giving you about 1.75” of extra height without sacrificing travel in either direction.

Theyre billet. Billets not cheap. They couldve used a lower quality material to cut costs but at the end of the day this was made to be stronger than the OEM top hat which is known to fail under certain conditions off road.

Its designed to utilize the OEM spring. Less noticeable under warranty for sure but not immune.

Overall is it really THAT expensive for what it is? Fully subjective honestly. When labor costs are the same thing between these, perch collars, and springs, the minimal ~$100 difference between them all is almost null and comes down to how do you use the truck and which system is best for you.

Ive seen the SDI too hat used in conditions such as Baja, TRR and local off road events and it goes beautifully. SDI did a lot of testing on the top hats to show if you dont want to go FRS, you want eClik, and you want extra height, then theyre the option for you.
Aluminum is fairly cheap. Enough so that it’s often more economic to sacrifice material to save machine time. For example 12’ of 4” round 6061-t6 is about $570 right now. Two 3” pucks of that is less than $25, which is in the ballpark of how much material these look like they’d require. With the volume of these people are probably making, machining billet is 100% the most cost effective way to go.
 

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@Johnny@Hammerbuilt wonderful information, although as a Gen 1’er I feel left out.

Can you comment on upgrading Gen 1 shocks, specifically your partnership with @Doug Mikra so we Gen 1 guys can get Gen 2 shocks on our Gen 1s with the rebuild/Mikra program?
 
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Johnny@Hammerbuilt

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@Johnny@Hammerbuilt wonderful information, although as a Gen 1’er I feel left out.

Can you comment on upgrading Gen 1 shocks, specifically your partnership with @Doug Mikra so we Gen 1 guys can get Gen 2 shocks on our Gen 1s with the rebuild/Mikra program?
Ive actually been asked about Mr. Mirka a lot and ive been meaning to reach out to him. Hes also fairly local to me about 75 minutes north. My goal as well wasnt to let the gen 1 folks feel left out. I love my v8 brothers as much as the next guy. The reality of things is though is most gen 1s are already fairly built, or tend to upgrade to gen 2 like suspension via coil bucket swaps.

Ive worked some bucket swaps to put gen 2 suspensions on gen 1 trucks. Its a fairly simple process and simply takes a little fab. A bit different than Mr. Mirkas system which is why id like to talk to him and build a relationship.

A lot of information for springs, 3.0s and perch will translate directly into the gen 1. However if there is a specific question you have feel free to ask or if its more detailed we could schedule a phone call to talk over some stuff!

Aluminum is fairly cheap. Enough so that it’s often more economic to sacrifice material to save machine time. For example 12’ of 4” round 6061-t6 is about $570 right now. Two 3” pucks of that is less than $25, which is in the ballpark of how much material these look like they’d require. With the volume of these people are probably making, machining billet is 100% the most cost effective way to go.
Its not so much that the metal isnt cheap as the machining process isnt. SDI is a fairly small operation. Theyre growing, but theyre not on the stage of Fox, King or Icon yet. But the R&D alone as well gets transferred into cost as you could imagine.
 

MFNG

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Ive worked some bucket swaps to put gen 2 suspensions on gen 1 trucks. Its a fairly simple process and simply takes a little fab. A bit different than Mr. Mirkas system which is why id like to talk to him and build a relationship.

A lot of information for springs, 3.0s and perch will translate directly into the gen 1. However if there is a specific question you have feel free to ask or if its more detailed we could schedule a phone call to talk over some stuff!
Specifically, as one who needs fronts replaced, and having Gen 2’s that need rebuilt on hand, I am very interested in sending them to Hammer to have the Mikra treatment over something as drastic as replacing coil buckets when another option exists.

Love to see what the intense testing proves out on the Mikra option!
 
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Johnny@Hammerbuilt

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Specifically, as one who needs fronts replaced, and having Gen 2’s that need rebuilt on hand, I am very interested in sending them to Hammer to have the Mikra treatment over something as drastic as replacing coil buckets when another option exists.

Love to see what the intense testing proves out on the Mikra option!
Ill see if I can call him tomorrow and have a conversation. Not sure if hes interested in Vendors performing his work. Ive also never seen it in person. Every gen 2 conversion ive done or seen has involved buckets. Not that theres anything wrong with buckets, but if theres one thing I love its adding variety to the mix. Another option is I tend to always have 3.0s for the gen 1 lying around somewhere.

We’ll see what we can do. Id love to give anything the people want lol.
 

TomDirt

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From watching the SDI E-click review on Keep it Dirty offroad, it seems to be the optimum suspension setup going forward. I think anyone who has had to endure the external bypass valve clicking on Kings (on a non-race vehicle), is kinda over it. My Gen 1 is getting the coil bucket conversion to use OEM Gen 2 shocks for now, but down the road, (once the mortgage is paid off), I'll be upgrading again to the SDI E-click system.
 
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