Massive horsepower and torque is probably the biggest reason any of us drive diesel pickups. But putting that power to the ground effectively and having the stability to use it all while towing is something often overlooked when it comes to upgrading your truck. Bolting on a good set of traction bars can pay dividends to keeping your drivetrain happy by eliminating axle wrap and keeping the tires planted under heavy acceleration. The right rear airbags can really aid in towing performance as well, with a more stable feel under a heavy load, not to mention eliminating the annoying rear end sags from a bunch of trailer tongue weight.

One Up off road Traction Bars

Large amounts of low-end torque can put a lot of stress on the drive line, u-joints, and rear pinion so much so that the rear axle will try and wrap itself downward as the tires are grabbing for traction. This axle wrap motion throws off pinion angles and can lead to binding of the u-joints which overtime can lead to premature failure. Another downside is aggressive wheel hop and tire slippage, which is an obvious pitfall when trying to get a heavy load moving or power planted at the dragstrip. To overcome these issues, One Up Offroad developed frame mounted short gusset traction bar kits available for GM, Ford, and Dodge applications that are a simple no-weld bolt in design.

One Up Offroad’s short gusset traction bars are a universal length fi t since the two bars supplied for each side of the truck can be slipped together and drilled and assembled to fit any length chassis or mount along the frame where you’d prefer.

The OUO Tractions Bars are unique in that the front mount does not use a typical heim joint, but a large bushing joint that allows the bar a full range of motion without binding and added noise under normal suspension travel. The short gusset bars work great on any height truck and the two-piece bar design allows the overall length to be adjusted to  t each application perfectly. As a complete bolt-in kit, the axle brackets completely replace the factory U-bolt axle clamp and house the new mounting location for the traction bar. The frame side bracket is bolted with eight bolts per side, so there is some drilling required.

Air Lift Airbags

Since this particular truck has been slightly lowered already both front and rear, hooking up to just about any size trailer shows some pretty massive sag in the rear end and was putting the rear axle on the bump stops quite regularly. As anyone that understands suspension can imagine, smacking the bump stop leads to a harsh unwanted ride quality, so a set of rear air bags was the perfect resolution. For this application, the new Air Lift Load Lifter 5000 bags with their unique internal bump stop were going to be a perfect  t. Installing between the axle and frame rails, replacing the stock bump stop the new bags allows you to run zero air pressure when unloaded so the ride quality will not change, but once loaded a quick air pressure adjustment will help handle that trailer and keep the rear suspension from bottoming out over rougher conditions. As for the air pressure adjustments, Air Lift offered multiple options dependent on your needs and budget, from valve stems installed on the rear bumper, an on-board air supply kit with wireless remote or their automatic load leveling system that adds or removes pressure as required based off frame mounted sensors.

The axle side mounts are super simple to install, especially if you’ve sprung the extra coin for all new axle U-bolts and nuts from OUO. Simple remove your factory U-bolts, lower the axle mount, and replace with the new coated axle bracket supplied by OUO. This bracket has been designed to house the lower traction bar bracket directly below the axle.

Often times truck owners focus on just bolting on horsepower and fancy wheel and tire packages for better looks and off-road traction. But all the horsepower in the world won’t get you anywhere if you can’t plant it to the ground efficiently.

With the rear bar loosely bolted up to the axle bracket, the forward bar can be slipped in to it and held in place along the frame at your preferred location to meet the bar angle and length best for your application.
Once an overall length has been determined, the frame bracket can be positioned and held in place along the frame so the mounting bolt holes can be drilled through the frame. This is a tough thick piece of steel, so be sure to have some good drill bits on hand, take your time and it’ll work itself through.
After the frame brackets are drilled and bolted onto the frame, you can move onto to marking the bars for their final length adjustment, which requires drilling one more hole for a locater bolt to be installed through the bars.
Using the outer OUO sleeve as the template, you can mark each side of your bars and start by drilling a small pilot hole all the way through. Then using a much larger 7/8-inch bit you can drill to its final size to insert the supplied sleeve in to.
Before inserting the sleeve, collar, and bolt into place, run a quick sanding wheel over the drilled hole to remove any small metal burrs and debris.
Sliding the collar into its final location, the sleeve and bolt can then be installed into the bars and torqued down. This will stiffen up the bar and complete the traction bar installation.
The side mount bars from OUO work incredibly well and limit axle wrap without affecting suspension travel and ride quality. The materials used are coated to last and look great under the truck too.
The Air Lift Load Lifter 5000 airbags and Wireless Air supply are extremely simple to install on this model year GM as they will replace the factory bump stops bolted under the frame. The kit comes with the required brackets and hardware needed to install this kit in just one-two hours with hand tools.
The bags and brackets couldn’t be any easier to assemble and install under the truck thanks to step by step instructions supplied with the system. The Air Lift Load Lifter 5000 bags use a unique internal jounce bumper which will allow them to be run without air pressure when unloaded to maintain your factory ride quality.
With both the driver and passenger side bags assembled on their brackets, they can be installed into the truck. The lower portion will clamp directly onto the axle while the upper bracket bolts into the stock bump stop location on the frame.
The supplied brackets allowed perfect fitment under the truck with plenty of space around the bag in all directions, so there will be no concerns of the bags rubbing and wearing a hole in them premature.
The Wireless Air kit chosen for this truck was also quick to install with the supplied compressor and manifold just needing mounted in a dry location on the body. The supplied wire harness just needed to be plugged in and attached to a ground and key-on power location.

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