As you can see in the image above, I have a 2020 Jeep Gladiator with some modifications to make it a more capable vehicle for my overlanding and off-roading adventures.
One of the mods I’ve made is installing an ICON Suspension Stage 7 to replace the Teraflex Falcon suspension I had on my Jeep before.
It’s been about six weeks since the switch, and so far, the ICON Suspension Stage 7 has proven to be a killer upgrade. Granted, it hasn’t been enough time for me to really punish it out on tough trails, but nevertheless – so far, so good.
Let’s lift the veil on this suspension and talk about its specs and features! I’ll also answer some common questions I’ve seen about ICON Suspension products. Let’s get to it!
Table of Contents
- What is ICON Suspension?
- What are the Benefits of ICON Suspension?
- What are the Different Types of ICON Suspension?
- What is the Best ICON Suspension for My Vehicle?
- ICON Suspension Stage 7 Review
- How Much Does ICON Suspension Cost?
- Where Can I Buy ICON Suspension?
- How Do I Install ICON Suspension?
- What is the Warranty on ICON Suspension?
- What are Some Common Problems With ICON Suspension?
- How Do I Troubleshoot ICON Suspension Problems?
What is ICON Suspension?
Icon Suspension, or ICON Vehicle Dynamics, makes high-quality components for all types of trucks and SUVs from manufacturers like Jeep, Toyota, Ram, Ford, GM, and others. From ICON shocks to coilovers, lift kits to leveling kits, and entire suspensions, ICON Vehicle Dynamics has built a solid reputation for its products.
The company prides itself on being influenced by technology, focused on engineering, and having a commitment to top-notch customer service. As a new customer, I can tell you that it’s evident the company holds these values dear.
What’s interesting about ICON Vehicle Dynamics is that they begin with the desired outcome – what do they want the product, be it ICON coilovers, an ICON Jeep suspension, or something in between – to be able to do? This involves a serious amount of research into vehicle dynamics (thus the company name), but it results in products that are functional, reliable, and durable. What’s not to like?!
Moreover, ICON Vehicle Dynamics spends tons of time and energy testing its products, ensuring they do what they need to do and provide you with off-road capabilities and on-road comfort.
As I noted earlier, I’ve only had this suspension on my truck for about a month-and-a-half, but I can tell you that the ride is silky smooth. That’s a result of all the R&D ICON does! It’s also a result of the in-house manufacturing process that includes metal forming, laser cutting, CNC machining and so forth. The proof is definitely in the pudding!
What are the Benefits of ICON Suspension?
These suspension systems are designed to improve the performance and handling of your vehicle, both on and off-road. They offer a number of benefits, including:
- Increased wheel travel: This allows your vehicle to absorb bumps and obstacles more easily, providing a smoother ride and improved handling.
- Improved damping: ICON shocks and struts are designed to provide superior damping, which helps to reduce body roll and vibration. This results in a more stable and comfortable ride.
- Increased ground clearance: ICON suspension systems can provide more clearance over obstacles and improves approach and departure angles.
- Improved articulation: ICON allows your vehicle’s suspension to articulate more freely, which is important for off-road performance. This helps to prevent your tires from losing traction and allows you to navigate rough terrain more easily.
- Increased durability: ICON products are made from high-quality materials and are designed to withstand the rigors of off-road use. This means that they will last longer than stock suspension systems and will require less maintenance.
If you are looking for a suspension system that will improve the performance and handling of your vehicle, ICON Vehicle Dynamics is a great option. Their products are backed by a lifetime warranty, too, so you get excellent peace of mind with your purchase!
What are the Different Types of ICON Suspension?
One of the nice things about ICON is that they offer a huge range of suspensions – eight, in fact, each of which is assigned a different stage. I’ve briefly outlined each below:
Stage 1 – The Stage 1 is a budget-friendly, entry-level kit that offers improved wheel travel, better ride quality on and off-road, and upgraded components with a modest lift.
Stage 2 – The Stage 2 kit is a basic suspension upgrade that’s intended for light to medium off-road use. You get a 2.5-inch lift, dual rate coil springs, 2.0 Aluminum Series shocks, and more.
Stage 3 – The Stage 3 kit is for those of you that want better on-road ride quality while setting your rig up for moderate off-road use. You get the same 2.5-inch lift as the Stage 1 and Stage 2 kits, as well as a triple-rate rear coil spring kit, a rear sway bar relocation kit, improved wheel travel, and more.
Stage 4 – The Stage 4 kit is designed for making drastic improvements for on-road use while also enabling you to tackle moderate off-roading. You get front and rear adjustable track bars, room for up to 37-inch tires, better wheel travel, and 2.0 Aluminum Series shocks, to name a few goodies.
Stage 5 – Stage 5 builds on the Stage 4 system by providing you a greater level of overall ride quality with the ability to tackle frequent off-roading adventures. The kit includes upper and lower links, dual-rate front coil springs, and triple-rate rear coil springs, plus much more.
Stage 6 – The Stage 6 suspension system not only gives you dramatically improved off-road performance for heavy off-road use, but you’ll also find an improved ride quality on pavement. This is a complete system with 2.5 Aluminum Series shocks, beefier coil strings, adjustable track bars, and more.
Stage 7 – The Stage 7 option (the one I chose – details below) is a complete system with upgraded 2.5 Aluminum Series shocks, a 2.5″ lift, adjustable lower rear links, and much more. All that results in improved wheel travel for rigs with up to 37-inch tires with a bump stop spacer kit.
Stage 8 – The ICON Stage 8 is the ultimate suspension system for smooth on-road performance and heavy off-road use. This kit offers the ability to adjust the ride quality based on the application, along with features like steel lower and upper front links, a triple-rate rear coil spring kit, adjustable front and rear track bars, and much more.
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What is the Best ICON Suspension for My Vehicle?
The best suspension for your vehicle depends on a variety of factors:
- Your budget
- Your specific vehicle
- Your level of off-roading experience
- Your needs and wants regarding performance
For example, if you’re new to off-roading, a Stage 1 ICON Suspension is a great place to start. As noted earlier, this entry-level kit gives you everything you need to outfit your vehicle for easy off-roading without breaking the bank.
But, if you’re a more experienced off-roader, the best suspension is likely going to be a Stage 4 or higher. If you’re a pro, a Stage 8 is the way to go.
So, before investing in a suspension, sit down and think about what your budget is and what you want to do with your vehicle off-road, then invest in the best ICON products for your needs.
ICON Suspension Stage 7 Review
You might be wondering why I chose the Stage 7. Well, it’s pretty simple…
First, I wanted something that gives me improved off-road performance for the occasions I’m off-roading or overlanding. This kit does that.
Second, I wanted a kit that offers a smooth on-road ride, too, as I spend a lot of time in my Gladiator on paved roads. The Stage 7 accomplishes that as well – the ride is absolutely dreamy.
Third, and perhaps most importantly, ICON gives the truck a 2.5-inch lift, which is the maximum I could add and still fit my truck into my garage. Believe me – a bigger lift would be great, but not at the expense of having to park my truck outside.
On top of that, my Turtleback Expedition trailer has an ICON suspension on it, and over the last three years with that trailer, I’ve been nothing but impressed with the performance of that suspension. If it’s good enough for the trailer, it’s good enough for the Jeep!
Stage 7 Specs/Features
Anyway, in addition to the practical factors listed above, I wanted the Stage 7 because of the laundry list of features that improve the performance and handling of my Jeep. I mean, get a load of this spec list:
- 2.5 Aluminum Series Shocks
- 2.5-inch lift
- Dual-rate coil springs in front
- Tubular steel fixed lower and adjustable upper front links
- Billet front sway bar links
- Triple-rate rear coil spring kit
- Tubular steel fixed upper and adjustable lower rear links
- Rear sway bar relocation fit
- Front and rear adjustable track bars
Not bad, right?
Additionally, these kits come with all the hardware needed for the install. As I noted earlier, you can put this kit on your rig if you have the time and the skill!
I run 37-inch tires on my truck, so I had to get the ICON Jeep JT Bump Stop Spacer Kit in addition to the Stage 7 kit. This provides the extra room the tires need. Speaking of extra room, now that I have this kit on my truck, I get about 33 percent more wheel travel in front and 23 percent more in back. Nice!
Stage 7 Ride Quality
In the short time I’ve had this kit on my Jeep, I’ve noticed a marked improvement in the ride quality.
Now, I have a long history in the automotive industry, and I’ve driven and tested my fair share of cars over the years. The Stage 7 kit doesn’t turn my Jeep into a smooth-gliding Bugatti by any means. However, it absolutely drives like a dream compared to what it was like when it was stock.
Of course, most of my travels since I had the Stage 7 installed have been in urban areas on pavement, so I’m excited to get this beast out for some off-roading and trail riding. I’m heading to Arizona soon, so stay tuned to the 4WDTalk YouTube channel for some insights into my truck’s off-road performance with the Stage 7 installed.
What Does the Stage 7 Do for the Truck?
Apart from giving it a modest lift, a smoother ride on tarmac, and better off-road performance, the Stage 7 kit gives my truck better front end articulation and improved articulation in the rear, too.
Likewise, the beefy front coil springs protect against sagging while the triple-rate rear coil springs have droop, ride, and overload rates specifically engineered by ICON.
At the same time, the 2.5 Aluminum Series shocks I mentioned earlier have one-piece impact extruded aluminum cylinders that provide superb resistance to corrosion. Something else of note is that the front and rear track bars help keep the truck aligned while contributing to better articulation.
How Does It Look?
Obviously, the point of upgrading the suspension isn’t just to look cool, but dang, the Stage 7 looks very good.
Though I appreciate the Gladiator’s looks when it rolls off the showroom floor, it just isn’t aggressive enough for my taste. The Stage 7 gives it that aggressive, mean look while also giving you all the functionalities you need to tackle rough trails.
I got the Stage 7 tubular version, and the various components look like a million bucks. You can invest in a billet version, though, if you prefer.
What About Performance?
As I mentioned earlier, I haven’t had many chances to test the Stage 7 off-road yet, though that will change soon. In the meantime, you can see the difference between the performance of a stock Gladiator and one with an ICON suspension in the video above from the ICON YouTube channel.
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How Much Does ICON Suspension Cost?
The price of an ICON suspension depends on the stage and the vehicle. For example, a Stage 1 suspension for a Jeep Gladiator starts at roughly $1,200. In contrast, a Stage 8 for a Gladiator is nearly $6,000. The stages in between obviously have varying price points as well.
Interested in finding out the price for a suspension? Use ICON’s online search tool to find products for your specific vehicle.
Where Can I Buy ICON Suspension?
How Do I Install ICON Suspension?
If you’re mechanically inclined and have the time and space in your garage or driveway, you might be able to install your suspension components yourself. I’m short on time and space, so I had the fine folks at Aiden James Customs install the suspension for me. But, let’s be honest…having professionals like the Aiden James team take care of it means it’ll be done right instead of me messing something up!
To get a better idea of what the installation process is like, check out the video above by 3Wolf Productions.
What is the Warranty on ICON Suspension?
My Stage 7 suspension comes with a limited lifetime warranty. There’s also a one-year warranty on the shocks and five years on delta joints.
What are Some Common Problems With ICON Suspension?
ICON suspension is a high-quality aftermarket suspension system that is known for its performance and durability. However, as with any product, there are some potential problems that can occur.
One of the most common problems is premature wear and tear. This can be caused by a number of factors, including:
- Improper installation: If the suspension is not installed correctly, it can put unnecessary stress on the components and lead to premature wear.
- Overloading: This suspension is designed to handle a certain amount of weight. If it is overloaded, it can cause the components to wear out prematurely.
- Off-road use: This suspension is designed for off-road use, but it is not indestructible. If it is used for extreme off-road driving, it can cause the components to wear out prematurely.
- Another common problem with ICON suspension is noise. Some components can make noise, such as creaking or squeaking. This is usually caused by the components not being properly lubricated.
Finally, these suspensions can be expensive. This is a high-quality product, and it comes with a price tag to match, whether you need an ICON performance suspension, an ICON off-road suspension, an ICON truck suspension, or an ICON SUV suspension. But, as the saying goes, you get what you pay for, and when it comes to suspension components, I’d rather pay more for a high-quality product!
How Do I Troubleshoot ICON Suspension Problems?
Here are some tips on how to troubleshoot suspension problems:
- Check the installation: Make sure that the suspension was installed correctly. If it was not, it could be causing problems.
- Check the components: Inspect the suspension components for damage. If any of the components are damaged, they will need to be replaced.
- Check the alignment: Make sure that the alignment of your vehicle is correct. If it is not, it could be causing problems with the suspension.
- Check the air pressure: Make sure that the air pressure in your tires is correct.
- If you have checked all of these things and you are still having problems with your suspension, you may need to contact a qualified technician for assistance.
If you are having recurring problems with your suspension, keep a log of the problems. This will help you to track the problems and identify the cause. If you can, take pictures of the problems that you’re having with your suspension. This will help the technician to diagnose the problem.
Above all, troubleshooting suspension problems can be time-consuming. Be patient and work with the technician to resolve the problem. It’ll be easier for everyone involved if cool heads prevail!
If you’re ready to get an ICON suspension for your rig, head over to Amazon or your favorite retailer to see what’s available for your specific vehicle.