The Hotshot Tremor has gone Electric!

Posted by Derrick Lovell on

Electric Valving, that is. 

This February, the Hotshot Offroad Tremor went back into the shop to get a new shock set up put on. If you’re here to learn about the New Icon CDEV Kit for the Ford Tremor, then buckle up – we’re going for a rip. 

In 2023, we decided to put some rumors to the test. We were told that the Icon CDCV Stage 5 Kit, made to fit the Ford F150, was not compatible with the Tremor. Despite these allegations, we were able to disprove these claims by successfully running the Icon CDCV Stage 5 Kit on our 2022 Tremor, rigorously testing it both on and off-road without any issues. If you are interested in learning more about that Icon Setup on our Tremor, check it out HERE. We really enjoyed running the Icon kit and were able to provide plenty of feedback to our friends over at Icon. In November 2023, we had the opportunity to display the Hotshot Tremor at the SEMA show, showcasing our unique setup. While there, we chatted with the team over at Icon and got the scoop on what you came here for: the New Icon CDEV Kits. And let me tell you, we are in love. 

What to Expect in this Blog: 

We’ll be talking about the visual differences between the Icon CDEV Kit and the Icon CDCV Kit, some of the tricks we used when installing our kit that made things a little easier, and our initial thoughts now that we have the CDEV kit up and running in the Hotshot Tremor. 

Like many of you who hope to do the installation work themselves, we wanted to DIY this project at home, and were able to complete the full install, start to finish, in a personal home’s garage/driveway, using the tools we had on-hand. We commend Icon for doing an amazing job with their installation guide and instructions. We aren’t here to rewrite the book, but everyone approaches projects differently and hopefully we have some helpful hints from our personal experience that can help a few of you out. 

Let’s dive in. 

First – What is CDEV? 

From Icon directly - “The ICON CDE Valve upgrade is included for those desiring an easy way to tune the ride electronically from inside the vehicle. Compression Damping 

Electronic Valve (CDEV) is an electronically controlled valve that meters the flow of oil to regulate the amount of damping force that is created by the shock when compressed. 

This infinitely variable valve can react in less than 40ms and has the ability to make extremely precise adjustments for varying terrain. CDEV’s hydraulic circuits are also custom tailored per application to create the highest resolution and dynamic range allowable for each specific vehicle. Powered by ICON Intelligent Control and proprietary ICON mobile app, the system uses information from the onboard G-force sensor and 

Gyroscope to perform calculations based on algorithms and user-defined settings to predict terrain and adjust shock settings via the CDEV accordingly.” 

There is a phone app that you will have the ability to adjust the shock settings on the fly. Settings from front to rear firmness as well as cornering support settings are all available on an easy-to-use app. 

Visual Comparison – CDEV vs CDCV 

Like with any new suspension kit, the Icon CDEV Kit comes out of the box nice and shiny and looks pretty darn good. Icon always packages their products extremely well, ensuring everything arrives safely. 

At first glance, the new CDEV kit side-by-side with our CDCV kit doesn't initially look too different, aside from the labels and a few extra pieces. The first notable difference was with the new Billet Pro UCA’s. The new Delta Pro Billet UCA’s help with up to 3.5” of lift while helping correct the geometry on the front-end alignment and providing full bump and droop travel. We also noticed how the Pros are slightly beefier than the standard Billet UCAs, which is beneficial when using a truck for rigorous off roading. 

From a sizing perspective, with this being the Tremor specific kit, the extended lengths and resting spring length of the coilovers are both slightly longer. That and the extra components for the electronic system are really the only visual cues differentiating them. 

The Install – Our Experience and Tricks 

Now for the fun part: the install. As we mentioned before, we are not here to rewrite the install process. Icon has a solid install guide already made. You can find a few pointers from our install experience that we thought might be helpful below. Our goal is to show that this is a very doable install at home with the proper tools and an open schedule – it always takes more time than you think. 

Front Coilovers and UCAs 

As most people do, we began the install by doing the front shocks. The instructions Icon provides details of the proper process. That being said, one of the first areas we went somewhat off-map was with the UCAs. 

We started off by unclipping all the wires and sensors mounted to the different parts of the truck and getting them out of the way. Then we started with loosening the UCAs’ bolts. Do not fully remove the nut or bolts, just get them loose. This will provide movement when you start loosening other areas of the front end. Once you have the UCA bolts loosened, you can begin loosening the Spindle/UCA Nut to begin the removal of the UCAs. Be sure not to take the Spindle Nut out completely. Leave approximately 4-5 threads attached until you can knock the UCA joint loose. Hit the knuckle head on with a mallet or hammer (don't go too crazy) until you see the joint come loose.

Once you get the joint loose, you can remove the nuts and pull the joint out of the spindle. Once the joint is out of the spindle, go ahead and remove the UCAs so it is easier to get the old struts out and to put the new struts in. Its also good practice to use bungee cords or some sort of straps to help keep things from moving around on you. These components get heavy so having things stay in place helps out a lot. 


Lower Control Arm 

Next comes relaxing of the lower control arms. This is something we strongly suggest you do. Leaving the LCA attached at the hub makes getting these struts into place extremely difficult with or without a lift. Lowering those LCAs will make your job a lot easier. Once all of that is done, get the new struts in there! When doing this in a driveway or garage; you really need to get that LCA relaxed as far down as you can. 

The Icon struts do not want to line up completely unless you get that arm down far enough. Once you get the strut in up top, thread one nut on the top hat to just keep the strut from falling. Don’t tighten down fully but get it enough to hold. Then, get the bottom bolts on the struts lined up so you can thread a little bit of the nuts and can finish the install. This is also where having a second jack helps out. We used one to help support that lower control arm so when we removed the bolts things didnt go flying to the ground on us. We will also use this jack when putting things back into place. 

Once you have all of this done you can finish per Icon directions. One thing that typically becomes somewhat challenging is getting the LCA bolts back into place. Without a lift, you don’t have a ton of room to move around, nor a lot of leverage. In this instance, we used a second jack to help guide and lift the LCA back into place. Then, replace the bolts and tighten everything down per specs. This is a good time to go ahead and get your coilovers adjusted to whatever height you want. Per Icon, every full rotation will yield about a 1⁄8” of lift. But it’s smart to measure your threads and individual settled ride height to ensure you are getting the proper lift. In this case, we knew that our Tremor would sit slightly lower on the driver’s side due to the weight on that side. So, we went a few more rotations to get the kit to be even on both sides. Little piece of advice when adjusting the coils; WD40. Spray a little on the threads before turning and it makes your life a lot easier! Once this is done you can then run your reservoir hose/mount as well as get your new UCAs in (if applicable). 


For the Rear Leafs, Shocks, and Shackles, follow the directions as stated from Icon. We do advise that you have lifting blocks for your jack. Our jack, even at full extension, could not get the Tremor up high enough, so we had to stack 3 2x4 pieces onto the jack extension to get the truck up high enough to complete the rear. Once your jack is lifted, it’s a simple process! Same goes for running the wires – simple to do just takes some time. Run your wires where you’d like, plug in all the shocks, then you’re ready to roll! 


Review of the System 

Once the installation is complete, we get to the best part: seeing how they ride! We chose to not adjust anything at all to get an idea of how the kit rode right out of the box. Our first impression? Way too soft… but stick with us. The truck felt like it was bouncing all over the place when on main roads and wasn’t to our liking.   

Once we gave the shocks a few miles of driving to settle, we hooked up Icon’s Bluetooth App.

This feature is awesome. The whole point of this kit is to be able to adjust your shocks remotely without getting out in the rain, dirt, snow, etc. True bougee convenience, let us tell ya! But in all seriousness, the app is quick, easy, and user-friendly. Once connected, we discovered the out of the box setting was at a 2 out of 10 on both front and rear, explaining why the ride initially felt bouncy. 

We adjusted to settings that felt comfortable for daily driving and tested it out before saving. The app allows for saved modes and features. For instance, there are G- Boost and Corner Boost Adjustments, followed by Driving Mode Presets, such as Daily Driving, Off-road, and Towing, and finally, a Trip Statistics Menu. What that means is not only can you adjust for comfort in different environments, but this kit can also provide direct support while towing or hauling as well. This kit really has it all. And the ride is really damn good. 


Since install, the daily driving has been smooth and comfortable, as you’d expect from many kits. Where you really notice the improvement is over the bumps and rougher terrain. The system absorbs it so well. This kit ticks our boxes for what we want and more out of a good suspension.   

Overall, this kit was easy to install right at home, is easily adjustable through Icon’s Bluetooth App, rides smoothly, and meets and exceeds our expectations. We will keep you updated in the coming months as we continue to test it out, but we have high hopes for the longevity of the New Icon CDEV Kits. 

Check back for updates on Hotshot Builds and let us know in the comments or reach out Hotshot Offroad directly if you have any questions about this suspension kit & more.  

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