Where to start when planning your suspension build, and simple questions answered

 

 

        Quick note about leveling, and the front to rear height bias. Most people contact us and say they want a "level" truck. If you lined up 10 trucks all with different front to rear height differences, 9 out of 10 people would visually prefer the trucks that are closer to 1/2" to 1" taller in the rear than the front. In fact, if you measured the front and rear fender openings on a truck and got the identical dead-level measurements, 9 out of 10 people would say that the front is higher than the rear just visually looking at the truck. That truck is level but will LOOK nose high, so for this reason unless you know exactly what you are after, we suggest measuring your trucks fender openings, and shooting for keeping the rear 1/2" to 1" taller than the front.



- 2013+ Ram 3500 -

 

       Using our components, all you NEED from us to get leveling done properly, is our front coils and shocks. Plan on our trackbar after you get about 20,000 miles on the truck. You must buy the shocks we sell, or we can spec approved part numbers for other brands, but don't buy shocks by the generic aftermarket manufacturers application, as they won't be right for our coils.

       We want to be VERY clear that with this new platform, coil spacers used to gain lift height are very risky. Unlike the 1994-2012 platform, this new frame has very odd coil spring mounts, and mandates a much shorter coil spring is used. These limitations make it so the OEM coil is very stressed as the suspension cycles when a coil spacer is installed. If you do install a coil spacer, make sure you also drop the bumpstops the matching amount, to keep the coil spring stress as similar to stock as it can be.

       These trucks are a little tricky. There are a lot of options from the factory, making the heights vary off the lot, so we need to often get measurements to check where your truck is at height wise. Recently the air-assist rear leaf spring trucks have popped up, and they seem to sit a little low in the rear, compared to the all-leaf spring rear suspension trucks.

       The leaf sprung non rear-airbag 3500 trucks sit 1/2" taller in the front off the lot, compared to the 2500 trucks. This is why we list the same front coils as 2.25" lift. Measure your trucks front to rear bias before ordering, to make sure you won't be nose-high. Often people like about 1" lift in the rear, but we have no provisions for that just yet.

 

 

- 2014+ Ram 2500 and Power Wagon-

       Using our components, all you NEED from us to get leveling done properly, is our front coils and shocks. Plan on our trackbar after you get about 20,000 miles on the truck. You must buy the shocks we sell, or we can spec approved part numbers for other brands, but don't buy shocks by the generic aftermarket manufacturers application, as they won't be right for our coils.

        The OEM Power Wagon front trackbar is about 1/4" longer than the OEM 2500 unit, and the same 20,000 mile estimate of when the OEM bar should be replaced, applies.

       We want to be VERY clear that with this new platform, coil spacers used to gain lift height are very risky. Unlike the 1994-2012 platform, this new frame has very odd coil spring mounts, and mandates a much shorter coil spring is used. These limitations make it so the OEM coil is very stressed as the suspension cycles when a coil spacer is installed. If you do install a coil spacer, make sure you also drop the bumpstops the matching amount, to keep the coil spring stress as similar to stock as it can be.

       Rear coil springs on a 2500! So fun in theory, but a little tricky. The rear air-suspension trucks sit a little lower in the rear, compared to the coil spring rear suspension trucks. We now have easy to install sensor links for the rear air-bag system, which tricks the computer into thinking the truck wants to be about an inch taller than stock. These are working well and are on the products page. If you want to keep the rear stock height, choose our 1" lift coils.

       The 2014+ Power Wagon coils are almost exactly the same height as our coils, but are still extremely stiff. Even on the Power Wagon, huge gains in ride quality and off-road performance can be had by using our rear coil kit.



- 2003-2012 Ram 2500-3500, and 2013 2500 -

       The above listed years, are the 4-link front platform rear leaf-sprung trucks that have been around for a long time, and we have them pretty dialed. We like to see you keep your truck around 3" of lift in the front, and about 3/4" to 1" lift in the rear. This is what most people end up preferring. If you run our 2" coils, you don't need any rear lift. We'll talk about taller lifts below.

       If you measure a bone stock truck, you will often see the front 3" lower than the rear. You would naturally think, "I need 3" front lift to get my truck level, why do I need lift in the rear"? Reason is, when you lift the front you transfer more weight to the rear, so this will sag the rear about 1/2". You will now be nose high if you lift the front only. Not to mention if the truck is DEAD LEVEL, it can often appear nose high, but it's not. Adding a bit of lift to the rear gives the most level looking stance from all angles.


- Yes you NEED an upgraded trackbar -

       This really is not an option on these year trucks. Yes you could probably get by for a bit and be fine with the stock track bar, but we see so often issues arise if not addressed right away, that we have to be very clear here. These year trucks NEED and upgraded trackbar any time you change anything from stock with the suspension, tires, or wheels. For more info on this check the trackbar section in the product FAQ area.


- Leveling coil spacers -

       You can run leveling spacers on 1994-2012 year trucks, and for the most part I don't really have an issue with it. The OEM coils are pretty durable, and can hold up to spacers just fine. That said, it is still cutting corners a bit for a few reasons.

  • If you run coil spacers, technically you should also extend the bumpstops the same distance. This is because the OEM coils were not designed to compress to a smaller height, and the spacers make them do this when the suspension nears bottoming. The only real issue that may arise is sagging over time. I have only seen OEM coils break a few times. Very rare situation.
  • If you ever plan to run 2.5" or larger diameter shocks, coil spacers do not work. When the suspension cycles the shocks swing side to side, and spacers do not give them enough room to move.

Be sure you check my coils spacer notes on the 2013+ trucks if you need clarity there, as they are a WAY different animal.


- Shocks -

        Any time you lift the front end 2-3", you need longer appropriate shocks. Stock shocks do not have enough range of movement. Stock rear shocks are OK up to 1" of lift in the rear.


- Sway bar -

       The 2003-2009 trucks need longer swaybar links when lifting or leveling the truck. The 2010 up trucks are fine with the stock links up to 3" lift, but you need to loosen the top nut a couple turns, to relax the tension on the "rubber sandwich" joint.

Our XHD swaybar links are the strongest replacement link option if you want to keep the OEM swaybar.

Our Active-Rate swaybar help the ride quality on rough roads and off-road.


- Control arms -

        The stock OEM front control arms are just fine to use, up to 3" of lift. On our control arm product page you can find more info on why long arms are basically mandatory, with over 3" of lift.


- Leaf springs -

        Our Long-Travel leaf springs are designed to be the best riding, softest leafs possible, while not being TOO soft that handling and spring durability suffers. That said, sag with weight will be more similar to a standard 1/2 ton truck. More info on the leaf spring product page.

        If you want a cheaper option that splits the difference in ride quality and travel, compared to our ultimate LT full leafs, you can do our "Overload leaf" modification below. I came up with this technique many years ago and it works well. Basically what you are doing is disassembling the pack, removing and cutting the overload leaf down to 14" long overall length(7" out each end from center), and re-installing it. The Overload leaf is the basically flat thick tapered leaf under the main curved leaf pack. When you do this modification you will now have more linear rate free suspension travel, but you will get more sag when heavier loaded. Works great for being a basically free modification. 

        Many people will just want to remove the overload leaf completely. Don't do that. The above technique is the only way to make sure the main leaf pack is not over-stressed. 



- Lifts over 3" tall, and the reasons they are difficult to build, properly -

        When you go over 3" of front lift, you automatically open the door to much higher cost, more things to go wrong, and more aggravation. This is because you HAVE to install all the mandatory drop brackets once you crest 3.5" of lift. The tricky part is that all the same drop brackets for a 6" lift are the same for a 4" lift, and they have to be, to keep proper geometry. So this 4" lift with 3" trackbar and bumpstop drops just increased your suspensions compression travel by 1". Even during day to day real world driving this is a waste, as you are basically just as close to the bumpstops as a stock truck. This 4" lift will look great, but adds no ride quality improvements and usually only hurts the ride. Once you go up to a 6" lift you can get the job done properly, but it is expensive, as the list to build this properly gets very long. Long arms, trackbar drop, drop pitman, full leaf springs for no blocks, extended brake lines, possible driveline mods, etc. Sure lift kits exist that leave out these components I just listed, but I promise you, you will not be 100% happy with how the truck rides and handles. While mid-2016 we should have a full 6" system available, for the 2003-2011 trucks, we still prefer our higher end spec 3" systems. Our 3" system built to fit 37's are just as impressive as most 6" lifts, and you get to use the money you save for higher end shocks, and all the extra add on's. Easier install, less brackets to shift and make noise, etc. Food for thought......