Carli Performance 2.5 installed, my impressions after road and trail time!
So, I guess it's time for a bit of a write up on the lift!!!! First, measurements!(all taken with a full tank of gas all taken from ground to bottom of fender flare (centering on hub cap)):
LF: 40.365" RF: 40.625"
LR: 42.25" RR: 42.875"
After lift (this includes Carli lift springs and Thuren shackles on center holes):
LF: 42.365" RF: 42.5"
LR: 43.125" RR: 44"
This yields about 2" of lift up front and about 1" of lift out back. If just the front were done, the truck would sit pretty much exactly level. Doing the rear setup yields a truck that still maintains a little rake for load carrying.
My buddy helped me with the install. (do NOT try it alone! the rear springs are way too heavy for one person!!!) I can post some installation pics if anybody is interested! All in all, it took 24 hours but, that was with MANY runs for tools/parts that we didn't think of prior, meal breaks, etc. Plus, staying up all night in 35 degree weather doing an install slows one's work rate down a little, LOL! (had to have it done to drive the next day, it's my only vehicle) With a lift and air tools (two things we didn't have) it'd go WAY quicker!!! Also, we only have a handful of lift installs under our belts between the two of us so, kind of a learning curve!
On road at low speeds- the ride is VERY rough, you feel EVERY imperfection to the road.
On road at moderate speeds- the ride is pretty rough, you feel almost everything
On road at high speeds- slightly improved over moderate, does feel more sporty than stock, corners VERY level!!!
On road summary- you feel everything. the only thing that is smoothed is big hits.
Offroad at low speeds- about the same as stock
Offroad at moderate speeds- much smoother than stock!!!!
Offroad at high speeds- haven't had a chance yet
Offroad summary- faster you go, smoother it gets!!!
A warning for off road use- the front shocks are actually a little shorter than our Power Wagon shocks, the rears are the same length as stock. It seems to me that a little bit of articulation is lost. Also, the reservoirs on the rear shocks are very vulnerable to rocks- mine already have several scars on them from only two wheeling trips!!!!
I will be fiddling with the shock pressure some to see if I can get a smoother on road ride out of the truck. I really am disappointed with onroad ride quality at the moment, the F-450 box truck I used to drive for work felt smooth compared to my Power Wagon's current ride. I will update once I do some tweaking. As it stands right now (assuming things don't improve) I would recommend keeping stock shocks unless you plan on doing some serious mobbing in the desert!
The overall look of the truck is AWESOME with the mild lift and 37s!!!!! The 37s fit quite well, rubbing only on the control arms, the lower rear corner of the driver's side front wheel well, every once in a while on the inner wheel well at the front bumper on that same side, and the vertical portion of the rear wheel wells that run parallel to the tire. I don't see the need for any trimming whatsoever after having wheeled it on some flex tight trails. I only miss the tighter turning circle that the stock 33's afforded (by not rubbing the control arms) on the road and in parking lots, I haven't really noticed a loss of maneuverability on the trail, and that counts wheeling in tightly tree lined Jeep trails!
The main issues I have seen with the lift thus far are:
1) ride quality (in Carli's defense, the shocks are valved more for zooming across the desert than my use also, I haven't spoken with them regarding this issue yet, I'll see what they recommend)
2) airbox and shock tower want to occupy the same space (Carli is curious as to this since they've never come across this issue before, I'm talking with one of their guys about it)
3) when flexed the passenger leaf spring hits the exhaust (but, my exhaust seems different from that of some others in pics I have seen, it seems Ram used a few different tailpipes, even differing amongst 2012 Power Wagons!)
4) when flexed, the rear springs forced the driveshaft into the gas tank skid (I've cut away the piece now)
1) better ground clearance!
2) better approach, departure, and especially breakover angles!
3) the parts look awesome!!!
4) the truck looks awesome!!!
5) room for 37s!!!
6) Did I mention room for 37s?!?!?!?
Anyways, I guess some pics might be nice!:
Lifted with stock tires (they look so tiny now!!!):
Lifted and 37s on:
From the other side:
Met another Power Wagon owner at Carolina Trail Blazers club run at Uwharrie, it was his first time wheeling, EVER!!! He did awesome!:
My buddy three wheeling my truck on the articulation course (I two wheeled it on a little different line, LOL!):
Some more flexy fun:
Can't resist one more pic!:
Not quite full stuff but, can see the 37's fit the rear wheel wells quite well! (thanks to the Carli springs moving the axle back 1/2"):
They fit the front fenders well too (thanks to the Carli arms being 1/2" longer than stock!!!):
Those beautiful Carli arms see their fair share of tire rub though!:
Speaking of rub, here's a few clearance issues I came across with the lift:
Airbox/tower (the air box is just sitting loose right now until I cut the bottom to clearance the tower):
The passenger side leafspring hit the tailpipe when flexed:
Resonator delete and after axle dump fixes that:
Driveshaft hit the gas tank skid at flex, and tore the weights off (cutting the offending portion of the skid off and spending $105 getting the driveshaft rebalanced solved that (just ignore the Cheerwine box, I put it there to keep sparks off the gas tank when I cut the skid! (had to cut it at the campsite right before the morning's trail ride!)):
Speaking of that morning's trail ride, my truck's bedside got a bit of a working over from a new privately owned trail (slid into a tree or two):
Me looking confused whilst on some rocks on said trail, LOL! (trying to see the rock my tire was about to go up!):
Got completely hung up a couple of times on my skid plates and frame cross members (had to stack rocks and use the winch to pull the truck off), they are starting to show some wear from many wheeling trips! (popped a bolt head clean off, DOH!!!):
One last shot, this is looking out my windshield at one of the hill climbs at Uwharrie the sides are taller than my truck but the trail isn't much wider than the truck! (can't remember what trail, when I am out there, I am usually just wandering or (in this case) following the trail leader):
Sweet truck!!! Great post and thx again for taking the time for the detailed info. Do you think the on road ride quality becoming stiffer is soley due to the shocks or a combination of the new shocks and larger/stiffer coil spings? I'm going to level mine but keep the rear at stock height. In your opininion how should I accomplish it. In a previous post you said the control arms need to be changed to adjustable one's as the stock ones will not be long enough after leveling the front end. Do I need to replace both upper and lower control arms? Should I purchase the Carli front coil springs or just use a spacer? Are there any other components that I need to change to keep the geometry of the front end correct? I'm not an avid off roader I'm doing the leveling mostly for added clearence/look but still want to be able to perform off road with out any issues. As always thanks for your help. Thx, Dave
Carli Hemi coils
Carli control arms (it's a full set of four, and they are not adjustable)
That's it. That would net you 2" lift up front to sit perfectly level! (I tried to take a few pics with just the frontend lifted but, they came out too dark, sorry) It will have all correct geometry and will sit VERY nice!
I would keep your stock shocks since they are actually the tiniest bit longer than the Carli shocks. (at least in the case of my Kings) I think a majority of the change in ride quality in my truck is from the shocks, they are tuned to excel at high speed off road. I will be trying to see if reducing their pressure makes them ride better for what I do with the truck.
That setup would give you a level ride height, better ground clearance, some room for larger tires, and I think it would ride nice too!
Sorry for the delay in my response, I am sick as a dog right now. :smiledown:
Trail Whale I have been in contact with Carli. Looks like I'm going to go with what you described above. Carli said I wouldnt have to change the control arms staying with 35's he said if I went to 37's he would recomend the control arm change. on their website its says the coils are for 3" lift. if I used them wouldnt the truck sit 1/2" higher in the front being that it is 2 1/2" difference front to back? Did you figure out your shock settings. How is it running?
They are actually just barely under 2" front lift on our trucks so, pretty much right at level. Carli's spec of 3" lift is for non-Power Wagons. Sorry it took me so long to get back to you, I have been super busy and haven't had a chance to get on here.
My shocks- well, I kinda accidentally ripped the reservoir of one and damaged the other (both my rear shocks) so, not able to do anything about them right now. They are both at Carli right now being repaired. About $375 in damage. DOH!!!
You can see that they started getting a little wear on the first trail run (can also see my "massaged" skid plates, lol!):
This is the one that ended up getting busted (prior to bust):
But then came the damage, can see that the resi connector allen bolts snapped (tape on the shock is to keep contaminants out of the new hole since it was raining and muddy):
Here's pretty much a summary of what happened (on a greasy clay mud and rock strewn trail):
Spectators and my spotter said:
"Take the easy path to the right!!!"
"NAW!!! I can TOTALLY make the hard line on the left side!!!"
Bystander picked it up and said:
"Hey, I think this belongs to you."
I did make the hard line though!!! (Aside from the reservoir)
So, two trips, three trails, one broken shock.
I was with a big group so, wasn't able to deal with it immediately. (Also, I'm not enamored with crawling under a truck that's sitting on a greasy clay slope!) it started POURING rain right when I went to take it off, got completely soaked!
(VERY grateful to the other Power Wagon guy in our club, he let me borrow some of his tools to disconnect the shock (I had some but couldn't find my breaker bar) he also let me borrow a strap to tie the shock up away from the axle, and got soaked as well helping me!) I told him about this site so, hopefully he'll join up!
I had to leave the shock attached at the top mount, couldn't bust the bolt loose, had to use a cheater bar at home. (I had my retorque done at the dealer since it was nasty weather at retorque time and I didn't feel like getting pneumonia in my driveway, lol! I think the guy went a little overboard, aren't shock mounts like 100ft-lbs?)
I taped the hole in the shock (the flow hole to the reservoir) shut to keep contaminants out, compressed the shock, and tied it to the frame for the ride home. On the highway, I honestly couldn't feel the difference between shock and none BUT, offroad, whoa! Hope to never have to run sans shock again!
Oh, on the subject of shocks (before I broke mine)- I now see how guys with Kings get themselves in trouble of not being able to resist launching their trucks!!! Puttering about, they are very firm but, when I started hitting whoops with a little speed, they soaked them up and begged for more!!! I was not about to go faster though, too much greasy clay and too many trees to the sides of a tight twisty trail! Didn't feel like totaling the truck in the name of shock testing, lol!!! I was impressed though!
WHEN I GET THE SHOCKS BACK, I WILL BE FLIPPING THEM THE OPPOSITE WAY!!! It'll take some fab work to make rom for them but, I do NOT want to have to fix broken shocks again!!!!
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