So BlueJet was extremely kind and made a section just about leveling our trucks! How perfect! I figured I would put together a list of frequently asked questions I see here on the board. This is by no means a comprehensive list, just some common questions. The answers might also be general and just point you in the right direction. I'm only going to cover 3rd and 4th gens.
Q: Are 4x4 leveling kits and 4x2 leveling kits the same?
A: No. For the covered generations, the kits are different between a 4x4 and 4x2 front suspensions. For example: 4x2 trucks CANNOT
use adjustable shocks. Usually a spacer kit is utilized. Example kit: ReadyLift System
Q: leveling my 3rd generation ram (2002-2008)..what do I get?
:You guys have torsion bar suspensions in the front, which means technically you can crank those up and level your truck. From talking to experienced members, this is a viable means...just stay within reason. 2/2.5" is the max you should go when doing this. Yes you can buy after market torsion key kits but they essentially do the same thing. So you guys get a FREE level!
: You have struts with a coil-over set-up. So you have two options: 1) coil spacers, ex) hell bent steel ~$80/pair
2) adjustable shocks ex) bilstein 5100, rancho ~$180/pair
Option 2 is an EXCELLENT choice and MANY MANY people run these on 3rd and 4th gen rams and love them. They have multiple height settings. (3 for the 3rd gens for bilstein 5100).
Q: leveling my 4th generation ram (2009-current)...what do I get?
A: 4th gen rams have the same options as the later 3rd gen rams. Spacers and adjustable shocks. However, the 4th gens have 5 height settings (bilstein 5100). Also, it is possible to install REAR coil spacers on 4th gens. Some people like to keep the rake for towing/heavy loads, but want to level in order to fit larger tires as well.
Q: Why would I level my truck? Pro's/Con's.
A: 1) Pro: A lot of folks dislike the "rake" (term given for how the truck sits lower in the front than the rear). This does serve a purpose...when filling the bed with heavy loads or towing..the rear will not SQUAT lower than the front due to the forward rake.
2) Pro: Most people level in order to fit larger tires. The consensus is, for both 4th gen and 3rd gens, you can fit 35x12.5 tires. (For a discussion on tire/wheel fitment, go here: http://www.ramforumz.com/showthread.php?t=139106
3) Con:With a level truck and a heavy load/towing, you rear can sit lower than the front (you can get air bags to help with this).
4) 4x4 shudder. In rare cases, esp with bilsteins at max setting, some will experience a shudder on acceleration in 4x4. It usually occurs on flat surfaces. Most cases it is very minor and the driver doesn't even notice when off-road..not of concern. In extreme cases, it can be violent and needs to be resolved.
Q: Can I install a level kit by myself?
A: YES! If you are even slightly mechanically inclined, and have a decent set of tools. These kits (spacers/adjustable shocks) are just a few hours work if everything goes right. For coil-over set ups, you will need a spring compressor. SAFETY FIRST
That is all for now. If you have more questions, ask them and I'll add them if I feel they are frequently asked.