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Custom Dodge Ram Performance Mods - Engine - 4.7 Liter V8 Discuss modifying your Dodge Ram with Performance Parts and Accessories!
Factory Spec: 4.7-liter V8 engine - 310 horsepower, 330 lb-ft of torque.


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  #1  
Old 07-15-2012, 07:22 PM
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Ryanb Ryanb is offline
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Default Question about lifting my Ram

Hi i'm new to everything here and i was wondering what's the difference between a lift kit and leveling your truck. I would like to lift it but i'm not sure which way to go with it and also not sure what to get either. I'd like to do 2.5 inch lift. If anyone can help me out i'd really appreciate it.
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Old 07-15-2012, 08:31 PM
ArtNJr ArtNJr is offline
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Originally Posted by Ryanb View Post
Hi i'm new to everything here and i was wondering what's the difference between a lift kit and leveling your truck.
Since a lot of 'em (mine included) come with the rear end sitting higher than the front, you could raise the front or lower the rear to level the vehicle out. Mine came with 4" blocks on the rear leaf springs so taking those out or switching to 2" instead would bring the back end down close to even with the front, but I do carry heavy loads & pull trailers from time to time & then the back end would sit too low, so I'm leaving mine alone.

People use lift kits to keep bigger tires from hitting the fenders (better to cut the fenders out) or just for looks & of the 2 choices, raising the body or the suspension, a well-designed suspension lift is much, much better, as the increased suspension travel is beneficial. BUT -- there are a lot of negatives about lifts, including increased driveshaft angle (wears U-joints out) & a higher center of gravity not only hurts cornering & highway stability too, you actually lose pulling power. In other words, if you had a pulling contest between two 4x4 pickups & one was lifted but otherwise they were identical, the one which was NOT lifted would win every time. That's not generally known, but I guarantee you it's true & it has to do with the laws of physics, not my opinion.

My truck may look like it has a suspension lift (a lot of people think it does) but the suspension is stock & it's going to stay that way (other than better-than-stock shocks) & I've already got the tallest tires I can run without cutting into the fenders. After all, for off-road driving, it's the clearance between the axles & the ground that matters, not how high up the body is -- once you start the dragging axles thru the mud you get stuck & the only way to get the axles up higher is to put on taller tires.
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Old 07-24-2012, 02:41 PM
rhodav02 rhodav02 is offline
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Everyone I talk to says go bigger. A leveling kit will only get you 2-3 inches and like it says it levels your front with rear. You can barely notice that much lift. If you are looking for looks and not for climbing I would go either 6 or 8 inches just for the fact that it looks better.But if you dont want it that extreme just go 4-5 inches and put bigger tires under it. If you want the best lift go with BDS suspension they have the best warranty and the product, cost more but is well worth it in the long run.
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Old 07-24-2012, 04:07 PM
ArtNJr ArtNJr is offline
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Originally Posted by rhodav02 View Post
Everyone I talk to says go bigger.
Only problem is everybody you talk to isn't going to be paying for all the U-Joints you tear up & other more expensive mechanical problems you have due to a high lift. As many negative things as may be said about the truck designers, their knowledge of suspension & drivetrain geometry ain't one of 'em -- when you lift a truck much higher than 2"-3" you are changing that geometry & unless you're a mechanical engineer (I am) you won't understand all the ramifications of what you're doing. There are ways to keep the driveshaft angles, etc. the same as stock with a lift, but I haven't seen a lift kit which did that in ages. Perhaps there are some where the engineering work has already been done for you, but you still may have to have the driveshaft(s) lengthened & that's not a DIY project.

As I said before, the only real reason (not counting looks) to raise a truck up is for taller tires to get the AXLES up higher -- it matters not how high the body is when you're dragging the axles thru the mud. And if you look @ trucks which have been modified professionally for off-road racing, etc. you will see that rather than jack the suspension and/or body way up the fenders are cut out for bigger tires -- raising the center of gravity is NOT a good thing to do -- it seriously impacts vehicle stability both on & off-road & it actually reduces pulling power. And I just hate to see people spend 1000's of $$$ on modifications primarily for looks, or even for functionality, which ruin the truck & cause one problem after another.
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Old 08-19-2012, 02:48 AM
DColeman DColeman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtNJr View Post
Only problem is everybody you talk to isn't going to be paying for all the U-Joints you tear up & other more expensive mechanical problems you have due to a high lift. As many negative things as may be said about the truck designers, their knowledge of suspension & drivetrain geometry ain't one of 'em -- when you lift a truck much higher than 2"-3" you are changing that geometry & unless you're a mechanical engineer (I am) you won't understand all the ramifications of what you're doing. There are ways to keep the driveshaft angles, etc. the same as stock with a lift, but I haven't seen a lift kit which did that in ages. Perhaps there are some where the engineering work has already been done for you, but you still may have to have the driveshaft(s) lengthened & that's not a DIY project.

As I said before, the only real reason (not counting looks) to raise a truck up is for taller tires to get the AXLES up higher -- it matters not how high the body is when you're dragging the axles thru the mud. And if you look @ trucks which have been modified professionally for off-road racing, etc. you will see that rather than jack the suspension and/or body way up the fenders are cut out for bigger tires -- raising the center of gravity is NOT a good thing to do -- it seriously impacts vehicle stability both on & off-road & it actually reduces pulling power. And I just hate to see people spend 1000's of $$$ on modifications primarily for looks, or even for functionality, which ruin the truck & cause one problem after another.

Do you think that it is ok to just lift the front(level) of the truck. I have seen that there are some 2" kits that just lift the front to be level with the rear.

Thanks,

DColeman
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Old 08-19-2012, 04:12 AM
ArtNJr ArtNJr is offline
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Originally Posted by DColeman View Post
Do you think that it is ok to just lift the front(level) of the truck. I have seen that there are some 2" kits that just lift the front to be level with the rear.

Thanks,

DColeman
You should not have a problem with a properly designed "leveling kit" that just raises the front end a couple inches or so. That's not far enough to change the drivetrain angles very much.

I've toyed with the idea of putting one on my 2500HD (but with 2" longer springs, not a spacer) since the back end almost always sits higher than the front, but I haven't because there's a LOT of spring travel in the rear (2 sets of leaf springs -- stock) and a couple times I have had enough weight in the back to make the rear end set down level with the front (see photo below -- 5200 lbs. of concrete cylinders in the back). If I were to raise the front end so the truck would sit level without much of a load, then the back end would sit lower with a heavy load & heavy loads is what I bought the truck for in the 1st place!

Also, the truck came from the factory with large lift blocks on the rear axle & I could replace those with smaller ones to make the truck sit level -- by lowering the back rather than raising the front. And that would be the preferable way to level it because it would lower the center of gravity & improve handling. And as long as I'm running the same size (33") tires, the ground clearance would remain the same -- as I've pointed out, the only clearance that really matters is between the axles & the ground & with some 4x4's, between the transfer case & the ground.

I'm reminded of Jeep trucks (full-size pickups & a full-size Cherokee) I've owned that didn't look like they sat up very far but they had just as much ground clearance (between axles & ground) as my Dodge because they had the same height tires -- the difference was that the leaf springs ran under the axles instead of on top of them (like the Dodge) & that actually makes the truck handle better! May not look as "cool", but I'm a "form follows function" guy & the ability of the truck to do the jobs I need it to do is far more important to me than the truck's appearance!
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