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  #1  
Old 08-19-2013, 12:38 PM
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Default Low front end clearance (4x4)

So I just got a 2013 Ram 1500 Tradesman/Express 4x4 crew cab (5'7" bed) and I LOVE it. Holy crap, I drove it about 100 feet before I knew it was mine...seriously and upgrading from a 2003 Dakota 4x4 it's a LOT bigger too. (Love that as well).

The only thing I've noticed about it is that the front end clearance is about 8.5"... The big thing is that stupid air dam they stick under the front bumper, I know it helps with fuel economy and such but I've read somewhere that it also helps a good deal with truck stability.

Has anyone just straight up removed the air dam? I'm kind of tempted to...I occasionally have to visit construction sites for work, and while I try to avoid doing stupid stuff with my truck it's kinda scary to see me clear a curb by less than 2 inches (some curb is 8" so it's even worse).

I'll be honest I'm not crazy about the way the truck LOOKS even with the air dam, I feel like the older models had the air dam too, but it was much smaller...somewhere around 2" instead of 6" and I'd be OK swapping one of those onto my truck if it could be adapted.

The above being said, I'm leaning towards a 2.5" leveling kit for the front that will lift the front even with the rear if I'm not mistaken. I've been told (by the Chrysler salesman that I bought the vehicle from) that most leveling kits do not void the warranty (I'm under the assumption this is correct since it came from the dealer) as long as they are not TOO high, and that whatever mechanic I had do it would be able to tell me if it did. I'm NOT doing it at the dealer as they wanted $800 to do so...within a week of me buying a brand new truck from them...no thanks. I'd do it myself, but I don't really have the tools or access to a shop, I have some of the know-how, but would just as soon have it done at one of the offroad shops in the area. I figure it's gonna run me about ~$350-$400 all said and done.

I have a BUNCH of questions...

Does this change how the vehicle rides significantly? I'd like to hear from someone who has one and didn't have the leveling kit to start.

Does it butcher fuel efficiency? (If I was going for fuel efficient I wouldn't have bought a truck, but if all of a sudden I'm getting 5mpg the wife's gonna kill me).

Is there something other than a leveling kit (cheaper but still reliable) that I can do to increase ground clearance in the front?

If I remove the air dam will that also cause my belt to slip in rain? It appears as though it may cover against water splashing up and under...so I'm not sure.

Was wondering if anyone else had the same problem with the low ground clearance on the 2013 Ram (or any from 2009-2013 really) and what they did about it. I figure I'll post something like this in offroad as well since that's kinda what I'm after it for.
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Old 08-19-2013, 03:54 PM
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Levelling kit and slightly bigger tires. I hear on the low front end, I just changed my 2012's oil and damn it's a lot lower than my 92 z71 is! Even the cross members and exhaust is low on these trucks when they are stock. I know on a lot of other years and makes of trucks people have removed e air dam, I work in the woods and see it on a lot of new Chevys, the sport and express tri s with the plastic front bumpers are the worst for clearance.
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Old 08-19-2013, 11:16 PM
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I believe the Outdoorsmans come with a shorter air dam. You can see if you can find one on LMC or something.
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Old 08-25-2013, 06:05 AM
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I had the dealer do a 2" level on mine as part of the deal and swapped my 285/60r20 dura tracs and dick cepek wheels from my trade as part of the deal. Looked much better when I came back to get it than it did on the test drive. The front just sloped too much for me. But a 2.5 and taller tire will make a nice difference.
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:54 PM
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You won't notice a huge difference with a leveling kit as long as you have an alignment done after. I have a 2.5" leveling kit on my 2013 sport crew. After the install I noticed a loss of 50km per tank. Now I have 35x12.5x20 mud tires on it and mileage has decreased once again (not a surprise). Ill measure the front clearance of my truck tomorrow and let you know but you should expect around 2.5" higher than what you have currently if you go with the 2.5" level. I used the ready lift kit and it leveled the truck perfectly.
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Old 08-27-2013, 12:02 PM
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X-Jeeper here with some offroad experience.

You can remove the air dam and it will help clearance a little BUT it will really hurt your fuel economy at highway speeds. The lack of the dam changes the air pressure underneath and causes an increase in drag. How much drag? It made almost 2 mpg difference in my Wrangler at 80 mph and created so much underhood pressure that the hood would flutter. My belts never slipped. If I didn't care about mileage, I would yank mine but I do so I wont...that is untill I break it off in the mountians.


The leveling kit will effect mileage but not a whole lot. Add larger and more agressive tires and you will notice a significant drop. You can level the truck 2" for $70 in parts and add an alignment. It should maintain the factory ride because it is a spacer that goes on top of the strut assembly.
http://www.topguncustomz.com/p-6502-...t-spacers.aspx


Or, Procomp makes a 2.5" front and 1" rear kit for about $370 and you can run 35's.
http://www.4wheelparts.com/Lift-Kits...t_pn=EXP61180K

Or you could go with the Bilstein or Ranch QucikLift leveling kits for the front too that should improve the ride over factory.

It is all about budget and I feel your pain. Simply put, 2-2 1/2" leveling kit and 35's will get you 4-5" more clearance. Otherwise, it is time to step up to a real lift kit and dish out around $2k when it is said and done.

I am going to run the above 2" spacers and I have already installed a set of 305's (33x12.5) before I go wheeling in west texas this spring. I hope that is enough for where I want the truck to go.
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Old 08-30-2013, 06:05 PM
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Clearance below my front air dam is 14 1/8"
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Old 08-30-2013, 08:31 PM
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I had the Bilstein 5100's installed two days ago, set at 2.75"... seems to help quite a bit. Now some 33's or 35's might be in the cards soon as well...
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File Type: jpg After 5100s.jpg (135.5 KB, 23 views)
File Type: jpg After 5200s-2.jpg (127.0 KB, 30 views)
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