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It's the spacers that will cause your ball joint issues. The bilsteins eliminate those issues. So, in the end the bilsteins will cost you far less while giving you the off road ride you are looking for.
The spacers that bolt to the top I understand that however I don't understand how the preload spacer would cause the same issues considering the OE strut is reused and the overall length is the same just ride height is changed. Maybe I am missing something but that's why I'm here to understand before I order parts.
 

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The spacers that bolt to the top I understand that however I don't understand how the preload spacer would cause the same issues considering the OE strut is reused and the overall length is the same just ride height is changed. Maybe I am missing something but that's why I'm here to understand before I order parts.
The pre-load spacer shouldn't change the strut travel so it shouldn't be any different from a Bilstein in that respect. However, the earlier point of the Bilstein being the same work to install, offers a better ride, and is barely more expensive remains.
 

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The pre-load spacer shouldn't change the strut travel so it shouldn't be any different from a Bilstein in that respect. However, the earlier point of the Bilstein being the same work to install, offers a better ride, and is barely more expensive remains.


Seeing as the Bilstein's just raise the lower spring mount and the rough county kit adds a spacer to the top, they are virtually the same as they change ride height my altering the preload on the springs. So for a 1/3 of the cost of Bilstein's I believe I'm going to give the R.C. spacers a shot, that's the great thing about modifying cars there is always multiple ways to accomplish your goal even if 98% of this tread is pushing for the Bilstein's, while I do agree it is a far superior choice over the spacers that bolt to the top cant really see how they are 130 dollars improvement over a preload spacer on a stock strut. Now if I needed replacement struts anyways it would be a different story. Thanks for the help guys!
 

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Seeing as the Bilstein's just raise the lower spring mount and the rough county kit adds a spacer to the top, they are virtually the same as they change ride height my altering the preload on the springs. So for a 1/3 of the cost of Bilstein's I believe I'm going to give the R.C. spacers a shot, that's the great thing about modifying cars there is always multiple ways to accomplish your goal even if 98% of this tread is pushing for the Bilstein's, while I do agree it is a far superior choice over the spacers that bolt to the top cant really see how they are 130 dollars improvement over a preload spacer on a stock strut. Now if I needed replacement struts anyways it would be a different story. Thanks for the help guys!
Different strokes for different folks, if the $130 breaks the bank for you go for it. I do think it's a better match for the pre-load versus damping with the Bilstein that's designed for that use but you are right, it's a viable alternative and cheaper than the Bilsteins for sure.
 

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Not about breaking the bank, more so in not spending the money needlessly to replace new parts with other new parts. I've been a member of many auto forums over the years and understand that some have there favorite products this one just happens to be the Bilstein's. I am however secure enough in my thoughts that if it totally rides like shit I'll order the Bilstein's put them on and give yall the you told me so talk lol. Thanks for the info non the less
 

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Discussion Starter #446
Ok so are my thoughts about travel limits correct? They also offer this kit https://www.roughcountry.com/dodge-front-leveling-lift-kit-363.html which is cheaper than one 5100 and if it ends up needing the rear I can order after the fact. I don't really mind the extra cost of the 5100's but am concerned with the possibility of ball joint issues and don't really like the idea of having to swap out the uca's even if it is with the cheaper mevotech arms. measurements on my truck are 36.5 in front and 39.75 in rear. I should also mention Ive only had it 2 weeks and am looking for a level solution until it is out of warranty then it will get a full 6in lift
Travel limits are correct, yes.

If you're planning to install a 6" lift that's even more reason to get the Bilsteins now as you can (and will likely want to) use them in conjunction with the lift to fine tune the ride height. The RC spacers cannot be re-used with the kit.

At the end of the day, yes the Rough Country spacers are cheaper but you're still using a cheap, OEM strut where the Bilstein is a better quality strut that will provide a better ride. You can do what you want but for the amount of labor it takes to install the RC spacers it really doesn't make sense to use them over Bilsteins.
 

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I have been using the Ready lift 2" front leveling blocks now for 5 years now with no issues on the stock shocks. Also I couldn't feel any difference in the ride but now after putting on the 35x12.5x20's I can see a shock upgrade in the future due to the added weight of the tire.
 

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Just ordered a set of the bilstein 5100s thanks to this thread.....seems like the way to go if I just want to level the truck or get it near level. Found a good deal for the 4 units on ebay, a local offroad chain store called 4wp.com.....they have a local shop.

Not wanting to mess with the front springs, probably gonna have a local trusted shop do the install....quoted me $270 for front and rear plus $70 for the alignment.

Haven't measured my truck yet....tough to find anywhere truly level around here...LOL

Probably will go with the 2.1" setting. Don't want to risk having the front end high and having to add spacers to the back.
 

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Not about breaking the bank, more so in not spending the money needlessly to replace new parts with other new parts. I've been a member of many auto forums over the years and understand that some have there favorite products this one just happens to be the Bilstein's. I am however secure enough in my thoughts that if it totally rides like shit I'll order the Bilstein's put them on and give yall the you told me so talk lol. Thanks for the info non the less
I think maybe the general consensus with going with the Bilstein's is the better ride along with the leveling the front end. IDK, I'm not a master with mechanical knowledge, but the logic makes sense going with the Bilstein's.
 

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Just ordered a set of the bilstein 5100s thanks to this thread.....
Haven't measured my truck yet....tough to find anywhere truly level around here...LOL
....my 5100s came today so I realized I better poop or get off the pot...LOL

So I measured today.

I got 39 1/8" on both sides in the rear, ...measured from the ground up through the center line of the wheel to the lower edge of the fender flair.

These are aftermarket flares, not stock, if that matters.

On the front I got two different measurements.....two different times....

First time, Left was 35.5" , Right was 36.25"

Second time, Left was 35.75", Right was 36.5"

So a 3/4" difference between left and right each time.

Is it common to have a .75" difference left to right in the front?

I was planning on going with the 2.1" setting on the Bilstein 5100s so as to stay "safe" as far as any CV shaft vibration and so as to not end up with a nose-up look (don't want to have to spacer the rear).....using today's numbers, the difference front to back is between 3.625 to 3.375 on the left and between 2.875 to 2.625 on the right...

Using the 2.1" setting should mean an "after" front height of between 1.525 to 1.275 on the left and between .75 and .525 on the right....

Should leave just a touch of rake in the truck, but more or less level, yeah?

While surfing the web I also found THESE......interesting...allows you to make up for differences left/right and can be changed on the vehicle.....I kind of like that......
 

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Discussion Starter #451
It's very common to have different measurements from side to side. This is obviously dependant on how the truck is loaded (ie, full tank of fuel, anything you've added inside the truck, etc.). I wouldn't worry about it. You haven't noticed it yet until you measured and you won't notice it after the fact.
 

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I think maybe the general consensus with going with the Bilstein's is the better ride along with the leveling the front end. IDK, I'm not a master with mechanical knowledge, but the logic makes sense going with the Bilstein's.
Went ahead with the RC level pre load spacers picked them up from amazon for 18.00 shipped prime because of open box lol. Install was pretty straight forward, and alignment only need minor adjustments couldn't be happier with the ride firmed it up just enough so it almost fells softer and even had it off-road a little bit nothing hardcore.
 

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Looks good. Are you going to put tires on?
 

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It's very common to have different measurements from side to side. This is obviously dependant on how the truck is loaded (ie, full tank of fuel, anything you've added inside the truck, etc.). I wouldn't worry about it. You haven't noticed it yet until you measured and you won't notice it after the fact.
To be honest I had noticed it now and then, but always assumed it was due to levelness of pavement etc...

Not gonna worry too much.......

When I got my truck new, the front bumper was off center and pushed back on the driver side too.....looking at other new trucks in the lot at the time, that was common.....dealer worked with me to have custom bumper plates made to rectify that......

Funny how things arent an issue til they get stuck in your brain...LOL

Gonna not worry, as you say.....

I lubed up all the shock and control arm bolts/nuts with an ATF/acetone mix last night, a week before the work is to be done. All except the upper shock bolts.....laying on the ground in 25 degree darkness, couldnt access the thread side of those top bolts with my brush....so I used WD40.....i was out of PB blaster....gonna have to pick some up. Will hit everything again tomorrow or sunday.....

I figure the easier I can make it for the garage the better I will be.....especially on those lower front shock bolts/bushings.
 

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Well, seems that my hitting the bolts with penetrating oil didn't help....at least not for the lower front strut bushings/bolts.

Garage called to say they are galled and need new ones.

They are cutting the old strut off, cutting the bolts, then pressing the old bushings out.

Another 1.5 hr labor and $60/side for the kit.

I found the bushing/bolt kits available for $20 a side online but they said their parts guy had called the same place and they only had one in stock....they couldn't wait for the parts as I am tying up their bay...so it is what it is...I trust them and they said they would see what they could do.....

I am at the mercy of the shop I guess...LOL

Sigh

But still glad I went to the shop. Doing this in my driveway would be a PITA.

Had a similar experience with a Dakota years ago...bolts screwed directly into the LCA and they froze up...had to drill out the holes.....used bolts/nuts.

I tell me wife all the time that I can save money if I had a lift and a garage big enough. This is another example.

So, almost $1,000 for new shocks all around and HOPEFULLY a leveled truck. If no other issues arise.

Hoping this is the ONLY surprise.

Any known issues with the REAR shock mounting hardware?

Ugh :doh:
 

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SO, some good, some bad news.

Turns out they were able to air hammer out the bolts after all….didn't mess up the bolts so no worries. Saved me $250+.

Then they went to align it….left lower control arm bolts/centrics are froze. Since it was nearing end of day, they didn’t want to get into it.

Camber on the left side is out…top of the tire out.

SO I am gonna see if this would be covered under my max care warranty when I take it in for a laundry list of issues next week……if not, I guess I will buy the new bolts, centrics and bushings for the LCA and take it back to the shop….thats another few hours of labor and another alignment. ARGH!!!

But that all said, the truck does ride better and sits higher in front now by 2”.


I re-measured stuff and yes, Virginia, +2" all around....but the numbers are a little wonky.

LF 37.5"
LR 38.75
RF 38 5/8"
RR 39.5

I also measured at the front and rear ends of the cab.....from the rocker to the ground...seems pretty level to me...

LF 15 5/8"
LR 16"
RF 16"
RR 16.5"
 

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This is a great thread. Thank you.

One question though:

I don't see anything written about leveling with the Rough Country leveling coilovers.

I think I understand the benefit of not using spacers, but a full coilover replacement seems like an even better solution than the Billsteines.

Can anyone tell me about how the Rough Country 2" or 3" leveling coilovers compare?

 

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Discussion Starter #459
This is a great thread. Thank you.

One question though:

I don't see anything written about leveling with the Rough Country leveling coilovers.

I think I understand the benefit of not using spacers, but a full coilover replacement seems like an even better solution than the Billsteines.

Can anyone tell me about how the Rough Country 2" or 3" leveling coilovers compare?

The Rough Country struts weren't out when I originally wrote this article. To be honest, I shy away from any Rough Country suspension components. Without getting into the explicit details, you get what you pay for and Rough Country is definitely on the low end of quality and a number of people have had issues with their stuff with no customer service or warranty from Rough Country to back it up. Not worth the potential headache in my opinion.

Aside from that, the Rough Country struts are not adjustable like the Bilsteins are. So essentially whatever you get is what you're stuck with. With Bilsteins you could level the truck now and if you decided to lift the truck in the future the Bilsteins could still be used by lowering the preload back down to where required. The Bilstein shock is also going to be better quality than anything Rough Country provides.
The advantage to the Rough Country coilover is that it comes fully loaded and ready to install on the truck without needing to disassemble your OEM struts to use the spring and hardware on the Bilstein strut. If that's something you're after I'd suggest looking at either the Bilstein 6112 kit or Fox 2.0 coilovers as both are a better option than Rough Country struts in my opinion.
 

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The Rough Country struts weren't out when I originally wrote this article. To be honest, I shy away from any Rough Country suspension components. Without getting into the explicit details, you get what you pay for and Rough Country is definitely on the low end of quality and a number of people have had issues with their stuff with no customer service or warranty from Rough Country to back it up. Not worth the potential headache in my opinion.
Thanks for the reply.

I appreciate the explanation, but I still wish that someone would give some real feedback about those Rough Country leveling coilovers.

I understand that some companies have reputations for being "economical" options, but in this case we're actually talking about spending MORE than the Bilsteins.
 
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