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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I'm not really that poor, I just don't like the idea of spending big money on a lift kit. So I picked up some things from the wrecking yard earlier today:

-Shocks and leaf springs from a 2001 1500 Off-Road Edition
-Coil Springs from a 1999 3500 Cummins

All for $200.

Tonight I will be installing these and will post up photos of the process as well as before and after heights. It is possible that I won't like the full 3500 springs and might go back and get the coils off of the off-road edition or off of a 2500 gasser. But I think I'd rather raise the rear more than go back lower on the front.

A couple of things to note. Uncompressed, the 3500 Diesel Coils are ~18" long and are ~7/8" diameter material. The 1500 springs are ~16" long and ~3/4" diameter material. Not sure about the coil pitch, but assuming all other things equal, I should expect to get the 2" of initial lift as well as additional lift due to the stiffer springs. By my calculation, the 3500 springs are ~64% stiffer than the 1500 springs... so, if I originally had about 2" of sag from un-compressed to loaded, I should now have about 0.8". All approximations of course, but I should expect somewhere around 3" of lift in the front. I hope it's no more than that otherwise I'm going to have to start looking at additional suspension and steering changes.

I plan on cutting apart the leaf pack and adding in some of the leafs from my current springs. Essentially like an Add-A-Leaf (I don't like blocks). Only problem with that is that I'm not sure I can make up a full 3" by doing this. At least not without re-curving the springs. So I might have to make an extra block/shim to make up the difference... we'll see.
 

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This should be interesting! Nothing wrong with it IMO, and am interested to follow this.
 

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Nothing wrong with saving money
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well... Interesting development... just saw that the bolt for the driver's side leaf spring is obscured by the fuel tank. Sounds like while it is possible to get it out, it would be easier to drop the tank. Seeing as I need a new sending unit anyways... I might look at doing that at the same time.

But I can start on the front first tonight. That's gonna look funny with 3" in the front and nothing in the back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, we've got good news and then we've got good news. Oh and look at that some more good news. :D

Got the new coils and front shocks in. Looks like I did end up with right at 3" of lift. Unfortunately, I ended up with about 3/4" lean to the drivers side. I think this probably has to do with where I ended up putting the end of the coil in the cup. Will see about raising it again and spinning the coils to even things out. It actually ended up not being that hard to get the new coils in. Had to put a ratcheting strap through them and suck them down about 1/2" to clear the rubber boot, but other than that, it went great.

Also good news, it looks like I only need about 1" to bring the rear back up to level. I'm still going to shoot for as much as I can get, because we usually end up loaded down pretty heavy when we go on our trips, so I'd like 1.5"-2" of rake.

Also, good news, when I stopped in at the wrecking yard, I went out and looked at one of the trucks again and sure enough, it had the gas tank skid plate. So long as that will fit on mine, I'll be picking that up tomorrow as well.

Successful day! We'll see how it all looks in the daylight tomorrow. If the negative rake isn't too noticeable, I might take it into work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'll post up all the pictures and a writeup when I'm done, but here's a few photos of what I've done so far.

My haul:


Spring Comparison:


Installed:


Before:


After:
 

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Great thread! Looking forward to more of it! Nice job!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, today was less successful than yesterday. Seeing as I'm going to need to drop the fuel tank to get the leaf springs out, I picked up a new sending unit (my fuel gauge hasn't functioned properly for the last 3 or 4 years) and also a fuel tank skid plate (picked one up off of an off-road edition 1500 at the scrap yard for $20).

Unfortunately, that's where the day all fell apart. So it's been ridiculously hot in the PNW the last couple of weeks and it was over 100 this afternoon. So I didn't get started until 9:00.

Got the truck up on blocks, then discovered that I cannot remove the leaf springs without removing the spare tire and hitch. Ran out of daylight and time. So I swapped in the new shocks, and left the springs alone for now. I'll work on them when I get back from camping this weekend.

Happy 'Merica day!!
 

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Can't wait to see the finished pics. Great work so far. :smileup:
 

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Yeah man, looking good! Those shocks and springs cleaned up nice too!
 

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Wow, what a difference! Looking good
I wouldn't have thought that where you put the end of the coil in the cup would make a difference in height. good to know
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks all,

So it's proving difficult to find all the hardware that I'm looking for.

(2) M10x100mm GR 10.9 bolts to replace the leaf pack retainer bolt. I believe I can get them from Wilco, but they were closed by the time I mad it into town.

And a set of longer U-Bolts. Autozone has a set, but they're not grade stamped, and they're only 1/4" longer than my stock set. I think Salem Off-Road might have them, but otherwise, I might have to order them online. :Angry:

Wow, what a difference! Looking good
I wouldn't have thought that where you put the end of the coil in the cup would make a difference in height. good to know
So at the back end of the lower cup, there is a cut-out where you could conceivably put the tip of the spring into... just the tip. But upon further inspection, I put both of the springs in the same spot. So, the springs must have had a set to them before I put them in. Drat!! Oh well, I think when I get the new leaves on the back, I can pull a little bit of that out of it. Then I think I'll just deal with it. It's always had a little lean to the left anyways.
 

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What grade u-bolts do ya need?

There is a company that we use when we need to find bolts and other hardware that we can't find at the local Lowes and Tractor Supply. The company is MSC Direct. I got my shock bolts through them, and I also saw the u-bolts on there when I was searching. And you can search the products by grade and length :smileup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
What grade u-bolts do ya need?

There is a company that we use when we need to find bolts and other hardware that we can't find at the local Lowes and Tractor Supply. The company is MSC Direct. I got my shock bolts through them, and I also saw the u-bolts on there when I was searching. And you can search the products by grade and length :smileup:
Well, I'd like Grade 8 or Grade 8.8. But I'm not sure if those grades apply to U-bolts or if they only apply to cap screws. I'm more familiar with ASTM grades than SAE. Really just anything that actually has a grade period would at least put my mind at ease as to them having been made with some quality control.
 

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Took a quick look at the site and the material grades for the U-Bolts are: 304, C-1010 and C-1018. Not sure what the difference is, but the Empire brand has the load capacity listed on their 304's: U-Bolts
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So I managed to find a set of U-bolts that should work for now until I upgrade to D60's.

The good news:
The leaf springs are on
The new sending unit is in
My fuel gauge works and my engine runs.

The bad news:
I took the truck out for what turned out to be a very short spin. There is now a shudder in the driveline somewhere.

I suspect either an alignment issue of some sort. But as you'll note, it's 3:15am, I'm tired. I'll sort it out tomorrow.

That said, I will stay up long enough to say that I want to find the engineer who designed that fuel tank/mounting/connections and kick him so hard in his ovaries that he forgets the taste of apple juice!
:3-angry1::3-angry1::3-angry1::3-angry1::3-angry1::greenchainsaw:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Before:


After:


Like I mentioned before, I ended up with 3" in the front and 3.75" in the back.

I actually ended up not having to modify the leaf springs. The 3.75" came solely from the newer off-road edition springs.

Now I need to sort out what the driveline shudder is.

Write up and more photos will follow solving that issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Update:
Took the truck out again this morning... no more shudder!!! :D

I think I just needed to bounce it around a little and let everything settle in.
 

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Glad to hear everything worked out okay, and yea we all have that feeling about why things are made a certain way haha Turned out looking good though! What size tires are you running? 285's?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Glad to hear everything worked out okay, and yea we all have that feeling about why things are made a certain way haha Turned out looking good though! What size tires are you running? 285's?
285/75/R16 Federal Couragia M/T's.

About half as expensive as Toyos, more aggressive tread, and significantly lighter as well.

When I upgrade to D60's, I'll be looking at maybe getting 35's on alloy wheels.
 
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