Moses Ludel’s 4WD Mechanix Magazine – Dodge Ram 3500 Makeover: The Mopar Suspension Lift
Upgrading to oversized tires on our 2005 Dodge Ram 4WD pickup required raising the chassis and suspension height. Seeking a suspension lift kit, we turned to Chrysler’s Mopar Performance products.
The chosen 35″ tires require a 4-inch lift on this single rear wheel (SRW) chassis. The Cummins diesel engine adds considerable weight to the front of these models, and our suspension kit is specifically rated for the diesel engine.
Since the ’05 Ram truck has link-and-coil front suspension, the lift requires new link arms and bushings, longer coil springs and extra-length shock absorbers. Mopar offerings include an upgrade to Bilstein heavy-duty gas pressurized shock absorbers, always a wise choice—especially for a one-ton rated, diesel powered pickup truck intended for towing.
The lift includes drop brackets for the track bar and stabilizer bar plus lengthier bump stops for the increase in chassis height. A new, dropped pitman arm and all necessary hardware round out the front kit.
For the rear, the simplest lift for a leaf-sprung truck like the Ram is spacer blocks with longer U-bolts. These blocks maintain the original, factory-rated springs plus the OE overload leafs. This is especially valuable on a chassis like the Ram 3500, as Chrysler went to great lengths designing the proper spring rates and load capacities into the OE spring package.
Longer rear shocks accommodate the lift. Here, Bilstein heavy-duty, gas pressurized shock units deliver the best ride and handling possible for this chassis. The lift not only looks great, the Ram 3500 will also excel at its traditional towing and hauling chores.
Installed and tuned properly, including a major alignment with caster adjustment, tow-in correction and steering wheel centering, the suspension got a thorough testing. A 500-mile round trip over Sierra Nevada secondary highways to Chico, California preceeded the 940 mile round trip to Pomona, including the Southern California freeways. In these real world scenarios, the properly installed and tuned Mopar Performance suspension package delivered a quality ride with precise vehicle control.
The Mopar Suspension Lift kit’s coil springs and shock absorbers are precisely tuned, which contributes to the ride control. Two additional items contribute to the quality handling: 1) careful selection of wheels and 2) tires of the right cross-section and tread type. (See the wheel and tire article in this section for details.)
With proper wheel offset and a wider track width to offset the chassis height increase, the 2005 Dodge Ram handles as new—actually better in some ways! Perched on stable wheel rims with sturdy load range ‘E’ tires, the chosen components restore the center-of-gravity and contribute to precise cornering. Tracking with a trailer in tow should present no problems…