Dodge revolutionized the fullsize truck market with its introduction of a multilink coil front suspension in 1994. This was essentially a scaled-up version of the front suspension found on the Jeep Cherokee, and it provided a smoother ride and increased wheel travel compared to the leaf springs more common in that era. This suspension wasn’t without its issues though. Dodge used a track bar with a tie-rod end at the frame side until 2002. After that, Dodge improved the design by using a track bar with a bushing at either end.
Now owners of popular 1994-2002 Dodge Ram 2500s and 3500s can benefit from the newer design through the use of BD Diesel’s track bar kit. The BD kit not only replaces the older tie-rod end design with the newer bushing design but also includes an adjustable track bar that allows you to properly center the front axle on lifted applications. Owners of 2003-2012 Dodge Ram HD trucks can also benefit from BD’s adjustable track bar without the need for the updated bracket.
In an afternoon we were able to improve our truck’s steering and handling to make it not only better than leaf springs but also even better than the original Dodge coil design. Why just replace parts when you can upgrade them?
The BD Diesel adjustable track bar is available for 1994-2012 Dodge Rams, but the new bracket is specific to 1994-2002 1500, 2500, and 3500 coil spring Rams. All necessary small parts are included, and it is all Grade 8, cadmium-plated hardware.
The factory track bar on our 1996 Ram 2500 uses a tie-rod end on the frame side and a bushing at the axle size. It is not adjustable, nor is it serviceable in stock form. Don’t mind the oil from our leaking valve covers—it helps keep rust at bay!
BD Diesel includes 25 pages of instructions, figures, and pictures to answer any questions you might have during the installation. If you have a question that for some reason isn’t answered, BD has excellent technical support on the phone.
The new track bar bracket from BD Diesel is formed from 1/4-inch-thick powdercoated steel. The bar is welded together for one-piece construction and is bolted to the frame on multiple planes.
Polyurethane bushings are used at each end of the BD track bar. These bushings use a high-durometer urethane for long life, and are easy and affordable to replace when they do eventually wear out.
When drilling through the frame it’s important to keep the drill straight and level. You will need a good drill and some large drill bits (up to 3/4 inch).
The BD bracket registers on the original track bar bracket to allow you to drill the necessary holes in the frame and engine crossmember. Five fasteners securely hold the new bracket in place. Nyloc nuts ensure that the bracket stays in place once they have been torqued to the specifications in BD’s instructions.
Here you can see the comparison between the original tie-rod end and the new bushing. The design of the tie-rod end is not only inferior but requires the entire track bar to be replaced when it wears out. Rather than replace, we chose to upgrade.
We liberally coated the threads on the track bar with antiseize prior to assembling the bar. This ensures that adjustments will be easy to make in the future should we decide to install a suspension lift on our truck.
The new BD track bar is forged from solid, heat-treated, forged steel for the ultimate in strength. It is then coated in black chromate that not only looks great but is extremely resistant to corrosion.
BD’s track bar is adjustable to accommodate anywhere from stock height to 4-inch suspension lifts. As the truck is raised, the distance between the frame and the axle increases, and the track bar must be lengthened to keep the axle centered under the truck.
The BD bracket bolts to the original track bar bracket and lowers it 3 inches for a better angle. This decreases bumpsteer, which is when one tire hits a bump and the steering and track bar travel different distances.
We used a crescent wrench and a pipe wrench to adjust the track bar on the vehicle and center the steering wheel after the installation. This was good enough to allow us to drive to an alignment shop and get the steering on our truck professionally aligned.