2005 Dodge Ram 1500 Suspension - Battering RamPosted in How To: Suspension Brakes on June 1, 2005 0) (
A lower base price and a smoother ride are a couple of the attractive benefits that the new breed of 1/2-ton pickup trucks have over their 3/4- and 1-ton cousins. Unfortunately, these lighter-duty trucks often sport less four-wheel-friendly stats. For instance, the '05 Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab shortbox 4x4 has 5.4 degrees less approach angle, 2.2 degrees less departure angle, and 6.1 degrees less ramp breakover angle than the same-model Ram 2500. Further, the Ram 1500 is equipped with IFS and the Ram 2500 has a solid front axle, so this is one of the reasons why the Ram 1500 has 3.3 inches less front ground clearance.
This is where a good aftermarket suspension kit comes in. It allows you to improve your 1/2-ton's vital four-wheeling specs, while still retaining the smooth ride of your IFS rig. To illustrate this, we trucked on over to Attitude Performance in Arlington Heights, Illinois, and installed Fabtech Motorsports' new 6-inch performance suspension system under an '05 Ram 1500. The result of our seven hours of labor is a Ram that's ready for the trail with better approach, departure, and breakover angles than a comparable stock Ram 2500.
After completing the mods to the Ram, we 'wheeled it around Badlands Off Road Park in Attica, Indiana. The overall ride was expectedly stiffer than stock, but still much more comfortable than the ride generated by our Ram 2500 long-term vehicle. That's one of the nice things about IFS. Handling remained excellent, and there was no aggravating bumpsteer or other weird steering behavior. The shocks did a great job of reining in the big 35-inch Toyo mud-terrain tires whether we were traversing sand moguls or rocky quarry bottom.
Before we installed the kit, the stock Ram climbed 60 inches up a 20-degree RTI ramp (right), earning a score of 882. After the install, the Ram crawled 65 inches up the ramp, which improved its score to 956 (below, right). Up front, ground clearance improved dramatically. Before the lift, there was 14.25 inches between the bottom of the valance (the lowest point at the front of the vehicle) and the ground. After, that distance increased to 21.5 inches. The rear also improved, netting an increase of 2.25 inches over stock. Naturally, these numbers significantly improved the Ram's off-highway capability.
We're big fans of Toyo's Open Country Mud-Terrain tires, and the 35x12.50R20 tires we installed didn't disappoint. As usual, they were amazingly quiet for a mud-terrain tire on-road, and on the trail they provided an impressive bite, no matter what the surface. They seemed to be ideally suited to our IFS application. The Pro Comp Xtreme 6079 20x9 alloy wheels look great, especially with the optional rugged-looking black Pro Comp Xtreme bead-lock rings.