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Raising The Front Of A 2014 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty With Epiq’s 2-Inch Leveling Kit

Posted in How To: Suspension Brakes on December 16, 2016 Comment (0)
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When Ram Truck started converting its Heavy Duty pickups to a three-link tapered-coil front suspension with the ’14 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty, the ride and handling took a significant step forward without compromising load and towing capabilities. However, some owners still dislike the truck’s nose-low attitude.

An easy fix for that is moving the front coils down 2 inches with a leveling kit, which gives a more eye-pleasing symmetry to the tires in the wheel arches. The downside is the stock shocks don’t have enough travel to compensate for the longer suspension travel under full droop.

An Epiq Fox Combo

Epiq Suspension takes that into consideration with its ’14-current Ram 2500/3500 Heavy Duty 2-inch leveling kit that incorporates custom-tuned Fox 2.0 Performance Series IFP (internal floating piston) shocks, which are ideal for any four-wheeler who is using their big 4x4 Ram for towing, hauling, or off-pavement travel.

Epiq offers three Ram 2500/3500 Heavy Duty leveling kits: the basic pair of TIG welded, CNC-machined, triple-baked powdercoated steel spacers for $99; the same spacers with Bilstein 5100 shocks, which add $175; or the aforementioned Fox 2.0 Performance Series IFP shocks, a $260 upgrade.

The latter works best for those who run their truck on backroads or off-pavement because Fox’s IFP monotube truck shocks, with 6061-T6 aluminum bodies and race-developed internals, are valved specifically for heavy-duty pickups in those driving conditions.

Epiq Suspension’s premium version of the Ram Heavy Duty 2-inch leveling kit includes Fox 2.0 Performance Series IFP truck shocks along with the Epiq USA-made spacers.

Easy Install, Nicer Ride

Epiq Suspensions’ Casey Castle leveled up the front of a ’16 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty 4x4 at Dunks Performance in Springfield, Oregon. The installation is very straightforward, takes about two hours, and doesn’t require any special handtools, which is cool if you are a backyard DIYer.

A floor jack and jackstands are a must if doing this outside of a shop, and it’s good to have the frontend realigned afterwards just to make sure it stays within factory specs as there will be a very minor change to toe-in.

The difference in handling and ride after the Epiq/Fox upgrade is quite apparent over stock: there’s less shudder over sharp bumps, rocks, ruts, potholes and railroad crossings; the truck feels softer and more controlled going through dips and over crests at speed; and it feels way more controlled when towing a big trailer.

The other advantages of giving the Ram Heavy Duty’s nose a minor uplift is it improves the approach angle by about 8 degrees over stock, while making way to run 35s, should those be your tire of choice. We had the OEM LT275/70R18 Firestone Transforce HTs swapped out for a set of LT295/60R20 Pro Comp A/T Sports, which added an extra 1/2-inch of ground clearance and better off-road traction for this Ram.

If you want to level out the stance of your big Ram while improving its ride, both unloaded and loaded, Epiq Suspension’s 2-inch front leveling kit is an option worth considering.

Before/After Specs

Height at wheelwell arch
Stock (f/r, in): 40.75/43. 25
After (f/r, in): 43.13/43.25

Approach/departure angle
Stock (app/dep, deg): 43/32
After (app/dep, deg): 51/32.7

Tires
Stock: Firestone Transforce HT
Size: LT275/70R18 (33.2-inch diameter)
After: Pro Comp A/T Sport
Size: LT295/60R20 (33.9-inch diameter)

Castle removed the lower shock bolts, then disconnected the front sway bar from the drop links using a 10mm wrench to hold the pin and a 21mm socket to spin off the nut. The track bar doesn’t need to be disconnected, but doing so will make the upgrade easier if the install is being done without a hoist.
Caution: Before lowering the axlehousing to remove the springs, disconnect the brake line bracket on each side (at the base of the coils) so the hoses don’t get stretched or damaged.
Another item easy to miss before lowering the axlehousing is the differential breather tube, which is attached to the upper rear of the driver-side coil tower with a spring-type clip.
After the brake line and breather hose are free, Castle used adjustable jackstands to slowly lower the axlehousing until the top of the front coil on each side could be easily pulled out from the upper bracket.
The Epiq spacer (same for both sides) was placed on top of the coil’s rubber isolator and rotated so it aligned with the top bucket mount. The offset was toward the rear of the truck. A little downforce on the axlehousing will be needed to slide the spacer/coil spring back into position if the track bar is still attached.
The factory Ram hydraulic shock (left) measured 22 1/2 inches eye to eye. The Fox 2.0 shock measured 25 inches. Shock valving and construction between the two shocks is considerably different with the Fox IFP being a race version valved specifically for trucks.
Upgrading to the Fox shocks was a straight bolt-in process using the factory hardware. A neat trick Castle used to make sliding in the slightly wider bottom mount of the Fox shocks easy was using a crescent wrench to pry the thick factory shock brackets open a fraction of an inch.
After the coils and shocks were back in place, the axlehousing was raised until the sway bar end links could be bolted back on. The entire job shouldn’t take more than three hours for the first-timer working in the driveway—and half that for someone using a hoist.
Epiq’s 2-inch leveling kit makes room to run up to 35-inch tires. We upgraded to Pro Comp LT295/60R20 A/T Sport tires on 20x9-inch Method “The Mesh” wheels, a good combo for towing and off-pavement use.

Sources

Epiq Suspension/Dunks Performance
541-726-1006
dunksperformance.com

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