Above and Beyond: Installing Fabtech’s 6-inch Performance System On A 2015 Ram 1500Posted in How To: Suspension Brakes on June 19, 2017
It’s undeniable that the late-model Ram 1500 pickup delivers a great ride thanks to its well-dialed IFS and multi-link coil-spring rear suspension. The super-smooth handling is great too, but the truck lacks adequate ground clearance for most off-road driving. We wanted to increase off-road performance and improve the stance of our daily-driven ’15 Ram 1500 Tradesman-package truck while retaining our Ram’s comfort. To achieve these goals on our non-air suspension truck, a quality and rugged aftermarket suspension kit was in order so we contacted Fabtech to acquire the company’s 6-inch Performance System for ’13-’16 Ram 1500 trucks.
Fabtech has evolved into one of the leaders in the industry and has over 20 years experience in aftermarket suspension design. Its state-of-the-art software and fabrication equipment, along with seasoned engineers and fabricators, has allowed the company to develop products that are constantly on the cutting edge. The Fabtech team clearly understands that with the design of the 6-inch Performance System for Ram trucks the consumer can achieve increased ground clearance while retaining things like the factory-like suspension and steering geometry. This is accomplished a variety of ways, including Fabtech’s proven IFS technology with extended length steering knuckles for proper factory electronic stability control functionality. Heavy-duty 1/4-inch-thick steel lower control arm crossmembers provide superior ground clearance while the integrated front differential skidplate adds protection. The Performance System kit we installed includes front Dirt Logic 2.5 coilover shocks, while the back has Dirt Logic 2.25 shocks and new springs. The shocks have stainless steel bodies and provide excellent damping control for the aggressive driver. Fabtech also offers a Performance System that includes remote-reservoir coilovers. Additionally, Fabtech also offers two Basic System kits for the ’13-’16 Ram 1500 4WD trucks.
We saw Fabtech’s technology up close and personal while at CT’s Automotive in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, as owner Chris Tom and his team installed the kit under our Ram. Our installation required about 10 hours. We were impressed by the quality of the parts and the fact that they bolted on with precision and ease.
Sum of its Parts
The final product met our expectations by combining with larger diameter tires to increase our Ram’s approach and departure angles and overall ground clearance considerably, which means less chance of getting stuck in snow or dragging vital components over large rocks while on the trail. The truck also has a mean stance. The only noticeable difference on-road between the stock and modified Ram is a slightly stiffer ride and a bit more transmission shifting while traversing the high mountain passes in the Colorado Rockies, which is mostly attributable to the larger diameter tires. Other than that, the truck drives and handles just like it just rolled out of the factory. Being that it’s a daily driver, we’ve had a chance to rack up roughly 1,000 highway miles as well as a few more hardcore off-road miles before this review and we’re quite satisfied with its overall performance.
Here are some of the highlights of the install. If you want more information on the kit or a look at the detailed installation instructions, please visit Fabtech’s website.
A Numbers Game
Before the installation, the Ram was rolling on LT265/70R17 (32-inch diameter) Toyo Open Country A/T II tires that were replaced with 35x12.50R18LT Pro Comp A/T Sport tires mounted on Fuel Revolver wheels. Before the lift, there was 8 inches of clearance between the bottom of the air dam and the pavement. After the installation of the kit and new rubber, the Ram gained 10 1/2 inches of clearance under the front air dam while the tow hitch-to-ground measurement went from 12 inches to 22 inches. Our truck gained approximately 1 1/2 inches more clearance between the rear differential and the dirt, thanks to the larger diameter tires.