When Dodge introduced the redesigned Ram in 1994, the truck was a radical departure from its competition at the time. The new pickup was a combination of unique big-rig and aerodynamic styling that set it apart in a big way. This new Ram hit the truck-buying public right between the eyes and the result was that Dodge's market share in the fullsize pickup market tripled. This second-generation Ram 1500 had an impressive run and it continued in production through 2001 before it was redesigned. Aside from styling there were/are a lot of things to like about the four-wheel-drive Ram--its coil-sprung solid front axle being one of the big ones. This setup offered a great ride and it was durable and easy to lift. Today used Rams are in demand and there is still great aftermarket support. Here is the 5-inch Skyjacker kit prepped and ready for installation. There are a number of options for this kit, but we ordered ours with single shocks at each wheel and with the replacement rear leaf-spring packs. Since our rig was getting up in years we also opted for the Skyjacker adjustable track bar.Here is the 5-inch Skyjacker kit prepped and ready for installation. There are a number of For this reason we wanted to illustrate how one of these rigs can be easily modified to better handle off-highway travel. We started with a bone-stock '95 Ram 1500 that had spent its entire life near our Four Wheeler Midwest Bureau doing thankless chores around the farm. Even though it has low miles, it wears the battle scars of a hard life, including dents from a jackknifed trailer incident. We wanted to improve the truck's functionality while not killing its ability to work. Hence we opted for a 5-inch Skyjacker Single Flex suspension lift that would allow us to fit a set of meaty 315/75R16 Mickey Thompson MTZ Radial tires on 10-inch-wide Mickey Thompson Classic Lock wheels. For this story we actually got to work with a shop we've never worked with before and that was exciting. Forreston Auto Body in Forreston, Illinois, completed the install. Don't let the name fool you. The team at Forreston Auto Body has a history of installing four-wheel-drive suspensions and accessories. You can read more about them in the accompanying sidebar. So how does the Skyjacker kit do what it does? How did the suspension of our 14-year-old Rust Belt truck react to being disassembled? What do we think of the Mickey Thompson tires and wheels? Read on. 1. Thanks to all the Midwest salty winters, the underneath of our Ram was a tad corroded. We figured every bolt would be a battle, but interestingly even though it looked scary, most everything disassembled just fine. The installation of new parts began with the new lower links, which mount at the factory lower-link locations. Here you can see the passenger-side link installed. At the frame, the links we used feature polyurethane bushings and at the axle they use spherical rod ends to improve flex.1. Thanks to all the Midwest salty winters, the underneath of our Ram was a tad corroded. 2. New brackets are used at the axle to mount the forward ends of the new upper links. The brackets fit over the OEM mounts. As per the Skyjacker instructions, we had to enlarge one of the holes on each side of the OEM mounts for the new hardware.2. New brackets are used at the axle to mount the forward ends of the new upper links. The 3. Here's how the new passenger-side relocating bracket looked installed. 4. The upper links are similar to the lowers in that the rearward ends that mount to the frame use poly bushings, while the forward ends use a spherical rod end. Here you can see the passenger upper link installed. The instructions note that it's important when installing all of the links to make sure the grease zerks on the front of the links are pointing out the end and the zerks at the rear of the links are pointing up.4. The upper links are similar to the lowers in that the rearward ends that mount to the f 5. Our original track bar wasn't showing signs of wear, but considering its age, and since we were under the truck anyway, we decided to install a new Skyjacker adjustable track bar. The install began with the new track-bar mount. It uses four mounting points. The bolt shown installs after an existing hole in the rear of the crossmember is drilled all the way through. The other bolt on the driver side (hidden behind the installer's hand) utilizes an existing hole.5. Our original track bar wasn't showing signs of wear, but considering its age, and since 6. The new track-bar mount has two more mounting points. The mounting point on the very end uses an existing hole while the other requires a new hole to be drilled using a -inch bit. The oil pan is directly above the area being drilled, so it's important to protect the pan during drilling.6. The new track-bar mount has two more mounting points. The mounting point on the very en 7. The factory sway-bar bracket needs to be clearanced slightly for the new Skyjacker track bar. The instructions include a template that is used as a guide. The material below the line shown in this image is removed.7. The factory sway-bar bracket needs to be clearanced slightly for the new Skyjacker trac 8. Here is the track bar as it is being bolted into place. It is designed to fit 4- to 7-inch lift heights. Lateral adjustments to the front axle are made using the cam bolt at the frame. The track bar can also be shortened by up to 1/2 inch if need be. We had to shorten ours and you can read about that a little further in the story.8. Here is the track bar as it is being bolted into place. It is designed to fit 4- to 7-i 9. A pair of new coil springs are included with the kit and for our application they are specific to the driver side and passenger side of the vehicle. The stock rubber isolators are reused. In this photo you can see Forreston Auto Body technician Dave Weegens feeding the passenger-side Skyjacker Hydro shock absorber into the coil spring from underhood as general manager Marty Alich guides the shock to its lower mounting point.9. A pair of new coil springs are included with the kit and for our application they are s 1 | 2 | 3 | » | View Full Article Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!