The new links and track bar definitely contributed to improved handling, and on-center feel is outstanding. Before the install, the truck had a tendency to wander, but that is now gone. Overall we're very happy with how the truck drives and we can say it has noticeably improved. The ride has stiffened a bit, but no surprise there. Traction is now dramatically improved as well, thanks to the MTZs. At the time of this install, northern Illinois roads were covered in patchy snow and ice and we've noticed absolutely no weirdness transitioning from one to the other at highway speed. We're pretty happy with how our truck looks, too.
As is the case with all tire size increases, the added mass and weight has us thinking about bigger brakes for when we pull trailers. We're also needing a new drop hitch. Oh, and maybe some kind of retractable steps. Before the install there were aluminum steps on the rig (they had to be removed after the lift due to front tire contact). Stock, the step-in height with the aluminum steps was 16 inches, but now is 30.5 inches, which makes for some high-steppin' to get in and out of the rig. It's a small price to pay for the great ground clearance increase though.
So what did it cost? At the time of this writing the Skyjacker kit we installed had an MSRP of $2,521 including the track-bar kit. The four MTZ tires and wheels had an MSRP of $2,018 including the black ring upgrade. Installation and alignment for our specific truck at Forreston Auto Body totaled approximately $700. Grand total: approximately $5,239.
By the Numbers
Our goals for this project included improving our Ram's overall ground clearance as well as approach and departure angles. The following chart shows that we succeeded in accomplishing those goals.
|Measurement ||Stock ||Modified ||Change |
|Ground to trailer hitch ||16.75 in ||23.5 in ||+40% |
|Ground to front bumper ||17.0 in ||24.875 in ||+46% |
|Ground to front differential ||8.125 in ||10.75 in ||+32% |
|Ground to rear differential ||7.5 in ||10.25 in ||+37% |
|Ground to transmission crossmember ||12.75 in ||20.5 in ||+61% |
|Angle of approach ||33 deg ||43 deg ||+30% |
|Angle of departure ||25 deg ||30 deg ||+20% |
About Forreston Auto Body
Forreston Auto Body has been around for more than 40 years. They're situated, as their name implies, in Forreston, Illinois. Forreston is a small quaint town about 25 miles southwest of Rockford, Illinois. Like we said earlier, don't let the name lead you to believe they're only a body shop. Sure, they can handle everything from crash damage to complete restorations, but this stunningly clean family-owned business is also a one-stop shop for sales and installation of everything from work-truck equipment to trailer hitches and wiring to vinyl graphics to, obviously, suspension lift kits. General manager Marty Alich is a wheeler from way back. As a matter of fact, we photographed his '90 Chevy pickup for a feature in 1995.
Forreston Auto Body
Mickey Thompson Tires
4670 Allen Road Stow