Lift Your Ram Tough: BDS Suspension’s 4-Inch Suspension Lift For Ram 1500

    BDS Suspension raises a Ram 1500

    Jay KopycinskiPhotographer, Writer

    The owner of this ’16 Ram 1500 4WD truck was looking for suspension performance improvements and the ability to mount 35-inch rubber under the truck. The independent front suspension (IFS) uses coil spring struts and the rear solid axle uses a five-link suspension with coil springs.

    A decision was made to use a 4-inch High Clearance Suspension System from BDS Suspension. BDS makes both 4- and 6-inch versions of this lift to fit late-model Ram trucks without air suspension (the company also offers a 4-inch lift for air ride-equipped Ram 1500s) and offers various shock and rear suspension options. The company’s front lift maintains use of the factory struts and provides new steering knuckles and crossmember components to drop the front differential assembly and lower control arms. The rear lift is achieved by use of either coil spacers or longer, replacement coil springs.

    The kits come complete with all the pieces needed to address suspension links, brake lines, sway bars, and ABS sensor wiring. Shock options include BDS-branded gas shocks or optional Fox Racing 2.0 Series shocks. The kits are also FMVSS No. 126 compliant, meaning that they are fully compatible with electronic stability control systems found on these trucks.

    The kit was successfully installed on the truck in a driveway over a weekend. The instructions are thorough, and two of us completed the install in about 12 hours using mostly common mechanic hand tools. There was some minor cutting with a hand grinder needed. Hardware torque values are provided throughout the instructions.

    Once completed, the truck was aligned and new 18x9 Method wheels with 35x12.50R18LT Nitto Ridge Grappler tires were installed. Since the front struts were reused, much of the factory ride was retained and the new rear coils with Fox shocks rode well on the street and kept the tail well planted in the dirt. We found the truck handled great while bombing down twisty fire roads and had good suspension movement on mild trails.

    In the end, approach angle went from a lackluster 22 degrees to 30 degrees with the lift and new tires. Also improved was the departure angle that went from 27 degrees to 31 degrees. With the new tires, ground clearance under the rear axle was improved by just less than an inch. Front axle clearance was reduced by an inch or so with the addition of a steel differential skidplate. However, the aluminum front housing is no longer vulnerable to rocks in the trail.