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Ram 1500 Truck Lift Kits Overview

Ram 1500 Truck Lift Kits Overview

Dodge Ram 1500s are very aggressive trucks. They have tons of power, are tons of fun, and they look good too. But they do come with a problem: lack of serious ground clearance. This is mostly due to the smaller tires (265/70 17) that need to be swapped out in order to gain any real clearance. The typical upgrade is a “33-inch” tire, which has a 33-inch diameter on a 15-inch rim. To put this into perspective, a 265/70 17 tire has a 31.6-inch diameter, but more importantly, a 7.3-inch sidewall height vs. the 33-inch tire’s 9inch sidewall height. You can see where the clearance issues originate. The answer is simple: add a lift kit. From leveling kits to massive suspension lifts, let’s discuss what these kits include, who should use them, and some of the technical info about each type.

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Factory suspension will only allow so much when it comes to tire sizes. For Ram owners who are looking to add big tires to their trucks, lift kits are a must-have addition. Find the perfect lift for your truck to give it the exact stance you have been looking for.

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Ram 1500 Trucks: Leveling Kits

At the bottom of the list are leveling kits—the quickest and cheapest way to get a few extra inches of clearance for bigger tires. Specifically speaking they give you the room to fit up to a 33-inch tire by lifting the front end. This also acts to correct the rake on the front end of these trucks from the factory. Hence the name. 

Different years of the Dodge Ram along with different drivelines do this differently:

  • 02-13 2wd Rams: utilize coil spacers
  • 02-05 4wd Rams: use torsion keys
  • 06-17 4wd Rams: can use coil spacers or leveling struts (not specifically interchangeable through all year ranges)

The installation process does differ across the two generations. For instance, a coil spacer installation is largely different than installing torsion keys and will require different levels of expertise. Though, with a bit of experience, this job can be done in a few short hours.

2.5" Leveling Kit

1 to 2-inch Lift Kits

The next step up is a 1- to 2-inch lift kit, which will also accommodate up to a 33-inch tire. Despite the fact that many of these kits utilize lifting systems that are comparable to using a leveling kit in the front and coil spacers in the rear, there are some differences.

Different year Rams can use the following different types of 1- to 2-inch lifts:

  • 06-08 4wd Rams: utilize spacer style lift kits
  • 09-12 2wd/4wd Rams: can utilize body lift kits
  • 09-17 4wd Rams: use spacer style kits
  • 09-17 4wd Rams: have suspension lift systems available as well

For one, body kits appear in the category. A body kit does use spacers to achieve lift, but the spacers are placed between the body and the chassis of the truck. This design achieves clearance for tires but doesn’t directly contribute to added ground clearance. 

Again, you will find the spacer kits we briefly spoke of that land in the middle budget-wise, and won’t take much longer to install over a leveling kit. For the experts or ones with professional help and a bigger budget, full suspension lift systems are also available in this category. 

In the other leveling kit/spacer systems, changing out the shock absorbers isn’t always necessary. But the suspension lift systems will generally uses new shock absorbers in order to achieve the desired lift. Other components like the upper control arms will also require to be changed. That being said, this job will require trained hand and a lot more time for installation.

1.25" Body Lift Kit

3 to 4-inch Lift Kits

For even larger tires, we need to take a step up to 3- to 4-inch lift kit. These kits can accommodate a 35-inch tire. For the Ram, this lift height is achieved by some considerable suspension modification. As you will find the way each lift kit achieves the desired lift height varies from kit to kit. 

It’s important to understand some of these lift kits will require you to change out the steering knuckle. The reason is to bring the axles’ centerlines downward as necessary to achieve the desired lift. 

Other steering components may also need to be modified, and shock absorbers will need to be changed as well. The higher the lift kit, the longer the shocks will also need to be to allow proper travel. Also, because of the modified steering knuckle, the wheels will need to be at least 17-inches in diameter for most of these kits. 

Moving to this type of lift kit can be done for appearance, but it really is designed for off-road use. The amount of ground clearance obtained with a suspension lift kit of this size combined with 35-inch tall tires is huge, and you can stand up to any obstacle with confidence. But of course driveability will suffer.

4" Front 3" Rear Lift Kit w/Shocks

5 to 7-inch Lift Kits

For maximum tire clearance needed for the craziest off-road situations, a 5 to 7-inch lift kit is recommended. These kits give enough room for you to fit a 37-inch tall tire on your Ram, and provide a ridiculous amount of ground clearance.

The installation of these kits is really in depth, and will require a substantial amount of suspension modifications. The steering knuckle and shocks will need to be replaced, and steering components will need to be longer. Even brake lines will need added length to accommodate this lift. We recommend consulting a professional for this type of lift kit installation.

After installation of this massive kit you can roam this earth as King Kong would—ready to take on any obstacle at any time. It goes without saying that the use for kits of this magnitude really is off-road oriented. But you can still operate them on the street…if you don’t mind losing some comfort.

6" Suspension Lift Kit w/Shocks

Which Lift is for Me?

Whether you’re looking to level the stance of your truck, add clearance or simply have some fun in the mud, one of these lift kits is sure to be perfect for you. 

To be a bit more particular, let’s break it down a bit. Leveling kits and small 2-inch lift kits are more purposed for appearance and improved tire clearance. Generally speaking spacers and blocks don’t handle regular abuse as well as larger lift kits. This isn’t to say they don’t have their place on the trail, though. Pipeline trucks and trucks that see the dusty trail every now and again are certainly candidates for these types of lift kits.

Larger lift kits, from 3 inches and up, are more oriented for the regular off road abuse. As opposed to reusing the factory suspension components with spacers in between, they swap in heavy duty components designed for the trail life. Do the homework, though; the largest kits, around 7 inches, also may be more for looks same as the smaller kits. Different manufacturers have different end games in mind, and you need to make sure you’re both on the same page.

It can be a bit of an expense, and it’s not only about adding new parts. Modifications such as needing new shocks can make themselves apparent, and quickly—some of which you may not have expected in the first place. The solution is to simply plan ahead, and choose based on your budget. But once all is said and done, the correct lift kit and tires are really going to make you forget all about the money spent. 

Fitment includes: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, SRT-10, SLT, ST, Laramie, Sport, SXT, TRX, TRX4, RT, LaramieLonghorn, Tradesman, Express, HFE, Rebel, Longhorn, LoneStar, Outdoorsman, Limited, BigHorn