(approx) 2 Hours
Simple installation for anyone.
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Hey, guys. Adam here with americantrucks.com, and in this video, I'll be going over and installing the ReadyLIFT Tubular Upper Control Arms, available for the 2006 to 2018 four-wheel drive RAM 1500, with either a leveling kit or a mild lift kit installed. Now, if your truck is lifted or leveled, you might be interested in upgrading your factory upper control arms for a set of tubular steel upper control arms that are more durable, a lot stronger, and have better wheel articulation. Now, your factory upper control arms may be suitable for a leveling kit or even a mild lift kit, but once you start taking your truck off-road, you're gonna be really pushing those upper control arms to their limit.Now, from the factory, if you push those upper control arms to the limit, there is a known issue where the ball joint may pop out, in which case, obviously, you'll need to get an upgrade. Now, if you're looking to avoid that, or if you're looking to avoid excessive wear and tear on the factory upper control arm, or if you're just overall looking for a nice upgrade, this is gonna be a great way to go. Now, this particular set is the tubular steel, like I mentioned, so a little bit different than the factory cast steel. So this one's gonna be a little bit stronger here. It's got better weld points. It's also using high-quality urethane bushings, a little bit better of an upgrade from your factory ones. And if your truck's getting a little up there in age, over a decade old at this point, then your factory upper control arm ball joint, and more specifically the bushings here on the sides, maybe looking a little worse for wear, so the upgrade may be necessary.Now, your factory ball joint doesn't have nearly the articulation capabilities as the upper control arms here from ReadyLIFT. These upper control arms use a ball joint that's proprietary to the ReadyLIFT technology here, that has a lot more range of motion, to get better flex, better wheel articulation in that wheel well, that is suitable for a lifted application, or in this specific circumstance, a leveled or mildly lifted application. So, overall, the bushing here is gonna be a really low maintenance, comes already ready to go right out of the box, so you just have to install it. No need to grease it up or anything like that, and it comes with a new castle nut as well on the end there. Other than that, you're gonna be reusing factory hardware for the bushings in each corner here, and it's really something that's gonna be simple for anybody to do. You don't have to actually take the struts out. You can access it just by taking the wheels off.Now, the price tag for these two guys come in right around 500 bucks. Install's gonna get one out of three wrenches on our difficulty meter here. It's a little bit more involved than say, a cold air intake, of course, but it's still not gonna require much in terms of time and difficulty. It's basically three bolts. You got the upper control arm one going to the hub, you've also got the two bolts here going into the strut tower there. So, I'm gonna show you guys the entire process. It's gonna take you about two hours from start to finish. I'm gonna be using some air tools for the job, which makes life a lot easier, but a simple impact gun or a ratchet and socket set will get the job done.Now, of course, you wanna make sure, any time you're doing suspension work, you wanna keep in mind that getting an alignment afterwards is definitely a good idea. These upper control arms do correct suspension geometry, so once that's taken care of and the install's done, take it over to a shop to get aligned properly at the end of it. Make sure you're torquing down the bolts to your specific model year specs. Can change per generation, and this is a wide year range that this fits, so you just wanna make sure you're looking up the torque specs for your specific year, model, and package. With that said, guys, I'm gonna walk you through it. Let's get started.Tools used in the install include an air impact gun, universal swivel joint, 18-millimeter, 19-millimeter, 21-millimeter, and 22-millimeter deep sockets, a hammer, and a pry bar. First step here, guys, you wanna get your wheel off of your driver's side front. Here's our factory upper control arm. We're gonna start by disconnecting or removing the ABS line here that's attached with this Christmas tree clip. You can just wiggle it back and forth. Pull that guy straight off. Next what we're gonna do is disconnect or remove the ball joint nut going into the knuckle. All right. For this guy, I'm gonna be using a swivel joint, with my 21-millimeter deep socket. Just makes life a little easier to get in this weird angle here, and just pop that nut off.All right. Now, what I like to do is get that nut all the way off and then thread it on one or two threads. We have to disconnect this. Typically, almost always, this ball joint is gonna be stuck in the top of the knuckle here. So we're gonna grab a hammer and we're gonna tap on the side of the knuckle. You don't wanna hit the upper control arm. Well, in this case, we're replacing it, so it wouldn't really be detrimental if we damage this, but you really wanna aim for this guy here, so you don't cause any damage to this ball joint. So we're gonna hit that with a hammer next, to dislodge it. All right. So, we have that dislodged there. I'm gonna use a pry bar to pull down on one of our coils, so it pulls the pressure off of that nut. Unthread that guy, and you can gently release the upper control arm.Next up, we're gonna remove each of the bolts on either side of the upper control arm, the factory upper control arm that connects to the frame here. They're 18-millimeter bolts. There's a nut on the other side, but it has a little wing coming off of it that actually catches the frame, so we don't need a wrench to hold it. That will actually hold itself. So, I'm gonna grab my 18 socket. I'm using a short socket on the same swivel. It's a little bit tight in here, so you may wanna use a ratchet, but if you have this setup here, you can easily get to it with your swivel. Get that guy off. Perfect. I'm actually gonna leave the bolt in there, just to hold the upper control arm on until we do the other side. Next step, same thing on the other side here. There is a little bit more in the way with this wiring harness. You can remove that if you'd like, but you can typically lift this guy up, head underneath. It might take two hands to get that socket on there if you're using the swivel like I am. Hook that guy on and get it off. All right. Now, this gets tricky because the nut is pretty much flush up against the strut tower. So, in order to get the nut off, you have to back the bolt out, and then the nut should follow. All right. So that guy slides out. At this point, you can pull the bolt straight out. All right. Take the bolt out on the other side as well, and the whole upper control arm comes off. Just like that. Pull the factory one out, and you can set it aside.All right. So, we got our factory upper control arm here next to our ReadyLIFT option. I'm just gonna hold them here just because they're easy. I'm just gonna go through some similarities and differences here. And the first thing that jumps out at me is the weight. This guy is significantly heavier than the factory one, which is definitely lighter. Now, the weight here comes from its construction. This is that tubular fully-welded steel. It's definitely a little bit more durable. It's gonna be stronger, so the weight there actually makes sense if you look at its capabilities. Otherwise, the big components here are gonna be the ball joints. Now, the ball joints don't look all that different. The only thing that really noting here is its functionality, which isn't really a visual thing. It's something that you actually feel when you're out on the road, and that's the articulation capabilities, and we talked about that earlier. This guy here is just gonna rotate a little bit more freely than your factory one, so it can actually give you better wheel articulation when you're maxing out, maybe off-road or something like that.Otherwise, your bushings are a little bit different. The urethane bushings here are gonna last longer than your factory bushings. Now, our bushings on the factory upper control arm don't really look terrible. I mean, this truck here is just a couple of years old, so it's seen a few things here and there, but the bushings aren't terrible, but the upgrade nonetheless is gonna be worthwhile. So, visually, the only thing you're really looking at here is the finish. This one has more of a squared or flat off top, and this is obviously tubular steel, so it's rounded off. Otherwise, you're looking at maybe a really dull black versus somewhat of a flat or satin black, so it's got a little sheen to it. But those are just visual things. It's really the performance that matters, that we talked about earlier. So, I'm gonna set the factory one aside. We're gonna be reusing the factory bolts for each of the corners, and it comes with new hardware for the ball joint, so let's get to it.Kicking off the install here, I'm gonna start by putting the bolts in each of the corners, and then we'll connect our ball joint there. Now, it can be a little bit tight getting this guy in here. Just wanna get the holes lined up and put the bolts back through. All right. So, once you have that bolt in there, grab the nut. And we're just gonna thread it on. Again, I'm not tightening this guy down yet. Just gonna get it threaded so it holds itself in place. Perfect. Let's put the bolt in the other way too. Same thing on the other side. Keep in mind, guys, that you wanna make sure the bolt isn't fully in just yet, otherwise, you won't be able to fit the nut in there. Put the nut in place and push it up against the threads, and then tighten that down.All right. So, we got that threaded on a couple of threads there on the nut so it holds itself in place. Now let's connect our upper ball joint. Next, let's connect the upper ball joint. So, we're gonna take this castle nut off that it comes with. It also comes with a thicker spacer that we're gonna use on top of the castle nut like that, underneath of the knuckle. So, while we have good articulation here, let's lift that up and drop it on, just like this. All right. From here, take the spacer and castle nut, put it on the bottom. We're gonna thread it all the way up by hand, hold it in place, let's tighten this guy down, and then we'll hit the two bolts on the sides. Let's switch over to a 19 deep socket on our swivel, and tighten up the upper control arm bolt.Now, you wanna make sure that the open hole in the stud is exposed through one of these little divots or cutouts in the castle nut, because at that point what you're gonna do is take the retainer pin and you're gonna put it through that hole. And if it doesn't line up, you can grab a ratchet and alter how that castle nut sits. Once you have it inserted, you can grab a hammer and lightly tap this guy in, so it seats all the way. Then it's a good idea to just bend the end, to help retain that nut in place. Switch back over to your 18 short socket, along with the swivel. We're gonna tighten down this bolt here. And remember, this nut has that little pin on the end of it, so I don't have to hold it in place. All right. Repeat that on the other side.Now, if you remember, your factory upper control arm had a little hole in it for this Christmas tree clip on the ABS line. It no longer does, but it does include zip ties, so we're just gonna wrap that around this little indent so it holds it in place. Go over the upper control arm, and zip tie this guy back so it's roughly in the same spot it was from the factor. And then, of course, you can grab some snips or a knife or something like that, and cut off the excess on that zip tie. Make sure you torque everything down, like I said earlier, to spec per your vehicle. Repeat on the other side, you're good to go.That's gonna wrap up my review and install for the ReadyLIFT Tubular Steel Upper Control Arms for the '06 to '18 4-Wheel Drive RAM 1500 with a Leveling Kit or a Mild Lift. You can get yours right here at americantrucks.com.
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(approx) 2 Hours
Simple installation for anyone.
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