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Rough Country 3-Inch Bolt-On Suspension Lift Kit with Premium N3 Shocks (12-18 4WD RAM 1500 w/o Air Ride)

Item R107880
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      Video Review & Installation

      Hey, guys. Adam here with And today, we're taking a closer look at and installing the Rough Country 3-inch Bolt-On Suspension Lift Kit with Premium N3 Shocks, available for '12 to '18 four-wheel-drive RAM 1500s without Air Ride. You should be checking out this kit if you're looking for three things, reduce factory rake while lifting the front and rear of your truck, fit larger wheels and tires on your truck up to 35-inches, and get additional ground clearance upfront and at the rear to help in some light off-road situations.This kit from Rough Country lifts the front end 3 inches and the rear 1 inch, and includes upper control arms to accommodate the new lift angle and upgraded rear shocks for a better ride quality. First and foremost, fitting larger wheels and tires on your RAM isn't too hard. Off the factory line, this generation RAM comes with anywhere from 30-inch up to 33-inch all-season tires. Ours has factory 33s. Now, if you're looking to fit up the 35s comfortably, then you'll need a leveling kit or a lift kit like this one.The rear is no problem, but 3 inches is more than enough front-end lift to help with up to 35-inch tires without modification. Now, I will say some of the more aggressive mud-terrain tires, you may experience some slight rubbing at full turn depending on your wheel offset. But fitting up the 35s is absolutely doable as you can see on our '14 RAM here. When it comes to leveling out your truck's appearance by reducing the factory rake, 3-inch front and 1-inch rear lift kit like this one from Rough Country does just that.If you're not familiar with the term rake, just know it's basically referring to your truck's front end sitting lower than the rear in order to help with towing and hauling. You're nearly eliminating that rake with this kit here while lifting the entire truck in the process. Getting additional ground clearance is easily attainable with the lift kit. Obviously, when you're lifting the entire truck up a couple of inches, you'll be able to drive right on over some smaller obstacles that you otherwise would have come in contact with at the front or the rear.The stock bumper is sitting pretty low from the factory, so any additional height can make the difference with those smaller hazards on and off-road. This particular Rough Country kit is laser-cut steel with black powder-coated finish on top to help with corrosion and rust resistance. Now, the top spacer here that will go on top of your factory strut measures in at about 1-inch while the preload spring spacer here measures in at about 1.5-inch. The preload spacer sits under the front strut hat on top of the spring and pre-compresses or preloads the spring itself. This causes a slightly sportier, tighter front end ride. Those spacers along with the change in suspension geometry result in the full 3-inch front lift. The rear spacers, of course, are a one-to-one ratio, so this is a 1-inch spacer for the rear. Because a 3-inch lift kit like this changes the suspension geometry a bit, your factory ball joints are under a bit more stress.This kit prevents that by upgrading to tubular upper control arms with upgraded ball joints for greater wheel articulation and improved downward suspension travel. The premium N3 shocks are made for lifted applications and have a 10-stage variable valving that adapts rapidly to your changing terrain. These are high-pressure nitrogen-charged with a 35-millimeter piston, chromed, hardened 18-millimeter piston rod, and a 54-millimeter shock body to help dissipate heat faster. Overall, the ride quality's improved with the premium N3 shock upgrade.The price for this kit comes in right around 600 bucks. It's an effective mod that makes a big difference in appearance, functionality, and ride quality for your truck. The installation for a lift kit like this comes in at three-out-of-three wrenches on our difficulty meter. You'll need some specialty tools like a spring compressor to get the job done properly, especially because we have the preload spacers that require the strut disassembly. It'll take about three to four hours from start to finish to knock out.If you don't have the experience or feel comfortable tackling it yourself, there's no shame handing this over to a professional to get done properly. Keep in mind, you will need to get an alignment once everything is said and done. And be sure to torque everything back down to factory spec if you're tackling it yourself. I'm going to walk you through the whole process. Let's get started.Tools used in this install, and keep in mind, guys, it may vary per vehicle. We use an air impact gun and a cordless impact, a variety of ratchets and extensions, a variety of sockets, mainly a full socket set, including an 8, 13 deep socket and swivel socket, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 short and deep sockets, 19, 21, 22, 15/16 deep sockets along with a universal swivel is recommended for a 1/2-inch, an 8-millimeter hex socket or Allen key, a variety of wrench sets, including a 15/16, 18, and 19-millimeter.We also used a variety of ratcheting wrenches, including a 14, 15, 18, 17, and 19-millimeter, variety of screwdrivers like this flat-head here, dead blow mallet along with a hammer, a variety of pry bars is recommended, and a variety of specialty tools. Some specialty tools used in this install include an open-ended or a Pass-Through ratchet, along with the appropriate Pass-Through extension and 18-millimeter short socket that's used to disassemble the shock body. Now, that's something that you may want to pick up from an auto parts store or a hardware store if you need to if you're not able to get the top strut hat nut off with an impact gun.Also on the table, which is a little bit untraditional and orthodox is a bent 21-millimeter wrench. This is something that will help you get off the factory rear shock. Now, if you have a very short open-ended wrench, that may work as well. Most people do not. If not, you can pick up an affordable 21-millimeter wrench, heat it up with a Mini-Ductor like we did, and then bend it on a vise. With that said, you will also need a table vise, a spring compressor, a floor jack if you're working on the floor, along with a hydraulic jack.All right. To kick things off, I'm gonna show you guys how to uninstall your factory strut here on our front driver side. Now, of course, you wanna get your wheel out of the way, that's step number one. We're supported on a lift, but if you're working on the floor, make sure you have a floor jack properly supporting the weight of the vehicle. Moving on from there, we'll have to disconnect the ABS lines from the knuckle and from the brake line itself, just to make sure that when the knuckle drops down out of the upper control arm, we're not putting too much stress on those brake lines.All right. So, for this ABS line, just follow it down to the back of your knuckle here that's connected with a plastic clip. I'm just going to wiggle that back and forth till it pops up. Now, you want to follow that guy up to the top here, that connects to your brake line. That, you're just going to pull just like that. Now, we have more slack on our brake lines, so we're not putting tension on them. Next up, grab a 16-millimeter deep socket, and we're going to remove the factory nut off of our sway bar end link. All right. Set that aside.All right. Next up, we're going to disconnect our tie rod end. Now, before we get started, you want to know that this is a 21-millimeter nut. Now, in some cases, if you use an impact gun on this, the entire stud will spin in that ball joint. You may need a 10-millimeter socket and a 21-millimeter wrench to get the nut off while holding that stud steady. For our first time, I'm going to use our 21-millimeter deep socket in my air gun to get this guy off. All right. So, ours didn't give us any trouble, but that is still worth noting.Now, before I take this guy out, I'm actually going to leave it in and just put that nut a couple of threads on just to keep the entire hub assembly from rotating while tackling the upper control arm. All right. So, next, we're going to do the upper control arm to the knuckle. Now, RAM uses a castle nut here, which has these open gaps all the way around, and through one of the gaps going through the stud itself is a metal retaining pin. I'm gonna use needle-nose pliers to pull that pin straight out. All right. Set that aside. Now, for this, I'm gonna use an 18-millimeter ratcheting wrench.I highly recommend picking up a set of ratcheting wrenches for this install. There's a lot of different aspects of this that ratcheting wrenches will be a lot easier to use. So, once we broke that loose, I can back this off with my hand. Now, big thing to remember is we have to dislodge the ball joint from the knuckle. You can see the stud didn't break free with that. So, I'm going to leave this nut on a couple of threads, we're going to grab our hammer, and we're going to swing and tap against here to dislodge that. And then we'll use a pry bar to pull it down and take our nut off.Now, for this, you want to grab a ball-peen hammer, and we're going to tap right up against the side here of the knuckle. With that dislodged, you'll see that the upper control arm moves freely in there. Let's take our nut off, and it comes with that larger spacer. Once you have the castle nut and spacer out, set those aside. All right. So, from here, we can go back to the tie rod end, take that nut off, lift the tire rod end out. I like to hang it up over that sway bar end link, and then put our nut back on the stud, just so we don't lose it. Here, we can lift the upper control arm out of the knuckle.Now, what I like to do is just grab the upper control arm castle nut and thread it right back on again so we don't lose it, just like the tie rod end. All right. Next up, we're going to tackle the bottom strut bolt holding it to the lower control arm. Now, the nut here, I'm going to use a 15/16 deep socket on my impact gun, and I'm going to use a 21-millimeter wrench to hold the bolt head on the inside. At this point, you can grab a ball-peen hammer and just tap the end of that to pop it through. Some cases, you may be able to pull it straight out. If not, you can grab a flat-head screwdriver and just stick it in there and hammer the back end of that.All right. So, now, we can focus on the top three strut tower nuts. I'll grab a 15-millimeter wrench, and I'm going to use, again, the 15-millimeter ratcheting wrench. Again, this really comes in handy. We're going to loosen up these three top nuts. All right. So, now, our strut is free. I'm gonna use a pry bar here between the lower control arm and the strut body at the bottom to pry this guy out of position. All right. So, next up, we're at our spring compressor. We have to put our preload spacer right underneath of the strut top hat and on top of the coil spring. Now, I've got this setup on our compressor already.If you're not familiar with spring compressors, there's definitely no shame handing this over to a professional shop because this can be pretty dangerous if you don't have it done properly. We're basically gonna take the tension off of the bottom spring seat by compressing the spring so that we can take our top hat off. With that spring compressed, we'll be able to loosen up that nut without it bursting off. So, you wanna make sure you're exercising extreme caution, and then you're going to start compressing your spring. All right. Once you have that spring compressed, and you can see that coming off the bottom there, we can grab our 18 socket and get that nut off the top.All right. So, occasionally, you'll have trouble getting this nut off. And the reason being is it'll just spin the entire rod inside the strut. If that is the case, then you need some specialty tool. I have an open-ended ratchet with an 18 socket on there, and the open-ended ratchet will allow me to put an 8-millimeter deep socket with an extension through it to hold the stud in place. So, that way, we can just work this guy off without the stud completely rotating every time. All right. Once you have that cracked loose, bring that strut down, and we can start decompressing the spring.So, basically, what we're going to do is lift off that top hat, leave the isolator, and the preload spacer is gonna sit on top of the isolator and under the strut hat right here. All right. So, I'm just gonna put that preload spacer there, follow it up with our top hat, just like that. Now, we have to adjust our spring compressor for the new height difference. So, I'm going to bring our pillars up, make sure that this is going to sit properly, and we can compressing again. All right. So, you're going to feed your strut up through, line up the bottom spacer, and see how much threading we need. We need a lot of thread, which means we've got to compress the spring quite a bit. All right. Now, we can put our nut back on the top. So, there you have it with the preload spacer. Now, we can head back to the truck and put our top spacer on. All right. Now, when it comes to assembling all of the studs onto your new spacers, you're going to need something like a vise. Now, we have pressed-in studs, so they're a little different than some of the other kits out there.Basically, what we're going to have to do is put this guy in our vise. I'm gonna put it so that the hole is on the top here so it's easily accessible. All right. So, we're going to grip that guy right in there. Now, what you want to look for are the holes where the pressed-in stud just barely fit in. That's the one that we're going to be looking at there. So, basically, what I'm going to do here is put one in. I'm going to start threading it as much as I can by hand.We're just going to thread that hole just so we have a little bit of thread on the other side. I'm going to take one of the nuts, thread it on the back here, and we're gonna use that nut to help pull the stud through. So, grab a 15 socket and start tightening that guy down. And it's going to slowly pull the stud back through. All right. So, you can see that stud getting shorter and shorter on this side. So, once you to have it all the way down to the knurled end, the pressed-in stud end, what we're going to do is take dead blow hammer, and I'm just going to use this fat 1/2-inch extension to help just tap it through just a little bit.All right. That's just going to help grip it. So, now, I'm gonna use an impact gun. I'm going to tighten down that nut, and it's going to pull the pressed-in stud all the way through. All right. Now, we can repeat that for all three studs. All right. So, now that we have our pressed-in studs pressed in, we can drop this guy onto our factory strut. Should drop right on. It really only goes on one way, so you just keep rotating it until you get it to drop on. Grab the factory 15-millimeter nuts, and we're going to thread them on through these openings onto the factory studs. Grab your 15 socket and tighten them down.All right. Now, we can throw it in the truck. All right. So, putting this back in the truck, I'm going to take one of the new nuts and put it on top of the upper control arm for easy access, line this guy up to the strut tower, and put it through. All right. Once that guy goes through, we only really need one nut for now. I'm going to put it right here, thread it down a couple of threads just to hold it in place, and now we can start reassembling everything else.All right. Now, before we put everything back together, it may be helpful to take the top of the sway bar end link nut off, along with the bushing and bracket there or the spacer, and we're just going to set that aside. It will give us more articulation in the lower control arm. All right. So, at this point, I'm just going to lift that tie rod end out of the way so you can see. We basically need to get this fork on the bottom of the strut over the lower control arm to sit where those open holes are. I recommend using a pry bar. I think it's going to be one of your easier ways to get this done.You're basically just going to lift up and pry down so that it sits correctly on the lower control arm. All right. So, I've got a helping hand here. We're going to put the bolt in the opposite way it came out to help line it up, grab a hammer, and tap it through. All right. Now, I know getting that bolt back in is a lot of a problem. It can give you a little bit of a headache here trying to get it back in the same way it came out. So, if you need to, you can flip the bolt around and put the bolt head on the front of the vehicle side going into the inside of the lower control arm. There's no problem doing that, doesn't make a difference. So, that's what we did there just to get it to line up better. Grab your hammer and tap it all the way through. All right. So, now, we can put our nut back on the other side here. Grab your 15/16 wrench for the nut and your 21 socket for the bolt head, and tighten them down. All right. Let's reconnect our tie rod end. So, I'm going to pick off that factory nut that I'd put on there for safekeeping, lift up your knuckle, and drop that guy into place. Thread the factory nut back on. All right. Grab your 21 socket and tighten down that nut. While we're down here and this is jacked up, we have our sway bar end link back through the sway bar, drop your bushing back on and the spacer, follow it up with the 16 nut. Grab your socket set, grab your 16 socket and tighten that down. Again, I'm using a swivel to make it easier. All right. Now, this last step is a little bit more difficult to see because the inner wheel well liner is here, but you want to make sure you're putting all three nuts on all three studs. We already had one on the front, so we just gotta hit those back two.And then from here, you're going to grab a 17 socket or ratchet and tighten these three down. For these, I like to use a ratcheting wrench. I find it to be easier because this one's a little bit longer. I get a little bit more leverage. All right. There you have it. All right. Now that we have everything else out of the way, the last step here is to focus on swapping our upper control arm. Now, getting the old one out of the way is extremely easy. There's one bolt holding each of the sides onto the frame here. I'm going to use my 18 short socket this time, along with a swivel on my impact gun. I'm basically gonna go into this wheel well.It is an awkward angle, but you can get this guy out, and I'm just going to gun this guy off. The nut itself has a plate welded to it, so it should touch on the frame. So, you don't need a ratchet or a wrench to hold the nut on the other side. There you go. Disconnect that from my gun, pull this guy out. Now, this bolt should just slip out. All right. This side's a little bit trickier. You have a couple of wires in the way. I pushed the wheel well liner back in. I'm using the same socket and swivel, but you have to get a little creative of how you get that on.Now, the nut can't really back out all the way into the strut tower, so you got to pull it a certain way and basically feed the bolt off of that nut. So, you can slide that out. Do a little yoga around the wires, pull your upper control arm out. So, very quickly, we have our factory control arm here in my right hand and our Rough Country control arm in my left hand. Now, in terms of upper control arms, it can make a huge difference to off-road ability and how long your suspension components like these will last depending on the quality of the upgrade.Now, your factory upper control arm doesn't have absolutely amazing wheel articulation when it comes to a lifted application, so when you're starting to stress your suspension in terms of getting downward suspension travel into the mix, your ball joint on the factory upper control arm just won't last as long. Lifted applications depending on how big the lift is will require some other upgrades like the upper control arm.We're talking about a 3-inch lift at the front end here from Rough Country. So, upgrading the ball joint to one that has greater wheel articulation and a stronger tubular steel upper control arm like this guy here from Rough Country will go a long way to making sure your suspension geometry not only is a little bit more correct, but also making sure these components are gonna last a lot longer than factory.At this point, we can set our factory upper control arm aside and install this guy using the factory bolts for the sides and the new hardware for the ball joint itself. All right. So, installing your upper control arm is basically just the reverse order of taking it out. So, I'm going to set that guy in place. I'm going to start here toward the front end of the vehicle on our driver side putting the bolt back through. All right. So, when you do that, you want to make sure you're backing the bolt out enough so you can get the nut on in the inside.All right. Now we can do the same thing on the other side and then tighten them down. All right. So, we're actually going to connect the front end here, the ball joint section, to the knuckle first, and then we'll tighten down those two bolts. All right. So, there's a new spacer and a new nut included in the kit. So, let's connect these two guys. We're dropping the ball joint through. All right. Put the spacer on underneath, follow it up with the washer.Now, we can tighten that guy down. All right. Grab your 21 socket. I'm gonna use a 21 deep socket on a swivel and tighten it down. All right. If it starts spinning, you can grab a 15 wrench and hold the stud steady and tighten it back down. All right. So, now, we're switching back over to our 18 short socket to tighten down the upper control arm bolts. Repeat that on the other side. All right. To kick off the uninstall in the rear, we've got our RAM up in the air, and I have two pole jacks supporting our rear axle. Now, if you're working on the ground, you'll want a hydraulic jack under the pumpkin or the differential, or you can put two hydraulic jacks, one on both sides of the differential. Now, that's gonna help support the weight. As we disconnect some suspension components, that's going to hold that up, and then we'll slowly lower both sides down to release the tension on the spring in order to insert our leveling kit. Now, with that out of the way, I have an 18-millimeter ratcheting wrench, which is going to go a long way to help us get this off, and I also have a 1/4-inch ratchet with an 8-millimeter socket.I'm going to first focus on disconnecting our sway bar end link. Now, I'm not going to disconnect the side connecting it to get to the frame, I'm going to disconnect the sway bar from the end link. That's an 8-millimeter nut. Now, the reason I have both of these in my hand is because once I start loosening this up, the entire stud likes to spin. To get around that, I'm going to put my 18-millimeter ratcheting wrench on our nut here, and I'm going to put the 8-millimeter socket on the end to hold the stud steady, and then I'm going to loosen this guy up.That way, stud stay still, and we can get the nut off. Keep in mind, guys, what you do for one side, you're going to be doing the exact same thing on the other simultaneously. We're not going to do everything on one side. And for the rear with a solid rear axle, you're going to do both sides at the same time. All right. From there, take it off by hand. Now, what I like to do is once that's disconnected, pull the end link out. What I like to do is just put the nut on the end, just so we don't lose it. So, now, we're gonna do this on the other side.All right. With that other side out of the way, the sway bar is free. You can swing that down. Next up, we're going to disconnect our Panhard bar. Now, the Panhard bar connects the axle to the frame. So, it's connected to the axle on our driver side and the frame on the passenger. So, we only have to do one side, just got to get it disconnected from one of the other. So, I'm going to start here. Now, this bolt goes all the way through and has a nut on the other side with a tab. So, because of that tab, we're not going to need the hold of the nut side. That'll hit the frame and hold itself.So, I'm gonna use a 21-millimeter socket to get this guy off. There you go, and that's free. All right. Now, on the opposite side of our coil spring is our shock. We need to disconnect the shock from the bottom here, where the 21-millimeter bolt goes through. Now, I've got a 21-millimeter wrench holding on our nut and my 21 socket on the bolt head side. All right, So, now, we can just repeat that on the other side to tackle the shock bolt.All right. At this point, the only thing keeping this axle up right now are these two pole jacks. Now, again, if you're working on the ground, you'll have a hydraulic jack most likely. If that is the case, this is the part we're going to start decompressing. So we're going to slowly lower these pole jacks down one by one to evenly bring this down and decompress our spring. Now, again, if you're using a hydraulic jack, don't send it. You want to make sure you're going very slowly decompressing it. Otherwise, these things can get a little violent shooting out of their spot. So, slowly decompress, and then we'll pop the spring off.All right. So, I'll do a couple of turns on one side. Because now this is uneven, I'll do the other side and kind of bring it down incrementally. All right. Once it starts decompressing, you'll start to hear a little bit of creaking coming from the coils. That's letting you know it's close to fully decompress and you just saw it fall out. So, this guy is completely loose, and we're good to bring it down. Same thing on the other side. Once you can twist it, there's no more pressure or tension on it.So, now, at this point, we're just bringing it down low enough that we can get the spring actually out in order to insert the spacers. All right. There you have it. Because our spacer is going to sit at the top of our spring, we're just basically going to pull our spring straight out and set it aside for the moment. All right. So, now, we're gonna take our retainer plate that has the welded-on nut. I'm going to go right up above the top of our spring perch, and it's going to sit right in this little oval cutout or the circle cutout there.Now, we're going to take our spacer and our hex bolt and bolt it down from the bottom underneath here. So, you're going to grab this hex bolt with a washer on it, you're going to put this through the spacer, hold the retainer from the top, and thread those two guys together. All right. That top retainer plate should sit perfectly in that circle cutout. All right. Now, I'm going to grab my 8-millimeter socket and tighten this down. Repeat that on the other side.All right. So, now, we can put our spring back in, just make sure you have the isolator still at the top end of the spring. That's going to sit right on that spacer there that we installed. Once you have that seated up there, you're just going to pull down on the actual assembly to get this to sit on the bottom perch, just like that. Do the same thing on sides, and then we're going to jack it back up and reconnect everything.All right. Once your spacer's in place, we just have to jack everything back up into position and rebolt down all of the components, the sway bar end link, the shock itself, and the Panhard bar. So, this is something, again, you want to be very careful about because you're putting a lot of tension back on the spring, so you don't want to go too fast. You also want to make sure the spring is seated completely properly at the top and on the bottom.So, just make sure it's in the ring up there, which it looks like it is, on both sides, we're doing this simultaneously again, and then start jacking it up until the shock matches up with the axle mounting holes. So, you just want to make sure you're jacking it up far enough for that to happen. All right. Now, to remove our factory shock, the top shock bolt is up here behind our wheel well liner. So, unfortunately, we are going to have to get our wheel well liner out of the way. You may be able to get your hand up in here to get that bolt off, but there's not a ton of room to back it out. So, just getting the liner out of the way is the best route. I'm going to grab my impact gun and an 8-millimeter socket, I'm going to remove all of the screws around the wheel well here, and then there's two in the middle, and then we'll be able to pop it off. All right. So, now we have one right up near the shock itself and one opposite of that. All right. So, now, we can pull the liner out.This next step is honestly gonna take a little bit of trial and error. It's going to be a very specific tool that you're going to need. I'm going to call it a specialty tool. Basically, getting the factory top shock bolt out is nearly impossible with traditional methods. The socket, it's just at such a weird angle. You can't really get a socket on it directly. You can try going straight over the gas tank to get it out. But again, with the angle that it's at, you might need a specialty tool. I'm gonna recommend our method, which is a little unconventional. Picking up a sacrificial 21-millimeter wrench, and then bending it at the open-end 90 degrees. So, this looks really funky. Obviously, this is not a traditional method. But if you bend this guy at 90 degrees, you can go right on over and hook right on the nut on the backside and gun it off from the front. Now, you can pick up a pretty cheap 21-millimeter wrench at your local auto parts or hardware store. Now, in terms of bending it, we use a Mini-Ductor. Just put the Mini-Ductor right around it, heat it up till it turns bright red, put it in a vise, and then turn it. And when you turn it 90 degrees, let it cool off, of course, and there you have it. This is a method that a lot of guys are using to get their factory shock off on both the driver and passenger side. Passenger may prove to be a little bit easier because the gas tank's not in the way, but we're on the driver side here. So, what do you say we just get it off?You're gonna need to need to fish the nut out once you have that disconnected. But once you do, pull the bolt out, shock comes out with it. All right. So, really quickly, I want to walk you through our factory shock and our premium N3 shock from Rough Country. I want to go through some similarities and differences here. Overall, I want to first touch on the height. The height is pretty much exactly the same right out of the box as it is from the factory here. But in terms of quality of materials and the way that it's going to perform, it's going to be totally different. Your new premium N3 or nitrogen-charged shock from Rough Country is just that. It's a high-pressure nitrogen charged. It's got an 18-millimeter chrome-hardened piston rod, 35-millimeter piston itself, 54-millimeter shock body, which is going to help dissipate heat better than the factory one, which is not as big of a diameter of the shock body compared to your nitrogen recharged one from Rough Country. I don't have the exact measurements here.I'd say the factory one is probably around 48 to 50 millimeters, so it is a slight difference. You can feel it in your hand when you're holding them both here. Now, in terms of performance there, of course, this is going to have a better compression and rebound off-road, thanks to some of those characteristics I just mentioned. Your factory one isn't really built for lifted application, it's not optimized for hitting the trail, so you can expect a really comfortable on-road ride in terms of daily driver commuting with the new shock here at the rear end, but it's definitely going to outperform your factory one, thanks to the new and better-built body and charge inside of this here.So, what we're going to do is use that factory bolt just to bolt this guy up. You want to make sure you're putting the shock body portion, the portion that's in my right hand at the bottom here. You'll see some writing down at the bottom, you want to make sure that it's legible and not upside down. So, it's going to go in just like this as opposed to that. At this point, we can toss our factory shock aside and get to work on our N3.All right. So, now, we want to make sure we're putting this guy in place. Put in the factory bolt back through. And then this can be tricky, but you want to grab the nut and you gotta make sure you're tightening it down by hand first on the opposite side. All right. So, now, we can use our bent 21, hold that nut on the backside, and tighten it down from the front. Now, you can repeat that on the other side. So, now, we can reconnect the bottom portion by lining it up with that hole there, putting it back through, and tightening this guy down.All right. So, now, we can put our wheel well liner back in. All right. So, we're gonna reconnect our Panhard bar, drop that guy into place, making sure lined up. And if it's not, you can sort of manipulate the axle to go one way or the other. And again, once you get it in there, if you need to, you can grab a hammer and tap it through. Grab that nut and put it on the backside, 21 socket, and tighten it. All right. So, really, the last step here is reconnecting our sway bar end link. Now, once again, you have both sides disconnected. It moves a little bit more freely. So, you want to bring the end link over and connect it there, put the nut back on, thread it on as far as you can by hand, and then you're grabbing your 18 socket. And, again, I'm using a ratcheting wrench along with an 8-millimeter socket to hold the stud and tighten it down. All right. Once you tighten up the other side, you're good to go.That's gonna wrap up my review and install for the Rough Country 3-inch Bolt-On Suspension Lift Kit with Upper Control Arms and the Premium N3 Shocks, available for the '12 to '18 four-wheel-drive RAM 1500, excluding models with the air suspension and the TRX. Get yours right here at

      Product Information

      Features, Description, Reviews, Q&A, Specs & Installation


      • Three-Inch Bolt-On Suspension Lift Kit with Upper Control Arms
      • Increases Ground Clearance
      • Accommodates Wheel Size of Up to 35 Inches
      • Durable Construction
      • Lifetime Manufacturer’s Warranty
      • Expert-Level Installation with Bolt-On Design
      • Installation Hardware Included
      • Sold as a Kit
      • Fits All 2012–2018 4WD RAM 1500 Models without Air Ride


      Increases Ground Clearance. True to its name, the Rough Country 3-Inch Bolt-On Suspension Lift Kit with Upper Control Arms introduces 3 additional inches to your RAM 1500. That way, your undercarriage is kept farther away from potential damage as you make your way through rough and rugged terrain. Plus, this kit levels the front and rear of the truck to promote a more stable ride quality, especially if you are installing aftermarket wheels as large as 35 inches.

      Durable Construction. Every component of this lift kit is made to withstand the hostility of the outdoors. The spacers are made of robust, sturdy steel. And the upper control arms not only keep the ball joints at optimum angles for less wear and tear, but also include Clevite rubber bushings to enhance longevity.

      Lifetime Manufacturer’s Warranty. Rough Country warranties that this suspension lift kit will be free from defects in material and craftsmanship for the life of the vehicle if installed and operated properly.

      Expert-Level Installation with Bolt-On Design. No cutting and drilling is required to install this kit, which bolts onto the factory mounting locations and is packaged with bolts, nuts, screws, and other types of installation hardware. Expect to spend up to 6 hours to complete the process.

      Application. The Rough Country 3-Inch Bolt-On Suspension Lift Kit with Upper Control Arms
      fits all 2012–2018 4WD RAM 1500 models without the Air Ride suspension. It is sold as a kit.

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      Rough Country 31230

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      Installation & What's in the Box

      Installation Info

      What's in the Box

      • (2) Upper Control Arms
      • (2) Strut Preload Spacers
      • (2) Strut Spacers
      • (2) Coil Spacers
      • Installation Hardware

      Customer Reviews (21)

        Questions & Answers

        10 More Questions

        Will It Fit My Ram 1500

        • 3.0L V6 EcoDiesel - 14, 15, 16, 17, 18
        • 3.6L V6 - 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18
        • 4.7L V8 - 12, 13
        • 5.7L V8 - 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

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