(approx) 4 Hours
Mechanical expertise or professional installation required.
$549.95 (kit)FREE Shipping
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Hey, guys, Adam here with americantrucks.com. And today, we're taking a closer look at and installing the Rough Country 3-Inch Bolt-On Suspension Lift Kit, fitting all '12 to '18 Four-Wheel-Drive RAM 1500s without Air Ride. You should be checking this kit out if you're interested in accomplishing 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 up front and at the rear to help with some light off-road situations. This kit from Rough Country here lifts the front end 3 inches and the rear 1 inch and includes upper control arms to accommodate the new lift angle. First and foremost, fitting larger wheels and tires on your RAM isn't too hard. Off the factory line, this generation comes with anywhere from 30-inch to 33-inch all-season tires. Ours has factory 33s. Now, if you're looking to fit up to 35s comfortably, then you'll need a leveling or lift kit like this one here. The rear is no problem, but 3 inches is more than enough front end lift to help with adding up to 35-inch tires without modification. With some of the more aggressive mud-terrain tires, you may experience some slight rubbing at full turns depending on your wheel offset, but fitting up to 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, a 3-inch front and 1-inch rear lift kit like this from Rough Country does just that. If you're not familiar with the term rake, just know it's basically 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 up in the process. While you are lifting the entire truck, you're lifting the front more than the rear to level it out. Getting additional ground clearance is also easily attainable with a leveling kit like this. Since you're lifting your entire truck up a couple of inches, you'll be able to drive right on over some of the smaller obstacles that you otherwise may have come in contact with in the front or the rear. The stock front bumper and lip sits pretty low, so any additional height can make the difference with those smaller hazards on and off-road. This particular kit from Rough Country is laser-cut steel with black powder-coated finishes on top to help with corrosion and rust resistance. The front end lift is achieved with a strut top spacer that measures in at about 1-inch, and a preload spring spacer that measures in at about 2 inches. The preload spacer sits under the strut hat on top of the spring and pre-compresses or preloads the spring. This causes a slightly sportier and tighter front end ride. Those spacers along with the change in suspension geometry results in the 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 the 3-inch lift changes the suspension geometry a bit, your factory ball joints are going to be under a little bit more stress. This kit prevents that by upgrading to stronger tubular upper control arms with upgraded ball joints for greater wheel articulation and improve downward suspension travel. For right around 550 bucks, you can pick this kid up here, which is going to improve the appearance of your truck and the functionality to help with fitment. For just $50 more, however, you can get the same kit, but with also upgraded premium N3 shocks for better ride quality, just something to keep in mind.The installation for the 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, and it'll take three to four hours from start to finish. If you don't have experience or feel comfortable tackling it yourself, there's no shame of handing it over to a professional to get done properly. Keep in mind, you'll 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, 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, 15/16ths deep sockets, along with the universal swivels recommended for a 1/2-inch, an 8-millimeter hex socket or Allen key, a variety of wrench sets including a 15/16ths, 18, and 19-millimeter. We also used a variety of ratcheting wrenches, include 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. 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 want to get your wheel out of the way, that's step number one. We're supported on a lift, but if you're working on a floor and 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 until it pops up. Now, you want to follow that guy up to the top here, that connect to your brake line. That, you're just going to pull apart 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 the stud itself is a metal retaining pin. I'm gonna use a 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 of with my hand. Now, big thing to remember is we have to dislodge the ball joint from the knuckle. You can see this 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. And 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 15/16ths 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 3 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 3 top nut.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 want to 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 tools. 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 that spring. So, basically, what we're going to do is lift off that top hat, leave the isolator, and the preload spacer's gonna sit on top of the isolator and under the strut hat right here. All right. So, I'm just going to 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 seat properly, and we can start compressing again. All right. So, you're going to feed your struck 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 kids 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 gonna 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 going to 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 have it all the way down to the knurled end, the pressed in stud end, what we're gonna 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 gonna tighten down that nut, and it's going to pull the pressed in stud all the way through.
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Features, Description, Reviews, Q&A, Specs & Installation
Get Ready for Off-Road Adventure. Sure, you can take your RAM 1500 off-roading as-is. The trouble is, you may be riding too close to the ground to not get stuck or tear up your rig’s underside. This Rough Country 3 in. No Cut Lift Kit offers an easy solution. It’s the simplest lift kit out there, but also highly-effective.
Smart Upper Arm Design. The secret to the success of this lift kit is its tubular upper control arms. The control arms are made of high-quality materials and are smartly tailored for easy alignment adjustments. They work well with your rig to increase the range of motion of ball joints.
Highly-Durable Make. The upper control arms of this lift kit are built to last. The kit also includes Clevite rubber bushings for the arms for longevity and durability. Strong front and rear spacers also support a level look and drive from front to back.
Straightforward Installation. If you’ve been avoiding lift kits because they sound complicated, this kit is a great choice. It is designed as a bolt-on installation. Cutting and other complications aren’t required.
Warranty. Rough Country offers a lifetime replacement warranty on this lift kit. See the manufacturer information for more details.
Application. This Rough Country 3 in. No Cut Lift Kit is designed to be used on the 2012-2018 4WD RAM 1500s without Factory Air Ride Suspension. The Lift Kit is not compatible on TRX models.
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Fitment: 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Details
Rough Country 31200
CA Residents: WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm - www.P65Warnings.ca.gov
(approx) 4 Hours
Mechanical expertise or professional installation required.
What's in the Box
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The Lift Kit is not compatible on models equipped with Factory Air Ride Suspension