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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to this, so ease off the hazing...I've been post searching/reading until my eyes are bloodshot.
Anyway, palnning on lifting the Ram (98 1500 4wd QC) 3 inches.
I have the factory 3" block (cast with tab ears facing center of axle). When I get my lift with 2" blocks, these stack on the factory ones? Isn't it safer/better to just run one 5 inch block? Is this an option, or do you need to retain the factory Dodge block and stack?
Thanks.
 

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rjsfun said:
I'm new to this, so ease off the hazing...I've been post searching/reading until my eyes are bloodshot.
Anyway, palnning on lifting the Ram (98 1500 4wd QC) 3 inches.
I have the factory 3" block (cast with tab ears facing center of axle). When I get my lift with 2" blocks, these stack on the factory ones? Isn't it safer/better to just run one 5 inch block? Is this an option, or do you need to retain the factory Dodge block and stack?
Thanks.
All good questions. You'll get several different responses, but I'm going to start.

If you're planning on only lifting the truck 3" I don't see where stacking a 2" block on top of the factory 3" block is going to help. Seems to me and my amazing math skills that the arse end of the truck would be pointing at the moon.

I'd get the front portion of the lift installed, and see how the stance is with the factory block. If it's too nose high and looks like a bull dog, look into a small, thin, add-a-leaf. ProComp sells one for less than $50 and it's like a 1 1/2" AAL. Not something that's going to really over stiffen your ride (I'm running 'em).

In regards to stacking blocks (here's where I'm going to get flammed).... Let me start by saying that it's not a good idea, and almost never the best option. Period. That said, I've got stacked blocks in the rear. :WHT: The Rough Country lift that I've got on my truck came with blocks with a built in center pin connector. It's better than MOST blocks, but still not the best option for rear lift. It's cheap, and for street driving, it's ok.

When you get into spirited driving, or even mild off roading, you're going to start putting a LOT of strain on those stacked blocks and ubolts. Over time, and some times very suddenly, this can lead to catastrophic failure of the ubolts and blocks. Big time repair bills usually ensue.

A good way to counter the added strain of stacked blocks, or even one tall block, is with a well thought out ladder bar system (with either 1 or 2 bars). If you do it right, you can put the ladder bar near the center pumpkin and use a heim style joint and not limit your rear travel. The other option is the typical 2 bar system either inboard or outboard of the frame rails. These almost always severely limit your rear travel.

HTH
 

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01_OffRoad said:
A good way to counter the added strain of stacked blocks, or even one tall block, is with a well thought out ladder bar system (with either 1 or 2 bars). If you do it right, you can put the ladder bar near the center pumpkin and use a heim style joint and not limit your rear travel. The other option is the typical 2 bar system either inboard or outboard of the frame rails. These almost always severely limit your rear travel.

HTH
Do you know where you can find the 1 bar system? If I lift my truck with blocks instead of new leafs that would save me around $800. The only reason I don't want to use blocks is that I already have a real bad wheel hop/axle wrap.
Going with 4.5" lift.
 

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I can't think of anyone that builds one for our trucks. There out there everywhere for Jeeps. Take a look at some of the ones out there from 33engeneering, Nth Degree Mobility, and several others to get some ideas. You may even be able to adapt one of the off the shelf 2 bar systems to work for a 1 bar system.
 

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Thanks 01_OffRoad, I'll see what I can find.
 

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rjsfun said:
I'm new to this, so ease off the hazing...I've been post searching/reading until my eyes are bloodshot.
Anyway, palnning on lifting the Ram (98 1500 4wd QC) 3 inches.
I have the factory 3" block (cast with tab ears facing center of axle). When I get my lift with 2" blocks, these stack on the factory ones? Isn't it safer/better to just run one 5 inch block? Is this an option, or do you need to retain the factory Dodge block and stack?
Thanks.

Ok, think about this.... 2" lift in the front levels the Ram out, so 3" will be 1" higher than the rear. Go with the AAL in the rear as Clay said.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the info. Yes, I understand the concept of the front ends being lower from the factory. This being said, my rear end already sags from many heavy loads (gravel, roofing shingles, wood pellets, dirt, etc), and the additional weight from my tall topper and tool chest keeps the ass squating at least and inch lower now then the front. Also, from now until at least May, I throw in about 300 pounds of sand bags for our 9200 foot Colorado winters, not to mention a pick-up bed with a full set of construction tools (Compressors, hoses, nail and trimming guns, drills, cords, digging tools, hammers, crow-bars, small generator, etc.. and what ever materials the day calls for).
I would almost prefer the ass end to sit an inch higher with-out a load. I am really more interested in finding a 3/4 ton rear spring with the 2.5" width (since factory 3/4 ton springs are 3" wide). Yes, now that I bought the 1/2 ton, I really wish I went for the 3/4 ton.
 

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Another option would be the shackle flip using mounts from a chevy, ect. The amount of lift depends on the mounts you use and where you mount them. Also, JCWhitney sells heavy duty springs that are almost double stock capacity if I remember right. They have like 2 more leaves than stock, so they probably wouldn't ride too rough.
 

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my AALs will support up to 1800 lbs and still have about 1-2" of travel, plus they leveled the truck out when I installed the 5.5 inch lift.
They didn't cost that much, but it rides like a tank when it's empty.
I'll see if I can get some before and after pics to give you an idea.

the first 2 are with the stock leaf setup.
The last pic is with the AAL. Don't know what the trailer tongue weight was, but I can tell you that tractor and box blade was heavy. Tractor was around 5800 lbs, and the box blade was easily 800-1000 lbs.
I don't have any pics of the bed fully loaded since I did the install.
Yeah, i should have bought a 2500 or 3500, but the 1500 has hauled whatever I have hooked up / loaded it with so far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Here are a couple shots of my truck with and with-out loads. 98 1500 QC 4x4, 5.2l, 3.92's, 5 speed. All of these pictures are from around my house, 9200 feet, Evergreen Colorado.


Factory un-loaded stock height.


Light load. No tools, but the inside is full of 6 foot 2x4's.


This is the first 3 of 9 total logs that went on the trailer. Hauled pretty good.


This is 1.25 tons of wood pellets. No problems hauling. I put 1.75 tons of roofing shingles on there before, but it did not like that too much.


Just the dirt bike ready to go.
 

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rjsfun: what springs do you have under there?
Even with the AALs mine squats pretty good when I get more than 1800lbs in it.
 

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Dayum.... that's a LOT of weight with nearly no sag. Impressive.
 

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That is some STIFF rear suspension, with just over 1 ton of bricks in my dads stock 2500 CTD it sat nose high a tad, and you have more and your truck is just level. Your MPG with that must of been horrid or should I say gallons per mile :D
 

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I hope you have atleast some suspension travel to take the shock off the wheel bearings.
So what springs do you have under there?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
The previous owner replaced the front coils and rear leaf packs with new OEM factory ones from the dealership (John Elway Dodge). I still have the receipt and paperwork in my glovebox. They have about 30,000 miles on them, half of those with a load. I can try to clean them up and take a picture tomorrow.
As far as riding stiff, not too bad at all. I live on a very steep series of dirt roads (9200 feet) where they are only maintained once a season (huge potholes, gullies, ditches, granite boulders sticking out, etc..). 4 wheel drive required all winter, and during rainy/muddy times. I have Rancho RS5000's front and rear, and they do pretty good. I like how the rear feels "stiffer" on windy pavement too. The biggest weakness I have found is on washboard. My ass end kicks out HARD to the downhill side.
I usually get 15-18mpg, and that is with all my tools and the topper. While pulling loads or hauling big weight, I get around 10mpg, but I am also pulling steep long grades at alltitude. The 5.2 with the manual tranny and 3:92's is the perfect combo for this truck. I'm also running P265x75rX16's. I have dual exhaust, but that is my only performance modification so far...
They flex great. Just today I had to pull out of a driveway at crazy angle cut into the hillside which flexed me pretty hard. Just put it into first (5 speed) which is pretty low, and let the torque and rear limited slip pull me flexing right up and out.
I've also wheeled the truck pretty good. It does great. Compared to my built Jeep CJ's, the extra wheel base with the limited slip is a fantastic different driving experience. I do drag my belly, and my t-case skid plate has touched many rocks. This is the only pic I have right now, but it shows some flex. It is a VERY tight twisty trail between the trees. Sorry for the blur, it was dumping rain all weekend when this was taken.



 

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Now that looks like a fun daily drive :)
You won't see that here in S. Florida :(
I get a good rain and go hit Corbit for the mud trails.
 

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Just and FYI but in the case of stacking your lift blocks, it is an extreme no-no. It is very dangerous even if you are not driving hard. Gravel to pavement turns can apply just enough torque on your axle and spring to slide the blocks apart. Also, if you were to have or cause and accident with stacked blocks and it happens to be noticed by an insurance adjuster, you could possibly get in serious trouble due to the fact that stacking blocks is a severe liablity and is unsafe. Just an FYI. Good luck with your projects and those are some great looking truck ya'll have posted.
 
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