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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Im new here and have a 2003 dodge ram 1500 standard cab short bed. I installed torsion bar keys and an extra leaf in the rear to lift it a couple inches. It also has 35x12.5x17 mud kings on it. The truck isnt my daily driver so im looking to make it a bit more functional off road. Does anyone other than the oem make skid plates for it? I know the sliders are custom but im looking for pics of someone who had them fabbed or fabbed them theirselves, just looking for wall thickness and dia. so I can build them myself. Also what is the best lift for abuse. I have done some research and it looked like BDS was decent. I'd like to do a solid axle swap but I dont have the shop and supplies to build one myself and paying that kind of labor is out of the question at this point. One last thing would be a locker. I have the smaller rear in my truck with a 3.92 gearset and LSD. The LSD is fine on the street but as soon as the truck gets semi crossed up its back to one wheel in the rear. I think the rear is an 8.25. Does anyone know where to pick up a locker for a decent price? Sorry for such a long first post but im in need of some help. Thanks
 

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The rear axle is a 9.25, 12-bolt. Good luck finding a selectable locker for it. The Powertrax Lock-Right is about the only thing available.

As far as abuse and lifts go, I don't know of a single company that makes an IFS lift for your truck that will survive a serious ass-kicking without additional structural support. All of them are designed for moderate off-road use, not Baja racing. Once you've put a lift on your Dodge, you'll notice that the front cross-member begs for an angled skid-plate that ties into the front frame rails...not to mention the fact that there's nothing protecting the tranny, transfer case, or gas tank. Also, the front CV shafts are a definite weak point, so having an extra on hand is generally a good thing.

There's one member who did a write-up about adapting Power Wagon underbody sliders and a couple of OEM skidplates and crossmembers to his 1500. It ended up costing no more than $300 if I'm not mistaken.
 

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Skyjacker and Superlift are the only two i would consider for actual rough offroad. I ran the superlift for a few years and never broke a single piece of it. It will give you about 4.5 inches of lift while keeping the halfshaft angles stock. It comes with a front diff skid plate as well. As was already said the CV half shafts are the weak link and i managed to break a few of them. The more you angle your shafts with the torsion lift, the more problems you'll have.
There are a few threads on rock sliders, you'll find them with a search, (including my pics).
The rear 9.25 is a c-clip axle and not very popular with the aftermarket. No selectable locker is available. Some will try to say that there is a way to make a GM locker work but no one has ever proven it and the gear shops i spoke to said they would not even attempt it. Powertrax and Detroit have auto lockers that are pretty good.

As far as skid plates, i would get some sheet steel and fab some if you have the ablity as there are none available for bolt in besides the stock, aluminum foil versions.

Hopefully this helped.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the info guys. Are you sure my truck has the 9.25? I remember replacing the pinion seal and I thought they said it was an 8 something. I have broke a front cv shaft already as well, ended up replacing both since it was coming up on 100k. I'll look into the lifts mentioned, how is the install. My garage is not tall enough to install a lift in and drive out so id have to do it in the driveway, how many hours should I exepect to have invested? I'll also do a search on the rock rails but may end up biting the bullet and having a fab shop build them for me. Thanks again.
 

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The install is a bitch, especially on older trucks. Getting the ball joints out of the aluminum knuckle is no fun, and the differential drop brackets are a mofo. You'll really want to have a lift and air tools available. Check these rock rails out: http://dpalms.com/dpi/sliders.shtml
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just what I was looking to hear haha. Those bars are nice. I looked at the pics but will they bolt right up to my truck or will I have to call them. Thanks
 
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