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118 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got a 2001 SB V6 RAM 2WD Standard Cab. I've had it since new, and it's got 31K miles on it. The truck tracks fine with no wander, but hitting any size bump or hole causes almost loss of control. First couple times this happened it scared the crap outta me. Can new shocks help me out? If so, what do you recommend? I'm looking for something that will give me a better ride and absorb shock, not pass it on thru vehicle.

53 Posts
Are you sure this isn't a trac bar problem and not a shock problem? Sounds like the infamous "death wobble" to me. I'd check out the track bar first.

29 Posts
i agree with msmith53 i have seen that alot on our trucks

What a ride...
1,215 Posts
Can someone point me to some details on the "death wobble"? I would just like to make sure that I do not have a problem.

1,733 Posts
The Tenneco-owned Monroe brand Reflex shock is 'velocity sensitive valving'
design and said to be an attempted copy of the Edelbrock IAS. The $30 Reflex
is supposed to be softer for moderate on highway use.

Tenneco also owns Rancho, and sells a Reflex-like shock with stiffer valving
as the $53 Rancho model RSX for off roading.

Quite a few people have said that the like the adjustability of the Rancho
model 9000 shocks. Most say that twisting the knob to adjust them is not hard
and can be done in less than 5 minutes, although some owners would like an
extended 'tool' to reach in and do it. Setting 2 is soft and 4 is rock hard.
I haven't heard of the 9000's leaking so much as the exterior rusting badly
after a few years. An extra coat of good urethane paint on each shock prior to
installation might help.

Explorer ProComp is now making a gas charged monowall 6-way adjustable shock
called the MX6.
{Tenneco used to make the ProComp shocks on their assembly line under
contract, but I don't know if that is true of the new shock design or not.}
The last time I looked at the ExplorerProcomp webpage they didn't
have the new 6-way adjustable shock written up yet, and as of May 2002 they
did not list any MX6 part numbers for Dodge Ram trucks, just Chevy and Ford.

I haven't heard as many good things about the Rancho 5000 shocks. They are
stiffer than the factory Ram shocks, but I have heard Ram owners who bought
5000 later say they wished they had gone with 9000s.

Delphi Automotive
(used to be AC Delco of GM but now independent)
has a $500 electronically controlled adjustable aftermarket shock system that
can be adjusted from the cab but does not need an air compressor. Delphi has
been demo'ing this at auto shows but I haven't seen an installation

The Kenne Bell Company says that they tested all shocks for their specialty
decked out Rams and Durangos and decided upon the Bilstein.

Hotchkis Performance Suspensions also says the Bilstein is best for Rams and
Dakotas if handling is your main goal, and use this shock in their retro-fit
handling kits. The ride of the Bilstein is not supposed to be overly harsh on
pavement either.

Sway A Way has some 'extra fat' shocks that have physically larger bodies and
rods for heavy duty off-road applications: frameset.htm

Doetsch Tech 8000's on a Ram have had a favorable review from one Ram owner
who claims to have tried Rancho, Monroe, and Edelbrock previously. This is a
intermediate price, dual wall shock, with an large diameter body.

Gas charged KYB shocks have been reviewed as being good for cornering and
smooth twisty pavement in Ram pickup use, but very stiff on pot-holed city

In the cheap shock category, Gabriel LT VST's have been reported to do ok with
a ride generally on the soft side. They run anywhere from $16.99 to $25 each,
depending on if you can find them on sale.

I have had the $79 list price Edelbrock IAS shocks on my 2wd 1500 Ram for
about 5 years & 70,000 miles now.

They improve the sway in corners,
reduce nose dive on braking,
and generally feel more in control
- but they are pretty stiff when new,
and the on-pavement ride suffers some
compared to the soft factory installed gas charged shocks designed to impress
potential buyers during on-highway test drives.

Don't believe the hype about 'luxury car' ride with the Edelbrock IAS, but the
bit about being able to go over speedbumps without 'buck & wave' afterwards is
indeed true.

Temperature seems to affect the IAS shock damping a little, with hot summer
days giving a softer ride than cold winter days.

On/Off road the control is good with almost no after pothole gyrations or
washboard road over-reaction.

I personally like the ride a little better now that my 4x2 Ram IAS shocks have
60K of wear on them versus the stiffer ride when they were brand new.

For off road driving several Ram owners have remarked that taking off the
Ram's front sway bar improves articulation and ride. The IAS shocks work well
without the sway bar off road and on pavement, perhaps because of their own
internal anti- sway valving. I have removed the anti-sway bar on my 1995 2wd
CC Ram and have felt a noticeable improvement in ride when one wheel hits a
bump that the other wheel does not. Body lean in turns is still low. I now
have a lot of experience without the sway bar and have personally found no
downside to removing it for the type of driving I do. (Before flaming me on
this I would ask that you read the sway bar links I list below)

If you buy the Edelbrock IAS for a Ram, watch to see that the steel bushings
inside the rear shock upper rubber bushings are there, otherwise you will need
to swap them in from the old factory shocks - the steel bushing keep you from
over-tightening the mounting bolts, which is important as the specified torque
on the mounting bolts is fairly high.

I also had to open up one of the front washer holes on the front IAS shocks to
get it to properly fit.

In addition to the $79 IAS
{there have been "buy 3 get the 4th free" and $25 mail in rebate programs
approximately 2 times per year}
Edelbrock is now selling a double wall and cheaper version shock - but I don't
see any advantage to the new design except low price. Monowall shocks are
generally superior.

Note that if a lift for your Ram is in the future, any of these shocks may
need to be changed due to length, and any money spent now may be lost.

Other shock & suspension websites worth a visit:

Also note the lightweight composite loaf leaf springs for Ram rear leaf
springs at the above Tokico website.

There is additional custome made fiberglass spring info at:

More shock links:

Some interesting Java calculators pertaining to shocks:

Sway Bar/Suspension links and explanations:

Further Unusual Suspension mods for Rams & other off road vehicles:

The "Roadmaster" top of spring control coil add-on below has gotten good
reviews so far from Ram and Dakota owners who have tried them:

Velvet ride shackles have gotten mixed reviews on Rams. I haven't read a
single positive review of Velvet Rides on 1500 series Rams, but some 2500/3500
Ram owners have written that they 'help a little bit when unloaded.'

118 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks to all for info. I don't think it's death wobble as when I hit a bump the wheel wants to jump outta my hand but the truck starts tracking good right away without slowing down. The front end is really stiff. I weigh 240 lbs. and I can't push on a front fender and deflect the springs 1/2". I wonder if spring rates are the same for V6 and V8? Goodyear wanted to charge me $305 to put monroe reflex on the front end, charging me $93 per shock. I can get them for $41 each at a local speed shop. So I guess it's a do it yourself job.
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