Installing An 8-Inch Suspension Lift Under A Fifth-Gen Ram HD

While is all about making your truck tow and haul better than ever, sometimes we have to step up — pun intended — because we know that many of our readers like to not only tow and haul things but also take their trucks to shows and even off-road events. Therefore, a little information about a quality suspension lift for their truck is something we need to help them with.

Although heavy-duty 3/4- and 1-ton pickup trucks are designed and intended to be workhorses, That is no reason that they can’t benefit from a raised stance and good looks. What’s more, when the weekend starts, many want a truck that can capably go off-road to help them escape life’s stresses. So, when we heard that the guys at MaxTrac Suspensions have created two new lift kits for the 2500 and two kits 3500 gen-five Ram, we had to learn more.

Above are the four kits: P/N: K947485 (lower left) for 2019+ Ram 2500 4WD basic radius arm bracket kit with MaxTrac shocks, P/N: K947485FL (lower right) for the 2019+ Ram 2500 4WD premium forged aluminum four-link kit with Fox shocks, P/N: K947585 (upper left) for 2019+ Ram 3500 4WD basic radius arm bracket kit with MaxTrac shocks, and P/N: K947585FL (upper right) for 2019+ Ram 3500 4WD premium forged aluminum four-link kit with Fox shocks. To say you have options is an understatement.

Making Good, Great

In stock form, the gen-five Ram HD has a truly capable suspension for towing and hauling. But if your extracurricular activities consist of leaving the paved road, then you really need to consider a suspension lift. According to Mike Sun, president of MaxTrac, “we have two kits for the 2500 and two kits for the 3500 Ram trucks. For both vehicles, we are offering a radius arm bracket kit as the budget kit and a four-link system as the premium kit.”

Starting with the budget kit, this gathering of parts includes all the brackets required, a set of front coil springs, rear coil spacers, and MaxTrac Shocks to lift the truck. The budget kit requires you to reuse your factory radius arms. This is not a bad thing as the factory arms are quite capable in this application. However, the lower cost of this kit affords the budget-minded enthusiast a way to get a quality lift while feeling good about saving some money. The premium kit is for those wanting the ultimate lift. It includes everything the basic kit delivers, as well as forged aluminum four-link arms to replace the factory radius arms and an upgrade to Fox shocks. Both kits are designed to raise the fifth-gen Ram a towering 8 inches.

First things first. The factory shocks, sway bar, and Pitman arm need to come out so you can pull the front coil spring out of the way.

From the beginning, the guys at MaxTrac wanted to design a lift that is a “middle ground” so to speak. They wanted a kit that keeps the HD’s ability to tow loads with the added benefit of carrying you into the wild outdoors. We wanted to get a bit more information about what parts are used in the kit, so we reached out to Jeff Simpson, operations manager at MaxTrac. He first started by telling us about the springs used for the new lift.

The radius arms come out, and If you are installing kits K947485 or K947585 they need to be placed aside and reinstalled after the brackets and new coils are put into place.

A Highly Sprung Suspension Lift

“The front coil springs offered with this suspension lift are a linear spring that is roughly 15-percent firmer than the factory spring,” says Jeff. “Our springs are designed to add stability and control with a new, higher center of gravity while also incorporating more integrity to hold their height through time and abuse. Our kit utilizes the factory rear springs.”

If you are installing the "premium" kits the new forged aluminum suspension arms are designed to replace the factory radius arms. The four bars are almost infinitely adjustable, allowing for a myriad of suspension angle requirements. By loosening the two clamp bolts on each arm, the length of the arm can be adjusted as needed.

That said, some might feel a progressive-style spring could offer a better ride, but since the truck is lifted above the OE height, it stands to reason that having the support of a firmer, linear spring is a wise choice.

Trailing Connections

From the factory, the HD Ram’s radius arm setup is a proven design that works. So, when MaxTrac was contemplating a lift for the fifth-gen Ram, they felt having a budget-minded kit that retains the factory radius arms would be a good move — we agree. Budget-minded does not mean lesser quality, as the basic kit employs high-quality bracketry just like the premium kit, and you still get new coil springs and shocks to raise the truck.

The MaxTrac premium suspension lift comes with new front coil springs, but also includes forged four-link bars to replace the factory radius arms. When it comes to the new arms, Jeff informs us, “both the upper and lower links are fully adjustable, but we do offer recommended lengths for ease of installation and alignment. The lower arms have a built-in adjustable collar so that caster can be adjusted without removing the arms. The upper must be removed from the truck to be adjusted, but this would only be needed if a customer was attempting to increase their wheelbase for bigger tire clearance.”

Whether using the basic kit or the full-boogie kit, start by loosely installing the rear bracket for the front bars. With the basic kit, sliding the factory radius arm into the bracket is a simple task. If using the premium kit, adjust the upper link bars to 28.5 inches from the center of both mounting holes. The lower links should measure 32 inches and then slide them into place. When installing the four bars, make sure the MaxTrac logo is upright and facing out.

Shocking Options For Your Suspension Lift

Everyone likes to have a choice when it comes to truck parts, and MaxTrac offers the option of choosing which shocks you would like to use. As previously stated, the basic kit utilizes MaxTrac shocks while the premium kit comes with Fox-branded shock absorbers.

If your Ram is a 2500 model, then a spacer will be installed between the axle and the coils to lift the rear of the truck. If you’re working on a 3500 series, your truck has leaf springs and a lift block will be installed between the springs and the rear axle.

“The MaxTrac shock option does have great ride quality, but it is just a more budget-friendly shock for the kit as compared to the curb appeal and performance of a Fox 2.0 Performance series shock,” says Jeff. “The development of MaxTrac’s four-wheel-drive kits was driven by and developed for our customers. We built this kit to be affordable, easy to install, and have a curb appeal that a customer can be proud to have.”

All bracketry (like the track bar brackets) are bolt-on items and no welding is required.

There are many choices available when it comes to lift kits, so why would you want to choose a MaxTrac kit? “The main benefits of our Ram lift kits are that they ride great and with the four-link upgrade, have an improved ride quality over stock,” Jeff assures. “Also, our forged-aluminum four-link arms have a beefy curb appeal that no other kit on the market offers. Finally, the kits are 100-percent bolt on and the price point to quality is a much better buy as compared to the competition.”

As consumers ourselves, we asked Jeff why someone should purchase a MaxTrac suspension lift over another, and he replied, “I am not a salesman, so it is not in my nature to blow smoke at a customer. I would tell them that I know ride quality is a personal preference, but this kit yields a ride quality that I know they will love and there is no match to our forged aluminum four-link arms.”

suspension lift

MaxTrac has developed a suspension lift that the average enthusiast can install themselves. So, what are you waiting for? Get your Ram up where it belongs.

Digging In

Installing a lift kit is a job that is not to be taken lightly. We also need to make note that while we did not show you every step of the installation process, it can be done in your driveway. We just recommend that you plan the better part of a full day — or maybe a weekend — to complete the installation, so plan accordingly. Finally, although we are covering the newest 8-inch lift kit in this article, MaxTrac does have other not-as-tall kits and even leveling and lowering kits for many trucks, and you can find the kit you need by checking out MaxTrac

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About the author

Randy Bolig

Randy Bolig has been working on cars and has been involved in the hobby ever since he bought his first car when he was only 14 years old. His passion for performance got him noticed by many locals, and he began helping them modify their vehicles.
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