Go Back   DODGE RAM FORUM - Dodge Truck Forums > Dodge Ram Generations Forum > 1st Gen : 1981 - 1993 > Suspension


Suspension

1985 Lowering Questions.


This is a discussion on 1985 Lowering Questions. within the Suspension forums, part of the 1st Gen : 1981 - 1993 category!
I have a 1985 Dodge D100 Custom with a 225 Slant Six with a 3 Speed Automatic. Truck has no ...


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-31-2017, 04:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 1

Ram Year: 1985
Engine: Slant Six 225 2.8L
Default 1985 Lowering Questions.
I have a 1985 Dodge D100 Custom with a 225 Slant Six with a 3 Speed Automatic. Truck has no rust @ ALL! and its completely stock besides the rims. But besides all that I really want to lower my truck in the back and front. Im looking to get a 4" - 7" drop on front and back(Leveled out of course). If that is not possible without doing major amount of work I would love to just level the truck out and get rid of the ugly rake in the back. Please can someone just leave some info on how to lower an 85 or what i will need / have to do to achieve a lowered truck.

Now I notice that the 1985 Dodge came with the axle under the leaf so you cannot use lowering blocks which is what i wanted to do but the only way i can do that is to flip the axle but Im sure that will give me a big enough drop lol.

For the front i heard you can use Van lower control arms and it make the spring sit lower giving you a couple inches but is there another way because it seems hard to find those where I live

One question I have is that if i flip my rear axle will the pumpkin hit the bed?

Another question is what are the steps to flipping your axle.

Here are some pictures of my truck.
(The tag is colored in.)

https://puu.sh/w6Rar/34f4c8e333.png (Side / Passenger Side)

https://puu.sh/w6RnV/85d944fdb4.png (Front)

https://puu.sh/w6S8i/31609a378e.png (Another Front)

https://puu.sh/w6RI4/8ec38b862f.png (Side / Driver Side)

https://puu.sh/w6RMi/bc0850a859.png (Rear Axle)

https://puu.sh/w6RXD/9359a6ed20.png (Engine Bay)


Sponsored Ad
Register to remove this ad.
Garrett 1985 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2017, 09:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
Midnight 4x4's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Houston Texas
Age: 23
Posts: 13

Ram Year: 2014 and 1984
Engine: 5.7 and a slant six
Default
Sounds like we have the same truck I’m in the same boat as you. I put lowering shackles on the rear and they leveled it. That is not low enough I’m going to be trying the van lower control arm route this weekend and see how that goes. I will inform you on my struggles as they approach.
Midnight 4x4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2017, 05:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Age: 45
Posts: 1

Ram Year: 1990
Engine: 5.2L
Default
Originally Posted by Midnight 4x4 View Post
Sounds like we have the same truck Iím in the same boat as you. I put lowering shackles on the rear and they leveled it. That is not low enough Iím going to be trying the van lower control arm route this weekend and see how that goes. I will inform you on my struggles as they approach.
What shackles did you use?
vdubee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2017, 05:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: kingston tn
Age: 72
Posts: 282

Ram Year: 2015
Engine: 5.7hemi
Default
nice truck
brianj


__________________
brianj tncruiser
ruby red express HEMI
living life in east tn and going
wherever my ram, ,explorer and motorhome take us
tncruiser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2017, 07:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
crazzywolfie's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: under the truck
Posts: 13,986

Ram Year: 81 93
Engine: 5.2
Default
GLHS592 who has an account on a couple different forums has lowered his and it came out looking pretty good but it but definitely looks like a bit of work. i know his post wont make a ton of sense with the photos missing but you can than photobucket for screwing them up. you can check out his photos here to
1980 Dodge D-150 by Kevin Isenberg | Photobucket

I forgot I was a member here. Here is a how-to I wrote up for the van lower control arms and the rear axle flip.

Nobody makes much in the way of aftermarket parts for 1972-1993 Dodge trucks. Parts for lowering your Dodge pickup are not offered by the major aftermarket companies like Belltech or Eibach. There is one small manufacturer that makes some very expensive lower control arms, but I've had no luck getting in contact with them. What can you do if you want to lower your pickup? You can go the cheap route by cutting your coil springs. This may cause your spring rates to change or cause camber problems. You could go the expensive route by modifying a pair of lowering spindles made for a 1st generation Dakota. I've heard this works, but there are a few issues with this and it takes a lot of trouble to get them to work.

There is another option that is very simple, engineered by the factory, and is cost effective. Go to the junkyard and find a 1972-1993 Dodge B-series van and unbolt the lower control arms. Just swapping the van's lower control arms onto your 1972-1993 Dodge half ton truck lowers it roughly 3" due to the fact that the van lower control arms have a spring pocket that allows the coil springs to sit lower than they do in the truck's stock lower control arms. No shock or spring change is needed. It doesn't matter if it is a 1/2 ton, 3/4 ton, or 1 ton van. The van lower control arms are the same. I purchased a pair from a mid 80's B350 for $40 plus tax at my local Pull-A-Part.

I had trouble separating the steering knuckle from the lower control arm at the ball joint. In fact, I gave up and left the junkyard. I asked around and found out that the steering knuckle is a two-piece design. There are two 15/16 bolts/nuts that you will have to unbolt in order to separate the top piece from the bottom piece. You will have to take the brake caliper and rotor off to gain access to the bolts. Remove those steering knuckle bolts, take out the shock absorber, unbolt the control arm pivot bolt, remove the strut rod from the lower control arms, and separate the steering tie rod from the lower steering knuckle piece and you're done. The only parts you will need are the lower control arms and the control arm pivot bolts/nuts. Once you get the lower control arms home, take a large hammer and remove the lower steering knuckle piece from the ball joint and then knock the ball joint out. You cannot reuse the ball joints from the one ton van because they are larger in diameter than the ones on your truck. I do not know if the 1/2 ton or 3/4 ton ball joints are the same or not. New ball joints are $30 at NAPA, so you might as well replace them anyway.

There are a couple modifications you will need to make to the lower control arms and your truck. First, completely remove the steering stops. They are not needed and the arms will look cleaner without them. Next, you will need to drill two 1/2" holes in each arm for the strut rods. I pulled a stringline from the center of the ball joint to the center of the pivot bushing and found the holes in the truck arms are equal distance from the centerline of the arm. Measure the distance from the ball joint to the strut rod holes on the truck arms. Now, you can transfer this information onto the van arms, mark your holes, and drill. There is one modification you will need to make to the lower control arm pivot holes on your truck's frame. The truck's factory lower control arm bolts are 5/8" in diameter. The van's are 3/4" in diameter. You will need to drill these holes larger for the van's bolts to fit the truck. I was thinking that maybe I would be able to slide the sleeve from the truck arms into the sleeve on the van arms so I wouldn't have to drill the pivot holes. The truck sleeve is too large in diameter to fit inside the van's sleeve,so that will not work. From this point, you may be able to just bolt the van arms on your truck. I had a little problem with mine. I tried to install my driver's side arm and the holes wouldn't begin to line up. I found that the metal around the pivot bushing on the arm was up against the pivot bracket on the truck. Before you paint your lower control arms, you may want to grind a little off the arms around the pivot bushing.

When I put the wheels back on and dropped the truck onto the ground, I measured 1/2" between the bottom of the fender and top of the tire. Before the drop, I measured 3.5". I'm very pleased with that. To my surprise, the camber wasn't off too bad, however, the wheels were pointed in different directions. I also had to cut the bump stop brackets off because they were hitting the lower control arms. Another thing, any time you perform work like this to your vehicle, a front end alignment is necessary.


The steering knuckle is a two piece design on the truck and van. You will need a 15/16" socket for these.

Van arms with van lower steering knuckle

Van arms with bump stops and ball joint removed

Side by side comparison of the truck arm and van arm. Blue arrows point to the strut rod bolt holes that you need to drill.

Truck pivot bolt (5/8") on top and van pivot bolt (3/4") on bottom

Drilling the truck's pivot bolt bracket from 5/8" to 3/4"

Grind in the unpainted area shown by the arrows. The holes in the lower control arms would not line up with the ones on the truck's pivot bracket due to this area touching the pivot bracket.

Finished product

Before

After

Rear axle flip:
I found a pair of leaf spring perches on an old rearend I had. I unbolted the axle and dropped it to the floor. I removed the shocks and dropped the driveshaft to make it easier to move the axle around. You may not have to do either. Then, I clamped the leaf springs together with a C-clamp before I removed the leaf centering pin to flip it over. You will have to remove each leaf spring from their hangers and put them under the axle. Sit the spring perches on top of each leaf spring and sit the axle on top of the spring perches. The new spring perches should be on the exact opposite side of the axle from the original spring perches to keep pinion angle. Clamp everything down using your original lower shock mount plates (modified in the picture below) and new U-bolts. Weld the rear axle to the spring perches.




Completed pictures.


__________________

81 dodge d150 custom long box 318 670CFM Holley Street Avenger Carb
89 RamCharger 4x4 318/727/3.21 on 33's
93 ramcharger 318 FI 2wd
crazzywolfie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2017, 10:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
Midnight 4x4's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Houston Texas
Age: 23
Posts: 13

Ram Year: 2014 and 1984
Engine: 5.7 and a slant six
Default
I used the cheap ones drone oreillys there were like 40 bucks. Had a hard time getting the bolts out cause they probably had never been jacked with before. Also installed van lower control arms and its super easy to do donít let them fool you donít go to pull a part for the control arms. Rock auto has brand new LCA with ball joint and bushing for less than $40 each. Look for a 80ís 3/4 dodge van.
Midnight 4x4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2017, 11:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
Midnight 4x4's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Houston Texas
Age: 23
Posts: 13

Ram Year: 2014 and 1984
Engine: 5.7 and a slant six
Default
shackles are for a chevy a little wider than ours just ground them down to fit in the mount. It leveled the truck out kinda. Not low enough for me. LCA on the front just complete. Have to drill 2 - 1/2Ē holes by ball joint to match strut arm. Iím not sure if it is a steering stop but cut it off to clear the strut arm. Then have to trim a little metal off around the bushing so it doesnít bind with the mount (also wonít fit you donít). Then reinstall shocks and springs. Game over I got off work at 3 finish a 6 pretty easy to do.
Midnight 4x4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Questions on lowering Hemi_Cowboy Lowered 3 04-15-2015 07:02 PM
lowering questions lala Lowered 2 02-11-2015 03:54 PM
4x4 lowering questions hemiexp04 Lowered 12 01-27-2015 09:25 AM
1985 Dodge Ram D150 Frame Swap Questions Help!!??............ 85Dodge360-4BBL General Discussions 0 08-22-2014 11:23 AM
Lowering Questions MattC Lowered 2 08-21-2014 11:29 AM

<




GM Truck Forum
Ford Raptor Forum
Chevy Tahoe Forum
Chevy Cobalt Forum
Chevy Camaro Forum
Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
Ford Truck Forum
88-98 GM Truck Forum
73-87 Gm Truck Forum
Ford Expedition Forum
Chevy Equinox Forum
Chevy Cruze Forum
Jeep Liberty Forum
Jeep Forum
Dodge Ram SRT10 Forum
Chrysler 200 Forum
Scion xD Forum
Scion xB Forum
Dodge Challenger Forum
SRT Forum
Nissan Titan Forum
Buick Enclave Forum
Cadillac Forum
Cadillac XTS Forum