Now that the visual mods are getting wrapped up on the truck, it's time to address a problem that I have with my truck. That problem is the front end geometry with the 5" drop up front. There are some serious geometry problems when lowering a ram this far and absolutely nothing is really right which can cause some erratic handling on rough roads.
So I'm coming up with a plan to fix it and get everything lined up as good as possible so that the truck not only handles correctly, but will likely ride a lot better as well.
1. Upper Control Arms - As many people have seen, the upper control arms on a seriously lowered truck are sitting at a very unnatural angle which screws things up. There are 2 problems that I have identified that need to be addressed with the upper control arms. The first is the inner mounting location. In my case, raising the upper mounting location 3" will put the control arm at level again. After doing some math, it will introduce another issue though, which is camber adjustment. It seems that leveling out the control arms may make the camber more severe than the stock adjustments will allow. The only fix for this is a longer upper control arm. It doesn't have to be much longer, but anything helps keep the geometry correct.
Doing some research, this means that I need to order these two parts in order to correct the situation:
02-05 / 06+ Dodge Ram Raised Upper Control Arm Brackets
02-05 Ram 1500
I think that will fix quite a bit of issues, but there's still 2 more things that I want to address, neither will be as expensive as fixing the upper control arm geometry:
2. Tie Rod angle/bump steer. Contrary to what most people think, bump steer works a bit different than you would think. Bumpsteer is actually a severe change in the toe in as the suspension travels. If the geometry is correct, the toe should change very little, but on a seriously lowered Ram, there is a huge change in toe throughout the travel. I have not measured it yet as I don't personally own a bumpsteer gauge, but I have a few friends that road race who own them, so it may be possible for me to actually measure how much bumpsteer I get on a 5" drop in the front. By changing the mounting location and adding spacers in order to get the steering rack as flat as possible, you can typically get bumpsteer to acceptable levels.
There is this kit available, but I am looking at other option using raw parts and a local machinist buddy in order to make my own. It all depends on the cost vs. trouble which way I go, but this is one option:
02-05 Dodge Ram Bumpsteer Kit
3. The next thing that I am going to address is the severe swaybar angle on the truck that's lowered as far as mine. The problem is that as you lower the truck, you also get an odd angle between the sway bar and the mounting hole for the sway bar endlink. Based on some other members here, I've decided that the best option is to order 2009 Lincoln Navigator endlinks, which has a joint on both sides to allow for the odd angle and they're also 3" shorter than the stockers, which should allow the swaybar to return to a more natural angle which should allow it to work more like it did in the stock location. These are available on Rockauto for around $15 each.
I know that in a perfect world, there would be a way to fix the geometry of the lower control arm as well, but in order to do that, I'm going to get into a lot of custom (expensive) work for not as much benefit as these 3 things.
Thoughts? Anything that I missed?