Leveling - Outdoorsman

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OK, I've read all about how spacers give you a rough ride. The think I don't understand is how does compressing that same stock spring more with a 5100 setup gives you a better ride? Logic tells me adding a spacer on top of the stock setup would increase the height and keep the factory ride. I see Autospring has a 1 1/2 for the outdoorsman because of the factory lift. That would be all I'm looking for.
 

MADDOG

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I leveled three 2500 trucks with Tuff Country's spacer lift kits and had no rough ride issues. Your assumption is correct. the spacer does not compress the spring when installed.

Each of the three trucks received the kits that include the shock extension brackets which helps the suspension geometry to remain the same. They do have your choice of two kits for your truck. I don't believe they have 2WD kits though.
 

pacofortacos

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The 5100 strut is a good bit weaker than your stock struts. The rod is significantly thinner than the stock rod in the strut.
 

crazykid1994

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So to put it in a very easy to understand reasoning. Compressing the stock spring farther only changes how the spring behaves when the strut is at full extension. When you have weight on the strut it will compress the spring to the same compression as it would have prior to adding preload to the spring. A spacer actually will allow the suspension to travel outside of its designed geometry which is what causes the rougher ride. The bilstein 5100 does not travel outside of the stock geometry because it is still stock length. You trade height for wheel droop with the bilstein or other methods of preloading the spring. Also with the spacers allowing the wheel to travel farther down you run the risk of destroying the cv axles or front differential because they can bind up. On a truck with a solid axle like @MADDOG has the spacer spacer is merely there to make the spring longer.
 

olyelr

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I leveled three 2500 trucks with Tuff Country's spacer lift kits and had no rough ride issues. Your assumption is correct. the spacer does not compress the spring when installed.

Each of the three trucks received the kits that include the shock extension brackets which helps the suspension geometry to remain the same. They do have your choice of two kits for your truck. I don't believe they have 2WD kits though.
Leveling a 2500 with a spacer is completely different than leveling a 1500 with a spacer. Completely different suspension up front.

And i would suggest doing the math on compressed shock length and the distance between the mounts when on the bumpstops. Using the shock extenders and no bumpstop extender will often leave the shocks bottoming out before the bumpstops are even used…definitely not a good setup.
 

GRKN

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I didn’t think outdoorsman’s came any higher?
 

MADDOG

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Of course, I know they are different. However, a spacer lift can be used on a 1500.

Most of the suspension geometry can still be preserved with the shock relocation brackets offered.

I was simply offering input on what I have learned and used. I also noted that TC offers a such a kit.

I would add that it would be a good idea to talk to some of the leveling kit manufacturers, give them the specs on your specific truck and let them help you with how their kit works.
 
OP
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So to put it in a very easy to understand reasoning. Compressing the stock spring farther only changes how the spring behaves when the strut is at full extension. When you have weight on the strut it will compress the spring to the same compression as it would have prior to adding preload to the spring. A spacer actually will allow the suspension to travel outside of its designed geometry which is what causes the rougher ride. The bilstein 5100 does not travel outside of the stock geometry because it is still stock length. You trade height for wheel droop with the bilstein or other methods of preloading the spring. Also with the spacers allowing the wheel to travel farther down you run the risk of destroying the cv axles or front differential because they can bind up. On a truck with a solid axle like @MADDOG has the spacer spacer is merely there to make the spring longer.
Great explanation Crazykid. I was wondering if anyone has an under the tophat spacer? That would basically do the same thing as the bilstein 5100 concept, correct? I am basially only looking 1-1 1/2 higher.
 

olyelr

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Of course, I know they are different. However, a spacer lift can be used on a 1500.

Most of the suspension geometry can still be preserved with the shock relocation brackets offered.

I was simply offering input on what I have learned and used. I also noted that TC offers a such a kit.

I would add that it would be a good idea to talk to some of the leveling kit manufacturers, give them the specs on your specific truck and let them help you with how their kit works.
Well recommending a spacer kit that works fine on a 2500 is one thing. But he has a 1500, and regardless if manufacturers are still selling spacer kits for them, it is a proven fact that it is a very poor way to level the front end of a ram half ton.
 

crazykid1994

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Great explanation Crazykid. I was wondering if anyone has an under the tophat spacer? That would basically do the same thing as the bilstein 5100 concept, correct? I am basially only looking 1-1 1/2 higher.
Would be called a preload spacer. I’m not sure about who sells them though
 

crazykid1994

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Of course, I know they are different. However, a spacer lift can be used on a 1500.

Most of the suspension geometry can still be preserved with the shock relocation brackets offered.

I was simply offering input on what I have learned and used. I also noted that TC offers a such a kit.

I would add that it would be a good idea to talk to some of the leveling kit manufacturers, give them the specs on your specific truck and let them help you with how their kit works.
There are no shock relocation brackets for the front of a 4wd 1500 since it’s a strut or coilover and not a separate shock and spring. The top spacer is already relocating or extending the strut which is where the problem comes from in these trucks
 

metalchewy

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That 0.7" is achieved by the red HD struts the same way Bilsteins are adjustable. The spring sits 0.7 inch higher on it than on the standard strut.
 

Elwood

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OK, I've read all about how spacers give you a rough ride. The think I don't understand is how does compressing that same stock spring more with a 5100 setup gives you a better ride? Logic tells me adding a spacer on top of the stock setup would increase the height and keep the factory ride. I see Autospring has a 1 1/2 for the outdoorsman because of the factory lift. That would be all I'm looking for.
I used the Eibach Sport Level Lift, no spacers. Longer shock and dual rate spring in back for 1" and longer struts and springs in front for 3-1/2" Sits level, looks good rides great.
 
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