AF: Tell me about lift "kits". | Allpar Forums
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Tell me about lift "kits".

Discussion in 'Ram, pickups, new Wagoneer, commercial trucks' started by bguy, Aug 23, 2020.

  1. bguy

    bguy Well-Known Member

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    On my 2011 Ram 1500 a PO installed a lift kit. I want to remove it since it affects towing. I thought it was simply spacers on top of the mounts. I wondered if the alignment was changed upon install. Then I read recently something about upper control arms changed, so how involved is removing it? It does have different control arms which didn't surprise me at 200000 km.
     
  2. 68RT

    68RT Well-Known Member

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    A lot depends on the amount of lift and the competency of the installer. Also who made the kit can make a huge difference in what was done.
     
    Shane Estabrooks and DC-93 like this.
  3. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    Do you know who made the kit?
    The idea is simple - remove any non-stock parts and align it afterwards. The trick is finding which parts are not stock.
     
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  4. bguy

    bguy Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys. I made a bad choice of wording. It's actually level kit I want to remove. My gut says the control arms will be OK.
     
  5. Jerry Simcik

    Jerry Simcik Well-Known Member

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    There are several types of kits for these trucks. Some make no modifications to the truck other than the shocks themselves and are limited to roughly 2" of lift. Some combine these shock lifts with spacers or pucks and can be fairly simply reversed, but may include other changes/upgrades. Some use just pucks or spacers and can also be fairly simply reversed. These lifts typically max out at 4". Then there are some lifts that change a lot to get high lifts without ruining the ride or compromising suspension travel. Those lifts require cutting the frame, relocating the differential, and replacing steering knuckles. Those lifts can go pretty high and would be quite a bit harder to reverse...

    A dead-giveaway would be to look at the steering knuckles and the front diff. If the front diff has a secondary bracket holding it to the frame and a spacer between the drive shaft and the pinon shaft, you've got one of the more-permanent lifts. If the steering knuckles are steel/cast iron and black instead of the raw cast aluminum knuckles it left the factory with, that's also a giveaway. Most higher-lift kits replace the OEM steering knuckles with ones that are longer/taller to allow the lower balljoint and upper balljoint to be further apart from each other without breaking anything.

    Many people who lift their trucks using the pre-load spacer pucks (which are very common) create issues with the OEM upper ball joints and thus upgrade the upper control arms to compensate for this. It's a bandaide, but it last long enough for most people. Upgraded UCAs won't hurt you in a stock ride height truck, so no need to remove them if they are in good condition. You simply need to identify what type of lift kit you have (shock-only, puck/spacer, something more complex) and then we can help you remove it.

    - - - - -

    You mention that the lift hurts your towing; in what way do you feel it is hurting you? There may be an alternative solution that is simpler than removing the lift.
     
  6. Jerry Simcik

    Jerry Simcik Well-Known Member

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    Most leveling kits are pucks/spacers in front spring (some in the shock assembly, some between it and the frame) and can be fairly easily removed.

    Also, about the only thing this sort of kit would effect when towing is the amount of sag noticeable in the rear end, and you're going to have that regardless. A set of AirliftHD helper springs will do far more for that (as well as sway) than removing a level kit and you won't have to unbolt or modify anything to install them. They are also relatively inexpensive.
     

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