NOTE: the 1994-02 Ram 2500/3500 trucks are notorious for a driver’s side lean up to 1.5″ (lower on the driver’s side than the passenger’s side). Carli Coil Springs and Leaf Springs for the 1994-02 are designed side-specific to lift the Driver’s side more than the Passenger’s side to lessen/eliminate this common lean. However, we’ve had trucks require the taller spring be installed on the passenger’s side to achieve a level stance and trucks that require the same heigh springs be installed on both sides to achieve a leveled stance. These trucks are not an exact science and were designed long before CAD programs and design standardization. For this reason, we cannot guarantee the truck will sit level side to side nor is the corrective action a “warranty”. Our choice was either discontinue the product line OR present the customer with the design oddities so they know what they’re getting into. As there are not many performance options for the 2nd gen trucks, we elected to keep the product line as the side to side correction can be alleviated with the use of small spring spacers with NO performance degradation.
This is the true, Jack of all trades suspension system offering the most on-road comfort of any short-arm system in the Carli lineup. The Dominator rides better than any other system on the road while boasting off-road manners that make the truck feel half its size. This is the end of our “all-around” Suspension Systems; anything above the 3.0” King will sacrifice on-road ride for off-road capability. For the customer looking for the best balance of on and off-road capability, without leaning too far in either direction, wanting to maintain the factory short arms (ability to return to stock), this system is the perfect candidate.
The Details: The Dominator is the best of our short-arm, utilitarian style offerings boasting front Carli Signature tuned, King 3.0” remote reservoir shocks so large, we needed bore the factory spring buckets for them to cycle properly. As the old adage goes, there’s no replacement for displacement. In an effort to provide customers with the best product, we do not sell off-the-shelf King 3.0s. We designed a custom piston to determine proper base flow rates to ensure the shock works well in the heavy duty truck platform; we then tuned the shocks around the custom pistons based on seat-of-the-pants feel. We round off ALL our King shocks with shafts machined and polished from a solid piece of 17-4 Stainless. Unlike King’s standard shafts, there is no coating to wear off, weather is far less likely to hurt them and if there is a small chip, you can round the edges with emery cloth to ensure the seal housing isn’t damaged as they’re not brittle like the stock, hardened shafts. All King shocks are built with a plated steel body. If subjected to inclement weather for extended periods, we recommend wrapping your shocks in 3M to provide a moisture barrier that’s replaceable.
Your truck will sit 2.5”-3” higher in the front (year/cab configuration dependent) with 50% more suspension travel than the factory platform thanks to the taller, lighter rate coil springs. The rear is lifted 1”-2” thanks to the included Full Progressive Leaf Pack. The Full Progressive Leaf Pack replaces the entire factory leaf spring assembly increasing travel and drastically increasing comfort throughout the entire usable travel stroke at the cost of a 15% payload reduction from a standard 2500. This payload reduction can be supplemented back to factory 3500 SRW capacity with the addition of the Long Travel Airbags for the best of both worlds; ride quality and payload capacity/load control.
When pairing added down-travel with the taller ride height, the position of the factory, front sway bar will need to be altered as well. For this, we offer two options (unless 1994-2002, then there’s only one); extended, Sway Bar End Links or the replacement Torsion Sway Bar. The End links are equipped with ½” FK Rod-Ends and in-house machined 17-4 stainless bodies that are extended over stock to reset the sway bar engagement points. Factory pillow-bushings are re-used to assemble the sway bar to the lengthened link. Carli’s optional Torsion sway bar removes the entire factory sway bar assembly replacing it with a torsion bar supported by fabricated drop brackets and delrin bushings. Fabricated sway bar arms and dual 5/8” FK heim end links round off the package. This is the single best bang for the buck, ride-quality upgrade offered by Carli Suspension (in close competition with the full progressive leaf spring upgrade).
When lifting the front end of a straight axle truck, the front axle is pulled off-center unless the proper linkages are addressed. Three inches of front lift equates to an axle shifted toward the driver’s side ¾” and back toward the cab ½”. This system includes an Adjustable Track Bar to push the axle back toward the passenger side and provide a stronger link with less deflection for the lifted application. We also recommend the purchase of a set of extended control arms to shift the axle forward to its new center of travel.
Wheel and Tire: This system will fit up to a 37” tire with our High Clearance Control Arms and Full Progressive Leaf Springs on wheels no more than 9” wide with 5.75” of backspacing. If running factory control arms or wheels; we recommend an All Terrain 35” tire. The more rubber, the better the small bump compliance will be at proper inflation pressures. The ride will firm up as you go larger in wheel diameter. For more details, see our article on wheel and tire selection and tire pressures:
Tires and Wheels: How Do They Affect My Ride?