And just like that, the 2019+ 1500 Platform is a wrap! It seems like forever ago the process started but we’ve finally come to a close. What felt like 100 different combinations of coilovers, reservoir hoses, front & rear springs, and reservoir mounting combinations culminated into the beautiful symphony of leveled 1/2 ton you see below:
Yup, Leveled! People often question our lift heights asking when we’re going to go bigger – short answer, in the 1500s, I don’t see it happening. Our goal is to optimize the platform’s capability, not challenge it. Going higher requires addressing steering & axles while accommodating larger tires (37s). Addressing steering means it’ll never steer like it did factory again, no matter how you drop/space it – you’ll never match the angles perfectly. The axles introduce more complications possibly requiring knuckles, differential drop brackets etc. all to maintain CV angles. As for the 37″ tires… They’re beasts (most nearly 100lbs/tire). We keep to these on the 2500/3500 for a reason, their front ends can handle it. No matter how high you lift your Ram 1500, you’re still going to be turning the tires with the same tie-rod ends. Sure, we could make better tie-rod ends, drop brackets, etc. as well but that’s getting into the weeds building parts to handle lift height vs. gaining performance and again – we wanted to take this platform, maximize wheel travel within the capability of the factory infrastructure (replace ONLY what’s necessary to optimize performance) and utilize a 35″ tire with minimal trimming. This ensures that every dollar you throw at our system nets performance gain and subsequently, value.
I digress; the front coilovers are, of course, Carli specific. Several limitations and mounting constraints resulted in a coilover that’s NOT adjustable for more lift height. The 600lb rate on which we landed with the spec’d preload provides exactly 2.5″ of front lift on the Hemi, 2″ on the EcoDiesel (non-Rebel). Another 1/2″ turn of the collar will result in coil bind. That said, there’s a decent amount of room to thread the collar back. Conversely, the coil would remain under tension even if the collar were to be backed off to the top-cap (i.e., if a rear-high stance is preferred). The way the coilover comes out of the box is the height at which we recommend running it and to what we tuned; again, 2.5″ of front lift. To the end user, that means these CANNOT be preloaded to make up for lost height if you’re adding weight (large bumper/winch) to the front end of the truck.
When comparing this to the previous generation Ram 1500 Performance 2.5, the 2019 system sees 2″ more down travel stroking a total of 9″ up front with the rear cycling 12″ at the wheel. Same wheel travel overall, BUT, a far more balanced travel stroke as the 2009-18 were starved for droop. This added down-travel makes the Carli Control Arms a MUST; thus, they’re included in the Performance 2.5″ System to avoid topping out on the factory ball-joint upper control arm.
In the rear, we swap in our multi-rate coil spring. This went through several iterations. The 2019+ came with an all new spring that had us back to the drawing board. We wanted a spring that would maximize suspension travel while providing a supple yet predictable ride on and off the pavement. Further, we didn’t want to deviate too far from the factory load capacity. Our rear springs are shot-peened & pre-set for longevity of the coil (it won’t ever sag), then powder coated to ensures the finish quality is as good as the spring’s performance.
This multi-rate coil provided 1 -1/4″ of rear lift on our Hemi test truck and 7/8″ on the EcoDiesel. The initial, softer rate is blocked out at ride height. This is NOT designed to be some super soft on-road rate – think of this as a “tender spring”. We wanted predictability in ride and handling so the truck will run on the 2nd rate unless the rear axle droops (offroad). Further, when loaded, it ensure sag is not exaggerated by initial collapsing of a softer rate. Take it in the dirt and, once the axle droops, the initial rate opens to keep the coil tight to its mounting perches while the extended travel shocks are pushed to the bottom of their longer stroke. As travel was extended in the rear, we spec our extended sway bar end links to maintain the factory sway bar through the extended range.
Extended travel King 2.5″ Shocks round out the rear of this system. That’s right, NO track bar drop on the 2019+. Again, where it’s not needed, we don’t include it. The redesigned factory track bar position and length of the 2019+ platform showed no increase in rear yaw (side to side movement of the rear axle) through the extended travel stroke so we felt no need to address it.
The end result? More travel, more comfort, PERFECT stance (1/4″ higher in the rear than the front when measured at the pinch weld – NOT wheel wells) and 35″ tire fitment.
Lastly, wheels and tires… These trucks fit metric equivalent 35s better than standard as they’re often offered in more narrow width requiring less trimming. The trade-off, these normally ride stiffer. This customer elected to run a Nitto Ridge Grappler in a 295/70r18 – roughly, 34.5″ x 11.5″. They fit like they were made for this truck and lift.
This tire required VERY little trimming to cycle on these Method NV 18×9, -12mm Offset (4.5″ backspace). A 35″ x 12.5″ equivalent would require slightly more trimming but, in our experience, the more square profile rides better. With more customer purchasing these “hybrid” style tires (Toyo R/T, Nitto Ridge Grappler, etc.) that extend tread life often at the expense of ride quality, we like to milk every ounce of comfort we can from the wheel and tire combo. We still recommend All Terrains or Mud Terrains as they’re not nearly as hard as these hybrids and advise customers to keep to standard sizes and proper pressures. In the 1500s, 35×12.5″ Tires on wheels that are 8.5″-9″ wide with 4.5″ backspacing (slightly negative offset). Cold tire pressure should be kept at 35psi in the front, 30 in the rear for optimal ride quality when unloaded. Stock wheels and tires WILL fit this lift but larger tires will NOT fit on stock wheels – they’re too offset and will rub the Carli Control Arms. If you’ll notice, this has been tested as evidenced by the slight rust spot pictured on the Carli control arms in the photos above.
NOTE: The Ram 1500 Platform has an elliptical shaped cavity engineered into the back of each steering knuckle. This cavity engages the lower control arm steering stop as the suspension travels with the wheels turned. It’s purpose – to protect the tie-rod ends from binding and breaking at the extreme angles encountered when turning at the outer ends of the travel stroke. It’s perfectly normal to see some metal on metal-on-metal contact or hear a clunk when holding the wheel cranked in a turn encountering obstacles. This is, again, a factory protection we do NOT recommend modifying.