2013 RAM 3500

Initial feedback and some suspension work

November 2013 Feature, Cummins

No doubt, you've all heard and many have seen the new 2013 RAM 3500 trucks where
RAM has made big changes to their frame, suspension, powertrain options and interior.
This may look like the same truck with a few cosmetic updates on the outside, but
underneath, it's had quite a makeover.

A properly equipped RAM 3500 has a maximum towing capacity of 30,000 pounds, a classleading
first for the industry. In order to beef up the numbers, RAM started by beefing up
the frame with a 50-KSI steel frame that is wider and stronger than its predecessor. The
2013 3500 and now 2500 and 3500 models in 2014 have upgraded front ends that
feature a 3 link suspension instead of their previous 5 link suspension. The 3500 rear
end has a new leaf spring set from Hotchkis with a wider stance. The new suspension
on front and rear provide a wider stance and enhance stability in all conditions,
especially when loaded or towing.

The ride and driving characteristics of this new truck are excellent. As you drive this
truck, you forget that you're driving a 1-ton. We picked ours up with a Laramie trim
package and it's so good that we find ourselves with little desire to drive anything else --
cars or trucks.

However, one of the biggest gripes we have with this truck isn't a gripe with RAM. The
problem is the aftermarket industry. These changes to the 2013 RAM seem to have
ambushed the aftermarket suspension companies like it was `Nam all over again. They
had no idea these changes were coming or even took place. Nobody wants to drive a
stock-looking truck. Yes, a lot of people drive stock-looking trucks, but we suggest that
it's out of practicality, tight budgets, or a mean spouse. With that explanation out of the
way, we set out to upgrade our stock look with a leveling kit and new wheels and tires.

We found that many of the aftermarket suspension companies were saying that their
existing kits would work for this RAM. Uh, sorry guys, it won't. Others said they couldn't
have suspension products out for 20 weeks. The upgrade situation looked grim for a

We finally found that Jack-It, one of the suspension shops we work with, was well aware
of the changes and stocked a billet aluminum 2-inch leveling kit for the 2013 RAM. No
sooner than they hung up the phone, our RAM was in their shop getting leveled. We
also opted for a set of Bilstein shocks to help dampen the additional unsprung weight
that a larger set of wheels and tires add. The new Bilsteins on the front are also longer
travel because of the additional lift. The kit went on quickly and smoothly and we were
on our way to fitting the RAM with some appropriately styled wheels and tires.

We were surprised to find out that with the leveling kit, 20-inch wheels, and 35.5" tires, the
new front end on the RAM stayed surprisingly true in it's alignment. Of course we
always do an alignment after working on the suspension of a truck, but the old 5-link
front end never seemed to be exactly right afterward. After being aligned, the truck
would drive straight, but you could always tell that because of the angle of the drag link,
you were forcing the axle toward the driver side of the truck.This truck doesn't feel that way with the new front end. This suspension has the best ride we've ever driven off of the showroom floor.

So for now, hats off to you, RAM. Way to build a truck. Check back
for more on this new truck as we provide more feedback. We'll also test new products
and best practices for a pickup.


Larry H Miller Chrylser Dodge Jeep RAM
755 N 500th W, West Bountiful, UT 84087

Jack-It, Inc.
1800 West 3500 South
West Valley City, UT 84119
888-4 JACKIT (452-2548)

Method Race Wheels
42245 Remington Ave. Temecula, CA 92590

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