By Ryan Harris
A quick way to gain a level stance for increased tire and ground clearance is to install a BDS 2.0 leveling kit with dual steering stabilizer and an adjustable track bar. This also makes a huge improvement in handling and the ability to get the correct alignment.
In the October issue of Diesel Tech Magazine we focused on the complete truck build of our Mountain Ram. Here we break down the six-hour install of the leveling kit, steering stabilizer and adjustable track bar.
Before you begin, lay out all your kit components and make sure you have everything shown in the instruction packets. Gather all the tools you need. Support truck under the frame rails, put jack stands under the axle.
1 Raise front end. Remove front wheels.
2 Remove front shock absorbers.
3 Disconnect sway bar lower end links, both sides.
4 Disconnect sway bar upper links, both sides.
5 Remove sway bar end links, both sides.
6 Disconnect driver’s side of stock track bar.
7 Disconnect passenger side track bar.
8 Remove stock track bar.
9 Disconnect steering drag link from passenger side hub carrier. Lift frame of truck.
10 Remove front springs and top spring isolator.
11 Remove front bump stops. Pull down and they pop out.
12 Apply grease to the BDS bump stops. Push them up into the holders. Might need a pry bar.
13 Install BDS spring spacers into the upper spring mounts. Leave the bolt loose.
14 Reinstall OEM springs. Line the springs up with the isolator.
15 Need help on this step. Have someone watch the spring alignment as the frame of the truck is slowly lowered back onto the springs.
16 Tighten spacer bolt, both sides.
17 Prep the shocks for installation. Leave the plastic wrap on throughout the installation.
18 The shocks come with two bolt sleeves. Choose the right one.
19 Press the bushings into the lower shock ends. Grease the rubber bushings so they slide in easily. Grease and insert the sleeves.
20 Install upper shock bumpers.
21 Install Fox 2.0 shock absorbers, top first.
22 Install lower shock bolts. Leave the plastic on until after the alignment.
23 Remove stock steering stabilizer.
24 Remove the steering stabilizer mounting bracket from axle housing.
25 Prep steering stabilizer hardware.
26 Install passenger side steering stabilizer bracket.
27 Install steering stabilizer axle housing bracket with spacers between axle and bracket on upper mounts. Leave hardware loose for now.
28 Install axle housing rear support.
29 Measure distance between the two brackets and determine where to mount the driver’s side bracket. Needs to be even on both sides. Ours was 19-7/8 inches.
30 Install drivers side steering stabilizer bracket and U-bolts. Torque the bolts to 20 ft-lbs
31 Rotate the tie rod clamp 180 degrees so the clamp bolt is on the top side of the tie rod.
32 Assemble BDS steering stabilizer shock absorbers, bushings, sleeves. Leave the plastic wrap on throughout the installation.
33 Install steering stabilizer shock absorbers. You’ll need to shorten or lengthen the shocks to get them to line up. Install the center coupling bracket as well.
34 Tighten steering stabilizer shock absorber bolts.
35 Torque all steering stabilizer hardware to specs.
36 Prep Adjustable Track Bar for assembly and installation.
37 Press polyurethane collars into track bar ends.
38 Press steel sleeves into poly collars.
39 Measure eye-to-eye length of stock track bar. Adjust BDS track bar to same length.
40 Install Adjustable Track Bar. Tighten bolts.
41 Remove track bar adjuster set screws and apply the supplied red thread locker and reinstall.
42 Torque Track Bar bolts. 324 ft-lbs on driver’s side, 285 ft-lbs passenger side.
43 Reattach sway bar.
44 Reinstall drag link.
45 Reinstall front wheels. Lower front end.
46 Raise rear end. Remove rear wheels.
47 Remove the factory ride height sensor linkage.
48 Remove linkage ball from axle base.
49 Install linkage ball on BDS adapter bracket in center hole. For half-inch ride height changes, you can move the ball into the upper or lower hole.
50 Install BDS adapter bracket onto axle.
51 Reconnect ride height linkage to ball.
52 Remove factory rear shocks.
53 Press the bushings into the lower shock ends. Grease the rubber bushings so they slide in easily. Insert the steel sleeves.
54 Install rear BDS Fox shock absorbers.
55 Reinstall rear wheels.