Replacing the Ram Shocks
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Subject: [RAM] New Shocks
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 1997 00:05:03 -0400
From: ramhack(Christopher J Siano)
Friday I picked up a new set of shocks for the truck. Even with the gas pressurized shocks on the 2500HD 4x4, the road manners were not ideal.
After a lot of decision making, I selected the Trail Master SSV shocks and a Rancho RS5000 Steering Damper.
The rear shocks are a piece of cake. Removing the spare helps a lot. The bolts are all 13/16". The lower connection on the axle is easy with a socket and wrench combo. Up on the body, there are special nuts on the bolt. These nuts have a long metal wing permanently stamped onto it. The wing acted as a wrench would. So all you need is the socket.
On the Driver's side, you access the bolt from the cross member just above the spare. The area is a little tight, and a smaller ratchet, or a universal joint helps. On the passenger side, you come in from the fender well. A short extension, or a deep socket helps.
I attached the top of the new shocks first, and then pressed the lower end into position with a little manual persuasion.
The fronts were a little trickier. The lower mounts are similar to the upper mounts in the rear with the nuts containing helpful rings. Again, a long extension and a 13/16" socket does the trick.
For the upper mount, I removed the 3/4" nut on the top of the shock and lifted off the plate and rubber bushing. Then, I removed the 3 12mm nuts holding the shock tower in place. Once free, I held the shock piston with one hand, and removed the tower with the other. Not real easy, but you get it without too much trouble. Just watch the brake lines on the driver's side, and the AC hoses on the passenger side.
The new shocks drop onto place. I attached the lower bolts and nuts, getting them snug, but not tight. I placed the steel washer and urethane bushing on the top of the shock. Then I pressed the shocks down as far as they'd go. Holding the shock in place I eased the shock tower back onto the studs and replaced the three 12mm nuts.
The steering damper was a bugger. The 15mm bolt and 18mm nut came off east enough from the frame side of the shock. Even the cotter pin and castle nut on the drag link came off fine. But the stud that fits in the drag link didn't want to move. I finally resorted to using a Pitman Arm puller to press the stud out. Took a lot of effort despite the soaking with Liquid Wrench.
The new stud installed easily and the 15mm bolt was returned to it's location with the new steering damper in place.
The ride is like night and day. The truck does bounce a little
more, but the harshness of the bumps and the amount transmitted to the
cabin is greatly reduced. The new Steering Damper has stiffened up
the wheel a bit and removed all road impacts from the wheel.