Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Spring, TX
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2WD front coil spring problem?
I recently acquired a 2001 Ram 2500 2WD Quad Cab with the Cummins diesel engine. My teenage son is all into fixing cars and I thought this would be a nice father/son project and be a useful work vehicle to boot. We've had a Dodge Ram for a long time, but this is our first diesel. We fixed some minor things (new thermostat/coolant flush, neutral safety switch, new tensioner pulley, new belt, new headlights, oil change, new fuel filter, etc.) and then decided to tackle the big issue of the front suspension, which had a lot of squeaks/creaks whenever the vehicle moved. We figured we'd change out the front brake pads while we were at it. Not being one to go halfway, we dove right into the deep end with new Moog upper/lower balljoints, inner/outer tie rods, Energy suspension bushings for upper/lower control arms and stabilizer bar. We're no strangers to tools or the garage (we're also rebuilding a 1972 Dodge Charger), but this was definitely a big task.
We decided that while we had it all apart, we would like to level off the front end with the back. We looked at the coil spring spacer idea, but then I found the TufTruck Coil springs (#1615) for the 2WD Ram 2500 that promised 1-3" of lift, and I would have new springs and some leveling lift at the same time... Sounded pretty good to me. They also recommended longer shocks to account for the increased height, so I got some longer aftermarket shocks.
Things went relatively smoothly, even pressing out all those old bushings, until we got to putting in the new springs. They were a real bear to put in, but we finally got the spindles back on the balljoints and secured. When we removed the jack from under the lower control arm, I noticed that the upper control arm was pulled flat against the upper spring bucket, and the inside of the upper part of the spindle was rubbing against the side of the upper spring bucket. I had noticed that the original setup looked somewhat similar with the wheel off and attributed it to the fact that without the wheel on there, there was nothing to push back up against the spring/control arms. I figured when we set it down on the ground, that it would push back up the upper control arm some.
Well, once we finished both sides and put it down on the ground, no such luck-- and boy was it raised in the front-- way up in the air. Those springs didn't budge and the upper control arm was still pulled down hard with the upper spindle touching the upper spring bucket. I didn't feel any resistance when turning the steering wheel so I took it down the street to the shop to get it aligned. The upper control arms had to be pulled all the way out in the adjustment slots. At first, this freed up the spindle from rubbing on the upper coil spring bucket, but then they noticed that the middle bolt holding the upper ball joint to the upper control arm was resting against the upper spring bucket. So they cut off some of the middle bolt and instead of staying where it was, the upper control arm was pulled down until the spindle was just touching the upper spring bucket.
I still don't feel any resistance when I turn the steering wheel, but if I hit a bump or pothole, I can hear the metal rubbing together... Essentially, the upper control arm, when the vehicle is sitting still has no downward travel available. I talked to TufTruck about the springs. Apparently there were some 2001 2500's that were setup for a 13" coil spring, and these new springs were 15" tall. I did notice the height difference, but silly me, I figured that's where the lift they talked about was going to come from. TufTruck said they will take the springs back, which is nice of them, but of course that means we have to go through all that again.
So, here's the question: Do I have any other options besides taking those coil springs out? Is it going to settle at all in the near future, allowing the upper control arms to move upward?
Any thoughts/advice is appreciated!