Ram 1500 Overland Build Part 4 – Lifted

Ram 1500 Overland Build Part 4 – Lifted

The Tires and Lift Kit 

The key most important thing you can do to a truck that you want to drive off the pavement and safely return time is to upgrade the tires and increase its ground clearance. 

The tires was an easy choice to make. There are dozens of tire brands but the best all round tire with a proven history of off road success and a long quiet on road life is the BF Goodrich KO2. Regarding size I went for a 35 inch tire, that is 12.5 inches wide on a 18 inch rim. Nice and meaty to soak up that offroad damage. 

Up next is the lift kit. For that I selected a 4 inch lifted suspension. It is specifically designed for the Ram 1500 by American Expeditionary Vehicles.

The backbone of the Ram 1500 DualSport Suspension System is AEV’s 4mm thick stamped steel skid plate. This skid plate not only offers a significant level of protection, it also serves as the new mounting location for the front differential. Removing the front differential mounting location from the OE engine mounts to the chassis avoids inner CV plunge-limited travel restriction that is otherwise needed due to the torque-roll of the engine-mounted front differential. By stamping this skid plate (as opposed to traditional press brake manufacturing) AEV was able to achieve a more exact fit, maximizing ground clearance.

Another critical component of this suspension system is AEV’s exclusive, military grade A206 T4 Aluminum Steering Knuckles. These aluminum steering knuckles are manufactured using a much higher grade aluminum than the factory knuckles, move the front hubs forward +8mm for additional tire clearance and offer a considerable reduction in unsprung weight (up to 25lbs!) when compared to many of the cast iron or steel steering knuckles commonly used in aftermarket suspension systems. This weight reduction plays a critical role in achieving the best possible ride quality and handling out of your truck.

OE front and rear coil springs are retained to preserve the OE ride quality and payload capacity. This also ensures that the intended ride height will be achieved on all cab, wheelbase and trim level combinations. The AEV-specific Bilstein 5100 series front height adjustable struts and rear shock absorbers that are included in this suspension system were developed jointly by Bilstein and AEV engineers exclusively for use with AEV’s Ram 1500 DualSport Suspension System. By utilizing digressive valving, these AEV/Bilstein 5100 shocks and struts offer substantial low-speed dampening. The dampening decreases as vehicle speed increases, providing a great ride quality over a wide variety of terrain.

Front Bumper

For the front bumper I also went with AEV’s Premium Front Bumper is designed with maximum front end protection in mind. As the aftermarket’s first and only heavy duty stamped steel front bumper for the 2009-18 Ram 1500, the AEV Premium Front Bumper offers an unparalleled level of front end protection while also enhancing the truck’s appearance with its sleek, sophisticated styling. I also scored a sweet deal on a compatible Warn winch on ebay and installed into the bumper as well. 


So end the first phase of my overland build. I did much of the work myself but i got the lift kit installed professionally at Adrenaline Offroad here in Maryland. I also installed lighting during this phase but that will be detailed in another post. After all this i took her up to the top of a parking garage and took a few beauty shots. Enjoy… 


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