To improve the handling of your truck, you’ll need a decent-quality leveling kit. It will smooth out even the bumpiest road by boosting the ride quality and giving you more control over the road. That’s especially true if you have a set of larger-than-life aftermarket tires for off-roading. The bad news is – even the best lift kit for RAM 1500 can break down and/or stop working properly.
The following list includes the most common leveling kit troubles that Dodge owners have to deal with. I’m talking about issues with alignment, a faulty driveshaft, suspension, tie rod, and more. Yes, in the hands of an inexperienced driver, a leveling kit can do more harm than good. So, if you’re ready to learn how to deal with all these issues, let’s get right to it!
#1: Alignment Issues
Faulty installation is a very common problem. And the worst thing about it is that over time, a leveling kit that wasn’t installed properly will start to damage the rest of your gear. So, pay extra attention to the alignment: make sure the front-end spacers are adjusted perfectly.
Otherwise, you’ll have to deal with early tire wire, a “shaky” ride quality, and uneven weight distribution. You have two options: either ask a mechanic to help you out or try to fix it on your own. And remember: the bigger the tires, the higher the lift should be to compensate for that. Make sure you’ve got a leveling kit that provides the right lift height!
#2: A Faulty Driveshaft
We use this term to describe a component that converts engine rotation and torque energy into motion, making the vehicle move. But what does the driveshaft have to do with level kits? Well, when installing a lift kit, many amateur drivers (and even some mechanics) mess up the angle. If you hear a screeching type of noise when shifting your RAM 1500, best believe it’s the driveshaft acting up.
Wobbling and shaking is another clear sign that there’s something wrong with the drivetrain. The best way to avoid this is to take the truck to an auto shop that you trust and ask them to fix the angle of the driveshaft. You could do this yourself, of course, but that will take a lot of skill, energy, and time.
#3: Trouble with the Suspension
Here, we have another rather troublesome issue that has to do with less-than-ideal installation. The suspension system plays a critical role in keeping the truck nice and steady on the road. And, when you introduce changes to it, you also alter the way the vehicle acts on the road and responds to your commands. In my experience, this can all be fixed with a set of new shock absorbers.
The reasons: it’s mostly the shocks that take the “hit” when a lift kit is installed. You can get a pair of decent-quality shock absorbers for (relatively) cheap. Regular maintenance wouldn’t hurt either, but, if your suspension system is beyond that, try replacing the shocks first.
#4: Tie Rod Malfunction
In the steering “chain”, tie rods connect to the rack, which in turn is attached to the steering arm that serves as an extension of the wheel. Just like in the previous cases, leveling kits are known to cause havoc with tie rods due to poor installation. Even if everything was mounted properly, over time, the rods tend to “slip away”. If you do a lot of off-roading or drive around hauling heavy loads, I bet you’ve already dealt with this problem.
The quickest and cheapest solution would be to reinstall the tie rods. Yes, it’s as simple as that. But if the rods have worn out, I’m afraid all you’ll be able to do is get a new set.
#5: Higher Fuel Consumption
This one is rather a bad side-effect than anything else. A leveling kit boosts RAM 1500’s height by a couple of inches. That leads to an increase of overall resistance and results in slightly worsened MPG (miles per gallon ratio). One solution would be to install a one-piece bed cover to compensate for the aerodynamic losses. However, the drop in mileage is not really that big to go to any extremes trying to fix it.
#6: No More Warranty Coverage
The moment you introduce any changes to the suspension, your vehicle’s warranty will void. That’s a common thing in the automobile industry and doesn’t only concern the RAM truck. A leveling kit is, of course, considered as an adjustment of the suspension system. Fortunately, since premium kits last for a decade, or even more, there’s little to worry about.