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Old 09-15-2016, 07:50 PM   #1
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New dampers on 14 RAM 1500

We've got 45,000 miles on our TV. I've got the WDH set as good as it can be. The combo tows great up to about 60mph but it's a bit floppy above that. Lots of commentary here about needing to add air springs to a half ton towing a 9000lb TT. Before I commit to full air ride, (I don't like to go half way), I figured that the truck might be helped by a bit more damping so I ordered a set of Bilstein 5100s for the rear. They arrived today and I installed them in about 90 minutes. (Absolutely stupid design for the top shock bolt FCA. That idiocy is unnecessary.)

They certainly take more force to compress than the worn OEM dampers. Unloaded ride is still good. We're heading out with the camper tomorrow so I'll have a good test.
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Old 09-16-2016, 01:32 PM   #2
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And that made so much difference even DW noticed. Smooth as silk up to 65mph. Much better mannered than with whipped stock dampers. I will be replacing the fronts to match shortly setting how much they improved the ride.

My lesson learned is, before springing for helper springs, make sure you have top shelf dampers.
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Old 09-21-2016, 10:03 AM   #3
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Glad to see the shocks helped you. If you go by the shock manufacturers they recommend shock replacement at 50k miles so it seems you were right around the mileage. I did mine at about 80k and the Rancho's were trashed, 2 of them had to be extended by pulling on them and the other 2 were sticky.
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Old 09-21-2016, 10:43 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Evil4U View Post
We've got 45,000 miles on our TV. I've got the WDH set as good as it can be. The combo tows great up to about 60mph but it's a bit floppy above that. Lots of commentary here about needing to add air springs to a half ton towing a 9000lb TT. Before I commit to full air ride, (I don't like to go half way), I figured that the truck might be helped by a bit more damping so I ordered a set of Bilstein 5100s for the rear. They arrived today and I installed them in about 90 minutes. (Absolutely stupid design for the top shock bolt FCA. That idiocy is unnecessary.)

They certainly take more force to compress than the worn OEM dampers. Unloaded ride is still good. We're heading out with the camper tomorrow so I'll have a good test.
You don't have to go to full air ride on the ram 1500. You can put a set of AirLift 1000 springs on in about 45 minutes and they only cost $100. You will be amazed at the extra stability the airlift Springs provide. They don't give you a lot of up-and-down height change.
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Old 09-21-2016, 12:20 PM   #5
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True enough. However, our TV is my wife's daily so there can be no adjustments required. It would need to be a full-on self regulating air bag system so she wouldn't even know it was there. That's about a grand.
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Old 09-21-2016, 01:46 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by 2Evil4U View Post
True enough. However, our TV is my wife's daily so there can be no adjustments required. It would need to be a full-on self regulating air bag system so she wouldn't even know it was there. That's about a grand.
If you get the Airlift Wireless One (about $280) then she will never know it's there. I set the non-towing pressure at 10 psi and it automatically keeps it there all the time.

I noticed a great improvement in lateral stability as soon as I installed mine. There's a rough railroad crossing I drive over regularly. Rough enough to feel and see side to side movement. With 10 psi all that movement disappeared. For towing I use 35 psi.
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Old 09-21-2016, 01:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Evil4U View Post
True enough. However, our TV is my wife's daily so there can be no adjustments required. It would need to be a full-on self regulating air bag system so she wouldn't even know it was there. That's about a grand.
Its not difficult to put the air into the system when you're going to tow, and then release the air when you get home. It rides totally normal with 5-10 PSI in them.
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Old 09-22-2016, 09:01 AM   #8
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I had an 11 ram 1500 and struggled with the same issue. Debated on bags but never did it. The biggest change came from installing new tires when the old ones went out...went with BFG AT's Lt tires. World of difference on the lateral motion while towing.


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Old 09-25-2016, 06:38 PM   #9
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Installed the fronts this morning. A bit more involved as you need to disconnect the sway bar and pop the steering and upper A-arm ball joints. No issues and right back to correct factory ride height. I compressed the OEMs afterwards and one extended about twice as fast as the other. I had noticed a bit of side to side action in the front so this was not surprising.
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Old 09-26-2016, 11:33 AM   #10
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I installed the same bags and it made a world of difference! My 1500 Ram had 200 miles on it at the time. I run 25psi. Add hose to top before installing in spring.
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