Most prerunners are two-wheel-drive vehicles, and we've featured quite a few in our pages. The "2WD" tag isn't a forbidden acronym here at OFF-ROAD, and as such we aren't limited to 4x4 tech in the way our sister publications are. Sometimes, readers tell us that, although they don't need a prerunner-level build for their 2WD truck, it would be nice to have some extra clearance and all-terrain tires. In some cases, the aim is to outfit the truck for some light off-road exploring, in others, improved approach and departure angles (and better tires) allow a truck to get to a better spot to unload dirt bikes or other toys. With this in mind, we got our hands on a Rough Country Suspension 6-inch 2WD kit that allowed 35-inch tires to be mounted on a buddy's '04 Ram 1500.
Rough Country has been making suspension components since, well...forever, and we've had good luck with its lift kits in the past. Besides that, Rough Country is one of the few companies that offers suspension support for the pre-'06 2WD Dodge truck. In 2006, Dodge trucks went to a new strut suspension that is shared on both the 2WD and 4WD platform.
We took a crack at installing this Rough Country Dodge kit in less than a day at our very own Source Interlink Tech Center located in our headquarters. How'd it go? Read on for a full report.
1. We accomplished our install at our new Source Interlink Tech Center. Our company got a full supply of Snap-On tools and Direct-Lifts to let us do entire installations by ourselves, time permitting....
To match the Rough Country 6-inch lift we got for our '04 2WD Dodge 1500, we acquired a pair of tried-and-true 35x12.50R17 BFG All-Terrains.
2. Massive spindles were included to replace the stock units, burly sub-frame supports dwarfed the OEM cross-members, and the coil springs were totally replaced instead of adjusted with a spacer. New sway bar links with ball joints were an especially nice touch.
In the rear, we opted for a 3-inch block and new shocks. Total cost on this kit? Only $900.
Before and After
To show the difference the Rough Country Suspension makes, we shot before and after pictures using the same stock wheels and tires.
The kit didn't seem to lift our front end quite the full 6 inches-something that we were pleased about. We didn't want too much of a prerunner rake on the truck.
And since tire and wheel packages play an important part in suspension tuning, we were able to feel the difference that the Rough Country Dodge kit made by itself. Being 6 inches higher, the body roll was increased a little, but nowhere near feeling unsafe. It did feel a little tighter-most likely due to the brand new Hydro 8000 shocks that replaced the original stock ones.
3. The new knuckles keep the upper control arms in the stock location, but allow for the s
4. Two new subframe drop crossmembers go in place of the original lower control arms. New
5. The factory lower control arms slip directly into the Rough Country subframe crossmembe
6. The sway bar is retained, but moved forward an inch to account for the swing of the new
7. Instead of spacers, brand new lift coil springs are used in the Dodge 1500 2WD suspensi
8. Once the knuckle is put on the ball joints, you can tighten up the ball joint nuts, ins
9. The original unit bearings and brakes bolt directly to the new knuckles. The whole kit
10. In the rear, Rough Country included 3-inch blocks, new U-bolts (never reuse U-bolts),
To keep our truck working with a low-profile theme, we called Buy Wheels Today and got a s
Satisfied with the suspension install, we headed to the America's Tire Company location in
P.O. Box 19001
America's Tire Company
Rough Country Suspension
1400 Morgan Road
Buy Wheels Today.com
3965 Virginia Ave