The Ram 1500, a staple in the full-size pickup truck segment, often comes with various suspension options including an air suspension system that offers adjustability and comfort.
While this feature is a boon for many, it presents unique challenges for those interested in modifying their vehicle’s ride height with a lift kit.
This article will explore the complexities, solutions, and precautions associated with installing a lift kit on a Ram 1500 equipped with air suspension.
The Complexity of Air Suspension Systems
Air suspension systems are designed to automatically adjust the vehicle’s ride height, provide optimal ride comfort, and maintain alignment.
The computer-controlled system uses airbags to raise or lower the truck, rather than traditional coil springs or leaf springs.
Adding a lift kit to such a system is not as straightforward as with standard suspension setups.
Challenges with Lifting
- Compatibility: Not all lift kits are compatible with air suspension systems.
- Calibration: The onboard computer that controls the air suspension needs to be recalibrated to account for the new ride height.
- Warranty: Installing a lift kit may void the vehicle’s warranty, particularly the warranty on the air suspension system.
Option 1: Customized Lift Kits
Some aftermarket companies specialize in creating lift kits specifically designed for vehicles with air suspension. These kits come with components that interface seamlessly with the existing air suspension system.
Option 2: Disable Air Suspension
Another option is to disable the air suspension system temporarily and replace it with a conventional suspension setup.
However, this may result in losing some of the features that make air suspension appealing, such as the automatic leveling and enhanced ride comfort.
Option 3: Professional Modification
Experts in suspension systems may be able to modify existing lift kits to make them compatible with air suspensions. However, this option can be costly and time-consuming.
Precautions to Take
- Expert Consultation: Always consult experts or mechanics who have experience in dealing with air suspensions and lift kits.
- Check Warranty: Make sure to check the vehicle’s warranty terms before proceeding with any modifications.
- Safety First: Ensure that all installations are conducted safely, following all the manufacturer’s guidelines and instructions.
Adding a lift kit to a Ram 1500 with an air suspension system is a challenging but not impossible task. With the right resources, tools, and expertise, you can elevate your Ram 1500’s stature without compromising the advantages of an air suspension system.
Make sure to do thorough research and consult professionals to ensure a successful modification project.
So, to answer the initial question: Can you put a lift kit on a Ram 1500 with air suspension? Yes, you can, but it comes with its own set of challenges and considerations. Always weigh the pros and cons before making your final decision.
40 FAQs on Lift Kits for Ram 1500 with Air Suspension
- What is a lift kit?
- A lift kit is a set of components used to raise the ride height of a vehicle.
- What is air suspension?
- Air suspension is a type of vehicle suspension that uses air bags instead of springs to provide a smoother ride and automatic ride height adjustment.
- Is it possible to install a lift kit on a Ram 1500 with air suspension?
- Yes, but it can be more complex than installing one on a truck with a standard suspension system.
- Does lifting a Ram 1500 with air suspension void the warranty?
- It can, depending on the terms of your warranty. Always check before making any modifications.
- Can I install the lift kit myself?
- While it’s possible, installing a lift kit on a vehicle with air suspension is more complicated and generally recommended to be done by professionals.
- How does air suspension work?
- Air suspension uses a system of air bags that can be inflated or deflated to adjust the vehicle’s ride height.
- What are the challenges of installing a lift kit on a Ram 1500 with air suspension?
- Challenges include compatibility issues, recalibrating the air suspension system, and the possibility of voiding the vehicle’s warranty.
- Do I need a special lift kit for a Ram 1500 with air suspension?
- Yes, you would ideally use a lift kit designed to work with air suspension systems.
- Can I switch back to the original settings after installing a lift kit?
- This depends on the type of lift kit used. Some are reversible, while others are not.
- How high can I lift a Ram 1500 with air suspension?
- The height you can lift your Ram 1500 to will depend on the specific lift kit you use. Always consult the manufacturer for guidelines.
- How much does it cost to install a lift kit on a Ram 1500 with air suspension?
- Costs can vary widely depending on the complexity of the job and labor rates, ranging from $500 to over $2000.
- Are lift kits for air suspension systems more expensive?
- Generally, yes. Custom kits for air suspension systems are often pricier than standard lift kits.
- Is it more expensive to have a lift kit installed professionally?
- While the initial cost is higher, a professional installation is generally recommended for safety and optimal performance.
Safety and Precautions
- Is it safe to drive a lifted Ram 1500 with air suspension?
- As long as the lift kit is installed correctly, it should be safe. However, lifted vehicles have a higher center of gravity and are more prone to rolling over.
- What precautions should I take before installing a lift kit?
- Consult professionals, read the manufacturer guidelines, and consider the impact on your warranty.
- Can lifting my Ram 1500 affect the braking system?
- Lifting a vehicle can affect its handling and braking. Make sure to also check and adjust the braking system if necessary.
- Does lifting affect fuel efficiency?
- Yes, lifted trucks often see a decrease in fuel efficiency.
- Will lifting my Ram 1500 affect its towing capacity?
- Lifting a vehicle can affect its towing capabilities. Always consult the vehicle and lift kit guidelines.
Warranty and Legal Concerns
- Will lifting my Ram 1500 with air suspension void my warranty?
- This depends on the warranty terms and conditions. Always check before making modifications.
- Are there legal limits to how high I can lift my Ram 1500?
- Laws on vehicle lifting vary by jurisdiction. Always check local and state laws.
Maintenance and Care
- Does a lifted Ram 1500 with air suspension require special maintenance?
- A lifted vehicle may require more frequent checks on suspension and alignment.
- Can I use regular shocks with my lifted Ram 1500 with air suspension?
- No, you’ll need shocks that are compatible with both the lift kit and the air suspension system.
- What happens if the air suspension system fails?
- If the air suspension fails, the vehicle will likely sag to its lowest setting and become undrivable until repaired.
- How do I recalibrate the air suspension after lifting?
- Recalibration usually requires specialized equipment and should be done by professionals.
- Can I lift just the front or back of my Ram 1500?
- While possible, this is generally not recommended as it can affect vehicle balance and handling.
- How does lifting affect ride quality?
- Lifting a vehicle can make the ride stiffer and less comfortable, especially over bumps.
- What is the impact on off-road performance?
- Lifting a vehicle generally improves off-road capability but can compromise on-road handling.
- Is it easier to install larger tires after lifting?
- Yes, one of the main reasons people lift trucks is to install larger tires.
- How long does it take to install a lift kit on a Ram 1500 with air suspension?
- Installation time varies but expect to spend several hours or even a full day depending on the complexity.
- Do lifted trucks have higher resale value?
- This is subjective and depends on the buyer. Some may pay extra for a professionally lifted truck, while others may not.
- Can I revert my Ram 1500 back to factory settings after lifting?
- Some kits are reversible, but this may require additional labor and costs.
- How can I find a reliable mechanic for installing a lift kit?
- Look for mechanics with experience in lifting vehicles and specifically those with air suspension.
- Is there a difference in lifting a new vs older Ram 1500?
- Older models may require additional modifications or replacements of worn-out parts.
- Can I go off-roading immediately after lifting my Ram 1500?
- It’s best to test the vehicle’s new setup in a controlled environment before going off-roading.
- What is the maximum payload after lifting my Ram 1500?
- Check your vehicle’s manual and the lift kit guidelines to determine new payload limits.
- What tools do I need to lift my Ram 1500 at home?
- This can vary depending on the kit, but typically you’ll need a jack, jack stands, wrench set, and possibly more specialized tools.
- What brands offer lift kits compatible with Ram 1500’s air suspension?
- Various aftermarket brands offer such kits, but it’s crucial to ensure compatibility before purchase.
- Is lifting a Ram 1500 with air suspension a DIY project?
- While it’s technically possible, it’s highly recommended to seek professional help due to the complexities involved.
- Can I use a leveling kit instead of a lift kit?
- Leveling kits are generally simpler and only lift the front of the vehicle to make it level with the rear, but compatibility with air suspension varies.
- Do I need to notify my insurance if I lift my Ram 1500?
- Yes, modifying a vehicle’s ride height can affect your insurance policy. Always notify your insurance company after any significant modifications.