This is a guide to do a DIY installation of a Rancho Quick-Lift Leveling Kit for the 2011-2014 Ram 1500 4×4. This install takes about 3 hrs and assumes you don’t have a very deep knowledge of trucks; for an experienced mechanic, it’s likely to take about 1 ½ hrs. The Rancho Quick-Lift is a leveling kit; it is not a true lift, but instead levels the factory rake that the manufacturer has determined is best for you. This kit raises the front 2 ¼” to be level with the back of your pick-up. It may not seem like much, but as you plow through ruts, mud and snow, it could be the difference between scrapping, stuck, and going through – or, losing a mud-flap in ruts with a factory set-up. Compared to the traditional spacer “pucks” that are available, Quick-Lifts give you the advantage of a superior coil spring and a nine-setting easily-adjustable shock for various driving conditions. This is still well within the limits of 3” travel of the stock CV joints and does not involve altering major components as with conventional lifts. It also allows for an increase in tire height for additional ground clearance without wheel-well interference. 275/60/R20’s (33” diameter) to 283/65/R20’s (34.6”diameter) will work with this kit.
Set up a distance away from a wall & measure your headlight beams from the ground before you start anything! You don’t want to be that guy that is “high-beaming” everyone! The factory does have a good tolerable level; let’s keep it that way when you’re done! If you can get 10-20’ is best & record the top of the beam measurement & distance from measuring wall.
Support your truck on jack-stands under the frame accounting for the eventual lift you are installing (3” wheel-hang) & remove wheels.
Spray penetrating oil on:
Bearing plate’s upper mounting nuts (3 top nuts on strut assembly)
Upper sway bar end links
Upper ball joint stud (Control arm to upper spindle or steering knuckle)
Tie rod ends to spindle
Disconnect the clip connecting ABS and brake lines (1)
Remove the calipers (2) and tie them up to rear mount of the upper control arm using a length of hay wire ensuring you do not strain the brake lines. A 21mm socket is needed, as well as a fair amount of force. These are tight!
Remove the 17mm sway-bar nuts to the upper end-links (3) on both sides,and push up the sway bar (4) to clear end-links.
Disconnect the outer tie-rod (5) from the spindle. This requires a 21mm box-end and a 10mm box-end wrench to keep the ball end from spinning. Lift the tie-rod end high and rest on the raised sway-bar ends.
Loosen, but do not remove the 3x15mm bearing plate and upper mounting nuts.(6)
Position a floor jack under the lower control arm (7) to control drop and remove the lower shock mount (8) 21mm bolt & 24mm nut.
Remove the upper ball-joint nut (9) and tie-wire upper spindle (10) tosame rear upper control-arm mount. You need to ensure the spindle will not over-extend outward. You should be able to just lift by hand to separate ball-joint from spindle. If it is tight, whack the top of the steering knuckle (spindle) (10) with a hammer. The vibration will separate the press fit.
Remove the jack from under the control arm and push the spindle / rotor / lower control-arm assembly down & pull the lower shock mount (8) out of the pocket forward. Then remove the loosened upper bolts and slide out the entire assembly.
Reverse the entire process to install the new strut assemblies. On theupper bearing mount, you will notice a “flat” side of the triangular mount. This goes toward the engine on both sides. The adjustment knob goes towards the front for easy access & not to interfere with the drive-shafts. Position 5 is a good place to start; you can fine tune later if required.
Take it out and drive! Hit some bumps & curves & let the system settle.
Finish by re-adjusting your headlights to where they were in the first place. Headlight adjustment requires a Torx T20 bit.