Ram 2500 XL for overland / expedition trips

ttengineer

Adventurer
I also agree with the last few posts.

But, it should be noted that this upgrade really isn’t needed for most trucks in the off road/overlanding scene.

If you do a lot of heavy and fast trail riding with heavy rock crawling then it’s my opinion that the upgrade is needed. However, if very light rock crawling is the upper most extreme of your adventures you’ll be fine with the stock set up.

In other words, if you hit places like Moab often and ride the more difficult trails, get the arms.

The Lewis arms are VERY nice and they also add clearance since you no longer need a bracket drop. I’m not sure if they can account for the 1.5 inch forward of the AEV kit though.


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Bret+famx7

New member
Would the fact that it has 42" tires compound the stresses on the axle or is this issue directly caused by the suspension movement? As in my stock 14 Ram 2500 could see the same problem if subjected to a lot of articulation? I know I'm dumb but I cant wrap my head around what's happened. If I'm imagining it correctly, say your looking straight down from the top of the truck. The left side of your axle has been bent towards the drivers side door basically?
 

Adventurous

Explorer
Would the fact that it has 42" tires compound the stresses on the axle or is this issue directly caused by the suspension movement? As in my stock 14 Ram 2500 could see the same problem if subjected to a lot of articulation? I know I'm dumb but I cant wrap my head around what's happened. If I'm imagining it correctly, say your looking straight down from the top of the truck. The left side of your axle has been bent towards the drivers side door basically?
The axle itself isn't bent, but the plug welds holding the axle tubes to and within the pumpkin have broken, allowing the axle tubes to rotate within the pumpkin. This makes it impossible to hold an alignment and has potential driveline implications as well.

It's just an unfortunate reality of repeatedly flexing out a radius arm system at the ends of the travel spectrum. Its irrespective of tire size and could theoretically happen to any of our trucks pushed towards the boundaries of the suspension.

The Lewis arms fix the problem by using spherical bearings to allow free rotation at several of the radius arm joints. This helps mitigate the rotational stress that would, with the OEM arms, get transferred to the axle and threaten to rotate the axle tubes like Ravenmad has experienced.
 

Ravenmad

Observer
Well, it has been a point of contention at the local dealership. For the time being we were able to rotate the drivers side tube back into alignment with the housing, remove the plug welds and re-weld. We then welded the tube to the center casting and re installed the factory front sway bar. I now have to return the truck to the dealership for the recall on the tie rod, drag link and passenger side knuckle assemblies. Waiting on a truss for the front housing and alignment (again). Hopefully we can get it all done in time for Overland Expo West this month. I am absolutely sure that once I have the front fixed and recall work done I will be selling the truck. It has been a great truck, but now I have a very bitter taste in my mouth per say concerning it.

Side note on the continental MPT 81s. A little birdy told me that the tires being sold by Expedition Imports are in fact "Factory Blems", this explains the difficulty with these tires and the reduced cost over msrp. We also upped our tire pressure to 56psi and added centramatic wheel balancers. I still like the tires, I just have to rotate the tires until I find a set for the front that don't pull to the left or right.
 

silvrzuki77

explorer
Sorry to hear your going to sell it. Are you still going to upgrade the arms? Maybe once you get everything replaced might make it better?


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Ravenmad

Observer
I may upgrade the arms, If I do I will most likely replace them with new factory Power wagon arms and a power wagon front sway bar with a modified version of the air actuated disconnect mech. Either way I am going to sell the truck, just gotta make it correct first, I can't stand the thought of selling the truck without it being correct first.
 

Adventurous

Explorer
Well, it has been a point of contention at the local dealership. For the time being we were able to rotate the drivers side tube back into alignment with the housing, remove the plug welds and re-weld. We then welded the tube to the center casting and re installed the factory front sway bar. I now have to return the truck to the dealership for the recall on the tie rod, drag link and passenger side knuckle assemblies. Waiting on a truss for the front housing and alignment (again). Hopefully we can get it all done in time for Overland Expo West this month. I am absolutely sure that once I have the front fixed and recall work done I will be selling the truck. It has been a great truck, but now I have a very bitter taste in my mouth per say concerning it.

Side note on the continental MPT 81s. A little birdy told me that the tires being sold by Expedition Imports are in fact "Factory Blems", this explains the difficulty with these tires and the reduced cost over msrp. We also upped our tire pressure to 56psi and added centramatic wheel balancers. I still like the tires, I just have to rotate the tires until I find a set for the front that don't pull to the left or right.
I can understand how frustrating it must be dealing with an issue like this, but unless there are other factors leading to this decision it seems a bit hasty to get rid of it. You've put a ton of work into that rig, and once the front axle is fixed up (and you get new radius arms) that seems like it would address the weaknesses.

Sorry to throw my 2 cents in if it's not welcome, id just hate to see you throwaway all of that hard work and come to regret it later.
 

Explorerinil

Observer
I can understand how frustrating it must be dealing with an issue like this, but unless there are other factors leading to this decision it seems a bit hasty to get rid of it. You've put a ton of work into that rig, and once the front axle is fixed up (and you get new radius arms) that seems like it would address the weaknesses.

Sorry to throw my 2 cents in if it's not welcome, id just hate to see you throwaway all of that hard work and come to regret it later.
Yes I agree, I’ve gotten pissed at my projects but I keep the long term in focus. I got rid of my 06 mega cab when I got fed up with something minor... the next owner told me hies driven if 200k since he bought it from me at 100k and has had no problems.
 

Ravenmad

Observer
Interesting conversation with Dave from AEV 2 days ago. There I was, strolling into my favorite Dealership in Salt Lake City and wallllaaaaa. There sits a bunch of AEV vehicles, Dave and a few other guys from AEV. Turns out, they broke several front axle housings this week ( plug welds and rotated short side axle tube ) on RAM trucks to include a power wagon and he said 3 other guys did the same thing this week in Moab......

I told him how chrysler basically told me to pound sand .......... It was an interesting conversation, filled with WThells and we will see about this crap.

I forgot to say, chryslers tech. reason for denying the warranty claim was "the front axle has an ARB which puts an additional load on the axle housing beyond it design parameters and I installed AEV bracketed which constitutes a highly modified front axle assembly" lol, explain the power wagon then? owwwww, they break also....
 

Dalko43

Explorer
Interesting conversation with Dave from AEV 2 days ago. There I was, strolling into my favorite Dealership in Salt Lake City and wallllaaaaa. There sits a bunch of AEV vehicles, Dave and a few other guys from AEV. Turns out, they broke several front axle housings this week ( plug welds and rotated short side axle tube ) on RAM trucks to include a power wagon and he said 3 other guys did the same thing this week in Moab......

I told him how chrysler basically told me to pound sand .......... It was an interesting conversation, filled with WThells and we will see about this crap.

I forgot to say, chryslers tech. reason for denying the warranty claim was "the front axle has an ARB which puts an additional load on the axle housing beyond it design parameters and I installed AEV bracketed which constitutes a highly modified front axle assembly" lol, explain the power wagon then? owwwww, they break also....
This is exactly why I still have concerns with Ram trucks. For as good and capable as they are, I can't help but think that FCA is still cheaping out on certain components which will break and leave you up S%^t creek at some point in the future.

The number and nature of recalls as of late (steering component, water pump) doesn't inspire much confidence either.
 

Explorerinil

Observer
This is exactly why I still have concerns with Ram trucks. For as good and capable as they are, I can't help but think that FCA is still cheaping out on certain components which will break and leave you up S%^t creek at some point in the future.

The number and nature of recalls as of late (steering component, water pump) doesn't inspire much confidence either.
I see your point and agree to a point, as far as recalls, I have had far fewer recalls on my ram truck then the 18 f150 sitting in the driveway. Recalls are not brand specific, the 4 total on my truck are not major issues for me, other than the steering one, I feel ram took the cheap route and developed a piss poor drag link and a horrible fix.
 
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