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2007 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins 4x4 Suspension - Synergy Bilstein SuspensionMAXX
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June 25, 2017, 02:55:10 PM


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Project BIG HORN
Gets Some New Suspension


PRODUCT REVIEW
 
Introduction
What would Project Big Horn be without some suspension mods? What you didn't think we were going to lift it because it's a tow rig? Sure we were able to stuff some 35's on without any rubbing but we wanted to gain a few inches of clearance and more importantly enhance the ride quality and comfort off-road and on. The front coil springs that come stock on these trucks are single rate, meaning they compress under the same amount of weight throughout their cycle. This results in the front end bottoming out fairly easy off-road. The heavy cast iron Cummins engine pounds the front end on these trucks and if you plan on using yours off-road even if it's only for camping and exploration a progressive rate coil will make a big difference. We teamed up with some of our favorite suspension manufactures to put together Project Big Horn's new suspension. We chose to use Synergy Suspensions recently introduced 3" Starter Kit. The coils are engineered for the trucks weight and progressively wound to provide a ride that soaks up the smaller bumps while still being able to take the hard hits. Synergy offers this kit for the Hemi or Cummins equipped 2500-3500's. For sway bars we went with SuspensionMAXX simply because we liked their design and we have friends that use their links. The design resembles an OEM component but their entirely rebuildable by replacing the bushings. We've heard great things about them so we figured they were good enough for Project Big Horn. On the damping end we went with the Bilstein 5100 series shocks. We chose these shocks because the Bilstein 5100's are an excellent nitrogen charged replacement shock much like the factory units. We have no intentions of whaling on this truck through the desert or we would have considered a reservoir shock. Below are some pictures of the suspension components.

Products Parts List:

  - Synergy 3" Coil Springs
  - Synergy 1" Lift Shackles
  - Synergy Adjustable Track Bar
  - SuspensionMAXX Sway Bar Links
  - Bilstein 5100 Shocks Front & Rear





Click on image for large view

   
 


Install Part 1 - Front
So to get things started we jacked up the front and removed the tires. First thing to do is to start removing all of the components limiting the droop in the suspension also retaining the coil springs. This includes removing the sway bars, shocks and track bar. Once these have been removed the front axle droops down and the coils can slide right out. When it comes to installing nitrogen charged shocks you can fight them or take a few steps to make the install easy. I start by removing the limit straps
Bilstein ships their shocks with. The supplied steel washer and rubber bushing were installed on the upper eyelet. I then re-compress the shock and re-install the factory limit strap. Basically a piece of plastic strap that retains the shock half way compressed. A lot of people make the mistake of removing the strap and trust me you'll be fighting the shocks the rest of the install. By leaving the shock semi compressed I slide them into the Synergy coils and fed them in together. I then used a bottle jack to lift the axle up while I align the upper shock eyelet. Once in place I bolt in the lower shock eyelet and cut off the plastic limit strap, the shock extends and slides into place. Then all thats left is installing the other upper rubber bushing, washer and nut. Next on the list was installing the Synergy adjustable track bar. The track bar is fairly stout being constructed of 1-3/8 inch 1045 solid tubing and features a double adjuster sleeve that enables adjustment while mounted on the truck. Although no mention was made or instructions provided a quick search on the internet indicated adjusting the track bar to a mounting hole to mounting hole total length of 38-1/8". This got us pretty much right on the money. Final step was installing the SuspensionMAXX sway bar links. Featuring steel construction, zinc coated and most importantly made in the USA!! The links install pretty straight forward. I applied a thin layer of grease to give them some lubrication. Not so much that they collect dirt but enough to reduce friction. Next was the technical part, torquing them down to 40 ft./lbs. Double check bolt torque and tightness on everything removed and walla. After some measuring before and after revealed exactly 3" of lift up front. Like most coil springs they may settle ever so slightly in time. See the picture below taken during the install.

Click on image for large view

   
   




Install Part 2 - Rear
For the rear suspension on Project Big Horn we wanted to start out with a set of
Synergy 1" Lift shackles. There constructed of 3/16 steel and feature a grease zerk fitting up top with a powdercoat finish. We wanted the 1" lifted shackle because the 3" coil springs up front were actually going to make the front sit 1" higher than the rear. The shackles will compensate for that and will level the truck out while giving the rear a little more clearance. Like the front we went with a set of comfy Bilstein 5100's to dampen the ride. Both of these items install is straight forward. The rear was jacked up and the shocks and tires were removed. The shackle nuts are then removed from the bolts and the rear of the truck is jacked up releasing the load on the leaf springs until the bolts slide out. The upper shackle bolts come out first and once removed they allow the lower shackle bolt attaching to the leaf spring to come out and clear the frame rail. The new Synergy shackles go in just like we took the factory shackles out. Only difference being that the truck had to be lifted a little more to compensate for the additional shackle length. Although the new shackles have zerk fittings I still apply grease to the bushings, frame and leaf spring mounts prior to install.

On to the shocks, we again left the factory limit straps in place while we bolted them in starting with the upper frame mounts. With a pry bar placed in the axle side shock mount the plastic limit strap was cut and the shock depressed into position. The pry bar is a simple trick that makes it easier to align the bolt holes. Again, double checking all bolt tightness and torque spec's prior to going for a test drive. The rear shackles added .75" of lift to the rear not the 1" we were hoping for. However when our truck is on level ground it looks totally level. See install pictures below.


Click on image for large view

     




More about the Manufactures

Synergy Suspension
has been around for a little while now increasing their product line over the years more so in the Jeep realm but recently introduced some great new Dodge 2500 products. Aside from the Starter Kit they also have Adjustable and Non-adjustable lower control arms, Wheel Spacers, Steering Box Braces, Shock Towers and more.

SuspensionMAXX is known for not only their sway bar links but also their cast aluminum coil spring spacers aka leveling kits which utilize their innovative shock towers that enable you to continue using your OEM shocks if you desire.

Bilstein Shocks have been around in motorsports racing for longer than some of us have been alive. Their knowledge and experience has made them one of the top names in shock absorbers.   


Finished Product Pics

Click on image for large view

 
   



PHOTO GALLERY


Conclusion
We've been running this suspension setup for a little over a month now and have put it through the tests. Not just on-road cruising but dirt fire roads, rutted trails and snow wheeling. We disconnected the sway bars off-road for better flexibility. By removing the main bolts on the links it was quick to disconnect and reconnect our sway bars for off-road. This suspension setup has defintely changed the characteristics of our Dodge for the better. The progressive coil springs are slighlty firmer but in turn provide less sway on-road and noticeable smoother off-road soaking up wash board roads and ruted trails. The added ground clearance helps off-road and doesn't sacrifice on-road manuverability which is eqaully important. Overall we are very pleased with this setup and are now looking at other components to further increase our Project Big Horn's suspension.

For more information about products used in this article check out there websites or give them a call.


 
Synergy Suspension
870 Industrial Way, Unit B
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Phone: 1-805-242-0397

Web:
 http://synergysuspension.com
SuspensionMAXX Inc,
1692 Marquette Ave
Bay City, MI 48706
Phone: 1-888-629-9226

Web:
http://www.suspensionmaxx.com
Bilstein of America
8685 Berk Boulevard
Hamilton, OH 45015


Web:
http://www.bilsteinus.com
 



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