Smarter Suspensions Are on the Way for Pickups

Ram 15 air chassis[2] II

By G.R. Whale

For decades pickup truck suspensions were as basic as could be, beginning with solid axles at both ends, each suspended with heavy and stiff leaf springs. More accommodating independent front suspensions did not appear on two-wheel-drive pickups until the 1960 Chevrolets and 1965 Fords. Eventually IFS made it onto four-wheel-drive applications on the half-ton 1980 Ford, 1988 Chevy and GMC, and 2002 Dodge pickups.

There also were several outliers with independent rear suspensions: Those included the classic rear-drive Forward Control Corvair and Volkswagen Type 2 pickups based on vans, the eye-catching all-wheel-drive Honda Ridgeline and the military-based four-wheel-drive original Hummer H1. But what about today's pickup trucks?

Suspension basics haven't changed much in many respects; manufacturers have focused on refining proven designs. NASCAR uses a similar approach: A stock car's rear suspension is essentially a heavily engineered, adjustable version of what you'll find under a 45-year-old GM pickup.

Rear Axles

With one midsize exception, the Ridgeline, every pickup sold in the U.S. uses a solid rear axle, meaning the outer axle tubes are locked to the center differential. Inside, axle shafts transfer rotational forces from the differential to the wheel hubs. This type of axle setup is reliable, serviceable, cost-effective and good for varying loads because wheel alignment doesn't change with load. In most cases, a leaf-spring suspension is used to locate the up-and-down forces on rear axles for similar reasons. Although it's a simple design, it can be hard to tune because the springs must carry weight as well as locate the axle longitudinally and laterally while controlling axle rotation and keeping the pinion angle within specifications. On some Jeeps and mid-1990s GM ZR2 pickups, a Panhard rod (aka, a track bar) was used with live axles and leaf springs to control excessive lateral axle movements.

Ram currently uses coil springs on its 1500 and 2500 rear axles, so the spring has to carry only the weight of the truck and bed load. Since a coil spring isn't a series of metal (or composite) strips rubbing against each other like a leaf spring, its movements cause less friction. This delegates axle location and rotational control to other suspension connections, typically called links, arms or radius rods used for longitudinal location, and a Panhard rod or Watts linkage (last seen on 2003-2009 Dodge Durango and Aspen SUVs) for lateral control. All pickups with independent rear suspensions use air or coil springs; most pickups with live axles use leaf springs (exception is the Ram 2500).

Air springs or airbags, optional on Ram 1500s, add complexity but also provide other benefits not found in any other configuration. They are height adjustable for ground clearance, entry ease and aerodynamics, and can level a load or trailer, which provides more consistent steering and handling, and requires less headlight adjusting. To its credit, Ram is the only heavy-duty pickup manufacturer to offer a dedicated rear air suspension system on the 2500 and as supplemental springs on 3500 dualie models.

Front Suspensions

Up front every half-ton and midsize pickup uses an independent suspension for ride quality, steering precision and in some cases, crash deformation characteristics. That's because independent front suspensions provide manufacturers with more options for steering box and shaft placement. Independent front suspensions are the only type on GM HDs. In this type of suspension, each wheel moves on its own for singular control; without a heavy, solid tube joining the wheels there's far less weight to control. Coil springs are quite prevalent on most pickups' front ends, though torsion bars (thick anti-roll bars running front to back) have been used. Currently they can be found on Chevy and GMC HD pickups.

Shock Absorbers

Tundra TRD Pro Shocks II

Shock absorbers attached to the axle and frame help control spring movement. Shock absorbers are literally meant to absorb any shock inputs the front or rear axle might encounter. Many independent front-end designs use "coil-over" shocks in which the springs are coiled around the shock are combined to save space and provide better steering precision; however, they are not ideal for carrying heavy loads.

Shocks absorbers come in many different designs: monotube, twin tube, remote reservoir, even magnetic. Monotube shocks — called that because the damping and gases are all within one tube — can be mounted right side up or upside down. This can be an advantage if you are particular about removing as much mass possible from moving parts. There's also some leeway in where shocks are mounted on leaf-sprung rear suspensions: staggered (one ahead of the axle, one behind), outboard or inboard of frame rails, etc. Mounting decisions affect how a vehicle handles with and without a load or when off-road.

Remote-reservoir shocks (used in the Ford Raptor and Toyota TRD Pro models) allow for better cooling of the shock fluid, providing improved, consistent shock performance. An overheated shock absorber will lose some, if not all, of its ability to control harsh or repeated hits.

One of the most advanced shock systems is the fast-acting Magnetic Ride Control shocks on GM pickups such as the GMC Sierra Denali. They change the viscosity of the internal fluid many times per second via electrical input for maximum control and flexibility in a wide range of situations, much wider and quicker than a normal shock can accommodate. Shock absorbers also can be used as steering stabilizers mounted laterally between a big truck's steering arm and a fixed point under the truck, and to damp axle rotation on a live axle, such as Ram's Power Wagon's rear suspension.

Body Roll

Another issue to understand when considering how a big truck's suspension works is body roll, or how a vehicle can handle the forces that want to tip it over when taking a curve or corner at speed. Body roll usually is controlled by laterally-oriented steel anti-roll bars (some are actually tubes) that resist twisting when rotated; they keep the truck flatter during turns at speed.

Virtually every pickup has one on the front, and many have one on the rear as well. In fact, you can add larger diameter bars at both ends if you're uncomfortable with the lean you experience, or just to the rear to help with heavier loads such as a heavy bed camper. But remember that will change the balance of the truck when it rides empty. On the current-generation Power Wagon (based on a three-quarter-ton chassis and biased for serious four-wheel-drive trails), the front sway bar can be electronically disconnected to allow maximum wheel travel to better flex over rocky or uneven terrain. Above a certain speed, the sway bar will automatically reconnect to provide a stiffer, more controlled front-end feel.

What About the Future?

2006 Ridgeline IRS lo-res II

In the future, unique suspension systems used today likely will find wider acceptance and offer better control and more flexibility. We expect more air suspension options and magnetic ride technology to provide better fuel economy, load-carrying capability, comfort and handling. It wouldn't surprise us if the computer systems on new vehicles will be better able to predict what's likely to happen next on the road, possibly leaning into a turn at the first steering input to make a big truck feel more like midsize car.

Active anti-roll-bar systems already found in Range Rover SUVs, luxury sedans, and Toyota's and Lexus' active suspensions could improve highway and trail performance for small and large pickups. The Toyota 4Runner SUV's cross-linked shock system is an impressive active suspension system that works as well in four-wheel drive as it does when entering a 240-degree curving freeway on-ramp.

We also predict that as sales of luxury-model pickups increase, we'll be more likely to see more canyon-carving trucks with independent rear suspensions. The new 2017 Ridgeline will have coil rear springs and an IRS, and is anticipated to have a payload of 1,600 pounds; likewise, the 2016 Mercedes-Benz Metris midsize commercial van (also with coil springs and IRS) has a minimum payload rating of 1,800 pounds, more than many half-ton pickups.  

Bushing technology also is likely to improve, perhaps adding a self-adjusting or computer-controlled aspect to them, allowing them to quiet engine vibration or wheel chatter while allowing precise steering. Less vibration means quieter and less-stressed parts and pieces.

And we expect broader application of magnet ride systems, perhaps even grouped with towing packages where damper behavior would be modified simply by engaging Tow/Haul mode or when sensing heavier loads.

Front suspensions may adopt a dual ball-joint lower coupling and have been used on everything from VW Passats to BMW SUVs and the new Lexus LS. This arrangement pays big dividends in bump absorption, handling and directional stability, and leaves more room for axle shafts and bigger brakes to move freely and stay cool.

Further down the road, we expect tuning of active suspension pieces like air springs, self-adjusting shocks or active anti-roll bars to link with cameras and navigation data to prime the suspension before it hits a bump or comes to a sharp bend, making the suspension more predictive than reactive. No matter what happens, we're confident we'll be getting more sophisticated and smarter suspensions to keep our pickups under control.

Manufacturer Images

Ram 25 rr air[4] II2015 Ram 2500 rear airbag and multi-link suspension, compressor, and air tank (above)

 

Ram 15 rr air[5] II

2015 Ram 1500 rear air suspension and monotube shocks

 

Pwr Wag swaybar disc[3] II

2015 Ram Power Wagon front swaybar disconnect

 

16 pilot rr susp II

2015 Honda Pilot rear independent suspension

 

Comments

I DO NOT want IRS for my pickups. And I will not buy one. Period. If the Detroit "Big Three" make this abomination mandatory, I'll stick to buying older CPO trucks.

This whole sophisticated suspension stuff is nonsense for pickup trucks. They are not sports cars, for crying out loud! (But my Jeep Wrangler rides and corners perfectly well with TWO solid live axles!) This is just another way for truck makers to over-engineer trucks and charge more money for them. New ones now are expensive enough! The return-on-investment from IRS (even IFS) is negligible for pickups.

I want a nice heavy-duty, simple, solid axle with leaf springs, and shocks, --- and you're done. Tough as nails; low (as in NO) maintenance; able to take a real sideways "hit"; great articulation; durable under repeated loading over long distances.

The writer above (G. R. Whale) implies that the rubbing together of leaves in a leaf-spring pack is a problem. It isn't. That frictional component is essentially a "shock absorber" used to augment the formal shock absorber. This method as been around since the 1920's, is now thoroughly tested, and works VERY well. Leaf springs inherently locate the axle and reduce body roll. They can be replaced easily, and attach to the frame in TWO locations, not just one, --- which reduces frame-stress by distributing the load.

I suspect that one reason (there are others) that Americans are flocking to buying pickups is that they are durable, simple, and cost-effective. Why mess with success?

======================

@NMGOM you make a great point about the virtues of simplicity.

The sophistication of IRS comes at a price, in the form of higher production cost, more moving parts and ultimately higher maintenance cost.

I've owned many cars and trucks that had leaf spring rears, and NONE ever required an alignment or new bushings, unlike the front suspensions.

Todays pickup truck owner are like precious flowers that must be coddled and nutured at all times with a smooth ride.
The pickup truck makers are doing too much, going overboard changing everything and forgetting what worked good in the past.
Simple is always better and the pickup that hauls heavy loads was never meant to have a smooth-comfortable ride.
Those of us who use our pickups as a work horse, hauling and towing heavy have to adapt to the wants and needs of the few who own pickups as luxury vehicles that NEVER hauled or towed heavy.

This must be the Ram forum.

Todays pickup truck owner are like precious flowers that must be coddled and nutured at all times with a smooth ride.
The pickup truck makers are doing too much, going overboard changing everything and forgetting what worked good in the past.
Simple is always better and the pickup that hauls heavy loads was never meant to have a smooth-comfortable ride.
Those of us who use our pickups as a work horse, hauling and towing heavy have to adapt to the wants and needs of the few who own pickups as luxury vehicles that NEVER hauled or towed heavy.


Posted by: Lou_DC | Apr 18, 2016 2:56:23 AM

Actually it is just the turd rammers that need to be coddled. They brag about how soft and supple the suspension is on their fiat 500 truck. It shows in their numbers. Real men prefer Ford and GM over a fiat 500 with a bed. Funny how the lead turd rammer(Ram) brags about the rear suspension but on a skid pad the fiat 500 truck is no where close to the road holding handling of a F150 for Chevy Silverado. So much for the suspension leader in trucks. It cannot even stick to the ground as well as the old old leaf spring rear suspension trucks.

I love the arguments from Ram Owners...if you listen careful it is just like the Ram commercials without the music and the dude with the deep voice.

Ram may have a suspension that gives a softer cushy ride but when it comes to actually using the truck for work the Ram suspension does have limitations and control of the vehicle is affected.

The argument of big rigs use air suspension is laughable and the comparable argument does not relate well for the uses from a pick up truck.

The air suspension adds $1500.00 to the price of a truck and then there is the more pivot points to wear on the Ram which relates to future cost.

Anyone who has used a Leaf spring truck and a Ram for work will immediately recognize the difference,be it payload or towing.

i prefer the ride of my Ram over the Ford or GM. It handles all my hauling and towing my 4K bass boat with ease. Ford and GM trucks ride rougher today then they did 15 years ago because they are in a payload war. Ram listened to they customers and kept the payloads where they were at and refined the truck and added quality.

Ford is going to a fully independent rear suspension, a beefed up version from the Expedition for the next refresh, 150's only of coarse.

GM is no exception. It has same old same old leafs without air suspension like ford.
Only RAM can be soft when empty and handle more payload, more precisely than competition with air suspension and doesn't compromise travel on the road and offroad going over obstacles loaded.
You should focus on your truck , you worship and doesn't bring anything new and better to the table, than on the RAM who is ahead of the game. You don't even try to hide your fanboys; blind, aggressive devotion anymore and it looks silly.
Credit ,where credit is due. RAM.

GM 1/2 tons are terrible off-road. They bottom out, smash the low hanging front air dam, the G80 gov-lock is notorious for failure in heavy use off-road, and the 8.25" front differential assembly is notoriously weak and failure prone with larger than stock tires. If you only drive on pavement, or well graded dirt, GM trucks will suit you well.
The linear rate torsion bar IFS on the GM HDs is overly stiff when compared to the progressive rate coils in Dodge and Ford trucks with similar axle capacities. Again, on paved roads they work well, but in any challenging situation the GM trucks are simply outclassed.
Buy a truck that works for your lifestyle, not based on paper bragging rights.

@Mike
That's interesting speculation,. I would switch to ford, if V8 and this rear suspension. Not!
I can't wait for comments, when that happens. Ford is going to drop the naximum payload at f150 and follow the RAM.

O good lord...

Ford was the first (by about a Decade) over GM to bring independent front suspension to 4x4 full size half ton trucks. That's back when GM was still trying to figure out how to prevent corrosion. The Ford Twin I beam was appreciated for its ride and was credited as the first independent suspension on a truck. GM brought front disc brakes first its true... Fords routinely have far superior turning radiuses. Dodge didn't bring anything out of the cave man days until 94. In 05 Ford brought aluminum A Arms... everyone thought that was a bad idea too but it worked out very well and spaced the rear shocks to the outside of the frame. The Fiats got the coil spring rear which put them ahead of Ford for the rear its true. Currently the Raptor and the GM Denali with its magna ride shocks are the top of the line. Both are also small batch in sales and exceedingly expensive for the consumer and profitable for the companies. No one has really been "lagging" in this game in the last decade unlike prior decades.

I wouldn't expect Gov motors, or Fiat fans to say anything less than a bunch of dribble about leading and marketing... Both of their companies went into oblivion and if youre ok with that then you can live with just about anything. Men without honor have no shame.

Ah yes the Ford Twin I beam set up, the one where you can watch the front tires flop back and forward fail!

@Clint
It doesn't matter who did bring something first, but if they did it right and still works.
Ford didn't do that right and double I beam is lame. Any truck suspension without air bags, which keeps all the settings in the best driving range experience is not top of the line. Put any load on your truck you mentioned and settings and experience changes dramatically . That's not the case with any RAM with air suspension.
Keeps Ideal position of the axles all the time, any conditions, but if you prefer to drive empty, GM and Ford is good enough.

@john, have you actually drove ford or gm lately? I hate to give GM any credit but I do think they ride the best of the half tons, I owned all three and thats my take, and Ram and GM are not military grade at all just for the record

I wish away bar disconnects were on all 4x4 trucks. I know some guys who just take them off. Also something else to realize is that ram 2500 and Ford f-250 still use solid front axles while gm uses independent front suspension with cv axles. There are trade offs, gm does it for fuel economy and to streamline cost with the 1500 I believe. Maybe I'm wrong but I've heard gm sells more 1/2 tons while ram sells more 3/4 tons because of this. If anyone wants to set me straight so be it. I don't research sales really.

. Put any load on your truck you mentioned and settings and experience changes dramatically . That's not the case with any RAM with air suspension.
Keeps Ideal position of the axles all the time, any conditions, but if you prefer to drive empty, GM and Ford is good enough.


Posted by: RAM | Apr 18, 2016 10:28:43 AM

Kinda funny coming from you. Your truck does not have have air bags from the factory. You had them installed after the fact because your stock coils were overloaded with 2 gallons of milk and your case of oreo cookies for you to continue to get fat on. So by your example everyone would be better with a Ford or GM truck because they hold the road better than your Fiat 1500 truck and if you don't like the squat, add some bags and you are good to go. Level truck when towing and hauling and better road holding than a fiat 1500 truck.

LMAO get a life, milk and Oreo cookies? This is not the third grade and people of your caliber are those that should not reproduce.

@LMAO
Air ride wasn't available, when I was buying my truck. It's pre owned anyway. What's nice about RAM rear suspension, it's air ride ready. You can completely remove coils and substitute them with Firestone OEM Air ride for RAM. I did different approach and kept coils and add TLC .
Feel free to do what ever you want LMAO.
Pickup truck market has shifted to luxury cars with truck like capabilities and leafs doesn't meet customers expectations for refinement anymore. Just looo at the pricing. It's luxury car. It looks really funny to have magnetic shock absorbers with leafs , which has friction resistance and torsion bars with hard suspension like my old Durango I sold 4 years ago.
It's like to have a stereo on dirt bike.
Ford has cheapest approach from all big 3. But hey, they have a massage chair, which you need to drive bottomed down offroad.


@Ford orgullosa de ser mexicana ,How did you feel in 2014 when GM announced the would invest 5 billion in Mexico? Since 2011 Ford has invested over 10 billion in US,by 2019 that number will have risen to over 19 billion.Ford also builds and employs more people in the US than any other auto maker.

What's the problem Mike. Are you a fat tub-o-lard that can't even see his junk let along use it from to many oreos?

@Ford orgullosa de ser mexicana Also Ford spends more than 80 percent of its capital in the U.S.

So the goal of car companies is to make trucks be more like cars. Cars are not very adequate hauling anything except people. I'm sorry, no thank you but I'll keep my 83

@juanfo
Trucks will still haul what ever you need, but on top of that, they will be more refined and safer, which costs money , but not as much as they charging us for.
Trucks and SUV's is hottest part of the vehicles market and everyone wants to get a piece of this cake, Mercedes is no exception. FCA has great position with refined suspension, they need to improve safety, but it will be addressed, next year, when new redesigned model is going to be introduced.
Ford is ahead with crash safety, FCA with suspension, small diesel and 8 speed. GM is overall good, engine is good, but doesn't excel on anything. GM and ford excel at recalls lately and I think they should focus on basics again, like seat belts, brakes, air bags....instead of cameras , back up assist and magnetic ride.


I DO NOT want IRS for my pickups. And I will not buy one. Period. If the Detroit "Big Three" make this abomination mandatory, I'll stick to buying older CPO trucks.

This whole sophisticated suspension stuff is nonsense for pickup trucks. They are not sports cars, for crying out loud! (But my Jeep Wrangler rides and corners perfectly well with TWO solid live axles!) This is just another way for truck makers to over-engineer trucks and charge more money for them. New ones now are expensive enough! The return-on-investment from IRS (even IFS) is negligible for pickups.
I want a nice heavy-duty, simple, solid axle with leaf springs, and shocks, --- and you're done. Tough as nails; low (as in NO) maintenance; able to take a real sideways "hit"; great articulation; durable under repeated loading over long distances.

The writer above (G. R. Whale) implies that the rubbing together of leaves in a leaf-spring pack is a problem. It isn't. That frictional component is essentially a "shock absorber" used to augment the formal shock absorber. This method as been around since the 1920's, is now thoroughly tested, and works VERY well. Leaf springs inherently locate the axle and reduce body roll. They can be replaced easily, and attach to the frame in TWO locations, not just one, --- which reduces frame-stress by distributing the load.

I suspect that one reason (there are others) that Americans are flocking to buying pickups is that they are durable, simple, and cost-effective. Why mess with success?

======================

I DO NOT want IRS for my pickups. And I will not buy one. Period. If the Detroit "Big Three" make this abomination mandatory, I'll stick to buying older CPO trucks.

This whole sophisticated suspension stuff is nonsense for pickup trucks. They are not sports cars, for crying out loud! (But my Jeep Wrangler rides and corners perfectly well with TWO solid live axles!) This is just another way for truck makers to over-engineer trucks and charge more money for them. New ones now are expensive enough! The return-on-investment from IRS (even IFS) is negligible for pickups.

I want a nice heavy-duty, simple, solid axle with leaf springs, and shocks, --- and you're done. Tough as nails; low (as in NO) maintenance; able to take a real sideways "hit"; great articulation; durable under repeated loading over long distances.

The writer above (G. R. Whale) implies that the rubbing together of leaves in a leaf-spring pack is a problem. It isn't. That frictional component is essentially a "shock absorber" used to augment the formal shock absorber. This method as been around since the 1920's, is now thoroughly tested, and works VERY well. Leaf springs inherently locate the axle and reduce body roll. They can be replaced easily, and attach to the frame in TWO locations, not just one, --- which reduces frame-stress by distributing the load.

I suspect that one reason (there are others) that Americans are flocking to buying pickups is that they are durable, simple, and cost-effective. Why mess with success?

======================

FYI - The Gen II Ford Explorer Sport Trac also had IRS - much like the mentioned Honda Ridgeline.

Love the way my class exclusive five link rear suspension. Handles my 10,000lb trailer very well. No jitters on the freeway empty. Corners great too. It's no wonder PUTC picked the Ram 2500 for the truck they would buy. Ford and Chebby boys don't know what their missing.

Love the way my class exclusive five link rear suspension. Handles my 10,000lb trailer very well. No jitters on the freeway empty. Corners great too. It's no wonder PUTC picked the Ram 2500 for the truck they would buy. Ford and Chebby boys don't know what their missing.


Ram Power Wagon is 2015 Four Wheeler Pickup Truck of the Year

http://www.examiner.com/article/ram-power-wagon-is-2015-four-wheeler-pickup-truck-of-the-year

another day at pickup trUlls dot com

Ram air ride LOL

They don't use air in the system and the system does NOT self replenish.

This is from the most recent test:

Trailer squat: Williams disliked "the horrible sagging when the Ram was loaded with bed cargo. It's uncomfortable to look at and has the headlights pointing skyward." "With this squat," Sundling added, "it handles the worst with a trailer, fishtailing."

Power: "I expected gutsier acceleration for its power and torque ratings with the eight-speed automatic transmission," Bruzek said, "though its hefty weight might have something to do with that."

Controls: "I don't like the dial-a-shift in the Ram," Smith said, "and the Longhorn's distracting gauge overlays make it difficult to read them, day or night."

And …: "I can't quite explain why this truck has a heavy and sluggish steering feel," Williams said. "Braking performance is far less confident when carrying the maximum payload," Bruzek said. "Ram desperately needs a more aggressive fuel-economy strategy as the Hemi has to be babied to get good mileage."

@BARFO - this is for you:

"One of the most comfortable empty," Bruzek said"

works great for anything but work.

WAY BACK WHEN - 2015 PUTC shootout:

"where the Ram lost most of its points was in its limited payload, braking numbers and the ride quality of the air suspension when towing or loaded."

@LouBC
Well, why don't you tell me a story , how F150 leafs are better, than multilink with air bags ? Because you can't. Go polish your leafs , so it slides easier.

Without much explanation for why it's taken so long, Consumer Reports has officially offered its opinion on the all-new 2015 Ford F-150 pickup truck, and it's not good. In fact, Consumer Reports said that a new truck buyer would be better off purchasing either the new, better-handling 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500/GMC Sierra 1500 or 2015 Ram 1500.

CR prefers the ride quality of the Ram 1500's rear coil springs as well as the fuel-economy benefits of the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel when compared to the harsh-riding and thirsty F-150.
http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2015/06/consumer-reports-critiques-2015-ford-f-150.html

If you want to believe that baby engine Hemi feel free. But I would NOT suggest you actually get a subscription to CR and read the Ram report and why the F150 is the only recommended truck I it's class.

Here is a teaser:And above-average first-year reliability, according to our reader survey, makes the F-150 the most reliable new domestic pickup truck you can buy.

Based on the latest survey, we expect reliability of new models will be 25% above average


Worse than average
Based on the latest survey, we expect reliability of new models will be 37% below average

Ram
F150

PLACE THE NAME OF THE TRUCK IN THE APPROPRIATE QUOTE.

Please stay on topic people. We are discussing smarter suspensions and leafs are not smart, but dumb.

what do Ram consumers say instead of the ones here employed by Fiat:


https://www.consumeraffairs.com/automotive/dodge_ram.html

http://www.ramforum.com/f71/new_truck_problem-12672/

http://www.cbc.ca/news/dodge-ram-steering-under-investigation-1.1113040

http://www.carcomplaints.com/Ram/1500/2014/

http://www.nbcnews.com/business/autos/fiat-chrysler-must-buy-back-hundreds-thousands-ram-pickups-n398911


Ram the leader and king of recalls and unreliable vehicles...do not listen to the Fiat salesman here peddling snake oil...this brand will leave you stranded,sitting waiting for a vehicle to be repaired or never repaired and parts on order for years...the history is deceit and no customer service once you buy this brand.

Do not be fooled into putting money out for a shiny new Ram as within two years you will see rust,recalls,death wooble,electrical problems,steering problems,worn out seats,potential locking rear axles,transmissions that clunk and cannot be repaired....oh and to top it off it does the worst of all trucks in crash tests...failed the roll over impct test.....

Dealers avoid problems and Fiat /Chrysler customer service is non existent.

Do research on new truck problems and see for yourself the growing RAM army of people who say I will never buy again!

@Canadian thought, or Lou: Lol, Ford never recalled the Pinto, they just let it go.

Right now the most recalls a single vehicle is probably the Ford Escape.

Chrysler can't help it that their Jeeps passed safety tests required when released. Nor can I help it if people hit a stop vehicle at 50 miles an hour. What do you expect going to happen? They're just as safe as other SUV of that time, and any Ford product that's an SUV built in that time period.

How about those Ford Explorers/Explorers?

You talk about 800 pounds being too much on a Ram 1500.

Some of their payload ratings are pretty low, I give you that. But they can handle well over 800 pounds when braking.

Just because you read on this site where they overloaded A 2 wheel drive crew cab Ram (with the highest trim level package) by about 500 pounds, and then they complained about the braking. Well duh!

Hey, atleast the Ram had a decent ride to show for it, the F-150 can't handle what Ford rated it at, and can'take ride good either. They are a real clown car.

If you wanted to do some heavy work you would probably get something like an SLT based model.

And if you wanted to hook up a trailer, you wouldn't be like the looks lo's on this site that don't use a weight distribution hitch.

But if you really wanted too, since the story is about upgraded suspension, you could get the Ram air suspension and It'll hold the weight just fine.

Or you could just write about a story about a 500-pound overloaded truck that they put about 1800 pounds in. Duh.

50 deaths from jeep.... 105 million dollar fine ...1.4 billion to buy back vehicles, yes we know what Fiat,Ram Jeep build ,it is in the news everyday!

Ram fails roof crush test and has the worst crash ratings of the truck brands and your response is : at least the Ram had a decent ride to show for it.

lets look at what Ram owners say about air suspension ...it went into limp mode not moving up or down. Dealer you overloaded it... customer: I had 300lbs in the bed of my truck....lol.

Funny even with $1500.00 air suspension the truck still squats...handling is atrocious and braking worse....The only one getting RAMed are the customers Fiat is giving it too.

rear axles that lock up and they want you to tow with this garbage... parts are on order forever yet never materialize.

Brand new trucks with paint blowing off them as they drive out of the dealer lot... rust problems within weeks of accepting their vehicle....oh and this isn't one or two trucks...read it right from Ram customers mouths!

Curious note all vehicles have websites where owners complain However if you look on the Ram sites the common theme and saying is...I will never purchase another Ram or Fiat based vehicle!

Dodge used to have the odd problem like other trucks however most of the time the dealer would resolve the issue....Ram has many issues and dealers are pissing customers off to no end by ignoring problems and telling everyone parts are on order that never come....Fiat will destroy this for good this time ....the writing is on the wall!

We got rid of four Ram trucks and have no brand loyalty what so ever...why? unreliable, problems that never get solved...refuse to spend time and money dealing with the same issues over and over.... yes Ram trucks look great when new but shortly after this Fiat experience starts...frustrating is a kind word for it. Dealers and Fiat ignore it and expect customers to just give up and go away...Customers will..right out the door to another brand like we did . Best move ever made!

Fiat has turned this into an absolute joke....

@Ram - talking about how poor the Ram 1500 has done in tests with air ride is relevant. The system is supposed to be superior to leaf springs. In theory it is but in practice the system Ram uses is not . It was designed to keep car buyers happy with a plush ride. The air ride Ram is a car with a balcony.

Lou_BC - - -

Ram guy here. Just to be clear. BUT.....

I test-drove a 2015 Ram 2500 diesel with coils last year. NOT impressed. Went over RR tracks and it just about smashed my spine. In order to make coils accommodate a heavy load, they can't also have the low force-constant, "feather action" needed for unladen cruising. Just didn't work.

Then back at the showroom, I asked the salesman, "But the air-spring option would make it better, right?"
He honestly said," Not necessarily".
So air-springs may not be the "be-all, end-all" solution that some people think it is. And this says nothing about their poorer durability, higher maintenance, and higher initial cost!

My estimate is the Chevy, GM, Ford, Toyota, and Nissan have got it right: Coils up front = OK; Coils out back = forget it.
Leaf springs, especially when 60-inches long or greater and assembled into 9-to-11 pack, offer a graduated, progressive spring response that no coils could ever match. And that top leaf automatically gives the "feather action" needed for smooth unladen cruising on bumpy, broken-pavement roads.

I constantly get complements on how smoothly my 1996 Dodge Ram rides, --- unladen even (but with fiberglass cap). Looks like my next Ram will have to be a CPO earlier than 2008 ,--- which would give me a manual transmission option, as well as proper leaf springs.

=======================

@NMGOM

stick shift?

You are talking my language! Instead of trying to find a RAM, why not consider a 2007 GMC Sierra HD with gas V8 and stick shift, for example?

Or a 2008 Ford F250 with the big honkin' V10 and the stick?

I'm pretty sure these three quarter ton trucks back then still had a clutch option, right? Somebody correct me if I'm wrong.

I'm getting a pretty serious "clutch jones" just thinking about it.

@Loubc
That test wasn't done with loaded truck offroad.
Sorry, I forgot you drive empty, or on the road., like this test you nention was done.


RAM - my truck usually has at least 350-500 lbs of gear in the box. That is why a Ram rebel sucks ans most of the other Ram 1500's with any trim level worth buying.

I know as an ESL type you miss key points. All of the tests done with Ram 1500's indicate that loaded they do not perform as well as other trucks.

@NMGOM - my brother liked the older Ram 2500's. He used to order them since they were the only trucks left with manual transmissions. His company went away from them because they started having a lot of problems with driveline sensors. A sensor would get damaged off-road and the truck would shut off when he shifted gears. They did fix the problem a few years down the road but his company has not gone back to Ram. All they buy now are Ford 1/2 tons and GM HD's. They find that has given them the best combination of durability.

@Loubc
Please, point me to the test for any RAM with air suspension , loaded and offroad.
Thank you in advance.

I know as an ESL type you miss key points. All of the tests done with Ram 1500's indicate that loaded they do not perform as well as other trucks.

Posted by: Lou_BC | Apr 20, 2016 12:17:35 PM

That ESL type would be you Loubc.
You missed the key point OFFROAD. LOL.

papa jim - - -

Thanks for the suggestion on 2007 and older Chevy's and Fords. You just help me expand my search.

====================


Do research on new truck problems and see for yourself the growing RAM army of people who say I will never buy again!


Posted by: canadianthoughts | Apr 19, 2016 1:35:06 AM


Amen, Do some homework, research FORD FIRES!!!!!!

"Consumer Complaints & Reviews


phil of Greenfield, IN on Jan. 12, 2016


Satisfaction Rating


☆☆☆☆★

About six months ago around midnight my 2001 Ford truck caught on fire in the engine compartment and the fire was caught by our security camera. The next day the fire inspector informed me that there was a recall that was not performed on the truck and the defect was a switch under the hood that caused


https://www.consumeraffairs.com/automotive/f150_fires.htm

@ GMSRGREAT

They are probably arguing between Ford and Ram because they know Chevy is complete and utter trash.

BTW your POS Chevy lost to the F-150. It was the GMC who beat the Ford.

Consumer Reports which probably uses the most rigorous testing out their gave the F-150 the highest score.

Popular Mechanics did a similar test and the Ram came out on top.



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