2nd Gen 2500 Build - Radius Arm Conversion on 39s - Pirate4x4.Com : 4x4 and Off-Road Forum
 
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Old 03-06-2017, 08:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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2nd Gen 2500 Build - Radius Arm Conversion on 39s

I started the build of a buddy's 1999 Ram 2500 QCSB 24v/5-speed 4x4. Tires are 39" boggers. After doing some research on what lift kits are out there on the shelf and not finding much luck not under $3k, i decided to convert it over to a radius arm setup from RuffStuff.

Front suspension consists of 3" Thuren coils and shocks in combination with the radius arms. Im reusing the factory brackets on the axle and cut off the frame side mounts. I pushed the axle about 3" forward to keep the tire out of the cab. To accommodate this, i am building a new adjustable track bar with heims on either end and a new bracket welded to the frame.

Rear lift with be a Diy4x shackle flip and ditching the 5" block with Thuren shocks.

Pics of whats done so far. I have about 8hrs into at this point. Waiting on a few extra parts from RuffStuff then i can move onto the rear.

The truck before the conversion. Bone stock 24v on stock suspension.


Old vs new 3" Thuren Springs


All out. Fuck all the dirt/oil/grease that was covering everything up front.


New springs and shocks installed.


Radius arm setup


Front on its own weight. Nice clearance to the cab. The front bumper will need to be trimmed back some. He will probably replace it with a ranch hand anyways.




Thats it for now. Any thoughts or critiques are welcomed. I dont want it to be unsafe in any way.
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Old 03-06-2017, 08:31 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Looks good to me.

Can you get full lock out of the steering with that tire/wheel combo? I have the Tuff Country bolt on kit on my 2nd gen tow rig, and the 35" tires get into the arms at full lock.
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Old 03-06-2017, 08:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Looks good to me.

Can you get full lock out of the steering with that tire/wheel combo? I have the Tuff Country bolt on kit on my 2nd gen tow rig, and the 35" tires get into the arms at full lock.
havent cycled the steering yet. Waiting to install the track bar and then ill check clearances. I havent seen the tough country kit so i cant compare, but it looks like everything should clear.
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Old 03-06-2017, 10:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I like it. Pretty much exactly what Im looking for, for a possible project Dodge 1/2 ton I might pick up.

Whats this truck gonna get used for? Havent seen boggers on anything for a while.
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Old 03-06-2017, 10:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Awesome.

I always wondered why this wasn't done more often.
Compared to long arms we get way more clearance and don't have to avoid the body mounts.
In the end its probably a trade off of flex vs clearance, At least that's my understanding with radius arm tradeoffs.
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Old 03-06-2017, 10:50 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I like it. Pretty much exactly what Im looking for, for a possible project Dodge 1/2 ton I might pick up.

Whats this truck gonna get used for? Havent seen boggers on anything for a while.
He is a huge bogger fan. Couldnt really talk him out of it. His plans are the occasional mud hole and more of a beach cruiser/run around town type rig.

So far its went together really smooth. This is my first time messing with these 2nd gens. Still up in the air on running the sway bar up front.
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Old 03-06-2017, 10:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I always wondered why this wasn't done more often.
Compared to long arms we get way more clearance and don't have to avoid the body mounts.
In the end its probably a trade off of flex vs clearance, At least that's my understanding with radius arm tradeoffs.
Thats my understanding as well. He gets more travel and hopefully a better ride with the new coils/shocks. For an even better ride, ill try to talk him into a set of new softer leafs in the rear.
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Old 03-06-2017, 11:30 AM   #8 (permalink)
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He is a huge bogger fan. Couldnt really talk him out of it. His plans are the occasional mud hole and more of a beach cruiser/run around town type rig.

So far its went together really smooth. This is my first time messing with these 2nd gens. Still up in the air on running the sway bar up front.
To me, it'd be a toss up on the sway bar. Part of me says to run one with the weight of the diesel, maybe use some quick disconnects?
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Old 03-06-2017, 08:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Mines radius arm'd as well. Works great. The factory lowers control arm mounts may get ripped off though. Converted mine to 1/4.
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Old 03-07-2017, 09:05 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I always wondered why this wasn't done more often.
Compared to long arms we get way more clearance and don't have to avoid the body mounts.
In the end its probably a trade off of flex vs clearance, At least that's my understanding with radius arm tradeoffs.
The trade off is limited articulation. If you look at a radius arm, it swings thru an arc from it's pivot point at it's end. When attached to a solid axle, the swing would also cause the axle to rotate and cause the caster to change. For example, pushing the axle up will cause caster to become more positive, dropping the axle down would cause caster to become more negative. However, a solid axle can also articulate (one side can go up while the other side goes down). This causes a problem with a radius arm suspension, with a solid axle because the axle is rigid. The caster on one side can't go more positive, or more negative in relation to the other side. For this to occur, the axle would need to twist, which it can't. The result is, radius arms tend to cancel out articulation and turns the entire axle and radius arms into a single swing arm assembly. They way Ford got around this issue back in the 70s with it's radius arms was they also used rubber "C" bushings, which allowed some "rotation" between the axle and radius arms. There was still limited articulation, but at least there was some. Later Ford Radius arms systems used bushings to also allow some twist between the radius arms and axle.

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Old 03-07-2017, 10:18 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Dann'l View Post
I always wondered why this wasn't done more often.
Compared to long arms we get way more clearance and don't have to avoid the body mounts.
In the end its probably a trade off of flex vs clearance, At least that's my understanding with radius arm tradeoffs.
Radius arms incorporate bind by design. Something has to give for the radius arms to articulate because of the way they move like described above. Typically this bind is taken up from joints that will give, such as rubber bushings.
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Old 03-10-2017, 08:58 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Mines radius arm'd as well. Works great. The factory lowers control arm mounts may get ripped off though. Converted mine to 1/4.
some very informative reply's. Really thinking about trying this and seeing how it goes.

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Old 03-11-2017, 11:46 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Took both of my sway bars off. Rides a lot better. Even on off ramps it isn't too bad. Leans more but isn't scary
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Old 03-11-2017, 07:27 PM   #14 (permalink)
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no sways

Mine handles good too, But when its loaded in the rear Holy shit do I want the front sway bar.
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Old 03-12-2017, 03:29 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Bump for a good build and I got family in East Bernard
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Old 03-12-2017, 06:36 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Mine handles good too, But when its loaded in the rear Holy shit do I want the front sway bar.
This. I took my sway bars off too and it rides great except when I'm towing. Gets fkn scary
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Old 03-13-2017, 04:41 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Mine handles good too, But when its loaded in the rear Holy shit do I want the front sway bar.
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This. I took my sway bars off too and it rides great except when I'm towing. Gets fkn scary
Im planning on ditching the front sway bar for sure as it doesnt fit with the axle pushed forward. What are yall towing? He plans on only pulling his 18ft john boat so nothing crazy.
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Old 03-13-2017, 04:59 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Knocked out the new adjustable track bar and mount this weekend. Also installed the tires in the rear. Sits pretty dead nuts level. Almost like when a leveling kit is installed. Perfect stance IMO. The owner likes it as well. If he decides he wants the shackle flip installed, I will do that later. For now the rear will only be getting the new Thuren shocks.

Some specs on the finalized radius arms. The lowers are 39" and the uppers are 18.5" eye-to-eye. The trac bar is 1.5" x .25" DOM with Ruffstuff 7/8" heims. They sell misalignment spacers for a 1-5/8" bracket so i used that for the factory axle mount and 2" spacers for the frame mount.

Pics:
drivers side is in and painted up.


new trac bar mount pushed forward some. Clears the steering and the stock mount. Gusseted for extra strength.


How it sits with no lift in the back and the 3" lift up front.


Just for comparison, my brother's 2nd gen has a 2.5" spacer leveling kit on 35s and it sits 50" to the door handle. This one sits 51" with the radius arms and 39s.
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Old 03-13-2017, 09:01 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I still cant believe those are 40's, test drive that thing and get some pictures of how well it works.
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Old 03-13-2017, 09:03 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I still cant believe those are 40's, test drive that thing and get some pictures of how well it works.
Technically 38.5s (got to round up, right?). They measure probably 37.5".
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Old 03-13-2017, 09:05 AM   #21 (permalink)
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What are yall towing? He plans on only pulling his 18ft john boat so nothing crazy.
The little boat will be fine, I was hauling rock for some work around the house when I noticed no sway bar sucks. And when you read in the towing section they say "your gonna want that sway bar in an emergency" which I totally believe but haven't listened to yet. Judging by the looks of it the customer should be able to get a third gen Carli/thuren/currie torsion style sway bar under it if he plans on towing something larger. Thanks a lot for taking all the pictures, Love the track bar relocation.
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Old 03-13-2017, 09:07 AM   #22 (permalink)
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can we get a full on side shot to see where the wheel sits ?
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Old 03-13-2017, 09:10 AM   #23 (permalink)
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can we get a full on side shot to see where the wheel sits ?
Ill take one for ya, no problem. Where its sitting in my shop, is not the best for taking a profile pic. Once i get it outside for a test drive, ill take some pics and post them up.


One thing i will have to do is re-tube the front driveshaft. It only has about 1-1.5" of spline engagement, which isnt enough IMO.
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Old 03-14-2017, 06:50 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Im planning on ditching the front sway bar for sure as it doesnt fit with the axle pushed forward. What are yall towing? He plans on only pulling his 18ft john boat so nothing crazy.
Had to tow the k5 flat tow and dolly a few times. I have an 18 ft jet boat and I have zero issues towing that.
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:52 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Had to modify the trac bar some to take some length out of it. It was tacked together anyways. The steering wheel is exactly upside down, which meant i had to adjust the trac bar, which of course was an inch or two too long. Not its cut down and painted and ready for install this evening. Driveshaft is also back from getting lengthened and balanced. With any luck i'll have it driving down the street today.
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