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Discussion Starter #1
What was changed in the front end from the second generation trucks to the third? Additionally what were the differances between 2500 and 3500 and differant motor configurations? How can the parts from differant years be used to raise or improve earlier generations if any. I found that younger trucks had longer arms? (or it may have been an aftermarket arm for a younger truck)

Probly a newb question, I did a brief search but the results lacked a definitave answer to my questions. If theres a write up or a thread that already covered this someone mind pointing me that way?


Thanks!
 

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I know there is a differance in the tracbars from 2nd gen to 3rd gen, BD IIRC has a kit to put the 3rd gen upgraded tracbar in a 2nd gen. I also think the 3rd gen is about 2" taller than 2nd gen, I had shocks for my 99 that had 2" lift and they were for a stock 3rd gen.
 

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The vertical separation between the link arms is taller on the 3rd gen trucks.
 

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As stated above the track bar mounting was changed from a tie rod end style to a through bolt, there is more vertical seperation between the upper and lower control arm mounts. The brakes are improved over the early 2nd gen rams, but the later 2nd gens did get the updated brakes. I swapped a 3rd gen Power Wagon axle into my 99 Ram 2500, using a 3rd gen track bar adapter, and I made my own control arms using Ballistic joints. Another upgraded item on the 3rd gen trucks is the the steering box they have a bigger steering box. The 3rd gen frames are also stronger, as well as the spring perches on the frame. IMHO the AAM axles are a 200% over the Dana axles, first off its a high pinion, has 33 spline axles, and just the physical size and weight of the front axle are bigger. The control arm brackets are beefier as well. Not to mention they dont have the CAD crap the earlier 2nd gens had. The only weak points on the AAm axles are the Balljoints, and some people do not like the unit bearings, but Ballistic Fab is about to fix that as well. Dynatrac already has a freespin kit for the front, but Ballistics is supposed to be much cheaper, and available piece by piece so you can source some of the pieces yourself to save money.
 

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Another note:
The change in vertical seperation of the control arm brackets, and change in design of the track bar mount really free up the front suspension. During my build I installed Power Wagon front coils on the truck while the old (Stock) front suspension was installed to check ride heigth and see how much lift I would net. I had to use a jack to force the axle down and a spring compressor to compress the spring to get it installed, as the upper control arms and track bar were binding and not allowing further down travel. When I installed the PW axle with the 3rd gen track bar and new control arms the axle would droop so much that there was 6" between the coil and the upper bucket when the coil was sitting on the lower perch. Without going to a long arm you can easily gain8" of downtravel in the front suspension just because of the track bar and the upper control arm mounting position.

This picture is on the bump stop:

Note: I had to space the bumpstops down 2" to clear the larger differential of the AAM axle, it was contacting the Track bar mount and crossmember on the frame

And this is the suspension when the tire would finally lift off the ground before I added my limit straps:


You can also see that even with the control arms that are only 1" longer than stock the wheel stays pretty well centered in the wheelwell throughout the range of travel.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If the power wagon coils fit that means the buckets are the same correct? So stock third gens would level a 2nd gen? How about the rear? I know the ford stuff the only difference was the lift block between a 3/4 and a 1 ton. Are the third gen trackbar conversion worth it over the aftermarket 2nd gens?
 

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On my V-10 2500 I netted 3" of lift with the PW coils. The rear leaf springs are much different, the 3rd gen trucks have no block stock. With Carli mini packs in the back and the stock block installed, and stock PW coils up front the truck sits level, and is 1" taller in the rear and 3" taller in the front. I would say to definately go with a 3rd gen style track bar with one of the conversion brackets available. The 3rd gen bar really frees up the front suspension.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Do power wagons sit taller than a diesel 2500 stock?
 

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Supposed to be around 1-1.5" taller on the PW than the regular 2500's.
 

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The ole girl just turned over 240k miles and in need of some front end wprk. Thinking about the 3rd gen swap but i need any and all info on what it intels and start to finish what will needed to do it the right way and it be reliable and safe. Any help is greatly appreciated from all that send some onf this way. Thanks again for any and all the help.
 
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