Yes, you definitely can lift a RAM with air suspensions, and there are many aftermarket air ride lift kits available for the RAM 1500.
Lifting a RAM 1500 with air suspension comes with a set of great advantages, and like any other truck or SUV, it has certain complications too.
With their insane versatility and usability, air suspensions have seen a steady rise in popularity in recent years.
So, what’s stopping them from becoming the staple medium for lifting trucks and SUVs? Are they the future of the lift kits market?
Don’t worry because, in this article, you’ll find out about all the advantages and setbacks you’ll face if you lift your Dodge RAM 1500 with air suspensions, so do read through to the end.
Can You Lift A Ram 1500 With Air Suspension?
Air Suspension Systems
An air suspension is made up of an air compressor, an air tank, air pipes, and other less important components. But the core component is the air strut, which replaces the struts, coils and shock absorbers of a traditional suspension.
The air strut is a sealed diaphragm that holds air in it. The compressed air inside it dampens the shocks of uneven roads.
The pressure inside the air strut is adjustable which can be done through wired or wireless devices depending on the specific setup.
When the pressure is increased, the air strut gets inflated, the ride becomes comparatively stiffer, and the ride height increases.
And when the pressure drops, the deflated air strut sinks the truck. As a result, the ride becomes softer and the vehicle height, as well as ground clearance, drops.
A RAM 1500 can gain a couple of inches in height and ground clearance over its stock specifications by using the pressure adjustability function of an air suspension system. This allows many advantages of a lift kit without installing one.
Sure, an air suspension system is enough for two to three inches of lift with the highest air pressure settings. You can even install tires that are 2-3 inches bigger than the stock ones for even more ground clearance and off-roading advantages.
But there’s always a silver lining in all this.
The air strut will always need to be on high pressure, which will reduce its longevity. The health of the air valve and pipes will also deteriorate faster than ever. And if the truck is loaded with heavy weight, the sagging at the rear can cause the tires to rub against the wheel well.
Also, it will take away the adjustability and versatility of the air suspension system, things that are its key selling point.
This is where air suspension lift kits come in. They integrate lifting capabilities with air suspension systems, to achieve not only the higher ride height and ground clearance offered by lift kits, but also keep the advantages air suspension systems can offer.
Advantages of Lifting a Dodge RAM 1500 with Air Suspension
There are some notable advantages that air suspension lift kits offer. These advantages set them apart from the conventional lift kits available in the market.
A conventional lift kit fixes a truck or an SUV in a position. While some like the advantages on offer, some dislike the fact that they can’t do anything about the setbacks of that extra height.
The extra ground clearance stops being as useful once you enter the motorway. Plus the reduced aerodynamics and steering capabilities become handicaps on highways.
If you’ve installed a lift kit while also keeping load carrying and towing in mind, the truck will be too bouncy when you’re not doing any of that stuff.
The fixed stiffness of the suspension coils translates into a different driving feel with different amounts of loads. This throws the consistency of the driving feel out of the window.
An air suspension lift kit solves all these problems. You can raise it up high when rolling on off-road tracks for better handling and ground clearance.
You can lower it when on motorways and enjoy better performance, fuel efficiency, balance, cornering abilities, and so on.
Also, whenever there’s a load on the back, you can adjust the pressure in the air struts accordingly to maintain the driving feel that suits you best.
You can also use the adjustability function to show off and gather some admiring looks, but don’t tell anyone that I recommended doing so.
Since you can maintain the driving feel you like best, your RAM 1500 will perform best in every scenario. And when you’re cruising on a motorway, you can simply lower it all the way.
This will reduce drag by letting less air pass through the bottom of the truck. By reducing drag, the performance and fuel economy will be boosted.
Also, by lowering the truck, its center of gravity and center of mass will come closer to the ground, which means better balance, steering ability, cornering ability, and overall control.
And the best thing is you can go back to the taller ride height whenever you need to.
A RAM 1500 raised by air suspension will have the ability to be optimized for any use case scenario, or for anyone sitting in that driving seat.
Whether you like a softer ride or a stiffer feel on the road, the air suspension lift kit has got you covered.
There are also other implications of them to make life that much easier. For example, you can lower the truck to make loading and unloading much easier. And you can keep the truck level with any amount of load at the back.
Also, if the load distribution on the back is uneven, the truck will still be level whereas a truck lifted with a traditional lift kit will sit unevenly, with one side sitting higher than the other.
If you tow with a lifted truck, you’ll experience drastic sagging at the rear end. This will make it really hard to maneuver and accelerate it, by taking away friction from the front wheels. Air suspensions can prevent it by pressurizing the rear air struts as needed.
There aren’t many drawbacks to air suspension lift kits for a RAM 1500 other than the high price tag and higher installation charges compared to conventional lift kits.
Maintaining an air suspension system is also more problematic as the exposed parts can potentially be damaged, which can lead to failure and drastic consequences.
The parts of an air suspension system are also higher, so the maintenance cost is a lot more than standard lift kits.
You need to regularly check for any damage or deformation in the fragile components, and prevent any water or dust buildup so that the suspension system does not face sudden failure.
Not every kit will fit your truck. Before purchasing an air suspension lift kit, take a look at the specifications sheet to make sure it is compatible with the model of your truck.
For example, an air suspension lift kit intended for a 2015 RAM 1500 may not fit a 2022 RAM 1500. So, if you own a 2022 model, make sure the air ride lift kit is compatible with it.
Also, remember to check whether your truck is 4WD or 2WD and choose a kit according to that.
If you see a kit that can keep a truck level under up to 5000 pounds, know that it will definitely cost significantly higher than another one that’s rated for 2000 pounds.
Select a kit that matches your preferences. If you don’t carry heavy loads on your RAM 1500, go for an air suspension lift kit that is rated for lower weight. This will save you a good amount of money.
Price is, without a doubt, one of the key things to consider before initiating a purchase. Look for an alternative marketplace where the price offered is lowered. Also, look out for any discounts offered.
Some kits vary in price according to what components they come with, and the maximum load limit. Some kits come in various models according to these two factors. Instead of going for the top-of-the-shelf model, look for the model that offers just enough and save your purse.
The newer models of the RAM 1500 come with air suspension right out of the factory. If you’re looking for a higher lift, you may not want to change that new and perfect air suspension for a newer and higher lift kit.
What you can do is you can look for an aftermarket leveling kit that’s compatible with the model of your truck. This way, you’ll be able to get 2-3 inches of extra lift on your RAM 1500 added to the lift you can already get by increasing the pressure inside the air strut.
The adjustability of an air ride suspension lets the driver adjust its pressure for more comfort and control on challenging tracks.
Air suspensions dampen vibrations and shock better than conventional ones. All of this adds up to a better daily driving experience.
The handling of a truck is affected by various factors such as balance, suspension stiffness, etc. If you don’t adjust the pressure properly, or if you lift it too high, the unoptimized suspension and high center of gravity will result in poorer handling.
You can always adjust them, though, which will only improve the handling of your RAM 1500.