Project Dodge Ram Mega Cab: KORE Recon Rear Suspension

Sep. 23, 2010 By Jaime Hernandez
We got tired of our Dodge bucking us around.  It was time to tame this heavy duty Ram with the KORE Recon Rear Suspension and Bilstein Shocks.
 
The Dodge Ram 2500/3500 is designed to haul and tow heavy loads. Thatís why they come with such heavy-duty rear leaf springs. They work great when loaded, but as soon as the weight is gone, consider increasing your dental insurance.

By making a few little changes to your rear suspension, your truck will ride much smoother and handle better too.

KORE Dodge Suspension Part II Ė Recon Mini Leaf Pack

In Part I of our Dodge Ram heavy-duty suspension build, we choose to work with the KORE Performance HP Series Suspension System for the 3rd Gen. Dodge Ram 2500/3500 4x4 diesel. We took a close look at KORE front leveling kit and how it worked.
 
In Part II, we focus on the KORE Recon Mini Leaf Pack rear suspension for the 3rd Gen. Dodge 2500/3500 diesel. 

The KORE Recon Mini Leaf Pack suspension was developed to soften the ride on your Dodge diesel truck, all while keeping full load and towing capacity.

KORE Recon Rear Suspension for Dodge Ram 2500/3500 4x4 Diesel  

Since our project Dodge Ram Mega Cab will primarily be used for towing, trail running and recovery, we decided to go with the Mini Leaf Pack from KORE Performance.

INSTALLATION
Once again, we got help from our friends at Off Road Warehouse (ORW) http://www.offroadwarehouse.com/ in Temecula, CA. Brian Carta tackled the rear suspension on our diesel Dodge Ram Mega Cab with his unmatched wrenching skills.

Tools for the job: a good floor jack or car lift, jack stands, air impact gun, large SAE wrenches and sockets. Safety glasses and gloves are also encouraged. 

KORE recommends the instructions be fully read before starting. They provide step-by-step instructions for the installation.  We will only be giving an overview.
 
KORE Recon Rear Diesel (Part# 1A-6011-00)

The KORE Recon Rear suspension is simple, yet effective. It consists of the following parts:

2 - Bilstein 5100 Series shock with stem mount (6647)
2 - KORE Mini Leaf Pack
4 - Center Pins, ½ x 8 inch
4 - Center Pin Nuts, ½ inch
4 - U-bolts, zinc-plated
8 - U-bolt nuts
8 - U-bolt washers

Once we had accounted for all the parts, Brian from ORW put the Mega Cab on the lift. He quickly took the tires and shocks off.

Brian then separated the rear American Axle (AA) from the left leaf spring. You should only work on one side at a time.

By leaving the main leaf attached to the truck frame, you only need to focus on replacing the overload spring with the KORE Recon Mini Leaf Pack. If you have a 3500 1-ton truck, KORE recommends you leave the top overload spring in place to maintain full 1-ton capacity.

Pay special attention to the factory spacers included as part of your leaf pack.  Depending on your truck model, two to three small leaf spacers are added to the bottom of the pack to achieve a certain height from the factory.  
 

These spacers can either be taken out or left in place. Our Dodge Ram 2500 Mega Cab 4x4 diesel came with three spacers. We left them all in because we didnít want to have a lower back end than the front. A level truck is what we were after.   
 

New center bolts are included with the KORE Recon mini-pack to allow for the taller leaf pack. Before tightening the newly assembled leaf pack, Brian likes to clean out as much of the dirt as possible from in between each leaf. This helps minimize the creaking noises when flexing or cycling the suspension.
 

Once you have put the entire pack together, tightened, cutting the excess thread will be required. Having a good cutting wheel is ideal, but you could always use a Sawzall if itís in your arsenal.

After the leaf pack is completely outfitted with the KORE Recon Mini Leaf Pack, re-attaching the AA 14-bolt axle to the truck can be done with the longer, zinc-coated U-bolt provided by KORE. Some bolt cutting will be required to shorten the longer U-bolts (donít cut until you have tightened down).

The second side goes much faster once you have figured out how the entire pack goes together.
When you add the KORE Recon Mini Leaf Pack, it will add another inch of height. You can see the difference in the photo below.

Factory overload leaf KORE Recon Mini Leaf Pack

Last but not least, the KORE Recon rear suspension would not be complete without adding a set of new Bilstein 5100 Series shock absorbers. These mono-tube gas-pressured shocks are a huge improvement over the stock twin-tube, muffler seam welded stockers. They are designed to help the truck gain suspension control on street, towing and off-road. They are also specifically designed for the Dodge Ram 2500/3500 4x4 diesel.

In retrospect, the installation for the rear KORE Recon Mini Leaf Pack and Bilstein shocks went fairly smooth. The only hang up we had was trying to determine how many of the spacers we needed to keep under the Mini Leaf Pack after removing the over-load spring.

Thankfully, when we called KORE Performance Frank Martinek got us back on track right away. 

FINAL THOUGHTS
The KORE Recon Mini Leaf Pack is the way to go if you want to improve your truckís ride while retaining full towing/hauling capacity. 

We have put a total of 1,600 miles since installing the complete KORE HP Series suspension system, which includes the HP Front leveling and Recon Rearówe canít believe we didnít do it sooner.

The truck not only looks great, but it drives much better than stock. My wife even enjoys riding in it.
The truck has more control and stability. No more chassis roll while going around curves and windy roads.
The springboard rear suspension has also improved with additional dampening provided by the Bilstein shocks and KORE Recon Mini Leaf Pack. 

It no longer has the hard rebound jolt it once had with the thick overload leaf.  The use of multiple leafs with a lower spring rate gives it a more linear rideóall while keeping its full load capacity.

Off-Road: The truck works really good. It now has a fluid feel instead of being a harsh wheel hoping behemoth of a truck (when empty). It also has gained more ground clearanceócomparable to a Power Wagon.

Towing and Heavy Loads: There has been a dramatic improvement in control.  Much of this is thanks to the Bilstein shocks. They work well with the KORE Recon Mini Leaf Pack. They also do great with our overhead camper and towing an 18-foot trailer. We no longer feel like the truck is going to roll over on a corner.
With the front and rear KORE Performance components working in unison, our big Dodge Ram Mega Cab diesel truck has been converted into a gentle giant.

We highly recommend the KORE HP Series Suspension System to any Dodge Ram Heavy Duty diesel truck owner. Itís money well spent.

SOURCES:

KORE Performance
http://www.koreperformance.com/
P.O. BOX 2628
Valley Center CA 92082
(760) 855-1219

Bilstein Shock Absorbers
http://www.bilsteinus.com/
14102 Stowe Drive
Poway, CA 92064
(858) 386-5900

Off Road Warehouse
http://www.offroadwarehouse.com/
26901 Jefferson Ave. Ste 101
Murrieta, CA 92562-9182
(951) 326-2880

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