Desertbull's Dodge Ram

Questions and Answers

Jun. 01, 2004 By Tim ""Desertbull""
Face your Fears ~ Live Life

June 2004 - Suspension lifts, wheels, shocks, tires, bumpers and more. ORC continues to be beseiged by your questions. And we've even gone to the next level and began answering questions as they come in because some readers are trying to prepare for a full-season of off road adventure!

This month is no different as summer is upon us. School is almost out for most and families are heading out to play amongst the dirt, rocks and trees of North America and beyond.

Get out and play! Thanks for reading and especially thanks to all those readers that continually send us questions. Yes, even Julio Toyota!

The Baja Highway - Complete with unexpected obstacles

Just Jim asked: I am looking to buy a used dodge diesel, from 1998 to 2002. Someone told me that the only weak link is the tranny. They told me that they give out at about 50,000. They also said that none of the diesels come with posi. Is that true? Thanks,Just Jim

Desertbull says: Yes, some of that statement is correct. Transmission mileage really depends upon the driving style and usage of each truck. But with that said, it's really a no-brainer as ATS Diesel in Wheatridge, Colorado make the best in transmission upgrades available. Our ATS transmission has served us excellent and we tend to abuse our gear to the highest degree. Visit them at

The Nicklas Family said: I was wondering if it is at all possible to put a 15" rim on my truck. It is a1998 Dodge Ram 1500, with stock 16" rims. The only place that I can see any trouble is with the caliper to rim clearance, or there may be a problem with the tie-rod to rim clearance.If it is possible to run a 15" rim, what is suggested for back-spacing. I would like to run a 33/12.5/15 tire.Any advice on this would be appreciated.

Desertbull says: Well, anything is possible! However, we high discourage changing down from a 16" wheel to the 15" wheel. This vehicle was tested to Department of Transportation standards with the 16" wheel and really you should stick with that or go up. Many factors weigh into downsizing that wheel, some of which you have listed. Our suggestion is stay at 16" or go up. In later model Dodge Ram trucks, the boys at Chrysler increased the wheel size in the 1/2 ton trucks to 20" wheels!

Steve the Evil Muppet King asked: My brother wants to lift his 98 truck. It had 3 inch lift blocks when he bought it . He wants 1.5-3 inches more lift. What ways are safe to do this if at all. If you have any good pictures of different lift set ups, please e-mail with answers and pictures. [email protected] Thank you

Desertbull says: The Evil Muppet King speaks!!!! EMK, head over to for all the latest in the best Dodge lifts on planet earth.

Shawn asked: I'm looking for off-road fiberglass fenders ........front and rear and hood for 2002 dodge ram 1500 body style..................could you help me find them...........I've looked for a few month but nobody makes them that found.....................thanks Shawn

Desertbull says: Sounds like Shawn is putting the desert prerunner look together on his Dodge Ram 1500. We got your answer Shawn...Check out the boyz at Glassworks Unlimited in Huntington Beach, California. They are also on the web at and they have everything you're looking for!

Pam Wilcox asked: I have purchased a 1500 Dodge Ram Quad with a 5.9 engine and a 355 axle ratio. I am interested in a 5th wheel. How high can I go on weight safely?

Desertbull says: You should be safe up to 8,000 lbs, however other aspects need to be considered. The addition of a transmission cooler, brake controller and possible some overload springs or air bags should be something you look at. Check your owners manual and your VIN decal, which will provide you with the GVWR for your truck.

Assisting stranded motorists on dirt roads in Baja is a common theme with our group. Here Sergio & Jeff rebuilt this guys water pump in the middle of the Baja Peninsula. He was a very happy camper!

Dennis says: Hello,

We need help with our 2001 1/2 ton quad cab Dodge 4 x 4 off road package truck. We want to put 35" tires on this truck. Could you please guide us in the direction to accomplish this.

Thank you very much.

Dennis Harrow

Desertbull says: There are so many options with wheels and tires. One thing to take into consideration is the off-set of the wheel you purchase. Different wheel manufacturers have different wheel off-sets. For example, Alcoa Forged Aluminum and the Robby Gordon wheels have different off-sets. Therefore, the exaxt same tire and wheel combination work differently. Both are excellent wheels, but they are drastically different. Have your wheel/tire shop mount the tire to the wheel you are considering and put it on the shop floor so you can be sure the turning clearance is enough.

With the Alcoa Forged Classic Wheel & the BFGoodrich Mud Terrain I have full radius clearance. But with the Robby Gordon Wheel and the BFGoodrich Project T/A I rub slightly during the end of the turn.

Lisa asked, "I have a 1999 2500 Dodge diesel short box, with 4.10 rear end. I have BFGoodrich Allterrain TA LT285/75R16 tires on, but I only get about 20,000 to 25,000 mile out of them. I keep them rotated every 3000 miles.

Can you help me with a different tire?

I go up in the mountain in the summer,living in Wyoming that's a must.
Thank you. LRM

Desertbull says: Interesting question and I'm scratching my head. I have a few questions to say the least. I'm wondering what what air pressure you're running in your tires and is it possible this in contributing to the advanced wearing of the BFG tire. Also check your shocks to determine if they are in good condition. A worn out shock will caused extensive wear on the tires. And last but not least, believe it or not, there are "fake" BFGoodrich tires in the land we live. Yes, I know it's out there...but it's a more prevelant problem than you would ever believe. You can check the DOT numbers printed on the tire and verify with a call to BFGoodrich Customer Support. Visit them at

Joe asked, "I have a 96 dodge cummins 3/4 with 1 ton rear springs that dodge put on free. Ipull 30 ft. travel trailer, rides good and pulls great.without trailer it's a terrible ride. I get stuck in wet grass, no traction at all.also brakes bad. Is it possible to take a leaf out for a better safer ride? Should Igo new springs at $648.00 plus ins. Thanks Joe

Desertbull says: The only way I suggest is a new set of springs and that's an easy fix! Contact Kent at T-Rex Suspension and order up the new T-Rex Mini-Pak Leaf Springs. It's the best of both worlds. Awesome for towing and when not towing it's incredible for off-road adventure. The Desert Tank runs the T-Rex Mini-Pak Leaf Springs and we are completely happy with their performance. Visit T-Rex at

Stacy Link asked, "I have a 2001 dodge ram 4X4. I have just recently purchased a 5th wheel. The Truck is too high to line up correctly with the trailer. The truck came with the "camper package" that included extra leaf springs. If we lower the back end, what is that going to do to the rest of the truck?

Desertbull says: Do Not Modify Your Dodge Ram for trailer towing!!!!! Okay, now with that out of the way, many trailer companies just want to SELL, SELL, SELL..and they don't tell you what has to be done to tow properly.

This is a common problem with Dodge Ram trucks and fifth wheels trailers. Talk with the company you purchased the trailer from and/or your local suspension mechanic. You need to "flip" the axles on the trailer to gain the clearance for towing your fifth wheel. The cost is all labor and ranges from $250 to $750 depending on your mechanic. Enjoy your travels!


Dodge Ram Q & A at

Off Road Tech, Inc.

Portland, Oregon

Phone: (503) 762-1716
FAX: (503) 761-6279

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