Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Third Gen track bar conversion on 98’ Dodge ram 3500

Third Gen track bar conversion on 98’ Dodge ram 3500 By Zachery Walker

Parts used: Carli Adjustable Track Bar and BD Conversion Bracket (Sourced from Strapt Performance)
First off I would like to say that after getting these parts on my truck I could not be happier. These are both very stout pieces that would make for a great upgrade on any 2nd gen. Dodge pickup. However, I did run into a few problems with clearance issues between the Track bar and Bracket. This will be a basic overview of those problems and the steps that were taken to resolve them. This is not meant to be a complete installation Guide. The installation instructions that are provided on BDs’ website are excellent and I would recommend printing them out and having them handy during your install.

I followed the install guide when installing the new bracket and everything went very smooth and seemed to fall right into place. After I got that all torque down I proceeded to install the track bar (with full weight on the trucks suspension.) This is when I noticed that I had a clearance issue with the bar contacting the bracket where the bar bends to clear the front axles differential.

You can see here the contact being made on the front of the bracket. The picture on the right shows how far off the bushing is to being lined up because of thiscontact
The first thing I did was email these pictures to Craig at Strapt Performance. I later got I Contact with Craig who had talked to one of the guys over at Carli and said that they had seen this before and it was okay to go ahead and clearance the bracket about  1/16th of an inch to clear the track bar.

With the bracket bolted up and in its correct place I marked the bracket with a sharpie where I thought it would need to be ground down. I removed the bracket and ground it down with a sanding disk on a 4 inch grinder. Below you can see the slight indent where I took material off of the bottom of the bracket (probably closer to 1/8th inch.) I also took about 1/16th off of the inside of the bracket.

With The track bar and bracket out of the truck I slid the bolt through and worked the bar through its full range of motion and there seemed to be no contact, so I went ahead and bolted the bracket back up and again tried to install the track bar.

This is where I ran into my second problem. Again with full weight on the truck I tried aligning the bushing with the holes in the bracket and was able to get the bolt through the front hole but now on the back side of the bracket the it did not line up and in fact was about half of the width of the bolt off. I also tried with the axle hanging with no weight on suspension. Unfortunately I do not have a picture of this.

I tried to see what it was going to take to get the bolt through by removing all of the bolts in the bracket with the exception of the main bolt that runs through the hole where the stock track bar ball joint bolts. This bolt I did loosen almost all the way to allow move to maneuver the bracket around. I was able to get the bolt through the bracket and bushing of the track bar now but the bracket was very cockeyed on the truck and the other bolt holes did not line up. The picture below shows how far off the bracket is where it bolts to the driver side frame rail.

I again called Craig in search of guidance. This seemed to not be a very common problem at all. Talking with his contact at Carli it was mentioned that these 2nd gen trucks come with a variety of chassis set ups that make it hard to get parts like these to align perfectly on every truck. Talking back and forth regarding deflection of the Bushing and how much was acceptable, we decided that I should give it another go and if need be I would weld the bracket in place to where everything was aligned and free from binding.

I bolted the bracket up very loosely and installed the track bar and was able to get the bolt through and get the bar fully bolted in place. As I tightened the bolts on the bracket to the frame I could see the bracket start to shift. When I did this the clearance issues I had in the beginning came back.

I took the bracket off and got in there with a grinder and really took some material off this time, off the bottom and on the inside and then welded a gusset on the outside to strengthen things back up. In the picture you can see how thin I got the metal where the bend is. I wanted no chance of contact.

Now with the gusset welded in.

After doing this I again very loosely bolted in the bracket, Installed the track bar fully and proceeded to tighten up the bolts on the bracket. The bracket moved a little and now there was no clearance issue between the track bar and the bracket. Now that everything was lining up better I was able to tighten all of the bolts on the bracket without binding up the bushing but I did move the front of the bracket down as far as I could to help correct the angle of the bushing in the bracket. I went ahead and put a couple tack welds on there between the bracket and the frame and drove the truck a bit to see how she did and WOW what a difference! It was like a whole new truck.

I know that not every truck is going to be this difficult, in fact probably very few, but for those that are hopefully this will give some guidance on how to go about getting things to work and I guarantee you that the results are worth it!!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Carli Suspension - The "Death" of Death Wobble

Carli Suspension recently did an extensive write up regarding Death Wobble providing numerous bits of information and picture to justify. As always while reviewing this documentation we believed we should forward the information to our customers since Carli covers everything from tires, ball joints, steering stabilizers and more.

The PDF Document can be Downloaded Here - Carli Suspension - The "Death" of Death Wobble

The “Death” of Death Wobble

Pictures, Write-up and Documentation by: Carli Suspension

2175 N. Batavia St. Orange, CA 92865


Announcement Released:
December 14, 2012

For in-depth, technical questions, please refer to installation instructions or post applicable questions on:

Let’s start with a statement to ease your mind; Death Wobble is not YOUR problem; it’s not even a Dodge problem. Death Wobble is a problem that has plagued straight axle vehicles of all kind since their inception. Straight axle front ends are far stronger than their IFS counterparts but are equally as finicky once components start to wear. Combine the aforementioned with the weight of a Cummins diesel motor and you have a recipe for disaster. The good news is, with the proper precautions and maintenance, death wobble is 100% avoidable.

Death Wobble is most commonly attributed to one or many of the following parts:

 Tires
 Track bar
 Steering Components
 Control Arms

This article will be the first comprehensive write-up to cover the causes, diagnostics and solutions for death wobble specifically with the Dodge Ram, Heavy Duty trucks. This document will start on the next page with the first category and most common cause of Death Wobble, tires.

When choosing a tire for a Heavy Duty Ram, there are a few factors to consider; none more important than the load rating. These vehicles range from the mid 7-10,000lbs. depending on how they’re equipped. Being the interface by which the vehicle maintains traction with the road, tire choice should not be taken lightly.

The first thing to consider is the load rating. Tires come in several load ratings which categorize tires based on the amount of weight each tire can support while operating under everyday conditions. We recommend running an E-Rated (10 Ply) tire. This is the case for all on and off-road, loaded and unloaded. Most tires with an E-Rating have substantially stronger construction in their tread and sidewall than lesser rated tires.

The tire brand that we have the most luck with is Toyo Tires. The construction of their E-Rated, Open Country Mud Terrains and All-Terrains, have been tested by our customers time and time again with great result. We recommend running the largest tire size that one can fit given it provides the largest sidewall and, when run at proper inflation pressures, helps absorb the road imperfections that can be translated into the front end play causing death wobble.

One manufacturer we recommend avoiding is BF-Goodrich. Their AT/KO all terrain tires and KM2 Mud terrains have been known to cause death wobble in the heavy-duty Ram Trucks. They’re a great tire but seem better suited to the light truck and independent front suspension application. Although they come in a 10-Ply, E-Rated tire, we find their sidewall strength doesn’t pair well with the demands of the heavy duty Dodge and Ford trucks and, as mentioned above, sidewall strength is equally as important to consider as tread construction when selecting tires for your 8,000lb. vehicle.

Tire wear can also cause death wobble. We recommend rotating your tires every oil change and ensuring there is sufficient tread with no dry rot or cracks in the rubber. In short, ensure you’re purchasing an E- Rated tire with ample sidewall and proper sidewall construction from a reputable manufacturer. Rotate them often and replace them when it’s time. This will minimize the likelihood that the death wobble you’re experiencing (or trying to prevent) is a byproduct of the tires you’re running.

Only second to improper tire choice, the second most common cause of death wobble is deflection of the factory track bar. There are many names associated with the lateral link between your axle and frame rail; most commonly: Pan-Rod Bar, Panhard Bar, and Track Bar. We refer to this link as a track bar. The duty of this bar cannot be overstated; it is the link between your axle and frame and is BOTH a suspension and steering component. The factory uses a steel bar with small, vulcanized bushings at both ends. This, of course, leads to a few issues.

The vulcanized bushings will only allow so much movement before binding. Given the strength needed to control this lateral movement of the front axle under the force applied, we always recommend replacing the worn out stock unit with Carli’s adjustable track bar. The Carli bar is universal as it will work with any stock height vehicle, leveled vehicle, or lift that utilizes a drop bracket meant for a stock length track bar.

The Carli Track Bar, CS-PRB-94, is constructed from .250” wall Chromoly tubing. One side houses a proprietary urethane bushing and machined crush sleeve while the other utilizes an industry leading, heat treated, Chromoly FK Bearing Heim Joint measuring 7/8”. The heim joint allows the bar to rotate without binding during articulation while maintaining a solid link with minimal deflection while the bushing allows for free vertical movement, no horizontal movement and will not bind.

Many replace their track bar immediately, some wait until they find sufficient wear in their stock track bar. The first step to ensuring a tight track bar requires a two man team. Block the rear wheels for safety and have a friend start the motor and sit in the driver’s seat. Ensure the wheels are pointing straight ahead. Hold a flashlight on the upper track bar bolt and give the driver the “OK” to begin rocking the wheel back and forth. While under the truck, watch the upper track bar mount carefully. There should be no movement of the upper bolt or track bar.


- The bolt and track bar are moving, improper torque was applied to the bolt during the installation of the track bar. This will oblong the mounting hole and possibly destroy the bushing. The mount must be fixed and the track bar (if stock) must be replaced or the bushing (if Carli Track bar) should be replaced once the mount is repaired. When installing the bar after bushing replacement, ensure 14mm bolt (18mm Head) is torqued to 185 ft.lbs. If the upper bolt is the 16mm Bolt (21mm head), torque to 215 ft.lbs.

- The bolt doesn’t move but the bar moves, this is a less severe version of the above bullet point. This means that improper torque was applied and the play hasn’t had sufficient time to oblong the bolt hole. Replace the track bar if stock or replace the bushing if you’re performing the diagnostic on a Carli Track Bar. When installing the bar after bushing replacement, ensure 14mm bolt (18mm Head) is torqued to 185 ft.lbs. If the upper bolt is the 16mm Bolt (21mm head), torque to 215 ft.lbs.

- There is no measurable play in the Upper Bolt or Deflection in the Track Bar Bushing, the upper bushing in the track bar is good and the bolt most likely has sufficient torque. Put a torque wrench on the upper bolt to ensure the 14mm bolt (18mm Head) is torque to 185 ft.lbs. If the upper bolt is the 16mm Bolt (21mm head), torque to 215 ft.lbs.

This same test should be performed to the bushing (if stock track bar) or heim joint (if Carli Track Bar) on the axle end of the track bar. The same diagnostics and solutions apply as above. If there is measurable play found in a Carli Heim Joint, a new Heim Joint (PN: AP-TBRE) can be ordered from your local Carli Suspension dealer or online retailer. Ensure to take note of the eye to eye measurement of the track bar before removing the old heim. Once the old heim is removed, thread the new one in, set it to the exact measurement of the bar when it was removed and tighten the jam-nut to 150ft.lbs. Install the rebuilt track bar and tighten the 14mm bolt (18mm Head) to 185 ft.lbs. If axle side bolt is the 16mm Bolt (21mm head), torque to 215 ft.lbs.

Performing the above will ensure your Death Wobble is not being caused by your track bar!

Death wobble can be caused by “slop” in the front end components. More prevalent than anywhere else, play in steering components happens due to the amount of leverage applied to these parts over prolonged periods. People often get annoyed at how often they replace gearboxes and tie-rod ends but in all actuality, most get decent life out of them and replacement parts are reasonable. To diagnose play in the steering, start at the top!

Block the rear tires for safety and have a friend sit in the driver’s seat and turn the key on without starting the vehicle while you get underneath the truck and watch the sector shaft and intermediate shaft. Instruct your helper to begin rocking the wheel back and forth as much as possible without the motor on. While they’re rocking the wheel, keep your eye on the movement of the intermediate shaft-steering gearbox input (the part of the gearbox that faces the firewall denoted by Arrow A) vs. the amount of movement of the sector shaft (the shaft protruding from the gearbox to which the pitman arm connects denoted by Arrow B). If you can get the intermediate shaft to move without moving the sector shaft, the gearbox is worn and should be replaced. Also watch for vertical and horizontal movement of the sector shaft within the housing as this also signifies a worn Steering Gearbox.

Many also elect to stabilize the steering gearbox as the factory doesn’t provide enough stabilization for the amount of leverage applied to the box. This will cause the sector shat to oscillate rather than rotate; thus causing play and destroying the gearbox. Many aftermarket manufacturers make a brace that uses the sway bar mounting locations to brace the sector shaft on the outermost leverage point to combat steering wander and death wobble. We have the best luck with the PSC brace given it clears our torsion sway bar.

If no independent movement of the intermediate shaft and sector shaft can be detected, the intermediate shaft and gearbox are in good shape and you can move onto the steering linkage.

Steering linkage:

Steering linkage wear is more common than any other part of front end wear given the amount of force on the tie-rod ends at any given time. Just as with the track bar test, block the rear wheels and have a buddy get behind the wheel, turn the motor on and watch for any movement in the steering linkage at all points of connection. Specifically, watch the tie rod ends and ensure they have NO visible play. Any visible play and the tie- rod end, or that portion of the linkage, should be replaced.

There are two types of steering linkage factory installed on the front ends of these vehicles; these are most commonly referred to as: “Y” and “T” style. These can be identified by the following picture:

“Y” style was factory installed on 94-2008 Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks. In some 1998-1999 trucks, there was an option for the “T” style steering but it is mainly found on the 2008.5+ vehicles; thus it’s often referred to as the “08.5+ steering upgrade.” Mopar no longer manufactures the “Y” style steering so there isn’t much of a choice if one is looking to replace linkage. We find the Y-style has better geometry and less bump steer while the T style is stronger but more susceptible to bump steer in all circumstances. Given the strength increase of the 08.5+ linkage, we recommend upgrading to the T style as any strength upgrade is welcomed in the Dodge front end.

When installing the steering upgrade or aligning the vehicle, ensure to properly position the tie-rod ends. What often happens is one will install the new linkage; then, during alignment, they’ll adjust the alignment sleeve on the tie rod or drag link to achieve the proper toe-in/steering wheel position and not realize the adjustment “clocks” the tie-rod end whichever way the sleeve is spun. Always re-align your vehicle’s “Toe” after installing new tie-rod ends or linkage. After realignment ensure ALL tie-rod ends are perfectly perpendicular to the steering knuckles and pitman arm at ride height with the weight of the vehicle on the suspension. This will ensure proper operation during articulation. If the above procedure isn’t followed, improper orientation can cause steering linkage to bind and fail.

How to properly align the Vehicle:

“Y” Style: 0” Toe In. Ensure the tires are pointing straight ahead. Put a straight edge to the tire sidewall that extends beyond the front and rear of the tire. Have a friend do this on the other side as well. Run a tape measure under the truck from straight edge to straight edge and adjust the steering linkage until the measurements are identical; you’re now properly toed for the “Y” Linkage.

“T” Style: 1/16”- 1/8” Toe In. Ensure the tires are pointing straight ahead. Put a straight edge to the tire sidewall that extends beyond the front and rear of the tire. Have a friend do this on the other side as well. Run a tape under the truck from straight edge to straight edge and adjust the steering linkage until the front measurement is 1/16”-1/8” less than the rear measurement; you’re now properly toed for the “T” Linkage.

Again, after the above alignment is performed, please ensure the tie-rod end – Knuckle/Pitman Arm connections are perpendicular at ride height to allow for the joint to function properly during articulation! Not completing this last step can lead to failure of the steering linkage.

The above addresses Toe, camber is non-adjustable and Carli’s technicians always adjust caster by pointing the position marker on the lower control arm eccentric bolts to the 12 o” clock position. This is not the perfect location for every truck but a great starting point by which to adjust caster. The 12 o’ clock position works great in the 1994-2009 trucks. Due to the larger U-Joints in the driveshaft of the 2010+ trucks, we recommend setting the eccentric bolts slightly negative to prevent driveshaft vibration. Please ensure the eccentric bolts are not pointing in opposite directions as this will accelerate wear on the control arm bushings. Whatever adjustments are made to one side should be mirrored on the other.

The next step is ensuring proper stabilization of the steering linkage. First and foremost, never run without a steering stabilizer. As stated above, there are a lot of forces being applied to the steering linkage at all times and these forces should be mediated with some type of stabilizer. To stabilize the steering, Carli offers a replacement style 5100 lower steering stabilizer for the “Y” style linkage that is stronger than the stock unit and will compensate for slightly larger tires. When combined with our high mount steering stabilizer, this combination will make a truck with 40” tires feel like a stock truck rolling down the road with very minimal steering wheel feedback.

For the T-Style, we offer a 7100 series direct replacement stabilizer that utilizes the factory clamp on the tie-rod and provides adjustability for larger tires (such as Toyo’s with their notorious right-hand pull) without the use of a high-mount as well. The high mount can be added but in most cases is not needed for the 08.5+ steering unless utilizing 37”+ tires or if the vehicle spends time off-road. The adjustable nitrogen pressure of this shock can compensate for left and right hand tire pull with different bracketry (referenced later) offered by Carli. Once installed, one can use air pressure to find the proper PSI needed to compensate for tire pull, then record that pressure, release the air pressure and fill it to the noted pressure with nitrogen.

If one is combating severe left hand pull, Carli offers an opposing steering stabilizer utilizing our standard high mount and a low mount 7100 with a differential guard and bracket that will allow the push to be reversed to the passenger side rather than pushing toward the driver’s side as stock stabilizer does. Both upper and lower opposing force shocks are adjustable and can compensate for any tire pull, push or be set to neutral.

Once all steering linkage is tight, properly aligned, stabilized and free of play, you can move onto the ball joints.

Another common cause of death wobble in the 2003-2012 HD Doges is worn ball joints. Stock joints normally last anywhere from 20,000-60,000 miles but we’ve seen both extremes happen from sets lasting 5,000 to 100,000 miles. Due to this inconsistency, it is imperative to check your ball joints for play often. You will, again, need a buddy to help you in the diagnostic process.


- Block the rear tires for safety and jack up the font of the truck; then, support the axle with proper jack stands once the weight of the truck is off the ball joints.

- Have your assistant place their hands at 12 and 6 o’ clock and rock the tire vigorously while you watch the upper and lower ball-joints for deflection. This will highlight play in the uppers more so than the lowers. (See Arrow A and B)

- If there is substantial visible movement in either, they should be replaced. A very small amount is OK.

- If it’s difficult to detect movement, have your assistant apply more leverage to the bottom of the tire to increase the chance of deflection in a bad joint. This will highlight play in the lowers.

- While the weight of the vehicle is off the joints, have your assistant place his hands at 12 and 6 o’ clock and rock the tire with force and watch for deflection in the wheel bearing. If there is play, replace the wheel bearings as this is far easier to do while you’re installing your new ball joints than to tackle separately. Bad wheel bearings can also be diagnosed by a “humming” sound when driving around corners or grinding noise when spinning the tires.

- Also, check the axle u-joints for while the truck is off the ground. Inspect the U-joint caps for rust. If rust is found around the seal, there is rust contaminating the u-joint and it should be replaced. Next, check them for play. If the axle u-joints are bad, play will be detectable by grabbing and moving them by hand. If they’re tight, move onto the next step in the diagnosis.

If deflection is found in the ball joints, Carli Suspension makes the industry’s best ball joints that carry a lifetime, advance replacement, warranty. The test truck has had these extreme duty ball joints in the axle since 2008 and around 60,000 miles of Baja terrain (the owner of the truck lived in a remote part of Baja, Mexico) and they have no measurable play.

Carli’s ball joints carry a lifetime Advance replacement warranty; this means, if you can provide evidence of the play in the joint, we’ll send you a set to replace the worn joints up front to minimize downtime. Once you get the new joints in, throw the old ones in the box and send them back for review!

See for a full technical write-up on installation of ball-joints.

Once you’re confident your tires are in good shape, the intermediate shaft, steering gearbox, steering linkage, ball joints, unit bearings, and u-joints are all free of play, you can move onto the least common cause of Death Wobble, the control arms.

Control arms have only been the cause of death wobble in a few cases we’ve experienced. Once all of the above have been performed, the death wobble should cease. If it is still prevalent; check your control arms. The factory arms are weak, stamped steel with vulcanized bushings. These bushings are prone to developing play and any rock or hard hit that contacts the arm will cause it to crumple given the crumple zone in the factory arms.

If you’re going to continue to run stock control arms, remove and inspect all joints to ensure there are no tears in the vulcanized bushings. If all is tight and the death wobble is gone, you’ve successfully completed the diagnostic of the entire front end. If the bushings are worn or torn, replace the arms. Stock arms are rather expensive and this would be a great time to look into upgrading.

As stated above, reducing friction and play will reduce the likelihood of any wobble picking up momentum in your front end. Carli’s control arms should only be utilized in a leveled application, although several trucks have successfully run them on stock height vehicles we do not recommend it (radius arms to be utilized in 6” applications). The control arms are made from mig welded mild steel and tig welded Chromoly and utilize a much stronger Johnny Joint (shown below) in addition to their superior construction. What this means to the customer is more articulation given the reduction in friction and less play in the joint as they’re converted to more of a spherical bearing. Once the Carli arms are installed and all parts are free of play, you will have a rock-solid front end!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Shibby Engineering EGR Valve + Cooler Delete Kit Install Instructions

The following instructions are from STRAPT Performance.  Since these are not from the official manufacture.  We strive to make these instructions as accurate as possible so please keep this in mind as different model years have variables and there maybe additional ways to achieve the following procedure.  (09.5-12 kit shown)   

Use this more as a point of reference rather than actual step by step guide.  The parts and truck used in this exercise is for OFF-ROAD use only.

Here are the parts as it comes in the kit.  You can also check out the kit on our website HERE.

Left to Right:  EGR block off plates, located at the top of your intake horn. EGR cooler block off plates that mounts to your exhaust manifold.  (Bottom) Cooler adapter that allows the coolant hose to replace the cooler.  (Top) Bypass cooler hose.  (Top Middle)  Cooler hose adapter that threads into the back of your head, which completes the bypass hose circuit. 

Tools needed:  8mm, 10mm, 15mm both shallow and deep. Some scrap metal to remount the transmission dipstick and some pipe sealant.
(Not pictured is the removal of the Crank case vent valve and the little engine cover towards the front of the motor that covers the EGR tube.)

Since Shibby chooses to leave the cooler plates in raw form we decide to give ours a little color.  For this truck we used Cast Iron coat from Rustoluem. You can choose any color you like, just make sure it has a high heat threshold. 

Let’s identify a few key components for the removal procedure. This is the EGR valve picture located on the driver side of the vehicle.

EGR Cooler on the passenger side of the vehicle.

Now that we’ve identified the key parts let’s start the removal process.  Start by removing the connectors at the egr valve and the temperatur sensor.  Zip tie those out of the way.  Next we need to remove the pipe running from the EGR valve to the cooler.  Do this by removing the 11mm bolts that hold the clamp together.


Special note:  There is a small 8mm bolt on the very front of the motor that holds the tube down. Remove this and reinstall.


Here is a picture of the tube removed

With the tube removed you now have access to remove your EGR valve.  

Install the two aluminum EGR plates, with appropriate gaskets supplied.

The EGR cooler is next. At this point you may consider removing the entire air cleaner as this gives you a little better access to the mounting bolts on the cooler.

We found that taking off most of the little things on the cooler helps give you access to the 15mm bolts holding the cooler to the exhaust manifold.  This includes removing all bolts holding the exhaust shields, the transmission dipstick tube and the inlet to the EGR cooler.


Heat shields removed. Now you should have a little bit better access to the 2 x 15mm nuts that hold the inlet housing to the exhaust manifold.  You will also need to remove the 4x 10mm bolts holding the inlet housing to the cooler.

With the inlet housing out we can move onto the back 2x 15mm in the very back and the 2x15mm bolts that are hidden under the cooler that mount it to the side of the exhaust manifold.  This is where removing the air intake system comes in handy.

Starting to look cleaner now??

Picture of the two 15mm bolts that mount to the side of the cooler, very tight fit!

We couldn’t get a picture of the 2x 15mm nuts that hold the back of the cooler to the manifold, but just feel your way back there and a small extension will make short work of it.  (NOTE)  When you’re ready to finally remove the cooler just wiggle both inlet and outlet lines at the cooler and they will just pop out.  There will be a decent amount of coolant left in the cooler, if you choose, you may dump this into the overflow bottle to replenish any lost during the removal process.  Coolant will leak out but just top off your radiator with Mopar coolant or Distilled water if the contents of the cooler were not enough to refill.

Here is a shot with the cooler removed. You can also see the last 2x 15mm stud’s that hold the cooler to the manifold.

Next step is to remove the inlet adapter at the head. This can be removed with a 1” open end wrench. 

Your kit came with a new adapter that has a barb style fitting to it. Install this in place of the old adapter. Put a little pipe sealant on it for added sealing.

There is a special adapter designed by Shibby that holds the new bypass house to the metal inlet pipe. Installation is straight forward.

Now install the supplied hose and the exhaust cover plates including the gaskets as scene in this picture.  Be sure to use two washers per stud on the exhaust manifold.  This aids in distributing the clamp force as well as allowing for expansion/contraction of the plate below the fastener.  Another tip is to tighten the hose clamps down with a quarter inch ratchet as usually using only a screwdriver will not allow them to fully seal.

There is one thing that Shibby does not supply and that is a Transmission dipstick bracket. The EGR cooler bracket can remain installed in the truck to keep this mounting point or if you choose you can do like we did with some scrap metal, and just bend  up a new bracket to remount it to the head.

That’s it!!!!  Go over fastners on all plates and clamps one last time checking for proper torque.  Inspect engine bay and clear of all spare parts/tools and get ready to start the truck.  Fire up the truck, while it is warming up look for any exhaust leaks, noises and any coolant leaks from the parts installed.  After a few driving cycles (5-10) recheck torque on EGR cooler delete plates as some thermal cycling may relax the gaskets and lessen the clamping load.

As always, if you have any questions about this installation or would like to purchase any other products, feel free to check out our website at or give us a call at (602)773-6668.

Cheers and happy mobbing!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

How-To: Removing your front axle

Removing axle sounds kind of scary at first but really, its just a handful of bolts and some position of the truck on jack stands.  We wanted to show that it can be done in your driveway, by yourself and in 110 degree weather. Some power tools were used but mostly all by hand.
The first time it would be wise to have someone give you a hand since the axle is a little heavy.

Most of the tools you will need is 2 tall jack stands to hold the truck up, then 2 more small jack stands holding the axle up,
18mm wrench and socket
21mm wrench and socket
15mm socket
13mm socket
10mm socket
5/16" socket
5/16" allen
15/16" wrench and socket

A few other small tools but nothing really out of the ordinary

Anyways lets get rolling

Just a picture showing I'm doing this on my driveway

4th gen's have a few screws and clips holding on the fender liners.  A 5/16" wrench and a small clip removal or screw driver will work.

Don't forget to push the ABS sensor out of the liner.

Few more shots

My truck uses a small fender liner instead of a flare, if you do have flares they come out with the same screws that hold on the liner.

Fender liner out

Before I take the truck off the ground I take out both shock bolts as well as the track bar bolts. A 21mm socket makes short work of everything.

I use a breaker bar to loosen the track bar bolt

Next, I back out the end links so I can pivot the sway bar up and away allowing access to remove later on if need be
Just a note, some 10+ rams have either a 15mm socket which is the most common or an 18mm socket which is rare to remove the end link nut.

Take a 13mm socket and loosen up the brake lines at the axle; this is between the upper and lower control arms.  Be sure to do this so the brake lines do not get stretched during the initial spring removal.

Go ahead and take a 10mm socket and an 18mm wrench and bust the upper shock mount loose.

Now is the time to lift the truck up.  Use a jack at the axle to get the truck up high enough to put some tall jack stands under there. I personally do not like to extend it a lot so get some wood or a block under the base. Just make sure you get the truck high enough so with the wheels removed the axle will fall far enough to get the control arms to rest on the frame. This will give you enough room to remove the coils springs and shocks.

Everything up to this part is basically the same as if you were adding a leveling kit or some sort of lift

Fully drooped out

I went ahead and removed the tower since I have something planned for the future but you may or may not need to remove this depending on what your doing.  A 15mm takes care of it.

Infamous retaining rings that get tossed out a lot on leveling kits.

Use a pry bar to remove the shock.

Now the spring and shock are ready to come out.

A side shot of all the pieces of the stock coil spring components; Tower, stud ring, isolator, shock and spring.


Now the parts that need to be removed for the axle removal.

Front driveshaft needs a T40 Torx bit. A little rotation and you should have access to the bolts. You may want to do this before the axle reaches full droop so that you can rotate the shaft as many times needed with out binding.

The next few steps will also teach you how to get to the ball joints.  Full detail on ball-joint removal can be found HERE

Hit the tie rods with a 21mm deep socket and a hammer.

Next, remove those pain the @ss little brake rotor hold down clips.

Remove the brake calipers. On the 4th gen they have a much bigger bolt. A 15/16" socket takes them off.

A 5/16" allen wrench will remove the abs sensor on top of the hub bearing.

The 4th gen seems to use a hold down for the brake sensor.  It's the little clip that needs be twisted up.

Next, the hub bearing needs to be removed.  Four 18mm bolts are on the back and they usually come out pretty easy.

Once those are out of the way, you're ready to pull the stub shaft out. I use a pry bar between the axle and the housing. In Arizona it comes out pretty easy, but other people that are back east may not have it as easy.

As you notice the brake caliper backing plate is different then a 3rd gen. Third gens are held on by the hub bearing, the 4th gens are held on by 3 10mm bolts. Regardless you do not need to remove them on the 4th gen.

Now that the shaft is out, lets pop the knuckle off.  I use a 15/16" socket for the upper and a big crescent for the lower. Loosen the upper a little then move to the lower. This will give you some room to smack the knuckle so it "unseats" from the ball joints.

Use one of your favorite hammers and give it a smack around the upper part of the knuckle.


Remove the rest of the steering stabilizer. You can do this in an earlier step but I like to jump on the more time consuming stuff first then little things like this later.  15mm at the axle with an 18mm wrench then an 18mm socket at the tie rods will remove the steering stabilizer.

Use a 21mm to take out the other part of the track bar.

Now back to the axle.

Use a 15/16" socket and loosen the cam bolt nuts. I use a breaker bar for this step.

Use a 21mm deep for the top control arm bolt nut. You might need a 21mm wrench for the head of the bolt

The only thing I forgot to picture is before you remove the control arm bolts is jack up the axle and slide under your small jack stands. I put them right under the axle housing "C's". This is where the lower ball joint goes. This way, once you pop out the bolts, the axle will not move around on you. You can also use two floor jacks.

Another step that can be done sooner but I figure this would be a good time to drain the diff oil.  13mm socket works perfectly.

After the oil is drained you will need a hand to lift the housing off the jack stands. I use a furniture dolly but you can use a spare tire or another floor jack.

Viola.. Its out!

I'll continue the rest of this post as I get the axle back from being plated at Carli...