2021 Ram 2500 Power Wagon (Gigantor 2.0)

Pnwfullsize

Active member
Thanks for the advice and info thus far. @GreggNY I think you nailed it with the capital IF. I’m planning to use it a bit and see what our true needs are before a decision on tire changes. 37s would require a method to carry the spare and new wheels, plus the price of those tires. I think for now our bang for buck will be in actual trips and some of the other mods that will make camp life better for the whole family. I’ll keep doing research (as is my nature).
I run 35s on my power wagon. I have never once felt a desire for 37s that wasn't based purely on aesthetics. That desire quickly goes away when i think of additional cost and having to deal with a 37" spare. I also think my 35s look great, unless maybe parked next to one on 37s.
 

bikelanta

Adventurer
Kind of! But its not about how your truck looks parked at Safeway, its about how your truck works for your needs. I will take my 5 slightly smaller tires and full bed space over 4 larger tires and no bed space or additional weight hanging off the back on a tire carrier.
Same here. I’m trying to keep weight down, given the limited GVWR and would rather have more space and less stuff off the back. Those Boreas Campers are sweet. I couldn’t get my wife convinced to go that direction (nor to move to Seattle). They’re located about 20 minutes from me and we went to check them out. The tires look great on yours.
 

Pnwfullsize

Active member
Same here. I’m trying to keep weight down, given the limited GVWR and would rather have more space and less stuff off the back. Those Boreas Campers are sweet. I couldn’t get my wife convinced to go that direction (nor to move to Seattle). They’re located about 20 minutes from me and we went to check them out. The tires look great on yours.
Thank you! The trailer has been great, I'm not even sure my wife is convinced yet and we have had it for a year lol.
 

UglyViking

Active member
@bikelanta nice looking rig man. Love the interior on those 75th editions. One point of clarifications, the factory steps on the power wagon are only mounted on a single side to the rockers. They are made of mostly light aluminum and some steel. They may protect from a light "whoops" but they are by no means "rock sliders". If you want serious rock protection there is no replacement for frame mounted sliders from white knuckle offroad or maple offroad. If you still want protection but aren't gonna be hammering it quite as much plus want to run the AMP steps looking into the Randy Ellis design sliders, they are still rocker panel mounted but on both sides and make of thicker steel. Before anyone claims that the RED sliders are garbage because they are still rocker mounted, I grant you they may not be as strong as frame mounted, but the XJ guys have been cutting out their rockers and replacing with square steel for decades and those guys wheel hard.

@ramblinChet I don't know why RAM has so many part numbers for coils, but I don't think that AEV has a clue either. Perhaps FCA has different coils to try and balance the weight of different engines, trims, cab and bed lengths, and packages (such as plow prep). That said, all that pretty much goes out the window once you start slapping on different wheels and tires. I don't see the benefit for keeping the factory coils if you're changing from the horrid factory tires and 20s to 17s and 37s. In terms of validation and SAE testing, thats good I guess but it clearly didn't help AEV with a lot of the quality control issues they faced on that lift kit.

Thuren and Carli put a lot of seat time behind their shock and coil work. While it may not go through SAE validation I can tell you that my Thuren coils and Kings ride far better than my truck did on factory suspension. I can also tell you that I get a ton more travel out of the Thuren kit than I would out of the AEV kit.

To each their own and to be fair I've never ridden in an AEV lifted 2500/3500 but I can't see how it can ride any better with the factory coils, no additional travel and those Bilsteins.
 

Regcabguy

Expedition Leader
Thought I'd start a build thread on our new Power Wagon. My toddler son keeps referring to the PW as the "Monster Truck". I previously had a 2000 Ford Expedition that was called Gigantor and the name keeps coming back to me. Considering my previous vehicles include a Honda Civic Si, two Honda Accord coupes, a Volkswagen Jetta GLI, and most recently a Volkswagen GTI, a Power Wagon and my old Expedition seem kind of gigantic. So, I'm running with it and think the new truck is worthy of a full point version increase.

First day home after delivery:
View attachment 668862

Current state as of June 27, 2021
View attachment 668863

Specs
2021 Ram 2500 Power Wagon
75th Anniversary Package
Safety Group
Towing Tech Group
Dual Alternators
VSIM Upfitter Module

Background and Planned Usage
This will be both my daily driver and our travel/adventure vehicle for exploring. Our home base is outside of Boulder, so it will see a lot of the Rockies and trips to parks throughout the western US and up into Canada. Most trips will just be me, my wife, and our son, though some bigger trips will include my mother-in-law (MIL). On most of those, we'll likely rent trailers from Outdoorsy for the extra space. The remaining trips and weekend getaways, we'll just use the Super Pacific.

We bought the PW because I like that so many of the core parts of the vehicle are shared with the standard 2500 and 3500. The brakes, the frame, the axles, etc. were all engineered for greater loads than I will be placing upon it. I like that safety factor when carrying my most important people over 12,000+ foot mountain passes and on interstates with a 7% grade for miles. (We already learned from driving our Highlander on I-70 west of Denver for multiple camping and ski trips how hot the brakes will get.). We may or may not need the differential locks or winch, but again, I like the capability and safety factor if I do something boneheaded to get us stuck. Plus, they are there if I decide to go on a more aggressive trail ride with friends and sans family.

Lists below current as of June 28, 2021.

Upgrades Installed
  • Softopper (temporary until Super Pacific Switchback X1 is ready)
  • Husky Bed Mat
Upgrades Awaiting Install
  • Air Lift Loadlifter 5000 Airbags
  • Daystar Cradles
  • Thuren Rear Trackbar
  • Covercraft Carhartt Seat Covers (Brown)
  • 2x 100 watt Renogy solar panels
Upgrades On Order
  • Decked Drawer System
  • ARB Twin Air Compressor
  • Super Pacific Switchback X1 (current build date estimated at December 2021)
Upgrades Under Consideration/Planned
  • 35 inch tires (I don't really want to carry a spare in the bed or on a bumper and 35s fit in the current spare location and don’t require new wheels)
  • AEV DualSport Suspension
    • Not really rushing towards a lift, but if I were to consider a move to 37" tires, this is the direction I lean
  • Lights - Various (We’ll see. I’ll really only add these once I start to see a need, not just as something I want.)
  • AMP PowerStep - I might change out the factory rock sliders, depending on what kind of usage we see once out on trails. The lower step height when deployed will be better for my wife and MIL, but I don’t want something fixed and lower that would detract from clearance
I LOVE the toned down graphics. I was never a fan of the vertical behind the cab stuff. The 35's are a great compromise. Matching spares are essential.
 

nater

Adventurer
Aev - a solution that yields 3" of lift on a non-power wagon. On a power wagon (where you will loose much of your flex vs a normal truck) it yields 1.5" of front lift and no rear.

You can't ever remove it without replacing knuckles ($), and it only moves the axle forward if you buy the 40" kit.

Dave and AEV love to talk about how much oem engineering went into it - but no one who is serious about their trucks run it. It's a solution looking for problems. Run thuren or carli and be done with it.
 

bikelanta

Adventurer
Took the truck for our first road trip. Headed to Telluride for the long weekend and met up with some friends from Atlanta who are spending the month there.

I was quite impressed with the truck as a road trip vehicle. The rear end rode better now that it had weight in it. Plus, the adaptive cruise was amazing in the terrible stop and go traffic you get on I70 out of Denver when the weekends hit, not to mention a holiday weekend. Even as traffic crawled along, it did it’s thing. Honestly, it keeps you well rested and your energy levels up in that type of situation. At least, it did for me.

On our return, we took a different route and saw many trucks parked along the shore of Blue Mesa Reservoir. My wife and I agreed it looked like a good spot for a picnic lunch and stretching kiddo’s legs. Was fun being able to drive out on the sand knowing we wouldn’t have been able to make that stop in my now gone GTI. The Softopper with the sides rolled up made for a good picnic space out of the sun.

I continue to be pleased with the truck.
352FE44E-C7B3-4AC2-8A58-CD95C874FDDE.jpeg

E6D9E3C1-52D8-45F5-8109-F0FA1AF5DDDB.jpeg
 
Last edited:

ramblinChet

Well-known member
Aev - a solution that yields 3" of lift on a non-power wagon. On a power wagon (where you will loose much of your flex vs a normal truck) it yields 1.5" of front lift and no rear.
I'm not sure I understand your math since AEV uses engineered coil spacers for the front and rear coils. If I have a PW and I install a 3" spacer in the front and rear then it will lift the truck that amount, yes? And regarding "loss of flex" has anyone quantified this? And if they have then how much does it actually impact the vehicles ability off-road?

You can't ever remove it without replacing knuckles ($), and it only moves the axle forward if you buy the 40" kit.
Correction, the Prospector kit moves the axle forward 1.0" while the Prospector XL move it 1.6". And I guess there might be a person somewhere who would remove a lift kit from a truck but I have not met that person in three decades plus of wheeling, lol.

Dave and AEV love to talk about how much oem engineering went into it - but no one who is serious about their trucks run it. It's a solution looking for problems. Run thuren or carli and be done with it.
Now this has me scratching my head..."no one who is serious about their trucks run it?" What does that mean and who are these people? I would say I am pretty serious about my truck and I have made a living researching and making mostly technical decisions for German, Swiss and Austrian companies. When I came to the table I was looking at everyone and every option and to be frank, none of the other companies really made any sort of argument that favored them. When I began I wiped the slate clean and looked at all the companies equally.

And please add more details regarding "it's a solution looking for problems." Maybe that was a Freudian slip but to me that statement implies that AEV has over-engineered their system to solve not only major but also minor or trivial issues that others do not.

So, since I am a technical guy and do not make decisions by the seat of the pants...sell me on why the others are technically superior to AEV and please don't just say it feels good or everyone else runs it. Neither of those are valid objective arguments.

Thanks and I am honestly looking forward to learning more about the various options.
 
Last edited:

bikelanta

Adventurer
I'm not sure I understand your math since AEV uses engineered coil spacers for the front and rear coils. If I have a PW and I install a 3" spacer in the front and rear then it will lift the truck that amount, yes?
My understanding, but I can't find a link on it, is that the 3" lift applies to the standard 2500 and standard length coils and shocks. The Power Wagon comes with a factory 2" lift, which should include longer shocks and coils. So, I'm making up math here, these are not real numbers. But if you had a 15" coil on the 2500 and 17" coil on the Power Wagon, adding a 3" spacer to the standard 15" coil nets you 18", which is only one more than a Power Wagon is when stock. Thus, if you add this to a Power Wagon you have to buy standard 2500 coils from Ram to go with the AEV package. You can't add the 3" spacer to the 17" PW coil (20 inches total) because the shocks and other parts wouldn't be long enough to accommodate and would be out of alignment. Additionally, the standard 2500 springs are stiffer than the PW, hence the loss of flex. From a technical perspective, I wish I could find what the spring rate is on these different coils, but unlike for Ford F-250s, I can't find that information anywhere.
 

UglyViking

Active member
Hi, I know this wasn't pointed at me but I'll step in :)

I'm not sure I understand your math since AEV uses engineered coil spacers for the front and rear coils. If I have a PW and I install a 3" spacer in the front and rear then it will lift the truck that amount, yes? And regarding "loss of flex" has anyone quantified this? And if they have then how much does it actually impact the vehicles ability off-road?
I do not know if anything has changed for the 19+ trucks but the 4th gen trucks require that you purchase new coil springs, I don't see how that would be necessary unless it was basically turning the PW into a 2500 then adding the AEV kit. Also of note is that their website states a single coil front and rear, when I'm 99% sure that the coils have specific sides as well. For all their talk of springs you'd think they would know that and put it on the site with all 4 springs, not just the front left.

Also, keep in mind that you talk up about how AEV overengineers their lift kit, but you would expect the factory height and pw rams to both have 3" of lift? How could that be if the power wagon would be 2" taller than the factory height ram after lift, which means all that engineering would have gone to waste.

Correction, the Prospector kit moves the axle forward 1.0" while the Prospector XL move it 1.6". And I guess there might be a person somewhere who would remove a lift kit from a truck but I have not met that person in three decades plus of wheeling, lol.
I think the point was made for the fact that you have to wreck a knuckle to install this kit, or at least you've got a wrecked one if you want to uninstall it.

Now this has me scratching my head..."no one who is serious about their trucks run it?" What does that mean and who are these people? I would say I am pretty serious about my truck and I have made a living researching and making mostly technical decisions for German, Swiss and Austrian companies. When I came to the table I was looking at everyone and every option and to be frank, none of the other companies really made any sort of argument that favored them. When I began I wiped the slate clean and looked at all the companies equally.
For a guy that supposedly digs into the technical aspects I'm a little surprised by your lack of data here. Thuren and Carli kits extend the up/down travel of the suspension. This allows for more flexibility for one and more comfort for another. The AEV kit will not add any additional travel, as it's using the factory springs in basically identical location. Additionally, the 5100 shocks that the AEV kit comes with are comically undersized for running 37s at any real level of off road performance, they don't have enough surface area or cooling to control such a large vehicle with 37s, let alone 40+.

If you look around at the guys that really beat their trucks, they have Carli and Thuren or full custom fab stuff. Outside of the mall crawlers and instagram crowd no one really uses AEV unless it's some sponsored build or they just aren't into suspension mods.

Now, I grant you that it's an interesting and unique system, I toyed going with it for a while even, but unless your only goal is to just run large tires it's a waste. No additional travel (factory suspension with pucks basically), no additional flex (constrained by factory springs), no additional comfort from the suspension (factory springs, undersized shocks).

And please add more details regarding "it's a solution looking for problems." Maybe that was a Freudian slip but to me that statement implies that AEV has over-engineered their system to solve not only major but also minor or trivial issues that others do not.
No idea, won't comment.

So, since I am a technical guy and do not make decisions by the seat of the pants...sell me on why the others are technically superior to AEV and please don't just say it feels good or everyone else runs it. Neither of those are valid objective arguments.

Thanks and I am honestly looking forward to learning more about the various options.
To be frank, your counter argument holds up pretty poor as well. You are just stating that AEV has done the research, keeps mopar warranty, and has some marketing about how they engineered the product. I don't see that as hard data either. I see numbers like suspension travel vs stock as hard data. I see the fact that the hardcore guys almost exclusively use Thuren and Carli and not AEV. I use the fact that they offer better shocks and upgraded rate springs.

To be honest, I'm not sure what data I could present that would change your mind. Perhaps you can point to certain aspects of the kit you think are important and we can discuss why they are/aren't?
 

ramblinChet

Well-known member
Thanks guys, it looks like we are talking about significantly different applications here on Expedition Portal. I am building an overland rig that is generally optimized for paved, dirt, gravel, some mud, water crossings and moderate flex. You speak of articulation for obstacles and such - I just use my Jeep for that. And somehow high-speed desert racing with shock fade and such came into the discussion. I guess those kits may be optimized for other various off-road venues although I am focused on more of a general use.

Hmmm...I just can't imagine a RAM HD is really much good for rockcrawling or desert racing no matter what gear you outfit it with.
 

UglyViking

Active member
Thanks guys, it looks like we are talking about significantly different applications here on Expedition Portal. I am building an overland rig that is generally optimized for paved, dirt, gravel, some mud, water crossings and moderate flex. You speak of articulation for obstacles and such - I just use my Jeep for that. And somehow high-speed desert racing with shock fade and such came into the discussion. I guess those kits may be optimized for other various off-road venues although I am focused on more of a general use.

Hmmm...I just can't imagine a RAM HD is really much good for rockcrawling or desert racing no matter what gear you outfit it with.
I want to be respectful to OP since this is his thread for his build and not an AEV discussion thread. That said, I think you are seriously misunderstanding my points. One last thing to think about is what the AEV kit solves for that leaving it stock won't? These trucks can fit 37s from the factory, so with the AEV kit you're raising the center of gravity, adding in a ton of additional components, all for no net gain except for height, which you don't want or need for overland travel.

Either way, if you wanna discuss more I suggest starting a new thread on the topic, and we can flesh this out further for ourselves and hopefully as a help to others.
 

nater

Adventurer
Call AEV - ask them "I have a 20XX power wagon and want to run your lift - can I run it with my factory springs, or do I need standard 2500 hemi springs" - let us know what they say... Because I have made that call, and they told me (and others) "You need springs from a standard 2500".
 
Top