2021 RAM 3500 Tradesman | AEV Prospector | FWC Grandby

BretEdge

Adventurer
It's the attention to detail such as marking bolts that sets AEV apart from many others.

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I've had work done by the crew at Boulder Vehicle Outfitters and they did this same thing, too. Matt called it "torque paint". First time I'd ever seen it done but it's definitely a next level service. Love your rig. Very nicely built and well thought out. Enjoy!
 

bigeyedfish

New member
I occasionally mark bolts in areas that I think could work loose with enough vibration, but in all honesty, I've never had one loosen up if it was torqued to spec.

Side note... On structural steel the lines don't match up. You mark bolts after snugging but before doing final torque. After doing "turn of the nut method", the lines prove that you final torqued by the correct amount of rotation. That method keeps you from having to carry an expensive torque wrench all over a structure.
 

ramblinChet

Well-known member
No other suspension manufacturer corrects front suspension geometry like AEV does. And convenient marks on the bolts also.

"Steering geometry is corrected by way of AEV’s High Steer Kit, which includes a custom, no-drill forged drag link, AEV track bar and raised track bar tower. This system provides significant improvements to steering precision and handling by correcting the roll center height of the front suspension and bringing the steering geometry back into factory alignment. This results in reduced body roll and bump steer, which are major contributors to the loose or sloppy steering and driver fatigue commonly associated with many lift kits."

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UglyViking

Active member
No other suspension manufacturer corrects front suspension geometry like AEV does. And convenient marks on the bolts also.

"Steering geometry is corrected by way of AEV’s High Steer Kit, which includes a custom, no-drill forged drag link, AEV track bar and raised track bar tower. This system provides significant improvements to steering precision and handling by correcting the roll center height of the front suspension and bringing the steering geometry back into factory alignment. This results in reduced body roll and bump steer, which are major contributors to the loose or sloppy steering and driver fatigue commonly associated with many lift kits."

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I always find this interesting. I know you're just posting AEVs marketing lingo but why do you feel it's necessary?

I also find it interesting in that this is one of the most common points brought up for the AEV kit, yet no one points out that the front setup is identical for both 2500 and 3500 trucks when the coils for the 3500s are 0.5" taller than the 2500s. So clearly, from AEVs point of view 0.5" doesn't matter, but at what point does the lift justify flipping the drag link? 1"? 1.5"? 1.02003"? Why is AEV the only (to my knowledge) company that flips the drag link?

Just to be clear here, I don't really see this as a downside, correcting geometry is a good thing overall. That said, I'm curious why no one else offers a kit? Flipping a drag link isn't hard, AEV used to tell you to just drill out your old drag link mounting location and flip it with their new hardware, so clearly not a challenging thing to do. Additionally, since drag links are always adjustable it should be incredibly easy for a company like synergy to make something like this that could support x"-y" of lift no?

I'm not an engineer, so there could be very obvious reasons to all of this. I'm also not one to think that OEMs are building garbage from the factory, there is a lot of R&D and eng work that goes into building these trucks in a way that suits their core market. That said, I'm also not one to think that OEMs try and solve for every use case, so sometimes it's not about believing the OEM made garbage, just that they made garbage for a specific use case, or that the aftermarket with a more focused view could make something better for said use case.

Alternatively, if you were convinced that the AEV kit was the best because it's the only kit which addresses this, you could always have bought this drop pitman arm to get the same outcome.
 
Maybe more challenging than thought to flip this draglink, as AEV recently "recalled" my suspension to replace the OEM steering knuckle with a new precision machined one to correctly fit the flipped link. A local AEV dealer shop installed the suspension on my '20 2500, and they noted a small amount (1/16") of play in the steering arm right after installation. They followed up with AEV and this is/was their correction.

Without getting into the weeds or starting a fistfight, I think the idea overall is to gain the 3" front lift by lowering the axle, but keeping all connections (steering draglink, track bar) as horizontal as possible, and in the same orientation as OEM. Both arms need to ideally be horizontal and pivoting from the same relative positions to minimize bump steer. AEV does this with the brackets... A lowered pitman arm moves the draglink for steering, but doesn't change the track bar, so now they aren't moving together during articulation. Other suspension companies address parts of this as add-ons, but it's a question of what's acceptable (performance, $$$) to the buyer.

I think bump steer is a vague quality and there isn't a clear threshold to say when it's "bad", especially when you start adding 37-40" tires. I know I've driven some straight axle Toyotas in the old days with big lifts and tires, and you developed a natural reaction to turn every time you hit a bump... 😳

My 2500 w/ AEV Dualsport suspension and 37" Falken AT3's drives amazingly like factory (good and bad). I added a Thuren torsion sway bar and am pleased with the ride and handling, for my needs. Expensive? yes, spacer kit? yes, fits my goal of towing heavy and accommodating 37's. Definitely not for everyone...
 

CFMGarage

Member
I think they do this flip because they are basically spacing the axle down from all of the other axle components by 3". I think of it as a body lift for your axle. So it necessitates you having to fix the steering where as other kits just don't mess with the spring/steering/track arm mounting area. They use longer better than OEM springs, and the good ones give you radius arm drop brackets. To think my stock 3500 snow chief springs would ride as good as my Carli coils would be laughable. And loaded up I'm sure those Bilstein's are just working beyond their ability. All that extra sprung weight in the front and also rear blocks. With a hemi truck I think you are literally better off doing a body lift for the money.

Edit to add, the trucks still look good and fit 37"s the easiest. I think they are also one of only a couple of sources for larger than OEM fenders, so I don't dislike AEV. They just should have went full hog and made a $6k suspension with all the fancy brackets AND quality springs with better shocks.
 
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ramblinChet

Well-known member
The reason for this thread is to document my build and to include additional information such as pricing, details, etc. for historical reference for myself and for others to research. I have been lifting, locking and wheeling a wide variety of vehicles since the early 90s so I have quite a bit of first hand experience with what works for various applications and more importantly, what doesn't.

For my purposes I selected the AEV Prospector kit since it is the finest available.
 
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