2000 Dodge Ram body lift block.

Tiny
BOLEY910
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 DODGE RAM
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 106,000 MILES
Hello. I have a 2000 dodge ram with a 4 inch body lift and the block in the back driverside fell out somewhere and got lost. How long can I go without it or can I move the trick at all until I can get a new one?
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Friday, March 13th, 2015 AT 3:20 AM

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Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
First of all, as a suspension and alignment specialist, I would never wreck my truck by altering the ride height. Automotive marketing is so extremely competitive, if a manufacturer could offer a lowered car or a raised truck as an option, you can be sure they would do it. They know it can't be done without compromising braking ability, steering response, handling, and comfort. It can easily lead to you sitting in a courtroom when it was the other guy who ran the red light and caused the crash. I strongly recommend putting it back to the published legal ride height.

The rear leaf spring sits on top of that block which sits on top of the rear axle tube. That is all held together by a pair of u-bolts. Every time you accelerate or brake, the axle tube acts like a lever trying to twist those u-bolts. The truck originally came with about a four-inch block between the axle and spring. If there was an 8" block in there, that doubles the length of that lever and multiplies the forces on those u-bolts by four times. As a result, the u-bolts get stressed and they work loose. Dodge already gave you more power than you should be allowed to have, and that is going to make this problem happen again.

You'll also notice the original block has a hole where the bolt holding the leaves of the leaf spring together sits in. That prevents the axle tube from sliding forward and backward on the spring during acceleration and braking. Without that all being held tightly together, the axle is going to shift and cause the truck to be uncontrollable. I've done some rather dumb things with my Chrysler products over the years, but even I would not drive it this way except possibly to go very slowly down the shoulder of the road to get it home.

I have a friend with a body shop who specializes in rebuilding smashed one and two-year-old Dodge trucks. His projects are sold as soon as people find out he has one almost done, but every single one is exactly at the specified ride height. As the former suspension and alignment specialist at a very nice family-owned Chrysler dealership, I had the owner's blessings to refuse to work on any vehicle with altered ride height. We all knew we could become party to any lawsuit involving a vehicle with altered ride height, even if what I worked on had nothing to do with the suspension or steering systems. One of our insurance agents didn't even want us bringing them into the shop.
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Friday, March 13th, 2015 AT 3:56 AM
Tiny
BOLEY910
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I didn't mean real suspension. There is a body mount in the back driver side corner of the cab and its missing the lifting block
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Friday, March 13th, 2015 AT 5:03 PM
Tiny
BOLEY910
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I apologize again it is a body lift spacer. It was in the back driver side of the cab. Is it safe to drive without it?
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Friday, March 13th, 2015 AT 5:49 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Dandy! You made me very happy today. No, don't drive it like that. The block that is about 4" tall is standard equipment so you'll be able to find a pile of them at any salvage yard. Those do not normally fail, they don't get sold with the axle, and they don't get sold with the leaf springs. That means all they're good for to a salvage yard is the scrap metal price. I'd offer them five bucks if you can remove it yourself, and be satisfied with ten bucks if they take it off. Measure the right one to compare to the replacement just in case there are slight differences I'm not aware of.

Don't drive the truck like this. It is half way to the big problem Ford is having with rear axles falling off their minivans. At the very least the axle is going to shift around and make steering completely unpredictable. If you cause a crash, you can be sure the lawyers will have a field day with you for driving a vehicle known to be unsafe.

You should also visit an alignment shop or the dealer for a pair of new u-bolts and nuts. They aren't very expensive, and it's good insurance they won't break. You can drive it with the old u-bolts, but I'd only drive it to the shop to get the new bolts. I'm the master at getting the last ounce of life out of my Chrysler products, (my daily driver is a rusty trusty '88 Grand Caravan in the middle of road salt country), but I draw the line at safety items. The nuts will come off and go on hard too. Most people say you're not supposed to reuse u-bolts and nuts once they've been loosened, but that depends on who you're talking with and whose vehicle it is.
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Friday, March 13th, 2015 AT 6:09 PM

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