Photo 1/31 | mcgaughys 8 Inch Lift Kit installed | 29. The McGaughy's lift kit was the perfect addition to our truck and it rides just as good as stock, if not better. Be on the lookout for the full feature on this truck in a later 2013 issue.
Photo 2/31 | mcgaughys 8 Inch Lift Kit 2012 Ram 3500 | Before: Custom paint and a solid billet grille looked good, but the factory stance and terrible stock dualie wheels were killing the entire vibe of the Ram.
Photo 3/31 | mcgaughys 8 Inch Lift Kit | 1. We first laid out the McGaughy's lift kit (PN: 54950, $3,412.85) to make sure that all the pieces were accounted for. With everything checked and double-checked, we brought the dualie into the shop bay at Total Auto Pros in Phoenix, and got to work.
Photo 4/31 | mcgaughys 8 Inch Lift Kit removed Wheels And Tires | 2. After getting the truck in the air, we removed the wheels and tires. As we mentioned previously, we ordered a set of American Force 8- to 10-lug wheel adapters, which we will go over later.
Photo 5/31 | mcgaughys 8 Inch Lift Kit driverside Track Bar Bolt Removed | 3. The first step was to undo the driver-side track bar bolt with an impact gun.
Photo 6/31 | mcgaughys 8 Inch Lift Kit removing Pitman Arm | 4. With the track bar out of the way, we removed the Pitman arm nut and used a puller to remove the Pitman arm from the steering box. This was thrown in the trash pile since the McGaughy's kit comes with a new one.
Photo 7/31 | mcgaughys 8 Inch Lift Kit brakeline Bracket Removed | 5.So that the brake lines were not damaged and to give us more room to work, the brake line bracket was unbolted from the front axle with a 13mm wrench.
Photo 8/31 | mcgaughys 8 Inch Lift Kit unbolting Factory Radius Arms | 6. Next, the factory radius arms were unbolted using 21mm and 24mm wrenches. These were also placed in the trash heap.
Photo 9/31 | mcgaughys 8 Inch Lift Kit cutting Off Factory Brackets | 7. Included in the new lift kit was a pair of radius arm drop-down brackets. In order to mount them, the factory brackets needed to be cut off with a cut-off wheel. It is important to note that the frame was not cut, just the welds that held the old bracket on. The remnants of the welds were then ground smooth.
Photo 10/31 | mcgaughys 8 Inch Lift Kit new Radius Arm Drop Down Bracket | 8. This is the new radius arm drop-down bracket. There is an oval hole in the frame and a matching oval hole on the new bracket that needed to be lined up. Then the three holes in the side of the bracket were marked on the frame to be drilled out.
Photo 11/31 | mcgaughys 8 Inch Lift Kit hole Saw | 9. A nifty feature of the kit is that it comes with a 5/8-inch hole saw. This makes this step much easier if you are installing it in your driveway without access to a compressor.
Photo 12/31 | mcgaughys 8 Inch Lift Kit new Bracket Installed | 10. The new bracket was then bolted to the frame using hardware included in the kit. Not shown here are the sleeves that go into the holes. These sleeves prevent the structural integrity of the frame from being compromised when the bracket is tightened down.
Photo 13/31 | Mmcgaughys 8 Inch Lift Kit bushings | 11. Before going any further, we had to install the bushings in the new long arms from the kit. After applying plenty of grease, the bushings were tapped into place with a rubber mallet.
Photo 14/31 | mcgaughys 8 Inch Lift Kit New Long Arms | 12. After the bushings were installed, the new McGaughy's long arms were bolted into the new bracket that was installed earlier.
Photo 15/31 | mcgaughys 8 Inch Lift Kit long Arms | 13. Finally, the long arms were bolted into the factory location on the front axle. One of the cool things about this kit is that the long arms have Johnny Joints so that they can be minutely adjusted if need be.
Photo 16/31 | mcgaughys 8 Inch Lift Kit factory Mounting Bracket Cutting | 14. In order to keep the sway bar in the correct orientation, the factory mounting bracket had to be cut off. Again, we made sure to just cut the welds and not the frame.
Photo 17/31 | mcgaughys 8 Inch Lift Kit factory Mounting Bracket Removed | 15. You can see that being careful works wonders. With the bracket gone, the area was ground smooth and made ready for the next step. It's these small details that set Total Auto Pros apart from other shops.
Photo 18/31 | mcgaughys 8 Inch Lift Kit sway Bar Bracket | 16. As you saw in the previous photo, there was one bolthole already in the mount. The other hole had to be drilled and the sway bar bracket was bolted to the axle.
Photo 19/31 | mcgaughys 8 Inch Lift Kit track Bar Dropdown Bracket | 17. Another hole needed to be drilled in the frame. This one was for the track bar drop-down bracket. Once that was drilled, the bracket was bolted to the frame and was ready to receive the factory track bar.
Photo 20/31 | mcgaughys 8 Inch Lift Kit bilstein Shocks | 18. The next step was to install the new shock and coil spring in the factory location. McGaughy's includes new shocks in their kit, but we opted to upgrade to Bilstein shocks for even better ride and handling.
Photo 21/31 | mcgaughys 8 Inch Lift Kit sway Bar Relocation | 19. Since we moved the sway bar endlink mount down, we needed to move the sway bar down away from the frame. Again, the kit included a pair of sway bar relocator brackets to do just that.
Photo 22/31 | mcgaughys 8 Inch Lift Kit front End Completed | 20. With everything installed, the front has a ton more room now. It was then time to move on to the rear.
Photo 23/31 | mcgaughys 8 Inch Lift Kit lift Block | 21. The rear lift is accomplished with a six-inch fabricated steel lift block that goes between the axle and leaf-spring pack.
Photo 24/31 | mcgaughys 8 Inch Lift Kit u Bolts | 22. Rather than use the factory 9/16-inch U-bolts, McGaughy's includes four 58-inch U-bolts. This means that the upper plate needed to be drilled out. These extra heavy-duty U-bolts will hold up to extreme towing and ensure a long life.
Photo 25/31 | mcgaughys 8 Inch Lift Kit u Bolts And Lift Block | 23. After the holes were drilled out, the new U-bolts and the plate were installed onto the axle and the block was sandwiched down.
Photo 26/31 | mcgaughys 8 Inch Lift Kit bumpstop Extension | 24. To give the axle something to hit so the travel doesn't max out, a bumpstop extension brings the bumpstop back down to the factory location.
Photo 27/31 | mcgaughys 8 Inch Lift Kit bilstein Shocks | 25. Finally, a new pair of rear Bilstein shocks (optional) was bolted into place and the install was complete.
Photo 28/31 | mcgaughys 8 Inch Lift Kit american Force 8 Lug To 10 Lug Adaptor | 26. Here is a shot of the American Force 8-lug to 10-lug wheel adapters mounted on the truck.
Photo 29/31 | mcgaughys 8 Inch Lift Kit american Force Fusion Wheels | 27. 22x8�-inch American Force Fusion wheels ($4,900 for a set of six) were wrapped in 37x13.50R22 Nitto Trail Grappler tires ($597 each). This combo gives the 1-ton dualie a big-rig feel and turns heads like no other.
Photo 30/31 | mcgaughys 8 Inch Lift Kit nitto Trail Grappler Tires | 28. The 37-inch-tall tires with the 22-inch wheels look great under the 8-inch lifted dualie. Note the silver powdercoat on the McGaughy's long arm adding class, while the unique design provides a true custom look.
Photo 31/31 | mcgaughys 8 Inch Lift Kit installed | 29. The McGaughy's lift kit was the perfect addition to our truck and it rides just as good as stock, if not better. Be on the lookout for the full feature on this truck in a later 2013 issue.