Ram’s pedigree – great motors, great frames, lacking front ends. “Death Wobble” has been synonymous with the Ram HD platform for far too long – not anymore! The most common front end drivability/stability issues in the Ram platform stem from the design of 3 factory components: Track Bar, Ball Joints and Steering Stabilizer.
The Carli Front end Upgrade Kit was designed to address these problem areas with replacements that are robust, serviceable alternatives purpose built to solidify your front end. Whether on stock suspension and tires or 37″ Mud Terrains with a fully-equipped Carli System, the Front End Upgrade Kit will put front end issues in your rear-view.
Click the header text for each product to visit their product page and far more extensive descriptions.
Overwhelmingly, the most frequent cause of front end “play” and front-end instability is the factory track bar. The track bar is the lateral link that determines the front axle’s tracking relative to the frame rail while the control arms/radius arms control the axle’s movement fore & aft.
The factory-installed track bar has vulcanized rubber bushings on both ends. A vulcanized (clevite) bushing is a non-modular assembly where the damping/isolation material is bonded to an inner and outer sleeve, then pressed into the housing. There’s no slip in this joint. Every movement of the axle puts a torsional, fatiguing load on the material stressing and eventually, tearing the functional portion of the bushing assembly.
Our goal, develop an adjustable link to center the axle on leveled/lifted Rams that sharpens steering input, deflects less than the stock bar, and dampens vibrations to numb the wheel and extend the life of the serviceable ends all while avoiding excess deflection and the sloppy handling associated with the stock bar. Our Adjustable Track Bar is constructed from 1.5″ OD, 3/8″ wall tube making it far stronger than the brackets to which it’s bolted and features a 7/8″ FK Bearing chromoly race heim joint at the axle end locked in place by our proprietary JAMMIT nut with 100% more surface area than a standard Jam Nut.
At the frame end, a 7/8″ FK Bearing Uniball is encapsulated by our proprietary composite shell machined in-house to exacting standards for perfect fitment. The assembly is then preloaded into the HUGE frame end housing and locked in place with a snap ring providing perfect damping and unrivaled service life.
The O.E.M. steering stabilizer is of the “Oil Shock” variety, meaning that the piston is 100% submerged in oil. This type of stabilizer is limited to how much damping it can provide due to the amount of cavitation it exhibits.
The Carli Stabilizer is an internal floating piston (IFP – more on this here: What is a Steering Stabilizer?) to prevent cavitation. Our proprietary stabilizers run a custom valving profile and small shaft diameter as we’ve found this combination best in steering damper applications. The fully-rebuildable construction boasts a Stainless Steel body with Machined Billet Aluminum Rod ends housing precision 1/2” Spherical Bearings topped off with a hardened Black Nitride Shaft. The stabilizer’s nitrogen chamber is adjustable from 70psi to 200psi allowing customers to correct for radial tire-pull. If no pull exists, the Stabilizer can be set from 70psi to 100psi as this neutral range will pressurize the oil for proper superior damping without biasing correcting in either direction.
Simplified, think of the Carli Stabilizer as a factory stabilizer constructed from FAR superior materials with a nitrogen chamber to ensure proper damping function by pressurizing the oil to prevent cavitation (foaming of the oil).
The O.E.M. upper ball joint (actually a “pivot joint”) uses a soft internal bronze bushing as the lubricant between the pin and the cup. The internal bushing can only tolerate a certain amount of load before it deforms and creates space for the pin to move laterally.
Our Heavy Duty Upper Ball Joints eliminate the need for a bushing; they are a 2 tiered design machined from far superior materials that are heat treated to our specified hardness. In addition to the superior materials, the design boasts more than 100% more surface area for the upper ball joint to distribute the load. We top the ball joints off with a grease fitting for a life-time of lubrication and maximize its effectiveness by incorporating internal grease ports to ensure even distribution through the whole assembly.
If you thought the Upper Ball Joints were bad, prepare for even more dismal news on the factory Lower’s. Chrysler decided to use a ball joint shaft that rides in a “plastic” liner (or cup) inside the lower ball joint to aid in lubricity and unrestricted movement. The monumental downfall of this design – the entirety of the truck’s frontal weight is being placed solely on the steel ball pushing into the plastic liner. Immediately, this plastic liner starts to degrade and deform resulting in increased wear and movement.
Learning from their mistakes, we designed a product that has no internal parts to wear out: the ball rides on an extremely hard and critically machined area inside the joint. The beauty of this design is that the Lower Ball Joint burnishes as it wears, creating a mirror smooth finish on all wear surfaces. Keep this joint well lubricated with grease and it will last the life span of your truck.