After many years of success with our 1500/2500/3500 steering kits, we are now offering the only 4500/5500 steering upgrade in the world! We've had many of our fleet customers ask for a stronger setup that will handle the harsh conditions that many utility trucks see, and we came up with the most heavy duty steering linkage ever made for any Ram truck. This is similar to our extreme duty crossover steering kit for the lighter duty trucks, but we are using larger heims and larger hardware for a completely bulletproof linkage that will handle anything you throw at it. We use a 2" OD x .250" wall DOM tie rod tube with all 7/8" Grade 8 hardware, and a 1.5" OD x .250" wall DOM drag link that also uses 7/8" hardware. This kit does require that you drill out your knuckles and pitman arm for installation, but the benefit is that you get much stronger fasteners and it's all field-serviceable. The factory linkage is good, but if you're reading this you probably already realized that the factory tie rod ends are not great and they are expensive to replace. Add in the fact that the OEM parts can be backordered for months at a time, and you'll start to find a lot of value in our upgraded linkage. The only part of our steering linkage that will ever need to be replaced are the rod ends themselves, and they are only $30 each. We typically see at least 5 years out of these heim joints in severe conditions before they need to be replaced, and replacing them can be done with basic hand tools in just a few minutes, without the need to realign the truck. Heims are much, much stronger than TREs and are much safer too. Since the heim is fully captured in place, even if it were to come apart (which they never do), the steering will still be intact. When a TRE comes apart (it happens fairly often), you are not able to steer the truck at all.
One benefit to our steering linkage is that we do not use adjuster sleeves at all. This does make the initial alignment a little more time-consuming, but once the alignment is set and the jam nuts are torqued down, you will not need to have the toe alignment set again. Adjuster sleeves are a problem on all Dodge trucks, and there is actually a recall on them right now. We make a simple but incredibly strong linkage that will keep your truck pointed straight for many years.
We do not currently offer a bolt-in version of this kit, but if there is enough interest we certainly have the capability to do so. Drilling the knuckles is easy and there really isn't any need to ever go back to stock once this is done. The pitman arm is a little harder to drill because it's forged steel, but it can be done with a drill while the pitman arm is still on the truck. Just use a sharp bit, cutting oil, and go slow. If you did need to go back to a stock linkage, we can machine some adapters to revert back to the stock taper
This fits all Ram 4500/5500 4x4 trucks from 2008-2021.
If you have a 2013+ Ram 3500 Cab and Chassis, we have a replacement steering kit available for those trucks separately. Check out part number 1039 here on the site. It is sold as a bolt-in kit.
Answers to Common Questions:
Heims are not DOT stamped, but that does not make them illegal to use on the highway. Most TREs are not stamped with DOT numbers either. What "DOT approval" is, is simply a process of having a part certified by DOT. It's not a requirement, but simply a certification. Some states may require it for commercial applications, most states don't. It is up to you to decide whether it is something you can run or not based on your state's laws. Heims are much stronger and much safer than traditional tie rod ends, there is no good reason for them to be against the law anywhere.
Drilling the knuckles takes about 5 minutes each, drilling the pitman arm takes about 20-30 minutes because it's forged. What we do is drill the knuckles first (use cutting oil and go slow), then drill the pitman arm with staggered drill bits instead of just trying to run a 7/8" bit through there in one pass. You can also remove the pitman arm and take it to a machine shop where they can mill it out, but a good 1/2" drill and sharp drill bits will get the job done quicker than if you were to remove the pitman arm in most cases. You will be drilling all holes out to 7/8" straight bore.
Alignment on these trucks is very simple, a lot of shops try to make it seem more complex than it is. They are only doing two things - toe and caster. Camber is not adjustable unless you have adjustable ball joints. So to put this steering on, what we do is park the truck on flat ground, remove the factory steering, and then adjust the DOR steering to fit. With the truck on the ground, the tires won't move and you can keep the steering wheel centered pretty easily. Adjust the heims on the tie rod until the tie rod slides up into place easily, then do the same thing with the drag link. If/when you have the truck aligned, the only thing they need to do is check your toe and adjust the tie rod as needed. Then they will make sure your steering wheel is centered. Do not leave the alignment shop without checking the jam nuts, alignment techs are notorious for not tightening them down and this will create some major issues. Take a big crescent wrench with you and make sure they are tight against the tube, not against the heim.