We've told you how much we love our long-term road test '09 Dodge Ram 1500. Unfortunately, we have to keep it stock and just keep you posted on how the vehicle delivers in its stock configuration, but we just know that a few bolt-ons would allow it to perform even better. Well, we just happened to know of someone with a similar truck that was willing to see how the venerable 5.7L Hemi V-8 could benefit from improved breathing and better handling.

Enter MagnaFlow and Airaid with high-flowing components to improve the power and mileage of the Hemi and Ground Force for a simple coil spring 2/3 drop kit. In addition to the new suspension, we also had to do something about its lackluster, factory 17-inch wheels. We visited tirerack.com and ordered a set of KMC wheels and General Grabber UPH tires with TPMS sensors installed so that the owner could switch easily between sets of wheels. The owner uses the truck to haul heavy Harleys, so we went with a tall, cushy sidewall on the 20-inch General tires that are similar diameter to the stock tires to keep a factory ride, while improving handling. General tires have great grip, are quiet on the highway, and the price point is just right for this economy.

FROM THE DRIVER SEAT
Well, we nailed the wheel/tire combo. The offset is perfect, and the relatively tall sidewalls combined with the Ground Force suspension tuning make for a comfortable ride, even with a heavy load in the bed. One thing we did notice is that the Panhard bar mount hits the new dual exhaust when the suspension bottoms out. Our kit is not exactly the off-the-shelf kit you'd get from Magnaflow, as they made this just for this truck, but if you were lowering your truck more than our 2/3 drop, consider the dual-side exit kits and not the rear exit. The exhaust note is one of our favorite additions so far, with a noticeable rumble when you fire the truck up that quickly drops down to a smooth, quiet idle. We don't have fuel economy numbers yet, but the owner is keeping track, so we'll update you in a future issue.

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED

Time Spent Working: 4 Hours
Degree Of Difficulty: Beginner

Tools Needed:
13mm socket, prybar, torque wrench, flat scewdriver, assorted sockets and wrenches for suspension

Parts Used:
Airaid Intake Kit 300-237 $364.99
General Grabber UHP tires 295/50R20 $131.00 (each)
Ground Force 2/3 lowering kit 9863 $759.99
KMC Surge 20x9-inch wheels $253.00 (each)
Magnaflow dual split rear exit exhaust 16870 $922.75

Total Cost $3,583.73
(prices from stylin.com, tirerack.com, and the manufacturers/not including tax and labor)

SOURCE
General Tire
1800 Continental Drive
Charlotte
NC  28288
800-847-3349
http://www.generaltire.com
Airaid
2688 E Rose Garden Lane
Phoenix
AZ  85050
800-498-6951
http://www.airaid.com
MagnaFlow Performance Exhaust
22961 Arroyo Vista
Rancho Santa Margarita
CA  92688
800-824-8664
http://www.magnaflow.com
Ground Force Suspension
714 Braddock View Drive
Mt. Braddock
PA  15465
724-430-2068
www.groundforce.com
Tire Rack
7101 Vorden Parkway
South Bend
IN  46628
888-541-1777
www.tirerack.com
Elahn Motorsports
428 West Katella Avenue
Orange
CA  92867
714-997-0400
www.sporttrucking.com
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