2002 Dodge Ram Suspension Lowering Kit by DJM
2/4 DJM Calmax Complete drop Kit Install
INSTALLING DJM’S NEW DROP KIT FOR THE RAM
A 2” front drop with lower control arms and 3” to 6” with adjustable rear shackles…
Story & photos by Marshall Spiegel
Originally Published 2002
The good folks at DJM Suspension in Gardena, CA, have done it again. The engineering staff has come up with a drop kit for the ’02 and ’03 Dodge Ram that is relatively easy to install; reasonably priced and unique. The kit drops the front 2 inches and offers an adjustable rear drop from 3 to 6 inches.
The two-inch front drop happens when the stock lower control arms are replaced with new DJM Calmax arms with twin tube sleeves and all poly bushings.. The stock shocks and coil springs are retained as well as the stock front bump stops. The ball joints, bushings and twin sleeves come already installed in the control arms. No additional modifications are required.
The rear kit is DJM’s traditional flip kit. Designed to put pressure on the axle and to make adjusting the pinion angle very simple and straightforward, the DJM exclusive flip bracket works exceptionally well on the Dodge Ram and lines up the pinion perfectly without the use of pinion wedges. The big news is that the elongated shackle of ¼-inch material is used on the rear of the leaf spring and features four mounting holes for different height positions on the rear end offering drops from 3 to 6 inches. The stock rear bump stop is replaced with a much flatter one equipped with a mounting bracket that locates the stop and bolts up directly with no drilling or cutting required.
To see just what’s involved in installing the new DJM Dodge Ram drop kit, we visited Rapid Transit in San Pedro, CA, and watched installer Jason Garcia do the honors on customer Rich Lomeli’s beautifully flamed ’03 Ram. (It should be noted that the rear end of this particular Ram had previously been dropped approximately an inch and a half at Rapid Transit before this installation.) See the accompanying photos for the highlights of the install.
(This kit is available at the djmfactorystore.com). Check out the photo gallery below to see how the parts went on, and click on the ( I ) in the picture to read the caption!
It's time to move the axle on top of the leaf springs position it in place on the axle brackets with the new longer u-bolts [img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2002-dodge-ram-24-kit/thumbs/thumbs_002.jpg]5240Before Measurements
The most important first step with any lowering job is to measure and record the ride height. Stock irregularities will show up and you can consider how to deal with them before you tear into your project. We found the stock height to be 19 5/8th inches on this Ram. Note: always measure from the center of the wheel to the fender well, this will be consistent no matter what wheel and tire package you have[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2002-dodge-ram-24-kit/thumbs/thumbs_003.jpg]4830Measure The Rear
The beginning height on our Ram for the rear is 20 1/2". This Ram has been lowered 1 1/2" with some shackles already[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2002-dodge-ram-24-kit/thumbs/thumbs_004.jpg]5200The Front Line Up
Here's whats going on the front. DJM's Calmax Control Arms that come with new swaybar end-links, grease packets to lubricate the bushing and instructions[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2002-dodge-ram-24-kit/thumbs/thumbs_005.jpg]5940And The Rear
The rear kit has everything you need to flip the rear and pick it back up a bit to get our 4" drop. DJM's exclusive axle brackets that allow you to set the correct pinon angle, new u-bolts, spring plates, and adjustable shackles so you can fine tune the ride height to your liking![img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2002-dodge-ram-24-kit/thumbs/thumbs_006.jpg]5070Here We Go!
Beginning with loosening and removing the tie rod ends from the spindle[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2002-dodge-ram-24-kit/thumbs/thumbs_007.jpg]5130The Lower Arm
Loosen but do not remove the lower ball joint. Using a hydraulic floor jack support the lower control arm and break the taper of the ball joint by giving the spindle a good whack at the ball joint but NOT ON the ball joint. With the ball joint broken loose you can safely let down the arm remove the spring and remove the pivot bolt that hold the factory arm in place, remove the arm [img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2002-dodge-ram-24-kit/thumbs/thumbs_008.jpg]5330Compare the Arms
Here is the DJM arm (left) compared to the factory part[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2002-dodge-ram-24-kit/thumbs/thumbs_009.jpg]5020Prep The Arms
Here we are making sure the grease passages are clear by chasing the hole with a drill. This "twin tube" design is an exclusive on DJM control arms helps keep the pivot point well lubed and discourages squeaking.[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2002-dodge-ram-24-kit/thumbs/thumbs_010.jpg]4580Check for burrs
Checking the inner sleeve passage for any burrs which could create friction[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2002-dodge-ram-24-kit/thumbs/thumbs_011.jpg]4450Zerks
Install the grease zerks included with the arms. [img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2002-dodge-ram-24-kit/thumbs/thumbs_012.jpg]4620Grease it up!
Liberally apply grease inside the pivot sleeves and don't forget to grease the bushing shoulders before installing.[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2002-dodge-ram-24-kit/thumbs/thumbs_013.jpg]4740In it goes
Install the new DJM control arms in the same way as the factory part. Leave the pivot bolt hand tight and put the factory spring in the control arm while using the floor jack to move the arm up to install the lower ball joint.[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2002-dodge-ram-24-kit/thumbs/thumbs_014.jpg]5430Tie Rod
Tie rod end and swaybar end-link is installed on the control arm. Go over your work now and if everything is in order tighten the pivot bolt. No need to be superman here, make them tight enough so there is no slop but do not squish the bushings or they may squeak![img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2002-dodge-ram-24-kit/thumbs/thumbs_015.jpg]5440The Rear
Bring that floor jack to the rear and support the rear axle housing. Here our installer begins by unbolting the leaf spring one end at a time.[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2002-dodge-ram-24-kit/thumbs/thumbs_016.jpg]5440Bump Stop
Now the factory bump stop is removed.[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2002-dodge-ram-24-kit/thumbs/thumbs_017.jpg]5680New Bumper
Here is the new DJM bump stop compared to the factory bump. Notice the new bump stop is much flatter giving you more suspension travel[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2002-dodge-ram-24-kit/thumbs/thumbs_018.jpg]5490Bump Stop in Place
The new bump stop is installed.[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2002-dodge-ram-24-kit/thumbs/thumbs_019.jpg]5340New Shackle
The new adjustable shackle is mounted[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2002-dodge-ram-24-kit/thumbs/thumbs_020.jpg]5880Complete the Flip
Finish installing the axle locator brackets by putting the top piece in place, checking the pinon angle, and tighten.
This is where you can come back later and adjust the pinon angle if necessary [img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2002-dodge-ram-24-kit/thumbs/thumbs_022.jpg]5700Aftermarket Exhaust
Sometimes the exhaust systems installed at factory ride height need a little modification to stay clear of suspension components[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2002-dodge-ram-24-kit/thumbs/thumbs_023.jpg]5600Bolt it up
Now the rear of the leaf spring is bolted to the new adjustable shackle[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2002-dodge-ram-24-kit/thumbs/thumbs_025.jpg]5990Shocks
The rear shocks are removed and replaced with shorter DJM shocks[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2002-dodge-ram-24-kit/thumbs/thumbs_027.jpg]5730New Shocks
The DJM shocks being installed[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2002-dodge-ram-24-kit/thumbs/thumbs_028.jpg]6070After Front Measurement
After the truck was test driven a final check of the installation occured. everything was OK and the front end was aligned professionally. Then we measured - 17 5/8" a drop of exactly 2"[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2002-dodge-ram-24-kit/thumbs/thumbs_029.jpg]5390After Rear Measurement
Now it's time for the rear reveal, the rear measured 18" which means it came down 2 1/2" plus the 1 1/2" to begin total up 4" from factory[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2002-dodge-ram-24-kit/thumbs/thumbs_030.jpg]5440The finished product
The installation complete waiting for the happy customer to pick up and drive away!