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DIY: Gen1 Durango Rear Axle Flip & Front Lift (no SAS)

61898 Views 194 Replies 42 Participants Last post by  Buck0987
Please sticky.

I always wanted to go higher than a T/S lift on my Durango, without a SAS, and after some months of thinking/working, I'm just about done. I noticed that any questions pertaining to this in other threads were never fully answered, so I am making this thread to explain how to get the MAX lift out of a Gen1 Durango so everyone can know for once and for all. :mullet::wave:

This is by no means a beginner's level job. It will require welding, some fab work, and tools. If you feel you are not capable of doing this, I suggest you get a friend/mechanic to help you with it.


This is what you will NEED:

1 - Chassis Tech rear axle relocator kit (for a 2000 Ram 1500)
2 - 3/16" thick by 1-1/2" steel from Home Depot OR some type of universal weldable shock mount with 1-1/2" shock eyelet width
3 - ///
4 - ///

1 - Angle grinder
2 - 4" Cutting wheel
3 - 4" Grinding wheel
4 - Hammer
5 - T square or tape measure
6 - Vice grip wrench
7 - Various sockets
8 - T-55 torx bit for shackles
9 - Various open end wrenches
10 - 3/8" & 1/2" Rachet wrenches
11 - Floor jack
12 - Jack stands (at least 22" of lift)
13 - Welder (or someone to weld)
14 - Flaring tool kit & 3/16" tube cutter (for emergency brake line repair)
15 - ///

The Process for the Rear Suspension:

1 - Place wheel chocks in front of the front tires and engage your emergency brake. Jack your Durango up by the axle pumpkin, and place the jackstands below the front leaf spring mount, with the jackstands at max height, SAFELY. make sure the stands are only contacting the leaf spring mounts, leaving clearance for the leaf springs to function properly. This will angle up the butt end of your Durango enough to roll out the entire rear axle below the rear bumper. Make sure your Durango's rear bumper to ground height is 2" higher than your overall tire height (diameter).

2 - Once you place the jack stands, lower the jack and let the whole rear suspension hang down on itself.

3 - Remove lower shock bolts, and sway the shocks away from your immediate work area, leaving the upper bolts in, letting them hang.

4 - Now loosen all of the shackle bolts (upper and lower) on both sides, leaving the nuts on the last couple of threads.

5 - Loosen/remove factory u-bolts around the axle. Drop the plates and put them to the side, as well as the u-bolts and nuts.

6 - Now the axle is sitting on the leaf springs, with nothing but the brake lines/cables, as well as an electrical harness and the axle vent tube preventing you from moving the axle assembly away from the truck. Place your vice grip wrench on the rubber hose a few inches from the end that leads to the junction block that splits the brake line into two hard lines. You are squeezing the soft line shut, and keeping air from entering and fluid from leaving that hose.

7 - Time to remove the hard lines now. Loosen the two 11mm (M10x1.0 brake line fittings) fittings from the junction block. Be careful not to snap the lines. Chances are they will, just because of their age/corrosion. That is a simple fix though. (more on that later)

8 - Now unplug the rear speed sensor which is located directly in front of the junction block part of the brake line.

9 - Make sure the axle vent tube is free from the truck as well, let it hang.

10 - Place the jack under one leaf spring directly below the axle tube, slightly lift the suspension, and free the upper shackle bolts on that side, then lower the axle and suspension down onto the ground. The leaf spring should only be attached to the frame by the front mount where the stand is located. Now repeat for the other side.

11 - Remove the 4 driveshaft bolts on the axle housing side.

11 - This step will vary. I have one emergency brake cable in my truck at the moment which is the passenger side, so I did not do anything with it. If you have two functioning cables, you might need to remove the driver's side cable. Remove it by going into your drum brake, or you can remove the main adjustment located under the driver's door area. Make sure the emergency brake cable is disengaged now.

12 - Now you are ready to "drive" your rear axle back past the leaf springs. I moved one side at a time, since I had the e-brake cable attached still.

13 - This is when you place the axle relocator perches on the axle, with the shorter arm towards the front. Make sure you tap them with the hammer tightly onto the tube, making sure the arms fall within the OEM perches below the axle tube. Make sure the arm length allows for the arch of the perch to sit as flush as possible onto the tube. When correctly installed, there should be about a 3/16" gap between the rear arm and OEM perch, while the front arm sits flush against the OEM perch. This will set your pinion angle correctly so that you DO NOT need a pinion spacer. (The driveshaft length from pinion flange to rubber seal on the trans remains below 51.5")

14 - "Drive" your axle back under the truck, placing the leaf springs in their new territory, now ABOVE the rear axle!

15 - The center pin should not need to be trimmed, as mine is factory and fell right into the center hole on the new perches. You CAN use the center hole on these perches, as long as you angle the axle up in the front. (Pinion side)

16 - Now place the driver side spring plate/shock mount on the passenger side, throw the u-bolts through and snug them up. Do the same on the other side (using the pass. side spring plate/shock mount on the drivers side)

17 - Assemble everything you disassembled. Remember not to remove the vice grip from the brake hose until you are certain the brake lines are connected together again.

18 - I HIGHLY suggest you have someone pump the brake pedal while you check the rear lines for leaks once its back together.

19 - Make sure everything is bolted and tightened 100%

20 - At this point, you are almost complete with the job! All that is left is getting the shocks connected!

The Process for the Front Suspension:

- - - coming soon - - -

Alignment Specifications:

- - - coming soon - - -

How to fix the 3/16" rear hard brake lines

- - - coming soon - - -
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reserved for future
Curious as to why you didn't just go with a weld on spring mount instead of the relocater bracket since you need to weld different shock mounts in anyway? I think it would make for a stronger install or are you going to weld the spring mounts to the tube later?
YEa man details and pics already...lol
I got here early to reserve my seat.:waiting:
Quiet down everybody the movie is gonna start! :waiting:
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/HKzwMa-aYOw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Link fail!!

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You guys are awesome...lol

I will work on this thread now. It's not 100% complete to my liking, but I have the rest of what i want to adjust worked out, just need to do it.
Do you by chance have enough pics to do a full how-to for the Tech Exchange section? Or did you decide to start documenting halfway through? :)
Do you by chance have enough pics to do a full how-to for the Tech Exchange section? Or did you decide to start documenting halfway through? :)
I have 90% of the pics ready now, and I will type out the full walk-through tonight.
You guys are awesome...lol

If someone whom you may never meet can't have fun with ya then how are you supposed to have fun with people you know..lol My pleasure to be involved..lol Looking forward to the tutorial..
Updated first & second post, I'm swamped. I'll get back to this tomorrow guys!
Yes please do. Also is there any welding involved in the rear work ? You say not to mount the shocks like this in the one pic, so is that what the Spring plate swap is for? This is gonna be great man..
Yes please do. Also is there any welding involved in the rear work ? You say not to mount the shocks like this in the one pic, so is that what the Spring plate swap is for? This is gonna be great man..
Yes, there is welding required to make new shock locations. There are specific dimensions for the new lower mounts I will post up shortly.

I feel the same way!! Haha
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