Yeah and Atomic Motorsports Concepts is who I'm working with right now in regards to a 3rd generation long travel suspension system however it's for the 2wd variant and is only going to happen if we can rally enough interest for the kit which as of right now we have not really been able to do.
We have a total of around 4 people genuinely interested in a group buy for the kit. We were hoping for around 10 before production even begins, which will include substantial revisions to the kit that has been seen around the internet on a RWD Ram about 8 years ago.
It'd be great to bring that kit back, but we just can't find any interest for it, and there is absolutely no interest in a 4x4 kit on the 3rd gen 1500s. If it were a 2500 that would be a different story.
That being said, there are a few components that you can mix and match as of right now that will at add a bit of travel to both the RWD and 4x4 3rd gen 1500s.
Michigan Metal Works is another company that I've been working with in regards to a long arm suspension kit and they have recently developed a lower control arm that allows coilover shocks to pass through it that way it clears vital components at full droop. This has proven VERY handy for a lot of people. You can find them at http://michiganmetalworks.com/, at lot of people combine that arm with a lift spindle and some sort of dirt savvy shocks and you have yourself a much more capable off road ride. This setup is still not quite adequate for heavy off-road abuse it is still a SIGNIFICANT improvement over the stock suspension setup and you aren't going to snap your **** off when you hit a sand rail. Just don't expect to sail through the air or run rails at 60 mph and be completely comfortable like you would with a true long arm suspension system.
I have a 2004 Dodge Ram 1500 2wd that I built a long travel kit for. When doing research for my kit, that Atomic truck was the only example I could find which was a bummer. I don't know why these trucks aren't more popular, the frame is stout and boxed completely bumper to bumper and has been a great platform for me.
I made my arms 4" over and used CST fabricated spindles with fox 10" coilovers and bypass which gave me 15" travel bumped and strapped. After making my first kit I learned a lot and I'm planning on redoing the kit next year and I know I can get a lot more travel out of the front.
First thing I need to do is ditch the CST spindle since the steering mount on the spindle is the first thing that limits my droop travel. Second I need 12" shocks since the shock stroke is the second thing that limits my travel. I found that I had to mount my shocks pretty far out on the lower arm to get it to 90 degrees at full bump thereby needing a longer shock. I also will be switching to Sway a Way since they have a much shorter collapsed shock length which would really make it easier to mount them. I had a hard time building an engine cage to mount the shocks since Fox shocks are so long. Third I will be shortening the arms to 3" over because Dodge rams are CRAZY wide! with 4" longer arms and my wheel and tire combo I'm at 96" wide!!! Dodge ram arms are plenty long to begin with anyway. I built a 5" over long travel kit for my buddy's 08 Tacoma and my factory arms were around the same length as his 5" over arms!
I'm still debating whether or not I want to use a vertical uniball or horizontal. I could probably get a little more travel going to vertical, but the steering radius already sucks on this truck so I'm a little hesitant to make it worse.
For the rear I had Atlas springs make me a spring under pack that has been working ok, but I'm currently having Deaver make me a custom pack to see if they can improve my ride since it's the back that is keeping my truck from going faster. The limit for the rear is around 16" travel because the one piece driveshaft starts to stab the transmission around 16" of droop from the frame.
I'd be interested to know how the Sway A Way(s) work in comparison to the Fox shocks. I was just about to place my order for a fox set and now you have me almost reconsidering.
And much like you said, it's a shame there aren't more 3G 1500 runners. I finished mine not long ago and I've NEVER seen another one in person. I like half a mile from a 4 Wheel Parts and they're always asking me where to buy the kit.
Especially seeing as how 3G rams are so abundant these days and the pricing on them is incredibly affordable. Their chassis if fantastic and the 5.7L can be a power house in a RWD setup.
If you look at the specs 12" SAW's are 1/2" shorter collapsed than 10" Fox so for me it would have been awesome to be able to fit a longer shock in the same area since the 12" Fox are really long. I already had a hard time mounting the 10" Fox and don't think I would have been able to mount 12" Fox without messing with my AC on one side and brake booster on the other. I already had to move my battery to the back to make clearance.
I have no experience with SAW but they seem to be making a quality product these days and if the only thing I changed was the shocks I probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference.
It's weird that I just caught this. Myself and a buddy both have Rams from that generation. His is a 4WD 1500, and mine is an early 2WD 1500 with a 5.9 Magnum.
We've built and installed all sorts of long travel and lift kits. And we too have been puzzled by the lack of support, because beyond just me and him, we know of several others in N Cal that would be interested.
We've started to draw plans for our own arms, and see where it goes from there.
Id imagine that a long travel kit for a 2wd 3rd gen would be a little "easier" since the suspension is not torsion controlled like the 02-05 dodge ram 1500 4wd. Believe me, I want to ditch the torsion setup and fabricate new lower a arm control tabs on the frame but i need a donor front end to take measurements off of, hacking my front end up on my DD isn't an option at the moment. The torsion bar travels through the lower a arm and it would be almost impractical to use the existing a arm tab brackets from the factory. I would just try a SAS and take the front straight axle kit with link bars off a 2nd gen like the "jeep cherokee" style front end, before i tried to fit a set of upper and lower a arms for 04 ram 1500 4wd. Even if there was a "kit" with WIY brackets for the upper and lower control arms.
For the amount of lifted dodge rams we have in Nor Cal, the market would be huge. Im at my wits end seeing every ford ranger long traveled with more money in coil overs than the actual truck is worth. I want to see one off designs, not something just bought off camburgs website with the click of a button.
I should mention that if you're only planning on using a coilover than you have plenty of room to mount a 12" shock of any make, the challenge for me was mounting a bypass as well since on the driver side you have the brake booster in the way, and on the passenger side you have the AC Accumulator.
If anybody has any pictures of their one off kits they made for their Dodge Ram I would love to see it. I can take pictures of mine tomorrow and post them.
Cruising around and saw this. I am about to start a build thread with progress pics of my 07 4x4 LT build going on right now. I should get a post up soon. I took it to BTF Fabrication for the work. They did a 2wd kit but this is their first 4x4 kit. Should be pretty sick!