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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys! New to forum and just been reading a lot about leveling kits but cannot find much on front bumper replacements so I thought I would post another thread.

I live in Montana and drive backroads and highways infested with deer, moose, and elk so most people put front bumper replacements on their rigs here, me being one of them. I was looking at the fab fours premium bumper. (Premium Front Bumper - Fab Fours) the site says it weighs 185lbs however I talked to them and they said for our trucks they weight about 125lbs. My question is, for those of you that have front bumper replacements, have you noticed a dramatic drop in mileage or front end wear and tear? I know the added weight will definitely wear my tires and ball joints more rapidly but I just want to make sure I'm not going to kill the front end since its just a half ton truck.

Second question is, what kind of leveling kit or suspension upgrade do you guys recommend that is best for the truck and does not void warranty? I cannot stand the "rack" of these trucks and although I know its for aerodynamics and towing distribution, but come on, the front end has like 5 inches of clearance, doesn't cut it for a "truck" in my mind and i know after I put on a bumper replacement it will be even worse.

Thanks in advance! Absolutely love the truck just want to make it a bit more practical and better looking!

2105 Ram EcoDiesel Bighorn, quadcab, 4000miles, AVG 24MPG
 

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IMHO the Bilstein leveling shocks (set @ 2.1) are the way to go. Search Bilstein 5100 on this forum & you will find some good info. Had the dealership install mine under warranty. There is a catch there...."normal wear & tear of suspension components" is not covered under warranty which makes it real easy for the dealership to "back up" any lift. ;)
I haven't looked into an aftermarket bumper but I would go as light as possible considering the engine weight. Maybe a grille guard instead. I had a heavy Ranch Hand replacement bumper on my Tundra & the Bilsteins held up great over 3 years...MPG's suffered though
 

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I don't think a 150 lb bumper would contribute to more rapid wear on suspension components.

A 400-500 lb snow plow on the other hand...

My 2010 1500 had n-fab front and rear bumpers on it when I bought it. We put 80,000 km on it in two years (plus the 30,000 km the previous owner put on it) and the front suspension was still tight. The only repair was the tie rods at 45,000 km because of a recall.

If you're worried about the extra weight changing the geometry, you could get an alignment after the bumper install to put everything back to spec.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the great replies guys! Seems like bilsteins are the way to go! I'm going to have the bumper installed this week then call the dealer and see what we can work as far as the shocks. Love the looks of your truck btw. I'll keep the forum posted on the happening and post some pictures and updates on mileage changes.
 

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amackley - keep us posted on the bumpers. Are you going with the no guard, pre-runner, or full guard? I'm interested in seeing some photos regardless and want to know how it works out. I'm interested in the no-guard (sensor). Also let me know how you plan to wire the new lights. Are you planning on wiring them to an aux switch or wiring them into the existing harness where you'll activate them with fog lights?
 

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Can't speak to my ED, but handling to a smaller degree was affected on my Ram 2500 & 3500's with a Ranch Hand Full Replacement Bumper and fuel mileage was reduced by 1 mpg or so (something like 225 lbs. Of the top of my head for 3/4-1 ton although lighter on a 1/2 ton model). The definitely are cheap insurance as I have hit a few deer at night or dusk at 70 MPH with no damage other than a few scratch and/or maybe an area on the expanded metal where I had to knock out a dented area. There is a more local company to us in Moore, Montana you may want to check Throttle Down Kustoms. They list primarily 3/4 & 1 ton bumpers for Chevy, Ford, & Dodge (Ram) although maybe he has done something for 1/2 tons as well. I was going to check him out last time I purchased a full replacement bumper as I had come across his company on another diesel forum, but never did so.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Update, bumper installed

amackley - keep us posted on the bumpers. Are you going with the no guard, pre-runner, or full guard? I'm interested in seeing some photos regardless and want to know how it works out. I'm interested in the no-guard (sensor). Also let me know how you plan to wire the new lights. Are you planning on wiring them to an aux switch or wiring them into the existing harness where you'll activate them with fog lights?
Hey guys just wanted to post and update with pics. Had the fab fours black steel elite bumper installed last week. Granite Ram, this bumper has housing for the factory fog lights so it doesn't require any re-wiring, however the tech said it was kind of a pain in the ass to get the fog lights to sit in there right. Ive driven about 300 miles since install and it appears that my MPG only went down about .6mpg. I was at about 23.2 average before and now im at about 22.4-22.8mpg. So i am totally ok with that. Truck goes in this week for install of the bilstein 5100s and re alignment. Will post more pictures after that! View attachment 9414 View attachment 9415 View attachment 9416
 

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If you have or get the park assist sensors, can you still replace the bumper and just move/disable them. Or is better to just not get them at all. Would they similarly be affected by adding a brush guard to the front instead of a new bumper. Trying to decide on whether to add them to my order. My wife is height challenged and I don't want her needlessly bumping into things.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If you have or get the park assist sensors, can you still replace the bumper and just move/disable them. Or is better to just not get them at all. Would they similarly be affected by adding a brush guard to the front instead of a new bumper. Trying to decide on whether to add them to my order. My wife is height challenged and I don't want her needlessly bumping into things.
I do not have park sensors but I know when I was looking for bumpers, some companies offered bumpers that have the park sensors in them so I think they just wire right into your existing park sensors or something like that. I know fab fours has options on most their bumpers for a couple hundred extra bucks to make them compatible with park sensors!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Oh and i got the bilstein 5100 leveling shocks installed at the 2.1" setting. Mileage took a hit, Im down to about 20.5MPG after the level and bumper. Kind of a drag, however the truck does look 10x better without that rake.
 

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Wow that is a big hit to your MPG. I have also considered the same mods to my truck but that has me rethinking things.:(
 
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