Towing with JBS-301-01

Installing the RAM 2500 2″ Journey Better leveling kit

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When it comes to hauling a heavy load or towing a heavy trailer with your RAM 2500, you’re probably going to have to upgrade your suspension. The following is an installation and review from Randy Bolig of Diesel Army on the new RAM 2″ Journey Better leveling kit.

RAM 2500 Journey Better Leveling Kit Install

The all-new 2″ RAM 2500 leveling kit is designed to level the truck while keeping it level when loaded up or towing. This is the first of its kind. Not only providing a level truck for daily driving but keeping it there when the weight is added.

The details

The front coil springs raise the front of the truck by 2-1/2 inches. While the rears keep the stock truck height. While coils are a much more enjoyable ride over leaf springs. When it comes to towing, some drawbacks to the system start to emerge. It’s been noted that when carrying a top-heavy load, the truck can feel less stable than previous leaf-sprung trucks. Having a more robust coil spring can help alleviate that as well as provide the needed load support. That’s where the new RAM 2500 2″ Journey Better leveling kit comes in.

RAM 2500 with JBS-301-01 Installed

Why change the springs?

These trucks sag in the rear when you drop the trailer on the ball. Whether that’s hauling loads that push the payload limit, or an empty gooseneck trailer that weighs slightly more than 4,000 pounds. A simple spacer leveling kit on the front coil only makes that issue worse, if you haven’t added some kind of suspension load support to the rear of the truck. So when attaching the 40-foot “bumper pull” toy hauler to the receiver hitch, this RAM 2500 really drops. That was, until I installed this 2″ Journey Better RAM 2500 leveling kit.

Weighing The Options

With their growing popularity, SumoSprings were the first throught. These are a suspension enhancement that attaches between your frame and axle and are usable with both leaf and coil spring-equipped trucks. SuperSprings International manufactures them from what is called a micro-cellular polyurethane. They are designed to reduce rear-end sag, decrease vibration, stabilize sway, and soften harsh rebounds. SumoSprings are a progressive spring with a very soft initial engagement. What that means is, the more weight added, the harder they become and the more they push back against the load. This provides support and control when you need it, without affecting the factory ride when unloaded. They sounded like a good option, but after doing a little more research and talking to the team at SSI, I learned about SuperCoils and that they were about to release their new RAM 2500 leveling kit.

SuperCoils are heavy-duty replacement coil springs. They are designed to be a direct replacement for OE springs and offer better ride and load-handling characteristics. I also learned that SuperCoils have a progressive-rate design as opposed to the OE spring’s more linear rate.

Linear Vs. Progressive

RAM 2500 Journey Better Leveling Kit Install
OE Coil on the left. SuperCoil on the right.

Linear springs have a defined spring rate per inch of deflection throughout most of their range of deflection. For instance, for 300 lb/in linear rate spring at 12 inches long, it takes approximately 300 pounds to deflect it 1 inch. The next inch of deflection will take another 300 pounds of load, and so on.

Progressive rate springs are generally classified into two sub-types. One is a constantly increasing rate spring and the other is a “dual-rate” spring with two linear rates connected with a rate-transition range.

The first type is most often used as “load-compensating springs” on the rear of a vehicle that will often see significant load changes in the cargo area. These are most often stock replacement type suspension springs. They are identified most easily by the continually varied spacing between the coils.

The dual-rate spring is a much more sophisticated design. These springs are easily identified by having a few closely wound coils at one end and then wider, equally spaced coils at the other end. They have rates described as 200/425 lb/in. This means that the spring has an initial rate of 200 lb/in through some range of deflection. Then the rate transitions to 425 lb/in through a deflection range of typically 1 to 2 inches.


“We build our SuperCoils from high-grade American shot-peened steel,” says Tom Bateman of SSI. “In addition, we’ve engineered the springs to have a progressive spring rate. What this means, is, while OE coils are great for an unloaded daily drive, our product is built to give you the best unloaded ride possible as well as a superior ride when loaded or towing. So, we add additional load-leveling capacity (not GVWR) to combat sagging, front-end dip and roll, control sway, and take out body roll. We offer the best of both worlds.”

The SuperColis are made of a heavier wire spring to help support the weight and reduce sag. The progressive design helps to deliver a better ride even with the heavier spring material.

From the factory,the RAM 2500 comes with a “raked” stance and in this case, the goal was to have a “level” truck. “For the new Ram 2500, SSI’s front coil springs are not only better than OE, but they are also a leveling kit,” says Tom. They are built to give you a 2-inch higher front end to keep you level when towing. So in this case, you’re able to get more clearance, add bigger wheels and tires, and load up without sagging. That’s why this is a good upgrade to make on a new/newer truck.”

Picking the JBS leveling kit

With the decision made to change out the coil springs, I found what I needed at Xtreme Diesel Performance (XDP) and ordered the JBS-301-01 leveling kit. Not only are the springs a progressive design that offers a smoother ride. The capacity of the new springs is 4,437 pounds for the fronts and 2,475 pounds for the rears.

Finally, I asked Tom what he would say to someone that asked if the SuperCoils will work with airbags. He had this to say, “airbags are the incumbent. It’s a system that was developed in 1902 with popular companies being used since the late 1940s. It’s the go-to thought and a household name. They definitely have some advantages like adjustability and the ability to drop one side for an ambulance or a school bus. We tout ourselves as the airbag alternative because, with our products, we are the full solution — you don’t need air. It’s fit it and forget it. With no lines, no leaks, no maintenance, and no need to add a compressor or maintain minimum psi. Our products are built to keep you level when loaded and towing without negatively affecting you’re unloaded ride comfort. Plus, we’re backed by a lifetime warranty.”

The installation

As suspected, the installation took roughly three hours to complete. Keep in mind, there was plenty of stopping to take pictures and make notes. Once the front springs were swapped, it was obvious with the nose of the truck now 2 inches higher that the OE shocks were probably now too short. They do physically bolt into place, but with the suspension at full droop/sag, the shocks will not extend far enough to reinstall the bolt. This means the shock will be fully extended when the front end extends and they will act like a suspension travel stop. If there’s any chance this could eventually damage the shocks, replacing them now made sense. The Bilstein 5100-series was an obvious choice here and pair nicely with the JBS-301-01. The truck is not a dedicated off-road vehicle, so an external reservoir shock was not needed.

SuperCoils Performance

There were a lot of claims about how well the SuperCoils actually work. It’s time to give an assessment.

The best test? Towing with the JBS leveling kit. With the camper hooked up, it was time to test how the new coil springs reacted.

Towing with JBS-301-01

Before the new springs, the front of the truck (as measured at the front wheel opening with no trailer) was 40-1/4 inches from the ground. After the installation, the opening measured 42-5/8 inches. The 2-1/2-inch lift springs actually gave me 2-3/8-inches.

As for the rear of the truck, the new ride height is the same as it was with the stock coils. The rear SuperCoils are not designed to raise unloaded ride height. They are designed to increase loaded ride height and with the toy hauler attached, they did that by 1-1/4 inches.

How does it ride?

As previously mentioned, the SuperCoils are progressive-rate coil springs which mean they supply more resistance as the weight on them increases. That is great for supporting loads, and the progressive nature means they do not need to be as “stiff” when the truck is not loaded. What this does is offer a smoother ride than the OE springs could deliver. his kit took out the “bounce” of the suspension. This is definitely an upgrade that makes the RAM 2500 a better truck. A highly recommend suspension upgrade for your truck.

Check out this install video of the JBS-301-01

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