• Nov 28, 2007
In a move that only serves to prove how competitive the full-size truck market is in the U.S., Dodge will reportedly be swapping out traditional leaf springs in the rear suspension of its redesigned 2009 Dodge Ram in favor of a new coil sprung rear axle. The move may seem counter intuitive, as leaf springs have long been the go-to gear for rear suspensions in pickups due to their heavy duty nature that allows for greater towing and payload capacity. Dodge, however, appears least interested among its competitors in going after best-in-class towing and payload ratings. The current Ram 1500 tops out with an 8,750 lb. maximum tow rating, far below the 10,000 lb.+ ratings of its cross-town rivals and the Toyota Tundra. Allpar.com, which broke the news, reports that payload capacity for the new coil sprung truck will remain the same, so we'd expect the Ram not to give an inch on towing either. Dodge seems to be betting that heavy haulers who are really interested in towing will opt up for a heavy duty version of the Ram. Those sticking with the half-ton and its coil-sprung rear suspension will be rewarded with better ride and handling and virtually no wheel hop, a regrettable side effect of leaf springs.
What say you about Dodge's alleged decision to ditch leaf springs? Does it only serve to soften the Ram as the pickup wars intensify, or will the benefits of a smoother ride with little to no sacrifice in capability make the trunk even more appealing?

BTW, Allpar.com also reports that the 2009 Dodge Ram will get a pair of storage boxes on either side of its bed that are waterproof and accessible from the outside. Each box will be able to hold 8 cubic feet of stuff, which when combined offers additional storage space that rivals the trunk volume of some sedans.

[Source: Allpar.com via Pickuptruck.com]


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  • 68 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      "I've never heard of a leafspring shooting out and killing someone, while under load, have you?"
      BAM
      • 7 Years Ago
      Couple of things:

      I had a 1967 Chevy with the coils. It had the trailer package. I don't know about you guys but I probably hauled more weight in that truck than any other that I have ever owned. It sagged less than many of my trucks with leaf springs, including my current F150.

      I also am a minority I guess in that I do tow heavy with my F150. Not that I am against a lighter duty truck, but as it stands now, I can't get a 3/4 ton (at least from Ford) that fits in my garage. I also only tow heavy (7000lb camper) about 6 times a year. My F150 does fine...but with leveling bars....something we never used or had on the '67 Chevy when we towed our old camper then.....that come to think of it, probably weighed alot more than the new one we have now.
        • 7 Years Ago
        @BAM
        I bet there will be two suspension options. most trucks will arrive to dealers with coils but the leaf option will be there to get that magic 10000+ pound towing cap.
      DriftPunch
      • 7 Years Ago
      60s and Early 70s GM Pickups had a trailing arm/coil spring rear suspension. So there...
        • 7 Years Ago
        @DriftPunch
        Starting in '63, and up until '72 IIRC. My '69 CST/10 has the coil springs and trailing arms. It was the "Heavy duty rear suspension" option on the C10s. K10s, and the C/K20s and 30s all had leaf springs
      • 7 Years Ago
      Good move on Dodge's part. I'm a Mopar guy, but even I'll admit that the ride on a Chevy pickup is much more comfortable than a comparable Dodge. Maybe this'll make the Dodge more comfortable.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Stupid
      • 7 Years Ago
      the suspension in the corvette c5/c6 is actually pretty innovative. it is a double a design like any other high en sports car and it kinda uses the leaf spring as a anty roll bar pretty impressive.

      dont judge a book by its cover just because it has the name "leaf" in it doesnt mean its bad. the corvette is a hell of a car this is coming from a honda guy.

      • 7 Years Ago
      People may cry and complain about it, but the truth is out of all the pickups I've personally seen people own, only two of them actually pull something heavy, and they're both heavy duty diesels.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Pete, I don't know if that was a slam on Chevy or a compliment, but the Chevy 1500 with drum brakes also costs $18,000. Pretty cheap all around, for those who can't spend another 4 grand for the base model of other manufacturers.
      • 7 Years Ago
      WHY NOT AIR BAG SUSPENSION??
      If I were to change truck suspension I'd go with airbags just like semi trucks use. They're proven to be reliable and the best part, automatic load leveling suspension. I don't understand why trucks aren't using air bag suspension...that by far makes the most sense to me!

      BTW...I recently watched the Top Gear episode with the Z06 corvette and that "old" suspension put the Z06 towards to top of the list on their test track times far above a Ferrari with nearly the same specs as a Z06 and costing $100,000 more! To give you an idea at how well the Z06 works on a track, the car directly above it was the 911 GT3! Every Lamborghini was slower than the Z06! Not bad for "old school" suspension!
      http://www.topgear.com/content/tgonbbc2/laptimes/thestig/
        • 7 Years Ago
        Ok, first off, airbag suspensions are expensive.

        Secondly, the Corvette's suspension is so different from a pickup's that they can't even be compared. Yes, the 'Vette uses a transverse leaf spring - but the suspension is independent and very advanced. There's nothing old school about it. The pickup suspension is just a couple of latitudinal leaf springs damping a solid rear axle. Same basic concept as a Bangladeshi ox-cart. THAT is old-school.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Most half ton pickups are used for profiling anyways. Might as well have a plush ride if it's all show and no go.
      • 7 Years Ago
      WTF?!?!! If Toyota had launched the 07 Tundra with coils in the rear, they would have been laughed out of town. But if Dodge does it...'hm makes sense to me'?!??!?!?
      The storage boxes are cool, as long as they're well executed. combined 16 cubic feet will negate the need for a cross-bed toolbox for many people.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I say If Toyota had put coil springs in the Tundra they would have been praised as being inovative and raising truck design to a new level. Leaving the domestic makes as being antiquated.
        Good for Dodge. If you need to pull 10,000 lbs you really need a 3/4 + truck. I have a half ton Chevy to pull a fishing boat with and rarely use the bed beyond 300lbs ofd weight. Its handy to have a truck for the times you do need it. A truck is more practical than most vehicles.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wow, quite a move for Dodge! I think it will be fine for most people though. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.
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