One of the great things about owning a Dodge Ram 1500 is how customizable these trucks are. Modifying them is simple as soon as you decide what direction you'd like to take your build. Since trucks can serve a variety of functions, from a daily driver to a work vehicle, they can be outfitted accordingly. A truck is what you make of it, and the Ram 1500 is an especially malleable truck. From the rugged and charmingly simple Tradesman trim level to the more elaborate and luxurious Laramie Longhorn, the Ram 1500 can appeal to every type of truck owner.
The following list contains some of the best mods to improve your Ram 1500's performance, looks, and functionality. Most of the following mods can be installed in your garage. Additionally, CJ Off-Road's YouTube channel will show you how to install these mods for your Ram 1500. Without further ado, here's our list of the top Ram 1500 mods in no particular order.
Lift Kits and Leveling Kits
Lift kits are a perennial favorite truck mod. While people may scoff and call a lifted truck a bro-dozer, they don't know what they are missing. Lifting your truck is much more than an excuse to tower over small sedans on the highway. A lifted Ram 1500 can conquer some seriously treacherous off-roading trails. The added height allows for bigger tires, more suspension travel, and better approach and departure angles.
When you think of a lifted truck, you probably think of some gangly vehicle with aspirations of becoming a monster truck. That's rarely the case with most aftermarket lift kits. Lift kits come in a variety of sizes, usually lifting your Ram 1500 anywhere from 2" to 6". Even though this doesn't seem like that much on paper, a lift like this can significantly improve your truck's off-road performance and appearance.
Cold Air Intakes
If you are an aftermarket aficionado, then you should have known this was coming. Cold air intakes are some of the most obviously beneficial modifications for most vehicles. On a Ram 1500, a cold air intake can lead to a noticeable increase in power. A cold air intake alone won't immediately transform your truck into a track star overnight, but it's a great place to start upgrading your Ram 1500's engine.
By allowing more oxygen dense air into your engine, cold air intakes can increase the power generated by your engine. When used in conjunction with other performance-enhancing mods, like a cat-back exhaust and a tuner, a cold air intake can truly earn its place in your Ram 1500's engine bay.
Increased air intake cannot happen if your exhaust is not up to snuff. Your vehicle's exhaust can be a major roadblock for increasing your engine's performance. Performance exhaust systems allow air to smoothly and quickly exit your engine, which in turn allows for more air to enter, and more power to be generated.
Another issue many people have with their stock exhaust systems is that they are too quiet. The proper exhaust can give your Ram 1500 a killer sound. If your truck is making a boatload of power under the hood, you might as well hear it, right?
Keep in mind, if you keep upgrading your Ram 1500's power output, you will need a way to stop. Be sure not to forget to install some powerful brakes to keep your rig from ramming anything too hard.
Side Steps and Running Boards
While performance is a great reason to modify your Ram 1500, convenience and comfort are also important. Even if you regularly take your truck off-road, odds are, you will be entering and exiting your truck's cab much more frequently. That's where side steps, running boards, and nerf bars all come into play. They serve plenty of functions, but you will mostly enjoy the ease of which you can enter and exit your truck.
Beyond just entering your truck, running boards provide a good platform for you to load and unload your bed. Additionally, they give your truck a sporty look. Running boards are also a simple mod to install. Most of them come in a basic plug and play format and can quickly be bolted to the underside of your Ram 1500 in a matter of seconds.
In the same vein as running boards and side steps, floor mats are a great way to make owning your Ram 1500 much more convenient. Though trucks have a tendency to get muddy, there's no reason the inside has to look like a mud pit.
It's nearly impossible to wipe all of the mud off of your boots when getting into your truck, so getting some mud on your carpet is an inevitability. Prepare for that inevitability with a heavy-duty floor mat. These floor mats cover all your cabin's floor space, keeping the messes contained to them. Furthermore, when they get covered with mud (and they will), all you have to do is take them and hose them off.
Investing in a heavy-duty floor mat will really go a long way. When these are called heavy-duty, it's no joke. Just to prove how tough they are, look at this floor mat torture test carried out by the CJ Off-Road's YouTube page. While they are not indestructible, they are pretty dang tough.
There are too many great ways to upgrade your Ram 1500. Whatever part of your Ram you want to improve, there will be a way to do so. Here are a few great Ram 1500 improvements that weren't featured on this list.
A great simple mod for your Ram 1500 is improved lighting. In addition to more powerful and brighter headlights, external sources of lights like light bars can brighten up dark trails. Don't get caught in the dark with your Ram; your truck's power doesn't mean anything if you can't see where you are going.
Larger wheel & tires can seriously improve your truck's looks and capabilities. Especially if you have your truck lifted, a nice set of large wheels and tires can really give your truck a tough and sporty look. With a bigger set of tires, your rig is one step closer to being a monster truck, and honestly, who doesn't want that?
Another related upgrade is a new set of fender flares. These can radically alter the look of your Ram 1500. Not only can they look fantastic on your truck, but they allow for both larger tires and more wheel travel. Fender flares are especially great for showing off your truck's suspension system too.
Keep in mind, these mods and upgrades work for all Ram 1500 models from 1994 on up. This includes 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 Ram 1500 trucks.
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