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Hello all, I have a 2008 Ridgeline RTS that I've had for about 5 years. Recently I've been getting into off-roading (nothing serious like scaling boulders but just for some fun) and as of now everything is stock on my truck. Ive been looking into getting a lift kit and upgrading the tires. I am new to all of this so I really have no idea what to ask for when I go into tire shops, and when I do they all look at me funny when I ask questions. I guess my question is where do I start, and what suggestions does anyone have for lift heights, tire sizes, rim changes, and potential total costs for the mods.

This might be a long shot, but also I was hoping other RL owners that live in the Chicagoland area, and who have done these modifications to their truck, might give me reliable businesses in the area where I can go to get this done. Thanks for the help!
 

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The standard truck tires are mostly set up for highway, not off roading. They can be pretty decent in snow and rain, however.

A/T or all-terrain tires are better offroad but still have decent highway manners. I think of these as the best compromise for a truck that still sees a lot of pavement but drives on more than a gravel road. I had these on a Tacoma and plan to put them on the RL.

M/T or mud-terrain (maximum traction?) tires are built primarily for off-roading and howl on the highway. They are also worse in the snow due to the large tread blocks. They look "cool" but the tradeoffs are too great for the look alone.

2" lifts are about all you can do on this truck, and the camps are split as to whether they put undue stress on your axles or not. They don't really offer you much in the way of clearance to run larger tires, however.
 

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Step 1. Go to
.

There's you lift

Step 2. Get whatever 265/65/17's all terrains you can afford (assuming you have stock size) and have the lift/tires/allighnment done at you local trusted suspension tire shop

Step 3. (optional) depending on how many miles you have they will crack. Purchase inner cv boots for both axles and have them ready to install.
 

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At most places, when you tell them you have a Ridgeline, they will get a stupid "this guy thinks that's a truck" grin on their face. In all honesty, you're better off researching your different tire options on this website and then going into the shop with a fairly definite idea of what you want; some shops will steer you towards tires that they get kickbacks from or that yield higher markups for their own profit. Bias against RL's can also lead them to make recommendations that are based on ignorance instead of facts.

I had to go to a local dealer to get my setup, because the two brand name warehouses refused to order any wheels that weren't the same as manufacturer specs or tires that were beyond what they considered "safe for my application."

As far as lift goes, Fat Bob's should still be making their lifts, which are leveling kits that give a 2" front lift and 1.5" in the rear. Their quality is great and they provide you with all the components you'll need.

Wheels and tires are kind of a personal preference. I wanted more meat on my tires, so I dropped down to 17" from my stock 18". Check out the definitive tire filament thread (I believe is what it's called) for size affects (yes, I meant "size"). From what I've seen, the chart is pretty damn accurate. I'm running 265/65/17's and I did need to grind the pinch welds and cut plastic. Keep in mind though that the more your wheel offset changes from stock, the more it will skew the rendered affects of the various tire sizes.
 

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Seriously George, consider what you're trying to do before spending money on it. Lift kits raise the chassis, so some vulnerable centerline parts are farther from rocks, but they don't allow you to install larger tires, so the outboard parts of the drivetrain are still exposed. And in any event, quite a number of people have reported drivetrain problems such as frequent axle replacements after installing lift kits in older Ridgelines.

If you think off-roading and challenging yourself more, over time, is something you might want to do, then don't start with a Ridgeline. It's just not designed for it - very difficult to modify, very few aftermarket parts made for it. You want a solid axle, part-time 4WD, body on frame design - exactly the opposite of the RL.

The Ridge is very capable up to a point but if you pass that point, it's likely going to turn into an expensive repair. If you're looking to offroad with any level of seriousness, then get something else - preferably not something you're going to need to use as a daily driver.

Flymo
 
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