How to Assemble a RAM Mount

RAM-B-138U ComponentsWe have been fans of RAM Mounts for many years.  They are really well made, even the plastic components are high quality.  They come with a lifetime warranty and will probably last longer than the device that you are using the mount for.  We have fielded a lot of questions over the years regarding RAM Mount assembly.  The questions range from which way the screws go to how do you put this RAM Mount together?

This article is written to show the reader how to assemble a RAM Mount or to illustrate which parts are needed if you are looking to build your mount by purchasing individual components.

RAM Mounts are a modular mounting system in that most parts are made to fit together using their ball and socket design.  So a 3″ arm from an older mount should fit the new suction cup with 1″ ball that you may have recently purchased.  As long as all your components have the same size ball, they will fit together.  Keep in mind RAM has several ball sizes, the most common being a one-inch ball, but there are several other sizes.  If you purchased your mount as a kit, all parts should be the same size ball.

There’s a lot of advantages to RAM Mounts.  One of them is the ability to use your mount in multiple locations.  So for example if you purchased a motorcycle mount for your handlebar, and want to now use it in your car with a suction cup, you don’t need to buy a new mount.  Just go out and purchase a RAM suction cup attachment and attach it to the arm and cradle using the techniques outlined in this article.

We are going to cover assembly for the most basic RAM Mount which are the ones that have a cradle and are used to hold an electronics device to a vehicle or flat surface.  These RAM Mounts have three basic components:  the base, the mounting arm and a cradle.  The base can be a flat surface component with a rubberized ball attached.  It can also be a handlebar mount with rubberized ball, a suction cup with a rubberized ball, a clamp with rubberized ball.  I think you see the pattern.  All the bases typically have a rubberized ball attached.

At the end of the mount will be your cradle.  There are a few different types of cradles.  The RAM X-Grip cradle which we have written about extensively has a ball already attached to the back.  That ball will insert into the mounting arm covered more in a bit.  You may also have a custom plastic cradle.  RAM has an extremely large selection of custom cradles to fit various models of GPS, tablets and smartphones.  The majority have either two or four holes on the back.  For the two-hole variety, you will use the RAM mounting diamond which likely came with your mount.  For four-hole cradles, you will use the circular adapter.  Screws and nuts are provided within the cradle packet.  Place the nut within the hexagonal slot on the front of the cradle.  Put the screw through the back of the cradle and use a screwdriver to attach the nut.  Keep going until tight.  Do not use a solution such as LocTite on the nut as it will eat away at the plastic cradle and render it unusable.

So you should have a base and an assembled cradle sitting in front of you and now it’s time to attach all the components together.  The arm is the key component to connecting all three components.  There are three sizes with the three-inch being the most common size used.  There is a tightening knob in the middle and a spring inside of most arms.  Just one spring is present on the 1″ ball arms, not two.  Loosening the knob will open the ball joints at the base and tip.  Loosen the knob just enough to insert the rubberized ball from the base and the rubberized ball from the cradle.  Insert the rubberized balls into the open sockets at each end then tighten the knob on the side of the arm.

Your mount is now fully assembled and ready to use.