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Dodge Ram: Problems & Solutions

mpjmpjmpjmpj Posts: 1
edited March 20 in Dodge
I have a 2001 Ram 2500 diesel and noticed that I am not the only one complaining about the steering. Driving the truck down the road required constant attention to the wheel always correcting it to drive straight. The truck will not center on the road.

It has been back to the dealer 4x (2 separate dealers). They've replaced the track bar, steering box, aligned it each time, and a ball joint was frozen. There are no TSB's according to the dealer.

Someone told me that an after market levelling kit will solve the problem, but that is $700 and a void on the warranty. This kit replaces the control arms (trailing arms) with tubular instead of the stock stamped metal, and the springs.

The truck now has 45,000 miles on it. I LOVE the truck but HATE to drive it. How's that for spending close to $40k???

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!


  • lariat1lariat1 Posts: 461
    Well it sound like you have a quad cab w/short bed, I had a 98 quad w/short bed and it did the same thing it didnt bother me to much but the way I fixed it was lowering the tire pressure to 32-35 psig when the truck was empty and adding air when I loaded the truck.
  • It's probably because the motor is so heavy, there isn't enough "truck" in the rear to compensate. I drove a friends 2001 short bed quad with only 8k on the odo. and you could feel the fight in the steering wheel. But it wasn't worth getting worked up over. He also has 33" tires and it still wasn't bad. Later I test drove a long bed quad and it drove straight as an arrow on the stock tires.
    If you let go of the wheel and it veers sharply to one direction, I'd definitely get it checked. If not then I wouldn't worry.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,231
    My '01 2500 is an ext. cab, short-bed 4X4 and steering is fine pushing 52K miles. Better with the Michelin LTX that came standard, but I replaced them with more aggresive meat (Toyo AT's) that tow better thanks to stiffer sidewall. Steering is more vague, but doesn't wander around more than any other 4X4 truck with all-terrain tires. Could this be a tire problem? Or could you be not used to driving something like this? I mean, anything that can tow major weight is going to be equipped with tires and suspension that requires a bit more work to drive than a family sedan. The Silverado has probably the best steering feel, and it's still nothing like driving a car. The biggest difference is sporty tires, which don't work well on a truck. If you're not towing with it, you might try some lighter-duty tires.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,854
    Since we didn't have a Dodge Ram Problems topic, I've made this the official home...

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  • Hi all, I have a 2001 Dodge Ram 1500 QC 4x4 Off Road, Auto, 5.9, w/ 8k miles. When I'm driving between 70mph and 80mph on the highway it does a weird Vibration/Humm type thing that comes from underneath the truck. It peaks at 75, and goes away below 70 and above 80. To me it's like when a manual transmission's throw-out-bearing is worn, it like worsens at a certain spot when you let off the gas and varies but is always there between 70 and 80. Any ideas? TSB's? Experiences? I'm supposed to take it in so they can look at it tomorrow, but I'm almost sure they'll just give me the typical "We didn't seem to find anything wrong". or " We looked underneath, and everything seems to look fine". Thanks in advance..........................
  • gp30gp30 Posts: 1
    I have a '99 Quad cab 1500 2 wheel drive 318 engine and on the highway I have noticed around top end 70- 80 mph on the interstate that the engine seems to miss and sputter occasionally. It sounds like spark knock (even with Amoco white gas) or something like popcorn popping metallic sounds. While riding on the passenger side I heard it very promeniently on the right side of the engine. I loose power and its time to have it investigated but I would appreciate someone with similar problems discussing this with me.
  • We have a 96 4x4 extra cab shortbed bought new. We just had a third transmission in 68,000 mile. The 1st was at about 33,000. Was suppose to be a complete rebuild. About 11,000 mi. later it wouldn't even move. Another complete rebuild. Both of these were warranty. This last time we took it to a independent tranny man. He did a complete rebuild--recondition of tranny with Reman torque convertor and all updates,gasket and seal kit, overdrive piston housing, reverse drive, torque convertor, tranny cooler. This cost $2263.60 out of our pocket. We are just curious about anyone else having trouble.
  • babbitbabbit Posts: 2
    Interesting post on your tranny. Several years ago I owned a 2WD Dodge 1/2 ton that practically ate transmissions (3 in the first 50,000 miles). The third rebuild was done by a private shop and it lasted until 160,000 miles. The trick is to get a good tranny cooler, do a tranny service anually and put in a friction modifier (aftermarket additive)to keep the seals flexible. It's too bad Dodge can't fix 'em right but at least there is hope in the aftermarket.
  • mbean1mbean1 Posts: 2
    Mpjmpj, try going to the TDR website about this one. No offense to anyone here, but in my opinion, the Turbo Diesel Register is THE CONSUMATE AUTHORITY when it comes to Ram Diesel topics. The address is Its kinda expensive to join, but the access to knowledge is WELL worth it.
  • Here is another outstanding website that I use: Same as TDR,except there is no charge for membership. It's an official "spin-off" of the TDR.
  • rdg52rdg52 Posts: 2
    I am considering purchasing a left over 2001, 2500, SLT, Quad Cab, 4x2, Cummins TD, Auto Transmission, and 4.10 Gears. Does anyone know the impact the 4.10 gears will have on fuel economy vs the standard 3.55 gears for both towing and non towing applications?
  • bc01clsbc01cls Posts: 44
    I have a new 02 RAM 1500 and the reason I went for another Dodge was that my 92 Dakota, with 92,000 miles still shifts tight enough into second to chirp the tires and snap your head back. The problems I've seen or heard about are Dodge trucks with the 5.9 V-8 and 4 speed auto. For some reason they seem to go through transmissions. I was worried about the Dakota but it's fine even after hauling my 1300 pound cabover camper and pulling my 2600 pound boat. No towing package even, just posi-traction. Maybe I've just been lucky.......... Hope this new "Multi speed transmission" with the 4.7 holds up!!!
  • lariat1lariat1 Posts: 461
    One of the main reasons for earlt tranny failures in the Dodges was due to not performing the transmission maintenance every 25,000 miles I do not know of anyone having a failure when the maintenance schedule is followed. But I am sure there are a few out there.
  • jcmdiejcmdie Posts: 595
    The other thing on the dodge tranny is to use the overdrive off switch if the unit starts to hunt or if you are cruising at speeds where the overdrive starts to engage. The shifting in and out builds up heat, which is a major contributor to trans damage.
  • bc01clsbc01cls Posts: 44
    I should probably add that I serviced my tranny in the Dakota every 30k and turned off the overdrive in steeper more tranny taxing terrain as suggested by lariat1 and jcmdie above. Probably why the Dakota still has one at 92K!
  • I have a 1995 Ram 1500 with 43200 miles. Driven as second vehicle. Never hauled anything remotely substantial or towed with it. Just spent $700+ dollars on a new torque converter and transmission cooler.
  • jcmdiejcmdie Posts: 595
    The dodge maintainence schedule (unknown to most) calls out for fluid and filter changes every 12,000 miles. Also the trans requires fluid that is Dodge-specific due to a particular blend of friction modifiers. Using a high grade trans fluid that is not specifically formulated for Dodge, will give you problems.
  • 2001 Dodge 2500, auto, w/410 positrac, Cummings, SLT Quad Cab, 4X2, 265 tires. Town & country stop and go without babying it -- a consistant 16.5. Country and turnpike -- a consistant 19. Towing 11,500 with switching between overdrive and non-overdrive depending on the road, in flat country with just hills -- a consistant 9 - 10.
  • laurplaurp Posts: 1
    Well what can I say. I have a 1996 Dodge Ram Reg Cab SLT 4x4, fully loaded except for leather. I have since spent $1000's on canopy, boat racks, CD player, Alarm etc. I planned on keeping this truck for a long time.

    It's a 318 5.2 liter. I bought this truck brand new. I've spent a lot of money on this truck in various repairs since the warranty ran out. With only 60K miles my engine blew on the way to work. The crankshaft broke in half! The engine rebuild cost me over $3000 on top of everything else. I do not tow or haul anything. I've looked after this truck from Day 1 and this is what happens.

    Since the 318 has been around for awhile, and I bought this truck brand new, I suspect a factory defect. My truck is out of warranty for 2.5 years now but I'm still going after Chrysler/Dodge. Has anyone experienced similiar problems?
  • jcmdiejcmdie Posts: 595
    With your vehicle 2.5 years out of warantee, I wouldn't "go after" Dodge or Chrysler. Thier legal and practical obligation is well past. Asking for assitance and playing on the fact that you expected a better product may help. At this point any thing that they do for you will be good will and out of pocket expense that they are not obligated to. I've had excellent luck with the 318 in the past and I'm sorry to hear of your troubles. Best of luck.
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