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Dodge Ram Care and Maintenance



  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    The SAE temperature range specifications indicate that the maximum ambient temperature for 5W-30 use is 100 degrees F, while 10W-30 max is 120 F and the actual max temperature will vary from one manufacturers oil to another. The question is, is that a big difference.

    The real question should be, what is the actual viscosity at given temperature? It should not be assumed that any or all 10W-30 motor oils will have greater high temperature viscosity characteristics than a 5W-30.

    Example: using ASTM test method D445, the Quaker State "Higher Mileage Engine Motor Oil" in 5W-30 is rated at 12.20 centistokes at 212 degrees F, while the 10W-30 Mobil 1 Full Synthetic is only 10.0 centistokes at the same temperature. In fact, the Quaker State 5W-30 meets or exceeds any other 10W-30.

  • gmcbobgmcbob Posts: 27
    I'm trying to help my friend change the oil on his 2001 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 w/the 5.9 liter V8. The new Fram filter (3rd one this time) keeps leaking oil after we run the engine. Has anyone out there encountered a similar problem w/this motor after a new Fram has been put on?? We're going crazy as we've already got the driveway completely soaked in oil stains.
  • loncrayloncray Posts: 301
    I've read a lot about not allowing Fram filters anyplace near a Ram truck - they're supposed to be junk. If the Frams are all from the same batch, maybe they're all bent? You ARE oiling the gasket when you put it on, aren't you? You also want to clean the mating surface on the engine really well - make sure there's nothing there to let oil out. Maybe just maybe that surface has gotten bent somehow?
  • dodger54dodger54 Posts: 1
    I just got a Ram 3500 4x4 with the Cummins Diesel 4 dr shortbox. I want to lower it by 4 inches so I can fit into underground parking lots. I dpn;t really carry heavy loads but I do pull a 5,000 pound boat and trailer. Any ideas for where to go for lowering kits? Thanks
  • loncrayloncray Posts: 301
    Best way to lower a Ram is to sell it and buy a 4x2.
  • iowabigguyiowabigguy Posts: 552
    I found this on a Dodge Truck newsgroup. It has a parts of a 2004 shop manual online as well as other interesting info for the Dodge Truck Line of Products.

    Paste this URL into your internet browser and take a look. Rick
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I tow a 5000 lb trailer/boat with a 95 Nissan 4X4 V6 pickup (only a few miles to the boat ramp, but it does fine and pulling the boat out is a breeze thanks to the low range 4WD, which doubles the torque at the rear wheels.)

    You definitely do not need this huge truck (Ram 3500) to tow a 5000 lb boat unless you tow it cross country. Seems to me that any Dodge 2WD full size truck with anti-spin rear differnetial would do really well with a 5000 lb trailer/boat load.
    You would have to replace the springs to lower your truck and I would not recommend this becuase you would ruin its resale value. Most of the 4WD crowd wants their truck to sit high off the ground. It is true that many people buy full size 4WD trucks only because they sit higher than 2wd ones. This is becoming quite fashionable trend here in central Florida where you really do not need a 4WD vehicle. I see people tow 16 ft boats with 4X4 crew cab diesel duallys, which is a joke. I happen to own a deuce and half Army 6X6 truck - maybe I should start towing my boat with it to make sure I can handle the load and be the attention gvetter at the boat ramp.
  • mettechmettech Posts: 28
    I change oil every 5K.. Used 5W-30 M1, but switched to 0W-40 yesterday. I "think" the 5.7 is quieter.

    UPDATE: My 03, 2500, 4X4, SLT, 5.7, 3.73, 5-speed auto has 21K miles.. Had a transmission flash upgrade 3K ago. It does not downshift as much now. Had truck weighed last month.. 6637 lbs!!!!.. Only thing in truck was a 5th wheel hitch.. Seems like a lot of weight for a 3/4 ton truck..

    My RAM is still the best new truck I have owned.. No problems as all.. Do wish I got the 4.10... $2K seems too much to change gears..

    Need more people to post reports
  • roper2roper2 Posts: 61
    I have 61k on this truck and a dodge extended warranty for 70k.Does dodge offer a warranty over 70k and beyond? thanks
  • iowabigguyiowabigguy Posts: 552
    I bought a 7 year 100,000 Dodge Maximum Care warranty for my wife's 2002 Neon R/T.
  • Hey all. I noticed something strange early this week, and no one has been able to explain it to me yet. I'm new to this forum, but i hope someone can help me anyway. I have a 2001 Dodge Ram 1500, with 5.9L engine and HD tranny with about 135k miles on it. I don't normally haul anything in the truck except the tool box, which weighs a few hundred lbs. Monday, i had to carry approximately 1000 to 1500 lbs of equipment from Austin to Dallas (I never did weigh it, so this is a guess). After the first time i hit the brakes, i figured out i had better shut the OD off. I don't think i have ever gone any significant distance with the OD off before, so i was watching everything like a hawk. Oil pressure and temp looked a hair higher than usual, but that could have been my paranoia acting up. But what was funny was that the mileage looked WAY too high. I have one of those overhead consoles that keeps track of that stuff for you. For the trip up, i reset the economy meter while i was on the highway, and set the cruise control to exactly the speed limit. I was running about 3000 RPM @ 70. When I exited the freeway, i had 15.2 MPG. On the way back, i was unladen, i let the OD come on, and i reset the economy meter while i was on the freeway again, and i once again set the cruise control to exactly the speed limit. When i finally got off the freeway, i had an average of 14.1 MPG. This time, i was running about 2100 RPM @ 70 MPH (which is normal).

    So anyway, I cannot figure out why i got better mileage with the heavy load and the OD off. Has anyone else experienced this? This sure seems like something i should be worried about, but I don't know exactly what I'm worried about!

    Next week, I'm going to run some 'tests' to see how it reacts on my normal commute with the OD on vs the OD off.

    Any insight yall have will be greatly appreciated. I'm not sure if there is a way for yall to find my email address and/or send replies directly to it ... but if you can, DONT do that. The email address i first used to sign up here is no longer valid. Please just post responses to the board.

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    The difference is what is called throttle pressure. At higher RPMs the engine sees a decreased load, all other things being equal. Depending on the load, RPM, and speed, your scenario is very possible.

    With the difference between 2100 and 3000 RPM, however, I'm surprised that you saw an increase with the overdrive off, especially with such a light load.

    Best regards,
  • Throttle pressure? I did a quick search, and found instructions for changing the throttle pressure. Do you think I should adjust it a little?

    I don't understand how the engine see's a decreased load at higher RPM, do you have a link that explains this more fully? Maybe i just dont understand what a 'load' is in this context.

    And finally, is 1000-1500 lbs light for a half ton truck? I thought a ton was 2000 lbs. That would mean i was at or over its nominal rating. Although, i think the sticker on the driver-side door lists a gvwr of like 1700 lbs. The GVWR is the actual rating for how much weight i can put into the bed of the truck, right?

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    In this instance I used the term "throttle pressure" to describe the inductive force of the air-fuel charge upon the cylinder. As the throttle is opened on a reciprocating piston engine the pressure of this charge increases.

    In the case of load an engine can see the work-taxing effects of load differently when operated through a gear train. The "load" in this case is your 1000 pounds. Moving it across the ground (work) represents a fixed load to the vehicle platform, but can be a variable or changing load to the engine or any component in the drive train.

    At lower RPM the engine produces a relative amount of power, but in most automotive engines that power increases as RPM is increased...within certain limits, of course. Assuming the vehicle is in top or high gearing, at 1500 RPM the load factor on the engine is x and the throttle is opened at x. In this scenario the amount of throttle opening -- or throttle pressure -- will generally be more than the amount necessary to keep the engine at the same RPM without a load.

    Even though the actual weight being moved has not changed, at increased RPM the engine's increased power allows the throttle to be close/closer to the momentum speed of the engine, meaning closer to the same relative throttle position that maintains the same RPM without a load.

    For this reason it is normal to see a condition(s) where for any given weight being moved by the engine, an increased RPM range will actually be more efficient and hence expending less fuel. Typically this comparison occurs more dramatically at lower vehicle ground speeds, but there is no perfect way to predict this since the combination of weight, speed, gearing are highly variable and a number of engine dynamics will not be very well known.

    As to the fact that you have a half-ton pick-up, that delineation is the vehicle platform rating in the form of suspension, braking, and drivetrain ability, much less so the engine's rated power. Most half-ton pick-ups will be rated to tow in excess of 4000 pounds. The Dodge Dakota, for example can be rated to tow as much as 6600 pounds, even though it is only rated to carry 1460 pounds in the bed.

    Best regards,
  • Thanks for the lesson. So if i am getting better mileage driving around everyday with the OD off (and it looks like i am, regardless of the load), should i just always drive that way? What is the drawback to not using overdrive? Will i shorten my engine or transmission life if i don't use it?

    As for the load, if i understand you right, you meant that the load was light from the engines point of view (I'm assuming that to the engine, pulling 2000 lbs is practically the same as putting 2000 lbs in the bed). Because the rating for the bed (that is the GVWR, right?) is really the limits of the suspension and braking system? Thats good to know. Next time i get a heavy load in it, I won't worry about the engine so much.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931

    If you're getting better mileage, then maybe you should drive that way. There's no injury to the transmission, in fact higher RPMs in third gear direct offer higher pump pressures that ensure transmission lubrication. The only disadvantage is increased wear on some engine components that -- theoretically at least -- shorten engine life. I'd experiment a while before you decide that driving without overdrive is actually giving you better mileage, though.

    Yes, weight to the engine is irrespective of where its at, either in the bed or on the rear bumper pulling something.

    Good luck.

    Best regards,
  • Hello i am new here and need some help ya know in the winter time when you start your car up and it takes it a bit to startup after you have turned the key? or smthing like that well my dodge ram 1500 is doing the same thing but only its summer time i didnt know if this was a problem or not.
  • Hello again could someone plz explain to em what overdive is and if i should have it on or off and why cause i ahve od on my ram and its currently off and thtas how i have been driving it thanks.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    Matt, overdrive is a higher gear ratio. It's referred to as "overdrive" when the transmission ratio in any gear is less 1.00. High gear on many three and four speeeds years ago was one-to-one at the output shaft. This meant that the output shaft of the transmission was rotating at the same RPM as the engine.

    In recent times many transmissions actually have forward speed ratios that produce faster output shaft speeds than the engine speed. This is a overdrive.

    Most vehicles today utilize at least one overdrive as a final ratio. This reduces engine RPM and for most driving reduces fuel consumption. It is part of the normal sequential shift pattern on almost all automatics, and especially so on Chryslers.

    The "normal" driving method is with the overdrive engaged. When towing higher than average weights, driving in city traffic or hilly country, it is often recommened to disengage the overdrive.

    Best regards,
  • I was just getting ready to go out and change the oil on my NV5600 6 speed. I looked under there and didn't see a drain plug. Where do you drain this oil at. The Manual says that you don't need to regularly change it, but I can't see never changing the oil in something. I bought the Mopar oil for it since amsoil said they didn't have anything available. What is everyone else using for oil. I would be interested in knowing for the next time I change it.
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