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Dodge Ram - II

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Comments

  • brett039brett039 Posts: 56
    Just got back from running a few errands. Turned off O/D and brought it up to 60mph. 2500rpm's!!! I'll red line (3200) if I try for 70! I tried letting off and coast, seeing if it would shift, but no luck. :( Just doesn't seem right!

    BTW... the truck only has 800 miles on it! Hope I'm not gonna regret this purchase...
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    Brett,

    You were running empty, that's why it felt so weird. With a heavy load (tyour trailer), you'll appreciate the extra horses the higher rpm produce. Turning OD off does not change any shift points or settings, just prevents 4th.

    kcram
    Community Leader/Smart Shopper Conference
  • stokerstoker Posts: 4
    I just visited the dodgeram.com web page and WOW!!! There’s a lot of good information there.

    stoker sends..............
  • madmackmadmack Posts: 39
    How much is it(4wheel antilock) of a safety issue? I live in Las Vegas and plan to play a little in the dirt but don't want to risk my kids safety on the way to school. What advantage is the 4 wheel brake over the two. Is the risk minimal? My insurance doesn't give a break for it....so it would "seem" the four doesn't reduce the accident rate.
  • brett039brett039 Posts: 56
    kcram,

    I'm sure it would feel different while towing, but the rpm's shouldn't change simply by towing. I would still be running 2500rpm's at 60mph whether towing or not! Does this sound normal with a 3.54 diff? That only leaves me 700rpm left until I red line the engine at 3200rpm's! So if I try to run 65mph, I estimate I'll be turning 2800rpm. I can't see where that's even close to normal, especially for many hours on a long haul. Help!!!!!!!!!

    Does anyone out there have a Cummins with Auto, 3.54 diff? What rpm's are you running at 60mph with the O/D turned off?

    Thanks in advance...

    Brett
  • Brett,
    Congratulations on your new truck! I haven't bought my Dodge yet, but I will soon.
    It seems to me that if you must tow at 70 mph, it would be ok to use O/D because your RPM's would be up, preventing excess shifting. By the way, why an auto?

    DJ
  • Brett039,
    I have a 99 3500 Cummins/Auto/3:55 rear end, and the RPM's you are getting are about right. The real issue here is that you should have the 4:10 gears, not the 3:55's. That way, you could run along at 75 pulling about 2400, which would be ideal. You really only have two realistic choices. ( One may not be -that- realistic )

    1> Pull your trailer at 60mph with the OD off and resign yourself to this speed with a heavy load.

    2> Change the gearing to 4:10's. This won't be cheap, I'm sure, especially if you have 4WD, which means you have to change out both the front and rear sets. Prior to getting a quotation for doing this, it is the only realistic option if you find yourself in a situation where the gearing that came with the truck is just not going to work for your needs. Like I said, the cost may be prohibitive. If it is just a couple of thousand to do this on a 4WD, then it is by far the cheapest alternative considering the beating you will take if you trade it in with this purpose in mind. Your truck probably ( 4WD) cost in the neighborhood of 32 - 34K, so $2000 to get the gearing you need pro-rated over the expected life of the truck would not be very much, IMO.

    rk
  • brett039brett039 Posts: 56
    djfire07,

    Thanks... Overall, I really like the truck, except for Dodges choice for the Auto gear ratios. Very poor design!!!

    I went with the Auto mainly because the wife refuses to drive a stick. Sometimes she'll be pulling the boat out of the water on a steep boat ramp and she just can't seem to coordinate the brakes, clutch, and gas without submerging both the truck and trailer. In a way, I almost prefer the auto myself even though you loose a little power in the process. But it's too late now, I have it, so I'm stuck with it.

    I won't be towing at 70, but towing through KY on I75 is nothing but constant up and down long steep hills. Sometimes you can easily reach 70+ on the downhill side. Seems like I'll constantly be turning the O/D off on the uphill side and on on the downhill side. Or else I run the truck at the "red line" for 7 hours straight with the O/D off!

    I feel Dodge made a big mistake when they decided on the gear ratios for the Auto Trans. They say you should turn off the O/D when towing, but failed to tell you you can't go over 60!!! Maybe they should have an entry in the manual that says... "Sorry bout your luck, Pal!"

    Brett
  • eric16eric16 Posts: 38
    Bear with me here: Rk are you saying with 4:10 rearend you can go faster towing than with the lower 3:55 gears? Or do you mean you can then tow with O/D on and run 70 with the 4:10's?
    Just asking Eric16
  • brett039brett039 Posts: 56
    rlfrueger,

    I opted for the 3.54 diff because it's a "higher" ratio, which in turn mean higher speeds, less power. That was the main reason I wasn't interested in the 4:10. I figured the "higher" ratio would easily pull a 6000# trailer.

    Wow! I would hated to see what the top speed would be with the O/D off ---AND--- the 4:10 diff!!!

    Brett
  • jcmdiejcmdie Posts: 595
    Something doesn't sound right with your situation. I don't have the diesel but I would think that make life easier for towing. I have a 1500 quadcab 4X4 sport with 3.55 rear end and 5.9 gas engine. I went on vacation with the whole family (back loaded to the hilt) and towed a boat about 5500#. I did 10 hours straight both ways going 70-75. I had OD off. Not a hint of a problem.
  • RichinKsRichinKs Posts: 416
    Just monitoring the Dodge site as Dodge is my second choice and always looking for something I might have over looked. Still waiting to order in mid september. Years ago all the manufacturers recommended OD off while towing. Its the least strain on the transmission. I still do with my half ton Chevy because Its rearend is too high. But more than the transmission, it keeps the engine in the right range for peak power. ...... But the manufacturers I thought had all succumed to the request of their sales force to approve towing in OD as long as the engine is not constantly hunting back and forth between OD and 3rd. That generates heat. But I would think running 70 on the flat would be fine in OD if the trans isn't hunting. The transmission is no different for deisel than gas except you have alot more torque punnishing the trans. .... As far as the manual vs auto, as a young to middle age person I always had a manual. But after awhile any good thing becomes boring. So I'm an auto fan these days. I like to have my coffee in one hand and the other on the steering wheel(g). ........ I have been concerned about some of the weaknesses I've heard about in the Dodge transmission but I understood they were mostly resolved. ...... A 4.10 rearend will only make the engine turn more rpm at 70 mph which will make the problem worse. If what I'm hearing here is true, why would a person ever want a 4.10 on the highway with a Cummins? ..... Rich
  • brett039, eric16,
    Sorry about that. The 4:10 gears would allow you the towing capabilities with the OD ON, not off.
    I agree with you on Dodge's choice of standard axle ratios for the Cummins/Auto. They should have given you at least a 3:73 as standard, as that would keep the Cummins in a better powerband for most things except serious towing usage. In that case, the 4:10's would be the way to go, but IMO, the 3:55's were not the best choice.
    Many things are being changed for 2000, engine specs, transmission's, tire sizes, to name a few.
    As kcram said a few postings ago, he is personally recommending the 4:10 rear ends now for the Cummins due to the increased tire sizes which will effectively lower the final drive ratio. ( The 4:10's will give you about a 3:73 effective ratio with the 265 tires )
    On a costlier note, I queried a Dodge dealer on the change-over to 4:10's. Wow... That extra $50.00 for the 4:10's is lookin' pretty good.
    I got a price of about $1800 for parts only, my guess is two days (16 hours) to do this, but I have to wait a few days for the answer. So if I'm close, figure about $3000.
    I would not suggest running running the Cummins at Redline. It may take it, but why do it? Running at 65 MPH would get you about 2500 RPM, (OD Off) which should not be a big problem and you would have all the power that the Cummins can put out. Personally, I have no immediate towing requirements, so the 3:55 is ok for our traveling needs. For any time when I need to tow a heavy trailer or haul a large load, I will have to do exactly what I suggested to you. Beyond that, if my needs change, I will pay the price to change the gears, as trading up would be a far costlier option.

    rk
  • sakosako Posts: 25
    brett--i too have a '99 2500 qc 24v cummins but in a long bed, but i don't know the ratio of the diff's(i'm leasing 'n it was used 6k on it when i got it 8k now & my paper work doesn't tell me). i think i've got 3.55 'cuz w/ od on my rpm's are 2000 for 70mph; that is w/ the old 245/75 & new 33x12.50 tires(didn't change). i'll check it out w/ od off 'n let you know. rammin' it
  • brett039brett039 Posts: 56
    My thanks go out to kcram, rlkrueger, and Richinks. I appreciate all the info and comments.

    The speed/gear/tire chart was a great help. That chart hit it right on the button. I have 245/75 tires with the 3:54 diff. At least it's a relief that there's nothing wrong with the trans.

    I guess the biggest problem is that I'm used to a gas engine with a wider usable rpm range than the Cummins. Not sure about the v10, but the 454 in my boat doesn't red line until 4800 and the cummins red lines at 3200. Dodge is using the same auto trans for both v10 and cummins (I think I read that in another posting), but the trans seems better suited for the v10. For instance... Running a gas engine (O/D off) at 2800 rpms to hit 70mph seems right on the money and it wouldn't "seem" like it's working that hard. But run a Cummins at 2800rpms to hit 70 and you're real close to red lining. Plus it sounds like I'm running the crap out of it.

    If I sound like I'm dissatisfied with the truck, I'm really not. I just wish I would have known about this (Cummins 'O/D off' speed) before I spent the extra 4K for the diesel. I might have purchased the v10 instead, but not sure. Either way I would have bought a Dodge, though.

    I could always get taller tires to drop the rpms a little with O/D off, but that might have a negative effect when not towing and in O/D. Since I only tow the boat during the summer, I'm not sure that's the best approach. If I only towed on flat terrain, there wouldn't be an issue. I'd leave the O/D on and cruise. But I mostly tow thru KY where you're constantly going up and down steep grades. I'm heading down to Lake Cumberland, KY on the 28th. We'll just have to see how it does with the O/D on. Maybe it'll be fine!

    I've been hearing about Dodge possibly using an Allison Auto Trans in the future (I think I read 2002). Maybe they (dodge) were doing this to remedy this situation? Just a stab in the dark, here.

    Thanks again for all the help.

    Brett
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    for the record, I got my Ram up to 94 mph with no effort. That was at 2600 rpm in OD (3.54, 215/85 tires).

    brett, one thing a diesel can do that a gas engine can't is hold its redline in any gear. In a gas engine, you can almost never get to redline in OD; the power dies and you can't keep the speed.

    kcram
    Community Leader/Smart Shopper Conference



    kcram
    Community Leader/Smart Shopper Conference
  • brett039brett039 Posts: 56
    kcram,

    I don't have any problems with the truck ---IN--- O/D. Runs like a charm and the other day I was on the interstate and glanced down at the speedo and I was doing 83mph! Didn't even realize I was going that fast!!! The truck felt like it was only doing 65.

    If I was to opt for the taller tires (265/75 instead of my current 245/75), how many mph gain would that be at the same rpm's? Would that give me too high of a "gearing" with the 3.54 diff? I was considering taller tires in the future mainly for looks, but now I'm unsure whether it's a good idea or not.

    Thanks,
    Brett
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    Brett,

    with the larger tires, and all other things equal, you would gain 8% in speed - 55 mph would become 59.5.

    kcram
    Community Leader/Smart Shopper Conference
  • brett039brett039 Posts: 56
    I don't think I've said in my past posting that I had a problem with the diesel. Runs fantastic and I did a lot of research before I made my decision to purchase one. The only problem I have is when it's "hooked up to" the auto and you turn off the O/D for towing (as recommended by the manufacturer), you have to come very close to red lining the Cummins to simply cruise at highway speeds.
  • RichinKsRichinKs Posts: 416
    plus and minus to what you say. What if you drive 45k and trade every three years? The fuel mileage cann't be justified. Plus if your past middle age and drink coffee you need to stop every two hours anyhow(g). But you didn't mention you will get more for your trad-in having a diesel. So I'm not sure the total cost would really be $4800 more than the V10. So even with the fewer miles trading every three years it may not be much more expensive. ... But my real problem with the cummins is I don't tow my 5th wheel more that 10% of my miles. The other 90% I have to let it warm up to go to the store, Let if cool down at the store. Warm it up again to come home, cool it off again after I get home. Shut it off when I go through the bank drive in. Have people ahead of me cuss if I don't shut it off for them also because they cann't hear the teller, and etc. I guess if I could dedicate it to towing it wouldn't be to bad. Its kind of like cool pipes on my GTO when I was younger. They sounded nice for a while but after a while all I wanted was a little quite. ...... Rich
  • cdeancdean Posts: 1,110
    brett
    just keep it on 65 and let it run. shouldn't give you any problems.

    kcram
    If a diesel could actually turn as fast as a gas engine, it would not be able to hit redline then. diesel can't burn that fast. saying that a diesel can hold speed at redline isn't really saying much--they're too very different animals.

    The engine itself can "probably" hold up just fine over redline. its the combustion process that can't keep up. thats when the torque REALLY falls off on the diesel.
  • brett039brett039 Posts: 56
    I haven't yet towed my trailer with my new truck. Maybe everything will be fine and the O/D won't effect me. I've been waiting until I have at least 1K miles on it. I'm at 890 right now, so I'll probably try towing this weekend, if it doesn't rain. I'll keep you updated...

    Brett
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    cdean,

    You're correct on the heavier duty diesels, of which the Cummins is one. Disele technology is doing some interesting things lately, with common rail delivery, and other advancements. The BMW 4.0L V8 diesel puts out an incredible (for its displacement) 413 lb-ft of torque, and runs all the way to 4000 rpm.

    kcram
    Community Leader/Smart Shopper Conference
  • You make good points. I was wondering who would respond with the "pitstop" argument, as I am a coffee drinker myself :-)
    You only thing we differ on is the store routine. I agree you have to alter things a little, but if I have to run to the store for something, that certainly doesn't qualify as a "good run" for the engine, and in my case, it's not even warm yet, so I just shut it off, period.
    Most of the time however, to go a mile or two to the store, I just take the wife's car. I have a Security/Remote Auto-Start system on mine, which does come in handy for a quick drop-in for a bagel or a carton of milk. I just hit the right buttons, remove my key from the ignition and leave it running with the cab locked. Your basic points are not in dispute. You do have to alter the normal, "anytime,anywhere, any condition" operating circumstances that you have with the gas engine.
    As for trading every three years? Must be nice...

    rk
  • RichinKsRichinKs Posts: 416
    Well besides the pit stops I also have a back to worry about. No trouble for several years. But my wifes car is an 89 Camero with 38K. I feel like a contortionus(sp) getting in and out of it. Since she doesn't drive it much and its in great shape we don't trade. But for my truck I trade every three years. The last one I kept 10 years was an 85 Ramcharger. I got barely $2000 for it when I traded. My theory is you can pay $30000 every ten years or $12000 every three. And I mostly have a vehicle under warranty. My Ramcharger started to really cost me after 5 years. But I havn't bought a tire since 1993. Or brake pads, or any repair bill. Of course my insurance cost more but all in all its not that much more to me to trade every three years. But I guess this should be a topic for another list .... Rich
  • richinks,
    That was interesting. I bought this one as my retirement truck. I plan on retiring from "full time" at 56, if everything goes as planned. After this truck, anything else under my feet is used.
    I just traded my 94 1500 Ram 4x4 for this new 3500 /4x4/Cummins/QC. My 1500 was in perfect condition with 80K, and I honestly felt bad trading it off. But I didn't want to wait another couple of years before getting another, otherwise I would still have payments after I retire, which I am trying not to do. If the timing was different, I really feel I had another good 5 or 6 years left in that 1500, it was a beautiful truck without a rattle in it. ( It probably had more, but eventually the wallpaper has to be changed...)
    Anyhow, your perspective is an interesting option, and I'm willing to bet you get some responses from those with calculators nearby.
    thanks,
    rk
  • richinks,
    Forgot to add that I figured with the galvinized body and the long-life Cummins, it should last me quite a few years. I hope so...
  • biknmikebiknmike Posts: 27
    Has anyone ordered a 2000 1500 qc 4x4 with the new Off Road Package? If So, did the dealer give you a price for the package? Also, was it available with all of the new colors?
    Sorry if you already read this under the 2000 Ram topic, but I wanted to reach everyone.
  • kcram,
    I am waiting to see about the ETH/6 speed manual (anybody?), so I can order my 2000 2500 QC LB Diesel. I definately want the diesel/manual drivetrain. I will do 95% of my driving without towing and mostly highway miles. With the new tires that you said come with the 2000 model, which rear-end would you recommend? Thanks.

    DJ
  • kcram,
    I doubt it makes a difference, but I forgot to say I'm getting 4 wheel drive also. Thanks again.

    DJ
This discussion has been closed.