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1999 Dodge Ram 1500 Quad 4X4 Experience Swap

paramedic99paramedic99 Posts: 64
edited March 8 in Dodge
I have had my 99 Dodge Ram 1500 4wd Quad for only
a few months and am interested in hearing about
peoples experiences, likes and dislikes, troubles
and solutions.

My truck is 5.2 V8, Auto with the SLT package.
Driftwood Silver.
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Comments

  • b70b70 Posts: 1
    I love the truck but the vibration or surge on the tranny is not what I expect for the money
  • johnrr1johnrr1 Posts: 70
    I have the same surge in my truck , 360 with automatic , 3.55 gears , I swapped tires from the 245's to 265's and this made it a little worse , I drive mostly around 40 and it is totally unacceptable . the dealer has told me its normal , its the lockup in the torque converter , the computer goes into lockup to early , its not present in the diesel , but is there at 60 - 65 in the diesel so I was told by the dealer but I didn't feel it on my test drive last night . I was going to try to disable the lockup manually with a switch in line to see if this makes it better , I have a friend that was a dodge dealer service writer , they did it on a 94 diesel and never heard from the guy afterwards , don't know if it will set off a fault in the computer , I was going to put in the switch and just manually put it in lockup above 45 myself , that is the speed it seems to go away on mine ... but I'm trading it in for a diesel , my truck had the intake gasket replaced 5,000 miles ago , I had an oil consumption problem , 1 qt. plus in 1000 miles , which the dealer and Chrysler told me was in spec ... ya right for a vehicle with 200,000 miles maybe , not 33,000 , it is also pinging with any grade gas , the upping of tire size made it worse , anyway finally found a dealer that knew what the problem was and didn't want to TRY things at my expense to solve the problem , now its doing the same thing again , pinging and oil consumption 5,000 miles later , its going in Friday for another intake gasket and Saturday will be on a dealer lot with me driving home in a new diesel Quadcab ... do I sound like an advertisement for the Cummins ???
  • Can you describe the surge? I am not noticing any trouble except for it hanging a bit in the 40mph zone before shifting. But when it does shift it is not rough in my truck.
  • johnrr1johnrr1 Posts: 70
    Surge is what they call it , between 38 and about 48 the truck experiences a bouncing if you will , feels like an uneven road surface , or as if you were driving over a road with a 2x4 placed 10 feet apart for a long distance , its only in trucks with the 3.55 gear and automatic , there is a TSB about it , but it is just something inherent with this gear ratio, last night I finally found a quadcab 360 shortbox 4x4 with the 265's and 3.92 gears and it did not do it anywhere near the way mine does , but I'd hate to spend close to a grand and not have the problem disappear , plus if it does go away then I need to add the power seat , another grand , but I still have the intake gasket going bad every 5k miles and the lousy fuel economy ... can you say Cummins??
  • I do not have this problem. Must be the 360 combination with that lock up. I have the 318 with the 3.55 rear end and I dont have this. I have hammered it for quick acceleration. worked it slowly through these speeds, I can not get my truck to do this and it appears thats a good thing !

    The tires suck however. I will wear these out and replace it with ones I like. Goodyear is not worth the money if you ask me.
  • sue38sue38 Posts: 1
    My son bought a 1999 Dodge RAM 1500 in April. It "pulls to the right" and he's had it in the shop a number of times. They don't know why it pulls and can't fix it. They tried adjusting the brake stuff and that didn't help. They say it's aligned to spec and the only way they know to fix it is to over correct it to the other side, but they won't do it. Anybody have any suggestions?
  • I have a couple suggestions. First I am not aware of how much knowledge of trucks etc you or your son has so if I give more information than needed please accept my apology. There is another chat entitled "Dodge II" that has some excellent techies.

    First the truck if it has large tires, offroad packaging etc will respond more to road crown and pull to one side or the other. Naturally this should be noticed on both sides depending on the road positioning.


    Things I would check/inquiry about:

    1. tire pressure.
    2. Balancing of the alloy wheels. Impefection could be affecting alignments. The wheel itself could be defective. This occurs from time to time and the dealer rarely catches it. You can test for this. See the Dodge II (this chat was actually filled and continued in Dodge II continued also )chat for details.
    3. Steering box problems
    4. alignment

    I love when the dealer says we aligned the vehicle to specifications. This is as good as "We did nothing as we are not sure what the problem is" Why would a new truck not be within specifications ? Cynical but potentially accurate.

    This website offers the Technical Service Data and can be helpful although I saw nothing specific regarding your problem:

    http://www.ecpe.vt.edu/~dfritz/ram_frame.html

    Personally I would stick with considering a tire/wheel problem if the truck has been properly aligned. Remember you can take your truck to any Dodge dealer for service.

    Good luck and please check those other chats I listed. There were a couple of good tech guys with alignment problems that got them fixed.
  • OK I think I discovered what you mean by a surge? Perhaps not though. My truck shifts into OD I think with a bit of a roughness during those speed intervals. However its a brief event and does not seem to feel like your 2x4 example. Is this what you are talking about ??
  • johnrr1johnrr1 Posts: 70
    yes thats it , 2 x4 was a little overexgrated i think , i guess it would be more like driving over railraod crosing , maybe like an uneven road surface ... feels like a slight bounce , i drove a truck with 3.92 gear the other day , didn't feel it , drove a 2000 with 3.55 and 2.45 tire , wasn't as bad as my truck with the 265 tire ... seems like its there , love it or leave it i guess ... put my diesel purchase on hold , new car show next week , waiting to see what is there , and i am waiting to see ... i hate to say this ... a gm with the 4th door , i know , but i'm just disappointed enough with dodge to do it , plus want to see their new diesel and i think i'm also waiting to get a glimpse of the restyled 2003 dodge ...decisions decisions
  • As truth would have it I was a die hard gmc man until this puchase. I did not want to be the guiena pig with the redesign and the lack ofa 4th door was a negative. The truck rides very well (GMC) transmision smooth, acceleration probably the best of them all. But its a commuters truck. The ground clearence is not as good and the truck has given up alot to have "car like handling and ride". So it depends on what you want I suppose.

    This sensation on shiftin is barely noticable in my truck but its only got 5k on it. Perhaps it will get worse.

    A question for you: why so many intake gaskets? What motor? What year truck? And what are your use patterns?
  • Blong1Blong1 Posts: 17
    I have fought the battle and at least got an extended warranty from Chrysler, This is not only present in the 4x4 but in the two wheel also. I have a 98 Quad 2 wheel 318, 3:55 and I have it. It has now been deemed a feature of the vehicle and no repairs will be made. They claim it is the lock-up converter and there is nothing they can do about it. I did hear from someone who says they are in the know, that as soon as the EPA regs are off the truck (age) Chrysler will come out with a ne fix, just a matter of reconfiguring the computer. I guess they can't do it now cause to EPA mileage ratings.
    I've learned to drive around the vibration, not what I desired but I'm tired of fighting.
  • bmckenziebmckenzie Posts: 118
    In response to the "Surge" topic, I have a 1998 Qaud Cab 4x4, 360, Auto, 3.55 gears and 265 Goodyears. I have approx. 18050 miles on it, I drive around 35 to 45 MPH most of the time, when driving up to 45 MPH you should leave overdrive off as stated in the my manual, I have never felt this so called Surge and I use my Ram for a variety of applications. I have never had to add any oil to my crankcase and I currently run Castrol Syntec 10W-30, to this date I have only had (3) problems with my Ram, a leaking Cargo Lamp, Cruise Control slipping, and the Steering Box has a slight leak (no drips) but I had the seals replaced anyway. I think you just got a Lemon! The 5.9 Cummins is an awesome engine but don't sell short the 5.9 Magnum, it has been around forever and with a few aftermarket additions you can pull over 370 ft. lbs. of Torque
    and some extra gas mileage to boot out of the 360, and that is nothing to laugh about, unless you need the 359 Cummins to pull the state of Rhode Island or something.
  • Bmckinzie, What do you suggest doing to get the increased torque and mileage? I have a 1999 Quad Cab, 4x4, 360, runing 3.55 gears and 265 tires. Do you have any feel for the mileage loss with 3.92? I am looking at travel trailers around 4000lbs, an ok load in your opinion? I know the 3.92 gears would be better but the vast majority of miles are running empty. On the subject of 'surge' I have not been able to detect it for certain, if it's there it is very minor. My Goodyear Garbage tires only made it 13,000 miles (with numerous flats).
  • bmckenziebmckenzie Posts: 118
    Wheeler2,
    13,000 out of your Goodyears sucks! I plan changing to a Super Swamper SSR (Radial) when these Goodyears are spent, were you running on alot of gravel roads? I noticed when I was driving alot of backroads my Goodyears started going to sh*t. I plan on towing around the same size Travel Trailer (I am shopping now)4500 to 6500 lb. range, so I have been doing alot of research and talking with Dodge mechanics and people who have done the upgrades. Dodge sells a Computer Chip upgrade and Air Box upgrade that will not void your warranty, (according to my local dealer) but you need to run premium pump gas with the computer, from what I understand the computer upgrade alone is 20 to 30 ft. lbs. of torque, or another company sells the Hypertech power programmer III (www.truckperformance.com), with the Programmer you can adjust the top speed limiter, tranny shift points, gain substatial torque and horsepower, and adjust speedo for larger tires and return it back to stock settings within minutes. Our trucks come with 3" Mandrel bent stainless steel exhaust, to me it would be somewhat foolish to get rid of it, that exhaust should almost last forever, but the stock muffler is very restrictive. Flo-Pro makes a 3" in and out aluminized turbo style muffler I plan on installing very soon, probably good for about
    5 ft.lbs. I am not sure if Dodge sells Headers for our trucks. If you do not plan on a significantly large tire upgrade then I would stay with the 3.55's, because if you have to tow a load like yours w/overdrive switched off and with 3.92's at 65-70 in Drive your 360 would be rapping, what tires did you go to? I feel on the highway with 3.92's you will drop a small amount of mileage because your engine is turning at a higher RPM. I think that the "Surge" thing is the transmission searching back and forth for overdrive at around 40-45 MPH because mine will do that if I do not switch it, I just make it a point not to kick in overdrive until 45 MPH. What kind of mileage are you getting now? I am getting anywhere from 10 to 16 depending on what I am doing (highway or towing).
  • Bmckinzie,
    I just finished drooling through the Truck Performance web site (I would have to do more research on the power/mileage effects before the wallet is pried open). The short headers that bolt up to the stock exhaust are something new to me. I'll bookmark it. I have had a K&N air filter in since 7000 miles,(14600 now) since the engine was still breaking in I need to run some mileage tests now with the paper one. I have used a 270 mile route that consists mainly of 55-65 mph highway and a little 75 mph freeway, with about 35 miles of city driving I have achieved 16.8 mpg twice. After putting some metal conditioner (IXL) in the engine the mpg went to 17.2 for one run. These runs are empty, when towing a 2000lb tent trailer the mileage has been between 13 and 15.8! As for the dismal tire life, yes I drive on graded dirt and newly bulldozed (sharp rocks) dirt roads a lot. I work at a large copper mine and use the truck for work, the Goodyears were only 'P' rated so I didn't expect much from them. It is hard to understand how the manuf. can get away with such junk on a 4X4. I have had 265 Pathfinders for a couple thousand miles now with no troubles. I am interested in bolt-on power as I will have to sell the truck in about three years. Some time ago I read two posts about towing on the original Dodge truck topic that that made a lot of sense, both from Dodge mechanics. First, if you are towing keep the OD locked out. Second, never tow more than 85% of the trucks rated towing capacity. I have been leaving the OD locked out until 40-50mph running empty. My trailer will be 4500-5000lbs loaded.
  • Had the windshield seal that meets the "A" post on the driver side replaced. They of course had to pop the entire windshield off and reseat it. BUT its done.

    I also had an annoying squeek coming from the my truck which turned out the be a U-joint in front axel in need of lubrication.

    These are my first two service issues. 5520 miles on the truck.
  • bought a 99 ram quad 4x4 with the 5.2 liter on june 5...after 5 trips to service...finally regional mgr came in....authorized a chrysler buy-back....am now in a 2000 cherokee...miss the truck.....feel cramped in the jeep (i had a 96)..but that !!!!****!!!! surge or whatever was driving me bananas!!!!.....moral is if you keep after them they do have some hidden author to buy back if you make enough noise!!!!!!
  • Well if it drove you crazy you had few options. I honestly dont feel the same surge in my transmission as you dsecribed. I had thought I did but every time I drive it there is smooth shifting . Good luck with the Cherokee. What model did you buy ?

    My sister just bought a 2000 Cherokee Sport and compared to my p/u it is cramped but theoretically it is better off road. I could no do without the bed however.

    Good luck.
  • hi all sorry i haven't posted earlier , the surge is definitely in my truck and the change from the 245 to an lt 265 made it worse , i drove a truck , 360 , 3.92 gear with the 245's and it was hardly noticable , but i'm going DIESEL , should have got it the first time around ... i do drive around it as most of my driving is on secondary roads with a posted speed limit of 40 , which is where it is its worst , i have seen a TSB on this that said something about maybe a ring gear or axle runout , which maybe the problem with mine , since it does it with the trans out of overdrive also , my last way of making sure its the lockup clutch is to disable the lock up and see if it still does it but i haven't tried that yet , i was told that the diesel did it at 60 - 65 but the one i drove didn't ... i should have bought that one .

    gee i wish i whined more , i would have love to have mopar buy it back and get me in a diesel ...

    bmckenzie :
    take a look at that exhaust again , its 2.5 out of the cat into the muffler , the out of the muffler is 2.5 and the tailpipe opens up to 2 7/8 ... i pulled of my stock exhaust at 6000 miles and put on the mopar system , it comes with an adaptor to flare up to a 3" straight thru muffler then a 2 piece 3" mandrel tailpipe , the only thing is the tailpipe in stock configuration puts the outlet back further than stock on my 98 quad short box , plus it has a square cut end , i do like the look of the stock pipe in location and the slash cut end ... solution , i cut 5 inches off the over the axle pipe , from the end the the last pipe connects to , then did a slash cut to the tailpipe , but the nice thing was my system was for the 97 down and didn't have the right type of hanger to use my existing hanger , the new one comes with the extra clamp/hanger that i would have to have bought , my solution uses the supplied hanger/clamp and eliminates the extra clamp . other way of doing this would be to cut the swage off the stock tailpipe and adapt it to a 3" and use it , but i wanted to save the old exhaust ... also removing the stock muffler is a pain , that clamp really crimps the pipe , i had to use a whizzer to slit the muffler inlet pipe in 4 places and pry it apart to get it off , there is enough room to remove the muffler and tailpipe with the rear of the truck on ramps ... one final way to increase noise and performance is to put on the muffler off the 98 up sport/dakota r/t , its a turbo style looking muffler and the sport has a 5 horse more rating ... i was told by mopar that their catback exhuast was good for about 5 horse power and 14 ft/lbs torque , it did do something , you could feel it plus its not real obnoxious like a flowmaster or a glasspack .. only drawback is i like the sound so much i have my foot in it more and my mileage did suffer ... but people do turn to look , and are surprised to see that sound from a truck ...

    as far as my intake problem , i do hotfoot alot , and tow my superbee on occasion , i did tow a car from tennesee to new hampshire , with no problems and using 87 octane , i also tow an enclosed snowmobile trailer in the winter , but i guess that the intake gasket is definitely a problem as DC came out with a TSB and revised gasket after my first one this past july , i know of at least 2 other people with the same problem , telltale signs is pinging under acceleration and hi oil consumption , one guy i know used 2 qts towing his car 400 miles ...

    one other note , if you tow DO NOT install the mopar computer , it advances the timing way to much and you can not put a high enough octane to not ping , it tells you in the catalog not for use in tow vehicles , but i have seen an aftermarket igniton from crane i think that you can retard only the ignition , don't know if this helps in the towing department , its was in a mopar mag this past year , also on 98 and up you HAVE to pay your dealer for 1 hour of computer time to put your mileage into the new computer so swapping back and forth is out of the question unless you have a buddy that a mopar mechanic , if you don't put in the mileage all the idiot lites come on and stay on ...
  • i have a 99 quad cab with the 360 and 3.92 gears and have heard about complaints about the "surge" but have never had the problem. and i noticed the remark about "buy backs". Chrysler Corp. does do buybacks if you complain enough or have a repeating problem. it might be something to look into.
  • well i think i'm a little to late on that one , i've had this thing for 18 months and have over 43 k miles , i think any buy back now would be a trade in value at best , i was wondering about the 3.92 gear , what size tire do you have .. i thought of doing a gear swap , but figured that would cost to much and if it didn't fix the problem its about $600 down the drain , and thats me doing the work , have to change 2 sets of gears on a 4x4 ... plus now that i put my butt in that heated leather seat ... ooo hhh , just going to get the truck i should have back when i bought this one ... the cummins ... the tranny surge is my only real complaint , that and when my a/c compressor let go 400 miles after my 36k waranty expired ... boy that burned me ...
  • Two things on the compressor. 1st if you had ever had it in prior to that claim with an a/c problem you may be able to get the cost covered 2nd - any dealer wanting to sell another truck would have got the a/c compressor covered at 36,400 for a good customer. Its customer service.

    I bought the extended warranty out to 75K or 6 years for $900. Hopefully (in one right) it will pay for itself, on the other hand lets hope I never need it. I drive around 19K a year so its only likely to carry me out to a little over 3 years anyway but I would have burned up the 36K in just two years.
  • Bmckenzie,
    If your're still reading this topic after buying the diesel, congratulations! Two of my neighbors have them and I thought about it for a long time before I bought the 1500 Quad cab. I do a fair amount of short drives around the mine so didn't figure diesel was the way to go. To answer your question, no I am not a heavy equipment op. at the mine, I am the electrical & instrument supervisor at the mill for the copper mine. I purchased the truck because the company helps pay for it through the Runzheimer program , in which they reimburse me for using it as my company truck.
    You referred to a larger air box in one of your previous postings, where is the best place to buy one? Can you direct me to info on power/MPG gains on this and other modifications?
  • unfortunately the dealer i took it to was not who i bought it from , but i did give them all my gravy nit picky warranty work , i hoped they would do better , after my last repair with them i don't go there anymore , except to get a couple small items i needed since they are close by ... i got the extended also , 4 yr 100k on just the driveline and engine , i put 43 k miles on my truck in 18 months , but i'm trading it for a diesel , my biggest gripe is the torque convertor surge , it drives me nuts , and i didn't feel it in the diesel i drove
  • you realize that you will throw off your speedo , when i went from the 245 to the 265 my speedo was 4mph to fast ... pretty sure it was to fast ,anyway , you will have to go to the dealer to have the computer changed , or i think there is an add on to do it yourself , without making a computer change which will cost about 60 bucks for 5 minutes work ... good luck
  • kdurkkdurk Posts: 4
    I just bought a 99 ram quad cab 4x4 and am not real impressed with the stock tires either. I traded my ford in for it on which I had put a set of pirelli scorpion tires. I never drove the truck in the mud but 2 weeks after I got them I plowed my driveway in 2 wheel drive. I spent $96 apiece for 235R15 and absolutely loved them. Handled great, no road noise and great in the snow. I think I saw them in Sears on sale for around $110 for 265R16 and am sure you could do better at a place that specializes in tires. They'll be going on mine as soon as these start to wear.
  • pagkpagk Posts: 1
    At around 2000 miles my 99 2500 Quad 4x4(5.9 liter) began to ping - badly. Tried different brands, higher octanes, everything but JetA. Service mgr says it's a computer thing. Factory said, and get this....factory said there is no fix, to go ahead and sue them. I would love to get it repaired but given my responses from the dealer/factory I don't believe it's possible. I also heard that this problem is not limited to my truck only. It appears to be widespread. Love everything else about the truck, but if I knew this problem existed I would have opted for the Cummins. No, mine doesn't surge either. And yes, the stock tires suck. Jury is out on whether I keep this one or Dodge buys it back. I would still get a Dodge, but only with the diesel.
  • Wheeler2,
    When I was trading my truck in for my new Diesel,
    the Service Manager told me about an Air Box made by Mopar that was better than the after market ones. The problem is if your intake draws air from the engine compartment you will gain the horsepower from the new modification, but loose
    gas mileage due to the hot air being sucked in, the cooler the air the more power, that is why you get power from an intercooler on a diesel. Apparently Mopar has a new one that sucks air from outside the engine compartment, that means power and mileage, might be worth looking into. My new diesel has a disgusting amount of power and over 16 MPG so far (engine is still breaking in),
    this thing eats hills in fifth gear, bring on some Powerstokes. I should have bought this in the first place.
  • Trucklover,
    The max tire you can fit w/o a lift on a 1500 4x4 is a 32x11.50 on an 8 inch rim w/proper backspacing, you could fit bigger, but it will hit at full compression 4 wheeling, or you can trim your fenders (bad idea). I met a guy who put 3/4 ton coil springs and rear blocks on his 1500 4x4, purchased from the Dodge parts counter, he got 2 inches out of it and easily clears 33x12.50's on 10x15 rims, he was told by Dodge that it would not void his warranty because they are Mopar parts, I do not know about that, might be worth asking about. His truck looked good, it stood about the same height as my 2500 Diesel Sport, his springs and blocks looked to be the same as mine. If you put 35's on a 1500 with an automatic transmission and without a gear change you will prematurely smoke your tranny, and loose alot of power. Buy B.F. Goodrich!
  • glad to hear you love your cummins powered ram , i did the same thing as you , bought a gas job and 18 months later i'm trading it for a cummins powered ram , i should have just after the first of the year ...
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