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Dodge Ram Quad Cab



  • The Dodge Ram 1500 was so vastly improved in its 2002 redesign that in most auto magazines it moved from last to first place in its full-size pickup ratings. The same thing happened in my ratings too. It now offers edgy styling, lots of room, a great variety of bed and engine choices, and lots of desirable features. The Ram's MSRP with leather and a 6-disc in-dash cd changer is about $32,000. It can be had for under $30,000, though, due to dealer discounts. The Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, my third place winners, come close but no cigar. The Toyota Tundra and Ford F150 are so ugly and have such little room, they don't compare. The Cadillac Escalade EXT is WAY too expensive for most. Its twin the Chevy Avalanche is pretty expensive for this class but is a good second place alternative to the Ram. Other Ram enthusiasists are welcome to visit the Ram fan club!
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    This is a somewhat edited version of the presumably Russ W. Knize original. The blatantly anti-Fram verbiage has been removed, probably to make the so-called "research" appear more open minded and neutral.

    Like the item that was transmitted the other day from the original author, this one contains a link to the "Allied-Signal Engineer" that is inoperative. If anyone has this memo I would appreciate either getting a copy or a link to the originating source.

  • both include disclaimers detailing exactly what they are doing. The work is clearly identified as non-scientific and never called research. It is simply an auto enthusiast pursuing an interest to the best of his limited abilities. I find this type of original investigation to be most useful. I do my own oil changes and was experiencing a lot, and I mean loud and prolonged, valve clatter on start-up. It truly concerned me because you know it can't be good for the top end of the motor. I was using Fram filters because I believed the marketing that it was a quality aftermarket part even though they are always a price leader. Since reading this information, I have tried other brands and achieved a definite reduction in cold start valve clatter. So, I don't use Fram anymore. I thought the folks discussing a reliability issue that involved Fram would like to be aware of this additional point of view.
  • lariat1lariat1 Posts: 461
    Just out of curiosity how does an oil filter change the amount of startup valve clatter? No matter what kind od oil filter you get the filter is below the top of the motor causing valve clatter until the oil pump get the oil moving.
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380

    i think all filters have anti-drainback valves which serve to help keep oil "up" in the engine for fast return on cold starts...some seem to work better than others.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    The differences between a study and research are very, very subtle in the least as "the application of knowledge to a particular field or to a specific subject (study)" can be a interchanged with "investigation or experimentation aimed at discovery and interpretation of facts (research)."

    (The term "research" is technically more accurate in this case, anyways.)

    But I do agree with you that whatever it is it is not very scientific. The author promotes opinion that is not supported by the evidence in his own investigation. In addition, he and others who site his work promote through implication that there exists a design or component composition problem that is so generic, basic, and pervasive that associated problems must always symptomatic. That is not fact.

    For 140,000 of 160,000 miles I used Fram oil filters exclusively in a 1989 Plymouth Acclaim and this vehicle never suffered from cold-start valve clatter. That's forty oil filters and not one problem! The only two vehicles that I've ever owned that did have this problem has been with other brands of oil filters. My son's '91 Dodge Dakota with a 3.9 engine has had this problem for about the last 170,000 miles out of 230,000. I asked him the other day if he uses Fram oil filters and he said "yes." But he also said that the cold-start valve clatter has been present in this vehicle regardless what brand of filter he has used.

    There are a number of methodological issues with this work. The "eyes and common sense" litmus test is in fact totally unreliable, especially if used in a cursory way.

    Since heterodoxy and research analysis is a specialty of mine, I couldn't resist changing out my Mopar factory oil filter today for a Fram PH16. We'll see. I might, despite having two Purolators on the shelf for our Chevrolet 305, just install a Fram in that to see what happens. This vehicle does in fact have a cold-start valve clatter problem (currently has a Purolator). And I've been using Fram oil filters in my wife's Avalon since I've been changing the oil myself. No problem there, either.

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    Emale is correct. There is a one-way valve installed in most oil filters that prevents gravity from allowing oil in the upper parts of the engine from draining back into the oil pan. If this occurs, especially at low temperatures, the oil pump must re-charge a majority of the oiling system with oil from the pan. This usually is accompanied by momentary noise from a collapsing hydraulic valve lifter assembly(ies) or accumulated noise from solid lifter valve train systems.

  • Info please. Looking at 2002 QC. Not equipped for towing, but checking veh I find it has two smaller auxillary coolers in front of the radiator. Are these for the trans-oil and additional radiator or HD cooling. I understand that an option for this veh is HD cooling and can be had without the tow pkg. Thanks.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931

    Based on observation of a towing package-equiped RAM I saw some time back, and the package definitions from the Dodge site, I believe that the heavy duty cooling is a three-row radiator instead of two (meaning three rows of cooling tubes).

    It appears that on the RAM the transmission oil cooler is located between the air conditioning condenser and the radiator.

    Maybe someone with the towing package can verify that.

  • peppe1peppe1 Posts: 54
    Wrong !
    The base Ram has Four radiators:(looking from the front)
    Right side (electric fan) AC
    Left rear Water(coolant)
    Next 4.7L(1/2 sized)Transmission oil
    OR 5.9L (full sized) Transmission oil
    Front small power steering cooler.
    However The heavy duty cooling may say a bigger(water) radiator(pre 02) but I still have not seen any evidence of that!!!
  • lariat1lariat1 Posts: 461
    I always thought that the oil filter was the first component the oil came in contact with after it left the pump, that way you get clean oil to the moving parts of the engine. A check valve to prevent the filter from draining seems like it will only provide minimal gain in cold start situations. I think if I was worried about cold start clatter I would install an electric oil pump to allow prelubing the engine.
  • bweavebweave Posts: 16
    I'm thinking about trading in my '00 Chevy Silverado for an '03 Ram QC. I need 4 real doors. Has everyone been happy with their '02 Rams. Any squeaks, rattles, trips back to the dealer to fix any problems?

  • loncrayloncray Posts: 301
    I've got a 2003 Ram 2500 CTD - I've been very pleased so far. The rooftop clearance lights leaked once (dealer resealed them) and I went in to check the fan assembly (mine was fine). No squeaks or rattles (other'n the normal diesel ones) that I know of. I had a 1991 Dodge Daytona long ago - the Ram is light years better than that car was.
  • I do not have an axe to grind vs. Fram. I used them for years on two Chrysler minivans with no mechanical failures. I loved the textured gripping surface they put on the outside of the can....very innovative and useful. All I can tell you is my experience with my '99 300M opened my eyes. I had the oil changed at the dealer for the first three years because they offered it "free" when I bought the car. Ownership changed and they revoked the "lifetime" policy, so I started changing it myself with Fram filters. I noticed the increased valve clatter immediately (I park in a two-car garage and the sound is amplified). I didn't know about the relationship between valve clatter and the filter's anti-drainback valve until I found this website. Changing filter brands definitely reduced cold start valve clatter. Call it whatever you like, but on my particular vehicle, it is fact. One obvious difference in the two vehicles I mention here is that one is overhead valve and one is a pushrod design valve train. It makes sense to me that OHV designs are more sensitive on this issue.
  • Several days ago I related a comment made by my Dodge service manager regarding the use of an aftermarket oil filter in the Cummins 5.9L engine. After researching the issue, I’ve found that DaimlerChrysler discusses the use of aftermarket oil filters in Technical Service Bulletin #09-004-01dated 5/18/01. The Technical Service Bulletin mentions that neoprene compounds used in some aftermarket oil filters can separate from the oil filter, lodge in the piston cooling nozzles, and cause engine failure. It also mentions that DC recommends only specific filters made by Mopar, Fleetguard, Cummins, MotorCraft, Purolator, and AC Delco. Finally, the TSB also mentions that engine failure caused by non recommended oil filters “. . IS NOT AN ENGINE DEFECT”. The use of caps in the TSB is DC’s way of emphatically letting us know that this type of engine failure is not covered by warranty.

    The plugged piston cooling nozzles issue is so serious that issue 36 of the “Turbo Diesel Register” (Alpharetta, GA) suggests insisting on buying oil filters only in unbroken plastic wrap. The Register mentions that one Cummins engine failure was caused by dirt and insect larvae plugging the nozzles. The same material was discovered in the filter can - apparently the location of an insect’s nest.
  • Just an owner's report here. Had my 02 QC Ram 2wd with 4.7/3:55's, tow package, posi, for a year now with 16k miles. Zero squeaks or rattles--I hate that-- and very tight yet. Great truck and I think it's a long term keeper for our family. Wife loves driving it too, despite its size it is a very easy vehicle to get around in....mileage is decent as well. Four doors come in really handy, especially for hauling things (I have the fold down floor option) or extra people. I run 89 octane and it seems to be happiest with that. Hope that helps. Also, I'm not alone in my "clean bill of health" for this truck. Lots of happy owners and service writers report less problems, if any, with this model.
  • Bweave, in answer to your request for information on the 2002 Ram, my 2001 diesel Ram quad cab, which is basically the same as the 2002, has been
    an excellent vehicle. The Ram has certainly changed my opinion about Chrysler products! It's comfortable, quiet (except the for sound of the engine which I expected when I bought the truck), and unlike earlier Dodge trucks, completely squeak and rattle free. Having owned a Chevy before I bought the Dodge, I think you'll be MUCH happier with the Ram. I've yet to see parts fall from under the dash as I did with the Chevy. Also, the fit and finish of the Ram is light years ahead of Chevy. If you don't object to the sound of the Cummins engine and the 3 gallon oil changes, I'd recommend the diesel option. Mileage with the diesel is nothing short of phenomenal. My truck consistently gets over 20 MPG and frequently delivers 22 MPG. Of course, that's reasonable driving. If you frequently take advantage of the engine's incredible torque, mileage will drop substantially. All considered, the Ram 2500 is one of the most enjoyable vehicles I have owned. I recommend it highly.
  • I am very happy with my 03 QC, but I have only had it a month. I had a 99 Sierra and this truck is much better, except the mileage is a little worse. With my GMC I was getting 16 on day to day driving and now I get about 14, but that may improve with more mileage (Now at 1,800).

    One of my pet peeves with the Chevy/GMC's is that the upper fender seems really flimsy where it meets with the lower winshield. You can grab that area of the fender and move it 1/2" easily. I know it doesn't make any real difference, but you shouldn't be able to move the sheet metal on a new truck that easily.
  • bweavebweave Posts: 16
    Thanks for the feedback about your trucks. I'll be getting a Ram in January when the new Hemi is available in the 1500.

    For those of you who have the 20" wheels, was the upgrade worth it (in your opinion)?

  • themanxthemanx Posts: 110
    Is that a Hemi?

This discussion has been closed.