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Dodge Ram (2002) UNVEILED!



  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    The internal gear ratios of both the 45RFE and the 55RFE are identical. Jeep, on the 55RFE, simply added an additional overdrive on top of the existing overdrive—so that it now has two overdrive gears.

    I also read that the new Jeep Liberty is getting the 45RFE too. Looks like this tranny is making the rounds at DC.

  • greg116greg116 Posts: 116
    The new 5.7 liter Hemi, featured in the Dodge Super8 Hemi concept vehicle, is rated at an estimated 353 horsepower and 395 lb-ft of torque. This from an engine that in comparison with the GM 8100 big-block, produces 33 more hp from a far smaller displacement - 353 vs 496 ci. Go Dodge Go!
  • davids1davids1 Posts: 411
    Lets hope those numbers make it into the production version!!!!!!!!
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    This whole 45RFE and 5-45RFE transmission thing has been bugging me for some reason and the responses I got here didn't seem quite right. (thanks for getting me closer) A Dodge service tech said the 45RFE has ALWAYS had the extra overdrive built in as it was designed to go into many different applications (as we are now seeing). The Jeep guys didn't think they needed that extra overdrive in the Grand Cherokee but then they were getting a humming at freeway speeds. They made a computer reprogram 'flash' that activated the 2nd overdrive (thus calling it a 5-4RFE) and move the humming noise up over 70 MPH where it wouldn't be noticed. So I think we will see the truck type applications get the programming for a 45RFE (except the GC which developed the annoying hum) and cars get programmed for a 5-4RFE. He says the Transmissions are identical except in the way the computer controlls them. Why Dodge doesn't make them all 5 speed automatics for marketing reasons is beyond me, it seems like it would be a selling point.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Why don't the engineers just get rid of the humming in the first place?

  • k0hbk0hb Posts: 89
    Looks like we wait till 2007 or so (if Dodge is still in business then).
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  • Observations..

    Dodge re-claims the "my Kenworth-style nose is bigger than yours" crown from the Ford SDs.

    I guess those GM stylists who stated "well the Ram won't change much when it's re-done" were right. They said it when they took heat for the new Silverado/Sierra being not "radical enough."
    Wonder if the Dodge stylists will get the same grief.

    BTW, two German guys crashing through a wall (at the intro)in a Pick-up?? I hate to say it, but with Deutschland's new, more restrictive fire arms laws, buying a "gewehr" rack back home will be tough!!!
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    DC has received a fair amount of criticism with the new minivans, for being too conservative in terms of styling. So, I expect to hear it again regarding the new Ram.

    The difference between the new GM pickups and the new Ram pickups, IMHO, is that, from the front, the new GM trucks look worse than the vehicles they replace, whereas the new Ram's front looks as good if not better than the vehicle it is replacing.

    One more comment about styling (in general): Most comments—either good or bad—almost always are geared around the front or "face" of the vehicle. This seems especially true when it comes to pickup trucks, where the grille is so prominent. Occasionally you will see comments about the side, or rear, or interior, but mostly they are about the front. Next time you read any "styling comments" about any vehicle, think about that.

  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    Bob, you're correct, and the reason for that (especially on trucks) is simple. There's so little you can do with the rest of the truck's styling - it's a cab and a box, that the nose is really the only place a manufacturer can really express individuality. If you parked the Big Three pickups side by side, removed the emblems from the tailgate, and asked Joe Average to tell them apart from the rear, they'd still be standing there the next day guessing.

    Smart Shopper and FWI Message Boards
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    The new Chevy Avalanche has shown that you can do a lot to the "box" to make it interesting and even more functional. From the fold-down mid-gate, to the storage compartments in the fenders, to the composite construction, to the side steps on the rear bumpers—aside from the silly sail panels—there's a lot of clever "out-of-the-box" thinking going on within this "box."

    I'm hoping the new Ram will show some of the cleverness displayed by the Avalanche's work area. Although, from what I've seen to date, that doesn't look to be the case.

  • rsholland,kcram,

    I agree, the front of the vehicle is the key to truck styling. However, I've always disliked the Ram's tailights. The solid platic piece separating the top and bottom of the light made it appear "old" to me. Looks like DC fixed that part for 2002.

    I think the new Silverado is a "rounding off"
    of the old truck. It's a toss-up to me. The new look on the Sierra is an improvement though, with the larger, shaped front headlights. The old one, though smoother and better looking than the Chevy, still looked too much like it. Do miss the "end of bed" taillights on the old sportsides, the new ones look too Ford..
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    Regarding the Avalanche, that is really an SUV hybrid than a pickup. The bed is not separate from the cab. Even the SporTrac uses a fully separated bed unit from the cab. The Av is really a Suburban without the rear roof, and some of the items are to replaced the structural rigidity and stability that the roof would have provided.

    Personally, i think it's best for a manufacturer to give a truck buyer a canvas to work with, and let them "paint" the truck that fits their needs best. You see people adding trailer hitches, lift kits, gearing changes, various shapes and configs of toolboxes, etc. There are very few people who buy a truck and are completely satisfied with a 100% stock truck.

    Smart Shopper and FWI Message Boards
  • jcmdiejcmdie Posts: 595
    Is there any place to get actual specs on the 2002 pickup. I'm curious as to how the crew cab compares interior space wise with ford screw.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    True. The Avalanche is a hybrid, as well as the SportTrac. However, the ideas presented could be applied to any pickup.

    The point I was simply making is that: forever, everything aft the cab on pickups was considered not worth developing. The bed area of most of today's pickups is no more advanced than those found on pickups 20 or 30 years ago. The Avalanche and SportTrac show there are indeed better ways to make that area more useful.

    I have no problem with the bare-bones conventional pickup bed, but I also welcome (and encourage) the very clever ideas presented by both the Avalanche and SportTrac. I would love to see some of those new ideas applied to conventional pickups.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    I was at a Commercial Truck Show today in Baltimore, and to my surprise—the new 2002 Ram Quad-Cab was there. It's a real beauty!

    While I couldn't sit in it, I was able to lean inside and play with the fold-up rear seat, tailgate etc.

    The one they had on display was a red "Sport" short-bed Quad-Cab, with the 20" tires. The tires, Wranglers, had an off-center groove (like Aqua-Treads), as well as an All-Terrain tread pattern. It also had very HD tow hooks (finally!) on the front. Nothing much new in the bed area, except for some new tie-downs. Was able to get a "teaser" brochure on it.

  • what were the new engines, If I remember when I looked at this thing when it first came out they were pretty weak, not par with the old Dodge, its just a matter of time before the new german managment (the chased all the American mangers out) will be putting their strong arm on these trucks. Its so sad, Dodge was doing so well.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    the OHC 3.7 V6, the OHC 4.7 V8, and the old 5.9.

  • what were the new engines, If I remember when I looked at this thing when it first came out they were pretty weak, not par with the old Dodge, its just a matter of time before the new german managment (the chased all the American mangers out) will be putting their strong arm on these trucks. Its so sad, Dodge was doing so well.
  • jcmdiejcmdie Posts: 595
    They had a 6.1 and a 5.7 hemi engine slated to go in. Now I understand that tey feel that the 6.1 is too close to the 5.7 and that will be dropped. The 5.7 will apear in 2003 because there were some design problems that cropped up and they felt that they needed the extra time to make sure the engine was right before releasing it.
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380
    coming from a dodge man at heart, i must admit i'm a little underwhelmed with the 02' ram. i can't confirm this but it appears from photos that the 02' quad is smaller inside than an f150 supercrew (my current vehicle). can anyone confirm this? also, the fact that dodge isn't going to have the 5.7l ready for 02' is another disappointment. also appears that they are not gonna produce any quads with sunroofs. interior on slt+ looks nice, leather and all, but looks like no rear headrests! as for styling, i guess i'll wait to see the real thing. but, again i'm underwhelmed from the photos. rear shot looks way too much like a ford!

    as for this 45rfe and 545rfe stuff, i'm not a tranny tech but a friend of mine is. he said the 545rfe is basically the same as the 45rfe except that the powertrain computer is able to eek another ratio out of the planetary gearsets. he said this tranny's setup is such that if dodge wanted to, they could easily get another couple ratios out of its gearset.
  • wfbartowfbarto Posts: 58
    Watched the Chicago Auto Show on SpeedVision tonight. Great piece on 4-door
    trucks, but..... no news or coverage on the Avalanche?!!! Showed the Cadillac
    Escalade and the Lincoln Blackwood but best of all showed the new 2002 Dodge
    Ram with 4 doors and shortened bed option. Very impressive looking truck!! I was going to
    buy an Avalanche when they come out but I just may wait a few more months and go for the Dodge. This one really looks like a truck without the ugly side-body cladding, etc.

    By the way the show will be on again tonight at 12 midnight Eastern and on Friday,
    March 16th at Noon.
  • I like the new ram it looks tuff. I how they still offer the off road package for it.
  • greg116greg116 Posts: 116
    Well, I'm not much of a believer in overhead-cam engines in full-size trucks (and certainly not that cammy monster in the Tundra!), but the new 5.7 Hemi pushrod? Thats gonna be a motor to die for! I can't WAIT to read some reviews and test-drive that 353-hp (est) monster! I hope they make a big-block version of it.

    My vision: 2003 Dodge Dakota 5.7 Hemi R/T. THE fastest production truck in the world, never mind the Lightning!

    As I understand, the current 5.9 I-6 Cummins is a de-tuned version of a motor that actually makes about 1200 HP, so theres really no reason to drop it, just steadily "re-tune" it!

    Another question: If the Hemi design is so spectacularly efficient and powerful, why havent they used that design on every motor theyve built since the '70s? It wouldve given them a HUGE advantage over the competition.
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380

    a dodge mechanic told me that the new 5.7l v/8 will not have a true hemi head but will be sort of a hybrid between that and a semi wedge design like chevy currently produces. don't ask me for details about this cause i couldn't provide them. and all i know is that "reportedly" hemi head designs weren't particularly good with emissions. dodge seems to be addressing this partly with dual spark plugs per cylinder, and of course better fuel/air management and more costly catalytic converters.
  • glenn2glenn2 Posts: 39
    I was really hoping for a big step forward with the new Dodge and we basically get a "mild makeover". I'm not impressed. I also read it's going to take another TWO years to get the 2500/3500 series out......Come on guys, you need to get it together. You got in the game for the first time in 94 but your falling behind again.
  • richiebrichieb Posts: 4
    I am very happy to see the 2002 Dodge Ram. Better motor and front suspension. Larger Cabin. Easier Rear Access. Updated Styling. Hopefully they massaged the interior with more creature comforts. In comparing my 2001 Quad SLT to my brothers 2000 GMC Quad SLE, on the inside the GMC seemed a little more refined. Better climate control system, better seat controls, more rear seat room w/headrests, larger rear entry, on-dash 4wd control, better all-around drive train/front suspension and MPG !!! I was always content in the fact that my Dodge rides and drives much better, was quieter inside, had much more comfortable seats, looked a hell of a lot better and seemed to be made much better. You should hear all the rattles in his cabin, not to mention the several trips to the loacl GMC dealer for not so routine repairs.
    I can not wait to test drive one. Although I am afraid I will not be able to wait for the new large bore engines and trannies.
  • wfbartowfbarto Posts: 58
    I was leafing through some truck mags at the grocery store stand and it seems that more and more pictures and write-ups are becoming available for the new 2002 Doge trucks. However, I have not seen any articles with specifications, dimensions, interior room, load and towing ranges, etc. Does anyone know if this info is available and, if so, where I can get my hands on it? Also, anyone have any dates or timeframes for when these trucks will be hitting the dealer's lots?

    Thanks, Wayne
  • bowhuntwibowhuntwi Posts: 262 They have done a test drive already..................
  • wfbartowfbarto Posts: 58
    Thanks, this is a good article but it doesn't have any specification info in it. Do you know if this info is available anywhere yet? I am especially interested in what the total length of the vehicle will be with the 4-door option. Also what will be the towing capability with the 4.7 liter engine. I suppose it will be very similar to that of the Dakota with the same engine, but it would be nice to hear this from Dodge.

This discussion has been closed.