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Dodge Ram



  • sd99sd99 Posts: 65

    I believe you should have the truck looked at by your dealer. Under normal driving conditions, there should not be any metal to metal contact or strange creaking noises from the body flexing. Besides, this will give your dealer a chance to show what he or she is made of. How the service department treats your concerns will have a lasting effect on how happy you are with your purchase. I'm sure it's a minor problem, and your dealer will have you back on the road with no noise in no time.
  • Congrats on your great looking Ram, LadyBlue. I hope someone can find an answer to this question. It seems that the 99 2500 Q-cab 5.9L Cummins Diesel 5 speed, 356 gears should get better than the automatic, everything being the same. A man told me that the automatic is more of a miser. Anyone know? Thanks and happy trucking, Earsonly
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516

    Surprisingly, this is true for one reason and one reason only - the automatic has a taller overdrive gear than the manual, so as you said, all other things being equal, the automatic truck will be turning at slightly fewer rpms than the stick in overdrive. The 5 speed's overdrive ratio is 0.75:1, the automatic is 0.69:1.
  • tjsatjsa Posts: 3
    Hello everyone. I'm new to this group, having found it just a few days ago. I'm impressed by the amount of useful information and good will that is exchanged here. I hope some of you can offer me your opinions on the following.

    I am going to buy my first truck in about a month. Of the Big Three, I like the Dodge Ram the best. I am considering either a 1500 SWB QC 4X4 5.9L or a 2500 SWB QC 4X4 5.9L (or maybe 8.0L V10)

    After pricing them out (similarly equipped) here at Edmund's, I was surprised to find that the 2500 was less than $300 more. And the V10 (only available on the 2500) was only a $400 option.

    Here then are my questions:
    1) Does the 2500 QC SWB 4X4 ride significantly harsher than the 1500 QC SWB 4X4?

    2) Why does the 2500 seem to come only with 6.5 inch wide wheels while the 1500 comes with 7 inch wide wheels?

    3) What is the difference in real world gas mileage figures for the 2500 with 5.9L vs. the 8.0L?

    4) How come you can get a 34 gal. fuel tank on the 2500 SWB QC but not on the 1500 QC SWB?

    Thanks in advance for any help.
  • Hi tjsa,
    I'm considering the same thing you are and have the same questions that you do, plus I am also considering the Ford SD as well, so if you or anyone else out there can help it would be great.

    p.s. I'm new to this site also, thank you Dan.
  • tjsatjsa Posts: 3
    A correction to my earlier post...

    The price difference between similarly equipped
    1500 SWB QC 4X4 and 2500 SWB QC 4X4 is a little over $1000 (not the less than $300 I had stated.)

    I had mistakenly compared a 1500 SWB QC 4X4 to a 2500 SWB CLUB CAB 4X4.

    Sorry for any confusion.
  • TJSA, I would stay away from the V-10, unless you own a gas station. If you can stand a little noise, the Cummins Diesel is the only way to go. Happiness always. Earsonly.
  • dodgeramdodgeram Posts: 202
    TJSA, I agree with earsonly, that the cummins would be a better choice. The interior noise level is quite quiet, and actully less road, noise, because they have to heavyly insulate the truck, to keep the dieel engine quiet on the inside. If your looking for performance, and not to worried about gas, go for the 5.9l, I got it right know in a 3/4, and it plently fast, and tows great. The ride, is a bit bumpy, but hey it's a 3/4 ton truck. But corneres, like a sports car, but the wheels need to be wider, to hold on to pavement at high speeds. The engine is quiet, and has a great bass'y, exaust note under acceleration, the best I heard between the big three.
  • tjsatjsa Posts: 3
    Thanks to earsonly and dodgeram for the responses.

    I don't really have a definite need for the capabilities of the Cummins or the V10. I was comparing the price of the 1500 vs. 2500 and kind of got caught up in the mind set that "Hey if I get the 2500, why not get the V10 and be a REAL man!"

    In truth, I think for power, gas mileage and ride quality, I'm probably better off with the 1500/5.9L combination.

    I just don't want to someday regret getting the lighter duty truck when for $1000 to $1500 more I could have had a heavy duty one.

    For what it's worth, I currently have nothing to tow (maybe someday a I'll have a ski boat), and I don't want the long bed (so there's no camper in my future.) In other words, I have no good reason for wanting the 2500 other just "MORE POWER!! OOH OOH! (imagine Tim Allen...)

    Thanks again and keep those responses coming.
  • cabovercabover Posts: 12
    I have a question to pose to all of the knowledgeable people in this topic section.

    I am interested in buying a Dodge truck to commute to and from work every day, about 50 miles roundtrip mostly highway. I will also pull a 3000 pound boat about 20 times a year. In addition to the boat I will put a 3300 pound (fully loaded) cabover camper on the truck about 5 to 10 times a year and will pull it up into the mountains.

    The question I have is will a 2500 be enough to handle the 3300 pound payload? I see 3/4 ton trucks with campers on them all of the time, but in the limited research that I have done the Dodge 2500 would be at or above it's payload limit. Is there after market products that these people are installing on their 3/4 ton trucks to increase their payload?

    Also, will a 5.9 liter be able to pull the camper and the boat up a 7% grade or would I be at a crawl? The V10 is not an option due to the daily commute which leaves me with the Cummins.
  • cabovercabover Posts: 12
    Oh, I forgot to mention that the truck I would be buying would be a 1996 to 1998 club cab I haven't decided yet on two wheel or four wheel drive yet.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516

    Definitely sounds like a Ram 3500 Cummins for you. I'd also recommend the 4 wheel drive if you're using a boat ramp to launch and retrieve. On a highway commute, you'll easily see high teens (depending on your right foot). Sans camper, you could easily get mid 20s. With the boat and camper in place, you will still be well above what a gasoline engine could do, and the torque will easily take you up that grade.

    As long as the truck you are looking at had the towing and/or camper package, you shouldn't need extra suspension gear. You are correct that the camper will come close to maxing the payload, and will be furthere reduced because you will have passengers and gear.

    Coincidentally, I have a 3500 Club 4x4 Cummins. With me and some junk, it weighs about 6800-6900 pounds. The GVWR is 11,000, so that leaves me an honest 4000 pounds of payload, and even with the 3.54 axles, I still have a tow rating of 5000 pounds - plenty ofr your boat (GCWR is 16,000).
  • dodgeramdodgeram Posts: 202

    The 3/4 will be able to handle the payload, and the 5.9l engine will easilly climb the hills. Just recently I loaded my 2500 ram 4x4 will 3200lbs, of salt in the bed. I have to say that my truck is equipped with timbrens ( a rubber suspesnion that goes between the frame and the axle). They cost about 200 a peice cdn. Im not sure if there available in the states or not. But they work really good. You can load an extra 2-3000lbs in the truck if you really wanted to, plus they keep the truck level when loaded down. Without the timbrens the truck will still be able to handle the weight, but it might slouch down a bit more. When I loaded the salt in my truck, I had a hr's drive home, and many hills on the way. The engine barley noticed the weight in the back. The 5.9L has most of it's usable torque at low rpm's, so when loaded down the engine doesn't really rev all that high to move. The cummins would be a good choice ( My next truck this summer), it will give you better gas milage, a bit more noiser, and expensive, but if you don't mind forking out the extra for the diesel its well worth the money. Plus they soon will have the allision 6spd auto transmission in the diesel making it even more of a better buy.
  • cabovercabover Posts: 12
    Thanks for your response. I just got a copy of the payload/GVWR/Trailer Towing info for the 1999 Dodge Rams. It looks like a two wheel drive 2500 with the cummins can only have 2780 pounds of payload and the four wheel model will only carry 2400 pounds. I don't really want the one ton because of the duallies so the four wheel drive 2500 club cab with a cummins is my preferred truck. But I still have to haul that camper. What if I put the after market timbrens or a similar product on it? Do you think I would have any trouble with overloading the 2500?
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516

    The weak link on the 2500 is the tires. You would have to get larger tires to support more weight - on a Cummins-equipped truck, the axle itself is the same as on the 3500. Since your camper will be a constant load, I'd suggest a stronger spring pack - the 3500 rear springs might be a reasonable swap.
  • cdeancdean Posts: 1,110
    go for the Cummins, Cabover. With the kinda weight you'll be pulling around all the time, it will be worth the extra money you shell out at first.
  • ladyblueladyblue Posts: 326

    I have to agree with kcram and cdean. You would be better off with a little more truck than you need, as opposed to less. Although dodgeram was able to load his truck to the max and it still performed well, as someone else pointed out earlier, that kind of overwork will eventually lead to your truck losing years off it's life. Personally, I'd rather have the peace of mind knowing that my truck was equal to the task, than sweating it out wondering if I was overloaded.
  • Anyone know anything about the introduction of a 6-speed manual transmission for the Ram Cummins, beginning in March? A factory rep at the car show said that it was planned, and I wonder if anyone has any info about it. I pull a 9,000 5th wheel now with a V-10 Ram, and want a bit more economy for the future. Power is not a problem, but with the automatic trans, it shifts way too much when the torque would easily pull the load.
  • cabover:
    The Cummins is probably the better engine for your situation. I have a V-10 A/T in a 2500 HD 2wd now, and it will definitely pull a 9,000 5th wheel at 70 plus on the highway, but gets only 13 mpg unloaded ... 8-9 loaded.

    I have also blistered 2 rear tires pulling at speed (OEM tires) running 50 psi. I desire to trade up to a '99 cummins (six-speed when available) dual wheel 3500. The engine will pull at low rpm (right on the torque curve) but the trans insists on shifting down at the slightest rise in the road. If I stay out of overdrive, the gas mileage goes down sharply.

    I hope that the 6-speed will solve my problem and allow the engine to use its vast torque instead of fuel-consuming rpm.
  • cabovercabover Posts: 12
    Thanks for all of the helpful input!! Since going 20 mph up a hill while pulling my boat and camper does not fit my "type A personality" I'm definitely going with a Cummins.

    Since the 4x2 2500 Club with the Cummins can carry 2780 Lbs I'll need to strengthen my tires and suspension by about 600 Lbs. Can this be done? If I want to go with a 4x4 I would have to strengthen the tires and suspension by about 1000 Lbs. Is this possible?

    Ideally I would like to have the 4x4 but don't know if 1000 Lbs increase is possible. Also, what type of device would I be able to turn on/off or adjust when unloaded to soften the ride back down to normal?

    Thanks for your help.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516

    Here is the official status of the NVG 5600 6 speed manual. New Venture Gear determined and remedied a production problem. In doing so, they were unable to produce the transmission in sufficient quantity for regular production orders. There was a small window of orders taken in January and February. Dodge will fill ONLY these orders already in the system; otherwise, the 6-shifter will be released for the 2000 model year.

    The Allison 6 speed automatic, which was also slated for this spring in Dodge/Cummins trucks is also delayed until the 2000 model year because Allison is backlogged.


    The tire swap is fairly easy. The Ford Super Duty trucks use a tire size LT265/75R16E, that will increase the rating about 800 punds per axle (remember, the cabover camper will put some of its weight onto the front suspension as well. You will need a speedometer gear adjustment for this; on 96-98 Dodges, that is a simple tooth swap that competent dealers can do blindfolded. Ford gets that tire from Firestone in the Steeltex R4S (rib) and Steeltex AT (all terrain) models.

    As I mentioned, the 3500 rear spring pack should be a direct swap, as the 2500HD and 3500 are basically the same frame (the 1500 is very different). The mounting points should be the same. Your axles would be the same as the 3500, so no swap of driveline components should be needed.
  • kcram,

    Thanks for the information on both the proposed 6-speed transmissions. I spoke to Gerald Basham, DaimlerChrysler marketing, who thought that these transmissions would be available in the spring. From what you have said, it appears that the 2000 year model will have to be my target.

    One more question: I know that Ford makes a kit to "lower" the 4wd super duty trucks ... a simple U-bolt and block change that lowers the overall height by some 3" or so. Have you ever heard of anything like that for Ram 4wd trucks? I want the 4wd option, but don't need the ground clearance. I won't be crawling over the rocks with this truck ... only looking for the increased traction in slippery conditions. The added height only creates boarding problems for those who will primarily travel the paved road. I may have to seek aftermarket modifications in the end. Thanks for your knowledgeable responses.
  • stanfordstanford Posts: 606
    Can someone with a 4X4 Ram 3500 measure the height of the bed (either at the axle, or the rear edge)? They don't seem significantly shorter than the F350 4X4s, but I've never heard of anyone having to lower their dodge to fit a 5th wheel.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516

    You had asked that before and I totally forgot. My bad. My Ram 3500 4x4 Club measures as follows:

    - road to bed floor at the tailgate: 37.5 inches
    - bed floor to top of bed rail: 19 inches
    - bed rail to top of cab at front of bed: 21 inches
    - center of gravity location for a slide-in: between 25 and 58 inches forward of the rear edge of the bed

    Hope that helps everybody
  • KatmanduKatmandu Posts: 24
    I need help. I'm gonna be buying a truck soon, and am seriously considering a used RAM 1500, V8, and auto. My concern is that a friend of mine works for a Dodge dealer and says he'll never be unemployed as long as people keep buying chrysler automatic transmissions. I know the 93-95 ram trannys are problematic but heard the 1996 and newer are much better. Is this the case? Please don't sugarcoat your answer. This is my only means of transportation! ALSO do the Dakotas and Rams share the same automatic? Thanx in advance...
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    Correction to make on the Allison:

    The Allison 1000 is actually a 5 speed automatic, not a 6. If you would like to read about the transmission, click here.
  • dodgeramdodgeram Posts: 202
    Just finished plowing 14hrs straight with my ram, and it was 2-5ft of heavy wet snow (alot of drifting snow). This morning,the day after I plowed, I started the truck up and heard a ever so slight rumbling sound from under the floor, in the middle of the cab. I did plow through huge dirfts of snow in reverse and got the truck severly stuck 7 times. I took the truck out on the road and as I accelerated, the noise became more evident. Even at normal tempreture the rumble was still there. I opened the hood, and felt a huge pool of hot air coming out. Well it looks like I got a little a exaust leak coming from the manifold joints or somewhere in between the catylic converter to the engine.

    I do have the 7 year power train warranty, and was wondering if that this warranty will cover the leak in the exaust. It's a 94 ram with only 15000miles. I live in canada. Does the warranty coverage differ from the states or is it the same basic coverage for both countries.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516

    If the truck doesn't have the factory plow-prep package, you *may* be in for a treat. You will be scrutinized by the dealer and DaimlerChrysler as to whether the stresses caused by plowing directly led to this problem (as opposed to merely driving through the snow).

    It sounds like your exhaust system got high-centered on a drift during one of your "stuck" situations, and you probably tried to aggressively to get out. You might want to have an independent exhaust shop (Midas, etc.) give you an estimate to see what damage you have actually done.
  • stanfordstanford Posts: 606
    Measurements of Dodge 3500 4X4 and Ford F350 4X4

    Dodge Ford
    Road to bed floor at tailgate: 37.5 38.0
    Bed floor to top of bed rail: 19.0 19.5
    Bed rail to top of cab: 21.0 26.0

    These measurements are what I would call pretty damn close, with the exception of the bedrail to cab measurement. I really don't see why all the Ford guys are complaining about lowering blocks, etc, when the Dodge folk aren't. What do you Dodge guys know that we don't?
  • dodgeramdodgeram Posts: 202

    That was exaclty what happened, I got the truck stuck up over a huge pile of snow, and it took me 1/2 hr of shoveling, and sanding, and even puting chains under the tires to get out. It happened quite a few times that night, and each time I really had to rock it to get it out. Thanks for the advice on going to a private muffler shop first, but I read your post a little to late. I did however call the dealer, and asked him if the exaust was covered, and he said only if the leak was coming out of the manifold joint. I think that is where it's coiming from, so I made the appointment to let them check it out. I don't have the plow prep package. At the time the dealer said it was uneccesary to have, since I have the heavy duty service package. The only differnce is that the plow prep pkg. has the air adjustable shocks. Anyway, if the leak turns out to be where the two exaust pipes converge into one before the catylic converter, what costs could I be looking at. It's not a craked pipe, it's probably a seal between the joints.
This discussion has been closed.