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Dodge Ram: Problems & Solutions

mpjmpjmpjmpj Posts: 1
edited March 2014 in Dodge
I have a 2001 Ram 2500 diesel and noticed that I am not the only one complaining about the steering. Driving the truck down the road required constant attention to the wheel always correcting it to drive straight. The truck will not center on the road.

It has been back to the dealer 4x (2 separate dealers). They've replaced the track bar, steering box, aligned it each time, and a ball joint was frozen. There are no TSB's according to the dealer.

Someone told me that an after market levelling kit will solve the problem, but that is $700 and a void on the warranty. This kit replaces the control arms (trailing arms) with tubular instead of the stock stamped metal, and the springs.

The truck now has 45,000 miles on it. I LOVE the truck but HATE to drive it. How's that for spending close to $40k???

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!


  • lariat1lariat1 Posts: 461
    Well it sound like you have a quad cab w/short bed, I had a 98 quad w/short bed and it did the same thing it didnt bother me to much but the way I fixed it was lowering the tire pressure to 32-35 psig when the truck was empty and adding air when I loaded the truck.
  • It's probably because the motor is so heavy, there isn't enough "truck" in the rear to compensate. I drove a friends 2001 short bed quad with only 8k on the odo. and you could feel the fight in the steering wheel. But it wasn't worth getting worked up over. He also has 33" tires and it still wasn't bad. Later I test drove a long bed quad and it drove straight as an arrow on the stock tires.
    If you let go of the wheel and it veers sharply to one direction, I'd definitely get it checked. If not then I wouldn't worry.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    My '01 2500 is an ext. cab, short-bed 4X4 and steering is fine pushing 52K miles. Better with the Michelin LTX that came standard, but I replaced them with more aggresive meat (Toyo AT's) that tow better thanks to stiffer sidewall. Steering is more vague, but doesn't wander around more than any other 4X4 truck with all-terrain tires. Could this be a tire problem? Or could you be not used to driving something like this? I mean, anything that can tow major weight is going to be equipped with tires and suspension that requires a bit more work to drive than a family sedan. The Silverado has probably the best steering feel, and it's still nothing like driving a car. The biggest difference is sporty tires, which don't work well on a truck. If you're not towing with it, you might try some lighter-duty tires.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,966
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  • Hi all, I have a 2001 Dodge Ram 1500 QC 4x4 Off Road, Auto, 5.9, w/ 8k miles. When I'm driving between 70mph and 80mph on the highway it does a weird Vibration/Humm type thing that comes from underneath the truck. It peaks at 75, and goes away below 70 and above 80. To me it's like when a manual transmission's throw-out-bearing is worn, it like worsens at a certain spot when you let off the gas and varies but is always there between 70 and 80. Any ideas? TSB's? Experiences? I'm supposed to take it in so they can look at it tomorrow, but I'm almost sure they'll just give me the typical "We didn't seem to find anything wrong". or " We looked underneath, and everything seems to look fine". Thanks in advance..........................
  • gp30gp30 Posts: 1
    I have a '99 Quad cab 1500 2 wheel drive 318 engine and on the highway I have noticed around top end 70- 80 mph on the interstate that the engine seems to miss and sputter occasionally. It sounds like spark knock (even with Amoco white gas) or something like popcorn popping metallic sounds. While riding on the passenger side I heard it very promeniently on the right side of the engine. I loose power and its time to have it investigated but I would appreciate someone with similar problems discussing this with me.
  • We have a 96 4x4 extra cab shortbed bought new. We just had a third transmission in 68,000 mile. The 1st was at about 33,000. Was suppose to be a complete rebuild. About 11,000 mi. later it wouldn't even move. Another complete rebuild. Both of these were warranty. This last time we took it to a independent tranny man. He did a complete rebuild--recondition of tranny with Reman torque convertor and all updates,gasket and seal kit, overdrive piston housing, reverse drive, torque convertor, tranny cooler. This cost $2263.60 out of our pocket. We are just curious about anyone else having trouble.
  • babbitbabbit Posts: 2
    Interesting post on your tranny. Several years ago I owned a 2WD Dodge 1/2 ton that practically ate transmissions (3 in the first 50,000 miles). The third rebuild was done by a private shop and it lasted until 160,000 miles. The trick is to get a good tranny cooler, do a tranny service anually and put in a friction modifier (aftermarket additive)to keep the seals flexible. It's too bad Dodge can't fix 'em right but at least there is hope in the aftermarket.
  • mbean1mbean1 Posts: 2
    Mpjmpj, try going to the TDR website about this one. No offense to anyone here, but in my opinion, the Turbo Diesel Register is THE CONSUMATE AUTHORITY when it comes to Ram Diesel topics. The address is Its kinda expensive to join, but the access to knowledge is WELL worth it.
  • Here is another outstanding website that I use: Same as TDR,except there is no charge for membership. It's an official "spin-off" of the TDR.
  • rdg52rdg52 Posts: 2
    I am considering purchasing a left over 2001, 2500, SLT, Quad Cab, 4x2, Cummins TD, Auto Transmission, and 4.10 Gears. Does anyone know the impact the 4.10 gears will have on fuel economy vs the standard 3.55 gears for both towing and non towing applications?
  • bc01clsbc01cls Posts: 44
    I have a new 02 RAM 1500 and the reason I went for another Dodge was that my 92 Dakota, with 92,000 miles still shifts tight enough into second to chirp the tires and snap your head back. The problems I've seen or heard about are Dodge trucks with the 5.9 V-8 and 4 speed auto. For some reason they seem to go through transmissions. I was worried about the Dakota but it's fine even after hauling my 1300 pound cabover camper and pulling my 2600 pound boat. No towing package even, just posi-traction. Maybe I've just been lucky.......... Hope this new "Multi speed transmission" with the 4.7 holds up!!!
  • lariat1lariat1 Posts: 461
    One of the main reasons for earlt tranny failures in the Dodges was due to not performing the transmission maintenance every 25,000 miles I do not know of anyone having a failure when the maintenance schedule is followed. But I am sure there are a few out there.
  • jcmdiejcmdie Posts: 595
    The other thing on the dodge tranny is to use the overdrive off switch if the unit starts to hunt or if you are cruising at speeds where the overdrive starts to engage. The shifting in and out builds up heat, which is a major contributor to trans damage.
  • bc01clsbc01cls Posts: 44
    I should probably add that I serviced my tranny in the Dakota every 30k and turned off the overdrive in steeper more tranny taxing terrain as suggested by lariat1 and jcmdie above. Probably why the Dakota still has one at 92K!
  • I have a 1995 Ram 1500 with 43200 miles. Driven as second vehicle. Never hauled anything remotely substantial or towed with it. Just spent $700+ dollars on a new torque converter and transmission cooler.
  • jcmdiejcmdie Posts: 595
    The dodge maintainence schedule (unknown to most) calls out for fluid and filter changes every 12,000 miles. Also the trans requires fluid that is Dodge-specific due to a particular blend of friction modifiers. Using a high grade trans fluid that is not specifically formulated for Dodge, will give you problems.
  • 2001 Dodge 2500, auto, w/410 positrac, Cummings, SLT Quad Cab, 4X2, 265 tires. Town & country stop and go without babying it -- a consistant 16.5. Country and turnpike -- a consistant 19. Towing 11,500 with switching between overdrive and non-overdrive depending on the road, in flat country with just hills -- a consistant 9 - 10.
  • laurplaurp Posts: 1
    Well what can I say. I have a 1996 Dodge Ram Reg Cab SLT 4x4, fully loaded except for leather. I have since spent $1000's on canopy, boat racks, CD player, Alarm etc. I planned on keeping this truck for a long time.

    It's a 318 5.2 liter. I bought this truck brand new. I've spent a lot of money on this truck in various repairs since the warranty ran out. With only 60K miles my engine blew on the way to work. The crankshaft broke in half! The engine rebuild cost me over $3000 on top of everything else. I do not tow or haul anything. I've looked after this truck from Day 1 and this is what happens.

    Since the 318 has been around for awhile, and I bought this truck brand new, I suspect a factory defect. My truck is out of warranty for 2.5 years now but I'm still going after Chrysler/Dodge. Has anyone experienced similiar problems?
  • jcmdiejcmdie Posts: 595
    With your vehicle 2.5 years out of warantee, I wouldn't "go after" Dodge or Chrysler. Thier legal and practical obligation is well past. Asking for assitance and playing on the fact that you expected a better product may help. At this point any thing that they do for you will be good will and out of pocket expense that they are not obligated to. I've had excellent luck with the 318 in the past and I'm sorry to hear of your troubles. Best of luck.
  • Yes the 318 has been around since the early seventies. No changes except the addition of FI and the magnum heads and intake in the mid-90's.

    If your crank broke in half then either that was a manufacturing defect or you haven't changed your oil in a very long time:). I would see what DC can do for you. But JCMDIE is right. With 60k on the clock, they are well past any obligation or legal right to help.
    Good Luck
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    I'm here to announce the new Dodge Ram Owners Club now available on Owners Club board. Please stop by and introduce yourself in Meet the Members and let me know how I can help build your club.

    I have linked this discussion into that folder, but it will always reside here in Pickups.

    Looking forward to meeting everyone!

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  • x1x82x1x82 Posts: 6
    Hello Community -

    Does anyone know where I could find the factory emissions levels for a 1990 Dodge Ram 3/4 ton 351 4-speed manual pickup?

    I have the factory manual, but it does not go into the details I am looking for.

  • emruzekemruzek Posts: 24
    I have aquaintances in a motor rebuilding business that have told me that they have seen a few cases of the 318 crank breaking in half.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Are you sure the vehicle your looking for information on is a Dodge? To the best of my knowledge Dodge never made a 351 CID engine. They made a 361, but that engine was dropped in the late 1970s. The only 351 engine I can think of is the Ford V8.

  • Let me say...what a great truck this has been.

    I have a 1994 Ram SLT 5.9, 4-speed auto, 3.90 rear, with towing package. I regularly tow a race car trailer. I have only 75,000 miles as it is not my daily driver anymore (it was for 5 years). I have run Amsoil synthetic oil, synthetic tranny fluid, and synthetic gear oil in the rear, since about 1000 miles. I still have the same tranny fluid and rear gear oil. The is the most perfect shifting tranny I've ever owned. The Amsoil fluids are great and last a long long time. I may change the tranny fluid in a few years when I get to 100,000 miles just for grins.

    On the oil I use their Bypass filtration system with the regular and bypass filters mounted on the pass side fender where the battery sits for the diesel models. I change the two filters once a year and add a couple of quarts to make up for the loss. I changed all the oil at 50,000 for grins and will probably do so again at 75,000, since it's been three years. I've been doing this in a lot of vehicles per the Amsoil 25,000 (35,000 for Series 2000 oil) recommendations and warranty since 1985 without problems.

    My interior is holding up rather well, with only minor rattles, which is mainly due to all the stuff I have behind the seats.

    The stock Goodyear Wranglers lasted only 36,000 miles. I now have the Michelin LTX M/S tires and still have tons of tread left 40,000 miles later. This is THE tire for a pickup truck.

    No problems to complain about except early on there were TONS of dealer recalls that had to be performed, mostly simple stuff.

    Anyway, I've rambled enough. I just thought I would share a VERY positive 8 year ownership experience in a board dedicated to problems.
  • 2 years ago I purchased a Grand Cherokee and had nothing but problems (i.e., stalling, 2 drive shaft replacements, 2 transmission replacements, replacing rotors every 15,000 miles, etc.). I vowed to never by another Chrysler product. Unfortunately, I fell in love with the looks of the new 2002 Dodge Ram. I purchased a new Ram about 3 weeks ago. It's black with the bright grill, quad cab, towing package, and many other things. I absolutely loved it!! Last Sunday I went to drive it and noticed a bright red light on my dashboard. Not noticing this before I checked the manual. It said to get service immediately. I went ahead and started it. It did start, but nothing else worked except the radio. I had no headlights, wipers, power locks, blinkers, and no gauges worked. Basically nothing electrical was working. I had the truck taken to our local dealer, from which I did not buy the vehicle. After 2 days of troubleshooting, they said that my computer and the wiring harness under the dashboard had burnt up!! It has now been sitting at the dealer for 7 days waiting for parts and they will not provide me with a car. Now I have to say I am feeling very stupid for buying yet another Chrysler product. My biggest fear is that I will continue to have problems with this truck. My selling dealer told me that I have to expect problems with any car and that is why I have a warranty. Needless to say, my new Ram sits at the dealer with 800 miles on it and I inconvenience others for rides. Something is very wrong here!
  • smgillessmgilles Posts: 252
    Sorry, but have to say it!

    Fool me once, shame on you
    Fool me twice, shame on me!

    Good luck with truck, hopefully it will be the only problem you have
  • xman1035xman1035 Posts: 52
    You might want to checkout the site at There is Dodge owners section on the site. I read a few posts from Dodge owners having electrical problems when I was doing research on the Dodge. By the way, where was your truck made?

    I almost bought a new Dodge Ram QC and love its looks but I was concerned with the quality issue. I checked Consumer Reports and saw that Dodge's track record in quality was below average.

    I compared other trucks and bought the Toyota Tundra based on Toyota's reputation for quality, durability, and resale value.

    I still think the Dodge is better looking but when it comes down to quality,Dodge still has a way to go to catch up to Toyota.
  • rampagedrampaged Posts: 1
    I own a 98 Quad Cab, 5.9L, Auto. I just replaced the transmission, and a month later had the rear axle go. This unit only has 67K miles, and I have had regular service intervals. This truck is not used commercially, has not been raced, wrecked, or modified. This most recent chain of misfortunes have cost me in excess of $4000 to correct. I have contacted the Customer Service @ Dodge Corp., they basically said "to bad", but thanks for contacting us.

    My thoughts are to seek some form financial compensation. Anybody have any comments, are there any groups to contact?

    This is not right, Dodge is loosing integrity. I was offered an extended warranty, however I opted to decline. My decision to do so was based on a previous "positive" experience.......I had an 89 Jeep Cherokee with 166K miles. This vehicle was excellent, it did not leak, or use any oil, and never put a major dent in my finances. Go figure, I did purchase the 7/70,000 extended warranty for the Jeep.

    I guess my trip to Truckville has been cancelled! Has anyone seen the most recent TV advertisements, Dodge is now offering 100K mile warranties. Those of us that have had driveline problems know why this new marketing campaign has been initiated.

    I want to purchase American made products, and to do my part to keep jobs secure in the USA. However, my recent encounter with Dodge, and what I have researched from Consumer Reports, I just my have to contribute to Japan's economy for my next vehicle purchase.

    Thanks for listening, I look forward to hearing any and all feedback.
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