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Dodge Ram Owner Experiences



  • loncrayloncray Posts: 301
    Well, my '03 2500 short bed has a Rhinoliner - got it about a month after I got the truck, then put a cap over the whole thing. The people who like spray-ins (myself included) will point out the lack of rust and the non-slip surfaces, while people who like drop-ins will point out the dent resistance. It depends on what you're going to use the truck for - if it involves a lot of rocks or other heavy materials in the bed, you probably want a drop-in. For things that won't dent it all up, you probably want a spray-in. Not sure what you mean by 'wrap over'.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    If you think you might keep your truck for a while, consider both. The spray-in type will keep the box pretty much rust free, and the drop-in liner will prevent dents.

    I like my drop-in, but vehicle vibration is probably rubbing paint off somewhere.

    Best of luck,
  • #noname#noname Posts: 58
    I was referring to having the caps sprayed to protect them. Thence (wrap over) sorry should have explained it better. I use my truck more for a car than a truck, so not much heavy carrying.
    Has anyone used the K&N Performance Air Filters on their Ram 1500? Is it all that it's cracked up to be with increase horsepower and better gas mileage?
    Thanks for the reply Chet
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095

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  • tfudertfuder Posts: 36
    Hi, all. My '94 1500 short bed has been a winner since the day I picked it up! Coming up on 150K miles, and couldn't be happier with it!

    I hope you guys and gals with the (even) newer body styles (hydroformed, etc) will have as good results, because that's my NEXT truck purchase! Got my eye on an '04 or '05 quad cam short bed 4x4 w/ the Hemi, of course!

    I just have to wait a while... still enjoying my paid-off workhorse (5.9L, SLT Laramie, custom woodgrain interior package, custom tow package). Gonna put a new coat of paint on the old boy and see if I can get another 50K miles or so.

    I've never had a vehicle age so gracefully. Very few mechanical problems over the years, and nothing really major nor unexpected (I mean, it DOES have almost 150,000 miles on it!).

    Good luck!
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    You mean you've never had a transmission problem? Golly, EVERYBODY knows those Dodge transmissions only last a year or so! (:>)

    Best regards,
  • tfudertfuder Posts: 36
    I actually bought the truck used several years ago, and it had a lot of mileage on it, then. Since I've owned it, I've not had to have it in the shop for an unscheduled repair but once, and that was right at 100K miles, so I had them do a complete workup on it, then.

    However, the one issue I have is with the transmission. It's not a problem, per se, but it could indicate one. I noticed a TSB on it, so I'm going to try and check it out at the NHTSA site when I get a chance:

    The truck (and my Intrepid, too, BTW) doesn't always want to shift from 2nd to 3rd. If I get the RPMs up to about 4K and let off the accelerator a tiny bit, it'll shift, and then go into OD with no problem.

    This doesn't occur under a load (like, towing a boat), nor does it occur if I'm being a lead-foot. The temperature doesn't matter, nor how long I've been running the engine. I figured I'd check through the boards to see if anyone else experienced the same thing, and am doing that now.

    But, other than that, I couldn't be happier. I'll be sad when this truck finally bites the dust, but I'll replace it with a newer Ram and keep going...

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    You probably have a 46RE transmission. This symptom is most often associated with a misadjusted or binding throttle (modulator) cable or sticky throttle linkage. On high mileage units I've seen cables that were binding internally. Never use a lubricant of any type on the throttle linkage or the modulator cable. Try spraying the linkage with a good solvent (carburetor cleaner) including spraying some in the cable end itself.

    An intermittent Throttle Position Sensor will also cause the same symptom.

    Beyond that you could have low pump pressure from a clogged filter, a problem with the overdrive solenoid sticking. Beyond that it's a little more serious (overdrive clutches sticking, bleed valve or OD check valve sticking, worn OD clutches).

    Best regards,
  • iowabigguyiowabigguy Posts: 552
    I have a 2003 Ram 1500 2WD with the Hemi. My next oil change will be at 15,000 miles. I noticed that the rear differential requires service at this point and inquired at the dealer the charges for the 15K and 30K service. I was told in the $100 range for servicing the differential, $135 range to service the 5 speed auto trans and between $150 and $200 to change the spark plugs.

    My how times have changed.

    Differentials used to go 60,000 without service with no problems.

    I figure I can change the differential lube with no problems. I'll leave the transmission to the dealer for service. I figure I can change the 16 spark plugs on the Hemi for closer to $15 to $20.

    Has anyone changed the spark plugs on a 1500 series Ram? Are there any pointers you would like to share. Are there any special tools that might make things easier? The back 2 cylinders on the drivers side look like the problem area as the Brake booster seems to intrude into the working space.

    I have seen where people have suggested using brake cleaner to clean the inside of the differential housing. Would you just spray clean the housing or everything? I would worry the cleaner might cause problems with the friction material in the limited slip housing. Here again any advice is welcome.

    Is the transmission something that a person handy with tools could tackle at home. I know that on the older transmissions the bands were an adjustment item but everything I seem to see on the new transmission suggests no adjustments are made, that the transmission is self adjusting. Does the service just require dropping the pan and replacing a filter?

    Thanks, Rick
  • tfudertfuder Posts: 36
    I'll get that cable looked at first (always go for the simplest solution first, right?), then work my way up, if that's not it.

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    At 10,000 miles I flushed the housing and differential on my LSD Dakota using carburetor cleaner, mostly because I had a generous supply of it handy. Carburetor cleaner evaporates very quickly, one of the reasons I used it instead of brake cleaner. Just to be sure, after 15 minutes I hit the differential with compressed air to make sure it was dry inside.

    Dropping the transmission pan on most auto trannies is more inconvenient than difficult since as soon as the pan is ready to drop you have 4-6 quarts of hot ATF ready to gush out. I usually remove all but one bolt each at three corners. Then lightly pry at the corner without a bolt to relieve the pan away from the transmission case. Once it starts to drip a steady stream I loosen the remaining three bolts to allow the pan to drop more.

    Changing the filter on a Chrysler is very easy. There are two Torx screws that hold the filter on. There is a small gasket that must be used with the new filter. On the 545RFE there are two filters.

    Once you get the pan off you'll want to clean it up. There is a magnet on the inside of the pan that will have a lot of gray muck (clutch material) and maybe a small quantity of metal bits. I've done this to around 500 transmissions of different types and I've always found metal bits on the magnets or in the pan and they've almost always been healthy transmissions, so don't let the presence of this material excite you. You might find a teaspoon to a tablespoon full depending on the mileage. Much more than that could indicate a problem.

    Chryslers do not use a transmission pan gasket from the factory, although most of the non-factory replacement filters come with one. I do not use one since a gasket can eject an opportunity for a leak. I clean the transmission pan and housing flange with carburetor cleaner and apply Mopar black RTV to the pan and allow to set for 6-15 minutes depending on outside temperature.

    And of course, your 2003 should only use ATF+4.

    Best regards,
  • densherdensher Posts: 6
    Hey there...I'm Dennis from League City Texas. I own a 1998 Ram 1500 club cab. It's time for a new truck. I'm considering gettin a trailer -- maybe a fifth wheel. Not sure how big. I'm looking at maybe getting a 2500 with the cummins. Looking at diesel fuel prices, they're at least a dime cheaper than regular unleaded and 20 cents cheaper then premium. Anyone got advice in getting either the 2500 hemi or diesel?
  • loncrayloncray Posts: 301
    I bought an '03 2500 CTD for the mileage - I don't even tow anything. If your experience is the same as mine has been, you'll love the Cummins. You can't depend on diesel prices staying below gasoline - they were higher for months - but you can depend on getting more miles per gallon of diesel than you ever would with a gas engine - esp. if you're towing.
  • psrampsram Posts: 7
    Hello to all, just got my hands on a new/used 2004 Dodge 1500 w/Hemi. I can honestly say this is the the best truck I have ever driven, personlly speaking of course. Any how been reading the posts about miles per the gallon and the transmission discussion. I have two questions 1. I am getting around 10 miles per gallon on the city and 13.1 mpg on the highway, the truck has 10000 miles on it, now I know sometimes I have a heavy foot, but should mpg increase or is this the best I am going to get. Second how often do I need to do the service on the tranny, am I to understand 15000 miles is the point of service. Any help would be appreciated. i do like the truck and I have 3 more days to test drive it before I decide to keep it. I purchased it from CarMax so its a used truck, but is clean in and out!!
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Long engine and drivetrain break-ins seem to be hereditary with Chrysler-built vehicles, although I can't speak specifically about the new Hemi. My 4.7 started to give steady 18-19 after I got 15K on it.

    There seems to be a wide range of owner/driver reports regarding fuel consumption on the Hemi from people I've actually talked to. About half are getting 14-15 MPG fairly steady. I've had several tell me they've broken 17, but a slew of others are in the 10-13 MPG group.

    If you drive it like a Hemi I'm not surprised if you see low mileage. The easier you are the better the fuel mileage.

    As far as transmission maintenance, your automatic is the 545RFE. On the Dakota the "normal" scheduled service is at 60K for the same transmission. Maybe with the Hemi it's less, but 15K sounds too early.

    Good luck,
  • hwyhobohwyhobo Posts: 265
    My apologies if this question is in a wrong forum, but I have originally posted it in the "Dodge Ram 1500" discussion area, and had the thread immediately locked up by the moderator and instructed to post it in "Meet the Members" (huh?). Anyway, here it is. I hope there is someone lurking here once in a while.
    Does anyone know if DaimlerChrysler has any plans to sell Dodge Ram 1500 with the 2.7 TD engine (and standard transmission, preferrably)? For me, and I suspect many others, who would like a full size truck for light duty around the house and for vacation escapades (and occassional commute), this would be a perfect combination of sufficient power, excellent gas mileage, and comfort of a Dodge Ram truck.
  • hwyhobohwyhobo Posts: 265
    I just got an answer from Chrysler (I am impressed with the speed of their customer support, if not necessarily with the content of the answer). Here is the relevant fragment:

    "At present there are no plans to introduce a 2.7 TD engine in the Ram line-up. However, with constantly shifting market trends I would hesitate to discount the possibility of new products on the horizon, specifically designed to suit your needs. Please feel free to check back with us [...]"
  • Hello all. Just thought I would introduce myself and my truck. I am Tommy and I recently bought a 2005 Ram 1500. It is an Atlantic Blue Standard Cab with an 8' bed. Features/options include: 4.7L engine, Auto transmission, Towing Package, sliding back window, and Bulldog Coatings spray-in bed liner. It is just your basic work truck with no power anything, but it is one seriously Nice Looking work truck!
  • I'm hoping the member named "dustyk" will read this post. I'm brand new to this forum today (1/26/05), and thought I'd shoot you a quick question because you seem very knowledgeable about Dodge trucks. I have a 2004 Ram 1500 2WD, with the Hemi engine and "sport" package. There's no redline on the tachometer, though ... it goes up to 7,000 or so rpm (I don't know for sure, since I'm typing this at my work desk). Going up a hill, or merging into freeway traffic, I often drop the automatic transmission from "D" to "2" for the extra rpms. I'm curious, however, about how high I can safely rev it, in the absence of the redline indicator. 5,000? 6,000? Unless I go up above 3000 or 3500, I seem to recall, I'm not really going to reach freeway speeds ... thereby lessening the utility of dropping it into 2nd in the first place. In your experience, what's the reasonably highest rpm that won't thrash the engine? Thanks in advance.

    Regards, Joe
  • The engine controller will cut the engine power to prevent your over reving the motor. I believe the max rpms is 5,800. Rick
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Iowa is correct. There's a rev limiter on all new cars and trucks. I don't know what the rev limiter is set at on your Hemi. The theoretical maximum RPM on that Hemi motor is likely not much more than the 5800 Iowa stated, although I would've guessed it a little higher.


    Mopar motors have a long and distinct history of staying together when the RPMs are up. I hope that the tradition is still vibrant at Chrysler nowadays. But since the 5.7 Hemi is being used in some prototype high horsepower versions, I suspect the Hemi is tolerant of higher than 6500 RPM and still staying together.

    I know of one 4.7 (287) motor that has 80K on it and has been thoroughly trashed. The motor still sounds like it was new.


    Welcome to the forum!


    Best regards,

  • tfudertfuder Posts: 36
    I introduced myself on the board last year, with my '94 standard cab, short bed, 5.9L customized Ram. At the time, I said I'd get it a paint job and try to run it for anothe 50K miles befor upgrading to an '04 or '05 quad cab.


    Well, so much for plans. I still have my '94 (although it's up for sale), but I was made an offer I could no refuse on a family member's 2002 Quad Cab (5.9L V8, light silver, slate cloth interior, SLT Plus trim level, 4x4, Sport package, aftermarket sunroof, 17" wheels, towing package). It had 15K miles on it, and I paid $15K for it.


    I parked it next to my '94, and it's like father and son - it is SOOOO much bigger than my old truck. I sit much higher, and although it was 'too big' for my relative, it fits me like a glove. I've only had it for about a week, and could not be happier.


    Even better, I get about 1mpg better gas mileage, both in town and on the road than I did with my '94 - I'll assume it's because of advances in engine technology and aerodynamics - because it should, theoretically be getting *less* mileage, as it's a 4x4 and heavier.


    The engine is the same power as my old truck, but much, much quieter (since the '94 had flowmaster with dual exhaust on it, and this one is stock).


    Anyway, enough gushing for now. Welcome, newcomers to the board. I hope I won't need to pester dustyk for any help with the 'new' truck, either!


  • We are looking at buying a 98 Ram 1500 Sport Quad cab with 106,000 Power everything. What is some of your comments about it. Have you had good look. Anything we need to watch out for. I am really looking forward to this truck.
  • emilemil Posts: 2
    how do I turn off the maintenance required light using simple tools
  • myrammyram Posts: 1
    My name is Allen, Columbus, Ohio, and have a 2004 RAM 1500, 4x4, HEMI, Quad Cab. It is great! I hope to do some performance upgrades to it after it is broken in. Hope to pick up ideas in this group.
  • simple... just get a 10 mm socket or wrench. disconnect and reconnect your battery cable. as for "permanantly turning it off", well a small piece of black tape always works for me.
    best regards,
    - :shades: luke duke
  • hi,
    im bob, i have a 94 dodge ram 1500 pickup and a 2001 quad cab,im changing the spark plugs right now, but im having trouble getting the leads off , :confuse: ive already pulled 1 wire apart any one got any idies...thanks bob.
  • ;) well i figured it out. hi bob again my problem was with #5 spark plug wire ,take of the air filter caseing, then get a screw driver between the heat sheild and the plug boot, lever up with the screwdirver and pop off it comes.
  • hi rick ,the worst 2 are on the drivers side, i used 3/8 short extension connected onto my plug socket with a 3/8universal coupling connected to my rachet, its a bit of a tight fit, but it can be done good luck, :) and use gloves.
  • well im another dodge ram 1500 1994 owner ,120,000+ mls not 1 bit of a problem just now changing the spark plugs, i had some oxidization on the hood and roof,
    just happened to pick up somemagures 3 step . fantastic, highly recomended looks like new...bob

This discussion has been closed.