Ram Diesel TSB Upgrade

KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJMember Posts: 3,516
edited March 2014 in Dodge
Well, I haven't done anything to my 12v besides change the throttle cable to the new coated style, and my throttle performance improved dramatically.

Since I don't have a 24v, I'm not as familaier with those two TSBs, but I'll look them up.

Comments

  • rcfortenberryrcfortenberry Member Posts: 1
    I just bought a 99 2500 QC 4X4 w/ Cummins & automatic. I love it and only have minor complaints (exhaust leak near A/C intake that dealer can't find), but I am nervous since reading about all of the problems here and on other sites.

    Where do I find info on these TSB's?

    Also, I have buddies with "powerchokes". I've heard about alot of problems with cavitation "eating" holes in the cylinder walls, so they add some kind of water treatment. Is this necessary or even a good idea with the Cummins?

    Any advice on precautions with the transmission?

    Thanks for any help!
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJMember Posts: 3,516
    rc,

    Your Ram should be just fine as far as diesel performance. The TSBs in question are for trucks made before this spring (Jan 98 to about April 99).

    kcram
    Community Leader/Smart Shopper Conference
  • brett039brett039 Member Posts: 56
    How do I find out when my truck was built? I looked through all the info I received from the purchase and found nothing. I bought the truck off the lot, so I'm uncertain how long it sat there.

    The first posting in this topic mentions TSB 18-08-99. I was only aware of two TSB that I might possibly need. 18-11-99 and 18-02-99. I have a 99 Cummins w/auto & 3.54ls.

    Thanks
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJMember Posts: 3,516
    brett,

    Your build date is on your door jamn sticker. The month is written out (example 05/99), and the exact day is in code. I'll look up the code and get back to you as to which set of digits it is.

    As for 18-08-99, that revised the cruise control to prevent surging in overdrive.

    kcram
    Community Leader/Smart Shopper Conference
  • jack38jack38 Member Posts: 18
    I recently purchased a new 2500 quad cab 5.9L Cummins A.T. that seems to shift hard from 1st - 2nd and 2nd to 3rd during acceleration. It feels like a moderate jolt as shift occurs vs. the smooth transition from 3rd to 4th. I can also hear a high pitch harmonic sound during acceleration to 60 MPH, then it disappears if I take my foot off throttle then resume speed. Is this a normal shift pattern and sound for diesel models or a warranty item to address? I appreciate any feedback or comments you have regarding this matter.

    Thanks in advance.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJMember Posts: 3,516
    All normal!

    The shifts seem firmer than you may be used to because of the extremely high torque the trans is dealing with.

    As for that high-pitched whine that backs off when your throttle foot does - that, my friend, is a REAL turbocharger in action!

    kcram
    Community Leader/Smart Shopper Conference
  • jack38jack38 Member Posts: 18
    Thanks for the response regarding my 2500 Cummins questions. I kind of thought the high torque produced by the Cummins may be the reason why shifts during acceleration are a bit sharp. As for the high pitched whine... I am familiar with the turbo pitch produced during acceleration. This sound is different and is sustained at as low as 35 - 40 MPH during fairly low engine RPM. I talked to my service rep about the sound. He stated he had other RAM owners report the same high pitch sound, possibly from the drive shaft area. He asked me to bring it in for a listen. I'll post back when I get an answer.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJMember Posts: 3,516
    ahh, ok

    There was a TSB for that whine on earlier models (94-97). It's 11-01-97, and is for a whine that can be mistaken for turbo whine at around 1400 rpm, 1900 rpm, and 2100 rpm. In this instance, the noise is actually coming from the muffler assembly. Give this info to your dealer when you bring it in.

    kcram
    Community Leader/Smart Shopper Conference
  • jack38jack38 Member Posts: 18
    OK, that's great. I'll let the service rep know. Out of curiosity, how does the muffler assembly create a high pitch sound? Aside from this minor concern, the truck has been wonderful to drive. The torque produced by the cummins is something else. Have not pulled my
    5'er yet... doing the hitch hook-up myself this weekend and will pull in about two weeks after the first oil change. Thanks KC.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJMember Posts: 3,516
    The muffler can sometimes suffer from enough harmonic vibration to create a whine that changes with rpm. If you've been under your truck, you can see the muffler for a Cummins-powered Ram is a HUGE monster, and something that might go unnoticed in a smaller gasoline-engine muffler, would only get magnified in that oil-drum sized beast.

    kcram
    Community Leader/Smart Shopper Conference
  • jack38jack38 Member Posts: 18
    The muffler is huge all right. I looked up TSB 11-01-97 with regard to the whine or howl sound. The TSB describes how to check if this condition is occuring. I will give it a try this weekend and let you know if it's coming from the muffler area. I appreciate your feedback KC.
  • jack38jack38 Member Posts: 18
    I tryed the test to confirm the muffler on my 2500 cummins is making the whine/howl noise as per TSB 11-01-97. The high pitch whine could be heard at the tail pipe, my guess is the muffler will have to be replaced if I want to get rid of the noise. When I take the truck in for 1st oil change, I'll let the dealership know about the TSB. Thanks again KC.
  • jack38jack38 Member Posts: 18
    I know this is unrelated to TSB's but here goes.
    While attempting to install a 5th wheel hitch on my 99 Ram 2500 cummins shortbox 4x4 I discovered the positioning of the front mounting bracket stikes smack dab in the middle of the box/frame mount. The "Power Pull" 5th wheel hitch instructions state the hitch should be installed directly over the rear axle. Does anyone know how far forward of centre axle it's safe to go. Going back of centre axle will not work because the frame has an uneven "curved" vertical surface in that area which is not acceptable according to the manufacturer for installing the L brackets. If you have any experience of knowledge regarding this, I would like your comments. Thanks in advance. jack38
  • psubongpsubong Member Posts: 9
    KCram,
    Where can I look up TSB's for my 97 Dodge Diesel? Also, my truck's auto transmission doesn't engage immediately when I start out on a cold morning. When I first start moving, the truck feels like it is slipping on ice for a half second and then abruptly engages. It started doing this at about 60,000 miles. I have plowed snow for two seasons in Maryland (nothing real deep). The truck is a 4x4 with snow plow prep package and heavy duty transfer case, 3.54 rear. Is this normal in cold weather? I have 5,000 miles left on my extended service contract but the weather is still warm here so the problem will be impossible to replicate. I also hear a loud crack when I initiate a full turnaround as well as steering thunks at steering wheel lock-up. Is this typical? Any suggestions on how to approach the service rep?
  • bigfur1bigfur1 Member Posts: 34
    try puttin it into neutral for a few seconds first. I live in minnesota where its cold alot and that works for me.
  • rspadingrspading Member Posts: 8
    Have you TD owners checked out the TDR Website? It is all new and redesigned with an active discussion forum and lot's of new pages. There are both member areas and nonmember areas, but everyone gets to read the forum. It is a great site and growing rapidly. The TDR has over 15000 members so the expertise in the discussions is second to none when it comes to knowledgeable people helping other diesel owners. The site is at http://www.turbodieselregister.com/
  • jerry_kingjerry_king Member Posts: 8
    Two questions:
    1) Do you know of where I can find a conversion kit for, in particular, a 93 1 ton 4WD Cummins Ram. This truck is a 5 speed w/ a Dana 70(Heavy) rear-end w/ 4.10 gears. It was purchased C&C and a a flat dump bed was installed. Anyway, I am looking for either: a company that produces a rear disc brake conversion for this truck or: a donor vehicle that the rear discs can be robbed from and installed on this truck. This is a real working truck that sometimes pulls a 30 ft. dual tandem gooseneck grossing approx. 28K (not all the time). This truck goes through the rear drums far to regularly and the extra stopping power would be very helpful
    2) is ther a place on the net wher I can find the TSB's for Ram's? Once I find one, do I have to take my truck in to a dealer to have the repairs done, or can any qualified mechanic(or myself) do the repairs. Thanks for the help.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJMember Posts: 3,516
    I'll be honest - I don't know of any reputable firms douing disc brake conversions on that era of Dodge Ram. I'll keep an eye out for you in the meantime.

    As for the TSBs, you'll want to stop by the Alldata site, enter the vehicle info requested, and you will get a current list of TSBs that may affect your Ram.

    kcram
    Community Leader/Smart Shopper Conference
  • rrichfrrichf Member Posts: 211
    Jerry,
    I'm not a mechanic, however thinking of the way that the backing plates for drum are attached, you may be better off trying to find a complete rear end designed for disk brakes. Also it seems to me that the master cylinder is different on disk brake vehicles. Disk brakes appear to have a larger diameter slave cylinders than drum brakes and require a larger volume of fluid at a higher pressure.

    If you're going through drums too frequently, is it possible that your front to rear bias is too much towards the rear? Maybe your initial stopping power is applied to only the rear brakes. To screw up rear drums you really have to be cooking them on a regular basis. Have you tried stronger and larger shoe return springs? The springs should be replaced with every brake shoe change.

    Good luck,
    Rich
  • livelive Member Posts: 2
    I want to mount snow plow on 2500, Quad cab,4x4 w/Cummins dsl dealer says warranty will be voided.any help? thanks,live
  • bmckenziebmckenzie Member Posts: 118
    Kcram,
    Do you know if there is any performance to be gained from removing the Silencer Ring? What is the best way to remove the retainer clip in front of the ring?
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJMember Posts: 3,516
    I haven't posted an answer to this yet, because I haven't found one. I'm waiting to hear from some of my diesel gurus.

    kcram
    Community Leader/Smart Shopper Conference
  • hunter21hunter21 Member Posts: 9
    I have a 99 2500 Ram 4x4 Quad with Cummins and have been fighting with Dodge concerning power problems for a year. Finally, they tell me there is a TSB #18-11-99 for lack of power while towing. I have had this done and the bulletin says it will increase engine torque. I would like
    to know if anyone has had this done and if it solved their power problems while towing. Also, I
    would like to know the specs on the change (torque, hp, etc.

    Thanks for your help! Hunter 21
  • bmckenziebmckenzie Member Posts: 118
    Have you tried to get your local Dodge dealer to release your truck to the nearest Cummins certified repair facility? I read alot about this same subject on www.turbodieselregister.com and the Dodge repair facility can authorize a warranty service repair, I think the repair you want done is called a flash.......Bill
  • jack38jack38 Member Posts: 18
    I also have a 99 2500 Quad Cab Cummins Diesel - had the re-flash done at approximately 3000 KM shortly before towing my 7700 lb. 5th wheel RV. Although I did not tow before having the reflash done, the performance of the cummins was exceptional. Unloaded acceleration also seems to be slightly improved. You should get better performance with the correct reflash.
  • hunter21hunter21 Member Posts: 9
    Thanks guys for the input. I live in Oregon and called Cummins Northwest in Portland today after reading your responses. They told me because of EPA standards it was against Federal Law to do a Reflash to a ECM unit. The TSB #18-11-99 was a reprogram of the ECM unit. The bulletin states it is a "software change to the Cummins CM551 controller and will increase engine torque". I wonder if Dodge got a change approved by the EPA?
    The bulletin does not state what the upgrade does. You must have got luckly to find a Cummins dealer that would do the reflash or they where feeding me a line of !!!!. I hope this solves my problem, I do not want to go the Lawyer
    route. I love the truck accept when I am pulling my 6000lb "Home in the Woods" up Mt Hood at 40hp and the Fords are blowing my doors off!!!
  • wildmanbakerwildmanbaker Member Posts: 65
    Start complaining very loud and often. Call the Factory, I believe the numbers are in the owners manual. We are pulling a little more load, and doing much better. ECM reprograming is not against the law. Ours has a Dr. Performance, Phase III on it and it is EPA certified, and has 284 HP at the rear wheels.

    Wildman
  • hunter21hunter21 Member Posts: 9
    Thanks Wildman. I have heard the auto trans. can't handle the upgraded ECM units, is that true?

    Hunter21
  • brett039brett039 Member Posts: 56
    Are you towing with the O/D on or off? Also, which axle ratio do you have?

    I have the same truck with the 3.54 ratio. I tow a 6K boat/trailer through the mountains of KY at least 4 times each summer. I always tow with the O/D on because the truck can't do highway speeds with it turned off. While in O/D towing, it doesn't do that well up the mountains because the gearing is too high. In my opinion, it's a big delima! 3rd gear is too low and 4th is too high! The auto trans needs another gear in between 3rd and 4th.

    I wish I had gone with the 4:10 ratio instead. That would have lower the gearing while in O/D and would have improved performance when towing.

    Your truck may be fine, just geared poorly (like mine). ---or--- Maybe I have problems too!!!

    Brett
  • wildmanbakerwildmanbaker Member Posts: 65
    The auto will take alot more than the factory will own up to. It is just a TorqueFlite with another pack in it, and they are pretty tough. I have been leaving it in OD almost all the time. I find it really starts working at about 1,400-1,600 rpm, under load. 1,400 is just below 50mph, and it really starts pulling on up to 65mph. Had the same auto in the 95, and worked it pretty hard without a wimper out of it. The only weak links in autos is the bands. I have broken a few of those behind the big V-8s that make more than stock HP.

    Wildman
  • hunter21hunter21 Member Posts: 9
    When I drive the mountains I leave the O/D off the grades average 6% to 8% for several miles.
    I have 3.54 ratio gears,but the problem is I have several friends who have these Dodges with 12 valve Cummins and can do 45-50 without flooring it
    up the same grades, with the same gears and with
    trailers that weigh about the same. I have the floor it and settle for 40 to 42. When I purchased
    the truck, I was told it would have more power.
    I hope this reprogram of the ECM will do the trick.
    Hunter21
  • wildmanbakerwildmanbaker Member Posts: 65
    I have towed with the O/D off, but the added engine noise is astounding. The only limit on speed seems to be the redline for the engine. We also have the 3:54 rear ends.

    Good luck.
    Wildman
  • mclennanmclennan Member Posts: 7
    I hit the right page.
    We are also having problems with lack of power towing. We have a 98, 24 valve,3500 Cab/chassie,4x4,5 sp diesel, 3.54 end.
    Pulling a 10,000 trailer should be easy, but it is not. Fuel consumption is very high as well.
    Keep us informed if you find out anything. We thought it might get better with more miles on it. We have 4500 miles on it now.
    Prarie towing in Alberta Canada
  • hunter21hunter21 Member Posts: 9
    Yes, you will find a difference with fuel consumption and power when you hit 10000 and above. At least that was what I found. Your truck should qualify for the TSB I spoke about earlier.
    My understanding is 24 value engines made prior to May 99 can have the upgrade. You will have to start complaining to Dodge to create a history of a problem. I haven't had a change to tow my trailer yet up grades because of the snow. But I plan on posting the results in a few weeks when I hope to make my first trip.
  • rrichfrrichf Member Posts: 211
    mclennan,
    It seems to me that a 3.54 is a bit steep for towing 10,000 pounds. Dodge may specify that the Ram can tow that much, but it just seems too tall of a gear set for me. I would think that 4.11 would be about right. But then, I drive a F and am probably way out in left field.
    Rich
  • bmckenziebmckenzie Member Posts: 118
    At 70 MPH w/P265's and 3.54's my Cummins turns right at 2000 RPM. That is right about dead center of the flat line for torque with the 5 spd. I feel that if you start pulling much over 10,000 lbs. you should run the 4.10's, unless you do alot of unloaded highway driving.....Bill
  • wwhite2wwhite2 Member Posts: 535
    With diesel here in Massachusetts now 2.30 per gallon I need a TSB to help pay for my fuel!!!!!
  • bmckenziebmckenzie Member Posts: 118
    So for that TSB acronymn the long version would read "Typical Small Bank"? in Massachusetts.........Bill
  • balkabalka Member Posts: 5
    I've got a 2000 QC 6spd and I've had absolutely no trouble from mine while towing. Have had a flatbed loaded to the hilt, about 8000#, and had a car hauler behind me several times with none other than ford products, which topped out around 11500, and have had nothing but good results in acceleration and fuel economy. MPG's do drop noticeably above about 6000#, but the 3.55 seems to handle things very well and rpm's are as described--right smack in the middle of the power band--at cruising speed...

    Mike B
  • rrichfrrichf Member Posts: 211
    Mike B.,
    Are you towing in over drive or is the OD locked out?
    Rich
  • sudsheadsudshead Member Posts: 3
    are getting with your diesels?
  • pinecoonpinecoon Member Posts: 2
    For trailer (11,000lbs) towing, Ram 2500 diesel, which is the better rear axle ratio?
  • heidi8heidi8 Member Posts: 12
    i tow a 11,340 lb 5th wheel with a 2k-3500-td-6 sp-3.54 gears. i just finished a 10,200 mile trip and averaged 11.1 mpg. the trailer started the trip with 300 miles on it. that includes mountain and flats. from missouri to baja and back.
  • reconsargereconsarge Member Posts: 1
    I have 2000, 2500, cumming's, 4x4. Moving from Virginia to Michigan. Virginia dealers tell me 15w X 40w - will this work okay for Michigan???
  • heidi8heidi8 Member Posts: 12
    dodge diesel owners; i need some info please.i have a 2k-3500-td-6 sp-3.54 gears with 10,300 miles. a 10,000 mile trip to the baja and back pulling a 11,340 lb 5th wheel trailer was its initial shakedown. when pulling hard in the following gears 2-3-4-5 at rpm's 2100 t0 2600, there is a noticeable sound coming the tranny/clutch area. it sounds like the tranny is trying to turn in its mounts, but there is no movement on the gear shifter lever. anyone who has had this condition or any idea's, i'd like to hear from you to better explain to the dealership thx.
  • lariat1lariat1 Member Posts: 461
    is recommended for the cummins for all year, according to the manual tou should plug your truck in at anything below 40F up here in Alaska I switch to delo 30w oil in the winter to allow easier starting below 0F. I recommend to anyone driving a diesel in the cold (0F and below) they do the same,it will not viod your warranty as long as the oil is specified by cummins.
  • meredithmeredith Member Posts: 575
    After 30 or more days of inactivity....

    this topic is being "frozen." It will be archived or deleted in the next 10 days or so.

    Front Porch Philosopher
    SUV, Pickups, & Aftermarket and Accessories Host
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