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350 Hemi, High Output Cummins

markbuckmarkbuck Posts: 1,021
edited March 2014 in Dodge
Looks like some neat stuff from Dodge for 2003 in their HD pickup line.

I read about it last night in Trailer Life.

Hope they get a better auto tranny for 2003.


  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Actually, I think its a 353 cid Hemi rated at 345 HP. I also heard that there may be a 300 HP version released in 2004 as well as a 375 HP version for Chrysler's return to a rear-wheel drive car platform with intentions of re-entering the police car market.

    The auto transmissions that Dodge uses today have their basic mechanicals based on the A904 and A727 designs of the '60s and '70s. Those transmissions had a reputation for extremely reliable service, and in the case of the A727, exceptional durability in heavy duty applications. These are the predecessors to the 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, and 47REs today.

    The "RE" series utilizes electronic shift controls and contains an overdrive unit not found on the older 904s and 727s. This is the two areas that have produced the major trouble spots in the RE series. However, Ford and GM have had similar problems with there electronic overdrives as well.

    The 45RFE is a different transmission in most respects and doesn't share that much lineage with the old 904 & 727 units and these models have so far proven to be very reliable.

    It is rumored that Dodge will introduce new variants of the RFE series, including a beefier 459RFE for the RAM 1500 series. Also rumored are extreme-duty 48RE and 49REs for the RAM 2500-3500 models. As most know Dodge elected to not take the Allison transmission despite previously having part ownership in that company and will build its own heavy duty unit for medium trucks and diesels. So far, judging from early reports from GM truck owners, it looks like Dodge may have made a good decision.

  • ryanbabryanbab Posts: 7,240
    The local police here have dodge intrepids as their new police cars. The look kinda funny
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    I've read at that the 5.7 hemi's manufacturing costs are lower then the OHC 4.7's! I bet they still charge more for it! I would kill to see this motor in the current style Dakota. Now that they cancelled the redesign (of the Dakota) I think it's a possibility, but not likely. Man I'd trade my 2000 R/T in on a 2004 or 2005 5.7 Dakota in a minute, especially if they finish that Mercedes designed 5-speed for it (the nv-3500 can't take the torque output of the current 360 let alone the 5.7, and the Rams nv-4500 won't fit the Dakota without a redesign.) Otherwise they are supposed to beef up the 45rfe to handle the 5.7 but judging from problems with it on the 99 Grand Cherokees when first introduced, I wouldn't want to be a test pilot.

    That new Intrepid police package is supposed to be pretty awesome. They only will sell it to law inforcement, it's like a heavy duty, poor man's 300M.

    The new cummings will be the top class of pickup diesels (heck, the current Cummings still is, and they have redesigned it!). It is supposed to have a bunch more power and yet be as quite as a gas motor. I think Dodge will be picking up some market share in the 2500, and 3500 series trucks in 2003 with these two new motors and the new style.
  • catamcatam Posts: 331
    Don't believe everything you read/hear.
    GM tried to promote the Duramax diesel as being as quiet as a gasser, and no diesel smell.
    While it is clearly the most quiet of the big diesels, it is also not anywhere near a gasser.
    I am sure the new Cummins will likely provide many improvements over the current model, but will it be as quiet as a gasser, I'll believe it when I hear it.
    Also, I know there has been discussion about the auto trannies, but the last I read anything official, D/C still is going to detune the new Cummins when it is mated to an Auto tranny. This is going to hurt their sales as the vast majority of HD trucks sold are sold with auto trannies. Both Ford and GM put full power in place with the auto units, which will leave the Cummins still in 3rd place in the power war.
    I agree the new Cummins will likely be the best available diesel with a manual tranny. But I would definitely wait 2 years or so to allow them to work the bugs out.
    That seems to be the trend based on Ford and GM redesigns.
  • jaijayjaijay Posts: 162
    I believe Allison Transmission is a subdivision of GM and has been in the GM family since 1929.
  • markbuckmarkbuck Posts: 1,021
    Will Dodge make a 'real' crewcab in their new lineup?

    I like the Cummins best in diesels, but my buddies have had all kinda problems on older dodge trucks with their auto trannys and poor brake designs.

    I bought a 2500hd CC last year, with the 6.0L and a 5 speed manual. If I coulda got a cummins in that 2500HD I woulda bought it! Noway do I want one of those Isuzu Duramax things....

    The new Ford 600 diesel looks good too.

    But I agree, we'll have to look at them a coupla years out.
  • kg11kg11 Posts: 530
    What's wrong with Isuzus Duramax? Our '98 Isuzu NPR has almost 300k with no engine or trans (Allison) problems.

  • markbuckmarkbuck Posts: 1,021
    Broken Rod, Damaged Crank at 40k miles. I did all the oil changes, vehicle towed a three rail motorcycle trailer, but other than that, no harsh use.

    Catastrophic engine failure. Isuzu finally offered parts only, after dealing with their zone rep.

    I won't ever buy another Isuzu or Isuzu derived product.....

    BTW, had a blown head gasket on the previous vehicle, a Mazda PU at 40k miles, Mazda picked the whole thing up.

    Both companies later had recalls for those problems, when I contacted Isuzu, they refused to compensate me for the $1500 labor bill, as I had sold the vehicle.

    My Ford 7.3L diesel went 185,000 with nary a problem.......

    Now my 6.0L GMC has light (annoying) piston slap in the 30s to 2 minute period post start.....
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I stand corrected. And I knew that, too since I was a GM employee.

    I was thinking of New Process Gear, which was at one time wholly owned by Chrysler, and is now (I think) a joint venture between Chrysler & GM.

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    ............were 1999 Grand Cherokees and the result of the wrong lubricant being installed at the factory. If I recall correctly, this affected approximately 18,000 units.

  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    Some people who saw the street testing of the new cummings said they were as quite as a gas, not a factory claim. Here is a link to the Buzz:

    Even the standard cummings for 2003 will be 250 HP @ 2900 RPM and 460 ft-lbs @ 1700 rpm with the automatic, and it too gets the new high pressure common rail injection. Ford's manual transmission diesels do have more HP then the autos, but the Chevy with the Allison is the same. It is yet to be seen if the new HO cummings will not be available with the automatic because there are some possibilities of using a mercedes truck automatic (possibly the reason they didn't go with the Allision.)

    Dusty was right, even if Chrysler never owned any part of Allison, they did turn down the opportunity to use the Allison in the new ram. The contract to do it was signed by both parties but something went sour. Allison had even boosted production capasity and has since released a memo on their commitment to service other OEM then GM. The Allison is supposed to still show up in the Chassis Cab 3500, 4500, and 5500 series trucks though.

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Some information given to me by a good friend of mine regarding some pre-release specifications from Chrysler on the new 5.7L hemi motor:

    -It will be 345 CID, not 353 as mentioned in various magazines. Horsepower will be 345.

    -A 6.1L version will be introduced at a later date.

    -The block will be made of high nickel content cast grey iron and incorporate a new process which will increase torsional rigidity by 28%. This helps reduce noise by -6dB. Cylinders will be deep skirt.

    -The nodular sand cast crankshaft will be crossbolted with M12 caps and M8 crossbolts, internally counterbalanced and fully counterweighted, incorporate a new method of microfinishing that is better than the current Nissan motors, reducing bearing friction by 44% over the previous 360 CID.

    -The new 345 will be 100 lbs. lighter than the 360 CID it will replace and dimensionally smaller.

    -Bore will be 3.92. Stroke is 3.58.

    -Pistons will be cast aluminum made by Mahle Castings. They will have a low friction skirt coating and will weight 412.000 grams.

    -Deck height will be 9.25 inches. The cam tunnel will be 7.44 inches from the crankshaft centerline resulting in greatly shortened pushrods. This translates to less valvetrain mass, flex, and greater RPM capability.

    -A seven quart oil pan will be used for truck applications.

    -Oil pressure range will be 40 lbs minimum (idle) and 90 lbs. max at 3100 rpm.

    -There will be two plugs per cylinder, but only eight plug wires.

    -Valves will be 2.00 inches intake (18 degree seats) and 1.55 exhaust (15.5 degree seats). The heads will allow a maximum of 2.125 intake and 1.90 exhaust.

    -Heads will be cast aluminum and the ports will be directly on the chamber centerline. Chambers will be 85cc and utilize a slightly flat roof at the chamber apex. Ten bolts per head. The head gasket is multi-layered and use "torque-to-yield fasteners.

    - Compression ratio will be 10.5 on pump gas.

    -Valve springs will be low-mass, low pressure "beehive" single spring units and rated at 94 lbs seat pressure.

    -Camshaft will be roller type and incorporate low-inertia, investment cast rockers. Rocker ratio is 1.65:1.

    _The induction system will use a 80mm sidedraft throttle body, tuned-runner nylon plastic manifold. Runners are just over 14 inches long.

  • markbuckmarkbuck Posts: 1,021
    great info.

    But with that bore and stroke I get 345.6 in^3

    Aint that a 346 cubic inch engine?

    Is pump gas premium?

    I've had great luck racing with Mahle pistons, but I thought they mostly made forged?
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926

    I don't remember seeing anything on the octane requirement. 10.5 CR seems a little high compared to 87 octane engines nowadays, but hemispherical combustion chambers are more tolerant of octane at higher CRs. Depending on the ignition timing curve, its probably do-able.

  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    The HO cummings is goin to be available with a new automatic starting In January of 2003. The new transmission is rated for the full output of the HO cummings so that should help the Rams sales quite a bit. No more excuses about the automatic being detuned.
  • catamcatam Posts: 331
    Will the new auto tranny last.
    The big problem with the current generation isn't so much the detuned engine, its the tranny that doesn't last behind it.
    I don't know how many buyers are going to be willing to risk finding out if Dodge can build an auto tranny worth a damn. Especially when the engine in front is turning 550 ft/lbs.
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    Do you have any studies done buy a research agency like JD powers to prove different failure rates of automatics form different makes? I highly doubt (especially considering Dodge has the longest powertrain warranty and it would cost them a fortune) that they fail at any greater rate then other manufactures in a similar application. I have never personally known anyone that has had a transmission failure on any make of car of truck, so have difficulty understanding the fixation so many have on the subject. I'm sure lots of folks can come forward with a story about their brother-in-laws neighbor who had a transmission go out in his... but unless you compare actual repair records to number of trucks sold the stories mean nothing. Besides the Cummings is the only diesel motor I know of with it's own fan club, talk about mass positive testimonials there! Just looking for brother-in-law stories, it would seem that that new Allison is having quite a few teething problems considering how few are actually on the road.
  • mullins87mullins87 Posts: 959
    You honestly don't know anyone who has ever had an automatic transmission failure????? Dang, I wish I were that lucky. I've had one go out on a Chevy truck, and my wife's has been acting funny.
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    I can't think of anybody close right off the top of my head. My dad had some problems with a Chevy Blazer and one of his Dodge Caravans but neither of them proved to be a whole transmission. Just a part failure, or the wrong fluid in the case of the Dodge. Neither cost more the $100 to fix. I am a believer that more then 1/2 of the transmssions replaced or "rebuilt" were in need of only a specific part or two, not the entire assembly. Poeple are to afraid of the mysterious workings of the automatic transmissions and the repair sops just pray on this. It's like rebuilding or replacing your motor cause your water pump is bad, or your valve guides are worn. For some reason people will target and fix a specific motor problem but if the transmission is just acting weird they want a whole new one! Now we have blown up a clutch or two in my memories but that was pure abuse!
  • mullins87mullins87 Posts: 959
    The shops love those people!!!! I can hear it now, "My car dies everytime I put it in gear" says the car owner. "Sounds bad. I think you probably need a new transmission" says the shop owner. The car owner considers the $2,300 price for the new(rebuilt) tranny, then says "Well, it's expensive, but I gotta have it."

    9 times out of 10 all that problem turns out to be is the torque convertor control switch. Worst case scenario, a $200 fix, usually less than $75. I think you have hit the nail on the head with a lot of tranny repairs. Most people are scared to death of an auto when it comes to fixing them.

    Come to think of it, recently my neighbor came over all worked up over the tranny on his Olds. He just knew the tranny was toast. Well, I looked at it, got it to do exactly what he said it was doing, and told him it was the TCC switch. He took it to a shop, they told him rebuild. He told them what I said and they said, well that could be the problem. They were going to take him, but since he already had an idea what was wrong, they knew better than to push it. Just one of the many reasons why I do 95% of my own maintenance and repairs.
  • mullins87mullins87 Posts: 959
    How did this thread get so far off topic?!?!
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Everybody's got some anecdotal story about transmissions. Around here there seems to be a higher propensity of failures on the Power Stroke autos. My daughter rides horses and the Power Stroke owners don't seem to be very pleased with the automatic transmissions.

    I've heard of one Dodge diesel and 4 or 5 GM's failing. I personally know one Dodge diesel owner and at over 200,000 miles his transmission is going strong. I know two Chevy diesel owners and one had a torque converter failure early on but other than that they've been good.

  • The new B series Cummins engine is reported by the manufacturer to put out more than 300 hp and 540 of torque. With the new injection system it is estimated to be about 40% quieter than the 2002 version. If this is true and the new transmission design works out; this should take over the market place! The previous transmission failures that I've seen were not of the "catastrophic" type. I'm sure that an analysis of the problem would reveal that replacement of te failed parts would correct the problem. Most ransmission shops don't like their tech's taking up that kind of time when they can sell you a rebuilt unit installed in less than half the time and move on to the next customers vehicle. I do know of a shop in Huntinton Beach, CA. that will pull the Mopar Auto, modify it and reinstall it. Those who have done this have not been reporting failures.
  • sawdinsawdin Posts: 5
    First off, great board! Any guesses what the new HO 5.9L Cummins Diesel will get for gas mileage? Also, what are people getting with the current 5.9L for mileage.


  • Message to sawdin. I spoke to the Dodge Truck Zone rep inmy area and he says his staff has been using two of the new updated Cummins 5.9 and have reported consistent highway numbers of 21 mpg and as high as 24 mpg. Thats unloaded in the central valley area of California. He says the mountain road experience is about 17-19 mpg. There are two issues of this engine. The 49 state version and the California version. (Reminiscent of the gas engines) and the non-California version out does the other in horse power, torque and fuel economy. Does that help?
  • ezshift5ezshift5 West coastPosts: 858
    ....well, it's been almost a year.........

    It looks like 22 MPG for the latest edition of the 24v Cummins B series would be a fair call.

    Any new fuel efficiency for the Cummins avail?

    best, ez
This discussion has been closed.