Dodge Ram - II



  • ericschultzericschultz Member Posts: 5
    Greetings all,

    The 2500 QC 4X4 Cummins that I ordered six weeks ago has arrived on the dealer lot. I'll be picking it up Monday.

    Here's my question. What last-minute sales-pitch can I expect to receive from the dealer. Do they try to sell me an extended warranty? I've already been accosted by the "accessories" guy, who tries to sell you "everything Ram" that you just gotta have for your new truck.

    Are the extended warranties worth getting? If anybody else has purchased these, what can I expect to pay for one? What should I pay for one? I got this truck at $100 over invoice, plus the $500 farm bureau rebate on top of that.

    I've also read here that I should change the oil after 1K miles. Is that right? Any other hints?

    Thanks in advance!

  • ericschultzericschultz Member Posts: 5
    I thought that DC customer service was a source of good info. Here's what happened. I called my usual rep on Thursday morning to get an updated status of my truck. She says that it "has been built and is sitting in their yard waiting for a rail car." "Rail cars are in short supply due to the ConRail merger (or whatever)", she says. "It'll be a couple of weeks yet" according to her experience. "Maybe you could call your dealer and if they have enough other cars / trucks ready for delivery, they'll hire a truck to bring them to Pittsburgh for you"


    I call my dealer and explain the situation to the sales manager who says "I've got better news. Your truck is on our lot!"

    I'm dumfounded. He says that DC customer svc is using out of date information.

    What gives? I thought DC cust svc was the final word.

    Any input? For others waiting for your truck, maybe it's best to get several sources of info.

  • kbutcher1kbutcher1 Member Posts: 27
    To: kcram

    Thanks for the info on the new towing mirrors. it this this forum is a great resource for information. Keep up the good work. I plan to stay tuned...especially since I just ordered another truck to replace the "towing mirror" mistake. I am hoping my dealer can get a 2500 built as fast a the last one (67 days).

    Thanks Again,

  • jerryg5jerryg5 Member Posts: 29
    I am getting ready to order a Ram 2500 with the V10 to tow a 11000 GVWR fifth wheel but am in a dilima over what differential I should choose, the 4.10 or the 3.55. I want the best mileage I can get but don't want to cut myself short on towing capability. Any suggestions? Also, what would be the expected mpg difference between the two ratios?
  • gwmooregwmoore Member Posts: 230
    Extended warranties: Check out site, they talk about extended warranties and the other stuff pushed at you post-sale. I'm not sure how much advertiser pressure is placed on their advice as for which ones to buy, but the site does offer good "in-general" advice.
  • khammond1khammond1 Member Posts: 8
    The motor(5.9L gas) on my 99 Ram has started pinging after only 6000 miles. The mechanic at the dealer says bad gas. I have tried different places and different brands with no luck. A higher octane stops it but, the mechanic says the truck was not built to run on the higher octanes. Anyone got any information that I can use to solve this problem?
  • 4myjob4myjob Member Posts: 19
    On tires...I ran Toyo M606 on my old truck for years over some pretty brutal "roads" (working oilfield) and never once had a flat. I loved them and can't wait to wear out the Michelins that came on my new Cummins so that I can replace them with the Toyos. Unfortunately, the last time I checked, that tire didn't come in 265, only 245.

    On the axle ratio...I too fretted about this one until I thought about how I would be driving the truck the majority of the time, and that was without towing something. So I figured why lose 10% on fuel economy (I don't know where that figure came from, just remember reading it somewhere once so don't quote me) and why listen to the higher rpms at highway speed due to that axle? I don't know about you, but that would drive me nuts. Most of the guys I know that have the 4.10 are farmers and ranchers....guys that are ALWAYS towing something, the guys that need the extra power to pull a heavy trailer out of the snow and mud where that extra power on the low end is very handy. That's not me and that's not most guys that want to pull a boat on the weekends. The Cummins with the 3.54 will pull pretty much anything I need to pull, so that's why I went with that one.
  • khammond1khammond1 Member Posts: 8
    The motor(5.9L gas) on my 99 Ram has started pinging after only 6000 miles. The mechanic at the dealer says bad gas. I have tried different places and different brands with no luck. A higher octane stops it but, the mechanic says the truck was not built to run on the higher octanes. Anyone got any information that I can use to solve this problem?
  • RichinKsRichinKs Member Posts: 412
    I test drove a couple of trucks with the V10 3.55 and LT265 tire and was not excited. Could not find a 4.10 to test. Also Ford and Chevy give different tow ratings depending of rearend ratio which makes more sense than Dodge giving the same. True both may carry the same load without breaking down but I figured the 4.10 would give me better acceleration with my fifth wheel on a freeway entrance ramp. I have talked with several V10 4.10 owners at camp grounds and keep hearing 8.5 mpg towing (with LT245). That is the same I am getting with my 350 chevy now. But solo 12 is about as good as I hear for the 4.10 and 12.5 is the best I've heard for the 3.55. It would seem to me that the difference would be greater. Oh, I have also ordered the LT265 tires which will make me more equivalant to a 3.73 when comparing to previous year LT245's I believe. Rich (still waiting for a build date)
  • jerry_kingjerry_king Member Posts: 8
    You will need a 3" lift to accomadate 35x12.50's. Your options:
    1).True suspension lift
    Replaces Front coils and shocks w/ lift coils and longer shocks. Adds 3" blocks under the rear leaf springs. This is the most expensive of the lift options and will also degrade your ride quality somewhat. (the new coils are longer and stiffer.
    2).Body lift
    Involves removing stock bolts that hold body onto the frame (6 or 8 in the bed and 6 under the cab and front), adding 3" bushings between the body and the frame, and lengthening tranny and 4wd linkage and adjusting fan shroud (radiator is mounted to body and fan is mounted to engine, so the radiator moves up and the fan remains in the same place.) Also involves raising the bumpers. This is the cheapest of lifts. Does not affect ride, although some people don't care for the looks.
    3). Pseudo suspension lift
    This, in my opinion is the best lift for your vehicle. It involves blocks under the rear springs (like a true suspension lift) and adds a 3" polyurethane bushing on top of your stock coils. Add lift shocks and you are ready to go.

    True suspension lift: $500 to $1200 (depending on make, includes shocks)
    Body lift: approx: $90 to $150 (depending on make)Pseudo suspension lift: $200 plus 4 new shock @$30 apeice(Heckethorn/Rough Country shocks)
    On the tire makes BFGoody TKO's are good tires, although high. Bridgestone makes a good AT tire that is more reasonable, and so does Lee (but dont get any Lee 285's, they have had a lot of problems with them. If you have any more questions about lifts or tires, or where to purchase them (check w/ me first, I can usually beat most folks prices with my contacts) post back or email me at [email protected] Good luck with your truck.
  • jerryg5jerryg5 Member Posts: 29
    I have a question on my 98 Ram 1500 AC control. The "max" and "a/c" position have the little starburst symbol indicating the ac is on and the compressor will run. The next position CW is the bi-level position that doesn't have the starburst symbol. That leads me to believe that the ac compressor should not engage in the bi-level position. However, on my truck, the compressor runs in the in the bi-level as well as the "ac" and "max" positions. Is that normal? Sometimes I like to have the ventilation without running the compressor. I would appreciate any comments.
  • RichinKsRichinKs Member Posts: 412
    Mine was ordered 9/14 in Wichita Ks. and still had no build date as of last Thursday. Found out then the holdup has been the dealer exceeded his allocations. The dealer said he would call the district office Friday to see if they can help. I plan to call tomorrow and see if its moving yet. The dealer told me there is a railcar problem. He has 2 trucks built 3 weeks ago still sitting at the factory because of a railcar shortage. Also last Monday and Thursday the 800 number said there is a hold on 2500's. It just started last week so that was after your truck was built. .... Rich
  • KCRamKCRam Member Posts: 3,516

    AC compressors operate in several positions besides the Max AC and Norm AC positions. Any position that involves the defroster will also use the compressor - this provides the dehumidifying effect that clears the windshield of fog.

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  • paramedic99paramedic99 Member Posts: 64
    I went for the Extended Warranty. It cost me $900 to take the "Added Care" out to 6 years/75K with a $100 deductible. I reviewed the financial aspect of this and while arguments can be made from various economic standpoints (as in a lease decision) I believe it comes down to a few things:

    1. How long are you going to keep the truck.
    2. How likely do you feel it is that something will need a warranty repair.
    3. Will you be able to part with the cash if a major out of warranty repair comes.
    4. Do you use the truck in a way that could damage parts through even normal work use.

    My advice. You bought a deisel and the parts are expensive. I would go for the warranty.

    I do not however own a diesel right now and my warranty cost may have been less. It sounds like you went through a major truck dealer with accessory guys etc so you are probably right that the finance manager or someone will talk about the warranty. I believe (confirm this) that you have 2 weeks from delivery to make your decision.

    Good luck with the new truck.
  • gwmooregwmoore Member Posts: 230
    Yeah, I think you are right about Toyo not offering 265s, yet. But I bet, with 265s becoming more common, that they will have to supply them.
  • jerryg5jerryg5 Member Posts: 29
    Thanks for your response. Does that mean there is no way to run the fan without the compressor? My other car has a separate switch for the compressor.

    while at the market the other day waiting for my wife to buy groceries, I looked at a copy of Consumer Reports with the ratings for the 2000 vehicles. Boy, they sure didn't have many good things to say about the Dodge Ram. I can't believe they are actually as bad as they indicate. In almost all reliability categories, they were red meaning higher than normal frequency of repairs. Their summary was also non-flattering. I don't know where they are coming from. I have a 98 Ram 1500 QC SB and have had essentially zilch problems and think the Ram is the best looking truck on the road. What gives?

  • jcmdiejcmdie Member Posts: 594
    Consumer reports has some good information, but take anything you read with a grain of salt. In thier annual book which I recently received in the mail it has listed the various mechanical components and thier frequency of repair. My dodge 4X4 was above average to excellent in almost all catagories and the worst score was an average. The section of the same book that rates overall predicted reliability rated my truck well below average.

    Consumer Reports has a reputation of favoritism that has lasted the years. They absolutely love those hondas and toyotas. They could take a mercedes benz and disguise it as a dodge and consumers reports would still say that it was worthless garbage.
  • gwmooregwmoore Member Posts: 230
    Don't lose any sleep over what that rag Consumer Reports says. I test drove a Durango last week. CR says that the optional 3rd seat is cramped, pointing it out like it is a major drawback to the vehicle. First of all, there are no true class competitors that even offer a 3rd seat. Well, I am just a hair under 6' and sat back there comfortably, don't get me wrong I would prefer the great 2nd seat, but I wasn't eating my knees in the 3rd seat. Today I took a ride in my brother's '97 Landcruiser, which CR just loves and is certainly a very nice vehicle, and sat in the 3rd seat in that car, but found out that the 3rd seat is WAY more cramped than the one in the Durango. I know this is not the SUV forum, but just wanted to point out another illustraction of how POOR Consumer Reports is.
  • KCRamKCRam Member Posts: 3,516

    Usually, the vent/fan-only setting will not activate the compressor, provided the temperature setting is suitable enough.

    As for CR's bad report, the 94 and 958 Rams had a LOT of bugs, since the truck was still a brand new model and demand far exceeded expectation. There are still issues with brake pull and steering shaft durability in the newer Rams, but the problems are nothing like what was experienced 4-5 years ago. When the Ram is redesigned in 18 months, don't expect as many "bugs", simply because DaimlerChrysler is prepared for production of well over half a million units a year.

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  • davids1davids1 Member Posts: 411
    I have experienced some problems with the steering system on my 99 Quad 4x4, and have even posted some questions in this forum. You mentioned the steering shaft durability question in your previous post. What exactly are the concerns. Thanks in adavance for any information. David.
  • KCRamKCRam Member Posts: 3,516

    The first sign of steering shaft failure is a clunk during turns. It will start out intermittently, and unchecked, will progress to occurring all the time. It requires complete removal and replacement of the intermediate, and sometimes upper and lower, steering shaft(s) to cure.

    Click here for info on the appropriate TSB: Ram steering clunk TSB 19-08-97

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  • trucklovertrucklover Member Posts: 51
    will do thanks!
  • kbutcher1kbutcher1 Member Posts: 27

    Can you tell me if the 2000 Rams are experiencing this problem as well or did DC modify this at the factory and one of the mods for 2000 year model?

  • KCRamKCRam Member Posts: 3,516
    k butcher,

    Hard to tell yet. DC claims to have redesigned ythe steering system for 2000, so they may very well have figured out what was wrong. The problem for the 94-99 Rams is, it doesn't always happen, hence they can find a definitive flaw. That's why it's a TSB instead of a recall.

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  • outlawigoutlawig Member Posts: 3
    What are the major differences between the 99 and 00 Ram 1500 SLT 4x4 QC? Which is better to buy? There are some good deals on 99's still on the lot? Thoughts?
  • johnrr1johnrr1 Member Posts: 70
    jerry , the a/c compressor does run in the bi level position , i wondered the same thing on my 98 , if you look in the owners manual it shows the little starburst next to the bi level position , i guess you could add a switch to turn it off

    consumer imports , thats what i call it , a waste of good paper if you ask me , now correct me if i'm wrong but i thought that a red circle was good ? if so the 98 and 99's were just about totally red , and if this is good then how do they call it the most unreliable truck going , then give the best reliability rating to a truck with NO TRACK RECORD ??? the only thing that CR is good for is starting a draft in your fireplace .


    there are good deals on the 99's but there have been upgrades to the 2000's the biggest being a change in the front brake calipers , the brakes on my 98 , same as 99 , are made by delco , need i say more , they bite , they also made changes to the steering of the 2000 , and the SLT plus is not a 99 option , plus if you get a 2000 you can get it as you want instead of settling for what is left , plus if you shop around you can get a 200o for invoice , all the rebates and such on a 99 , i almost bought one , bring it down to invoice , the dealer i went to took all that stuff MSRP , now that i think of it its not as good a deal as it looks like , if they take that off invoice then its a good deal , but you have to decide , i ordered a 2000 2500 cummins powered ram , i can't wait till it arrives ...
  • 4myjob4myjob Member Posts: 19
    Hey Guys
    I've got it too. Glad to have read up on it here first so that they don't try to give me a line of BS at the dealership. For those of you that are suffering through this problem, has anyone gotten the problem resolved and if so, how? Most likely the intermediate shaft? And kcram, is there any tie-in between the brakes and the steering? Sometimes it feels like the clunk comes when I hit the brake, and other times when steering. Almost always when the truck is cold. Thanks!
  • davids1davids1 Member Posts: 411
    After three intermediate shafts and one steering column, my klunk is still there. Interesting thing is that it goes away in cold weather but comes back in hot weather. Makes me think that the two shafts are making contact within the viscous damper. I will wait til spring before I pursue anything further.

    I also have an intermittent pop in the steering wheel when I turn the wheel. Probably just a bearing or something of that nature within the steering column. This doesn't bother me as much as the other problem. The tech at my Dodge dealer said this is also common.
  • 4myjob4myjob Member Posts: 19
    Thanks for the info...despite what your experiences have been, I will try to keep a positive attitude! Will update you with what I find.
  • outlawigoutlawig Member Posts: 3
    Thanks for the update on the 2000 changes. I am going to test drive a few 2000's this weekend. Starting to think about diesel too.
    Thanks again.

  • jerryg5jerryg5 Member Posts: 29
    In reference to my post #291,it appears I may have been incorrect in my interpetation of the CR frequency of repair ratings. It looks like red is good and black is bad... just opposite of what I said. However, their ratings verbage was not very flattering.
    Also, I have what may be a dumb question. I have looked at a zillion posts concerning the towing capability of a given axle ratio. Most say that with a tall ratio (smaller number), the engine rpm's are to low and don't fall into a favorable area in the torque curve for pulling power. My question is that if that happens, why not shift from OD to 3rd gear to increase the rpm's? Wouldn't that do the same thing? I know that if you applied that technique of downshifting through all of the gears (3-2-1, etc) while going up a steep grade, sooner or later engine power would come into play (the engine would either stall or the wheels would spin) but it doesn't make sense to me to have a 4.1 or 4.3 rearend (instead of a 3.55 or 3.73) just so you wouldn't have to downshift the tranny. Am I missing something here? Please educate me.
  • jack38jack38 Member Posts: 18
    With the arrival of sub-zero temperatures here in Canada, (NO SNOW YET!!) I have noticed how much longer it takes my 99 Dodge Cummins to warm up. I would like to install a winter front but am somewhat confused by a comment made by the parts rep at my dealership. He agreed it was a good idea to cover the front grill area, but did not recommend the (two) lower bumper openings although he agreed a significant amount of cold air enters the engine compartment through this area. His reasoning in this was to ensure the intercooler has enough air rushing through it to perform properly. This happens to be opposite to most trucks I noticed lately equipped with both the grill and bumper opening covers. Upon closer examination, even if the upper and lower air intakes are closed, there is a space (approx. 1") between the bumper and grill area for air to enter as well as from below the bumper area.
    Could I cause engine damage by restricting air flow to the intercooler in 20 below weather?
    I would appreciate any comments or words of wisdom regarding this question.
  • KCRamKCRam Member Posts: 3,516

    The intercooler is actually behind the grille, not the bumper slots - the trans cooler is down there. The Mopar radiator front actually has a gap at the top of the grille to allow the intercooler to receive sufficient airflow (the fan draws it in).

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  • KCRamKCRam Member Posts: 3,516

    ALso, make sure you use that block heater - all the engine components will thank you for it, and will substantially improve colsd starts and warming time. You should also remember NOT to sit in the driveway idling to try to warm the engine - won't happen. The extremem combustion efficiency of a diesel doesn't generate heat at idle - you need to be driving at normal operating rpms to get heat going.

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  • jack38jack38 Member Posts: 18
    Thank you for the reply to my question.
    I installed after market stainless steel panels on the front grill to restrict air flow, and now use the block heater when the truck is parked for more than 2-3 hours. The truck interior warms up much quicker and the temperature gauge does not go higher than before. In addition to the heating benefits, the stainless grill covers look great! I decided to leave the bumper air intakes as is.
  • wwhite2wwhite2 Member Posts: 535
    KCRAM how long should one let a diesel engine warmup before getting underway? Something has to be said about letting the oil get to the top end before adding rpm's. It is interesting that idle puts no heat into the block,cold weather starting must really take a toll on the diesel's longevity even though it is said it lasts forever.Finally as a future ETH buyer at what temp should the block heater be used and will using the truck for short runs to the store be a problem?
  • KCRamKCRam Member Posts: 3,516

    I will generally use my block heater when the temperature stays at or below +25F. The intake grid is more than enough to start the engine smoothly in temps warmer than that. In fact, here in NJ, I have yet to use the block heater this season. ALWAYS be sure to obey the "Wait To Start" light, regardless of temperature. If it comes on, that means the outisde air is too cold for initial combustion and the grid needs to be activated. This can occur all the way up to +60F.

    As far as idling, you should get under way no more than 3 minutes after cranking - that's how long the grid cycles once the engine has started. Remember, diesel fuel IS an oil, so top lube is far less of a problem than with a gasoline engine. While my 1996 12-valve Cummins is completely mechanical as far as idle and fuel delivery, both the ETC and ETH versions use a Cummins computer to slightly retard or enrich fuel systems during startup, based on the engine's needs. As long as you don't turn and hold the key, or use the accelerator while cranking unless specified in the owner's manual, start-up wear should not be an issue.

    Short hops tp the store will not pose a problem as liong as you're not in a rush. This means, don't crank the engine, floor it to the store, dash in/dash out, and hot-rod it back home. Treat the engine the same regardless of how long your trip is, and it will outlast the truck around it.

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  • gwmooregwmoore Member Posts: 230
    My dad's '97 Cummins is stubborn starting without a light foot on the accellerator, even when warm. My dad's trick is to lightly have his foot on the accellerator and as soon as it starts to turn (usually starts on the first turn), get the foot off and it's fine. He doesn't pump or gas it to keep RPMs up or anything. Now, with my truck ('97 Dakota), the manual says not to touch the accellerator when starting, so that's how I tried to start my dad's Cummins at first. He gave me a hard time because it wouldn't start well (he's proud of how it fires up on the first crank). Finally, I realized he was lightly using the accellerator. Is this fine, or should he have the engine adjusted?
  • 4myjob4myjob Member Posts: 19
    Has anyone tried the snap on grill covers? I have one (yet to be installed) and I have the option of either using stickies to hold the snap backs to the trim or to drill into the trim. Obviously I would prefer not to drill and was wondering how well the stickies held. I have a long road trip planned next week and don't need to have that flapping in the wind. Advice please? Thanks
  • ronb2ronb2 Member Posts: 3
    I have a parts interchangeability question for anyone who can help me out ...

    Just over a year ago I installed air shocks on my '93-F150 end to level the back end out when towing our camper trailer. I just recently purchased a 2500 Ram QC 2000 with the towing package, but standard oil shocks.

    I would like to swap move air shocks from the Ford to the Dodge, and visa-versa. Does anyone have access to after market shocks part numbers so they can tell me if I may be able to swap them?

    I had a look under the Dodge and, by eyeball measurement, I think they'll fit.

    Ron B
  • KCRamKCRam Member Posts: 3,516

    Have your dad change his throttle cable. He probably still has the original unwrapped cable, which was prown to FAST wear, and will cause all sorts of starting and idling problems. The bew cable is plastic coated, with redesigned fittings. I had mine changed in June - it was like a different truck, or more accurately, it behaved like it did when brand new.

    There is a report for the cable and related problems - click here

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  • gawrysragawrysra Member Posts: 1
    First of all, I love my '99 Ram 3500 w/ the V10 option. I got it new and loaded (except for the leather option) for $31200 and couldn't be happier. Well, almost. I knew that the mileage was going to hurt, but I opted for the gas hog anyway. The wife and I test drove the Cummins and she said no way in hell. I enjoy the power of the V10 (it pulls like nothing I've ever driven) and it's whisper quiet compared to the Cummins. Anyhow, I've read a lot of postings speaking of aftermarket air box mods and was wondering if there are any that could apply to the '99 V10? Averaging 8.5 (winter) and 9.7 (summer) mpg, any improvement would be worth the investment. Thanks for any help in advance.
  • bmckenziebmckenzie Member Posts: 118
    Just trailered my buddies Ford from Springfield yesterday about 100 miles, mostly hilly terrain, my Y2K Ram Cummins averaged 13 MPG @70MPH up and down hills. That is why I traded my 5.9 (Gas) Ram for it because I got crappy mileage, the best I could squeeze was an extra 1 MPG with Synthetics and a K&N Air Filter.....Bill
  • larry916larry916 Member Posts: 2
    My dealer tells me he is now ordering 2001 models but doesn't know what is going to be different. He says about $700 more on average and I read earlier that the cummins was going up to $5500. Does any one know?
  • wwhite2wwhite2 Member Posts: 535
    Is Dodge ready to produce the ETH Cummins truck? and is it really going up by a thousand dollars as stated in the previous post ?
  • wwhite2wwhite2 Member Posts: 535
    is 2001 pricing available on the net yet ? Edmunds still lists 2000
  • jmharmon33jmharmon33 Member Posts: 2
    My 1999 Ram 1500 Quad cab 4x4 has two problems
    since new:

    1. The windshield wipers are not parked evenly.
    The drivers side is horizontal, while the
    passenger side one is parked at an upward angle.
    About half the trucks I see are like this, the
    other half are both parked horizontally. Anyone
    else with this problem ? Should I get it fixed ?

    2. When I use the windshield wipers, I smell the
    fluid inside, even with the windows closed. Anyone else with this problem, any solutions ?
  • jerryg5jerryg5 Member Posts: 29
    I can understand how the different size tires would change the effective axle ratio on a given truck but if you were to buy a truck with a 4.10 and then go to a larger tire to effectively change the ratio to a 3.73, wouldn't that mess up the calibration of the computer in the OH console?
    I didn't see any reference to that issue in the previous posts.
  • RichinKsRichinKs Member Posts: 412
    You can now order the larger tire (LT265) on the 2500 so the factory should take care of your concerns.
  • mharde2mharde2 Member Posts: 278
    Has anyone run into this with their 24V Cummins? When towing my 5th wheel under a lot of stress, such as a very steep hill or accelerating into a stiff head wind, I get a popping noise that seams to be coming from the right front of the engin compartment. It sounds exactly like the flapping noise of a flat tire to me. If I let up on the accelerator it stops making the noise. Anyone have a clue what this could be?
    Thanks Mike
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