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Found 13 results

  1. I recently purchased a 2001 Dodge Ram 2500 to put put a test engine in it. Before the engine swap I wanted to get some base line mileage from the current stock engine. From what I had read and had been told I needed to get my RPMs down in the engines torque range. I am not hauling trailers so the gearing I picked was strictly for millage. First I installing a tall narrow tire 295/70/17. My truck had the stock 4.11 gearing. I was getting 18 MPG HWY at 68 MPH at 2125 RPM. Now that I had some numbers in hand so a professional could do the math. My target was 1800 RPM at 70 MPH. Tom at Reno Driveline and Gear came up with 3.54 gears. I wanted to go with a higher gear but my axels where my limitation. My first run at 1750 RPM took me buy surprise. I got 27.24 MPG (65 MPH). I could hardly believe the results! I then dropped my RPM to 1625 and I got 27.85 MPG (61MPH). 1875 RPM got me 23.2 MPG. (71 MPH). 1775 RPM got me 23.4MPG (68MPH) still not bad. I actually could not have been happier with my results.
  2. My 1990 Dodge Ram 250 4x4 has overdrive, and it quit working on me. I still cannot figure out why. However, I was doing some research on the transmission for the possible lube issues you talk about in the RWD Chrysler transmission article at the magazine site. You describe Sonnax upgrades, I called them, and they were very prompt in calling me back. They were busy and told me to consider putting in a manual valve drop-in and a line to lube pressure regulator—all bolt in, no drilling, basically plug and play. Will this help my overdrive issue? Ty
  3. Not sure if this is the correct place for this but if not I'm sorry... I have a 2004 Dodge Dakota 4x4 QC with a 3.7 V6. Now I have to replace the engine due to badly overheating. I found a 3.7 out of a 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 I was wondering if this swap would work and if not how hard would it be to make this swap? Thanks
  4. Fellow Forum Members: As we move into the new year, I'd like to thank all of the 4WD Mechanix 'Tech and Travel' Forums members. Since March of 2013 when the forums began, your thoughtful questions and support for fellow members has steadily grown our forums membership! Each of us has contributed. (Today, my own topics, post and replies total 1,976 entries.) Thanks to your enthusiasm, your helpful photos and many detailed contributions, the forums have become a tremendous resource pool for sharing. With 800-plus active members and a steady stream of guest viewers, 2016 will be a banner year for member engagement. While I will continue to "drop in" and add comments as time permits, my work schedule with the magazine and HD video production will be demanding in 2016...I'll be stepping back some, and the strength of the forums will depend on members jumping into the discussions. Guests and fellow members look forward to your thoughtful questions, answers and new topic posts. Thanks for your participation...You've helped build a great set of forums! Best in 2016... Moses Ludel
  5. For discussion... What is the best way to set up the 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 Diesel 4x4 for heavy towing and hauling. Quad Cab/short bed. Specifically with Truck Camper and trailer. The following additions help the ride for the most part and it is a safe combo, however it is not perfect... yet. Note: Fuel mileage for the combo is a solid 13 flat/mountains highway average 62 MPH. Note: I used to haul professionally with a previous 2004.5 dodge dually and now above mentioned, the trucks worked great for bumper pull and 5th wheel experiences up to the 13,500 lb max rating, however the truckcamper is a different breed because there is so much weight in the bed and it is top heavy and you don't need sails, its like driving a billboard down the highway on windy days, so needless to say you have to stay focused. The dually is a much better choice, but I don't have it anymore... I haul a 1,800 lb Lance model 825 Truck Camper in my 6.5' bed (truck weighs 6800 lbs) Advertised Gross truck weight is 9000 lbs (2,000 ish lbs in bed depending on 30 gallons water and 35 gallons waste) and towing a 7'x16' dual axle Interstate LoadRunner trailer (trailer weights 1,800lbs, plus 1,200 lbs cargo) trailer weight is loaded 3,000 lbs. (8 ply trailer tires) Advertised Gross Combined Vehicle Weight limit is 20,000 lbs. * Firestone Airbags (5,000 lb ratings) with in cab controller for the compressor. Note: I made my own pad for the bags to sit on directly above the U-bolts on top of the axle, and this worked great because the bags were as far to the outside of the axle as possible, thus preventing the heavy camper to sway - however, when I was experimenting with tire chain installation the chains were dangerously close to rubbing, so I moved the setup in board similar to after market bag locations and they don't work as well. Note: I normally carry 38 psi in each bag when fully loaded *Torklift stableloads (these devices are a wedge pack that are manually rotated into and between the lower part of the leaf spring pack and above the single bottom overload spring on front and rear of each leaf spring pile (they make the spring pack come in contact with the overload sooner), when you are done with your heavy load, you swing them out of the way and lock them into place. Note: They work fantastic for pulling very heavy 5th wheel trailers. *Helwig rear Sway bar *Bilstein 5100 series shocks (in rear) and new Rancho adjustable XL in front (work much better than Bilsteins in front because you can adjust the ride when unloaded! *285x 70 x17 10 ply BFG All Terrain tires on stock wheels, carry 65lbs in front, 70 lbs in rear loaded, 55lbs front, 48 lbs rear unloaded *Solid ball mount with load distribution hitch rated at 10,000 lbs set on 7 links *Reese 18,000 2.5" receiver hitch bolted to truck frame in place of factory frame mounted hitch *Reese 2.5' extended hitch (to set ball mount hitch behind camper) safety chains from frame hitch to ball mount, and cross chained ball mount to frame (similar to superhitch setup) thx, Pete
  6. Okay, after searching the internet for a few weeks on topics for correctly setting camber and caster on a solid axle front end I have come to a conclusion: Very few people know this answer and of those few that do, very few want to share it. I know the general consensus is to take your vehicle to an alignment shop and kick it in the lobby reading old Car and Driver magazines while they run your car or truck through the paces. In the end, they hand you a paper with + this, - that, drop some terminology on you, you shake your head and agree, plop 60 bucks on the counter and drive away. Well that's fine and dandy on the old Buick Le Sabre, but guys like us with lift kits, oversized wheels and tires and custom front end work, well...not so much. I have yet to find a shop that will entertain the idea of even aligning my truck. I can’t believe that there is no way a DIY can do this at home. Yes it may not be aligned within +/- .0001, but neither is yours after the first pothole you hit leaving the shop. There had to be a way they did alignments before the construction of the modern alignment machine. I believe with some time and effort, a DIY guy can get pretty close if not close enough to get within spec. My questions here are to cover the solid front axle of my '06 Dodge Ram 3500, and I assume this will carry over, in principle, to a lot of other solid axle trucks. To my understanding there are 3 basic adjustments to consider. Camber, caster and toe. Now this leads me to my first set of questions before we even go to these 3 topics. Axle placement under the vehicle. This seems to be a grey area in knowledge on the web so here goes. 1. I have an adjustable track bar that will allow me to adjust my axle left and right in the vehicle. What is the proper way to measure the placement of the front axle so you know it is truly centered under your truck? I have done some simple string lines and measurements and feel mine is good. I just want to get the proper information out in the open so I can verify my work and others can use it if needed. 2. How do you measure your front axle and know it is square with and in the truck? You know, to verify the left tire isn't further forward in the vehicle that the right tire. Now, I have read this is how you would align a solid front axle vehicle to control it veering right or left while driving. Is that true? If so I would still assume you would want to have a zero starting point for making adjustments. I also assume this measurement is probably based off of the rear axle's location in the truck. Well, since I have never had any rear axle damage or any changes done, I assume it is straight and located within spec. Or should we back this whole conversation up and start by confirming the rear axle location and making all other measurements from there?? Well if we make it through this first part I guess we can move onto my camber/caster questions: Camber. I have a basic understanding of how camber and caster is adjusted and how it affects the vehicle so no need to cover that, but feel free to if you want. I also know that with my truck the upper and lower ball joints are fixed and centered. This would lead me to believe that camber on my solid axle front end is at the mercy of the axle caster settings. Without the use of some offset ball joints of course. I recently have upgraded my ball joints to the Carli Suspension ones. Very nice and very well built. During this install is when I noticed my truck had a serious amount of negative caster, which possibly was one of the underlying issues of the poor handling. Well possibly partly lol. Most of the handling issues were poor steering components. That topic is covered by one of the other threads on this forum. Now on to caster. From where on the front axle do you take the measurement for caster? Do you really have to have a special tool or is there more of a DIY approach that can be done? I can’t believe you must have NASA grade tools with Sheldon Cooper knowledge. It’s only a few degrees. If this is possible to do at home what are some others pointers to consider? Should both sides match or is this something that has a "room for error" type thing? Like I mentioned before my truck has a long arm 4 link front end with adjustable links. I can move my front axle front, back, left, right, twisted front, rolled back, in, out you name it, so making caster adjustments should be very easy. Making proper adjustments...well that's why I'm here. Toe adjustment. While this seems to be the simplest one, I believe that it should be last. I figure with the way the knuckle works, if you made any toe adjustments before properly setting caster adjustments, it would be off?? I assume your castor must be set before taking anything else into consideration. Considerations...What are considerations to any of these adjustments and measurements when dealing with oversized wheels, tires and lift kits? To me, I can see an issue with the offset of my wheels and the intersection of the caster angle through the ball joints in correlation to the ground surface and the contact spot of the center of my wheel and tire. I see that instead of my wheel and tire rotating on this centerline I am instead actually arcing around it if you will (if that makes sense). Maybe these things only matter at high speeds, maybe not. I can see the offset being harder on ball joints but that's why I choose Carli. I understand with a lift kit people run into problems because the need to get your pinion angle on the front axle correct to reduce vibrations. Well I have installed a free spin kit with lockouts so pinion angle is not a priority. I am willing to deal with a front end vibration the 2 days out of the year I need 4 wheel drive in exchange for 363 days of correct steering geometry. For others without the free spin kit I can see your need to address this issue differently. I don't know, maybe this is all secret squirrel information, and nobody will share it. I don't deem it rocket science, but I believe it should be done properly. If an alignment shop is the only accepted way to do it, so be it. I just can’t believe that's the case, though. Any input on any of this subject would be appreciated. As always, I know Moses will break it down tech style, and that's fine by me. Attached are a couple pictures of my front end with corrected 4 link angles and new poly joints.
  7. We bought the magazine's 2005 Ram 3500 4WD Quad Cab new in the fall of 2004. The Cummins 5.9L diesel, SRW, short box, 140.5" wheelbase truck has been a joy, maybe even our favorite vehicle ever! At 121K miles, it's just now broken-in, a "keeper" truck that will be in our stable for a long time to come! These models are not without issues, however, among them shorter steering gear life. The change to oversized 35" tires, the weight of the Cummins inline six engine over the front axle, the wider 18" aftermarket wheel rims and a four-inch Mopar suspension lift have helped coax the steering gear to the end of its duty cycle. Actually, considering the history of these power steering gears, I'm feeling good about the mileage we did get from the OEM gear, especially a gear that wrestles with a weighty diesel engine and, from 90K miles onward, the addition of oversized tires! At left is our 2005 Dodge Ram 3500 4WD truck in stock form at 90K miles. The pickup underwent a metamorphosis to its new "look", functionality and show appearance in time for 2011 Off-Road Expo display at the BFG Tires booth. (Click to enlarge photos. Cannot see the photos? Viewing is for members, please join us!) Prior to this year's Moab Jeep Safari, I did a minor adjustment of the steering gear sector to correct for the first signs of wander. You should know that any adjustment other than very slight is always a sign of a fatigued steering gear. I followed the factory adjusting procedure to a good end: safe, controlled steering. A temporary remedy, I'm now getting serious about a long term solution for the steering gear issue... There are a variety of approaches. Mopar has an upgrade steering gear for these models: Mopar Steering Box Upgrade Kit '03-'08 Ram HD, part number 68170214AA. This beefier, direct replacement steering gear box comes with a pitman arm, as the OEM arm will not fit the new, larger sector splines. In my case, this creates a dilemma: The 4" Mopar lift kit on the truck requires a dropped pitman arm. There is no dropped arm available for the upgrade steering gear and this '03-'08 Dodge Ram application. In researching, I discovered that a steering linkage upgrade from Pure Performance works with the stock pitman arm on lifts in the 4"-6" realm. If I use the new Mopar upgrade steering gear, with the replacement (OEM fit) pitman arm, the Pure Performance heavy duty steering linkage will not only fit with the furnished pitman arm, it would also eliminate a second pre-2009 Ram truck issue: the "Y" steering linkage that can contribute to wander and bump steer. I never experienced bump steer with the stock 2005 "Y" steering linkage; even after the 4" lift, which I carefully installed using front end gauges, I've never experienced bump steer. The more recent and slight "wander" has been related to sector play in the original steering gear. There's a "plan" forming, and I want Dodge-Ram forum members to be aware of the inherent steering gear and linkage concerns on 2003-2008 HD 2500 and 3500 trucks...I'm starting this topic while still researching the right solution...I'll keep you posted! Moses
  8. With my '06 Dodge Ram 3500 4x4 and 48RE transmission (Cummins diesel power), I notice when pulling and away and accelerating from a dead stop, like a stop sign, I will get the slightest vibration in the transmission. I assume it to be the clutch plates on the torque converter but not sure if that is right. it only does it from a dead stop and only through a few 100 rpms. it acts like trying to take off with a heavy load on a standard transmission. I compare this to a solid flywheel conversion we did on an older powerstroke ford. to save a few bucks, we ordered the solid flywheel and clutch kit that didn't have the springs in it (like factory). well that was about the worst thing you could have done to that truck when hauling a heavy load. that thing would buck no matter how you feathered the clutch peddle lol. that action is what my truck feels like taking off, just not as violent and very subtle. no matter the tranny temp or load on the hitch. never less and never more. Any ideas?
  9. I'm in the hunt for a Dodge Ram, 5.9 Cummins diesel, 4x4, manual. I live in Canada, and I'm planning 2 major trips (SW USA and Alaska). I'll be pulling a truck camper (about 1600 lbs. + gear = 2000 lbs.). I'm looking for reliability (hardest thing is to find a truck that hasn't been abused!) and fuel efficiency. Below are 2 trucks I'm currently interested in. Is there one that makes more sense for the use I'm planning (pulling a truck camper most of the time): http://www.kijiji.ca...ings/1029975073 and http://www.kijiji.ca/v-cars-trucks/strathcona-county/2006-dodge-cummins-ram-3500-special-order/1036172584?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true I'd appreciate any help. Thanks, Seb
  10. Ok, this is more a hypothetical than anything else, but especially after some comments Moses made to me in another post, i just wanted to see how feasible it might be. What i am actually looking at is what all would be needed to convert two different dodge trucks to diesel. One of the trucks would be my 1994 Dakota, which, as i have already posted about on here, some of you already know is a 4x4, with a 3.9l v-6. I also had a 1991 dakota that i toyed with the idea of converting to a diesel, mainly for longevity, and ease of maintenance, more than a desire to be able to tow heavier trailers, or anything like that, as i don't think it would be a good idea to go beyond Dodge's recommended trailer towing weights, even with a conversion like that. What i am looking for, as i don't mess with diesels much, is besides the engine and corresponding wiring and electronics, what else would i need for a conversion like that? I know i would need the fuel tank, and associated plumbing as well as the engine and associated components, but, what im not sure of would be things like, does a diesel actually have an ECM? Can a diesel be connected to the existing drivetrain i have, which consists of an AX15 5spd manual, and transfer case, which i wish too keep the 4 wheel drive intact and functional, or would i be better off to upgrade at least the transmission to something heavier duty? Which of the dodge diesels would be the best for a conversion like this, or, what about using a ford or chevy diesel? Are the diesel electronics, like their gas counterparts, separated by OBD1 and OBD2, and if so, what years did they start changing? I did read that the dodge diesel is an inline 6, whereas the ford and chevy diesels are v-8's. Would there be any advantage or disadvantage over an inline versus a v series engine? And lastly, at least for now, will a dodge inline 6 even fit in the dakota? The other truck im thinking of a diesel conversion to is a 1993 extended cab ram 1500. It has a 5.2L in it now, but the engine is pretty much shot from the previous owner not doing any maintenance on it at all for several years, and it is just sitting around for now, while i decide what i really want to do with it. I know this truck originally came optioned with a diesel, so the engine fitting isn't a concern, but the same questions about the dakota, would also apply to this truck. The main difference driveline wise between this and the dakota is that the ram is still 4x4, but has an automatic, instead of manual transmission. I was thinking of sourcing a complete wrecked Ram for the swap, so that i have all the necessary parts, such as exhaust, engine, wiring, ECM, and any other parts i might need.
  11. Hello everyone, I'm glad that I've found such great forum. Guys, I hope that you can help me... In order to save some money on fuel, I'm planing to install the ethanol e85 kit on my 2004 Dodge Ram 1500 and run it on ethanol. One of my friend uses the kit from this French manufacturer (www.ecofuelbox.com) but the problem is they have 4 models and 6 type of connectors, and I'm not sure which kit will fit my Dodge. Can someone tell me? What type of connector do I need for my Dodge Ram ? Regards, David
  12. I've shared Sonnax upgrades for the Chrysler RE (Dodge Ram) and RH (Jeep Wrangler) automatic transmissions at the magazine. These are fundamental, in-chassis modifications designed to help any RWD Chrysler A727 or 904/999—and the RE/RH four-speed overdrive units—simply survive. These Sonnax upgrades are not "high performance" modifications intended for high horsepower pullers or those toting a 9-horse trailer day in and day out. I'm separating needs here. For building a "bulletproof" transmission, there is a whole industry targeting the "performance" buildups of the 47RE and 48RE automatics. We'll make that another topic, for sure! The basic survival needs are mostly valve body related plus an upgrade band accumulator/apply piston. Accessible in the chassis, you can read about the reasons for these improvements at my illustrated, in-depth article: http://www.4wdmechanix.com/Survival-Upgrades-for-Jeep-and-Dodge-Ram-Automatic-Transmissions.html. I could have replaced the band strut at the same time, which is also an in-chassis change. This is our 48RE with oil pan removed. I'm about to remove the valve body and accumulator piston for Sonnax upgrades. See the heavily illustrated article for details. (If you can't see these photos, join us as a member—for free—and get full viewing privileges!) I am curious about the 48RE transmission's cooling needs. Our Cummins diesel application has an OEM external cooler with a thermostat, and aftermarket coolers, at least the "universal" ones I've seen, do not have this provision. Is there a cooler system for these transmissions that incorporates a thermostat, or is the thermostat really necessary? The magazine's 2005 Ram 3500 operates from a four-season, high desert climate (4400 feet elevation). Winter can be sub-zero F at the extremes. (Summer is hot, it will be 104 degrees F this week.) Without the thermostat on the cooler, is there a problem? What capacity cooler will actually replace the OEM and improve the system? Who makes the best retrofit coolers for these truck automatic transmissions? Any "direct replacement" types, or do they all require custom fit and mounting brackets? We do plan to tow, and the truck weighs plenty empty: 9,100-plus pounds. Would like to keep the 48RE alive...We don't abuse it, but we do use it! Moses
  13. Hi, guys. This is a question about preference and real world advice. On a 2005 crew cab Dodge Ram 2500 4x4 truck used to haul a large car trailer (19 foot, 2500LBS. empty), and at times a heavy equipment trailer, which would be better for the rear suspension: to add air bags or the metal spring helpers that bolt over top of the rear springs? Sometimes, with the car trailer and a medium size car, the rear does drop a bit, and with the heavy equipment trailer, with a bobcat with a bucket on the front of it, it sags every time. The other vehicle is my 1994 Dakota 4x4. I dont haul anything heavier than an occasional 2 wheel dolly or my jet ski trailer, with a yamaha 1100 triple and a polaris slt780 two seater on it. It seems to tow ok, but with the jet skis on the back, the drop is noticeable, even with new rear heavy duty shocks, so i am wondering which would be better to use on the rear suspension of this truck as well: the air bags or the spring helpers?
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