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Hello Moses, I am a first time diesel owner as of Friday of last week. I tow a 10,000 pound tandem axle trailer for my plumbing company and I put 171,086 miles on my 2006 Dodge Ram crew cab SLT 1500 with the 4.7 pulling this rig. Due to a thermostat failure I did major damage to the motor and did not have time to rebuild that motor even though I just rebuilt the tranny at 156,743 and put new computers in it 3 weeks ago was getting ready to order a fully rebuilt motor from a reputable sorce but this happened a little to soon.

 

So I put on my big boy pants and bought a 2007 Dodge Ram 3500 dully short cab 8 foot bed it is the ST model with 5.9 high output Cummins turbo diesel with only 26,324 miles on it and as an added bonus it came with a fully working very good condition liftgate. I loved my 1500 and I couldn't believe all of the work it was able to do and how comfortable it was and how little problems I had with it for all of the abuse I put it through so when it came to getting a new truck there was no question who I was going with.

 

my question one of many is I had four doors on my other truck so on a weekly basis I'm out of town 4 or 5 days a week so I take luggage extra boots just anything I think I'll need this truck does not have the back seat so I am in desperate need of getting rid of the liftgate and putting a bumper, tailgate and a topper on the truck. have a little bit of money and whatever I can sell the lift gate 4 to purchase those items I have found the bumper and all the brackets brand new for a relatively good price and the tailgate. my question is do you think that one of the flat tonneau cover type is better for gas mileage when towing my work trailer or A large camper top style. I believe a nice camper style with the stepped roof would be more beneficial and also have a better look over all for the styling of the truck. thank you for any information you can give me by respect your opinions.           

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Welcome to the Cummins forum, Shawn!  You got tremendous service out of the 4.7L V-8 and the transmission, that's good news for Jeep owners, too.  The 2007 Dodge Ram 3500 dually is a real find with that low mileage.  Congratulations, you'll really enjoy the 5.9L HO Cummins 24-valve CRD engine...Is this a live front axle 4x4 with dual rear wheels or rear drive only?  Great traction either way!  Automatic transmission or manual?  You'll be thrilled with your new truck.

 

I understand your needs around the lack of stowage, we have the Quad Cab and a short box, so our stowage is inside, not out.  I wanted the maneuverability benefits of the 140.5" wheelbase.  Your idea of the topper sounds much better than a tonneau cover.  The top/shell with a good bed rail seal provides foul weather protection, and your business warrants having the height for cargo.  I'm assuming the top will not go above the cab, or barely so?  In any case, this should be aerodynamic enough. 

 

Our Ram 3500 could use a cap/shell with good bed rail sealing.  There's a decent amount of security with the better tops, tinted windows help here.  I have a spray-in bed lining that was done very nicely by Transfer Flow when the auxiliary tank went into the bed.  I recommend a spray-in lining for seal and ease of cleaning.  It's durable and scuff resistant.  This should be done before the cap/top install.

 

Looking forward to your posts and discoveries about the 2007 Ram 3500 Cummins powered truck...Thanks for joining us, Shawn!

 

Moses

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My truck is a 2wd. Auto I drive in severe traffic in Miami Florida a lot and using a manual under those conditions seamed like a bad idea. Since this purchase is a business decisions shaded buy personal preference it is of ut most importance that the purchases for this vehicle are right the first time around and the maticulus maintenance of this vehicle is just as important any suggestions from from you and your very experienced readers will be greatly appreciated.I am chasing gas milage and longevity just like all businesses minded person in my position but unfortunately I suffer from being a horse power enthusiasts as well as a shade tree machanic. I have no previous diesel experience I am excited to learn.

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Sorry you asked a couple questions and I didn't answer them. The truck is a 2007 dodge ram 3500 dully 5.9 turbo diesel single cab 8 foot bed complete stock 4 speed auto and I'm turn 1900 at about 68 miles an hour so if any body can tell me the rear gear ratio I'm shure you can. It currently has a hydraulic lift gate like new condition I would like to sell and put a nice bumper tail gate and topper on to better suit my needs. I would like to make it as fuel efficient as possible so any and all ideas a few things I'm thinking of starting with are a 4 or 5 in. Exhaust and EGR delete any possible guidance to help avoid pit falls in my experience with other vehicles lowering belly pans and air splitters can give remarkable improvements do they help in this aplication.

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Shawn...The rpm hints that you have 3.73 gears with close to stock tires (265/70R17 or 31.9" diameter).  As for exhaust mods, Megatron has done extensive exhaust work with the 5.9L Cummins HO.  Surely he'll catch your need for guidance here...

 

Would agree that the aerodynamics effects can make a large difference.  I can attest to this by the major loss in mpg directly attributable to a lift, removal of the stock front air dam and bumper, and the increase in tire width and frontal exposure.  I did all that to myself, but like others, utility modifications like a 12,000 pound capacity winch and matching 275 pound front bumper were justification.

 

Moses

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What's up Shawn and Moses?

 

 Welcome to the forum Shawn.

 

    As for your MPG gains, Moses has a huge post about gearing, rpm and tire sizes. It's worth the read when you have a minute. As for your question on exhaust, the 4" will be perfect for your application. There is no proven data on gains for a 5" with a stock turbo configurations, at least non I have ever found. Lots of "My buddy" stories, but no real data. A good air intake/filter kit matched with a good 4" exhaust will help. Save the 5" for later when you get a compound turbo setup lol.

 

 As for an EGR delete, I am 99% certain that the 07 5.9 doesn't have an EGR system like the 07.5+ 6.7 does. The 5.9 still uses the cam for this function and its not something that is easily deleted. It requires a cam swap. If you had the 07.5+ with the 6.7 then you would need the egr cooler delete. You should have a catalytic converter, but deleting it really wont pick you up much. Just insure it is free flowing.

 

 Secondly will be a good tuner like EFI live. This will be the biggest help over the factory tuning, but it comes with a warning. You have a factory transmission. They do not like the extra power that comes with tuning. Proper tuning will increase your power, mpg and lower your egt when towing. For whatever reason when going for better mpg the tune will almost always make a bit more power than stock.  

 

  The latest rage is the CSP5 (Cummins Selectable Programming 5 position) switch. You will have 5 tunes on demand with the switch. You flash the ecu with the programing, plug in the switch and drive away. you can switch tunes while driving down the road. This is only available with EFI Live. Other tuners may have this function, but I'm not sure.

 

  A proper tread design on the tire will help with MPG. You have a 2wd so its not going to get much lighter nor do you have the need for lockouts since you don't have a front axle.

 

  Another simple trick is synthetic fluids throughout. engine, rear end etc.

 

  Fuel additives and clean fuel filters are a must. These will help keep the injectors and fuel pumps clean and help for proper combustion. I always use fuel additives.

 

 Another mpg option is a water/meth injection setup. Now this is something that requires an ongoing expense so I would research it for your application. they claim up to 3mpg, but you must add the fluid as it is used so some expense is required. its worth looking at.

 

  The number one thing I found for mpg gains is driving style ha-ha. I keep it at 1750 rpms on the highway and it does the best. At least for my truck, but its got crazy modifications.

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Megatron...Vey interesting comments about EFI Live.  I'm running the Hypertech Max Energy tune as you know.  It's touted as "tow friendly" in all settings.  Setting tune level requires delving into the software each time.

 

The idea of switching between five programs at will is very appealing.  I'm driving most of the time empty and would be pleased to drive for maximum fuel efficiency under light load.  Instead, I'm currently running the maximum performance tune to accommodate my loads when towing on occasion.

 

Are you satisfied with the individual tuning levels with CSP5?  Do each of these CSP5 settings seem well tested?  Is there a specific "tow" mode that would keep exhaust temperature and upper cylinder temperatures in check?  Is EFI Live good about recommending dyne proven settings for specific uses?  Or are users "on their own"?

 

I've talked about installing a pyrometer, which is a good tune and safety backup in any case.  Is this recommended for selecting the correct CSP5 tune level?  Overall, do CSP5 settings seem accurate and safe for their intended uses?

 

Moses

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Hey Moses,

 

  The pyrometer is a must for the 5.9 in my opinion. It is the easiest way to tell what each tune is doing as far as heat goes. I watch that thing more than my speedometer lol. Its also I nice reminder for watching the temps before shutdown. I always wait for them to drop below 400 before I turn the engine off. Safer for that oil getting left behind in the turbo bearings. Be sure to mount it pre turbo on the rear half of the divider on your exhaust manifold. The rear cylinders run the hottest by design and its a much more accurate read in that position.

 

  As for the CSP5, it will come down to who you buy your tunes from. EFI Live makes the software to do this type of tuning, but the tune building is up to the tuner/end user. I made a couple of mine and bought a couple sets from tuners. Just last week I had to haul my sons car back from the dyne (broken tail shaft, which means we were making power ha-ha) and I started out on my max power tune, position 5. Well it didn't take long and the egt's were going north of 1250. So I reached down and switched it to number 3 (my tow tune), presto dropped the egt's down under 1100 (below 800 on flat land) and off we went. it wont make as much power as number 5 but way more than what was needed to haul a car and trailer. Plus my trailer is now chump itself. 20', two axle, double frame for hauling bobcats. I'm sure we were near the 6k+ payload on a 100 degree day. I must add that double stacked extruded transmission cooler from BD worked like a charm that day also. never got above 180 on the transmission temp with that load. Loving that...

 

  I have 5 tunes. 1 is "stock/emissions passible", 2 is "MPG". 3 is "towing", 4 is "hot street" and 5 is "I just bet my sons college money I could beat that Camaro, everyone hold on"... I know each map is different and can clearly be seen by the haze of the tailpipe and seat of the pants on acceleration. Which one works the best in each situation is another story. My towing does its job for towing, low egt's and plenty of transmission safe power, My number 5 has never left me in second place, my MPG seems to work great when mixed with driving style but doesn't always get the best MPG (number 5 always seems to edge out 2 for this title, I think its my build throwing it off). I don't really use number 4 anymore since the addition of the BD transmission. and number 1 is just like a stock truck and who wants that lol.

 

  So far my personal favorite all around tunes have come from Starlite Diesel. They are great guys to work with and have vast knowledge on the Cummins EFI live, plus they also training if you want to learn how to tune. I know there are a lot of other well named tuners like Kurt Sieckmann @ Farmtuned, Kory Willis with PPE, Phil Striggow at Anarchy Diesel just to name a few. Now these guys like to make power and that they do, however I cant say who makes the best MPG tunes. Also, as a reminder, my truck is far from stock so your results will vary.

 

 Almost all the big tuners have proven number on the chassis dyne. These guys make a living tuning trucks and attending events ranging from sled pulls to drag racing. However there really aren't many competitions on MPG ha-ha. My mane reason for EFI live was the specific tuning capability for each truck. So later on if you add a bigger turbo they can make adjustments to your original tune, finally get a stronger transmission and want to turn up the heat a little, no problem. The off the shelf handheld tuners don't offer that, plus I don't know if any offer on the fly adjustable tuning.

 

 If you get EFI Live they will send you an Autocal and CSP5 switch for install. I mounted my switch in the old cigarette lighter hole. Wasn't using it anyway. You then hook up the Autocal to the OBDII port and re-flash your ecu. after that just plug the switch into the OBDII port and you are on the way. The switch does not have to stay plugged in, you just need it hooked up for on the fly switching. With the Autocal you can also data log and use it to pull in diagnostic codes. After you data log you can send that back to your tuner and they can further fine tune your tune.

 

  To my understanding, Cummins ECU has 4 additional fuel mapping slots for altered elevation tunes that the ecu could switch to for high elevation driving. However, it was never designed to use them on the diesel application. There for you can load 4 tunes plus rewrite the main tune with a new one, thus giving you 5 tunes on the fly. Then the switch prompts the ecu to use the altered tables much like you went up to 15k feet from sea level. Pretty smart little idea.

 

    Same goes for the Chevy/GMC camp. Matter of fact you can use your EFI live on both ecu's assuming you purchase the download rights. So with my EFI Live handhled V2 I can tune my sons LS1 car, my wifes Chevy Cruze and my Cummins powered 3500. That's a win at my house lol. Now I bought the V2, but that's the build a tune model, autocals are the small handheld units we sell to customers with a preloaded tune on it. Now I can direct flash your truck with my V2, I just have to pay for one license slot to do so. You wouldn't be able to data log or pull codes, but it is a cheaper option.

 

  I like EFI Live, some people don't. It is selective on what years it will work on for all applications. It does have a wider application list over at camp General Motors, but it does cover the 06 and up common rail Cummins. Yet another reason I chose the 06 truck as my platform. The tuning from most people is "Transmission Safe". Trust me they don't want you breaking parts. But if you ask for it, they will give you piston melting transmission breaking power..

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Thank you both very much for taking the time to teach me a little about diesel teck. I'm have an interesting issue with my truck. I bought an OBD2 code reader for my old truck and it worked great but it will not read the pcm on this 1 it works on my 06 1500, my 94 Integra, my wife's 08 VW.eos and my friends 2012 hemi 1500 and it will auto identify that the truch is a 07 r a ram 3500 but keeps saying it can't conect to the pcm. I have also found that I'm only getting around 10mpg. With a combination of 50/50 Hauling and bob tail 50/50 city hyw. While doing a fairly good job of staying 1600 and 1900 when accelerating and cruising my trailer is a little under 10k and I'm in south fla. So the only hills I see are dumps I was hoping to be around 14mpg. I have changed the air filter for a new Fram and checkd the oil it looks and smells fresh any ideas?

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Another thing I have noticed is when I'm using tow haul mode the truck dose not shift till 2500 rpm even when keeping a constant speed on flat ground. I don't like driving around town at 45 turning 2500 rpm. Will it hert the truck to tow my trIlor without using tow haul mode

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Shawn...2007 is the StarSCAN era for Dodge Ram.  I have a virtually new StarSCAN setup that won't work on either our '99 XJ Cherokee or the '05 Dodge Ram 3500 Cummins.  This was a Chrysler faux pas, they thought StarSCAN was the future with CAN Bus, but instead soon abandoned the system in favor of PC based diagnostic software.  There is a relatively small window of applications for StarSCAN.

 

Sadly, StarSCAN won't work retro to the DRB-III (OBD and OBD-II) era, nor will it work with the very late vehicles.  Friends at OTC/Miller/SPX were puzzled by the fact that the architecture of StarSCAN tools would have readily accommodated DRB-III/OBD-II use with simply the right software, which was never developed.  There are many of us around with StarSCAN tools and few places to use them. 

 

As a freelance journalist, I bought an IBM Quiet Writer typewriter in 1986, and the salesman told me its 6K character memory would carry this Selectric replacement well into the 21st Century.  A year later, a simple $700 Hyundai Blue Chip PC computer sold at Target with 512K memory, a 360K floppy drive and the option of a second 360K floppy drive or an aftermarket Seagate 40K hard drive.  (I bought the second drive before leaving Target.  Opted for the Seagate a few months later.)  That PC replaced the one-year-old and obsolete $1100 IBM typewriter.  Haven't had a great deal of luck with "next generation" tools.  Here's the L.A. Times article of the era:

 

Hyundai to Market Personal Computers
August 21, 1986|From Staff and Wire Reports
 

South Korea's Hyundai, already known for its cut-price cars, is introducing a $699 IBM-compatible personal computer, the cheapest of the so-called clones to be sold through U.S. retailers.

 

Unlike most computers, this model--to be called the Blue Chip--will be sold through discount stores. It has been test marketed in Target stores in Phoenix, and this week it will be test marketed in 16 Caldor stores in the Boston area.

 

Tom Hoover, a spokesman for Blue Chip Electronics, the Chandler, Ariz., company that is marketing the computer, said it would be available nationally in October. He said the company expects to sell 50,000 to 55,000 machines in the first six months.

 

The machine comes with 512,000 characters of memory, one floppy disk drive, a one-year warranty and the MS-DOS operating system used on IBM's Personal Computer. It is the first computer made by Hyundai, a giant Korean conglomerate.

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The $699 price tag is more evidence of plunging personal computer prices, which have dropped 30% since last summer.  "I think its a fantastic value for the money," said Jan Lewis, personal computer consultant with Palo Alto Research Group. Lewis said he saw no problem with consumers buying a computer from a mass merchandiser rather than a specialty store.

 

As for 10 mpg, even with a 10K trailer, that's quite a bit short of the mark.  Tow-Haul mode concerns me, it has a long upshift provision to load up the accumulator and affect a strong shift under severe load.  Like your experience, it also likes to hold in lower gears.  2500 rpm under moderate throttle is extreme, though.  Sounds like a shift kit has been installed.  You should get an upshift unless the load is really excessive.

 

I've been informed that there is a software reflash (OE) to change the Tow-Haul mode to an Overdrive and Overdrive lockout signal.  This would be far more appealing, as the killer for automatic transmissions like ours is the shift in-and-out of overdrive under load.  I'd be thrilled to push a button and prevent an upshift to 4th gear.  On up and down grades, that would be very useful and a transmission saver.

 

Moses

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Awesome information as usual. Can I just walk into a Dodge dealer and ask them to reflash my ecu with the most current tune for my vehicle and if so how much dose it cost (best guess). Btw. Update on the hunt to find a tailgate bumper and topper to replace my hydraulic lift gate. I finally got in touch with someone who lives close two me a who has a tailgate and fiberglass topper with tinted windows that came off an 07 silver (same color as mine) Dodge Ram 3500 for 1000 now all I need is a bumper I found 1 on amazon for 169 new it says it comes with all the brackets and hardware to install it on the truck it's chrome just like my front bumper and comes with the black rubber foot skids. It sounds suspiciously inexpensive to me does that price send up any red flags for you? Thanks again both of you for your time experience and advice.

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Shawn...There is a recall to remedy driver error of having the vehicle accidentally in Reverse when believed to be in Park.  Accidents have resulted from drivers stepping out and the vehicle takes off in Reverse.  NHTSA agreed to a computer reflash with software that honks the horn if the vehicle is in Reverse with the engine running and the driver's door opens.  You're likely entitled to this recall and others.  One relates to the front tie-rod ends if they happened to be from a defective batch.  The bad joints were from a specific build date for Ram trucks.  These same potentially defective joints were also sold under the Mopar brand and used as service replacement parts on Ram trucks.  The dealer must inspect the vehicle and identify whether the joints are defective joints.  If so, they will be replaced free of charge.

 

See your Ram dealer's service department and ask them to pull up your VIN.  This will confirm whether any recalls have been performed.  If there is a need to reflash for the horn/Reverse/Park recall, confirm whether or not there is a reflash to convert Tow/Haul to an OD/OD Lockout.  If such a reflash exists and is available, get a quote and see if they will do that software change at the same time as the recall reflash.

 

Let us know if the Tow/Haul to OD/OD Lockout can actually be done on our 48RE transmission trucks.  If so, I'm overdue!

 

Moses

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My truck has the reverse recall done it scared the hell out of me the first time I tried to back up to my trailer I had jumped out to check my alignment aND I was dead on all I needed was 2 more inches so I jumped 1/2 in put it in reverse and started to back up and I though I had set off the alarm some how. However I am kind of worried that my odometer was tempered with the truck is a 2007 and it only has 20k but it does not have factory tires on it and the air filter was super dirty and the car fax said the truck had never been out of Florida but all the bare metal surfaces in the truck show a lot of surface rust and aluminum has lot of oxidation and I had to replace one of the hose clamps on the como because was so rusty that broke and cause a turbo leak. Maybe I'm just being paranoid does any of that sound odd to you.

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Could be a coastal vehicle, Shawn...If the mileage is original, the air filter may have been subjected endless, dusty roads.  It's hard to tamper with mileage on these trucks, though I'm sure some have found a way to flash back the mileage.  I would look for wear at shocks. rotors and brake pads.  If they are original equipment, you will be able to judge what the likely mileage is.

 

Florida does mean salt air at the coast.  If the truck set outside for long periods, it's possible that oxidation took place.  Brake fluid color in the reservoir would be a good barometer.  Nobody bothers to change brake fluid any more, and if the fluid is dark, you likely have well over 20K miles on the truck.  (Fluid should be changed periodically, it generally is not.  Years ago, in the days of master cylinders that vented to atmosphere, the recommended fluid change was annually, with new rubber cups and boots installed each time the fluid was changed!)

 

Check the gear lube, too.  Pulling the rear axle diff cover would be revealing...

 

Moses

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