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Dodge Ram Pickup 1500, Dodge Ram Pickup 2500, Dodge Ram Pickup 3500, Exterior, Engine, Interior, Truck
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#697 of 856 Cummins Diesel
Jan 12, 2003 (6:05 am)
I am looking at diesel trucks for use as a family vehicle and a farm vehicle. I've never owned a Dodge truck, but it seems in looking at them that the same terminology, Quad Cab, has been used for several years, although those prior to 2003 seem to have been an extended cab. Not a full "crew cab," as Ford calls theirs. I want the equivalent of Ford's crew cab--a four door that will seat five or six on long trips comfortably. I also want a truck that will tow heavy loads without a problem when I need to and get good fuel mileage. I have been looking at Ram 3500's with manual transmission, which I prefer for my use. And at the price of trucks today, which is more than I paid to build my first three bedroom, two bath brick home, I want one that will last without costing me a fortune to keep it going.
I have heard the Cummins diesel is a tremendous engine as far as reliability and longevity is concerned, but the only person I know who has used one a long time is a farmer who was lamenting that he lost a good truck at 231,000 miles when one of his men totalled it. Our local Dodge dealer said they have only seen a couple of failures and they were related to overheating from a freeze plug popping out of one and somehow someone lost the oil out of the other. I have also heard the high output version is a stronger engine for towing, but I am most concerned with longevity and durability. Anyone have any input about the Cummins engine in a pickup, good or bad, that I haven't heard?
What about the longevity and durability of the Dodge rear ends and manual transmissions with the diesel engine? I have heard of failures of automatics from all three brands tied to diesel engines.
I would appreciate any input anyone can give me concerning these questions.
#698 of 856 Re: Cummins Diesel
Jan 12, 2003 (7:17 am)
Since I've never owned one or really know much about them, I have little to offer you other than what I've heard or read about. There are others that are much more savy about diesels than I.
I have never heard of a differential failure on a diesel Dodge. I've heard and read about some automatic transmission problems with the Cummins. Most of those appear to be related to the shift solenoids and were not complete failures.
I've never heard anything but high praise about the Cummins engine. I work with a fellow that went from a GM to a Dodge, and he considers the Cummins a much better engine. My daughter rides horses and the stable purchased two Fords in 2002 to replace their old Dodge. I've heard the stable owner say that the Cummins is the better engine.
Now, that being said, I must tell you that I'm not sure why these people liked their Cummins engines better. I do know that the stable owner has has some problems with the Ford diesel, but I don't know what that is. My impression from the guy at work is that it's a performance issue.
There is one thing I've noticed about diesel owners in general. Some seem to think that because they've got a truck with a diesel that the towing capacity is that of a tractor-trailer and I believe some of their transmission problems were related to over zealous towing practices.
Good luck with your search.
Jan 12, 2003 (12:30 pm)
"I want the equivalent of Ford's crew cab--a four door that will seat five or six on long trips comfortably."
I think that pretty much rules out the Dodge for you. The Ford Crew Cab is pretty much in a class of its own. That's not to say that the Ford is a better vehicle than the Dodge, just that six adults in a Crew Cab will be far more comfortable on a long trip.
#700 of 856 Mac24 makes a good point...............
Jan 12, 2003 (1:33 pm)
Keep in mind that Dodge does not market the RAM Quad as a six passenger equivalent to the Ford SuperCrew. The RAM Quad is an extended cab truck with four conventional doors instead of the previous suicide-style doors. Dodge intentionally kept the "Quad" name for this reason.
I've driven both. The RAM Quad interior feels bigger, much more airy and the "extended" part of the cab is very large. The front passenger room is spacious. My kids loved the RAM rear seat over the Ford, mostly because the rear seat in the Ford is lower, the Dodge was higher. they liked the fact that they could see better.
Comparatively the Dodge rear seating is not quite as generous as the Ford. The Ford front/rear passenger space is more balanced. However, I'm not sure how comfortable a long ride would be for three adults in the rear of the SuperCrew, anyways. Two should ride fairly well, I'd think.
#701 of 856 New option on Ram SLT 1500
Jan 12, 2003 (4:45 pm)
I was just on the dodge website and found out that you can now order a ram SLT with the Electric shift on the fly part time transfer case for an additional cost of $150.00. However the price of the 5-45RFE transmission went up from $995 to $1,170 with the hemi.
Jan 12, 2003 (6:29 pm)
yeah, it's unfortunate but the automakers are digging to find ways to pay for all those big incentives and no interest loans they've been writing up over the last year...
#703 of 856 Dodge Diesels
Jan 13, 2003 (5:50 am)
I am in the same boat. I have owned one of the first Ford diesels in a van and it holed a piston at around 65,000 miles for what reason no one could tell me, which left a sour taste in my mouth for diesels--especially the Ford.
The economics of diesels is questionable with the higher cost. The fuel mileage is much better in most cases. For the additional price of the diesel engine, however, you could get a gas engine rebuilt twice, which means you could probably drive it 250,000 miles. The problem is, most of the gas engines don't have the towing capacity of the diesels, or the stronger transmissions to match.
As for the Ford diesel, I have had occasion to talk to two owners and had hearsay on a third in which the engines have lasted a long time and given no trouble. The lowest was 198,000 miles and it was traded in by an elderly couple for a newer Ford with the same diesel engine. They indicated they didn't have any problems with it but used it to tow a camper all over the country and got a new one for their own peace of mind. The second one was a four wheel drive that had 300,000 miles on it and it was still going strong, at the time being used to pull some large shrubs up by the roots at a church. The third was hearsay, related by a Ford salesman (often not the most reliable source of information on the brand they sell or the competition). The reason I tend to believe him, however, is that he works for a company that owns a Ford dealership in one town and a Dodge dealership in one 15 miles away so he could sell either. He told a story of a farmer that had a Ford in which the engine lasted so long he decided to keep it until it broke to see how long it would run. It was being used to pull a load of hay when the engine croaked at 600,000 miles.
I am surprised at the stables having a problem with the performance of the PS versus the Cummins, although I have just driven a Dodge on the street with no load. The regular PS is larger than the Cummins, and with the exception of the HO Cummins, I think it has more torque. I did notice Ford sells their diesel with a standard 3.74, or something like that, rear end, or an optional 4.10. Don't hold me to the actual figures and I think Dodge's is in the 4.xx range. I would think if there is a different rear end in the two they would appear to pull differently.
I haven't owned a newer Ford PS or a Cummins at all, but I am leaning to the Dodge unless the Quad Cab isn't large enough to carry five or six. I thought the 2003 Dodges had expanded their cab to include room for six, but I may be mistaken. I was disappointed when looking at used trucks, though, that I couldn't find a full "crew cab" version in one.
Jan 13, 2003 (9:57 am)
I need to clarify what I wrote.
The stable (Fords) owner is not the one I think had an issue with performance. I'm pretty sure the stable owner's dissatisfaction has been with reliability/repair issues.
The person who I think had a performance issue was the fellow I work with. He had a GM diesel.
Jan 13, 2003 (11:58 am)
The Ram 3500 was redesigned this year. Now it has room for SIX passengers in the Quad Cab version. It really has almost as much room as the F150 crew cab and way more room than the F150 extended cab. From my experience with the truck it would easily fit six passengers comfortably since the head room is the best of any pickup, the seats are huge, and the leg room in front and back (even the front center) is generous.
#706 of 856 Ford Crew vs Dodge Quad
Jan 13, 2003 (12:33 pm)
The room between the Ram Quad and F-250/350/450 crew-cabs is about 5" in leg room. Doesn't sound like much but that's about the difference between a Civic and a Town Car. I'm on the fence this time around as I like my Dodge/Cummins but could use all the room I can get. The Ford is a good set-up with more flexibility. I think both trucks are pretty equal on power, but the big advantage to the Dodge is the new cummins is not really all that new. It has some new features and big improvements, but overall it's based on the same 5.9L engine. The Ford 6.0L is all new. That's about my only concern.