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SOFpirate 06-18-2013 12:53 PM

New Guy, dumb questions.
Hey everybody! New to Rams, not to project vehicles (in which this is what this thing is).

Just wondering what the nitty gritty (i.e. common problems, things to look out for) on these trucks are.

I have a 97 1500, Laramie SLT 4x4 with the 318. So far I love it, just looking to see what the common issues are and the things I should look out for before I start cracking it open and running through it.

This is also my first pickup ever! I came from the world of Jeeps, and this truck has paid itself off in three days of ownership. I'm impressed.

RedSmart 06-18-2013 01:06 PM

I'm new to the truck world also, so I thought to avoid the problems I would buy new.

So far I have discovered that the biggest problem was coming here and seeing all the mods that people do.

Apparently there is an inherent want to spend money doing things to your truck that you probably never thought about doing before!

Aside from that I can't offer any more as I'm still learning too.

Warlock III 06-18-2013 01:39 PM

Not necessarily. There are a lot of mods and a lot of posts/threads about mods, but that's only because of the individuality of the members and the pride in their ride.

It all depends on what section you visit. On the 1st and 2nd gens and gaining on the third gens there are members that stick to those sections as they are aging and developing problems caused by time, wear, misuse, and didn't give a shit.

As you get familiar with the site you'll become more adept to navigating it and finding help for particular issues/concerns.

If I can be of any help I'm usually leaning against the wall somewhere outside the 2nd gen drug store.

SOFpirate 06-18-2013 06:43 PM

Haha! Well I plan on putting a few mods on mine here and there. I'm not going to use it for extreme off road use, I can get a toy for that. Mainly it's going to be my daily driver, and the family work truck. I plan on making it just a nice moderate truck that's capable of hitting a trail or rescuing a friend if need be. When I got the truck it came with a 4.5" lift on it, so instead of buying new stuff, I'm just going to fill it out with 35's, put a winch up front and that's about it. Give it some love here and there and make it a nice truck. I've done enough crazy builds in my life that I can be completely happy with a "normal" moderate truck.

Gen1dak 06-18-2013 08:32 PM

Intake plenum gasket, much discussed on this site.
Transmission anti-drainback valve in the transmission return line. It'll corrode shut and fry the transmission. Eliminate it and have a TransGo or similar valve body kit installed. Just a couple things that jump out.

the persuader 06-18-2013 08:38 PM

Definitely the plenum gasket. Ball joints and front end components are common.

SOFpirate 06-21-2013 01:56 PM

Awesome! Thanks guys. I know about the ball joints, a complete Dana 44 rebuild is on the books anyways, so those were just going to get replaced as well.

I do have one question, feel free to call me an idiot and curse my name for it ... but I was thinking of doing a coil-over conversion (long term) for comfort and driveability. Here's the two part question, 1.) Worth it? 2.) How much towing and cargo capacity will I lose?

I haven't done too much research yet, so that's why I'm asking. Trying to get rid of the harsh ride, because the idiots who owned the truck before me threw 4.5" lift blocks underneath the rear end, and I HATE lift blocks.

Gen1dak 06-22-2013 12:16 PM

Funny how standards evolve. When the 1995 RAM was introduced, it was lauded as a quantum leap over previous RAMs in handling and "car-like" comfort. Now it, and follow-on models are considered harsh.

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