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Towing 3rd Gen Dodge Ram Towing Questions


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  #1  
Old 07-09-2012, 06:08 PM
JoPappa JoPappa is offline
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Vehicle: 2002 DRW 1T SLT
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Engine: 1998-1998 359ci (5.9L) Cummins ISB 24-valve Diesel I6 235hp 420lb/ft (manual), 215hp 420lb/ft(auto)
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Default towing 16000 lb 5th wheel

Hi,

I have a 2002 1T DRW 5.9 SLT.
The truck is in great shape and I have done a LOT of PM, flush cooling stsyem, new Thermostat and new rubber. Lots of Front end and brakes, Auto Trans, the larger HD one for that year, added Trans Temp Guage.

Will be using as two vehicle for full time RV living out west.

What do I need to know or do to be sure to not damage the truck when pulling in the mountians. I have read a little about exhaust temp and since I am new to Diesel, not sure what the references mean relativly speaking.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Wayne
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Old 07-14-2012, 10:27 PM
ArtNJr ArtNJr is offline
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Vehicle: 1998.5 Dodge 2500HD 4x4
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Engine: 1998-1998 359ci (5.9L) Cummins ISB 24-valve Diesel I6 235hp 420lb/ft (manual), 215hp 420lb/ft(auto)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoPappa View Post
I have a 2002 1T DRW 5.9 SLT. . . . What do I need to know or do to be sure to not damage the truck when pulling in the mountians. I have read a little about exhaust temp and since I am new to Diesel, not sure what the references mean relativly speaking.
Adding a pyrometer to be able to see the exhaust temps is helpful, but they shouldn't be a concern with a stock or basically stock engine -- it's when you get into adding a lot more fuel that it becomes a concern. It's the heat coming out the exhaust ports, going thru the manifold & into the turbocharger that spins it up even more than the exhaust flow -- when you add more fuel you're going to get more heat & with it more boost, until the wastegate opens to limit how high it will go.

For your purposes I'd do the same thing I did to my '98 2500 4x4 24-valve Cummins, which I bought to do a lot of heavy load carrying & towing with -- first thing was to make the engine "breathe" better, with a K&N air filter & a free-flowing straight-thru muffler. Mine has the 100% failure rate Bosch VP44 injector pump which Dodge quit using after 2001 & I just got the newest Freightliner upgrade version, which gives the engine 22 more HP & a little better fuel mileage too. And that's all the farther I'll go at least for a while -- no aftermarket tuner, chip, "hot rod pump", etc. I don't need to win drag races & I intend to keep this truck forever, so while I like the power increase I've already got, longevity & durability is more important than tire-smoking HP & I'd bet you're the same way.

I've pulled loaded trailers from here in NC out thru Colorado & Wyoming to the Bonneville salt flats & back (4000-mile round trip) & the worst fuel mileage I ever got on those trips was 15.6 mpg, with the old stock injector pump -- should get 2-3 more mpg now. I did recently add an Edge boost elbow which allows the turbo boost to come up quicker & go a bit higher than stock, but it's not a major modification & won't effect the longevity of the engine. And with those few modifications I have no trouble pulling trailers or carrying a lot of weight in the bed -- I've had 3500 lbs of stone in the bed & was pulling my 16' tandem axle utility trailer with John Deere diesel tractor & implements too -- with the cruise control on & the speed never varied more than 1 mph.

Only problem I can think of that others have talked about but I haven't had is with the automatic transmission -- people have said they don't hold up well if you're towing all the time. But I've got about 150,000 miles on mine & the only problem I've had with it is an electrical glitch that made the lock-up torque converter lock up then unlock, lock up again then unlock, over & over. But there was a service bulletin on that years ago (voltage fluctuation) & I haven't had that problem since.
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