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Towing 2nd Gen Dodge Ram Towing Questions


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  #1  
Old 07-14-2012, 01:39 PM
WyoUltra WyoUltra is offline
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Well here goes, this is my first post on here, I've tried searching and looking around, however I feel as if I'm still not finding the best solution... For a little back ground, I usually tow in the winter, and I tow 2-3 sleds, 2 on the trailer, one in the bed. Fully loaded I'm probably pushing at most 4-5000lbs? any how I can't seem to pull well at all in Highway speeds (65-75) It's as if the truck doesn't have any top end whatsoever. Sometimes it even struggles to keep up to speed when it's not even towing. The cruise control won't ever downshift when it should in order to keep up to speed and in order for me to do so, I have to either hit the O/D switch or press on the gas pedal (This is unloaded). The truck has a Magnaflow 2.5" exhaust (high flow cat), Spectre CAI, and E3 diamond fire plugs. I haven't ever done the plenum fix, and I don't know if it has had the fix (bought it at 98k miles 5-6 years ago and now it has almost 122k) Is it the plenum fix that will help me? Should chip this truck? True duals? Performance ECU? All I want to do is feel a little better when I'm towing, and maybe gain some mpg's (haha.....) Right now in town it get's 8-10 and maybe I'll get 15 on the interstate if I'm lucky (again unloaded).... Should I sell it and buy a 3/4 ton manual? Any input is appreciated, and I'm also a college student, so price kinda matters.. Thanks for reading.
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  #2  
Old 07-14-2012, 02:42 PM
ArtNJr ArtNJr is offline
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Quote:
. . . Right now in town it get's 8-10 and maybe I'll get 15 on the interstate if I'm lucky (again unloaded).... Should I sell it and buy a 3/4 ton manual? Any input is appreciated, and I'm also a college student, so price kinda matters. . . .
There are several things you can do to get more power out of the 318 V-8 but none of them are cheap & if you can find a deal on a 2500 (or 3500) diesel, that would be the way to go in my book. I ordered a 1998 2500 SLT with the Cummins diesel because I intended to carry heavy loads & pull trailers & the worst fuel mileage I've ever gotten was 15.6 -- that was in Colorado pulling a tandem axle enclosed trailer with motorcycles & tools on the way to the Bonneville salt flats (got 3 records out there). I've pulled a 9300 lb. travel trailer down the interstate with the cruise control & A/C on & the speed never varied more than 1 mph -- the diesel just has so much more torque & more than you'll ever get from a 318.

The diesels are hard to find used because people tend to keep them forever (I'll keep mine forever), but if you keep your eyes open you can probably find one. A good friend of mine bought a 3500 diesel new in 1997 & he wrecked it a few years ago -- it was fixable, but for some reason the Dodge dealers never could get a new front bumper, grille, radiator support, etc. for it so he took the insurance money & they considered it 'totaled". He found another one pretty much the same as what he had (different color) & only paid $8500 for it -- a "steal" for a Dodge / Cummins diesel with less than 100,000 miles on it!

Now his is a "dually" but he owns a vending machine company & he needs that big of a truck, but from time to time you may see a 2500 with single rear wheels if an extended cab dually is too big for you. But I've always said I can't imagine anyone buying a full-size pickup with a gasoline engine since the good diesels came out -- the diesels will generally get double the fuel mileage & have WAY more torque for towing. Also, the overhaul interval is generally 500,000 miles & you can rebuild a Cummins over & over again -- I've driven one with almost 2 million miles on it --overhauled 3 times, coming up on #4!

So personally, I can't see spending a lot of $$$ on a gasoline-engine truck when you need to be able to carry loads and/or tow fairly often when a diesel pickup was designed to do that to begin with.
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Old 07-14-2012, 02:48 PM
WyoUltra WyoUltra is offline
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I know haha I actually have my current truck for sale in hopes of maybe getting this 97 12-valve 2500. And I actually have to have the ext cab because I usually have a couple friends with me. however, the 12-Valve is almost 1500 more then my asking price and will empty my pocket book..... My brother actually has a "Holy Grail," 98 12 valve quad cab sport manual 3/4 ton.
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Old 07-14-2012, 03:37 PM
ArtNJr ArtNJr is offline
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Originally Posted by WyoUltra View Post
I know haha I actually have my current truck for sale in hopes of maybe getting this 97 12-valve 2500.
If you're able to get that one, at least one thing you won't have to worry about is the blankety-blank Bosch VP44 injection pump the 98.5 thru 2001 24-valve models came with -- stay away from those !!! I just put the 4th pump on mine & it's only got about 140,000 miles on it! This time I got the good Freightliner pump ($2150) so I shouldn't have the same problems again, but those weren't available until fairly recently. The original computer part is what always fails & the upgraded Freightliner version is supposed to take care of that -- we'll see.
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Old 07-14-2012, 10:43 PM
WyoUltra WyoUltra is offline
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The only thing is that I'm not sure whether or not it's achievable right now.
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Old 07-15-2012, 11:37 AM
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Anyone else have any input?
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:50 AM
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jowwo jowwo is offline
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Hey dude, did you ever sell your truck?
I had a 12 valve....for three days before it got ripped off. I replaced it with a 318 truck. 318 is a nice engine, but a total dog. I think the best route for that engine is to regear to 4.10s. I'm trying to decide myself right now if I should regear or buy a different truck. (shhhh.....F150!) For me it would be cheaper to regear than buy a different used truck, but once you start adding in stuff like the shattered dash, sagging headliner, etc. idk, maybe I should get me an f150.
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:03 AM
WyoUltra WyoUltra is offline
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Yes, I still have the same truck. Right now I just ordered a set of helper leafs for the rear, and I only go 70 when on the highway. I saw 11 towing just the other day lol kinda was happy about that. Before you go the route on the f150, have you considered a 4bt cummins? It's a really popular swap, they get great mileage (high 20s) and they have access to all the power you need if you p-pump it and then upgrade lol. I have not done gears to my truck, I wasn't sure if I'd like it or not and I'm also a college student and I'd have to be sure I'd really like it to justify spending the money.

Are you saying you put a 318 in the same truck that had the 12-valve? You might keep in mind that the truck weighs a lot more compared to a half ton pickup and if you go to Genos Garage they have dash caps that will glue right onto the existing one/ pops right in. Mine only has two cracks which I glued and seems to work so far. I'm also fortunate to have a good headliner.

I wouldn't give up on the dodge, especially for a f150 haha. The f150s are worse my parents had a f150 with the 5.0 back in the day, and said it got horrible mileage, was really light in the back end, and couldn't tow worth a darn. If you want more power or a truck that pulls get a 3/4 ton and if you're really serious, get a diesel.
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:51 PM
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I had a beautiful 94 2500. I'm convinced it was ripped off cuz it was too nice. In the end I couldn't swing another cummins and didn't actually need a three quarter ton anyway. (that's what I keep telling myself.)
4BT in a half ton ram, IMHO, would be a waist of time and money. You'd better better off with the gear swap. I've had the gears swapped in a few Jeeps. What a world of difference. Plus if your diff is open like mine, that's a good time to throw a limited slip diff in there.
I've been looking at the ford supercrew trucks as now when my girlfriend and I go anywhere with our kids, the excab is a bit small for the six of us. Well, it's good for me but the kids in the back think they need more room. My GF has an '04 quadcab. Nice truck, wonderful hemi. Bad wiring and tranny issues.
Oh and if you don't want to actually spend the time and money on a new dash, a Dashmat Ultimat fits really really nice and looks good for a bunch cheaper than one of those cap deals.
Hey, have you ever driven along on a really cold morning with the radio off and listened to the dash crack? Dodge used that same plastic for like eight years?
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:35 PM
WyoUltra WyoUltra is offline
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Lol thanks for that, and idk, kinda like the idea of a diesel half ton with now emissions, but I agree it's an expensive swap.
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