DODGE RAM FORUM banner

1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guy's. I'm semi new here so go easy with me.

I have a 2006 Ram that has served me reliably for many years. I pull a 6500lbs travel trailer with it once a year from Toronto to NC. I have been looking at a 2011 1500 and 2500 but other than being under powered pulling the trailer once a year my 4.7 is not yet worth replacing.

At start up i have a very small exhaust leak so mechanic suggested i spend some money on some mods that might gain me a little extra torque/hp for the annual pull.

Naturally i came to you guys to set me in the right direction.I'm not looking for gadgets to play with,or other hobbies just want plug and play reliability as breakdowns while in the mountains with a 30+ TT are not fun.

What are your thoughts ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,689 Posts
This topic has come up before and draws varying opinions. Some, like myself, generally say upgrade to a hemi (or CTD if you have that need I suppose). Others say the 4.7 can be upgraded. Well, yes technically it can but to see any serious difference in a pre-2008 4.7 you are going to have to drop some serious coin on heads, intake, cam, etc.

Anyway, your situation is a little unique so here's my thoughts. The "big three" that everyone recommends is a cold air intake, free flowing exhaust, and a programmer. While they may help slightly I personally don't think you will feel noticeable results from the intake and exhaust. The programmer is probably your best bet. Not sure about Diablosport or any of the others but I know Superchips has a tow tune. I've never used the tow tune and don't know a lot about what it does for the truck (I would guess it increases torque and modifies shift points) but that may be something you can research or someone else on here can offer insight on. I know you don't want a gadget to have to mess with but the Superchips is very easy to operate and can set your truck to tow tune or return it to stock in five minutes.

Oh and one more thought. Do you know what rear gear ratio your truck has? I'm thinking our trucks either have the 3.55 open diff or 3.92 limited slip diff. Gearing can make a huge difference, probably much more noticeable than anything else including a programmer, especially if you currently have the 3.55.

Hope this helps!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,690 Posts
Some mods like intake and exhaust will give you a little hp and torque, but I don't think it's going to be night and day for you with a heavy load like that. If you want simple, reliable, and easy results I'd go with a tuner. I prefer superchips (flashpaq), but diablo is another good choice. The superchips has more transmission control, and you can select the tow tune which adds some hp and torque and more importantly adds it at lower rpm's. It also improves the shift schedules, and will hold gears longer when towing. This would probably be the best thing for you, the flashpaq is around $350.00 and if I had to guess it'll add about 10hp and 30lbft max gain at around 4,000 rpm. The gains will vary based on rpm, but you'll gain at all rpm's.

An intake MIGHT give you 5 to 10 hp at the most, and a muffler swap MIGHT give you 5-10 hp at the most. A tuner will definitely give you the increases, plus there are multiple tunes (performance, mpg, etc...) and other things like ability to adjust speedo for gearing and tires, and many other things. Keep in mind you need to run premium fuel with the tow and performance tunes.

The only other thing I would suggest is that if your rear axle ratio is 3.55, to change it to 3.92 or 4.10, but that'd probably cost you anywhere from $500-$1500.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,690 Posts
Also, 6,500 lbs for the 4.7L is REALLY pushing it. I'd bet that's over your tow rating...just something to keep in mind.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,689 Posts
Max tow rating for the 2006 4.7 with auto trans ranges from 6100 to 6650 with the 3.55 rear axle ratio and 6900 to 7650 with the 3.92 rear axle. If by some chance your truck is a manual trans then you are definitely over because the tow ratings for the manual are considerably lower. The range depends on reg cab or quad cab, short or long bed, and 4x2 or 4x4.

For comparison, an identical truck with the hemi has about 1400 more pounds of towing capacity than the 4.7.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks all for your replies and concern with my tow rating.

I did my research before i got my trailer. I have the 3.92 gears and have a QC with 8 foot box, this truck configuration maximizes the 2006 1500 tow capacity.That said it's still a lot of trailer for the 4.7. Pulled the trailer 4000+ miles last year and never felt unsafe, but even when doing a short pull the advantage of a Hemi is something easy to recognize.

FWIW. With my configuration and the 4.7 if i was pulling 4-5 hrs from home i would not be complaining/looking at other trucks or inquiring into mod's. it's the distance i travel and the PA mountains that have me looking. In the 50-60mph range using towhaul mode the 4.7 purrs, just don't try to maintain ( and i'm not sure why some un-safely try ) 60 mph+ with a 30+ travel trailer. Really if Ram had a modern tranny things would be very different.

Thanks all for your thoughts ! Sounds like the 4.7 doesn't have huge gains to mod return,which is fine. A new truck will be in my future if not this spring next. My greatest frustration in a new truck purchase is Ram no longer sells this/my configuration. I am a small contractor who never carries huge weight but needs an 8ft box and a small backseat for lockable tools. Hard to justify a 2500 as a daily driver just for an 8ft box but seems my only option. Then a no charge diesel incentive inters the equation and things get really overkill.

Thanks again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,689 Posts
Yeah, that's kind of a predicament you have there. Since you already have the 3.92 gears I don't think I would mess with that. A Superchips tuner is your best bet. They run around $350 new but if you are patient and vigilant you can pick one up on craigslist or ebay for $200 or less. As long as the owner has returned their truck to stock then a used programmer is as good as a new one. Plus, if you happen to not be satisfied with the results you can get your money back out of it easily.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
Those PA hilss will get ya. I'm from New York, along the PA border and we share some of the same inclines in my area. It can be a rough area when towing heavy weights, especially in the winter. I'm grabbing a diablo tuner for my truck. Sounds like it's worth the money if you buy from another member.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Have you considered a second vehicle for a tow rig? If you only need the tow capacity every once in a while, maybe start keeping your eye out for an older 3/4 or 1 ton in decent shape just to tow the heavy stuff. I have the same truck as you (with the short box) and if I ever need to pull anything over 5,000 lbs I have a 97 Ford E-350 cargo with the 7.3 powersmoke diesel. That thing is a BEAST and I can haul just about anything I'd even need to with that rig. It's also a handy construction truck, too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks again for your input.
Yes the PA hills are the reason i am looking at a new truck. Last year we tried to skirt them by cutting over to Albany and running down the outside,it was better but had us running through all the cities to NC on July 4th. Wow, wont do that again.

Another vehicle for towing is out as (outside of the one RV pull a year) i can barely justify my long wheelbase Ram. Again, really wish Ram in this config. was still available.

Now the chip has me thinking. What exactly should i expect from it? I assume it can be set up for mileage or torque or ... but do we think there will be a great towing gain? will it not be limited by the transmission?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,690 Posts
As far as tuners, you'd probably want the superchips over the diablo, as the superchips has the "advanced trans" option for a small fee on top of the price of the tuner, and it allows you to set your own shift schedules, etc. which people on the superchips forums who tow a lot rave about. You could run the tow tune which probably adds around 15hp and 30 lb ft (guessing but it should be about right) and you could also run the 87 performance tune (with 91 or 93 octane while towing) to get probably about the same power gains as the tow tune but with better mpg. Just some thoughts.

I love my superchips and it is by far the best bang/buck performance wise, and helps when towing, but I rarely tow so can't comment a whole lot about it...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Hi all.
Just got back from a run down to NC without the trailer this time. What a difference 6500lbs can make. Ha,ha.
We will be doing it again in three months with the trailer,so ... where can if find one of these chips ?

The truck is going into the shop tomorrow for some TLC. It ran fine on the trip through the mountains and a lot of off-roading but the transmission has developed a little whine. Shifts paper smooth, great mileage, levels cool, just a little whine. Took the pan off cut the filter open,all was clean and fluid was clear like new. May post this elsewhere.

In-short may look into some headers if the tranny is getting some attention,any models/brands you all recommend ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,689 Posts
As for the tuner, unless you just want it right this minute the cheapest place to get one is to watch Ebay and Craigslist. You might find a fair deal on a new one but a used one is just as good as long as it is unlocked (tuning removed from the vehicle it was on). I believe a Superchips 3865 is around $350 new....I checked EB and CL three or four times a day for a couple of weeks and picked up a used one for $200 shipped.

Someone can correct me if I am wrong here but I don't believe there are any factory made headers available for the first gen 4.7 are there? The 4.7 is fairly overlooked by performance manufacturers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,690 Posts
^There are shorties for the 1st gen 4.7L. Nothing for the 2nd gen (yet).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Checked out ebay for the superchip looks about $300 as you said. My truck is in the shop now for the tranny whine,so once i cross that bridge will be ordering the chip. I have 18's with Toyo MudTerraine over sized tires, will this effect the chips towing mode ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,690 Posts
It won't affect the performance, but if you are changing tire diameter you should use the tuner to correct for this. They have an option to adjust for tire size and this corrects the speedometer and odometer and things like that. FYI tow rating drops with larger tires. Also FYI, a tuner does not raise your tow rating, it does help tow more comfortably what the truck is rated for though. Not to say I never overload my truck lol....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Sean. Thanks.
I guess i'm still wrapping head around the function of tow haul mode, so am having a struggle with a toe mode chip that changes that shift assignment further. Hmmm.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,690 Posts
I believe the tow/haul mode on the truck basically just holds the rpm's a little higher before shifts, and also rearranges the gears so as to use the 2nd prime ratio in normal up shifts, and this also locks out the 2nd overdrive. Tow/haul mode on the truck is totally separate and unaffected by an aftermarket tuner. You would still use it the same way even if you had a tune installed.

Gear ratio's when in "D":
1st 3.00:1
2nd 1.67:1
2nd Prime 1.50:1 (not used in normal up shifts)
3rd 1.00:1
4th 0.75:1
5th 0.67:1

Gear ratio's when in "Tow/haul":
1st 3.00:1
2nd 1.67:1
3rd 1.50:1
4th 1.00:1
5th 0.75:1

This is for the 545rfe transmission which I believe your truck has.

The tow tune on the superchips basically just adds some hp and tq. It also changes the shift schedule a little(when the transmission shifts gears).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hey snrusnak Thanks for all your help, and the other post you made with the power-graphs. So a bunch of maybe silly comments/questions i now have.

Will my 392 gearing effect what those graph look like ?

I see used superchips on ebay for average $170, but am unclear on this advanced transmission option you speak of and how to get it and what it does.

On your torque graph i see that the 87 (octane?) tune at 3500rpm still offers a 25ft/lbs boost. You mentioned only the 93 tune had significant gain but I think even the 87 would be noticeable at this usable speed when i'm towing.

When towing across states as the gas prices change i treat the truck to higher octanes especially in the mountains. Will this still be doable with the chip or do i pick a grade and stick with it ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,690 Posts
Hey snrusnak Thanks for all your help, and the other post you made with the power-graphs. So a bunch of maybe silly comments/questions i now have.
No problem :)

Will my 392 gearing effect what those graph look like ?
It will have no effect on the power output of the engine. You're lucky to have 3.92 though, it makes it pull easier, accelerate easier, etc. than if you had 3.55.

I see used superchips on ebay for average $170, but am unclear on this advanced transmission option you speak of and how to get it and what it does.
That's a good deal. I paid like $360 new for my flashpaq. The one you need is 3865. Make sure they returned the tune on the truck back to stock otherwise the tuner will be "locked" and you'll have to send it to superchips and pay to have it unlocked. The advanced trans option is something you can download from superchips to the tuner after you own it, you have to pay more for it, I think it's like $60 extra, and it gives you more tuning options for the transmission settings.

On your torque graph i see that the 87 (octane?) tune at 3500rpm still offers a 25ft/lbs boost. You mentioned only the 93 tune had significant gain but I think even the 87 would be noticeable at this usable speed when i'm towing.
All the superchips tunes(87, 91, and 93) give a nice increase over stock. I just meant that there's not as much difference between the 87 and 91 tune as there is between the 91 and 93 tune.

When towing across states as the gas prices change i treat the truck to higher octanes especially in the mountains. Will this still be doable with the chip or do i pick a grade and stick with it ?
To use the tunes you have to run at a minimum the octane specified. 87 tune requires 87 octane or higher. 91 tune requires 91 octane or higher. Etc...

You are not supposed to tow/haul with the performance tunes, there is too much timing advance(for performance) and it can cause detonation. If you tow you either need to tune back to stock, tow tune(requires 91 octane or higher), or use 87 tune with 91 or 93 octane.

Don't waste money on higher octane fuel if it's not required, there is no benefit to it. If you are tuned to need it, then use it though.
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top