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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Greetings! Bear with me, this will be a long post, I’m not into intro threads, so leave this one here please, this is going to be a long term thread, but I’ll do the intro here in this section, as the whole purpose is to make a quality decision to buy a truck in about 6 months.

Midwest Dodge guy here. Been into Dodges my entire life. Could run through all of them, but I'll condense it into "a bunch of FWD Mopars in the 1990's" as my starting point. I’ve probably done about 40 to 50 FWD engine swaps on all sorts of Mopars. Yes, lots of busted knuckles and swearing.

In 2003, dated a girl with a 2002 Dodge Ram quadcab, first year of the new (at that time) body style. Girl and I ended up getting married, no not because of the truck, but it didn’t hurt ;)


(Winter 2011, hard to tell but that was 3'to4' drifts, had to dig out by hand)



Wonderful truck. In 125,000 miles, had only a couple of issues, had to replace the rear differential because of a failure in a pin that allowed something to tear things up (sorry, my experience with differentials is limited and this happened about 3 years ago). Had to replace the passenger side front axle because the splines got all chewed up (we rarely ever used 4WD, so it was strange). Oh and the entire life of the truck it would seep steering fluid when it was cold out, until I finally got sick of it and redid the lines at about 110K miles.


The truck was light blue, 1500, had tow package, info center up top with MPG and all sorts of other info, black cloth interior, I believe it was an SLT Sport, not really sure. Had a plastic bed liner with a roller type tonneau cover, and the 4.7L engine. The 4.7 was a great little motor, but emphasis on “little”, is just lacked the power/tq to really do what it should, resulting in awful mileage. Over the life of the vehicle, the average MPG was right around 12.9, mixed highway and city.



(Me digging, we had been snowbound for 3 days, I wanted pizza)



So, fast forward, wife on facebook, wife lies, cheats, marriage over. I have the kids, she took the pickup, I bought a Chevy Cruz. Now 2 years later, Cruz is too small, great gas mileage, great car, but I REALLY miss having a truck. You don’t know how often you use it, becomes second nature, then you are stuck relying on other people who have trucks when you need to haul or two anything. That blows.


So, in the next 6 months, I’m going to determine what I’ll purchase. I’m still considering several vehicles. The Ram is at the top of the list, but the Durango, Grand Cherokee, 300, and the new model GM mid size pickups are all on the list. I do NOT buy new, I’m not looking to private sale purchase, and I’m not soliciting here for dealers to contact me, this is an informational thread only. I’m looking to spend about 25K or so, and keep the mileage under 35K with the balance of factory warranty still existing. Tow package, quad cab, 4WD, all a must if I select a pickup.



I’m not going to do much towing, not much heavy hauling. I’d love to get the Ecodiesel but the way the dealer are gouging the living hell out of the MSRP, I doubt that will happen. I’m very impressed by the V6 Pentastar, but that’s based on what I hear from Durango and Jeep owners, I don’t know any truck owners who have that engine so I’ll be interested in what you guys that do have to say. I’m not a mudder, not looking to jack my truck up or add thousands in accessories, I want a functional picking and hope to improve on the MPG from before.


I got to know the shortcomings of the 4.7L motor, and the issues with that 2002+ generation pickup, I’m wondering about 2011-2014, what the differences are, I’ll be doing research on my own too, on which ones have gas saving cylinder deactivation, actually MPG on all of the different models. It cant’ be as bad as the 4.7 was for me. But I digress about that, the truck itself was wonderful, better than the girl was. I removed her head from the next photo, not allowed to do that IRL though heh heh.


(Ah how I miss that truck... even with the crappy door accessory :smileup: )

HEY HEY, found one really good photo:

 

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Discussion Starter #2
A little more info... WARNING, lotsa photos

A little about me, military guy, Iraq 2005/2006, I enjoy working out, online gaming (WoW mainly recently), I own some firearms, I’m a forum moderator on several forums, srtforums to name one of them. My toy is a 2005 Dodge Neon SRT-4 Commemorative Edition. #069/200. I manage the Commemorative Edition owners list on the forums, and wrote most of the Neon SRT-4 page on Wikipedia. My SRT-4 currently has the Stage 1 Mopar package, AGP WGA, BWoody traction bars, full turbo back Borla exhaust, rice plate (probably forgetting a couple of things). I’m one of maybe a dozen or so owners who has installed factory cruise on the car, it isn’t supposed to work, but it does. If people want more info on that, I can provide it later. And yes, it’s a Neon, and you either learn to love how much people hate the SRT-4 or you probably shouldn’t own one ;)


(2006, fewer than 500 miles on the car, Tucumcari, NM)


I’ve run the car down the 1320 probably around 100 times. Best time is [email protected], I’ve never turned the boost up on the WGA from basically stock because without a F/A gauge installed (it’s in a box with the other stuff haha) I don’t want to run lean and reap the consequences on a turbo car. I’ve had the car at 155 mph (when it was stock), that’s max speed, the car was at the rev limiter, which is the limit for how fast the car at stock hp could take it against the wind drag. We’ll call it a stretch of private road and leave it at that.


(Skittles lined up at Fontana Speedway in California, waiting for the inspection)




(2007 SRT Drive, Jolliet Illinois, Autobahn Raceway, too lazy to look it up)


(SRT Nationals near Cleveland, ran one 1320 too much, ran the car out of fuel 50 feet from the pump, gas station was 10 miles from the track, sweating bullets on the way there)


(After the Borla install, matched the tips up myself, was quite pleased)


(Ha ha, I wish)


(Car show, Gretna NE)


(All Mopar Car Show, Omaha NE, 2014)


I own about 3K in Mopar Stage 3 and other fun parts for the car, but as the divorce got into full swing everything kind of got put on the back shelf. This winter I may end up getting the package installed. I’m also working on a 1967 Honda CL-125 motorcycle, sort of a fun project. Needs a lot of TLC, going to break the entire engine down, replace all the seals, kick starter, rings, etc, should be fun.


(Mopar Stage 3 Package, Big Turbo, Yah, I know, not big to you diesel guys running 50lbs and propane injection, but hey, 325hp is great for this car)


(Post Divorce, downsized house, garage, but I have the car, and the kids :) That's what matters)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
And finally, the current daily beater:

2011 Chevy Cruze Eco





Bought the car in March of 2013. My kids are 7 and 5 now though, and that back seat is just too small. That being said, as far as small cars go, the Cruz is really amazing. I average 38 to 42 at 65 mph, unfortunately I do so much interstate travel at 75 mph that it's usually around 32 mpg. I'll miss that when I trade the car in but I need more room.
 

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Welcome. I am thinking you may be looking at a 2 to 3 year old model. Depending on trim level and options. But, 6 months is really not that far away. But it does effect the availability. I have the 5.7 Hemi in mine so won't be much help to you. But, mileage is about 16-17 MPG.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm keeping my options open between the 5.7 and the pentastar. Like I said above, the ecodiesel is just not worth it for me, I likely won't keep the truck for the amount of time I'd need to for the fuel savings to catch up to the premium for the diesel. I'll be doing a lot of studying around here to find the differences between the 2011 up to 2014 models are. I can afford brand new if I wanted, but I prefer used or certified used because I save a ton of money over new.
 

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any gas engine smaller then the HEMI won't improve your Highway driving mileage

I just drove my 2009 5.7 HEMI across the USA & back, 6,700 + miles

At times i got my usual 17.4 miles per gallon
at some elevations & more humid spots, i got over 20 MPG

I have over 118,800 miles on my Ram 1500

Because my Ram is also my work vehicle, i am going to buy a 3.0 eco diesel, because i get paid by the mile when working
17.4 MPG compared to 25 + MPG
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The Pentastar with 305 hp gets worse gas mileage than the hemi? The 240 hp 4.7 I could understand not getting very good gas mileage, but what do people typically see from the Pentastar?
 

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I have been averaging about 21.5 mpg in mixed driving, thought mostly highway. I usually do around 75mph on the highway also. The 8 speed transmission is very smooth, I have felt the downshifting issues that have been mentioned in other threads concerning the 8 speed, but mine doesn't seem to be that bad, or maybe I've been compensating for it with my driving style. I am sure that I could get over 22mpg if I'd slow down, but I'm usually running late. I haven't had any issues with the truck. Just coming up on 4500 miles. Hope this helps.
 

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RTShadow, Congrats on moving on with your life, divorce happens and we move on, always smile and live your life as you see fit we all have one life so live it.. Now most RAM 1500 4x4 Hemi, and 6 cyl. are being purchased for approx.7-10 grand from asking price, for instance my Laramie was 53 k, I GOT IT FOR 43K. I like my Laramie it has auto 4wd also, and the leather is a must for me, I had a 2010 sport Hemi crew cab 4x4 and liked it also. The new Ram 1500 2013 on up have the electronic rack/pinion steering, NO more power steering pump, no more fluid and hoses..Nice addition. Iam sure if you shop around you may be able to get agreat deal on a brand new truck, SPOIL yourself you deserve it. Keep us posted on your outcome..MOPAR FOR LIFE.
 

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You could likely find a 2013 Ram 1500 Express 4 door for a good price & the 3 year factory warranty would still be active, unless it has more then 36,000 miles on it, i believe those are the main cut off points.

A 2012 Ram that was built in April, May, or June would also be a good buy & may still be under warranty.
They usually start building the new models each year around July
a Ram build year usually runs from July to June, ie:
2012 Ram may have been built from July 2011 to June 2012
it sometimes varies, like in this current year Rams

Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Wow, I've been out of the loop on the warranties for awhile... we had the 7/70 on the 2002 truck.
 

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any gas engine smaller then the HEMI won't improve your Highway driving mileage
^^^This is entirely inaccurate. My dad has a 2013 w/ the v6 Penstar. Hwy trips he is getting 23-24 very consistently. He took a 600 mile round trip with his four wheeler in the bed and got 24mpg. He just recently returned from vacation and got 23-24 all trip. That v6 is kicking out 305 horse and is quite capable if you aren't towing a lot of weight. You will probably be able to pick up a decent 13' with the Penstar in the mid 20's come next spring. Good luck.
 
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