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I have put around 350 miles on my 2018 3500 with 6.4 HEMI with 4.10 gears. I was told I would really love the truck, but I guess you could say I am a little of a doubting Thomas.

Well, after the first 350 miles, I can see why I was told I would love the truck. I have driven it on back roads, highway, and in town. It handles like a dream. Living in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania, I am constantly going up and down hills and twisty roads. I purposely slowed down to 15 mph on a 5% grade hill that is close to 2 miles long. The road is also full of twist and turns. The truck handled it with no problem. Acceleration was fast and transmission didnt search for a gear. I understand that I wasnt loaded down with anything, but to me it was still impressive.

Hand calculated gas mileage is around 16 miles to a gallon. Cant wait to get some more miles on it, and start doing some hauling and towing. A 33 foot 5ver is on list of wants. I dont think the truck will have any issues if it keeps running the way it is right now.
 

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I have put around 350 miles on my 2018 3500 with 6.4 HEMI with 4.10 gears. I was told I would really love the truck, but I guess you could say I am a little of a doubting Thomas.

Well, after the first 350 miles, I can see why I was told I would love the truck. I have driven it on back roads, highway, and in town. It handles like a dream. Living in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania, I am constantly going up and down hills and twisty roads. I purposely slowed down to 15 mph on a 5% grade hill that is close to 2 miles long. The road is also full of twist and turns. The truck handled it with no problem. Acceleration was fast and transmission didnt search for a gear. I understand that I wasnt loaded down with anything, but to me it was still impressive.

Hand calculated gas mileage is around 16 miles to a gallon. Cant wait to get some more miles on it, and start doing some hauling and towing. A 33 foot 5ver is on list of wants. I dont think the truck will have any issues if it keeps running the way it is right now.
I would have to agree whole heartidly with you, Rufus! My wife took it with her horse friends today up into the high lakes in the Cascade mountains, up around Mt. Hood and then back down south while I was working. Up around the 5-7k elevation level. Around 200+ miles. It has around 600 miles on it now. Wife LOVES the truck. And her horse friends remarked how wonderfully quiet the cab is, and how comfortable the back seat is. They also remarked on how cool the color is, and how it changes with how the light hits it. They loved it, as well. Wife said it has exceptional power without even pushing it....she thinks it will be extremely capable hauling during camping.

To hear her so pleased with the truck is music to my ears. A happy wife is a happy husband.....lol. Then after camping, it becomes my truck again for my business. Gotta be able to write some of the cost off in my taxes....lol.

I was already super happy with the truck, as it is such a pleasure to drive. And now that the wife has had a lot of experience with it....to hear her as enthusiastic about it as I am.....yea, we're REAL happy with this rig so far.

It is a really, really nice truck, imo. And total agreement on the 4.10 rear end. I have heard people with this truck complain about how the 3.73 hunts sometimes, even empty. I have experienced nothing but positive and rock solid gear changes so far with the 4.10....and my wife noticed the same thing on her trip today, with lots of up and down grades....she said it never once hunted for gear changes.

Will be interesting to see how it does hauling a full load. I am beginning to expect great things for it hauling. :)
 

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I have heard people with this truck complain about how the 3.73 hunts sometimes, even empty. I have experienced nothing but positive and rock solid gear changes so far with the 4.10....and my wife noticed the same thing on her trip today, with lots of up and down grades....she said it never once hunted for gear changes.

Will be interesting to see how it does hauling a full load. I am beginning to expect great things for it hauling. :)
I have the 3.73 rear and have not experienced any hunting at all, either laden or unladen up and down mountains here in Colorado, or on our recent 3500 mile road trip laden with a total payload somewhere around 3500-3700#.


I also read that some folks were having that problem with the stock rear end, but I have not. In the real early going, like the first 200 miles or so, there were a few occasions where it kicked down a gear when I wasn't expecting it at all, and it surprised me. I backed off on the gas a tiny bit (like maybe 1/8" of pedal) and it immediately shifted back up smoothly and held the original gear just fine. I drive everything with a really light touch on the pedals unless emergencies require something more assertive, and I'm constantly feeling and listening for feedback from whatever vehicle I'm driving.

I don't play music hardly ever or have the radio on, or do the "books on tape" thing that a lot of folks I know like. I just prefer listening to the driving sounds - the engine, the tires, the wind, all of it.

I know, it's weird, but I've always loved driving without distractions.



This RAM has noticeably adjusted to my driving style over the first 500 miles or so, as is common now with modern vehicles. They "learn".


On mountain roads I can make it shift down with only the tiniest pedal movement to increase throttle, or prevent a shift down by backing off an equally tiny bit if I'm willing to sacrifice maybe just a touch of speed for an uphill section.
At this point, creeping toward 10,000 miles on the truck now, it almost never shifts up or down anything but smoothly and just about exactly where I expect it to every time, and with a delightful consistency. It's never "confused" at all.



I have a neighbor who complains about "hunting" issues with his Ford 1 ton truck. In his case, having ridden with him on a number of occasions, the problem is not the truck but the insensitive way he drives the darn thing. Basically he hops in and mashes on the gas pedal until he reaches the speed he wants, then continues mashing on it without any subtlety or finesse at all in a never-ending attempt to maintain a particular speed with zero allowances for the grades or payloads or much of anything. If it kicks down a gear to try keeping up with his demands for a certain speed, he'll back off on the gas a tiny bit, unconsciously I often think, in reaction to that, so it will shift back up again, so he'll give it a bit more gas and thus creates a kind of feedback loop he seems completely unaware that he's contributing to.



Without a doubt the 4.11 rear will help under heavy engine-loading conditions, like both hauling and towing at the same time, or just towing real heavy, but the 6.4 can handle close to max payload (without towing) with the 3.73 rear just as smooth as silk.
This is not an opinion so much as an empirically verified fact. It's happening every time we drive this truck and it pleases us enormously.


As for anyone who says they're experiencing annoying transmission hunting when running with just ordinary payloads, or even running empty (!), I think I'd wonder about the sensitivity of their driving skills before I'd start blaming the rear end ratio.
 

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I have the 3.73 rear and have not experienced any hunting at all, either laden or unladen up and down mountains here in Colorado, or on our recent 3500 mile road trip laden with a total payload somewhere around 3500-3700#.


I also read that some folks were having that problem with the stock rear end, but I have not. In the real early going, like the first 200 miles or so, there were a few occasions where it kicked down a gear when I wasn't expecting it at all, and it surprised me. I backed off on the gas a tiny bit (like maybe 1/8" of pedal) and it immediately shifted back up smoothly and held the original gear just fine. I drive everything with a really light touch on the pedals unless emergencies require something more assertive, and I'm constantly feeling and listening for feedback from whatever vehicle I'm driving.

I don't play music hardly ever or have the radio on, or do the "books on tape" thing that a lot of folks I know like. I just prefer listening to the driving sounds - the engine, the tires, the wind, all of it.

I know, it's weird, but I've always loved driving without distractions.



This RAM has noticeably adjusted to my driving style over the first 500 miles or so, as is common now with modern vehicles. They "learn".


On mountain roads I can make it shift down with only the tiniest pedal movement to increase throttle, or prevent a shift down by backing off an equally tiny bit if I'm willing to sacrifice maybe just a touch of speed for an uphill section.
At this point, creeping toward 10,000 miles on the truck now, it almost never shifts up or down anything but smoothly and just about exactly where I expect it to every time, and with a delightful consistency. It's never "confused" at all.



I have a neighbor who complains about "hunting" issues with his Ford 1 ton truck. In his case, having ridden with him on a number of occasions, the problem is not the truck but the insensitive way he drives the darn thing. Basically he hops in and mashes on the gas pedal until he reaches the speed he wants, then continues mashing on it without any subtlety or finesse at all in a never-ending attempt to maintain a particular speed with zero allowances for the grades or payloads or much of anything. If it kicks down a gear to try keeping up with his demands for a certain speed, he'll back off on the gas a tiny bit, unconsciously I often think, in reaction to that, so it will shift back up again, so he'll give it a bit more gas and thus creates a kind of feedback loop he seems completely unaware that he's contributing to.



Without a doubt the 4.11 rear will help under heavy engine-loading conditions, like both hauling and towing at the same time, or just towing real heavy, but the 6.4 can handle close to max payload (without towing) with the 3.73 rear just as smooth as silk.
This is not an opinion so much as an empirically verified fact. It's happening every time we drive this truck and it pleases us enormously.


As for anyone who says they're experiencing annoying transmission hunting when running with just ordinary payloads, or even running empty (!), I think I'd wonder about the sensitivity of their driving skills before I'd start blaming the rear end ratio.
Excellent, and a very logical point, 9thousand.

Now that I think about it, I also see some posters on this forum and other forums that complain about the mpg of the newer engines. Then come to find out that they drive 75 mph most of the time on the highway, and/or mash their foot with great regularity on the accelerator pedal.

Most likely you have a very solid point about driving styles being the main contributor. I know that both my wife and I have very subtle gas pedal feet.(Despite my comment about wanting to see if it will smoke the tires....lol). I drive like an old fart most of the time.....have been like that for a long time, and driving my old V10 just reinforced that, as I would get the best mpg out of it by babying the gas pedal and keeping it below 60 mph on the 2 lane 'highways' we have around here. Plus, the old V10s were notorious for eating up transmissions back then, so we always babied that, too, by always taking it out of overdrive when hauling, as well as when doing steep grades empty, just to keep the tranny from working too hard. When hauling, my wife babied the heck out of that truck and its transmission. So, we have both learned well from our old truck, and our soft truck driving habits are pretty much ingrained after all these years of driving big gas gulpers.

I imagine the rock solid shifting that both my wife and I are experiencing is probably more due to our driving styles, rather than transmission, rear end ratio, and the shift points. I also imagine that the 16.5 mpg avg the lie-o-meter is currently reporting also has something to do with our grandpa and granny style of driving.

(disclaimer: yes, there were times when I got on the V10 when passing, as well as there being some occasions when I am sure I will get on the 6.4L to experience the wonderful power of it.....but that is not my usual and/or predominant driving style)


It will be interesting to see what our truck transmission 'learns' from our old fart style of driving and how much the mpg improves as the engine breaks in over time. ;)
 

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[/QUOTE]Hand calculated gas mileage is around 16 miles to a gallon. Cant wait to get some more miles on it, and start doing some hauling and towing. A 33 foot 5ver is on list of wants. I dont think the truck will have any issues if it keeps running the way it is right now.[/QUOTE]

16 MPG in a 3500 with a 6.4??? Sheesh, I don't get that anytime in my 3.92/5.7 1500 except on the highway.
 

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Our 3500 with the 6.4 was getting exactly 15.5 mpg (hand calculated) on local driving (no freeway) right from brand new. That went up to 15.8 after 1000 miles. (the fuel "meter" read uniformly 1 mpg high, give or take, so it was showing 16.5 or so, and even showed 17 a couple of times)
With an Arctic Fox in-bed camper and all our gear, including the dog, supplies, mountain bikes and people, the payload is around 3800# or so.
Under those conditions average mileage for mixed driving over a 3500 mile trip last month was 11.4 (actual calculated) and 12.5 (displayed)



As a point of reference, we have a 1st generation Tundra SR5 with the 4.7 V8, which we love and has been a bulletproof truck forever and still runs great.


Running empty the Tundra gets around 16mpg (just fractionally better than the RAM when empty - really it's about the same for all practical purposes), and running with our old (now sold) in-bed camper and all the gear (maybe 2000# payload or so) it would get just about exactly 10 mpg (which is slightly worse that the RAM with our current camper, but with at least 1500# less payload and nowhere near as much power or room in the cab).


And for yet another point of reference, I used to have a 1991 Toyota pickup with the 3.0L V6 and auto transmission, and that POS, running empty, would get almost the same damn mileage (nearly 17mpg) as our current RAM, and you could have picked up that old Toyota '91, put it in the damn bed of the RAM, and driven it around like nothing was even there almost.


The improvements in internal combustion engine efficiency over the last 30 years or so have been remarkable, all things considered.
So, no complaints here.
 

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I have the 3.73 rear and have not experienced any hunting at all, either laden or unladen up and down mountains here in Colorado, or on our recent 3500 mile road trip laden with a total payload somewhere around 3500-3700#.


I also read that some folks were having that problem with the stock rear end, but I have not. In the real early going, like the first 200 miles or so, there were a few occasions where it kicked down a gear when I wasn't expecting it at all, and it surprised me. I backed off on the gas a tiny bit (like maybe 1/8" of pedal) and it immediately shifted back up smoothly and held the original gear just fine. I drive everything with a really light touch on the pedals unless emergencies require something more assertive, and I'm constantly feeling and listening for feedback from whatever vehicle I'm driving.

I don't play music hardly ever or have the radio on, or do the "books on tape" thing that a lot of folks I know like. I just prefer listening to the driving sounds - the engine, the tires, the wind, all of it.

I know, it's weird, but I've always loved driving without distractions.



This RAM has noticeably adjusted to my driving style over the first 500 miles or so, as is common now with modern vehicles. They "learn".


On mountain roads I can make it shift down with only the tiniest pedal movement to increase throttle, or prevent a shift down by backing off an equally tiny bit if I'm willing to sacrifice maybe just a touch of speed for an uphill section.
At this point, creeping toward 10,000 miles on the truck now, it almost never shifts up or down anything but smoothly and just about exactly where I expect it to every time, and with a delightful consistency. It's never "confused" at all.



I have a neighbor who complains about "hunting" issues with his Ford 1 ton truck. In his case, having ridden with him on a number of occasions, the problem is not the truck but the insensitive way he drives the darn thing. Basically he hops in and mashes on the gas pedal until he reaches the speed he wants, then continues mashing on it without any subtlety or finesse at all in a never-ending attempt to maintain a particular speed with zero allowances for the grades or payloads or much of anything. If it kicks down a gear to try keeping up with his demands for a certain speed, he'll back off on the gas a tiny bit, unconsciously I often think, in reaction to that, so it will shift back up again, so he'll give it a bit more gas and thus creates a kind of feedback loop he seems completely unaware that he's contributing to.

As for anyone who says they're experiencing annoying transmission hunting when running with just ordinary payloads, or even running empty (!), I think I'd wonder about the sensitivity of their driving skills before I'd start blaming the rear end ratio.

I agree with you, I don't have a lot of experience with the HDs, but some complain about the 3.21 rear in the 1500s hunting. Like you I usually just listen to that beautiful Hemi burble and over the past 77,000 miles or so have gained a good feel for throttle inputs and shift points in relation to speed. I can also tell what gear I am in by looking at my speed and tachometer-IDK if they added a gear indicator to the newer trucks but the 8 speed has a lot of gears and unless you engage ERS and it shows you your top gear it doesn't display what gear you're in.


Obviously heavier loads require more power, and with a naturally aspirated gas engine that means more RPMs. Towing 2+ tons (nothing to you guys) from coastal NC to central MO last month I locked out 8th gear until I hit the mountains (being from the Rockies you'd probably consider them hills) where I also locked out 7th. The truck was able to pull all but a handful of grades in 6th gear (which is the direct drive-7 and 8 are overdrives) and went hours without changing gears. Some people don't like seeing their truck at higher RPMs for extended periods (usually diesel people and those new to trucks), but these Hemi engines were designed for heavy duty truck use and have tough cast iron blocks like the 6.0L Vortec and 6.2L Boss V8s that Chevy and Ford use as the gas powertrains in their HD trucks.



Excellent, and a very logical point, 9thousand.

Now that I think about it, I also see some posters on this forum and other forums that complain about the mpg of the newer engines. Then come to find out that they drive 75 mph most of the time on the highway, and/or mash their foot with great regularity on the accelerator pedal.

Most likely you have a very solid point about driving styles being the main contributor. I know that both my wife and I have very subtle gas pedal feet.(Despite my comment about wanting to see if it will smoke the tires....lol). I drive like an old fart most of the time.....have been like that for a long time, and driving my old V10 just reinforced that, as I would get the best mpg out of it by babying the gas pedal and keeping it below 60 mph on the 2 lane 'highways' we have around here. Plus, the old V10s were notorious for eating up transmissions back then, so we always babied that, too, by always taking it out of overdrive when hauling, as well as when doing steep grades empty, just to keep the tranny from working too hard. When hauling, my wife babied the heck out of that truck and its transmission. So, we have both learned well from our old truck, and our soft truck driving habits are pretty much ingrained after all these years of driving big gas gulpers.

I imagine the rock solid shifting that both my wife and I are experiencing is probably more due to our driving styles, rather than transmission, rear end ratio, and the shift points. I also imagine that the 16.5 mpg avg the lie-o-meter is currently reporting also has something to do with our grandpa and granny style of driving.

You're exactly right, I babied my truck when I first got it and was able to milk 23 MPG out of it by keeping it at 65 on a 500 mile trip with no stops (probably a tailwind also). Once you get above 70 then the lack of aerodynamics really starts to hurt you. I'm less patient than I was 5 years ago and live along I-44 now, where the speed limit is 70 but everyone goes 80 or 85. I filled up after a trip to Springfield and back and got 15.4 unloaded on the highway, the last time I got that bad of mileage I had been towing. But its because I was going around 85 the whole way and above 85 cylinder deactivation is disabled. That speed also puts the Hemi at a high enough engine speed to pull most grades in 8th (0.67:1) without downshifting.


The RE transmissions like your V10 has got a bit of an undeserved bad reputation. Essentially they were just a 727 loadflite with a tailshaft containing an overdrive added onto the back. Nobody in their right mind will tell you that a 727 is weak or a bad transmission-they're a staple in drag racing for a reason. Due to the way it was designed though, the overdrive was the weak point, which is why the manual said to lock out the overdrive when towing. I've never done a band adjustment on one, but one of my maintenance Marines who was a big Cummins fan said that a lot of guys either didn't do them at all or didn't do them properly; and then the third thing was that they specified ATF+4 which was a new fluid at the time. The manual said you could use Dexron in a pinch if you needed to, but only in case of emergency and to do a flush and fill with ATF+4 at the soonest opportunity. A lot of people didn't use the correct fluid.


I am sure that there were as many or more people who didn't read the manual back then as there are today, but the reality is that the REs weren't any worse than a 4R100 or 5R110W.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I can attest to driving style contributing to gas mileage and gear hunting. I really havent got on the truck and I try to maintain a sensible constant speed on the highway. When I was first in the market for a new truck and heard (read) about all the complaining about gas mileage I have to say I was a little concerned. Then when I found out they gas mileage they were complaining about was about the same as I was getting in my 2005 Ram 1500, I thought to myself, why are they complaining? My 2005 Ram had the 5.7 liter Hemi (nonMDS) and 3.92 gears. I must admit my foot was a little heavier driving my 2005 than it is with my new truck.
 

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If you look back 20 years ago the best mileage people were getting with 318s and 360s was like 16 on the highway. Nowadays that's a bad day and we have much more power
 

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The RE transmissions like your V10 has got a bit of an undeserved bad reputation. Essentially they were just a 727 loadflite with a tailshaft containing an overdrive added onto the back. Nobody in their right mind will tell you that a 727 is weak or a bad transmission-they're a staple in drag racing for a reason. Due to the way it was designed though, the overdrive was the weak point, which is why the manual said to lock out the overdrive when towing. I've never done a band adjustment on one, but one of my maintenance Marines who was a big Cummins fan said that a lot of guys either didn't do them at all or didn't do them properly; and then the third thing was that they specified ATF+4 which was a new fluid at the time. The manual said you could use Dexron in a pinch if you needed to, but only in case of emergency and to do a flush and fill with ATF+4 at the soonest opportunity. A lot of people didn't use the correct fluid.


I am sure that there were as many or more people who didn't read the manual back then as there are today, but the reality is that the REs weren't any worse than a 4R100 or 5R110W.
Main reason we babied the transmission on our V10 was that it blew up on us at around 10k, before we had bought the camper or towed much of anything with it. Service dept. at the dealership said it looked like the tranny was trying to eat itself up from the inside out. And we hadn't done anything with it that would have put undo stress on it.

Fortunately, it was, of course, covered by the warranty and the dealership rebuilt it for us at no charge. Only after that happened is when I started to read about tranny issues with the V10.

We have never had any problems with it since then, but we have babied it, and I have had the tranny fluid/filter replaced at consistent intervals. I have even been really anal about it between fluid/filter changes, and have checked the fluid for discoloration, burnt smell, and/or grit in it after every time we have pulled a load with it. It has been a champ since the 10k blowup, but, needless to say, I have been a tad paranoid and anal with it since then. Especially since we never got any sort of extended warranty on that truck. ;)
 
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