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 12-22-2002, 12:19 Post: 46442
BillMullens

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 Bought a new Ram

I took the plunge after my '94 Dakota started showing its age, cosmetically. Still mechanically very good. I looked at Chevys, too, but they were considerably more expensive, though they had better engine specs. Plus I have a prejudice for Dodges; this is my 6th Chrysler product.

Anyway, 2003 2wd Ram short bed, regular cab, 4.7 V-8 with 5-speed transmission, SLT package with Sport appearance group, and the 20" (!) wheel and tire package; 3.91 rear gears with limited slip.

I had to tow my TC29 with backhoe attached the other day; the Ram is definitely geared too tall with the big tires for towing that much (about 4000 lbs). Those tires are 31-1/2" tall! But it should handle the Farmall A (1600 lbs) fine for towing to the tractor pulls this summer.

Otherwise, it is really sweet. Brakes are excellent. Despite its size, it handles well; and it is quiet and very comfortable inside. Acceleration is adequate; the 4.7 sounds good and is really smooth. I had gotten used to my 318 Dakota with 3.55 rear, 5-sp, performance computer, headers and performance exhaust. The Ram has slighly less HP and 1000 pounds more weight, so I expected less acceleration. The 5.7 Hemi (~340 HP) is to be availabe in the 1500 Rams soon, but I couldn't wait; plus I don't know what transmission Dodge will pair it with, and how much $ they'll want for it. Speculation is that the Hemi will only be available in 4wd, at least for a time.

I just hope it is as durable and dependable as my Dakota was.

Bill






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 12-22-2002, 16:54 Post: 46461
DRankin



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 Bought a new Ram

I would bet that your trailer and tractor weights combined are nudging 6000 pounds. That is pretty close to max for many 1/2 ton trucks.

Might want to check the Dodge towing specs for that model.

Your tires are tall but not much more than usual. My Tundra has 265-16's that are 30 inches and my old truck, a Tacoma had tires about the same height. My experience with Toyota's has been that they really don't loosen up and run good until they get about 20K on the clock. Don't know if Dodge would do the same, but you may get a little more umph after it breaks in some more.






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 12-22-2002, 20:31 Post: 46470
BillMullens

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 Bought a new Ram

Mark,

I noticed that my Dakota took quite a while to loosen up, too. But I'd forgotten about that. Well, to be fair, since the Ram only has about 1000 miles on it, I didn't really put the hammer down when towing with it. It was a "family emergency" that required my backhoe, so I went. Instead of letting it pull hard, I just geared down and went slower. I would have much preferred to get a few thousand miles on it before towing.

Maybe the engine will liven up a bit in a few months, and later I'll add a K&N air filter that may help a wee bit. Still, I'm far from disappointed.

Bill






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 12-23-2002, 11:26 Post: 46491
cutter



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 Bought a new Ram

Bill,

I hashed over the new HEMI and new body style before I bought my 2002 3/4 ton last February. With the rebates running at $2300.00 and good financing, plus the fact that I was able to trade my 2000 Toyota for just the difference in original sticker prices (moving up two years besides) I went for the old body style. The newly designed 3/4's weren't out until this fall but the sticker is around 2k more for about the same truck as mine. I read an independent test for towing and the 2003 3/4T Dodge was given the thumbs up for the best available truck for the job. I used to tow my 1977 25' Wellcraft Nova (twin v-8 Mer-cruiser out-drives) with my 3/4T 360 V-8 Dodge and had no problem whatsoever. That boat went around 8000 pounds with the trailer and 100 gallons of gas. I had 3.55 gearing I believe. It was not going to set a land speed record in acceleration but certainly was adequate to do the job. I think you will find the new truck will do what you want and probably get better gas mileage besides. Good luck.






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 12-23-2002, 13:26 Post: 46492
BillMullens

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 Bought a new Ram

I hope that my next truck will be a 3/4 ton. At some point, I hope to get both a Farmall Super C and my Farmall A going to the pulls. I'll have to have a bigger truck and trailer to do it. And a bigger garage to put it in.

I mean over the next 10 years.

In the meanti....oops- I hear my wife coming. Got to go.

Bill






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 12-23-2002, 21:08 Post: 46502
David Carpenter



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 Bought a new Ram

When you buy the 3/4 ton go for the Cummins. I have a 2001 Dodge Ram 2500 Crewcab shortbed. I have about 56,000 miles now and have added an Edge EZ chip to the truck. Now in daily driving, mixture of stop and go and freeway, I average between 17-19 MPG. When pulling my TC29 w/5'Bushhog and 7308 loader on a 20' gooseneck I average about 14-16 MPG. The truck pulls that combo without very easily. I doubt that any truck with any gas engine could duplicate that.






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 12-23-2002, 21:10 Post: 46503
David Carpenter



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 Bought a new Ram

That should have said pulls that stepup very easy, without any strain at all.






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 12-23-2002, 21:50 Post: 46504
DK35vince



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 Bought a new Ram

David,
My gas motor may come close!
1991 Ford F-250 HD,460 CI gas,160,000 miles.
10 MPG empty.
5 MPG with 10,000 LB trailer (loaded).
Well on second thought maybe your right.(Hee,Hee)






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 12-24-2002, 10:07 Post: 46525
cutter



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 Bought a new Ram

You are going to be pulling two tractors so a diesel makes sense. Unless you run plenty of miles, haul heavy loads or keep the truck for an extended period, I am not sure the diesel would pay for itself in fuel economy alone. That new HEMI is quite the power plant and achieves better gas mileage than the 360 it replaces. A mechanic at my selling dealer serviced the first one they received and said the power is awesome. I would certainly consider buying the Cummins if I had plenty of money to throw at the purchase when the time came though. So many choices, so many toys, just not enough time or $$$$ to get to them all!






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 12-24-2002, 14:16 Post: 46533
BillMullens

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 Bought a new Ram

I'd like to have a diesel, or at least investigate it more, but have 2 problems with it immediately. First, it is a $6000 option on the Dodges; next, my garage is directly under my bedroom. It is not uncommon for me to get up and go to work before my wife does, I think the racket from starting it up would be pretty bad. A quibble, yes, but part of life. I think for my relatively light towing needs, the Hemi 5.7 would be keen.

Bill






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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Dodge Pickup Trucks Forum

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