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captkidd
06-13-2011, 11:58 PM
I'm seriously considering buying a newer Dodge Ram 2500 pickup (probably somewhere between a 2004-2007 model), with the Cummins diesel engine. Do any of you have experience with these? I had a 1998 model, and I really liked it, but I know there have been a lot of changes to the engines since then. I have a few questions:

- is the newer 6.7L engine an improvement over the very good 5.9L version? Is it less fuel efficient and/or less dependable? Any issues to be aware of?

- I know the 6.7L requires the Ultra Low Sulfur diesel fuel. I also know that some of the current diesels require some sort of special additive to burn off residue in the exhaust? Any idea if all the 6.7Ls require this?

- Is the electronic 4-wheel drive activator (knob on the dash) dependable?

- Any other issues (transmission, brakes, etc.) to be aware of, and are there any year models to avoid?

Thanks for any advice you can offer.

soacj
06-14-2011, 08:32 AM
I've got an early '07 2500 with the 5.9/6 speed manual combination and it's been a great truck. Literally the only problem in almost 90K miles was a weeping waterpump taken care of under warranty at 70k.

I've got no direct experience with the 6.7L motor but it does not use the urea injection system like the current Ford and GM offerings.

At least up to '07 the Dodges were available with a traditional floor mounted transfer case shifter, which mine has. No switches to worry about there.

Ultra low sulfur Diesel is the only type sold for road usage now. The trucks built prior to the '07 calendar year will run on either Low sulfur or Ultra low. Trucks built after that point require Ultra low.

As for transmissions, there are plenty of reported issues with the transmissions used behind the 5.9 motors. That's why you get a truck with a manual trans and never look back!

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k278/soacj/truck01.jpg

Jay

skierdan
06-14-2011, 09:25 AM
I have the 2008 dodge diesel, 6.7 engine. never had a problem, The fuel mileage is ok but i would not call it great. about 900km to a tank ( 130 liters) ( dont known how many miles that is) I feel it is a great engine with an average body wrapped around it. My 4 wheel drive switch works great and I have driven through some hairy ****. no transmission issues yet
just my 2C

DemolitionMan
06-14-2011, 09:39 AM
If you can't Dodge IT Ram IT!!!!:D

pmkkdx
06-14-2011, 10:42 AM
Of the 3rd gen Dodge Cummins (’03-’09), I would avoid the '03 and first half '04 models as those had many injector issues. In the second half of '04, they came with better injectors which resolved the issue (also referred to as the HO). The only real difference in the 2004.5 thru first half 2007 were cosmetic, new headlights and newer updates on interior. I believe in '06, they moved from 4 spd to 6 spd in the auto transmission? I have heard of no issues on the stock trannys without monster chips/programmers installed, then mostly shelling out stock torque convertors.

The 2007.5 moved to the 6.7L due to the low sulfur EPA requirements. The 2007.5 & 2008 weren't getting very good mileage (13-14) stock. A lot of people did the DPF delete (getting rid of the soot box in the exhaust) and also doing the EGR delete. H&S makes a programmer that once those two things are deleted, it will get rid of the check engine light in the dash (CEL comes on when DPF & EGR deleted). Once the deletes were done and a tuner put on, mileage jumped back up to 18-20 mpg hwy. The tuner & deletes are around $1K.

The auto transmissions are not bad and much better than the 1st & 2nd gen autos. They hold up well to putting a small tuner/programmer/chip for additional horsepower, but if pushing it on up and/or super hard towing with higher hp, it's best to put a better torque convertor as a minimum and billet input & output shafts as well. Likewise, the 6 spd manual is pretty bullet proof and I don’t believe they have the rear jam nut backing off issue that the 5 spd manual had (at least I haven’t had to fix one of those yet pushing 130K miles)

I have not heard any issues with the dash 4x4 shifter switch, but I prefer the floor mechanical shifter personally. The dash shifter allows more foot room if you have someone sitting middle of front seat though. My wife is past that stage though… :o

I have personally owned 8 Dodge Cummins since 1991 and have not had any issues with drive train with normal wear over miles, each with over 200K miles upon trading up for newer features. I currently have 3 in my immediate family’s possession going strong and will likely upgrade my main tow vehicle (’02 2500 quad cab 4x4 long bed w/193k miles) to a 4th gen similar set up when I get a few other toys paid off.

soacj
06-14-2011, 11:59 AM
Not motor problem related, but I neglected to mention I did have to install new balljoints and axle u-joints last fall (at about 80k miles). Would have liked to have seen more miles before needing those replaced but it was a good excuse to buy the Chrysler specific balljoint tool set and spend ~8 hours in the garage!

Jay

Thrall
06-15-2011, 03:24 AM
Have one of the last 5.9's, 07 with a 6 speed. Only 85k mi on it, but it's been a good truck so far. Has nickeled and dimed me a bit, but not too major. It (and alot of others) cracked the #4 injector line, $50 fix. Steering box went out and replaced the pump as well becsue the pump was only $50. $600 at the shop, but only $200+ in parts. It's a known problem and steering box braces are supposed to get more life out of the OE boxes. It's also about due for ball joints which isn't good life out of a pavement queen.
Otherwise the truck runs STRONG with a BD box.
I would not opt for a auto in the 5.9's. The 4 speed auto is ok for stock power + a little, but don't like the gear splits.
OE clutch in the G56 trans doesn't hold up to extra power either,I put a Southbend clutch i it.
4wd knob works fine so far as does he rest of the truck.
The 6.7's are the only diesel of the big3 that don't require DEF (urea for exhaust cleaning) and you can get them with the 6speed auto, nice trans, alot like a Allison. And OEM turbo brake (jake brake). I know several people with 08, 09 and '10 models that have had no trouble, but you can't mod the engines as cheaply or easily.