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RAM 2500/3500 with a Cummins

SanDiegoCJ

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Filer, Id.
Okay, we're seriously considering selling the motorhome (because we hardly use it) and downsizing to a RAM 2500/3500 with a slide in camper. The motorhome is costing us $12K/year in payments/reg/insurance and we don't think it's worth that. I had a 2003 Dodge RAM 3500 DRW and liked it, but I don't have any experience with the newer RAMs with the 6.7L Cummins. Looking at 2010-2015. I know the earlier auto trans were crap, but what about the newer auto trans ? How many miles are the 6.7L's good for ?
 

Curbkrawler

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I've had two 4th gen 3500s. 14 SRW CC 3500 with 6.5 box and currently have a 16 DRW CC 3500 with 8' box. Both with the Aisin trans. Only issue I had with the 14 was an ammonia sensor that was covered under warranty. No issues thus far with the 16. We opted for the self leveling air suspension on our current one and really like it. The ride is noticeably better compared to the 14. We have a 4kish lb truck camper and i don't have to fool with airing up manual bags. My only complaint with it is you cannot dump the bags (alternate ride height button) unless it has a load. IE: i can't lower the rear to back under my gooseneck or camper with the truck empty. Only other complaint is the truck's fan. I had a recall on the water pump and they must have changed the fan clutch because the fan runs constantly now. Nothing major, just noisy. I pulled my goose with truck camper and jeep to CO with the 14 and I don't remember the fan coming on until we hit NM.
 

Action Fab

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In for the same info. I'm considering a 6.7 truck with the idea that if I hate the chassis, I can use it as a donor for a Fummins swap in my 06 F350.

What's a 230k mile 2012'ish 6.7/auto/4x4 like to own?
 

Johnny Longrifle

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I've got a '17 3500 with the 6.7 and 68RFE trans. Its a solid meh. The engine would be fine by itself, but its saddled with so much emissions BS that there is alot of power being left behind. I loaded a 4kish camper, a tandem axle trailer and my Jeep and went to KOH this spring. It averaged 9mpg on fuel, but it took 10 gallons of DEF to get there and back. 2000 miles round trip. I have toyed with the idea of deleting it, but Im not sure if I am going to keep the truck or not.

The truck itself handles the weight just fine, and the brakes are good. The 68RFE 4X4 trucks are rated to 30K lbs. The Aisin trans 4X4 trucks are rated to 33K.

ETA: I dont like the way the trans shifts. It unlocks the converter between each gear, and you get a "flare" every time it shifts. Thats the way its designed to work, its just annoying to me. Not sure if the Aisin does that or not.
 
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Poriggity

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Are you set on another Dodge? I have heard the 6.7 is plenty reliable, however I've driven both the Ford Superdury with the 6.7 and the Ram with the 6.7 and I actually really preferred how the Ford drove and rode over the newer Ram. That being said, I still own my 2004 and probably will until the wheels fall off of it.. :laughing:
 

Ghetto Fab.

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I have a 14 ram 2500 now and I love it so far. My only big concern is emission shit failing in the future, but for now its great. Hauls the toys and family no problem.

If I were looking for one I'd avoid the earlier 10-13 6.7 trucks and stick with the 14 and up. The later trucks use more DEF, but do less regens, get better mileage, and have more power. The later radius arm fronts drive better than the earlier 5link BS on the older trucks. I like the way the rear coil link suspension rides on the 2500 empty, but I would avoid it if you get a big camper and just go to a 3500 with the leaf rear. I'm becoming less of a fan of the coil link rear on the 2500, at least with the way that fiat designed it.

I agree that the 68rfe does seem to shift oddly at times. The aisin trans is good, but the one I have experience with seems clunky and harsh at times.

Kevin
 

TRINDU

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I've had two 4th gen 3500s. 14 SRW CC 3500 with 6.5 box and currently have a 16 DRW CC 3500 with 8' box. Both with the Aisin trans. Only issue I had with the 14 was an ammonia sensor that was covered under warranty.

the ammonia sensor was fun back in late '16. The fix was actually an all new SCR. When it went you had 100 miles to get somewhere before limp mode and you were fucked. It was a 6-7 week back order for one, to say people yelled at me was an understatement.

With an 84 month note, that shouldnt be a hard task to accomplish. I'd buy a 6.4 hemi instead though. I've known quite a few diehard diesel guys who have made the switch.
 

DRTDEVL

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IOnly other complaint is the truck's fan. I had a recall on the water pump and they must have changed the fan clutch because the fan runs constantly now. Nothing major, just noisy. I pulled my goose with truck camper and jeep to CO with the 14 and I don't remember the fan coming on until we hit NM.

Check your trans temp. There is a thermostatic bypass on the cooling lines that likes to get stuck... closed. This bypasses the trans cooler. The effect is the PCM sees the elevated trans temp and activates the fan.

Had a 5500 at an old job with this problem. Fan ran dang near all the time. First for warm-up, then after about 5-10 minutes of driving it would come back on and stay on. Checking the trans temp showed it around 210-230 dang near constantly. Changing the thermostatic bypass coupler fixed the temp and fan problem. They make an aftermarket kit for it now that bolts in and removes the bypass function so the trans fluid always passes through the cooler. If I owned the truck, that's what I would have done.
 

DRTDEVL

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I'd buy a 6.4 hemi instead though. I've known quite a few diehard diesel guys who have made the switch.

When I was towing, I hooked quite a few 4500 and 5500 Ram 6.4s for a local fleet. They all seemed to be on a rotation back to the dealer for a fuel issue. They would shut off after a second or two of starting.

All of them.

Back to the dealer every few months.

They were all 2015-2018 models (I forget the year) with under 35,000 miles on them. They *were* bucket trucks, so they would have had quite a bit of idle time on top of that.

Any idea what this problem was, and was it ever resolved?
 

Curbkrawler

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Check your trans temp. There is a thermostatic bypass on the cooling lines that likes to get stuck... closed. This bypasses the trans cooler. The effect is the PCM sees the elevated trans temp and activates the fan.

Had a 5500 at an old job with this problem. Fan ran dang near all the time. First for warm-up, then after about 5-10 minutes of driving it would come back on and stay on. Checking the trans temp showed it around 210-230 dang near constantly. Changing the thermostatic bypass coupler fixed the temp and fan problem. They make an aftermarket kit for it now that bolts in and removes the bypass function so the trans fluid always passes through the cooler. If I owned the truck, that's what I would have done.

Very good to know. How did you verify the actual temp? Gauge?
 

TRINDU

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When I was towing, I hooked quite a few 4500 and 5500 Ram 6.4s for a local fleet. They all seemed to be on a rotation back to the dealer for a fuel issue. They would shut off after a second or two of starting.

All of them.

Back to the dealer every few months.

They were all 2015-2018 models (I forget the year) with under 35,000 miles on them. They *were* bucket trucks, so they would have had quite a bit of idle time on top of that.

Any idea what this problem was, and was it ever resolved?

RAM/FCA were riddled with body/alphabet module issues. When I worked for a FCA stealership, I swear 90% of the sales were trucks and they were always outfitted with different beds, bumpers, etc at a place just down the street. They were always back with issues afterwards. Like the radio not working, ac controls out, just electrical gremlins from other folks fucking around with them. Being bucket trucks I guessing they tapped into the wrong wire or did some welding to make the issue so consistent.
 

Curbkrawler

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Dash message center. Scroll through the different options, and you can find the trans temp gauge in there.

Oh ok. I wasn't sure if you physically measured it to compare against the message center. Thanks for the info. Will be checking this soon.
 

inthefield

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I had a 17 2500 @ 40K miles the 68RFE would take a full minute to start moving in the mornings (acted as though the torque converter was draining down and loosing prime) 2 dealers said this was normal. It was the tradesman "poverty package" and the dash rattled bad.

If I was going to be looking, especially for a truck to use the slide in with, I'd be looking for a 2013-2018 3500 with an Aisin, and one of the higher end trim packages.

FWIW I'm way happier with the 2019 6.7 powerstroke I'm in now, hands down better at everything except fuel mileage.
 
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welndmn

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Damn, I would have bought your super C a few months ago too.
Why diesel? If you're still going to put 5k a year on it, I'd just get a gas motor.
Then again, I still drive a 2005 dodge cummins because the new diesels are too complicated.
 

Curbkrawler

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the ammonia sensor was fun back in late '16. The fix was actually an all new SCR. When it went you had 100 miles to get somewhere before limp mode and you were fucked. It was a 6-7 week back order for one, to say people yelled at me was an understatement.

With an 84 month note, that shouldnt be a hard task to accomplish. I'd buy a 6.4 hemi instead though. I've known quite a few diehard diesel guys who have made the switch.

Dealership tried to tell me it was bad DEF... This happened to me in 14 so fortunately there was no wait to get it fixed.

In all honesty, if I had to do it over again, i probably would spring for the 6.4 Hemi. I love the Cummins but I don't tow heavy enough loads except once or twice a year to need it. Everything else is just local towing/hauling. I don't know if I have ever run a full tank out of the truck when it wasn't hooked to a trailer or have my camper in the back to even know what the fuel mileage is empty. I average 9-12 mpg towing/hauling.
 
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Why diesel? If you're still going to put 5k a year on it, I'd just get a gas motor.
Then again, I still drive a 2005 dodge cummins because the new diesels are too complicated.

100% this, unless i was towing a heavy load 5 days a week in the mountains id be buying a gas truck, fuck the new diesel BS.
 

DirtRoads

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In all honesty, if I had to do it over again, i probably would spring for the 6.4 Hemi.

I have a 2016 power wagon, 6.4 gas. Love it, plenty of power. Tows my boat or 20' car hauler however fast I want to go. 13-14 empty on the highway, 8-10 depending on what I'm towing. 37's and 4.10 gears. I would definitely buy another one.

For an occasional tow rig and slide in camper hauler, sheeyut. No question about it.
 
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