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Frequently Asked Questions from the DiRT mailing list

 

0 Introduction and Table of Contents

This is the list of FAQs from the DiRT mailing list, originally created by Hank Janssen hjanssen@eskimo.com), but now now maintained by:
     Rod Snaith (snaith.farms@sk.sympatico.ca)
     Andi Vogt (azure@aros.net)
     Dave Fritz (my email address)
     with contributions from many other people (see the credits section).

The DiRT FAQ is being reworked as I (Dave F) get time;  Tom Massoll has volunteered to spearhead a major revision of the FAQ.

The contents of this document are based on the contributors' opinions; neither the contributors nor the FAQ maintainer accept any responsibility or liability for any damages brought about by the information contained herein.

This document may be freely distributed and reproduced as long as it remains wholly unaltered and includes this notice. If you do redistribute this document, especially on a commercial basis, please contact Dave Fritz or Andi Vogt before doing so.

If you have suggestions for improvements to this document, or if you fail to understand any part of it, please feel free to send a note to the FAQ maintainer or to the author of the relevant section. The initials of the author(s) of each section can be found in brackets following each question. This document is intended for those people interested in or driving a Dodge RAM truck. Such as (but not limited to) the 1500, 2500 and 3500 series.

0.1 Who am I.

Dave Fritz  my email address  is maintaining this FAQ until Tom Massoll gets the files and begins updating the page. In 1993, Dave ordered 94 Dodge 2500 diesel, which has now been heavily modified for extensive off road camping. In Feb 2000, Dave's wife Sue decided that she wanted a diesel truck of her own, and she ordered a 2001 QC/SB 2500 diesel 4X4 with the 6 speed. Dave's enthusiasm for the Ram led to the creation of DodgeRam.org, which currently hosts this page until revisions are complete.


  Changes to the FAQ:
  Table of Contents

  0 Introduction and Table of Contents.
      0.1 Who am I.

  1 Definitions
      1.1 What do all of those acronyms mean (4x2, 4x4)?

  2 Finding out about the Dodge Ram truck.
      2.1 Phone numbers.
      2.2 What is a 1500.
          2.2.1 General
          2.2.2 What are the engines available.
          2.2.3 What are the dimensions/Performance Data.
      2.3 What is a 2500.
          2.3.1 General
          2.3.2 What are the engines available.
          2.3.3 What are the dimensions/Performance Data.
      2.4 What is a 3500.
          2.4.1 General
          2.4.2 What are the engines available.
          2.4.3 What are the dimensions/Performance Data.
      2.5 What mileage have people been getting.

   3 Maintenance
      3.1 What kinds of oil are people using.
      3.2 What kinds of oil filters are people using.

   4 Performance upgrades and guidelines
      4.1 What can I do to make my truck go faster.
          4.1.1 Biggest performance bang for the $$
      4.2 What are kind of tires will/are the best for my truck.
          4.2.1 Tire Pressures.
          4.2.2 What are the biggest tires that fit on a 1500.
          4.2.3 What are the biggest tires that fit on a 2500.
          4.2.4 What are the biggest tires that fit on a 3500.
      4.3 What is an Borla Exhaust. (+ installation)
      4.4 Shocks.
      4.5 Gear Ratios.
      4.6 Axle Info.
      4.7 US Gear Overdrive/Underdrive.
      4.8 K&N Airfilters and FIPK.

   5 Customizations.
      5.1 Bed-liners.
      5.2 Running boards.
      5.3 Brush Guards.
      5.4 Side Bars.
      5.5 Aero Tanks.
      5.6 Lights.
      5.7 Better brake pads.

   6 The Cummins diesel engine
      6.1 Oil pressure delay.
      6.2 What kinds of oil are people using for the Cummins Diesel.
      6.3 Biggest performance bang for the $$ for diesels.
      6.4 What is this ISB engine I keep hearing about.

   7 What about more 4x4 info.
      7.1 What's that lever for?
      7.2 Where are my hubs?
      7.3 Stock, shmock, I want to lift it!
          7.3.1 Available lift kits
      7.4 If its four wheel drive, why am I stuck?
          7.4.1 Brief description of traction aiding devices
          7.4.2 List of factory available LSD's
          7.4.3 List of aftermarket LSD's/lockers
          7.4.4 Why you can't use an LSD in a front CAD system
      7.5 Help, I'm stuck!
          7.5.1 Description of factory tow hooks, installation
          7.5.2 Aftermarket winch bumpers
      7.6 How to tow a 4x4

   8 Various helpful sites.

  9 Credits.


1 Definitions

1.1 What do all of those acronyms mean (4x2, 4x4, etc.)?

      

This is a list of common abbreviations used in this FAQ. More Ram abbreviations are available from DodgeRam.org > Glossary
    2WD     

2 Wheel Drive.

    4WD

4 Wheel Drive.

    CC

Chrysler Corporation.

    FIPK

Fuel Injection Performance Kit.

    OBD II

2nd generation On Board Diagnostics (Federally required computer system to check engine problems that could lead to any increase in emissions)

    ISB

Interact System B (refers to Cummins B-series diesel with new Interact System computer controls)

    TST

company that makes Cummins uprate kits http://www.tstproducts.com/

    TSB

Technical Service Bulletin (repair issued by manufacturer in response to common problems amongst a similar group of vehicles)

     

You can find a list of TSBs at http://www.alldata.com/
Complete copies of Dodge Ram TSBs are posted at Dodgeram.org > TSB

2. Finding out about the Dodge Ram truck.

2.1 Phone Numbers

     (the following numbers are only valid in the US)
        1-800-992-1997  Chrysler Customer Service
        1-800-255-9877  Auto-mobility Headquarters (info about reimbursements
                        for aftermarket adaptation of new vehicles for people
                        with disabilities)
        1-800-253-0823  order a catalog of replicas of Chrysler vehicles
        1-800-4-A-DODGE get a Dodge catalog or other product info
    	1-812-342-6741  TST line. HP upgrade kit company for the Cummins.

     (the following number is valid if you're not in the US)
        810-978-6428    Chrysler International

2.2 What is a 1500.

   This section describes the various 1500 models available.
   These are based on the 1997 model year.
2.2.1 General
     The 1500 Series truck come in several (base) options.
	      Dodge Ram 1500 WS 2WD Regular Cab Short bed.
	      Dodge Ram 1500 WS 2WD Regular Cab Long bed.
	      Dodge Ram 1500 LT 2WD Regular Cab Short bed.
	      Dodge Ram 1500 LT 2WD Regular Cab Long bed.
	      Dodge Ram 1500 LT 4WD Regular Cab Short bed.
	      Dodge Ram 1500 LT 4WD Regular Cab Long bed.
	      Dodge Ram 1500 ST 2WD Club Cab Short bed.
	      Dodge Ram 1500 ST 2WD Club Cab Long bed.
 	      Dodge Ram 1500 ST 4WD Club Cab Short bed.
	      Dodge Ram 1500 ST 4WD Club Cab Long bed.

2.2.2 What are the engines available.

    V6 Only. (3.9L) (V6 is only option)
	      Dodge Ram 1500 WS 2WD Regular Cab Short bed.
	      Dodge Ram 1500 WS 2WD Regular Cab Long bed.

     V6/V8/V8. (3.9L/5.2L/5.9L)
	      Dodge Ram 1500 LT 2WD Regular Cab Short bed    
	      Dodge Ram 1500 LT 2WD Regular Cab Long bed.
	      Dodge Ram 1500 LT 4WD Regular Cab Short bed.
	      Dodge Ram 1500 LT 4WD Regular Cab Long bed.

     V8/V8. (5.2L/5.9L)
	      Dodge Ram 1500 ST 2WD Club Cab Short bed.
	      Dodge Ram 1500 ST 2WD Club Cab Long bed.
	      Dodge Ram 1500 ST 4WD Club Cab Short bed.
	      Dodge Ram 1500 ST 4WD Club Cab Long bed.

2.2.3 What are the dimensions/Performance Data.

For an up to date list of dimensions/performance data for
stock 1500 please check	    
  http://www.edmunds.com/edweb/trucks/Dodge.Trucks.html
	      The list is so long, it would take up way to much space.!

2.3 What is a 2500.
   This section describes the various 2500 models available. These are
   based on the 1997 model year.
2.3.1 General
The 2500 Series truck come in several (base) options.
  Dodge Ram 2500 2WD Heavy Duty Regular Cab.
  Dodge Ram 2500 4WD Heavy Duty Regular Cab.
  Dodge Ram 2500 2WD Club Cab Short bed.
  Dodge Ram 2500 2WD Club Cab Long bed.
  Dodge Ram 2500 4WD Club Cab Shortbed.
  Dodge Ram 2500 4WD Club Cab Longbed.
2.3.2 What are the engines available.
  V8/V10. (5.9L/8.0L)
	      Dodge Ram 2500 2WD Club Cab Shortbed.
          Dodge Ram 2500 4WD Club Cab Shortbed.

  V8/V10/Cummins Diesel. (5.9L/8.0L/5.9L)
	      Dodge Ram 2500 2WD Heavy Duty Regular Cab.
	      Dodge Ram 2500 4WD Heavy Duty Regular Cab.
          Dodge Ram 2500 2WD Club Cab Longbed.
	      Dodge Ram 2500 4WD Club Cab Longbed.
2.3.3 What are the dimensions/Performance Data.
   For an up to date list of dimensions/performance data for
   stock 2500 please check

	      http://www.edmunds.com/edweb/trucks/Dodge.Trucks.html
	      The list is so long, it would take up way to much space.!
2.4 What is a 3500.
This section describes the various 3500 models available.  These are
based on the 1997 model year. This is pretty much the biggest one you
can get, dual wheels in the back, and really designed for heavy duty
towing.
2.4.1 General
    Dodge Ram 3500 2WD Regular Cab Duallie.
	Dodge Ram 3500 4WD Regular Cab Duallie.
	Dodge Ram 3500 2WD Club Cab Duallie.
	Dodge Ram 3500 4WD Club Cab Duallie.
2.4.2 What are the engines available.
    Dodge Ram 3500 2WD Regular Cab Duallie.
	Dodge Ram 3500 4WD Regular Cab Duallie.
	Dodge Ram 3500 2WD Club Cab Duallie.
	Dodge Ram 3500 4WD Club Cab Duallie.

2.4.3 What are the dimensions/Performance Data.
For an up to date list of dimensions/performance data for
stock 3500 please check
	      http://www.edmunds.com/edweb/trucks/Dodge.Trucks.html
	      The list is so long, it would take up way to much space.!
2.5 What mileage have people been getting.
What mileage people have been getting with their RAM's is of course
very subjective due to setup and driving conditions. But here are
some mileage numbers.


	Hank Janson:
    2500 4x4 97 Cummins Diesel. about 21 miles to the gallon, 35%
	city 65% highway at speeds of 75 miles. Only have a K&N drop in air
	filter.

	Chris bubbla@popd.ix.netcom.com
    2500 V10. 10.5 city 12 Highway.
	CC 4X4, Auto, stock tires. I have a K&N element.

	Franco C. Saiano  97 2500HD SLT 4X4 V-10/5 speed, I'm getting
	about 9-10 MPG in 2WD with no payload. 

	HRVeit@aol.com
	I get about 11.5 average with 65% city driving and 35% highway.   I
	have a '96 v10 CC 4x4 with a K&N drop in filter, dynomax dual
	exhaust cat back and a FloThru tailgate.  I believe that my setup
	gives me about 1.5 to 2.0 MPG more than if I left the truck
	entirely stock.   I use 87 octane, after much trial and error.   I
	found the 87 gives me the best performance and mileage. 

	Michael P. Lebow hdcc@anet-stl.com
	I don't get it, I am a big lead foot, and I get 11.5 city min and 15
	highway. This is corrected speed, and on a 4x4 2500 extended cab. Its
	white, maybe that helps.
	Oh, 5sp, cruise at max (87MPH) and BFG 245/75r16. Inflation
	pressure makes a difference. 80 is best but doesn't wear well. So
	50-60psi is what i run. only change was new tranny fluid and
	synthetic gear oil for diffs. Oh and a K&N.

3 Maintenance

3.1 What kinds of oil are people using.
jeberhard@edgenet.net wrote on this;
I use Mobil 1 10w-30. I may try the 0w-30 at my next oil chang
3.2 What kinds of oil filters are people using.
  jeberhard@edgenet.net wrote on this;
	I use the designated Fram Filter for the 360. I know some others are
	using the Fleetguard Microglass but you must buy those by the case.

	J. Lacey <7th_nhrc@interoz.com> wrote on this;
	Called around today, 3 different states, 7 different Cummins
	dealers - no LF3604 oil filters.  They never heard of it!  Or the
	3313 or the 3487; all fit the V10 & 318 & 360.  Whoever was told by
	Fleetguard that Cummins would have them available 'everywhere' has
	their head up their butt.  Every single dealer said they would not
	even stock them, period. Simply no call.
	Some History:  Fleetguard company makes oil filters, both the usual
	paper AND a newer type, that soon everyone will be providing, and
	they call it a Microglass filter.  This is probably the best money
	can buy.  Fleetguard's part #'s for their filters for CC V8s:
	  LF3604, 3/4" opening, 16 thread, paper, 3.7" length
	  LF3313, 3/4" opening, 16 thread; paper, 5.4" length
	* LF3487, 3/4" opening, 16 thread; Microglass, length? (one of above)*
	(the one you want; cost 

  

4 Performance upgrades and guidelines

	This section provides you with some insight as to what some people
	on the ramtruck mailing list have done to their truck to improve
	the performance and guidelines to keep in mind when you want to 
    improve the performance.
4.1 What can I do to make my truck go faster.
    Can you ever go to fast.?? Here are some things people on the list
	have done to get that extra mile. 

4.1.1 Biggest performance bang for the $$
    Here is a list that went around on the list some time ago, it shows
	what people suggest to do to increase the performance of their
	(gas) engines.


	Mike (mikes@phoenix.net) suggests;
	Optimal order for purchase:
	1: Cat-back
	2: Headers
	3: mopar chip
	4: Throttle body from magnum performance

	Christopher Siano (Chris_Siano@AutoSite.com) Suggests;
	The performance computer is the biggest bang for buck improvement
	you can make.  Just remember the minuses.  93 Octane fuel, hates
	to tow, and don't carry too much of a load.  Keep the old computer
	for those times you need to use cheap fuel, tow something, or haul
	a major load.


	Steve Belt (Stephen_D_Belt@ccm.ch.intel.com) Suggests;
	1st:  Borla Cat-back
	2nd:  TBI Pro-Street w/ Mystery Shaft
	3rd:  Borla Headers
	I haven't considered the SBEC, because I'm not too comfortable
	with the down sides.  Maybe after all of the other things are done,
    I'll look into it.  With the gear change done, it is now a possibility.
	What I will do, however, is give you feedback after each item is put 
	on the truck, as this may help you decide. 
	And then previous to the above I did:
	1st:  K&N
	2nd:  New plugs
	3rd:  Magnecor plug wires
	4th:  TransGo Shift Kit
	BTW, the TransGo is my favorite "bang-for-the-buck" item so far....

4.2 What are kind of tires will/are the best for my truck.
    This (as most things in this FAQ) is a tricky question to
	answer. Many people reported bad experiences with the stock
	Goodyear tires. Keep in mind also, the bigger/smaller the tire than
	a stock tire will throw your speedometer off, sometimes enough that
	you need a speedo gear adjustment to make your speedo sane again. :)
	Here are a few people and the tires they recommend/have on their
	own truck(s); 

	Steve Belt (Stephen_D_Belt@ccm.ch.intel.com)
	(About the stock tires.) To me, these tires seem ill-suited for
	application on a 3/4 ton truck. By the way, they were 245/75R16s.  
	I have since switched to BFG Mud/AT tires.  As far as I know, these
	tires have extremely strong side wall strength.  I have accidentally
	nailed many a curb or hard rock.  There is no sidewall bruising 
	evident after 9k miles.  The tread, while showing a bit of wear,
	also looks great.  The tires perform well on and off road.  They are
    a bit noisy, due to the tread pattern, and I probably wouldn't want
	them on a 4x2 truck.  BFG makes an All-Terrain tire that I recommend 
	to every Ram Truck owner that wants to "upgrade" from the stock 
	Goodyear rubber.

	Dennis A. Grindrod Sr (grinny@snet.net)
	Well thanks to all your input I went out and bought 4 new Dunlop 265x15
	radial rover tires and I must say they rode like a dream on a 500 mile
	trip to Pa. The difference between the stock Goodyear 245x16 and the
	Dunlop 265x16 is night & day. I put these on my RAM 2500 360ci. 5
	speed 2WD. 

4.2.1 Tire Pressures.
    Several people seem to have changed their tire pressure on their 
	trucks to counter for heavy loads and or tire wear. Here are some
	of the pressures people seem to be using (Please note that tire
	pressure is also directly related to the type(s)/truck of tire you
	have on your truck!!);

	Tim Edwards (T_Edwards@eagle2.stark.k12.oh.us) Writes;
	I have a 2500 HD Cummins with the factory 245 70R16's on it.  They
	are of course Good Year tires.  I run 55 to 60 pounds in the front
	and 45 in the rear when lite.  Just add air to give a full foot
	print on the road when you load the rear of the truck.  One note,
	at 9000 miles one of the tires grew a flat spot and caused all
	kinds of problems until it was diagnosed. When on the front end it
	made the truck drive like it needed a front end alignment.  Good
	Year is replacing the tire for $60 based on tread wear..... 

	Joe (Drdonnelly@aol.com) Writes;
	I have an 2500. With the diesel, I usually run about 54 front, 46
	rear.  My D rated 255-85-16s can go up to 60 lb for 3000 lb load.

	Bob Ballard (rballard@visuallink.com) Writes;
	(96 1500, 4x4) I have 25,000 on my wranglers RTS and they still
	look like new.  No feathering, cupping.  I do not like the tires at
	all because of their behavior in the mud, snow and so forth.  I
	usually ran with 38psi up front and 35psi rear and rotated every
	6,000 miles.

4.2.2 What are the biggest tires that fit on a 1500.
    Several people on the list indicated that the biggest tires that

	fit a _stock_ 1500 2WD (probably same for 4WD) are 265/75R16.



	Bryan Wilemski wilemski@rust.net> send me email with the following;
	In your FAQ about tires you have a statement about the  biggest tire to fit
	a RAM.  I put 285 70R 16 on my 1997 RAM 1500 4x4.  It  did rub sometimes on
	MAX wheel turns but I adjusted the MAX turn in a little and it does not rub
	anymore.  I can't fit it in my garage but it stands tall on the trails.

4.2.3 What are the biggest tires that fit on a 2500.
    rolando Gonzalez (Lando-G@msn.com) wrote on this;
	I have 33/12.5/16.5 BF Goodrich Radial TA's on my '97 2500HD
	4x4. They have rubbed only once on the front. Must of been when I
	hit that one bump. You won't be able to turn the front tires if you
	put 35's. 

4.2.4 What are the biggest tires that fit on a 3500.
TBD
4.3 What is an Borla Exhaust. (+ Installation)
    A Borla Exhaust is a Dual Exhaust. Used to provide a more "powerful"
	sound and increase performance.

	Darin L Brummett (darinb@juno.com) Writes;
	I have a Borla Cat-back exhaust and the K&N FIPK installed on my
	1500 4x4 5.9L.  The  Borla Cat-back system mates to the output of
	the stock cat (single pipe 2.75 inch, I think) and runs thru a muffler
    where it is split in to two pipes (2.25 inch, again I think) and exits
	behind the right rear tire.  They also make a version that exits
	out the rear.  The Borla has Cat-back system adds a wonderful V8
	rumble compared to the stock exhaust but isn't too loud IMHO.  My
	experience has been  added horsepower, increased MPG and increased
	drivability (especially on mountain roads and highways).  It has
	also lessened the auto transmission downshifting problem going up
	hills. 

	J Lacey <7th_nhrc@interoz.com> wrote on this;
	Borla Stainless-Steel Cat-Back, part# 14591, for 1996 V8
	Ordered from Summit Racing but they could only back-order, so
	system was drop-shipped from Borla in Calif. Their Cat-back exhaust
	is interesting, rather straight-forward to install, can be done by
	single person 1/2 day, comes with zero instructions.  Mine is
	2-pipes exit behind the R R tire and the hanger there is welded &
	pointed 90* off so you got to go to local installer with torch for
	fix when finished. 30 days after installation I crawled under and
	where it clamps before the muffler found 2 leaks; could feel them  
	with fingers when truck running.  Their clamps ain't going get it!
	And for no explainable reason the pipes they include are notched
	(3/4 in.). Back to local exhaust installer with Ming welder who
	immediately burns hole in THEIR pipe right where that useless 3/4
	in. notch is (cause it is SUPER DAMN THIN! ).  Can't be fixed -
	gotta cut it out & replace - no one in this town has stainless 
	pipe we could purchase.
	So had to use the old tried & true usual exhaust pipe, fitting in a
	piece about 20" long, BUT I'm sure there goes the *Life-Time
	Warranty*.  No more leaks!  I believe Borla actually intends us to
	clamp these systems together but they are going to leak, don't
	think we can get around that. 

	Borla Stainless-Steel Header, part# 17077 Ordered from Summit
	Racing mid-August but they could only back-order, so system was
	drop-shipped from Borla in Calif.  

	First, in September, they sent the old style, fits only the
	'94-'95, and acted so surprised when I called to say I did not have
	the emissions connection on the header they thought. It was then I
	alerted this list by posting the part# of 17077 for the 1996 V8 and
	caught lots of flak from others on same list using the same
	catalog #'s as all other agents selling Borla.  Send them back; they
	said they would have to make special for me, 2 weeks.  Sure enough,
	then came another large box - in October - contained 1995 Jeep
	header. Sent them back; they said they would have to make special for
	me, another 2 weeks.  Finally arrived in November with zero
	instructions, which the company contends is not uncommon, and they
	faxed me a drawing, saying these were for export and off-the-road
	use only. 

	You need to know this is not bolt-on system - it requires welding,
	is designed that way from Borla, yet they did not tell us that when
	the purchase order was phoned in back in August.  Passenger side
	installs easy.  Driver side MUST go on from beneath after removing
	the starter and forcing tranny return lines to the side.  Not a
	tough job.  Small connection pipes they provide are pretty much
	right on but they ask you to have your local installer weld an end
	on your cat-converter so there is going to be an added cost.
	Actually what we did, BECAUSE of experiencing leaks with clamping
	on the cat-back exhaust system was weld the whole damn
	system. Cures all leaks and I can foresee no reason I would be
	pulling the system apart as long as I own RAM.  Just tough heading
	out thru local traffic on a Saturday for the shop sounding like
	Richard Petty! Noticeable performance change?  

	Cat-back:  can not say 'yes, felt performance enhanced' but sounded
	nice & did improve mpg slightly. Headers: (remember also have
	cat-back)  Can installing these 2 items make one feel a 5000 lb
	vehicle move quicker; would I not simply be kidding myself, wanting
	to believe the $$ spend improve everything?  Could be.  But I could
	pass a lie detector test if asked, cause I believe I can actually
	tell, can feel, this RAM has gained in performance.    It feels,
	sounds, MARVELOUS!!!

	Would I do either OR both systems again?  I think so. But after
	some months of having both I am having MUCH trouble keeping the
	header bolts tight.  Have had to drill the bolts & safety wire
	them.  ALSO, the exhaust header gaskets that come with the Borla
	system are crap - I have blown out 3; that means have had to change
	THREE of them - and Borla will tell you so!  Get the FelPro #1413 as
	they are MUCH better and are holding so far.
4.4 Shocks.
    The general perception of those driving a RAM seems to be that the
	shocks that come from the factory are not the best ones by any
    stretch of the imagination. Here are a few peoples suggestions on
	changing them with something that provides a better ride.

	Many people seem to lean towards the Rancho 9000 ajustable
	shocks. But Edelbrock has been come out with a promising new 
	concept in shocks. Here are some comments from a user on the list.

	Scott Bessel (sbessel@jps.net), wrote on this;
	Since Friday I have been running a new set of Edelbrock IOS shocks,
	one word WOW!
	I have owned and used many different shocks including Koni, KYB,
	Bilstein, Rancho 5000, Rancho 9000,  Monroe and stock gas shocks.
	NONE of these can touch what the IOS shocks can do.  These shocks
	live up to their claims, they give the best of both worlds, they
	absorb the rough bumps, potholes and speed bumps without a whimper
	or jarring your teeth out. You can then lay into a turn and they
	are rock solid without ANY body roll.  They shocks are far and away
	better that ANY shock I have EVER used.  I am sure they would even
	perform better off road. 

	My "new" Indy can now take those 360 on-ramps at 70+ MPH without
	hesitation and without scaring the life out of you, and if you hit
	a rut or bump the shocks absorb it without launching the tire and
	loosing traction. 
4.5 Gear Ratios.
What are the gear ratios available on the Ram.?

	See, also 4.6 Axle Info.

4.6 Axle Info.
Chris (Chris_Siano@AutoSite.com) Provided the following info on axles;

	Dana 44-F

	=========

	Application:  1500 and 2500 4x4 Regular Cab, 1500 4x4 Club Cab (with 

	NV231HD an NV241 transfer case)



	Capacity:		3,850 lbs

	Type:			Hypoid

	Ratios avail		3.54,3.92,4.09

	Ring gear Diameter	8.50

	Pinion mount		Overhung

	Pinion shaft diameter	1.376" inner bearing

				1.35"  outer bearing

	Differential Pinions	Two

	Axle Shaft material	Low carbon Alloy

	Axle shaft diameter	1.31"  inner

	                        1.34"  outer

	axle spline pitch	1.25"

	Spring Centers		42.15"

	Universal		Single Cardian

	Turning Angle		36 Degrees

	Fluid capacity		4.8 pints

	wheel bearing		Tapered Roller

	Tie Rod type		Ball and socket

	Tie rod diameter	1.25"

	Tie rod thickness	0.156"

	Ball centers		61.16"

	housing			pressed tubes

	wall thickness		.39"



	Dana 60-F

	=========

	Application:  2500 and 3500 4x4 regular cab, 2500HD and 3500 4x4

	Club Cab (with NV241 and NV241HD transfer case)



	Capacity:		4,850 lbs

	Type:			Hypoid

	Ratios avail		3.54,4.10

	Ring gear Diameter	9.75"

	Pinion mount		Overhung

	Pinion shaft diameter	1.63" inner bearing

				1.25"  outer bearing

	Differential Pinions	Two

	Axle Shaft material	Low carbon Alloy

	Axle shaft diameter	1.31"  inner

	                        1.34"  outer

	axle spline pitch	1.5"

	Spring Centers		42.15"

	Universal		Single Cardian

	Turning Angle		36 Degrees

	Fluid capacity		7.6 pints

	wheel bearing		Tapered Roller

	Tie Rod type		Ball and socket

	Tie rod diameter	1.25"

	Tie rod thickness	0.22"

	Ball centers		60.15"

	housing			pressed tubes

	wall thickness		.50"



	Chrysler 9.25

	=============

	Application: 1500, 1500 4x4 All Engines

	

	Capacity:		3,900 lbs

	type			semi-floating

	Ratios			3.21, 3.55, 3.92

	Ring gear diameter	9.25"

	Ring gear face width	1.375"

	pinion mounting		overhung

	pinion shaft diameter	1.88" inner

				1.31" outer

	Differential pinions	two

	axle shaft material	Induction Hardened

	diameter at bearing	1.62"

	axle spline pitch	1.29"

	Spring Centers		44.50"

	Fluid capacity (2/4WD)	4.75/4.75 pints

	wheel bearings		Cylindrical Roller



	Chrysler 9.25

	=============

	Application: 2500HD, 2500HD 4x4, 2500, 2500 4x4 w/V8 Engines and auto 

	transmission  (if Sure-Grip is ordered, Dana 60 is used, except for Ram

	2500 4x4 models with 3.55 gear ratio.)



	Capacity:		5,500 lbs

	type			semi-floating

	Ratios			3.55, 3.92

	Ring gear diameter	9.25"

	Ring gear face width	1.375"

	pinion mounting		overhung

	pinion shaft diameter	1.88" inner

				1.31" outer

	Differential pinions	two

	axle shaft material	Induction Hardened

	diameter at bearing	1.70"

	axle spline pitch	1.29"

	Spring Centers		44.50"

	Fluid capacity (2/4WD)	4.75/4.75 pints

	wheel bearings		Cylindrical Roller



	Dana 60

	=======

	Application: 2500 HD, 2500 HD 4x4, 2500, 2500 4x4 Manual

	Transmission w/V8 engines.



	Capacity:		6,200 lbs

	type			Full-floating

	Ratios			3.54, 4.09

	Ring gear diameter	9.75"

	Ring gear face width	N/A

	pinion mounting		overhung

	pinion shaft diameter	1.63" inner

				1.25" outer

	Differential pinions	two

	axle shaft material	Induction Hardened

	diameter at bearing	none

	axle spline pitch	1.31"

	Spring Centers		44.50"

	Fluid capacity (2/4WD)	6.3/7.3 pints

	wheel bearings		Tapered Roller



	Dana 70

	=======

	Application: 2500 HD, 2500 HD 4x4, 8.0L V10 and Diesel w/Auto

	Transmission. 



	Capacity:		6,500 lbs

	type			Full-floating

	Ratios			3.54, 4.10

	Ring gear diameter	10.5"

	Ring gear face width	N/A

	pinion mounting		overhung

	pinion shaft diameter	1.75" inner

				1.25" outer

	Differential pinions	two

	axle shaft material	Induction Hardened

	diameter at bearing	none

	axle spline pitch	1.375"

	Spring Centers		43.26"

	Fluid capacity (2/4WD)	7.0/7.8 pints

	wheel bearings		Tapered Roller



	Dana 80

	=======

	Application: 2500 HD, 2500 HD 4x4, 8.0L V10 and diesel w/Manual 

	Transmission.



	Capacity:		7,500 lbs

	type			Full-floating

	Ratios			3.54, 4.10

	Ring gear diameter	11.0"

	Ring gear face width	N/A

	pinion mounting		overhung

	pinion shaft diameter	1.75" inner

				1.25" outer

	Differential pinions	two

	axle shaft material	Induction Hardened

	diameter at bearing	none

	axle spline pitch	1.375"

	Spring Centers		43.26"

	Fluid capacity (2/4WD)	6.8/10.1 pints

	wheel bearings		Tapered Roller





	Dana 80 Dual Rear Wheel

	=======================

	Application: 3500, 3500 4x4 All Engines.



	Capacity:		7,500 lbs

	type			Full-floating

	Ratios			3.54, 4.10

	Ring gear diameter	11.0"

	Ring gear face width	N/A

	pinion mounting		overhung

	pinion shaft diameter	1.75" inner

				1.25" outer

	Differential pinions	two

	axle shaft material	Induction Hardened

	diameter at bearing	none

	axle spline pitch	1.375"

	Spring Centers		43.26"

	Fluid capacity (2/4WD)	6.8/10.1 pints

	wheel bearings		Tapered Roller

4.7 US Gear Overdrive/Underdrive.
There seems to be a product out that can improve the mileage by

	providing you with an extra 'gear'. 



	Stan Steele (PowerMaster@dodgeram.com), wrote on this;

	This is a transmission. that bolts to your transmission. to give

	you more Overdrive or a extra gear.  It works on all trucks great

	with V10s or diesels. if you have a 4.10 it would change to 3.28 in

	Overdrive and a 3.55 would go to 2.84, you reduce your RPM by 500

	or 20%. you gain 10-15MPH at the same RPM.



	You up shift at any speed or down shift at any speed. You shift it

	with a switch on the   shifter or a floor  mounted  dimmer

	switch. You can start in HI  or direct drive it does  not

	matter. You  have to shorten  the rear  drive shaft and  lengthen  the

	front  drive shaft.  It  does move the transfer  case back but all

	the hardware comes in the  kit. Very well done and very easy for

	anyone to install. P.S. you can split shift it also like a 10speed

	1&1H  2&2H and so on.

	The Overdrive is less than 100lbs on the truck. You will need to

	have the drive shafts made at a shop.



4.8 K&N Airfilters and FIPK.
An easy and pretty cheap way to increase a little performance is to

	replace your stock air filter with an higher air flow filter. Many

	on the list (myself included) have either a drop in replacement

	filter or what is called an FIPK (both made by K&N)

	These filters work on the principle of providing the engine with

	more air and thus increasing it's mileage and horsepower. Although

	these improvements have not been seen by all (I noticed maybe a

	mile to the gallon more, and a slightly faster throttle response)



	They do offer one additional benefit, they are guaranteed for the

	life of your vehicle (or 1 million miles). So once you buy one, you

	never have to by another. You have to clean them every so many

	miles, (mine stated every 40.000 or so miles) and they are again as

	good as new.



	Several people on the list noted though that this filter might not

	be helpful in very dusty environments. The thought was that due to

	the higher airflow rates more dust might get by and foul the air

	intake. 



	Some people noticed a slight increase in sound with this filter

	installed. (A very faint high pitch whine from the air filter intake)

	I have not heard this myself, but my ram is a turbo diesel that

	whines by itself. :)	



	An K&N Airfilter is just that, a drop in replacement filter for

	your stock airbox.



	(From the http://www.performanceintl.com  home page)

	Each FIPK has a specially designed filter with special woven cotton

	fabric sandwiched between 2 layers of wire mesh screen. The screen and

	fabric combination creates a grid-like effect which actually

	straightens out the incoming air as it passes through the

	filter. In addition to the filter, this kit has a uniquely designed

	adapter with a built-in velocity stack. This velocity stack is

	beneficial in further smoothing out the incoming air flow and

	allowing for a less restrictive entry into the engine. Air moving

	in a straight direction moves faster than tumbling air thus

	creating an increase in air flow much like a ram air 

	effect



	I paid about 49,50 for my drop in replacement. And you can expect

	to pay around 100,- for the FIPK. 



5 Customizations.

Stock the RAM line looks impressive, with some help and care they

	can look spectacular. Here are some helpful hints on how to add

	modify or maybe even remove from your ram.



5.1 Bedliners.
Joe (joeandnancy@geocities.com), has the following to say about

	rhino liners and drop-in liners;



	RHINO PROS:				RHINO CONS:

	- non-skid				- not removable

	- last forever				- More expensive than drop ins.

	- Any color				- Can create extra hassle if 

						  truck in accident.  (list

						  members have said that some 

						  body shops will not take

						  a vehicle with spray-on) 

	- quiet					- If dents occur, you see them.

	- no unusable bed space			- Need to be concerned

						  about the installer.

	- over or under rail (actually 

	  whatever you want)

	- protects bed from minor dents

	- can be sprayed around bed 

	  accessories (5th wheel hitch)



	DROP-IN PROS:				DROP-IN CONS:

	- Removable				- rubs paint off bed from 

						  shifting motion

	- protects bed from minor dents		- minimal amount of unused 

						  bed space

	- over and under rail			- can get hacked

	- Removable, you have the option	- can rattle

	  to return your truck to "stock".	- 

	- Easily replaced if truck in accident.

	- Less expensive than spray-on.

	- Hides dents that do occur.

	- Non-skid surface available.

	- Lasts forever (life-time warranty on 

	  Duraliner).

	- Installs easily.



	J Lacey <7th_nhrc@interoz.com> wrote on this;

	RHINO LINING

	From my place in the Pan handle of FL, Montgomery, AL is the

	closest Rhino dealer.  Drive up for my 9am appointment.  These guys

	clean & wash the bed, rough it up with grinder/sander, clean again 

	with acetone, then apply the goo (after the sanding I sort of liked

	the white swirl-look in the bed; too bad we couldn't have left it

	at that!) 3 coats bed & sides, come back and add 2 more to bed (5

	ttl). Dries within minutes of spraying and I was headed home by

	2:30PM.  TIP: Watch the guys with the knife - they cut the excess

	off.  Be sure they do not get into your truck itself with knife.  



5.2 Running Boards.
Jay Eberhard (jeberhard@edgenet.net) wrote on this;

	I have the Mopar running boards. They are covered with black

	plastic and come are available for the cab and the bed. I only have

	the cab portions on my truck (previous owner did this). I have

	thought about switching to the Mopar Nerf Bars to match my grill

	guard but thats sometime in the future if at all.



5.3 Brush Guards.
There are many flavors of brush guard available after market, here

	are some that list members have installed/like;



	Mark Brown (brownmr@co.larimer.co.us), wrote on this;	

	TJM Bull Bars, imported from Australia by Hella Inc. 800-247-5924

	they offer two applications(T1,T17) for late model Dodge Rams.

	Reunel Mfg. 800-338-2077 offers extreme duty bumpers for Rams.

	(Editors note; expensive, but the most heavy duty bumper on the

	market for a RAM today.)



	Jay Eberhard (jeberhard@edgenet.net) wrote on this;

	I have the Mopar Grill/Brush guard. They come Chrome, anodized or

	black aluminum or black steel. I have the anodized aluminum



	Andi Vogt (azure@mail.aros.net) wrote on this;

	I went with Warn's full brush guard and winch mount.  It looks

	great and supports the winch very nicely.  The only draw back is

	it's low clearance while 4x4ing.  I had to remove mine on the trail

	as my longer wheelbase added with the overhang (AKA rock magnets)

	caused me to need to take too many angular approaches.  I found the

	uninstall as easy as the install. (Unlike my tow hook install.)  I

	had to make two vertical cuts in my air dam to install the brush

	guard.  You can see my guard and one tow hook on my web page

	http://www.aros.net/~azure/ 



5.4 Side bars.
Andi Vogt (azure@mail.aros.net) wrote on this;

	I use Grizzlies on my 1500 Short box. 	I selected Grizzlies

	because they are a touch shorter than Smittybuilt and mount to the

	frame leaving only a 2" gap between them and the lower side panel

	of my Ram.  They don't cause any rubbing either with my slightly

	over sized 32x11.5 Sport Kings.  They are not as good a quality as

	Smittybuilt, ie. chipping black paint and rust, but they are made

	of the same tough high grade steel that Smitty is.  I beat the heck

	out of them in Moab, and they protected my truck stupendously.  A

	little sanding and touch up paint and they are as good as new.

	They also come with a no-skid strip which I have been thankful for

	more than once. 



5.5 Aero Tanks.
J Lacey <7th_nhrc@interoz.com> wrote on this;

	AERO EXTRA FUEL TANK

	On the RAM list, April of last year, was posted 2 companies that

	offer replacement/auxiliary fuel tanks for RAM. I called both; only

	Aero actually did.  After I received their brochure I spoke with

	Jim (engineer, owner?)  who said they had a 40 gal replacement for

	1996 ext cab swb 2x4. A second call with further questions & I

	spoke with Jacob (installer tech?) who stated no, wasn't suitable,

	was for only 4x4, and in a 3rd call Jim this time confirmed

	wouldn't fit. Said every time they looked under CC trucks, they'd

	changed something and he couldn't keep up.



	Same yr, 8 mos later, another call.  This time Jim says they NOW

	make one to fit my 2x4.  Ordered 12/2; cost $389 + $49 for sending

	unit + shipping to east coast; arrived 2 days before Christmas. 

	Attempted to fit up & install during Holidays and found it would fit

	close EXCEPT the 2x4 has a cross-over member/carrier for the

	extended cab drive shaft and this tank did not take that into

	account (I got under a '96 4x4 & checked). A call to Aero and was

	told they were shut down for the Holidays; could do zero for 11 days!  

	Twelve days later & Jim did not act surprised when all was

	disclosed.  I suggested taking tank to a fabrication shop, the

	offending section cut and added lower, tank would then fit and Jim

	said they would pick up the shop charges. It was done.



	One half day of installation and it's aboard! But even if tank

	needed no alteration, it would not have fit as they say.  We needed

	1"+ to 2" spacers on all corners AND sending unit they provided

	could not be used nor was needed.  When we called to be sure, they

	said it wouldn't work without it but we found the original Dodge

	unit WOULD fit and work PERFECT and the gauge shows accurate gallons.



	On an incognito call to them this date, 3/12/97, I found they do

	not yet differentiate between the 2x4 and 4x4 - one tank fits ALL.

	They have yet to admit there is a problem so they're gonna sell you

	tank for your RAM and fit be damn.  I personally think the tank in

	question would have fit a 4x4 pretty good (maybe have to use some

	spacers) but at least would go on without adjustments.  But I have

	yet to see evidence or testimony from Aero that they make a tank,

	to replace your OEM one, for the RAM 2x4.  And IF they are going to

	owe you $$, thats another complete story!



	There it is - hauls 40+ gals and when yanking that gas guzzling

	5th-wheel, I go a hell of a lot further. 



5.6 Lights.
Quite frequently the question comes up about increasing the 

	brightness/color of the ram headlights. Several people have made 

	suggestions. As with everything, check with your local authorities

	for the legalities of the headlight modifications.



	http://www.accessconnect.com/ Seems to carry the bluish tinted

	headlights some people have seen. They seem to come in several 

	different wattages. Also

	http://member.aol.com/eurolights/home.html Seems to be a source for them.



5.7 Better brake pads.
The Rams are heavey trucks, and sometimes take some effort to stop.

	Several people have been advocating better brake pads, they are

	made by Performance Friction and are called Carbon Metallic.

	Any self respecting car parts dealer should be able to get them

	without much problems. Check when buying, but the part number for

	for the 2500 4x4 and diesel& V10 is #04594.

	



6 The Cummins diesel engine

The 2500 and 3500 series are available with an optional 5.9 L

	inline 6 cylinder Cummins diesel engine. This is a completely

	different beast than any of the gas engines, and as such has an

	chapter devoted to it.



6.1 Oil pressure delay.
Various owners have reported seeing the following; When starting

	the engine it seems to take the oil light a few seconds to go off, 

	and the oil pressure a few seconds to start registering the

	operating pressure.



	Keith Gardner (keg@bright.net), wrote on this;

	Mine has done that since new. It happens because all of the oil

	finds its way to the pan (a thin coating remains, but not

	much). The oil pump just needs a little time to pump oil out of the

	pan and into the motor. 

        I think the owner's manual states that you should have pressure

	within 10 seconds of startup (it may be 5, I'm not real sure).



6.2 What kinds of oil are people using for the Cummins Diesel.
The Cummins diesel engines takes special "heavy duty" oil, not the

	regular motor oil usually used in gasoline engines. The engine oil

	must be rated "API CG-4/SH"



	david_thom@pop.mindlink.net wrote;

	Try Chevron Delo 400 SAE14W-40 or Castrol RX Super SAE 15w-40. Both

	of these have labels stating that the product meets or exceeds

	Cummins performance specifications.



	Joe (Drdonnelly@aol.com), wrote about this;

	I use Castrol 15-40RX Super.  Both I and my engine machinist like

	the stable base stock (compared to Pennzoil, etc).  I get about 5

	or so more pounds of oil pressure with this oil than with the stuff

	the truck came with (Cummins or Dodge oil).

	Other guys swear by Shell Rotella T, Chevron Delo 400, etc.  I see

	Texaco and Pennzoil have oil meeting the specs of 15-40, CG-4, and

	SH.  S additives are for spark ignition, but some say they are

	needed with diesels that have roller lifters or have HEUI injectors

	like the PowerStroke.  C additives are for compression

	ignition--diesels.  B engines use solid lifters and conventional

	injectors (Bosch).  Caterpillar developed HEUI jointly with Navistar.

	Dodge recognizes only 4 oil filters for warranty.  Any other, and

	you are taking your $8000 engine in hand, so to speak.  These 4 are

	really the same as far as I can tell, the part numbers being Mopar,

	Case, Cummins, and Fleetguard.  The last is LF3349 and costs me a

	couple $ less each than the Mopar #.  Case and Cummins designed and

	built the B engine as a joint venture.  The Rocky Mount NC plant

	says something like Consolidated Engines, I am told.  Fleetguard is a

	Cummins subsidiary.  They make a "Microglass" filter that is really

	good according to many, but Cummins says it is not really needed

	with the duty cycle and change intervals specified by Dodge.  I

	stick with a 2500-3000 mile change interval, and the LF3349 filter for

	"without question" warranty. 



	Mike Leckey, Jr (rml@phxase.allied.com) wrote on this;

	I have used Shell Rotella T 15w40 for 7 years.  First in my 1990

	Cummins, and now in my 1996 CC Cummins.



	Editor writes;

	I myself use Chevron Delo 400 15W40.



6.3 Biggest performance bang for the $$ for diesels.
The Cummins diesel on the Ram is incredibly powerful. More

	powerful than even the 2500 or 3500 can handle. Here are some

	hints to what you can do to get more performance from the Cummins.



	Lance Kirk (wolfrider@gorge.net) Suggests;

	Without any thought, the biggest "bang to the buck" (IMHO) is to

	purchase one of the power increase kits that are advertised in the

	Register.  The one I've dealt with is from TST Products out of Indiana.

	This is a small "family type" business where the owner use to work

	for Cummins but now just sells power mods. for the engine.  



	He sells three kits, all of which cost $349 (this includes postage). 

	The kits will take your stock 215 HP / 440 LB Torque engine and allow

	you to increase to: 

		     #1-  230 HP / 605 LB Torque  or

	             #2-  260 HP / 685 LB Torque  or

	             #3-  ??? HP / 770 LB Torque  (Sorry don't recall the HP on

			  this one, but it was like around 290)



	(#3 and possibly #2 were NOT recommended for automatics)



	Each of these kits comes with a video tape and detailed instructions

	showing you how to install the kit.  Plus you can call him and ask any

	questions about the product or if you need help doing the install.



	Sounds great right.  So why doesn't everyone do it?  Well there are a

	few problems.  The biggest is that you will without any thought kiss

	your warranty good-bye.  The second is that the truck (transmission,

	driveline) is not designed for this extra increase in torque and if

	one is not careful you can and will start overloading and busting

	things. (Although the guy who sales this product said they haven't

	had many problems with this as long as you don't do stupid things

	like popping the clutch.)



	I have purchased the 685 LB Torque kit but have not yet installed it

	because I'm currently arguing with the dealer over some other warranty

	work.  So I don't want to modify the engine until all of this other

	work is done under warranty and see that it was done right.  So it

	will be awhile yet.  Someone else on the list, Jeff Hammer, if I

	got his name right, has installed the 605 Torque kit and apparently

	loves it.  (I would ask him for further.)



	For what it is worth, the guy didn't push or suggest the 770 Torque

	option unless you are looking at making some other modifications as

	well because it is so powerful.



6.4 What is this ISB engine I keep hearing about.
Starting with the 98 model year Cummins is introducing a new diesel

	engine that is replacing the one that they have been putting in the

	Ram. This is the new ISB engine, it's main reason for existing

	seems to be to meet the new emissions regulations.



7 What about more 4x4 info.

This section hopefully provides the reader with some more

	background on 4x4 operation. A lot of the info provided in this 

	section came from Scott Nixon (nixon@sicom.com), Thanks very much

	for the additions Scott.!



7.1 What's that lever for?
Ram trucks equipped with 4WD have a full time chain

	driven transfer case (NVG231HD in 1500's, NVG241 or NVG241HD

	in 2500's and 3500's) that should only be engaged on low

	traction surfaces.  Usage on pavement can cause damage due

	to driveline binding; usage on rain slicked pavement is open

	to debate.  Some insist it is still a bad idea; personally

	I am willing to trade extra tire and driveline wear for the

	safety and stability 4WD adds.  A good indication is if

	the rear wheels slip under moderate throttle input (pedal

	to the metal neutral drops DON'T count :), you're probably

	safe slipping it into four wheel drive.

 

	        All available transfer cases are shift on the fly

	for 4Hi and can be engaged by pulling the shift lever

	towards you.  The drivers manual recommends this only be

	done below 55MPH.  If done while parked, it may take a

	little movement for the system to engage (see below).

 

	        Engagement for 4Lo provides an extra 2.72 gear

	reduction for use in deep snow, loose sand, and whenever

	high torque/low speed operation is desired.  For automatics,

	come to a near stop (1-3MPG), put the transmission in

	neutral, slide the transfer case into 4Lo, and then put

	the transmission back in gear.  Shifting back into 4Hi

	is done by reversing the above procedure.  Going all

	the way to 2Hi may be easier.

 

7.2 Where are my hubs?
All new Rams use a Central Axle Disconnect (CAD)

	system to disconnect the front driveline when in 2WD,

	instead of the more traditional hubs.  The system consists

	of a dog clutch that slides over to connect the two halves

	of the passenger side front axle when engaged.  Some

	wheel movement may be required to get both halves to align.

 

	        Owners who purchase a 4WD truck for winter use

	only should keep in mind that the vacuum diaphragm that

	engages the dog clutch needs to used every month or so

	to keep it pliable.  This also allows the transfer case

	to be lubricated.  In other words, if you have 4WD, find a

	nice dirt road and use it!!



7.3 Stock, shmock, I want to lift it!
7.3.1 Available lift kits
Here is a list of some of the Lift kits that people on the list

	seem to use when they want to rise above the crowds.

	TBD

 

7.4 If its four wheel drive, why am I stuck?
Andi Vogt (azure@mail.aros.net) wrote on this;

	IMHO, engaging four wheel drive is like driving a different

	vehicle.  There are new rules and governing factors that need to be

	heeded.  In snow and ice, A 4x4 can help you to maintain traction,

	but as with any vehicle, excessive speed, inattention, and bad luck

	can send you careening out of control.  After all, ice is ice and

	no vehicle is ever fully control-able, whether front wheel drive,

	rear wheel drive or 4 wheel drive. 



	People get stuck using 4 lo all the time.  Factors such as tire tread,

	gearing, soil type, and overzealousness influence your Ram's

	ability to successfully maneuver many road conditions.  If you are

	in a mud bog you need to handle your Ram differently than on

	slick rock.  Even 4 wheelers with decades of experience get in over

	their heads. 



	Four wheel drive is a very useful tool, but a tool none-the-less.

	It takes training and experience to learn it's quirks.  



	John Donovan (jdonovan@us.newbridge.com) wrote on this;

	The stock differential on the Rams is referred to as an "open"

	differential. The diff.. splits the torque equally between the wheels.

	So if you imagine a worst-case stuck with one rear wheel on the ground,

	and one in the air. The one in the air take very little torque to spin,

	and therefore the one on the ground also gets very little torque

	and you won't move. Engaging 4 wheel drive turns the front wheels

	in the same manner as the rear, if you get one front and one rear

	into a situation where they can spin easily, even if the other 2

	wheels can get a grip you will still be stuck. See the section on

	"traction aiding devices" for more info on what you can do to help

	get more traction 



7.4.1 Brief description of traction aiding devices
For people who spend a lot of time off road open differentials are

	unacceptable. However, as with most things in life, gaining more

	offload traction involves tradeoffs in cost or on-road

	performance. What all traction adding devices do is limit the split of

	power between the pair of wheels on an axle. This allows more power

	to go to the wheel that grips, but can cause increased tire wear

	and handling problems.



7.4.2 List of factory available LSD's
John Donovan (jdonovan@us.newbridge.com) wrote on this;

	The factory LSD is the Dana trac-loc which uses clutch packs to

	bias the torque split between the wheels. As factory systems go,

	this is one of the better ones out there and for people who only

	occasionally go off highway it really is a good choice. If you are

	doing a factory order, its only a $250 option, and after the fact

	it will cost 2-3 times as much.



7.4.3 List of aftermarket LSD's/lockers
John Donovan (jdonovan@us.newbridge.com) wrote on this;

	From the after market there are several types of LSD/Lockers. The

	easiest to install is the lockright, and fairly inexpensive at $350 of

	lest for most diffs.. The install can be done by the "shade tree"

	mechanic in a few hours and does not require resetting the ring &

	pinion gear. The lockright allows a wheel to go faster than the

	drive shaft is turning it, but not slower, and provides a 50/50

	power split. The problem is on street handling is effected. The

	truck will tend to chirp tires in turns, and will also tend to go

	straight rather than turn. In low traction rain/snow if you do spin

	the wheels the truck will tend to fish tail because both rear wheels

	are spinning. 



	The second option is a gear driven LSD, the most common being an

	Auburn. Unlike the factory clutch pack system there is nothing to

	wear out, and it generally gives a better torque split between the

	slipping and gripping wheel. The cost is similar to the lockrights,

	but a professional install is STRONGLY recommended because of the

	need to reset the ring & pinion. Installation will run $100-$300

	depending on the installers ability to get the ring & pinion set up

	correctly without too many retries.



	The third kind is a hybrid open/locked diff. called an ARB air locker.

	Under normal operation the diff.. operates as an open, but when air

	pressure (from a compressor) is applied and the diff. behaves like a

	fully locked differential, like the Detroit locker (see

	below). They are expensive at $500, plus $200 for a compressor,

	plus $100-$300 to install... the general rule of thumb is a

	complete ARB system is $1000ish



	The fourth kind of locker is the "true" locker, and is also sometimes

	referred to as a Detroit or Posi, after Detroit's posi-traction rear

	that first showed up in some of the muscle cars of the 60's. When 

	torque is put on the drive shaft, the diff. locks the right and

	left wheels together so they MUST turn at the same speed. This is

	very problematic in turns when the wheels are driveling different

	diameter circles to go around the curve. Also as you change

	throttle position you can cause the diff. to lock and unlock which

	results in under/over steer conditions. Also because of the locking

	nature of the diff. tire wear is greatly accelerated. The cost is

	in the $400 range, plus install. 



	I've driven trucks with lockrights, track-locs, and Detroit's and there

	is a big difference between them. The Detroit is hard to beat off road,

	but is hard to live with on road. The lockright is nearly as good

	offroad and is more live able on road, but is not as strong... 

	something to consider if you have a V10 or Cummins up front. The

	LSD is almost unnoticeable on road, and does help with

	traction. Sure its not as good as the other kinds of lockers, but

	its MUCH nicer on highway. 



7.4.4 Why you can't use an LSD in a front CAD system
TBD



7.5 Help, I'm stuck!
And there you are with your big 4x4, stuck! So what can you do to

	get out equipment wise.?

 

7.5.1 Description of factory tow hooks, installation
Andi Vogt (azure@mail.aros.net) wrote on this;

	Oh boy!!!  I installed my Mopar tow hooks a few months ago and what

	a devil it was!  My brush guard was already installed and used the

	same frame mounts that the hooks needed to use.



	If I were to do it again, I would remove my airdam, remove my brush

	guard, mount the hooks to the lower holes in the brush guard,

	hacksaw off the bolts extra length, and reinstall the brush guard.

	Then I would cut out the slots on the airdam for the hooks and

	reinstall.  Had I done this originally, I would have had less

	stress.  I didn't do this however, because my brush guard and winch

	are just a bit to heavy for me to remove by myself.  Next time I

	would hire a few muscles to help me. 



7.5.2 Aftermarket winch bumpers
Bill A (walleg01@snet.net) wrote on this;

	AWDirect (800-243-3194 for catalog) has a winch kit designed

	especially for the Dodge Ram using the stock bumper. Includes

	Ramsey Pro 9000 winch, cable and a roller fairhead, all mounting

	hardware. $1169.00 They also have a wrap-around push bumper (the

	type used on wreckers) specifically designed for the Ram. $529.00,

	$629.00 for turbo applications.



7.6 How to tow a 4x4
Towing a 4x4 is somewhat differently than towing a 4x2. Here are

	some guidelines and instructions on how to tow a 4x4. 

	TBD



8 Various helpful sites.

Here is a list of various http/ftp sites that might be helpful in

	finding out more information about all aspects of the Dodge truck line.



	http://www.rwilson.com		Dodge Ram HQ!! Maintained by 

					Ron Wilson. Home of the ramtruck

					mailing list.!!!

	http://www.edmunds.com		General car information, good ram

					info here to.

	http://www.autosite.com		Helpful auto/truck related site



	Ramtrucks Who is who web page:

	http://www.infopage.com/rtml.

	This web page is maintained by a member ((joeandnancy@geocities.com))

	of the ramtruck mail list. Send adds/changes/deletes to

	(joeandnancy@geocities.com) 



	FAQ for Chrysler:

	http://z.simplenet.com/cc/wholefaq.txt



9 Credits.

This FAQ would not be possible without the help of many people,

	here is a list of those people who have provided great input to

	this FAQ one way or another.

	

	(HRVeit@aol.com)
	Andi Vogt (azure@mail.aros.net)
	Bill A (walleg01@snet.net)
	Chris (bubbla@popd.ix.netcom.com)
	Chris Siano (Chris_Siano@AutoSite.com)
	Darin L Brummett (darinb@juno.com)
	Dennis A. Grindrod Sr (grinny@snet.net)
	J Lacey (7th_nhrc@interoz.com)
	Jay Eberhard (jeberhard@edgenet.net)
	Joe Donnelly (Drdonnelly@aol.com)
	Joe (joeandnancy@geocities.com)
	John Donovan (jdonovan@us.newbridge.com)
	Keith Gardner (keg@bright.net)
	Lance Kirk (wolfrider@gorge.net)
	Mark Brown (brownmr@co.larimer.co.us)
	Michael P. Lebow (hdcc@anet-stl.com)
	Mike (mikes@phoenix.net)
	Rolando Gonzalez (Lando-G@msn.com)
	Scott Nixon (nixon@sicom.com)
	Stan Steele (PowerMaster@dodgeram.com)
	Steve Belt (Stephen_D_Belt@ccm.ch.intel.com)
	Tim Edwards (T_Edwards@eagle2.stark.k12.oh.us)
	david_thom@pop.mindlink.net
	Bryan Wilemski (wilemski@rust.net)


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