|Ram/Cummins Oil Change FAQ
oil filters should I use on my engine?
- These part numbers keep changing. Cummins filter numbers are available HERE.
Cummins filters can be purchased at the parts counter of any Cummins repair
center. Fleetguard filters are available from Cummins, some NAPA parts stores,
many ag suppliers, and many truck stops.
- See the Specs section for
your engine recommendation
Q: Which oil
should I use?
- For most conditions use a high quality 15W-40 oil with a dual rating of
CF4/SH (or better)
- For continuous operation below 10 degrees F, use 10W-30 CF4/SG (or
- Synthetic or synthetic blends perform better in the cold, but check
Q: Why multigrade?
- Reduced deposit formation
- Improved cranking in low ambient temperatures
- Shortens time-to-block pressure in low ambient temperatures
- Improved lubrication during high temperature operation
- SG or better rating required for lubrication of sliding tappets
Q: Which brand
of oil are people using?
- People on RTML, DiRT, and the Cummins list have reported using:
- Shell Rotella T XLA 15W40 - my favorite
- Cummins (Valvoline) Premium Blue 15W-40 - Cummins' favorite
- Chevron Delo 400 15w-40 - numerous people like Delo
- Castrol 15-40RX Super - Joe D's favorite
- Shell Rotella SB is a relatively new synthetic blend in 10W-30 and 15W-40
- Some use Cummins Premium Blue 2000 15W-40 - Walt K's favorite
Q: How often should
the oil and filter be changed?
Opinions vary, but I use 3500-4500 miles which is usually 125 hours between
94-98 12 Valve models - Chryslers recommendation is:
- "normal service" 6,000 miles (10,000 km) or
250 hours, whichever is first
- "Severe service" 5,000 miles (8,000 km)
or 200 hours, whichever is first
98-01 24 Valve models - Chryslers recommendation is:
- "normal service" 7,500 miles (12,000 km) or
6 months, whichever is first
- "Severe service" 3,750 miles (6,000 km)
What is severe service?
- Service manual says:
- Frequent short driving less than 5 miles (8 km)
- Frequent driving in dusty conditions
- frequent trailer towing or operating under a heavy load
- extensive idling
- more than 50% of your driving is at sustained high speeds during hot
weather, above 90° F (32° C)
- add to that extensive 4X4 operation or city driving
Q: What is the
oil capacity of my truck? (includes 1 qt for
- 1989 - 1993: 12 quarts
- 1994: 10 Quarts with the original dipstick (should be replaced)
- 11 quarts with new dipstick - Cummins p/n 3928740, Dodge
- 11 quarts by remarking original dipstick "full" to 1 3/16"
above add mark.
- 1995 - 1998: 11 quarts
- 1998+ ISB: 11 quarts
- NOTE: there are ISB's with the wrong dipstick. See TSB
Q: What is the
correct torque for the oil drain plug?
- The B and ISB used in 94+ Dodge trucks call
for 44 ft-lbs of torque on the oil drain
- Other B and ISB engines and 89-93 Dodge trucks call for 60 ft-lbs of torque
on the oil drain plug.
This difference exists because the
non-Dodge engines use a "bolt" style plug were you put a socket over
the plug, but the engines in Dodges use a "hex" style plug where you
put the hex into the plug to turn it. (Note: it is actually
a square drive on the Ram - Dave) --Josh B.
Q: What are the
part numbers for a replacement oil plug and washer?
- 94-98 Rams: Plug = Cummins 3924147,
Washer = Cummins 3920773
- From Joe Donnelly: in US dimensions: the oil pan drain plug
has 0.865" diameter threads, 8 threads per 0.460", and a reduced
diameter shoulder of 0.786" that the washer fits into. The washer
has 1.385"OD and seems to be made of plastic or resin impregnated fiber.
Q: Should the
oil filter be pre-filled to reduce the time the engine runs with no oil pressure
after an oil change?
- With the 12 valve engines, Cummins recommends that you pre-fill the oil
filter with new oil and before starting the engine, disconnect the wire harness
going to the fuel shutdown solenoid and crank until you get oil pressure (but
not over 30 seconds, then give a 2 minute rest to cool the starter).
Then reconnect the harness and start the engine.
- 24 valve engines - ?
do I change my oil and filter?
Q: The oil filter
will not come off the engine. How do I remove it?
- The filter installed at the factory is almost always overtorqued. A strap
wrench or Vise Grip filter pliers will remove the filter. See Murdock's
oil change page for tips about the proper use of the strap wrench.
Q: After an oil
change, I get a horible, heavy oil smell. What is the problem?
- From TSB 09-02-00:
The odor condition is the result of certain diesel engine oil additives. These
oil additives are blended with the base oil during the manufacture of the
engine oil. Some diesel engine oils with the American Petroleum Institute
quality rating of CH-4 or CH-4+ may be more prone to exhibiting the odor condition.
The odor appears to reduce in intensity as the engine oil ages, usually after
the first 300 to 500 miles following the oil change.
Last Update: November 1, 2001