New Features for 2000 Models

From MasterTech September 1999

Restraint System Improvements:

Changes to the restraint systems for the 2000 model year include a redesigned driver's airbag that has a solid fuel inflator. On Club Cab and Quad Cab Pickups, seat belt refractors now have self-adjusting mechanical sensors. These replace electronic control of the refractors.

Engine Changes:

Gasoline Models
The first of the changes across the board on the Dodge truck concerns the vibration dampener on 5.9-liter engines. The dampener is one piece instead of the two pieces used previously.
5.2- and 5.9-liter light-duty engines have larger exhaust pipes and mufflers, and a new catalytic converter with a shape different from converters of previous years..
Diesel Models:
For the 2000 model year, the Cummins Turbo Diesel engine gets a crankcase breather vapor canister attached to the crankcase breather tube, which reduces driveway spotting.

Drivetrain Improvements:

Underneath 2000 model year Dodge trucks, the drive yokes on 9 1/4" axles have changed to a companion flange design (Fig. 3).
All Ram Pickups with an automatic transmission will have an thermostatic bypass valve for the air-to-oil transmission oil cooler. This bypass valve regulates oil flow through the cooler according to temperature. In cold temperatures, the fluid bypasses the cooler, increasing flow to lubrication passages. Bypassing the cooler also allows the fluid to warm up quicker. In warmer temperatures, the valve routes fluid through the cooler to reduce its temperature.
There are a few things to remember when flushing this cooler. For one thing, the cooler must be removed from the vehicle for flushing. Also, the flushing procedure itself is a two-step process. The first step is with the thermostat in place to flush the bypass, and the second step is with Special Tool #8414 installed to flush the cooler.

Suspension, Steering and Braking System Changes

For the 2000 model year, Ram Pickups have undergone changes to reduce scrub radius and improve handling, particularly during braking. These changes include refinements to the suspension, steering and brake systems.

On both two- and four-wheel-drive trucks, changes to the suspension include new shock absorbers and new steering knuckles.

Four-wheel-drive trucks with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) rating over 8,500 pounds have also seen some additional refinements to the suspension to improve ride and handling. On four-wheel-drive trucks, the trackbar mounting has been modified to accommodate these changes. As part of these handling refinements, on Ram 2500 and 3500 Series four-wheel-drive vehicles, the front axle has also changed. This has resulted in some new service procedures and tools for removing and installing the axle shaft seals.

On two-wheel-drive trucks, suspension changes include new upper and lower control arms with riveted ball joints
On all Ram Pickups, changes to the steering include revised steering linkage, including lubed-for-life tie-rod ends
Brake system changes to Ram Pickup for the 2000 model year include a new compact series power brake booster and master cylinder. Both light- and heavy-duty brake systems receive new twin-piston front calipers. You will also find a new bolt-on-style front brake adapter
On heavy-duty applications, the brake rotor is now mounted - outboard of the hub for easy removal as on Ram 1500 Series pickups. Accompanying this change is a hub-unit-type front wheel bearing assembly.
2500 and 3500 four wheel drive models with a Diesel or V10 will have a 5200 pound front axle capacity. The snowplow option returns to diesel trucks.

The rear brakes have also changed for light- and heavy- duty applications for the 2000 model year. On 2500 and 3500 Series Pickups with EBC 325 four-wheel antilock brakes, the brake proportioning valve has been deleted. Brake proportioning is now handled electronically by the controller antilock brake, or GAB.

2500 Series Pickups with rear-wheel antilock brakes still use a height-sensing proportioning valve.

A new parking brake is part of the brake system refinements.

Electrical System Changes:

In the engine compartment, all Dodge trucks except those with a diesel engine, use stamped battery terminals, similar to those on other DaimierChrysier vehicles.

For the 2000 model year, the Dodge Ram has changes in the Central Timer Module functions.

The Malfunction Indicator Lamp now uses an ISO symbol. You can retrieve P-codes on all 2000 Dodge trucks by cycling the ignition key three times. As before, retrieving codes using the DRB III provides more detailed information.

The original equipment radios now have the sales code on the faceplate - right near the Pentastar logo (Fig. 5). This sales code, which helps you readily identify a radio, has also been added to original equipment radios on Jeep, vehicles.
The passenger-side airbag on/off switches have been revised (Fig. 6). You do not need to insert the key as far into the switch as previously, and the switch is designed to eject the key.
The 2000 model compass mini-trip computer provides instantaneous fuel economy. The compass should be calibrated during new-vehicle prep by the same procedure used other Chrysler vehicles. See TSB 08-28-99 for details.
The instrument cluster includes a tachometer and a low washer fluid warning lamp as standard equipment.
SLT Plus package on Quad Cab models have optional heated leather seats. These seats require a premium Central Timer Module.

Exterior Changes:
The Ram Pickup retains its distinctive styling for 2000; however, the trailer tow mirrors are new for the 2000 model year. You can position the new mirrors forward, back or in, to avoid obstacles.
A new fuel filler cap (Fig. 4) on all Dodge trucks requires only a quarter turn to fully lock.

Subject:    DiRT: 2000 Ram Changes
Date:        Tue, 27 Jul 1999 11:08:00 -0400
From:       tgbazzie
To:           DiRT

NEW for 2000 EXTERIOR:




Tim Bazzie

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