3rd Gen Engine and Drivetrain -> 2003-2007 5.9 liter Engine and drivetrain discussion only. PLEASE, NO HIGH PERFORMANCE DISCUSSION!

See a new to me Dodge in the future, what to look for?

Old 12-31-2009, 09:58 AM
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See a new to me Dodge in the future, what to look for?

Well wifey's 2001 Ram 3500 is becoming a real pain. I'm looking at the 4th swap of the NV4500 due to rear seal failure and 3rd gear synchro issues.

We're anticipating a newer '03-'07 Ram 2500/3500 quad cab with 4X4 and an auto trans, as an arm injury has pretty well excluded anymore manual trannys.

We want to stay with the 5.9 engine and the electric transfer case. Not looking for anything more than a stock set-up to pull the horse trailer. When going to look at these, what should I look for and or stay away from?

-Joe
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Old 12-31-2009, 02:32 PM
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Lets see...things I would avoid when looking for a new truck...
stacks, big lift, big tires, bad tire wear, drilled holes where things like programers, temp probes, and gauges could be mounted, leaky axles, bald or uneven wear on tires.
I know these are all obvious and I dont mean to be a smart ****, but I am very skeptical about used trucks. Especially the newer trucks that can have 150hp added to them w/ just a programmer. A lot of damage can be done to the turbo, engine and tranny by downloading a hot program and towing heavy.

With that said, if you can find a nice used STOCK 03-07 you should be very happy. I loved my 04.5. It was quiet in the cab, drove quiet on the highway, towed very nice, and had plenty of power w/out a programmer. I wish you luck in your search, maybe try to find a private seller, that way you might have a better idea on whether or not the truck has been hot rodded.
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Old 12-31-2009, 02:53 PM
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I just came to this section to ask that very same question! I'm looking at selling my 1999 24v and buying a 3rd gen in the next year. I'll be keeping myself posted on this thread.
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Old 12-31-2009, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by STate View Post
Lets see...things I would avoid when looking for a new truck...
stacks, big lift, big tires, bad tire wear, drilled holes where things like programers, temp probes, and gauges could be mounted, leaky axles, bald or uneven wear on tires.
I'm with you on all of the above. When the time comes, I'll be hunting for a stock truck that has not been hot rodded. My neighbor has lived that nightmare for me with his 3500.

From what I've been able to find so far, apparently the 2004 with the 305 HP motor was the best for economy and the 48RE transmission is better than the 47RE.

So far I've had a '95 2500 4X4 club cab and now the '01 3500 2X4. I've learned about codes in the odometer display and changed out a VP44 myself, relocated the lift pump, installed a low fuel pressure warning lamp and dealt with the crumbling dashboard. I also avoided the dreaded 53 block.

What are the biggest concerns for the common rail motors? Also, what year was the first for the electric shift transfer case in the 03-07 Ram?

-Joe
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Old 12-31-2009, 09:03 PM
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Your quest for auto eliminates most 03's since you could only get the late date made trucks with the HO 305HP and 48RE. The SO at 250HP can work fine with a smarty ($500) added but likely has the 47RE which can be OK but a bit weaker than the 48.

Just a point to say you can get an 03 with the HO engine and auto, and the better mileage (and cleaner oil) that goes with them and the early 04's.
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Old 12-31-2009, 09:06 PM
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'03s had electric shift t-cases and also had the 305 motor with auto in the later half.

Steering always seems to be an issue with these trucks, worn out boxs, ball joints etc.

Heater controls can act up so be sure to run the heater thru all of its modes with the fan on high to see if it switches from one to the other properly, also hit the recirc button and see if it switches ok.

If you have heated seats in your '01 you'll notice right away that the '03-'04 seats aren't nearly as hot.

The CR motors are pretty soild, more so than the VP44 24V. Injectors are probably the biggest issue. Feel for surging but other than that it would be hard to tell. Pull the dipstick, see if its overfull, sign of injector leaking and filling crankcase.
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Old 01-02-2010, 10:09 AM
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Rebuilding a front end is not that big a deal. I've done several in my lifetime. Good to know about the heater. On the electric transfer cases, do they have issues operating when cold? I've got a Mazda B4000 (Ranger clone) for a daily driver that does not always like to engage/disengage the front end when the temps get into the near single digits.

What is the difference fuel mileage-wise for the stock '04 vs. the stock '05-'07's? The EPA website does not list anthing over a Ram 1500. Not that this truck is going to be a daily driver, and will almost always be pulling the horse trailer, but I'd like to be able to get the most mileage for the dollar.

-Joe
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Old 01-02-2010, 11:28 AM
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The front axle is always "locked in" there is no disconnect for it so no chance of failure there. Too bad as I'd really like to have 2wd low of backing up trailers.

My '03 t-case has never hesitated to shift even in really cold temps.
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Old 01-02-2010, 01:05 PM
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If at all possible look for a manual transfer case. One less relay,servo etc. to fail. A guy with a Ford across the street had his fail on his first trip to the desert. 4WD indicator lit up but no power to the front wheels. A co-worker's Toyota failed in the desert too. Same lit up 4wd indicator.
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Old 01-02-2010, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by joeinblueout4u View Post
What is the difference fuel mileage-wise for the stock '04 vs. the stock '05-'07's? The EPA website does not list anthing over a Ram 1500. Not that this truck is going to be a daily driver, and will almost always be pulling the horse trailer, but I'd like to be able to get the most mileage for the dollar.

-Joe
03-early 04 have the 305HP/555TQ engine that gets the better mileage. 04.5 and up are 325HP/600TQ, check the engine valve cover label to confirm the 04. Depending on claims, the difference is likely 3-5mpg better.

No issues with my electric transfer case, I prefer it.
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Old 01-02-2010, 02:27 PM
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The OP has an arm injury that might make the electric shift easier.

I have not heard of any problems with the 3rd gen Dodge electric shift. Might want to do a search on the board though....
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Old 01-02-2010, 04:21 PM
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I've driven the '04 3500 in the 305 HP 2wd model occasionally over two years. It was a stock truck with the auto trans. The power was excellent for towing the horses and the economy was very good. The best I can recall was 21 mpg for the average on the tank, unloaded. The best I ever saw loaded was 17 mpg. Also, how can I identify which vehicles have the 48RE vs. the 47RE?

In a perfect world, I'm going to hold out for a clean, stock '04 with the 305 HO engine, 48RE auto trans 4X4 with electric shift transfer case, in a quad cab with the long bed. Worst case, it will end up being an '04.5-'07 with the 5.9 engine.

Personally, I'm a stick-shift guy, but my wife may end up losing her right arm in the near future. Even if she doesn't, the injury is significant enough that driving a stick is difficult, if not painful. Right now all of our vehicles are manual transmission equipped, so there's going to be an auto tranny Ram and something for daily driving with an auto tranny added to the stable.

-Joe
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Old 01-03-2010, 10:28 PM
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well, im about to buy a 2006 2500 megacab for 25000. it has 65000 miles(mostly highway), a remanufactured 48re by jasper, the paint is immaculate and the truck has been very well maintained. love at first sight/drive. i would appreciate anything yall have to say about it.
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Old 01-04-2010, 12:50 PM
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Good luck on your search. We messed up and traded for a bad one. here's my post on that. All worked out but it happened way to easy. traded while it was raining and didn't take the time I should have to check it out like I normally would. I do love my 06 megacab and use the 4x4 switch every time I come up my driveway. Pretty steep and saves on grading and tire wear. Mark

https://www.dieseltruckresource.com/...n-t259502.html
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Old 01-04-2010, 01:51 PM
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Red796, I laugh everytime I see a post or an ad about a truck that reads "Mostly Highway Miles" I simply do not believe it when someone says that and actually did not look at a few just because of that. I know I see lots of trucks driving around my town but not as many on the highway. I just can't figure out where these things are getting their highway miles from!! LOL
Your truck is pretty low mileage regardless of if it is city or highway miles...

The manual lever is pretty easy to pull back. I prefer it to the electronic one. I can understand why you guys would prefer the push button though....
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