Sooooo...Never had a diesel before. - Dodge Diesel - Diesel Truck Resource Forums


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

Sooooo...Never had a diesel before.

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Old 02-02-2013, 09:49 PM   #1  
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Sooooo...Never had a diesel before.

I traded in my 07 Cobalt for a 2004(.5?) Dodge Ram 2500 Quad Cab 5.9L Cummins with 107k on it. (Moving up in the world ).

I have never owned a truck, let alone a diesel vehicle before. Apparently it was a work truck for a company, up until it was sold to the dealership, based on what I found while I was looking through all the documentation I found in the cab.

It is completely stock. Yesterday when I was driving home I stopped at autozone, I got some seafoam and a K&N drop in replacement.

I saw the threads on oils and fluids. I am a huge fan of longevity, gas mileage, and I intend to use the truck as my daily driver.

What mod's should I do and what's priority?
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:14 PM   #2  
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drive the truck as is and spend many hours on this site, researching and learning. the only thing holding you back on mods is your wallet and time
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:54 PM   #3  
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Don't put the K&N in til you read more! They might work on some vehicles but they don't have enough face area for the 5.9s. Craig
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Old 02-02-2013, 11:13 PM   #4  
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Oiled filters don't filter dust as good as they say they do. On top of that, running completely stock, your not going to gain anything worthy as far as mileage and power.

Run powerservice diesel kleen and don't get fuel from anyplace that sells it. Truck stops are one of the better places to get it. With that, replace the stock fuel filter with a Baldwin PF7977. It's a 5 micon absolute, and it's better than the stock (10 micron absolute).

Stay plum away from Fram! Wix XE or Fleetguard are far superior. Mobil/Delvac, Valvoline, or Rotella for engine oil.
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:56 AM   #5  
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What mod's should I do and what's priority?
Your biggest mod is as rjm suggested; read this site a lot.

A good start for mods would be the fuel tank vent kit if there isn't one on there as yet. Do some searching here. You can purchase a kit for $65 or so, but if you know what your doing you can find parts a lot cheaper.

Go to geno's garage and pick up a catalog. Real good people there at Geno's. Also tour the DTR Store.

Welcome to DTR, have fun.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:09 AM   #6  
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I am a huge fan of longevity, gas mileage, and I intend to use the truck as my daily driver.

What mod's should I do and what's priority?
There are very few mods on the market that will meet your goals. There are plenty on the market that say they will, though. The problem with mods for fuel mileage is that most of them don't work. And those that do work have such a long pay back that you spend more than you save. Do your home work, and don't be fooled.

The most important factor for fuel mileage is your right foot. For my truck, the magic number is about 78mph. Much over that and mileage really starts to drop. Across WY at 78mph I get about 18mpg. On the back roads at 60-65mph, I get about 21-22mpg.

You probably wasted your money on the K&N air filter. If you can return it, I would. There is not one single shred of evidence that anything other that a good paper element will improve mileage or power on a mostly stock truck.

The one thing that that has been proven to increase mileage AND performance is a computer tune. The ECU has a very conservative tune, meant to be all things to all drivers. Retuning the computer can tailor your vehicle to your driving. You can usually pick up about 2mpg. More importantly, the truck will run and drive better.

There are a lot of choices available for a computer tune. The Smarty Jr is very popular around here, and is probably one of the cheapest. That's the one I use.

I wouldn't use the Sea Foam. As I recall, Sea Foam is alcohol based. Cummins says not use that in their engines. In theory, it can damage the injectors. Here's a god study on additives: http://www.jatonkam35s.com/DeuceTech...itive_test.pdf

Do routine maintenance on schedule, use quality fluids and filters, and avoid the tricks and gimmicks.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:53 AM   #7  
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My TST got me a solid 2+ towing but I haven't put on enough empty miles to tell yet. Craig
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:19 PM   #8  
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As a newer diesel owner myself, I would say lots of good advice here. The take-home point here is do a lot of research before any mod (or even basic maintenance) goes into your truck. It's a very expensive but durable powerplant and you want to get the most out of it without doing any damage.

Tons of good info on this site for whatever you're trying to do.

For a truck that age, I would spend my money on changing out every fluid in the truck (still working on that on mine) and expect to be doing some u-joints, front-end components and just general maintenance for a bit.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:17 PM   #9  
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For a truck that age, I would spend my money on changing out every fluid in the truck (still working on that on mine) and expect to be doing some u-joints, front-end components and just general maintenance for a bit.

Agreed. If you don't have documentation (receipts/logbook) of when they were last done, change every fluid on the truck - this will give you a baseline for maintenance. Even the most expensive fluids and filters are cheaper than the parts they protect!

On a new-to-you truck, I might even spring for a UOA (Used Oil Analysis) at your first oil change to give yourself a baseline. You can get them from your local CarQuest for $25+/-.

Don't be afraid to ask questions on this forum. It has been my experience as a general rule, 99% of the members on here will not give you a hard time by asking what they perceive to be a "stupid question". You won't get beat up on here like on other forums. The only stupid question is the one you don't ask...then again, if you ask us how to change the oil or how to grease a U-Joint, you probably shouldn't be driving a Cummins
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:22 PM   #10  
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Welcome to the slippery slope

1st: loose the Seafoam. Then as others have already suggested, change "all" fluids to establish a maintenance baseline. Blackstone labs is also a good resource for fluids analysis. Read, read, and read some more...oh did I mention, read. Through reading, research and talking with others you'll formulate a "plan" or "goal" that will work for "you" and "your needs". Mod/build according to that. If its a auto, don't just 'automatic'ally buy into the doom and gloom that tends to be spewed. Adjust the bands, REMOVE the torque convertor anti-drain back valve, use the factory "thick" pan gasket and good ATF +4, (I do NOT buy into the flush, unless you have owned it from day 1 and flushed from day 1) drive and enjoy. If your rear diff is limited slip, shouldn't need any additives as long as you use full synthetic gear oil.
Mods: 1st determine if you have a 04 or 04.5. There are subtle differences and it somewhat affects what to do in what order. For your current stated goals, conservative programmer (plugs into the ALDL and alters the vehicles computer) or module (plugs into the vehicles harness under the hood and works with your vehicles computer) and be done. I've run both and there are pros and cons to both (this is were your "plan/goal" comes in). Cold air/ exhaust would just be for the "cool" factor at this level (as long as its a 04.5 or 04 HO).
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:32 PM   #11  
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Ok! Well much of this three day weekend has been spent both on this forum and others. I will say I have learned a lot. Thank you all for your opinions and thoughts.

The maintenance baseline, as always is the smartest decision. Today I changed out the "12qts" of oil and only 9.5 drained out of the pan after sitting for 30 minutes, and the owner's manual says 1 qt is in the oil filter. that's still 1.5 short so you were correct. Went with a Bosch Extended Duty filter, after some debate, and reading, Bosch has always been good to me.

Next weekend it will be the transmission fluid, filter, gasket, and rear diff fluid.

Is there anyone who has anything negative to say about royal purple in the transmission and rear diff?
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:14 PM   #12  
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Is there anyone who has anything negative to say about royal purple in the transmission and rear diff?
I use the purdy purple stuff front and rear dif. Looks good coming out, too, but I've never sent a sample to Blackstone to see if it is anything but purdy. I'm up to 249,000 miles and almost 200,000 of that on RP (engine, tranny, transfer case, front n rear end).
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:52 PM   #13  
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I've had the best luck with RP in the boxes of the brands I've tried including brand a. Craig
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:15 PM   #14  
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Question I have concerning RP in the trans at 107,000 mi: will the friction material on clutches/bands/TC disk "take" to the RP?? No issues with RP just have been always been led to believe that higher mi 48RE's tend to give best service w/ Synthetic +4. Hopefully someone else has something on this??
I have had good luck (as in no failures) so far with changing ATF one service at a time and staying with the +4.
Also remember final ATF fluid level check needs to be done with truck in N, not park.
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:02 PM   #15  
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Alrighty, so I checked the build date on the truck, sad to say, it's not a 2004.5, the build date was 10-03.

Does this change anything I need to know about? The only thing I've noticed on most autoparts websites is the difference in a VIN slot being a C or a 6 (Mine being a C)
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