Bought a New Ram - No Thinking Required

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Ted DuPuis, Sep 15, 2017.

  1. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Well, technically I haven't bought it yet, that's tomorrow.

    See the F-350 thread for more info on what happened there, but I decided to throw in the towel. My wife and I talked about it and decided that a new truck actually made sense for us. Yes, financially it would be a lot cheaper to put a new engine in the F-350, but that's not its only problem - it still has other things that I want to fix to make it "right". And by "right", I mean reliable enough that I can hop in it to go anywhere and not worry about it breaking down.

    We decided to buy a "forever truck" - the way @Bill Jennings said he buys his cars. Buy it the way we want it, get the next one in a decade or two. Or more, however long this one lasts. I bought a new Ram in 2004 and while I had some buyer's remorse early on, really what I should have done differently is buy it with 4x4, and then I'd still have it today.

    After my test drive of a manual transmission truck at the local Ram dealer (which was a whole 'nother fiasco, and mostly told me which dealer I didn't want to work with) I ended up finding the exact truck I wanted at a dealer that is very high volume. Right price, they're paying for my airline ticket to fly out and for the car service to come pick me up, and really easy to deal with.

    I fly out tomorrow morning to drive home and get it. Probably drive the first half of the trip Saturday, and then the second half Sunday. I'll just drive until I get tired and then get a hotel.

    This will be the second time in my life I've bought a new vehicle, and both times it's effectively the same vehicle, and effectively the same purchase experience. When I test drove Rams in 2004, I had a dealer that was a real PITA to deal with, and refused to order a truck for me. This dealer told me that Ram didn't build the truck with the options I wanted (I didn't tell him that I'd already found one with those exact options already...). So in 2004, I was living in Indiana and went to Texas to buy my new truck, drove it home in a weekend. The dealer had exactly what I wanted in stock and was easy to deal with. This time, I'm going to North Carolina.

    This one has a lot more options and luxury features than my '04 did, which I'm sure @denverpilot will make fun of me for. ;)

    But I'm looking forward to the heated and air conditioned seats (especially the air conditioned part), and all the bluetooth stuff to my phone. Plus my wife likes it, which is always important. I'm also looking forward to the "Jake brake" (uses the variable geometry turbo as an exhaust brake).

    03.jpg

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    Anyone want to get lunch/dinner/breakfast on my drive back? Not sure which route I'm taking yet.

    drive.jpg

    I expect @jesse will be at the Ford dealer buying an F-450 Platinum dually before I sign the papers tomorrow.
     
  2. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    As long as you are buying new they will probably be alright, I would steer far clear of any of their used trucks. Most of them are TX fleet dogs that have been rode hard and put up wet. Hold your breath when you walk in the door because all of the salesmen stand under the awning smoking their cigs waiting on their next prey. As you can see I am not a fan of this dealership but I wasn't in the market for a new truck, only used.

    P.S. I would offer to meet for lunch if you took the 40 west route but I will be at a fly in over in Moore County during the day.
     
  3. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Bad looking mofo truck. Sweet ride man.

    My buddy was a Chevy man until they put the Cummins in the Dodge.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017
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  4. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Congratulations. I hope it lasts you well over a decade.

    I usually lean toward used vehicles, but I also do the math to decide whether new makes more sense. This time around, the dealership just made it stupid for me not to buy the car they wanted to sell me. But I've also had cars that were 10 or 15 years old by the time I sold them or traded them in. It all depends on the car and what the dealerships are offing.

    I'm also a manual transmission fan, by the way. I just like them better. Also, automatic transmissions are among the few things in a car that I couldn't fix myself if I were so inclined. I may pay someone to replace a clutch in a manual just because I don't feel like doing it myself, but I somehow feel better knowing that I could do it myself if I wanted to. Automatics, on the other hand, are a mystery to me.

    Rich
     
  5. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    8A6 is having their yearly BBQ tomorrow starting at 5pm, you're more than welcome to grab a free burger/dog and show off that fkng sweet ride. they usually have some of the local guys playing a jazzy/hillbillyish type band and it's real laid back. it's right next to that sidewalk sometimes referred to as "the runway". it's on the east side of CLT.
     
  6. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Ted bought a pick-up that needs pee to run!

    (Well you are in Kansas and the neighborhood kids will talk-n-make stuff up)
     
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  7. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Yeah, I would definitely not go with a used truck from, well, anyone at this point. I'm sure in person they would be more annoying to deal with. New and remotely they've been easy to deal with. Few minor things that could be better but happier than I was with the local dealer. Seeing as the truck has <10 miles on it, it's hard for them to do much in that time period to break it. They're making it easier for me to buy it from 1,000 miles away than the dealership 10 miles up the road was.

    Sorry to miss you on this trip... if I end up taking the 414 to 8A7 for the avionics upgrades we can get lunch then.

    That was sort of what we decided here. With such a low interest rate that's available now, that makes it really simple. I also get an extra discount through my employer as a FCA affiliate. Then add in the other discounts, etc. Still not cheap, but the amount we'd spend on putting a new engine for the F-350 pays for the down payment and first year of payments on the truck. Then add in fixing other stuff on the F-350 that it needs and you're encroaching upon the first 2 years. Then sell the F-350 and easily at or past 2 years. Before you know it, it starts to make sense.

    I've just had such bad luck with used trucks as well, and as Bill pointed out, who knows how long they'll still make these with a manual. I may be running out of opportunities to buy another. As Grum.man pointed out there are reasons why the automatics are better on these trucks, but I don't really care, I like the manual better. It's as much about the driving experience for me.

    Would be fun to come by (and meet in the infamous eman1200... will the world explode if we shake hands?), but any stops need to be on the route. Got too long to drive to go out of the way.

    Yeah, the DEF is interesting. The general consensus I've seen on the forums is that it had some issues early on, but they seem to have worked the bugs out by now. They told me that the truck came with a full tank of fuel but not a full tank of DEF, so I'll have to buy that.
     
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  8. SDB

    SDB Filing Flight Plan

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    Congrats on the new truck. It's cool that you were able to find exactly what you wanted. When my Dad retired, he had to order the truck he wanted, and it took six months to get it. Enjoy your new truck, it sure is a beauty.
     
  9. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Thanks. I knew what I wanted would be unusual, so I figured it was best to jump on this before someone else did. Plus when the dealer I test drove said you couldn't get a Ram 3500 sport package (he said you never could, which is obviously wrong), I decided that ordering what I wanted might be a lot harder than having to drive 1,000 miles.

    Now I have to sell the F-350.
     
  10. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That NC to KC route sure looks familiar: I drove it both directions last year.
     
  11. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Northern or southern route? I've driven all of those roads many times before, but it's been a while.
     
  12. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Took the northern route out, the southern route back.

    We had a schedule to meet on the way out, but made a vacation out of the drive back.
     
  13. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Did you think the northern route was faster for someone trying to make good time?
     
  14. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

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    Wow that is nice! Don't see too many new manual trucks! That is cool. Although I wouldn't want a black truck, it is one of the best looking colors when it is clean.

    Question regarding the new Dodge's - I have heard some iffy things about the reliability and fit and finish of the new Dodge's, but those were specifically regarding the gas trucks. Do their new diesels still have the same great reputation that the old ones do?

    Those clear running lights are bad ass
     
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  15. Lachlan

    Lachlan En-Route

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    Mopar!!! Nice rig. Drooling....
     
  16. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    31dodge.com !!

    I am considering a new Ram just for that reason. Did they give you anything off the internet price?
     
  17. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I think it was a wash: one might be a little longer, one might be a little faster, but I have a feeling they both came out the same. In WV (the northern route) there is a turnpike/toll road where you'll have to stop every few miles. The southern route will run you through Asheville and the Smokies - I think tourist season is over now, so traffic might not be very heavy when you get in and around those places.

    The northern route takes you through Louisville (they had a lot of construction last year), and a lot will depend on when you hit rush hour at some of the cities.

    In our case: we took the northern route out because Garmin said it was faster. On that trip we needed to be at our destination at a particular time of day. On the way back we stretched it out by driving half days and then being tourists the rest of each day since we didn't have any schedule to keep. So I have a hard time comparing the two trips.
     
  18. SDB

    SDB Filing Flight Plan

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    Did you get the door panels installed and wired up right?
     
  19. gkainz

    gkainz Final Approach

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    attaboy, Ted! Welcome back to the Cummins in a Dodge (Ram) shipping container club!
     
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  20. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Thanks. :)

    My wife and I both love black trucks. My 2004 was black with black interior (although cloth) and when we met, my wife had a 2003 Avalanche - black with black leather interior. To have this one with also the blacked out grille, bumpers, and rims, was perfect for us.

    The main reliability issues that I've heard of with the newer diesels relate to the emissions equipment. DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid - i.e. urea) is the big concern these days. Looking on the forums, it seems that the earlier trucks with DEF had some more issues, but that after ~5 years or so they've worked the bugs out of it. So, I generally feel like now is probably a good time to buy a truck with the current emissions systems. As far as engine reliability goes, I haven't heard anything bad there.

    A little bit but not much. My affiliate pricing was added on to the discount. The internet pricing is pretty rock bottom from what I can tell.

    If you want to come by the dealer tomorrow when I pick it up you can see the real thing.

    I never got the front door panels finished up, but I figured out more or less what to do.
     
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  21. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Oh, yeah, I should add:

    Our daughter drove back on the southern route a couple weeks ago: She hit Nashville at rush hour, and at the same time the remnants of Hurricane Harvey were blasting through. That really slowed her down.
     
  22. kayoh190

    kayoh190 En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Bad ass - that is one mean looking truck! Love that it's stick.
     
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  23. gkainz

    gkainz Final Approach

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    My '07 2500 (also a 6 speed manual) is black, but has too much chrome on it, and the light silver rocker panels. I'm in the process of de-chroming and de-badging it while waiting for new grill and front fenders to be painted (stupid design including sponge-like materials in the fenders to deaden sound and ensure quick rust). Also going to spray black bed liner for the rocker panel area when I do the bed.
     
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  24. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Ted, looks nice. Congrats!
     
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  25. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    That was a big deal to me. I lament the lack of manual transmission availability these days, and that is a big reason for me to buy new. 1) Lack of manual transmissions on the used market 2) contributing towards keeping manual transmissions on the market as long as possible.
     
  26. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Oh, also adding in the fit and finish - having gone to two dealers and looked at the new Rams, I though the fit and finish looked nice on all of the ones on the lots that I saw. Now I didn't nit pick with a fine tooth comb, but there was nothing glaringly obvious. My 2004 also had good fit and finish and I didn't determine any build quality issues. The 2004 was built in Mexico, same as this one.
     
  27. jesse

    jesse Administrator Management Council Member

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    Don't like. At least one of us supported your local Kansas City truck production facility.

    Let me know when I should start trucking east-bound. I predict we'll have a picture something like this before the end of the weekend:
    [​IMG]
     
  28. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    You ought to start heading east now. Come by my house to pick up my trailer on the way. Maybe take the F-350 while you're at it and I'll trade it in after all. Actually that sounds like a really good idea.

    Did the Ford dealer have your F-450 in stock or are you going to have to special order it?
     
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  29. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That pict shows wheels on all four corners. Ted loses a wheel when he tries to drive a vehicle home after purchase. Please correct the image. Thank you.
     
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  30. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Technically I only lost 2 out of the 4 wheels on that corner.
     
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  31. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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  32. Sac Arrow

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    Nice! I ordered a new Ram with the manual transmission and Cummins Diesel... well, years ago. Great vehicle.
     
  33. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 Cleared for Takeoff

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    There is a new toll bridge in Louisville, although I never received the toll in the mail so maybe they don't bother with out of towners. I thought I also read that one of the major bridges in Louisville was closed this summer which could compound traffic.
     
  34. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I hope you have as much good luck with your new Dodge as I have with my Duramax. I bought it new in 2005 and the only thing I have had to do with it is replace one rear axle seal.
     
  35. JGoodish

    JGoodish Cleared for Takeoff

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    Ram would not be my first choice, but perhaps my second. I think that all of the manufacturers make good trucks, though, so it's probably tough to argue based on quality.

    When I was looking a few years ago, one thing that I did like about the Ram trucks was interior design. I thought that it was far more efficient and useful than the other two domestic brands.

    For me, a good local dealer is important. Most other things being about equal, I would likely pick the vehicle from the dealer with good after-sale service. They are very difficult to find, even in areas with healthy competition. When I was shopping again a year ago, most of my local dealers approached the opportunity with a "take it or leave it" attitude. So I left it!

    I am in the "buy new and keep it" camp. I do most of the non-warranty work myself, but have no desire to chase or repair problems inherited from the previous owner. I buy new, let the dealer work out the initial issues, then keep going on my own with a known entity. There are some instances where I'd consider used to be a good risk, but a pickup truck (especially HD) is probably not one of them.

    Congrats on the new ride!


    JKG
     
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  36. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    I tend to think that if you buy any truck from the big 3 in this class that you'll probably be happy with it. It seems that they all have pretty good products with most of the bugs worked out on their drivetrains. Everyone has their reasons for one over the other. In my case, I prefer the I6 diesel (Cummins), and I prefer the manual transmission (which only Ram offers). The manual is the bigger deal there, and so Ford and Chevy were automatically off the list (pun intended). I like the Ford and Ram interiors, GM not so much.

    Definitely agree I'd like to have a good local dealer. Actually one of the two dealers I dealt with I liked well enough and is closer to my office, but when I found this exact truck I wanted, that made the decision for me. If I'd had to order, I would've talked to the dealer near my office. I've dealt with the service after the sale aspect with my 2004 and in my case, I found that the parts and service sectors kept themselves separate enough mentally from the sales side that it wasn't a problem. In that case, the high pressure salesman who refused to order a truck for me just gave me dirty looks when I walked in, which I was able to ignore. A coworker of mine has a Cummins Ram that he takes into that same dealer for service (bought it used elsewhere) and has had good experiences. So I'm not too worried about it. Hopefully I'm proven right.
     
  37. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I won't be around tomorrow, but I hope you enjoy the new truck! Looks nice.
     
  38. Flying_Nun

    Flying_Nun Pre-takeoff checklist

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    There are three tolls on the WV turnpike coming up I-77 ($2 each). Also, the construction in Louisville is done. The northern route affords the opportunity to stop at half-a-dozen bourbon distilleries if your not in a hurry.
     
  39. Flying_Nun

    Flying_Nun Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The toll bridge is on I-65 (N/S) not I-64 (E/W), so not a factor here. There are no closed bridges.
     
  40. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    And the worst part of either route is that stretch of I-70 between STL and KC.
     
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