Bought a New Ram - No Thinking Required

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

  1. deonb

    deonb Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Ram? Ewe.



    j/k of course. Had a Ram until 2 years ago, then switched to a GMC, then switched to a Ford. Just preferred the interior luxury of the Ford for that extra long RV trips. GMC was a close second. Ram is a work horse.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017
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  2. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    No kidding! Actually I'd much rather do that portion at night than the twisties. Be nice to enjoy the pretty views during the day of the mountains, plus be able to see the deer easier.
     
  3. charheep

    charheep Line Up and Wait

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    Great looking truck. Very nice keeping manual transmission alive. Your insurance should be cheap since no car thief can drive it away..
     
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  4. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    No, not at all NICE truck!

    They moved reverse. That's interesting. It's up and right on my NV5600.

    I'll jut stick to giving you crap about buying it in black. I've been thinking if life ever settles down and the fifth wheel sells about actually buying the thing in white. Maybe even a Tradesman. Butt warmers are nice in a diesel in winter, though. Not sure if you get them on the stripped work model.

    Also I'd have to have a long bed. I can't tell from the photo but it hints at being a short bed four door, right?

    (What I really want is a mega cab long bed and I do have places to park such a long vehicle everywhere I go with it, since I have the other shorter vehicles for other non-towing non-hauling jobs, but Dodge will never make one of those. Too big. )

    And that's hilarious you picking on @jesse - hahaha. So you're saying you'd rather be Cummin than Strokin'? LOL!

    Technically Toyota and Honda make better trucks overall than the big three, but not in heavy towing classes. If you need to tow heavy, I agree. If you can get away with Toyota's top towing rating on the Tundra, I'd buy that first quality wise.

    Piece of cake with NO question that either of those Japanese maker trucks will run 300,000 miles. The big three? Roll the dice. Maybe. Maybe not.

    But Toyota seats are made for midgets and don't fit me at all, so personally I wouldn't/couldn't. :) And I need to tow heavy. So Tundra is not an option for me, and definitely not Ridgeline.

    And I wouldn't buy a Nissan truck on a bet. I'm sure they're fine for some, but I just don't like them. They seem like the worst of all worlds to me. Shooting for a price point. And their prices went up dramatically without a corresponding increase in quality or style.
     
  5. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Ugh - I-70 is like an old slot car track. Pick a lane and stay in it - for 4 hrs. Left lane is all the crazies trying to get places at 90+ mph and the right lane is the trucks. Sometimes the speed differential between each lane can be 50mph. The fun part is when a truck tries to pass another truck and then you can get stuck behind the elephant races for miles. I used to drive that many times a year and still never look forward to it. I much prefer that section at night - I've always liked driving late at night, the trucks rarely make any sudden or unexpected moves and most of the cars are done for the day.

    My favorite part of the trip out there was a two parter: 1) the stretch between Charleston, WV and Wytheville, VA. It was late afternoon and that section of highway was really pretty as the sun was going down. We got into Wytheville after dark, though and probably missed a few sights. 2) the drive out of Wytheville next morning: Low clouds with a very light mist made for a really beautiful drive through the Blue Ridge mountains into Winston-Salem. Sometimes we were in the clouds, sometimes not.

    The best part of the trip back was our stay in Nashville. Got there early afternoon and had lots of time to enjoy music, bars, and BBQ.

    The southern route, after Nashville, flattens out a lot and is a pretty easy drive with little distraction.

    edit: and the Chiefs play at noon Sunday. Game will get over about 3pm, and traffic all over 70, 470, and 435 will be pretty thick until about 5pm.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017
  6. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

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    GM/Chevy has always had the most bland, boring interiors in their trucks. They had the same interior forever...now that they updated it a few years ago it is much better than it was...
     
  7. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Yep, the G56 moved the reverse. My NV5600 was in the same spot as yours. I will say that this G56 shifts a lot, lot nicer than the NV5600 did, even on day 1 off the lot. Definitely a better transmission.

    And NO it's not a short bed!

    04.jpg

    Need a crew cab long bed only.

    I agree with wanting a megacab long bed. If I could've gotten that, that's what I would've gone with.

    My aunt and uncle live in Wytheville. It's a nice and scenic area - we were actually there a few weeks back.
     
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  8. JGoodish

    JGoodish Cleared for Takeoff

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    That is highly debatable. We've owned 6 vehicles over the past 15 years, including Jeep, Honda, Subaru, Audi, and Nissan. None of the Japanese ones, including Honda, have been any more reliable than the other ones. None of them made it over 120k without unplanned maintenance issues, including the Honda. Actually, so far our Nissan Murano has been the most reliable, but even its record is not perfect.

    Honda doesn't even sell a true light-duty truck in North America; the Ridgeline is quite literally a Honda Pilot SUV with an open back. The Tundra is entirely unimpressive, from the seating position to the dated and uncompetitive engine options. Their frames are lousy and their rear springs are weak. They're also behind in tech, refusing to support Android Auto or CarPlay (if that's important to you.) I'm not saying that I wouldn't consider one if a true light-duty pickup was my requirement, but there are much better hauling and towing vehicles (even for lighter-duty towing).


    There's nothing wrong with Nissan. All of the Japanese manufacturers are just picking up the truck scraps from the Big 3. Their sales numbers are low, but brand-loyal folks will stick with them. I've been happy with my Nissan Frontier, but I don't think that I'd buy a Titan. It's not a bad truck, but similar to the Tundra, there's not much technically appealing about it. The Titan XD isn't really light-duty but not really heavy-duty, either. They stuck a Cummins in the XD model, but it's too small for the target market of the truck, so they are apparently trying to appeal to folks who want a Cummins but don't want a Ram. A bit interesting, since Nissan was pretty close to just OEMing Rams a few years ago.

    Nissan seems to be doing fairly well with their commercial vans, though.


    JKG
     
  9. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    I've bought 3 cars new, and had minimal troubles with all three. One Honda, one Toyota, and one Nissan. I'm rather a big fan of purchasing new and taking care of the vehicle. The Nissan and the Toyota both had well over 140K nearly maintenance free miles. The current Honda is still too new (bought it in 2009) to say much about. My Toyota MR2 I crashed, but had no mechanical issues prior.

    Had I any mechanical aptitude I'd buy old vehicles and keep them running. Unfortunately, I have precise the mechanical aptitude of my pet Red-footed tortoise Rosie, so I buy new whenever I can.
     
  10. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

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    Toyota has been so overhyped by the old Tacos (which were great trucks). Both the new Tacoma's and the Tundra are unimpressive. Engine options are lame. Funny you mention the frame - my good friend from engineering school just had to have his frame welded lol.
     
  11. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    While interviewing for a job I met a young lady who bought a Ford Ranger at the same time as I bought my Nissan truck. She had experienced trouble with the transmission, suspension, and at least one other expensive malfunction. I'd had to replace a battery on the Nissan.
     
  12. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    And you can get the Frontier with the 6 cylinder and stick. Mine is too new (12mo) to make any judgement about reliability and maintenance.
     
  13. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    They are also selling plenty of real trucks outside of the US.
    That baby Cummins was a contract development for Dodge. When Dodge walked away from it they recycled it into a generic engine product.
    Not sure it is wrong for the 'target market'. Unless the market is 'Bro-dozers misadjusted to smoke'.
     
  14. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

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    Problem is you never know where these folks get the vehicle and what the history is. If you buy a junker don't expect it to be reliable...regardless of the manufacturer.

    I know quite a few people who had Rangers and they were all great trucks...pretty bullet proof and a great engine. My dad had a Ranger for many years and it was a solid truck. A little too small for my liking though.

    My friend had a Frontier that was in the shop constantly...but he beat the thing to hell.
     
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  15. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

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    I used to LOVE Nissan Titans...idk why...but the new Titans are fugly and I wouldn't buy a Nissan anyways...too many better options.
     
  16. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    I definitely agree with you on Ford having the nicest interiors. But they don't offer a manual transmission, which made them an automatic non-starter. Truthfully if they offered a manual, there's a good chance I would've bought a Ford specifically for the interior.

    I don't much care for GM interiors in general, although their higher end ones are definitely decent.

    The Ram interior I'm happy with. Maybe not quite as luxurious as the Ford, but not enough for me to care when you consider that the manual transmission was my #1 CTQ, and the Cummins is also my preferred engine.

    This is very true. That said, some vehicles do tend to be better than others. Even our Excursion (purchased with 194k miles on it, now at 206k) has been (knock on wood) quite good to us. It does have some exhaust studs falling off (common Ford problem) that will need addressed at some point, but I'm not in any hurry. Engine wise, the V10 is still churning along great. I've had good luck with the vast majority of my used car purchases from a reliability perspective, including ones that were higher mile. The trucks are the only ones I've had really bad luck with, which I think comes down to people beating on them and not maintaining them.

    Hopefully owning this from new and caring for it correctly it'll last us a long time. I'm going to make sure that it gets driven regularly, which is the #1 thing these trucks seem to need to do well. They don't like sitting.
     
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  17. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Y'all can play with your toy trucks. I stick with International Harvester.....:yes: This is a factory vehicle, not a custom job.

    http://www.trucktrend.com/cool-trucks/0705dp-international-mxt-truck/


    [​IMG]

    Body type: 7-foot pickup bed
    Dimensions: 8 feet wide, 7 feet 7 inches tall, and 21 feet long
    Horsepower: 300
    GVWR: 14,500 pounds
    Weight: 10,500 pounds
    Chassis payload capacity: 4,000 pounds
    Towing: Suitable for a variety of hauling configurations up to 15,500 pounds
    Standard engine: International VT365, V-8 diesel (530 lb-ft of torque)
    Transmission: Allison 2200 RDS five-speed automatic
    Brakes: Hydraulic with four-channel ABS
    Axles: Front-driving 6,500-pound capacity; rear-driving 11,000-pound capacity
    Fuel tank: 40 gallons
    Cab: Five-passenger, four-door crew cab with cab air-suspension system
    Seats: Driver and passenger leather front seats; three-passenger leather rear bench seat
    Wheels/tires: 20-inch Alloy Wheels and Pro Comp 40x13.50R20
     
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  18. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie En-Route

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    I like cars, so I'm particular about what I drive. I also hate shopping for used cars, so I'm in the buy new and keep for a long time camp too. The last two cars I bought I kept for 10 and 12 years. 10 years was just right, 12 was too long. I did buy a year old car for my daughter, it's bad juju to buy a teenager a new car. When you buy new you can get exactly what you want, and if you keep it for a long time the total cost of ownership stays reasonable.

    On your route home, I'd suggest you go through Chattanooga. You'd be close to Lookout Mountain Flight Park, and you could do an aerotow tandem hang glider flight tomorrow afternoon. Then spend Sunday morning flying solo on the training hills. Yes, you'd get home late Sunday, but it would be worth the experience.
     
  19. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    @Zeldman do you actually have a CXT? I've always thought those were really cool trucks and wanted one.

    Oh, by the way - VT365 = PowerStroke 6.0. ;)
     
  20. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yeah, if I could afford the CXT you think I would be hangin' out here online..?? :lol::lol::lol:
     
  21. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    I wasn't sure. I mean, they only cost a little more than a 421 nowadays. ;)
     
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  22. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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  23. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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  24. JGoodish

    JGoodish Cleared for Takeoff

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    Nissan's had its share of troubled times, and so has Ford. I had some small issues with the Frontier up until the reverse gear in the transmission gave out at 145k miles. My local Nissan dealer is excellent, and in my opinion took fine care of me even through the transmission issue.

    Ford has been on its game for the last several years, and I wouldn't hesitate to buy one if I otherwise liked the vehicle. Unfortunately, my local Ford dealer leaves something to be desired. I may have to drive for the next vehicle, unless I want to buy another Nissan.


    JKG
     
  25. JGoodish

    JGoodish Cleared for Takeoff

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    I think that Nissan is using the Cummins name to market the Titan. I'm not sure that the Cummins is a good technical solution to any problem that truck buyers are trying to solve.

    I do think that the XDs are ugly, but the regular Titans are decent looking. Not as good as the competition, but the Tundra's look seems to be rather polarizing as well. If I were in the market for a full size, I'd probably consider the Titans simply because of the quality of my local Nissan dealer.


    JKG
     
  26. Flyingfanatic

    Flyingfanatic Pre-takeoff checklist

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    AMEN to that!!!
     
  27. paflyer

    paflyer Final Approach

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    Bought new RAM? What a coincidence, me too![​IMG]
     
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  28. jesse

    jesse Administrator Management Council Member

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    I thought about buying a Titan XD but went Ecoboost F150 instead. You are already payload challenged in a half-ton truck once you start looking at towing. The Titan XD would have been like 400 lbs less in payload in a similar configuration. That was a deal breaker to me.
     
  29. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    I'd agree that Nissan is using the Cummins name to market their truck. That's no different than what Dodge started in the late 80s, which worked well for them.

    As to the technical solution, Cummins makes great engines, but they don't own the market on great engines. One of the diesels Nissan undoubtedly puts in similar trucks overseas I'm sure would do just as well.

    However I'm now required to make jokes about the PowerJoke (even though I still own one) and the DuraBoom engines. It's written in the purchase agreement.
     
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  30. flhrci

    flhrci Final Approach

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    Yes, who can resist the allure of POA? LOL
     
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  31. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    If you decide to drive through the CHA area, lunch or dinner is on me.
     
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  32. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Currently just outside of St. Louis, over 700 miles driven today on the new truck.

    Getting the truck went very easily. They had the driver at the airport right on time, so I wasn't waiting around. Charlotte is about an hour and a half from the dealer. I spent maybe 30 minutes at the dealership and thought it was good. In, see the truck, sign the papers, got shown some of the features and had some questions answered, and off I went. Full tank of fuel, 3/4 tank of DEF. The 3/4 tank of DEF was especially good, as I really didn't feel like messing with that on the drive home, but was expecting to. Overall, happy with the dealer.

    Also happy with the truck, it drives very well, has good power. Really, I'm enjoying this and think we'll like it for a long time to come.

    But now I'm also exhausted. Time for sleep.
     
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  33. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    T-storms this morning in KC, haven't checked to see if they are headed to STL. You might get a chance to wash the bugs off that way.
     
  34. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    What problem are they trying to solve ?

    I do agree on the marketing gimmick. It had to be a Cummins simply because that makes truck buyers in the US salivate. Nissan/Renault has a number of proven truck diesels on the shelf that they could have EPA certified and dropped into the pickup.
     
  35. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    I was wondering that also but I let it slide. Ha.
     
  36. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Made it home. Drove through some rain on the way back, which washed the bugs off.

    Really happy with the truck. Got 17 MPG average on the drive back, and seeing as I had the cruise set at 85 for as much of the drive as I could, I don't think that's bad at all. Reports I've read are that these trucks will consistently get 20 when driven at closer to 70, and I believe that. Really happy with the performance and handling of the truck. Driving it through the twisties was fun. :)

    There are a lot of little details that they did differently on this vs. the 2004 I used to have. "Saddle bag" in the floors by the rear seat area are a nice touch, along with a dim LED that lights up the shifter and general center console area. The instrument cluster is nicely done and does a good job of blending analog and digital gauges. I also really like the integration of the instrument cluster with the nav system/radio, and the "radio" in general is really awesome. The G56 transmission shifts more precisely than the old NV5600 I used to have, and the exhaust brake sounds cool.

    The only thing at this point that I don't like is the exhaust brake button. The button that's on the dashboard, and not very convenient to access quickly while driving. There are 3 settings: off, on, and "auto" (where it maintains the speed you're currently going on a downhill). Push the switch to toggle between settings. Neat, but for how I drive I tend to want it on sometimes and then back off, since it'll be common for me to coast without wanting to slow down at a particularly rapid rate. This, at least on the manual transmission trucks, should be a 3-position switch located on the shifter so you have easy access. May see if there's a way to modify it.

    I was happy with the dealer experience and would use them again. I don't know if the experience would've been different as a local, but as an out-of-towner, they couldn't have made it much easier for me to buy the truck.

    Edit: One thing I'll also say is the 3500 has a noticeably firmer suspension than the 2500. We could've gone with either a 2500 or 3500 for what we do, although the 3500 is nice since that has an "If it fits, it ships" payload.

    Also, the 3.42 gears are nice. 2,000 RPM = 78 MPH. Spins nice and low, the way I like it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2017
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  37. TCABM

    TCABM Cleared for Takeoff

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    Glad to hear you had a great experience, Ted.
     
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  38. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Always with the excuses. Jeez...
     
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  39. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    Now I'm really jealous. Mine is 4.10 and that's easily the most annoying thing about the truck. It was ordered that way so it could PULL stuff but it screams on the highway at 75. It's a lot nicer and quieter ride at 65.

    You also get forced to tow in 6th, which generally isn't recommended with the NV5600 until you've had one fail and rebuilt it with properly drilled oil galleys for 6th gear. :)

    I have a temp gauge on the manual trans AND the oversized cooler style trans covers with fins, and I can still hit temps where I consider them too high and have to self-limit if it's 90F or hotter out, and then have to back off ten MPH and drop into fifth until the trans cools off, and that takes a long time with high OAT.

    On your exhaust braking buttons, I've heard similar complaints about that system. I don't know if you can even wire up a remote switch, but I love my "trucker style" pull knob mounted right on the shifter.

    Did Dodge at least do the thing where the truck will free wheel downhill in "on" until the first brake application? I thought that's what the "on" setting was for compared to "auto" which as you mentions, is a speed hold without triggering it.

    I love being able to pop out of sixth, rev slightly to match revs with fifth, let the clutch out and then pull the knob on the exhaust brake as the first stage to slowing down with a big trailer.

    Can also pop the switch off as you do the same headed for 4th on the off ramp entrance, and then back on after the clutch is out in forth, and then you only need light braking and you just slow right up nicely. Especially with the silly 4.10 rear end.

    I assume you have a factory trailer brake system? That's a minor complaint on my old model, since those didn't exist back then, you buy a nice progressive one with accelerometers in it, but downshifts and compression braking confuse the accelerometer a bit, and can lead to the controller thinking you're braking a little harder at the downshift, so it bumps the trailer brakes up a bit, especially if you're at all "jerky" during the downshift. Can create a little braking oscillation that makes it hard to be smooth after that starts...

    Be interesting to see if the factory brake controllers are smarter about that with a manual transmission or if they're tuned for the automatics like the aftermarket progressives are.
     
  40. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    #bandozer
    In my 2004 I had 3.73s, which were the tallest gears available at the time. That made for 2,000 RPM = 68 MPH. That worked fine, too, but I like it being a bit taller. If the truck had 3.73s in it (which are still an option) I would've been fine, but 4.10s just are too tall for anything I do. Really, with how much torque the Cummins has (even in your year), I just don't see a need for 4.10s unless you're going to be consistently towing things at gross through the mountains. And even with your giant trailer, it obviously isn't required.

    This truck is pretty quiet anyway (I'd argue too quiet - but I know the engine will get louder with time), but especially turning so slow on the highway, it makes for a very nice, quiet ride. Not too quiet like a Cadillac, but it's good for racking up the miles. Saturday morning I was awake at 4:30 AM (CDT) to go catch my flight, left the dealer at 12:45 PM (EDT, so 11:45 CDT), and drove over 700 miles before calling it a night. I could've gone further, but decided a bit east of St. Louis (around Scott AFB) seemed like a good place to stay.

    One thing I'll say, though, is that I put 108,000 miles on my NV5600, mostly towing, and always in 6th gear. That transmission is still going strong. So I'm not sure who's had problems with it or if it was just the early ones, but for me, it was just fine. At >180k now it's still doing fine, according to my friend who bought it from me.

    I don't think the system has any way that you could easily put a button elsewhere. It all goes through the computer, so I may just have to live with it as-is. I've read up enough complaints on it that hopefully someone smarter than me can figure a work-around.

    On the "full" setting, it just turns on as soon as you let off the throttle (well, I suppose 1/2 second or so delay). I haven't played much with the "auto" setting... I'll do that and see what I think of it.

    It does have the factory trailer brake system. This is the first truck I've owned that has a built-in system. Before that I had a Tekonsha Prodigy, which was (at the time) supposedly the best you could buy. Of course I bought it in 2003. It had a wire that got spliced into the brake light switch so it knew when you were hitting the brakes, and I never found it to have any odd behaviors as a result. When I bought my first truck in 2003 and was reading up on what brake controller to buy, everyone said the crappy brake controllers were a "get what you pay for" deal. So I bought the Prodigy, which everyone said was the one to get, and was very happy with it.

    It'll be interesting to see how the built-in trailer braking does. I actually don't have a trailer with trailer brakes on it, so it may be a while before I find out. Maybe I'll offer to tow my houseback riding instructor's horse trailer somewhere to try it out, it has trailer brakes. In fact I helped her fix the wiring on it yesterday.