Bought a New Ram - No Thinking Required

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

  1. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Yeah. Have read the same. Also fuel economy. 8 MPG isn’t ideal where we live. Well, the gas station owner it’s ideal for, but maybe not us. Ha.

    Biturbo V8, even non-AMG would be juuuuuust fine. But I’m tempted to hunt for a while for the “go big or go home” one, flog it for a while, and then sell it when my wallet has given up on screaming at me. LOL.

    I just love how Mercedes hides the exhaust note of the V12 until you stand on it. And then it’s that insane racing V12 sound from pre-turbo very old school Formula One. From a freaking four door sedan with butt warmers! LOL.

    I saw one with only 45,000 miles on it about ten years old that looked exactly right and was only one state over, single owner, and wasn’t ready to buy yet. Less than $10K too. Made me a little sad. Ha. Missed it. :)
     
  2. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Anyone that offers to work on exhaust and does not have a pipe bender or can't cut and weld pipe, is not an exhaust shop, just a remove and replace shop, something any rookie shade tree mechanic can do.
     
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  3. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    The twin turbo V12s they made were definitely awesome engines if you don't mind feeding the repairs. But the E55 makes 469 HP out of the box, and it ain't slow. The headers will push it north of 500, and if I put a smaller supercharger pulley on and a couple of other minor things I can get it to 550 or more. The only thing that actually bugs me about the car is that it has an automatic transmission and there's no path for converting it to a manual without having everything custom made. Even then, I don't know if you can program the computer to accept that, maybe maybe not.

    One vehicle that I've long wanted was a first gen Viper. They're pretty cheap now, but I've realized that having one would annoy me quickly because it has the interior quality of a 90s Chrysler, which is absolute junk. I like my comfortable interiors. They don't necessarily have to be fancy, but they do have to be built well. I've actually built nicer interiors myself. The Mercedes have a lot of value, great interiors, nice to drive. Value falls like a brick. And really, they make some of the few new cars that I actually like, other than the lack of a manual transmission option (again, annoying).

    So, I'd go for the AMG, I'd just stay away from the V12s and find one of the others that I liked.
     
  4. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Everyone I’ve met who bought an old Viper quickly realized that they were probably going to kill themselves in it. Haha. The people who track run Vipers are completely insane. :)
     
  5. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Well, you see what I fly. I figured if I got one I'd get a custom plate for it: "MU-2". In those days Chrysler had their partnership with Mitsubishi, so the MU-2 and the Viper are basically cousins.

    Reality is we're quite happy with the vehicles, and once I get the E55 a bit more hopped up we'll like it even more. Although if the transmission blows up I'll want to put a manual transmission in it...
     
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  6. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Turns out that's exactly what that place ended up being.
     
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  7. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    For @jesse since this is the current de-facto truck thread...

    Cirrus Jet. Vents straight of of an F-150. FAA certified vents, though. LOL.

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Mooney Fan

    Mooney Fan Line Up and Wait

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    My brother just dumped his Ram with the EcoDiesel. Water in fuel issues.....Glad I'm running a 2012 Ford F-250 6.7 Power Stroke :)
     
  9. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    EcoDiesel in a Ram 1500 is a different story vs. a Cummins. Completely different engine.
     
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  10. Mooney Fan

    Mooney Fan Line Up and Wait

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    Agreed. Cummins is as good as its going to get in the RAM
     
  11. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    well, put mine to work hauling redwood we cut off to the mill. got them back last night... 12 3" thick, up to 36" wide, 14' long slabs plus 5 3" thick 36 rings.

    these are going for about $600/each right now, but i'm keeping most of them. now to borate them, stick them, and put them in a harbor freight carport for a year to dry.

    I had about 13k worth of logs, a 4-5k trailer. it was "real haulin'" and the most I've ever towed.

    I learned to do w&b, I was light on the tongue and got osciliation over 52mph, so drove slow. now that they're slabbed, i'm loaded with lots of tongue weight and it towed beautifully. gobs of power and plenty of brakes.

    I have a picture that basically looks like a truck commercial. :)
     

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  12. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    It's very satisfying to tow heavy loads with the truck. I definitely aim to keep CG forward. You can't keep it too far forward, but those sorts of oscillations aren't fun.
     
  13. jesse

    jesse Administrator Management Council Member

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    At what point does ram/dodge say a guy should be running a WDH hitch while towing? I strongly suspect you were probably over double the weight where dodge says you need one while bumper towing. But don’t have one so I don’t know. Check your hitch, probably a sticker on there saying you should be running one above 5k or something.

    Still loving my ecoboost f150. Ive put 22,000 miles on the truck in the last year with 7,000 of that towing my 32 ft, 8000+ lb travel trailer. Unless the wind is ridiculous, I usually tow it at 75 mph. I wouldn’t dare tow it without a WDH though..even if I had a ram 3500 I’d still be towing with a WDH with sway control.
     
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  14. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Seeing as @MIFlyer has a Ford, what Dodge/Ram says is irrelevant. ;)

    You have me curious so I'll have to check the Ram when I get home, but I'd be surprised if that's actually listed as a requirement. If it is, then basically 99% of 3/4 and 1-ton trucks out there are violating the requirements, and most (virtually none) of the trailers in that size range don't even have provisions for a weight distributing hitch. In 100k+ miles of towing, I've not found it to be an issue so long as CG was correct.
     
  15. jesse

    jesse Administrator Management Council Member

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    Same thing applies to a Ford.

    A guy can certainly get by without them. But, one thing you’ll notice on any truck forum, the guys that have put the time into figuring out proper WDH hitches have no desire to ever go back. 1 ton or not. It will tow noticeably better.
     
  16. MIFlyer

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    Hi Jessie,

    Yes, I use a full WDH as well as an anti sway brake when towing my stuff. this is a borrowed trailer so I don't have that gear on here. 'twere it mine, it'd have a WD with 1,500lb drawbars on it.

    as it is, i'll tow at 60 and stay in the right lane. braking is adequate
     
  17. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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  18. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Back in the day we towed a 28' Prowler with an '81 3/4 ton Suburban, WDH and sway bar made it ride really nice.
     
  19. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    OK, did a bunch of looking and reading. i NEED to move my lift hangars from the camper to this trailer for the 2 hour tow to Mom's house. will do and then i'm dandy on ratings.

    thanks for the catch Jessie
     
  20. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    I'm still a couple weeks away from hitting one year since purchasing the Ram, but I've felt like writing up a one year report, so here it is.

    In the first year I've put about 20k miles on the truck (just under right now, will be over by the time I officially hit a year), which is more or less what I projected. This puts me 1/5 of the way through the 5 year/100k mile powertrain warranty all around.

    I still love the truck. It looks great, is comfortable and nice to drive. In the past year I've had zero maintenance problems. The DEF, which I was somewhat concerned with as a system, has proven trouble-free. The tank is appropriately sized (about 5.5 gallons) such that I only have to fill it about once every 4,000 miles. What I've generally done is filled it whenever it's been less than 3/4 tank and I've been at a station that has DEF at the pump. The first fill I did with DEF in the boxes, but the Kansas turnpike has DEF at most of their service areas, so that's made for an easy refill place. There are also a few stations with DEF that are a bit out of the way, but it still makes more sense than buying it in the boxes.

    I did the first oil change (at the 6 month interval) at the dealer. The book says to change the fuel filters (both of them as well). That was about $450. I'm not doing that again and will do my own oil changes. I prefer letting the dealer do oil changes under warranty just so that they can't complain if you have any engine problems, but I just don't see it being worth letting them do at that price point when I can do the same change myself for about 1/3 the price. Once it's out of warranty I'll probably ignore the calendar recommendation and just go based off of mileage, which is about 15k between changes. The computer tells you when to change it.

    The engine braking, which took some getting used to at first, I've made friends with. The auto engine brake setting works very well, turning on when you're accelerating down a hill or when you hit the brake pedal. I don't use the brakes on the truck much, even when towing.

    The truck tows well enough that it drove my desire for a bigger trailer, which I bought a month or so ago. The bulldozer is the largest thing I've towed with it, and it tows great. With the bulldozer I didn't want to go faster than about 65, but that was a lot of weight with a fairly high CG associated given the height of that trailer. Jesse said I should get a weight distributing hitch and he's probably right. Even towing that bulldozer there was no feeling of power being lackluster. It does very well.

    The built-in towing features are also very nice. When I hook up my trailer, it automatically turns on the exhaust brake, and the electric brake controller works extremely well.

    I mentioned before that it seems like this truck has less go to it than my previous Ram, and I still find that to be the case. Between the 3.42 gears and the extra weight of the 4x4 I suspect that's a good part of it. The other big thing is that the engine is obviously tuned in a manner that reduces how responsive it is. Some of that is probably the LOP operation (makes it more efficient but that makes more boost for the same power) but a lot of it I think is also built in for emissions to prevent excedances in transients, plus probably trying to keep idiot drivers from breaking the truck. This really annoys me as I like a responsive vehicle (even if it's a truck) and this isn't as responsive as I'd like. When towing a heavy load, the behavior of it is fine, but when solo I could stand some more get-up-and-go.

    The other issue is that there are a lot of times when I find it too quiet. It's pretty rare to hear the turbo at all (this is mostly on the intake side) and you don't hear the exhaust basically at all. They have it very well muffled. There are times when this is nice, but I like to be able to hear things a bit better than I can with this truck as it is.

    With the truck under warranty there's not much I can do about those two dislikes without voiding said warranty. I'm not willing to do that so I'm stuck with it for the time being. I do expect when it's done I'll uncork the engine some and will enjoy that more, but that's another 4 years and/or 80k miles away.

    The BakFlip bed cover that Jesse recommended has been great. It gives me a lot more functionality with the truck, especially since I've gotten in the habit of keeping a lot of items back there (straps, etc.) which keeps them out of sight for prying eyes. With the tailgate automatically locking with the rest of the truck, I don't worry about leaving things in there when I leave. Sure, someone could pry open the thing fairly easily, but I think most people won't. It also makes for a very clean look to the truck.

    The truck has gotten a few scratches in it, as expected between the manner that I use it and having small kids. It still looks pretty close to new though, and I love the way the sport package looks.

    Looking back, I still am happy with the purchase and would make the same decision that I did a year ago. I still have payments on it for a while, but those payments are predictable. The nicest thing about where we are now vs. a year ago is that now all three of our vehicles are reliable with maintenance issues being the exception rather than common. The E55 has taken some work to get there over the past year, and the GL550 has had a couple of items (bad ECU and needing new shocks and air springs) but now everything essentially drives like new and that gives us time to focus on more fun things like bulldozers, runways, hangars, and the Cobra.
     
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  21. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    One thing I forgot to include was fuel economy. Average has been somewhere in the 17-17.5 MPG range for my normal driving, which I don't consider bad. This is based off of the dashboard display and not based off of hand calculations. I did hand calcs at first and those seemed to run about 1 MPG lower than what was shown. That still is higher than what the F-350 was running, although that was sort of a V7 by the time I got rid of it.
     
  22. TCABM

    TCABM Cleared for Takeoff

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    That’s about what I get in my 2010 F-150 with the 4.6L, automatic, and 3.73 limited slip rear end.

    Which is why when I replace this truck I’m going bigger. More capability, same or better efficiency.
     
  23. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    If I'd gone with a 6.4 Hemi I don't think I would've been that much worse off for around town. For towing, it'd be significantly worse off. A Hemi would be more responsive, but I wanted that manual transmission.
     
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  24. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    And as of yesterday, 20,000 miles:

    [​IMG]
     
  25. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man Pattern Altitude

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    Is your oil temp gauge pegged?
     
  26. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    No, right in the middle.
     
  27. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man Pattern Altitude

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    oh now I see. I thought the red line was the needle.
     
  28. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I saw what you did, but I saw the oil pressure gauge first.... :lol::lol:
     
  29. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Limits are not goals...
     
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  30. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Then you'll never reach for the stars.
     
  31. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    I've already gotten there. Diamond star, that is:

    [​IMG]
     
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  32. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    ad astra per aspera
     
  33. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    First time I've had this pop up today:

    [​IMG]

    No noticeable change in running operation, I kept driving and after a few minutes I got the "Exhaust Regeneration Complete" notice.

    I'm not sure whether this is because of the mileage (20k) or the fact that now since I'm not driving my son to school I'm not doing as much 70-75 MPH highway driving with associated higher power outputs.
     
  34. SaltH2OHokie

    SaltH2OHokie Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Last milestone I photographed in the f350:

    IMG_20180730_195836436.jpg
     
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  35. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    That may take a while for me...
     
  36. chartbundle

    chartbundle Cleared for Takeoff

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    My Colorado has "Cleaning Exhaust Filter, Continue Driving" I've seen it exactly once when I spent most of the day in a city shopping, so drive slowly a bit, stop, drive slowly a bit, stop, etc. My usual drive is about 100 miles straight, then 100 miles back, with a couple short local trips in between, I'm pretty sure the high power continuous drive keeps it happy.
     
  37. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    I've decided to make my first (well, second depending on how you look at it) "modification" to the truck.

    The first modification I did was removing a foam and baffle in the air inlet between the turbo and the air filter. That foam/baffle existed to reduce turbo noise. Removing those increased the turbo noise, which makes me happier. Not increased quite as much as I'd like, but it helps. That reminds me, I need to check the air filter, it probably needs to get replaced.

    I've ordered my second modification:

    https://www.ohiodieselparts.com/pro...al-standard-shifter-stainless-short-throw-m10

    I've never liked the stock shifter on these trucks. It was the same with my 2004. The shift lever is hollow, and there's a rubber coupling down towards the base of it. Between these two factors, the feel is pretty isolated between the shift knob and the transmission itself. I prefer a connected feeling. My favorite shifters have been ones that are short and solid, as direct of a feel as possible to the transmission.

    The ergonomics of the truck change the "short throw" aspect a bit. However, I played around a little with what the ergonomics should look like in my truck and I think it will be fine. The "short throw" is only 2" shorter than stock, and because it doesn't have the angle in the lever I think the actual position change is probably going to be more along the lines of 1.5" lower. The return policy is good enough that if I don't like it, I'll just exchange for the standard throw. I'll want the shift lever to be black, so what I suspect I'll do is install it, make sure I like the shifting as-is, and then pull it to paint.

    All the other changes I want to do (at least right now) involve things that will void the warranty, so I won't be doing those for a while.
     
  38. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    The new shifter arrived yesterday and I installed it on the truck - took a whopping 5 minutes, working slowly. I drove the truck to work today, and will need to drive it a bit more for full opinions. Generally speaking, I like the shorter throw, and I also like the more direct feel and additional transmission whine that I now can hear. So, positives there.

    The main negative is that the shift knob is too far back (and specifically down) in its new location. So what I think I'm going to do is drive it a bit more, probably order a new shift knob, and then heat up the shifter with the torch and bend it to a better location.
     
  39. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    only an engineer would torch on something in a < 1 year old rig. :)

    bless 'em
     
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  40. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    I sent a message to a friend of mine last night and said "Well it only took me 14 years, but I finally got that shifter I wanted for my Ram." :)

    My 2004 had the same shifter, same rubber coupler, and I didn't like it then. So now I'm making that improvement.

    The warranty is bothersome for me, just because I'd rather delete at least some of the emissions stuff, but that's a hard sell right now.