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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, many of you know I bought a new truck. I have put about 250 miles on it since thursday (wanna check everything out while it is "new to me") so I have some seat time in it now. I can compare it somewhat to my old 1997 Ram 1500, although overall this new truck is an entirely different animal.

The new truck is a 2004 Ram 2500 crew cab with an 8' bed, SLT package 4x4. It is gray in color with a gray interior. It is equipped with the 5.7L Hemi engine, a 5 speed automatic transmission, power windows, locks, cruise, tilt, air, 6 way power seat, auto-dimming mirror, and "navigation computer" which gives outside air temp, miles to empty, average mileage, hours run, and trip odometer. It runs 265/70/R17 tires on chrome Mopar wheels. The 2500 series runs a solid front axle in place of the IFS CV axles that are found on the 1500 series.

Here's what I like about it; almost everything. The interior room is excellent. All of the controls are well placed and user-friendly, the steering wheel is sized well (not too large), the gearshift operates smoothly, the cruise control buttons are located on the steering wheel (nice) as opposed to a lever off of the column, accelerator pedal tension is not too soft or hard (just right), and the brakes operate well with a reasonably high pedal and good reaction time. The handling, while somewhat typical of a straight axle front end, is precise and loses much of the "wandering" that was seen on my older truck (and many of the newer SuperDuty Ford trucks). Steering reaction is quick, with a slight tendency to oversteer in off-camber situations. Cab visibility is great, with very little if any interference from door pillars and the windshield is an exceptional size allowing for easy tracking of the road and ability to see traffic lights when you are first in line. The seats are comfortable, not too high/low, and the width of the seatbacks is perfect for someone with my size (48" jacket). Climbing into the truck can be a challenge, but if you have steps or nerf bars, this is not an issue. Overall I am extremely pleased with the vehicle from a driver's point of view.

What I don't like; the Hemi is greatly overrated. It comes from the factory rated at 330 horse, 375 ft.lbs. torque, but sure doesn't feel like it. It has good on-road power and will likely tow without an issue, but based on Dodge's advertising you would think that mashing the pedal on this thing would launch you like a slingshot. Nothing even close. The 5 speed does a good job of finding a gear to keep the motor humming, but when the RPM's drop below 2500, it's dog-city. Definately a higher RPM engine, with a noticeable lack of power in the lower range. And the fuel economy is less than stellar. When I picked the truck up, drove it home, the computer said I was averaging low 11's on my mpg. Now I am up to low/mid 12's, but I can't see it going much higher than this under any situation. Engine pull/power feels similar to Chevrolet's 5.3L that is available in the Silverado, with a little more top end. It has a nice, throaty sound which is more noticeable in the cab than it is through the exhaust, and this may give the "feel" of going fast while you are doing little more than cruising. The transmission shifts smooth and accurately, but on downshifts the engine will easily rev to over 5K rpm (under a heavy load) before shifting. Dash mounted tachometer shows the ability to rev to 8K rpm, but I don't think I'd recommend it.

Overall, in the short term, great truck. The only disappointment (and only because I expected more) is the power, or apparrent lack-of, from the Hemi. I am now looking at options for cold air kits, exhaust, and power chips to help in this department.

More to follow.......
 

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Well, many of you know I bought a new truck. I have put about 250 miles on it since thursday (wanna check everything out while it is "new to me") so I have some seat time in it now. I can compare it somewhat to my old 1997 Ram 1500, although overall this new truck is an entirely different animal.

The new truck is a 2004 Ram 2500 crew cab with an 8' bed, SLT package 4x4. It is gray in color with a gray interior. It is equipped with the 5.7L Hemi engine, a 5 speed automatic transmission, power windows, locks, cruise, tilt, air, 6 way power seat, auto-dimming mirror, and "navigation computer" which gives outside air temp, miles to empty, average mileage, hours run, and trip odometer. It runs 265/70/R17 tires on chrome Mopar wheels. The 2500 series runs a solid front axle in place of the IFS CV axles that are found on the 1500 series.

Here's what I like about it; almost everything. The interior room is excellent. All of the controls are well placed and user-friendly, the steering wheel is sized well (not too large), the gearshift operates smoothly, the cruise control buttons are located on the steering wheel (nice) as opposed to a lever off of the column, accelerator pedal tension is not too soft or hard (just right), and the brakes operate well with a reasonably high pedal and good reaction time. The handling, while somewhat typical of a straight axle front end, is precise and loses much of the "wandering" that was seen on my older truck (and many of the newer SuperDuty Ford trucks). Steering reaction is quick, with a slight tendency to oversteer in off-camber situations. Cab visibility is great, with very little if any interference from door pillars and the windshield is an exceptional size allowing for easy tracking of the road and ability to see traffic lights when you are first in line. The seats are comfortable, not too high/low, and the width of the seatbacks is perfect for someone with my size (48" jacket). Climbing into the truck can be a challenge, but if you have steps or nerf bars, this is not an issue. Overall I am extremely pleased with the vehicle from a driver's point of view.

What I don't like; the Hemi is greatly overrated. It comes from the factory rated at 330 horse, 375 ft.lbs. torque, but sure doesn't feel like it. It has good on-road power and will likely tow without an issue, but based on Dodge's advertising you would think that mashing the pedal on this thing would launch you like a slingshot. Nothing even close. The 5 speed does a good job of finding a gear to keep the motor humming, but when the RPM's drop below 2500, it's dog-city. Definately a higher RPM engine, with a noticeable lack of power in the lower range. And the fuel economy is less than stellar. When I picked the truck up, drove it home, the computer said I was averaging low 11's on my mpg. Now I am up to low/mid 12's, but I can't see it going much higher than this under any situation. Engine pull/power feels similar to Chevrolet's 5.3L that is available in the Silverado, with a little more top end. It has a nice, throaty sound which is more noticeable in the cab than it is through the exhaust, and this may give the "feel" of going fast while you are doing little more than cruising. The transmission shifts smooth and accurately, but on downshifts the engine will easily rev to over 5K rpm (under a heavy load) before shifting. Dash mounted tachometer shows the ability to rev to 8K rpm, but I don't think I'd recommend it.

Overall, in the short term, great truck. The only disappointment (and only because I expected more) is the power, or apparrent lack-of, from the Hemi. I am now looking at options for cold air kits, exhaust, and power chips to help in this department.
More to follow.......
I had an 04 4x4 QC Hemi. I had borlas catback, K&N FIPK, and Hypertech done to it. It turned pretty good for a truck. The 5.3 wouldn't touch it unless it was a reg cab shortbox. With the 2500 you're probably heavier so it would kind of be a dog. My Hemi had 345HP stock. Is it less on the 2500?

 

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Sounds like you have something wrong with your Hemi. Mine avgs in hilly terrain about 15 mpg, it's a 2005 quad cab 4x4. Lots of power, more than all of the others of that size truck for that year. Maybe they didn't order the right gears? That makes all the difference in the world. Contrary to what you would think, if you order the airplane gears for fuel economy, it does the exact oppposite. Hemi's like the lower gearing and generally get better mileage with them. 3:92 is your best factory ratio. Lots of guys are going even lower to 4:55.

You can add a cold air kit and exhaust but without a programmer, you are basically wasting your money. I did a dual exhaust for sound and hoped to gain a MPG or 2. No such luck. MPG is the same, low end sufffered a little due to less backpressure. So you have to be careful. They are setup pretty much to run at optimum from the factory. If it was that easy to add power or up the MPG, Dodge would do it for bragging rights.

In 2004, the Hemi Ram had 345 hp stock. Not sure where you are getting the wrong info from.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The engine runs like a top. The inspection was just done and here in Mass they have to run my truck on the dyno (8800 lb. GVWR). All the emissions check out at well below the limits, the operation is smooth and steady, no apparrent engine problems. I think that possibly I was expecting more as far as takeoff, but I have to remember it's a big truck and probably substantially heavier than the 1500 due to the front end setup. After looking again, I see the literature states 345 h.p., thought it was 330 h.p.

I just picked up a K+N filter for it, not expecting night and day, but when I installed it on my Chevrolet I did notice a little improvement in throttle response and an increase in mpg.

Since I have gotten this truck, the avg. mph has increased 1.2 mpg according to the computer, now I am over 12 and heading toward 13. It sure beats the guy here at work with the V-10 F250 who is getting 9-10 mpg, 7-8 while towing.

Also, you have to remember here in Mass all of the gas is 10% ethanol, and from everything I've read and what the mechanics tell me, there is always a drop in mpg and overall performance with ethanol gas when put up against non-ethanol fuels. The manual states that the engine requires 89 octane or higher, and that's what I topped it off with, but no telling what was in it when I bought it. I assume the cheapest stuff out there, seeing as it came from a dealership. So far, no problems. I had the mechanic (a family friend who did the inspection) throw his computer on it and there are no codes/problems according to him.
 

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I just returned my 2005 1500 4x4 Hemi I had on lease and I pull a 24' car hauler. I was getting 15 mpg with it with out the trailer and it pulled the trailer great. I just purchased a new 2007 1500 4x4 Thunderroad package and I only have 2300 mile on it and I am getting 18 mpg. When I hooked to my trailer with the race car in it, it pulled it like it was not even there. I am impressed. I had a 3/4 ton Ford 5.4 with 4x4 and it was loaded. I loved that truck and thought it was the best truck that I ever owned for quality and service. I had over 200,000 miles on it and I pulled trailers on a regular basis. When I started pulling with the Hemi I found a huge difference in pulling power with the Hemi. I do use EQ bars with the 1500 when it is loaded but other that that I handles it for power and stability great.

The engine runs like a top. The inspection was just done and here in Mass they have to run my truck on the dyno (8800 lb. GVWR). All the emissions check out at well below the limits, the operation is smooth and steady, no apparrent engine problems. I think that possibly I was expecting more as far as takeoff, but I have to remember it's a big truck and probably substantially heavier than the 1500 due to the front end setup. After looking again, I see the literature states 345 h.p., thought it was 330 h.p.

I just picked up a K+N filter for it, not expecting night and day, but when I installed it on my Chevrolet I did notice a little improvement in throttle response and an increase in mpg.

Since I have gotten this truck, the avg. mph has increased 1.2 mpg according to the computer, now I am over 12 and heading toward 13. It sure beats the guy here at work with the V-10 F250 who is getting 9-10 mpg, 7-8 while towing.

Also, you have to remember here in Mass all of the gas is 10% ethanol, and from everything I've read and what the mechanics tell me, there is always a drop in mpg and overall performance with ethanol gas when put up against non-ethanol fuels. The manual states that the engine requires 89 octane or higher, and that's what I topped it off with, but no telling what was in it when I bought it. I assume the cheapest stuff out there, seeing as it came from a dealership. So far, no problems. I had the mechanic (a family friend who did the inspection) throw his computer on it and there are no codes/problems according to him.
 

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Surely a nice lookin rig. However, I don't think I would ever consider a 3/4 or 1 ton rig with a V-8 gas motor. All of the diesels offer more hp and torque than any of the V-8 gassers. The only downside is the initial cost. As far as I'm concerned, V-8 gas motors belong in half tons only.
 
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