TNBrett

Any opinions on a Ram truck vs Chevy

30 posts in this topic

I'm starting to shop for a new truck.  Well, new to me anyway.  I'm looking for a '16 or '17 with 20k miles or less.  I'm looking at both Chevy and Ram in either 2500 or 3500 srw, must be 4x4, and still shopping both gas and Diesel.  I'm very familiar with the Chevy offerings, but I have zero experience with the Rams.  The only reason I'm looking at the Ram is that I really like the way they look, and they seem to be considerably cheaper compared to the Chevy.  This would mainly be used for work as well as pulling my boat, so I will be towing upwards of 12k from time to time, and hauling 3k lbs in the bed at times.  I'm currently doing this with '13 Chevy 2500 with 6.0 gas.  I know the Rams have had problems with transmissions over the years, and I'm curious about others experiences with the coil spring rear suspension.  

 

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Can't remember where I read it, no one seemed to have a problem with the suspension. Those weights  I would definitely look twords the diesel. However they do require more maintenance if that doesn't bother you.

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I’m very familiar with the maintenance costs of diesels vs gas.  I actually manage our fleet at work, and we’re slowly transitioning away from diesels because the higher operating cost. The gas truck does what I need it to, but I do miss the extra power of the diesel. 

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The Cummings offerings are really loud. They use a vacuum pump driven off the power steering pump to run accessories, and they are prone to oil leakage. Three stage fuel pumps fail too as there is a primary in the fuel tank, an intermediate on the frame, and the actual injector pump on the engine which is about $1,800 to rebuild. My neighbor has a Ram 3500 extended cab and it's been a nightmare. He bought it new, hauls virtually nothing, and it spends many days in my shop here. THe story I'm about to tell will have you thinking that this thing plows snow on salted roads for a living, but in fact it's a glorified grocery getter.

1.) He stops over at 56,000 miles and says he hears a noise. I take a ride and tell him the front brake pads are metal to metal. I pull the cast aluminum wheel off only to find the honeycomb between the brake rotor halves has rusted out and a chunk broke off busting the pad material from the backing plate. The other pad is almost new thickness. New front rotors and pads and an insulator gasket between the rotor casting and the aluminum wheel and he's back on the road.

2.) At 64,000 mile he stop by again and rear disc rotors are suffering the same fate as the front. Same fix and I'm starting to hate cast aluminum wheels bolted to cast iron rotors.

3.) At 70,000 Transmission won't lock up the converter, so I go on line and read about a resistor that must be added to the wiring harness to prevent this issue as it is a function of weak alternator diodes which it's said are common. Sounds like Bull to me so I talk to the dealer. They say, oh yea,  Dodge is aware, but there is a resistor kit you can buy on line that fixes the problem. REALLY??? I cut the harness apart, solder in the tiny resistor, and problem is solved.

4.) At 75,000 he says the transmission is slipping again. I take a ride and say no, the engine is suffering from fuel starvation. The in tank pump has failed and starved the injector pump long enough that it too needs rebuild. The local top notch diesel garage does the repair and replaces the transmission cooling lines which are rusted almost through, and $3,500 later he's back on the road.

5.) Now it's hey, I hear a funny noise. Front hub bearing on the left side is bad at 80,000. He says is that common? I say yea, at about 250,000, but not now. We find that the bearing is frozen into the chunk, and fab a massive puller and I put the torch with a rosebud on the chunk until the thing is cherry red. Took about 15 minutes of pulling and pounding but it came loose and flew half way across the shop. New sealed OEM bearing was massive and cost $350. Oh, and the upper ball joint was also bad so that got replaced. I say, this is a fluke and you should be fine.

6.) Made it all the way to 83,000 before the right side wheel bearing failed. That marks the second one I've ever had to replace in my 64 years.

7.) He takes it in to the local shop for lube and oil change. Tech says let me show you something. He says this is very common on these Rams. The frame is rusted through as it is a box structure with no way for accumulated moisture to escape. He brings it to me and asks if it is safe to drive. I craw under the thing, and push my finger through the frame with ease and stop when I get to the steering box mount. To me that hunk seems somewhat vital. He takes the truck into town, and after visiting the three top shops, they tell him they won't touch it. I bite the bullet (can't say no to these special people) and spend three days cutting out rot, making templates, cutting steel and welding overhead. He says I can't even see where it was repaired. I say GOOD, neither will the guy you sell this piece of junk to. The dealer looks over the job and asks if I'm available to do some work for their customers. Heck NO...   He then says how lucky my friend was, as on the standard cabs, the frames actually rot out between the bed and cab and can actually crack all the way through.

OK, Dodge rant complete. Buy the Chevy as their ISUZU diesels are whisper quiet. I'm thinking the Dodge is cheaper for a reason, but hasen't that always been the case?  W

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Dodge builds everything cheap.  It's a shame because they have very interesting looking vehicles.  I quit buying Dodges in the 80's.  Since then I've been a chevy and Ford fan, with Ford getting my business in the last decade.  I've had many pro mechanics tell me that they hate working on Dodge because all the plastic clips and parts are so cheap the often break instead of separating as the are designed to do.

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Man that is a nasty story. To think, I almost bought one. I too like the looks of them.

My Bronco was always breaking down. But it had over 190K when I acquired it. Also at the time, it was cheaper to keep repairing it than buy a new one. Your line 7 description comes the closest to the Bronco. From the outside, the truck looked like it just came off the assembly line. But underneath, oh so bad! Water was getting in the back under the rug, so it was never noticed. When I found it, my finger went right through and gee, there's the gas tank. The frame was slowly rusting along with everything else. Brake lines and fuel lines etc etc etc.

The computers failure was its final end.

This is why I put my 150 in the garage and off the road for the winter. Not likely to stop, but to slow wear and tear. I love a good snow storm but I cringe at the salt bath it creates.

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8 hours ago, Duane2135 said:

Dodge builds everything cheap.  It's a shame because they have very interesting looking vehicles.  I quit buying Dodges in the 80's.  Since then I've been a chevy and Ford fan, with Ford getting my business in the last decade.  I've had many pro mechanics tell me that they hate working on Dodge because all the plastic clips and parts are so cheap the often break instead of separating as the are designed to do.

Sound like the Guts and Glory slogan is right on ...

One has to have guts to start driving one, and gets the glory if he still drives the same one past 75,000 miles.

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I've seen my fair share of troubles with dodges over the years too.  

A '93 3500 that rode like a log wagon, and was taken out by the "Killer Dowel Pin"

A'98 3500 That lost 5th gear 3 times, and was plagued by melted headlight switches, and failed HVAC actuators.

And lastly '01 2500 that had fuel system issues as well as 2 failed transmissions.  

I guess I've been hoping that every one would tell me that the issues of old are all over with, and they're great trucks now.  I haven't even heard that on a dodge forum.  

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16 hours ago, SST said:

Man that is a nasty story. To think, I almost bought one. I too like the looks of them.

My Bronco was always breaking down. But it had over 190K when I acquired it. Also at the time, it was cheaper to keep repairing it than buy a new one. Your line 7 description comes the closest to the Bronco. From the outside, the truck looked like it just came off the assembly line. But underneath, oh so bad! Water was getting in the back under the rug, so it was never noticed. When I found it, my finger went right through and gee, there's the gas tank. The frame was slowly rusting along with everything else. Brake lines and fuel lines etc etc etc.

The computers failure was its final end.

This is why I put my 150 in the garage and off the road for the winter. Not likely to stop, but to slow wear and tear. I love a good snow storm but I cringe at the salt bath it creates.

Oh, I forgot about the AC evaporator core bursting, spraying compressor oil and R-134 all over the cab interior, and his terrified wife. I replaced it, evacuated the system, recharged it and when he asked if it would ever happen again, I said I still don't understand why it happened the first time. It's a shame really as the cab exterior shows as new but even the rear chrome bumper rusted through now. I could see this out in the snow belt, but upper eastern shore Maryland? Our county does not even use salt.  W

 

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I was a die hard Mopar guy (always had Dodge or Plymouth cars, even my 60s muscle cars).  My last Dodge pickup had so much go wrong I sold it and bought an F-150.  Multiple wheel bearings, ball joints, steering couplings, etc..  And I only kept it for 110,000 miles.  Catalytic converter also went at 70k miles, but was a warranty.  I would get all kinds of exhaust leaks at the block/manifold interface.  Every time it was repaired it was major as the stud would snap.  Finally went with special stainless locking header bolts I got from speed shop.  My friend had a recent new Dodge Ram, bought it new.  It was a nice truck and all, but he had some issues and decided to get a Chevy  

 

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I drove the new Ram Cummins and was very disappointed with the engine.  It was literally a dog.  After some research, the internet says that all of the EPA crap has robbed a ton of power from the Cummins and you need to do aftermarket tuning and add-ons to wake it up.  I purchased a '16 Silverado 2500 D-Max and have been thrilled with it.  The power is amazing, the truck is so quiet and smooth and it's very comfortable.  Compared to my old '08 D-Max it's like night and day.  I also love the exhaust brake and other features.  I've read so many negatives about the Ram that I couldn't consider it.  I tow my 256 @ 8100 lbs and it's like it's not even there.  As for hauling, I really don't do much but again, the truck is as smooth as my old 1500 trucks.  I put over 20K miles on it in 1 year and my mileage has been as good as 21 mpg and worst of 16-17 mpg.  I've had zero cost other than oil changes.

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29 minutes ago, TexasPilot71 said:

Good thing I got a Mopar extended warranty.  Yikes!

Lol, right.  Now to be fair, while I've never had any good experiences with dodge vehicles, my brother has almost 300,000 miles on his '01 2500 Ram extended cab diesel.  He did have some injector pump issues a few years back that upset him, due to the price of the fix, at around 2k.  Otherwise he has enjoyed it and recently had it repainted and had a thumping stereo installed!  This was his response to my thumper on the Knutty Kutty.

My brother can afford a new truck but he sees no reason to replace it, especially now that diesels have exhaust burners.  I think he is still on his original transmission.

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16 minutes ago, Duane2135 said:

Lol, right.  Now to be fair, while I've never had any good experiences with dodge vehicles, my brother has almost 300,000 miles on his '01 2500 Ram extended cab diesel.  He did have some injector pump issues a few years back that upset him, due to the price of the fix, at around 2k.  Otherwise he has enjoyed it and recently had it repainted and had a thumping stereo installed!  This was his response to my thumper on the Knutty Kutty.

My brother can afford a new truck but he sees no reason to replace it, especially now that diesels have exhaust burners.  I think he is still on his original transmission.

The 01 had the 4 valves per cylinder all mechanical Cummins and they will run forever. No electronic fuel management what so ever.

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We bought the wife a Durango  ... she's not allowed to drive it on rainy days (or snow).  Love the car, don't trust it.

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5 minutes ago, brclark82 said:

@TNBrett

we have the same boat, might as well get the same truck!

8 months in and it it has been perfect.  

 

That's funny, because I'm actually leaning towards a black Duramax (but not a high country).  I kind of have a love hate relationship with black trucks, as I'm sure a lot of people with black vehicles do.  But I sure do like the way my boat looks behind a black truck.  

I currently have 12 trucks at work.  All of them are Chevys with the exception of one old Ford with a 7.3 Diesel.  We've had really good luck with the Chevys, both gas and Diesel.  Most of them never needed anything but basic maintenance and tires until around 150k.  Unfortunately we had our first catastrophic failure of a Duramax last week.  A 3500 dually with about 300k on it broke a crank.  We've had about 2.5 million miles of service out of Duramaxes, and this was the first internal issue we've ever had.  Not to mention we've never had a single mechanical issue out of an Allison.  I'm knocking on wood as I type this.  

Anyway, I've pretty much gotten over the notion of giving Dodge (oh wait, "Ram") another shot.  In doing some reading on a Dodge forum, they seem to still be having all sorts of problems, and in some cases no solutions.  Apparently there's a bunch of new trucks on dealer lots that they cant even sell due to a safety recall that FCA hasn't even figured out a fix for yet.  I'm going to stick with what I know works.  

 

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I`ve got a tuned Duramax. It`s a beast. The only downfall is in tight urban or parking lot traffic. I would not choose it for a daily driver, which mine is not, but once you are on the road, I love it. My buddy has an older Dodge, the body of the truck will not outlive the Cummins.

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I was crawling around on one at the Nashville Auto Show and wasn't really impressed with the feel of it.  I'm kind of lukewarm on the looks of them as well.  I have a friend with a 2012 Ford dually, and its been plagued by several issues.  But the biggest thing is that I was burned pretty bad by a 2008 Dually with the 6.4 Power Stroke, and I still haven't gotten over it.  It was in the shop 10 times in 65k miles.  4 of those times it left me stranded on the side of the road and had to be towed to a dealer.  That was all in just over a years time.  

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Driving fast in salt water floods does a lot of underneath rotting.  I lived at the New Jersey shore for years. The amount of very fine sand & salt splashed up under a vehicle is unreal.

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