Dodge 2500 (gas burner)

Discussion in 'Tow Rigs and Trailers' started by shelby27604, Sep 23, 2019.

  1. shelby27604

    shelby27604 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    Location:
    Raleigh
    Looking at a 2nd. Gen Ram 2500, was hoping to find a V10 with an NV4500, but instead I have found a 5.9l magnum with the NV4500 and 3.55 gears.

    Years ago I had a 1998 K2500 with the 5.7l / NV4500 / 4.10's /33's and it seemed to struggle with anything over 6,000lbs.....on paper the 5.9l magnum and the 5.7l vortec seem "comparable"......anyone have experience with this setup? Tow capacity is listed at just under 9k and I would probably use every bit of it.

    I know the 5.9l will be thirsty, but I am not really concerned about that, I don't mind going up grades at 55mph and not using 5th gear when towing as long as the power is there. Seems like you can wake the 5.9l up a bit with an ECU reflash (to delete the "death flash" from the dealer) once you have sealed up the intake properly and dropped in a cooler t-stat.....but again, I am more concerned about reliability.
     
  2. NickMaul

    NickMaul Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2009
    Location:
    Norfolk, VA
    @JC had that setup for a while. He might have regeared his axles. Not sure but he towed a CJ buggy all over with it. Went to Moab in 2011 IIRC. So it is possible :D


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  3. 77GreenMachine

    77GreenMachine Phillip Talton

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2010
    Location:
    Trinity, NC
    JC is no longer on the forum I believe.

    I think his was a V10 if I remember right.

    My friend had a 2500 with the 5.9 and I can’t think of a more gutless truck. I’m shocked it’s rated at 9k cause his struggled with 2 riding mowers on a small utility trailer. One time we put a four wheeler in the bed, 2 on a trailer along with a dirt bike and you’d have thought we were pulling a parachute down the road! Granted his was an automatic, and probably could have used a tune up. I don’t want to discourage you, maybe someone else can chime in. I know the V10 will get the job done all day but that 5.9 wasn’t too impressive.
     
  4. shelby27604

    shelby27604 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    Location:
    Raleigh
    Seems the 5.9l is going to be underwhelming, but all the V10's I am finding are more than the truck I am looking at, and have the automatic trans. (which seems to be a guarantee that a rebuild is in your future).

    It looks like some pretty simple tricks can wake up the 5.9l a bit.....I am going to make the trek to check it out this weekend. Fingers crossed I suppose.
     
  5. BigClay

    BigClay Knower of useless ZJ things

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Location:
    Winston-Salem

    JC's was most definitely a 5.9 360 gas truck, one of the reasons I went with the V10.


    To the OP, any of the auto trans in these trucks are gonna be the weak link. I have the 5 speed NV4500 in my V10, and I have had no troubles with it. If you can find a V8 with the manual, it wouldn't be horrible, but it wouldn't be the most desirable engine.
     
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  6. shelby27604

    shelby27604 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    Location:
    Raleigh
    went and checked out two trucks today, a V8/NV4500 club cab, long bed, 4wd. The second truck was a V10/47RH reg. cab long bed 4wd....the V10 had a second gear slip, but was otherwise nice.

    When all was said and done, I went with the 5.9l with a hand shaker! The price was right, she needs some love, but made it 200 miles he at 70mph.
     

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  7. Pennsylvaniaboy

    Pennsylvaniaboy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    Location:
    Chambersburg, PA
    which ever you buy....gears. I have a ford v10,4.30 gears and I cant imagine having less gearing...
     
  8. 77GreenMachine

    77GreenMachine Phillip Talton

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2010
    Location:
    Trinity, NC
    Maybe with the 5speed it will pull much better than my buddies with the auto. I hope it works out well for you, get a load hooked to that thing and report back to us!
     
  9. /dev/yj

    /dev/yj Ralph Graw

    Joined:
    May 19, 2005
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    I've got a '98 5.9 gas auto w/4.10s. And larger tires than stock. Would love to regear. Engine still has good compression, could probably benefit from new injectors but is headed for 3rd tranny rebuild. If you end up with tweaks to get more out of the 5.9 or a way to swap a manual in, I'd love to hear it. Truthfully, the heavier a load in the bed, the more the tranny is happy. I think that's one of the contributing factors. YMMV
     
  10. Lee

    Lee ECGS

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Location:
    Rougemont NC
    I towed for many years with a 5.9 auto ram. M1 intake manifold/throttle body/headers and gears made a world of difference on it. I ate through a few autos and swapped in an nv4500. The truck actually towed better with the auto though. The nv4500 has to much of a jump from 2nd-3rd and the gasser does not have enough low end torque to over come this when towing heavy loads in my opinion. With the nv4500 it just never seemed to be in the correct gear for towing. turned to many rpms in 4th and just didnt have enough grunt for 5th in my opinion. this was with 35" tires and 4.56 gears also fyi.
     
  11. shelby27604

    shelby27604 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    Location:
    Raleigh
    Truck drives / pulls a lot like my old K2500...which had a 5.7l vortec and NV4500 w/4.10 gears....which isn't bad, cause this one has 3.55 gears.

    I suspect the plenum plate is leaking, and the truck needs a good tune-up. If I can find a set of donor 4.10 axles I will swap them in, but I probably won't throw the cash at a regear.

    The very first thing this rig needs is some attention paid to the brakes, no load is getting pulled until I can get a good firm pedal and no left/right pull on hard braking.
     
  12. /dev/yj

    /dev/yj Ralph Graw

    Joined:
    May 19, 2005
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    Don't get me started on the pull when braking - been a nightmare search for the cause. I'm finally learning that the '96 (typo in my earlier post) had a taper on the knuckles and tie rod that was unique amongst the various years (Thuren website link pending). I chose to upgrade to a T-style from a later year to get a beefier setup, but the taper has been grinding for years. The unit bearings don't make it easy either. Not sure where I'm headed next but driving this thing is getting scary.
     
  13. shelby27604

    shelby27604 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    Location:
    Raleigh
    @/dev/yj I wanted to follow-up, I just swapped to a T-style (I assume above you are referring to the 98-99 HD steering swap).

    To keep the tech up to date, this is the link to the site I used for all the part numbers.
    98-99 Heavy Duty Steering Conversion

    Before I did the swap, I worked on my brakes, not sure how extensive your search for your brake issues has been, but I found a slightly collapsed brake flex line, and a sticky caliper to be the root cause of my steering pull while breaking. The steering upgrade has been a nice improvement in steering feel, but was done after I fixed my brake/steering pull issues.

    I have been very happy with the 5.9l gas engine so far, maybe it is because I am still running stock size tires (pizza cutters).....the truck could always use MORE power....but who has ever said they have enough...or TOO much?
     
  14. Clubbs

    Clubbs Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    Location:
    Blounts Creek
    I used to tow my ramcharger behind my 97 ram 1500 with the 5.9 and auto. I thought it did fine. Got 10mpg no matter what and I could keep up with traffic on the hwy well enough. I beat on that poor truck and it never gave up. Sold it to some marine about 8 years ago and he still has it, it's still his daily and he loves it. I replaced the steering around 125k and made a T style setup with all chevy 1 ton tres and drag link ends. Cost about $120 is parts and $90 in chromoly tubing but worked great and lifetime warranty on the zone chevy ends. You should have many years left in that truck from my experience.
     
  15. /dev/yj

    /dev/yj Ralph Graw

    Joined:
    May 19, 2005
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    Thanks for that link! I used Moog parts for that year but these may not have the correct taper. Will look into the right parts. May finally fix the drift!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  16. shelby27604

    shelby27604 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    Location:
    Raleigh
    I did a decent amount of research and the taper is an odd-ball, the 98-99HD seems to be the only definitive plug and play option, I think there was a 98+ LD steering, that was still a T-style, but had a different taper.

    I have been very pleased with the truck overall, I was getting 10mpg around town, but with the replacing the stuck caliper, a tune-up, and the alignment the last fill-up was right at 12mpg which was 100% in town driving....that is a 20% improvement. Not sure if the NV4500 helps or hurts, because this rig is a blast to drive!
     
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  17. drkelly

    drkelly Dipstick who put two vehicles on jack stands

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Location:
    Oak Ridge/Stokesdale, NC
    I have had the same experience even in my 01 Ram with the Cummins (stock motor FYI) when pulling 7-8k lbs. Starting at the bottom of a hwy on ramp going up hill trying to get up to speed by the end of the merging lane, and the gap between the gears in the NV4500 is annoying. I always feel like I wanted more gears closer together. A 6spd or 8 spd manual transmission would be much better.

    Cue the folks saying put a tuner on it in 3, 2, 1..., but I like to leave my tow rig stock. It allows me to keep my money in the bank and to make it home every time.
     
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  18. shelby27604

    shelby27604 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    Location:
    Raleigh
    I haven't towed REAL heavy with the 5.9/NV4500 yet, but with 6k on the bumper, the gear spacing seems fine, you have to run the engine to 3500rpm between shifts to keep into the tq. curve when you grab the next gear. This truck seems like a generation beyond the 96 Silverado I had with a 5.7/NV4500 with 4.10 gears.
     
  19. shelby27604

    shelby27604 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    Location:
    Raleigh
    Just got back from a 180 mile tow, I was pleasantly surprised to get 10mpg.....the NV4500 definitely makes you work on back roads, 50mph is a "speed hole" where you can be screaming in 3rd or bogged down in 4th.

    My 97 k2500 towed this same truck on a u-haul trailer a few years back, I stick to my previous assessment, the 5.9l magnum with 3.55 gears is better than the 5.7l vortex with 4.10 gears. The Silverado struggled to keep 60mph on the highway in 4th, the Ram was plugging away doing 75mph and ready for more.
     
  20. Stuntman Autoworks

    Stuntman Autoworks Instigator of things

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Location:
    Sanford NC 27330
    Sounds like you need a supercharger, you know for better economy.
     
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  21. shelby27604

    shelby27604 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    Location:
    Raleigh
    I am too cheap to put premium in my vehicles.....power adders are fun, but by the time I got done with tuning, and install, I could have swapped in a V10 and been ahead of the game.
     
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  22. Stuntman Autoworks

    Stuntman Autoworks Instigator of things

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Location:
    Sanford NC 27330
    Then put a supercharger on the v10 :driver:

    I like the truck man keep us posted
     
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  23. shelby27604

    shelby27604 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    Location:
    Raleigh
    Continuing with this thread, anyone with a 2nd gen, what does your brake pedal feel like? Mine feels soft through the travel, truck stops fine, wheels can be locked, and the pedal doesn't pump up or drop like there is trapped air anywhere.

    I am wondering if this is stock feeling (undersized master from new) or if I should swap the master out (looks to be "newer" than the rest of the truck).
     
  24. drkelly

    drkelly Dipstick who put two vehicles on jack stands

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Location:
    Oak Ridge/Stokesdale, NC
    I have an 01 Ram 2500. Mine has a stiff pedal. Maybe you need to bleed the brakes again after the work you did?
     
  25. shelby27604

    shelby27604 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    Location:
    Raleigh
    Bled the brakes twice now, new lines (flex and hard).

    It doesn't feel like air to me, normally with trapped air, if you pump the brakes with the truck off, you can pump it to a hard pedal, there is no change in this case.
     

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