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99 ram towing problems

Discussion in 'Ram Trucks' started by spire-32, Apr 13, 2003.

  1. spire-32

    spire-32 Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    i have a 99 ram 1500 4x4 with a 5.2l, and was wondering if anyone has had success with using any of the after market computers or the mopar computers. most say not to use for towing but i think that there should be something designed for towing. i am towing a enclosed three placed trailer with a tandem axle. it weighs about 4000 lbs loaded.
     
  2. Nozzleman

    Nozzleman Senior Member
    Messages: 267

    Welcome to Plowsite. First off the late model Dodge V-8s have been known to "ping" alot and I am not sure if a performance computer/chip would enhance this condition or help it but I am sure someone here has that answer.

    Also, What axle ratio do you have. The 3.55's are not great for towing especially in you truck given it size/power ratio and this condition only gets worse with over sized tires.

    Anyway, I would bet a K&N filterpak and cat back exhaust system would help and they would also compliment any computer changes nicely.

    Try posting this question over on http://www.pickuptruck.com/. They also have a forum for Dodge trucks and you might reach a broader audience.
     
  3. Roger Dodger

    Roger Dodger Senior Member
    from nw Pa.
    Messages: 240

    Only the K&N FIPK will give some performance gain as their drop-in filter hardly does more than empty your wallet. Pinging can be corrected by running a 180° T-stat over the 195°, switching to higher octane too but that's costly over the long run. The Mopar 'puter will increase performance but many have claimed it's lousy for towing as it shifts the torque to higher rpms... exactly the opposite what's needed for towing. As long as you can get the motor to breathe efficiently and have a strong drivetrain, you'll do fine.
     
  4. spire-32

    spire-32 Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    thanks for the feed back.
    by the way i do have the 3.55 gears and the drop in k&n filter, i am also running champion truck plugs with accel wires, and religously use amsoil and have never seen over 180 degrees on my temp gauge. i run mid-grade gas and i dont have any pinging in my engine. i used to but have taken the steps to correct it. now i feel that the engine could use a little more help and thought that a computer might be the way to go.
     
  5. dillyolboy

    dillyolboy Member
    Messages: 97

    In 97 Dodge switched to the ODB II computer. It will set the timing back if you don't run high enough octane so you have to run 89 or higher I believe. The 5.2 doesn't tow well anyways as opposed to the 5.9 It has a nice pop coming off (it actually feels faster) the line but the 5.9 has more power through the whole rpm range. Maybe you can swap to 3.90s. I dunno, I just put the pedal in the carpet and make sure the OD is off. My uncle has a 99 w/5.2 and I wasn't at all impressed power wise. I wouldn't mind towing something with it on the side but it definitely isn't the best out there.
     
  6. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    spire 32,welcome to plowsite. As you found out the 318/3.55 combo isnt good for towing. There isnt much your going to do to increase its towing power short of a supercharger.Headers/cat back exhaust,and a free flowing filter will help,but the your cost per Hp gained is high,it really isnt worth it. You need 4.10 gears at the minimum as well. If your towing this load regularly,trade up to a stronger truck,either the Cummins(best choice,wont even know 4000lbs is behind it),or the new hemi,or V10.Do not trade for a 360,they are just as gutless,only they drink more gas.If your towing occasionally live with it,and manually shift it to keep the RPM"s up.
     
  7. dillyolboy

    dillyolboy Member
    Messages: 97

    John the 360 has 40 more ft/lb of torque than the 318 but from your perspective with a Cummins yes they are both weed whipper motors.
     
  8. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    One of my good friends has an 02 Ram 1500 with the 5.9 magnum.The truck is awesome,the engine is a wimp.We went snowmobiling,and took his truck once,never again. Not just from a Cummins perspective,our buddie had a 95 s10 blazer with 4.3 ,it outpulls this thing,both with 2 place enclosed trailer,snowmobiles in them. The Dodge 5.9 just isnt much stronger than the 5.2,IMO ,defintely not worth trading trucks to get 40 ft lbs of torque. As for my Cummins,yes it tows very good.In fact,after towing with it,I think I would need a Kenworth to be impressed. My truck literally doesnt know 8500 lbs is behind it,it just shruggs it off,as for hills,what hills,they do not exist with my truck.You never,ever have to kickdown the auto out of OD unlesss you intentionally slow down.It is amazing how 1000 ft lbs of torque at the wheels makes trailers and hills seamingly dissappear,its deceptive because you only have 2200 or so RPM,but all that torque is pulling you in the seat.
     
  9. spire-32

    spire-32 Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    my next truck will definitely be a deisel, but right now i have to deal with this truck. i bought a three place enclosed trailer this past year. i may have to go back to a two place next year. i had no problems towing the two place.

    i am wondering about the computer though. would any one recommend a mopar computer over the hypertech programmer? i see that they came out with one for dodge now.