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03-05 Dodge Ram 2500/3500

Discussion in 'Ram Trucks' started by Polarisrider, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. Polarisrider

    Polarisrider Member
    Messages: 93

    hey guys, I have a gmc 2500hd, 6.0 right and am thinking of jumping over to a dodge in the spring possibly,

    I'd be looking for a 03-05 ram 2500/3500 cummins. so what is the good and bad on these trucks?

    how are the automatics vs. the 6 speeds trans?
    how is the 4wd on the floor compared to the knob on the dash? My gm cost me with the buttons.

    what should I look for when looking at one, I've never owned a diesel, should I be leary of injectors like the duramax

    or should I stick with gm and look for a duramax

    Not trying to start a war, just seeking some good info

    Maybe something like this

  2. plowguy43

    plowguy43 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,281

    Personally I've owned an 04 HEMI Quad Cab (had the switched 4x4) and it was really a flawless truck for plowing. Handled my 8' XBlade with ease and barely cared that I hung a 9'6" EZV on it driving an hour and a half home from North Conway NH in the spring.

    The Pro's (In My Opinion):
    - Handle Plow Weight Well
    - Are reliable, and fairly simple trucks
    - Plenty of ground clearance, you won't hit the undercarriage on curbs, etc
    - 4 doors are a blessing
    - Cummins is very reliable, lift pumps do go but its due to heat and generally are reliable regardless.
    - Cummins are much easier/cheaper to fix than Pstrokes/Dmax's- simply look under the hood and you'll see why
    - The 48RE 4 speed is a VERY reliable tranny. When "built" its probably the strongest tranny produced.

    Con's -
    - Front Axle is strong, but Dodge did not put servicable parts in. Ujoints & hubs like to go due to water getting past the seals. Ball Joints are weak from the factory as well as no grease fitting. On the plus side - there is a very big aftermarket for the Dodge Front end with parts that you replace once and don't worry about again.
    - Ride is a little stiff at times, Bilstein shocks make a huge difference.

    Thats really it, I loved my truck but it wasn't worth the payment for the amount I use a truck. Hope this helps.

    Check out dodgetalk.com, cumminsforums.com, etc for more info.
  3. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    There are some differences between the 03 - 04 diesels and the 04.5 - 05 diesels which could be considered significant. Im typing on my cell phone now so ill just suggest you sign up at cummins forum and do some research and ill post more from my computer later. My 04.5 has been a very good truck.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2011
  4. ry_rock

    ry_rock Senior Member
    Messages: 105

    I picked up an 03 last year and to this point love the truck. I went with the 03 to get the standard output 5.9 cummins for fuel economy I won't start a numbers war but if you are an easy driver and are concerned about your mpg you can't go wrong sadly however it has the 47RE trans which I have heard have issues but so far so good for me....best of luck!!
  5. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    Early 03 may have the 47RE transmission. Not as good as the 48RE
    03 - 04.5 has engine mounted fuel pump. Will fail and then is relocated into the tank.
    03 - 04 has no cat converter and also no third fuel injection event. This gets you a little better mileage. There were a few different power ratings depending on if you had a California engine or a standard output or a high output.
    In 04.5 a cat was added and the third injection event. This is to clean up emissions but it will cost a small amount of mileage. All engines were rated at 325 hp and 600 tq
    In 05 the fuel pump went into the fuel tank.
  6. Polarisrider

    Polarisrider Member
    Messages: 93

    thanks fellas, defiantly put some confidence in me about a dodge, not too concrened with the milage side of things, and basically if I go thru the front end I should have a pretty reliable plow truck, The solid front axle is what really sold me on maybe switching from gm this coming spring

    Also with the 6-speed trans, any one ever have any problems with clutch, pressure plates, etc.?
  7. jhenderson9196

    jhenderson9196 Senior Member
    Messages: 615

    I have 265,000 miles on my 04.5 ram , with the NV56000 trans .I tow a 15,000 lb dump trailer 3-4 days a week and plow a mixture of driveways and parking lots. I changed my clutch at 175,000 miles because I was afraid, and I wasted my money. The clutch disc was half worn, and the pressure plate , throw out bearing, and pilot bearing were fine. You should over fill the 5600 trans by 2 quarts , because the top bearings in the main case can fail due to lack of lube on long up-hill pulls. This is the advice of Standard Transmissions and Gear in TX.
  8. plowguy43

    plowguy43 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,281

    The manual trans they've used behind the Cummins (and Gas Motors) are some of the most reliable on the market - NV4500, NV5600, G56.
  9. kevlars

    kevlars Senior Member
    Messages: 407

    I have an OLD 2002 Cummins. I put on an aftermarket Airdog 150 lift pump. Now I never have less than 18 psi fuel pressure. Has been very reliable for the last 4 years. I have an 8 1/2' Hiniker V on it, handles it great. 7800 pounds without the plow makes for some serious traction while plowing. When I get a different truck, it will be a Cummins, probably a 2004.5-2007. Before the emissions stuff on the 6.7 liter models. I also put on a 4" exhaust with no muffler, sounds great and runs better with lower EGT's. IMO, can't go wrong with a Cummins.