1995 Ram 1500 - Eating my words

Chuck Smith

2000 Club Member
Well, 7 years ago, and 130,000 miles ago, I told my brother he was going to have problems with his front end, due to the track arms. I thought they were going to be like Ford's "C bushings" and need replacing often.

Like I said, 7 years, a rebuilt engine, a rebuilt trans, and 130,000 miles later, and the bushings are still fine. My brother has beat the truck pretty hard, overloaded it for long rides (300 miles + with 3500# in the bed 6 times a year) and that truck is holding up great. He tows a trailer with snow mobiles on it and another in the truck bed up to Booneville, NY a few times each winter. Last year he even made the trip with his plow on, just to be sure to make it to the hotel. Once there, he didn't care, and he would go everywhere on his sled.

About 5 years ago, we put a Superlift 2" lift kit on it. It was add a leafs in the rear, and new coils up front. Came with the cheap shocks. The shocks leaked in less than a year, and we put in Monroes. Well, that was about 4 years ago we put the Monroes in. My brother noticed them leaking oil last week, so he decided to have a good look at the front end. His buddy was able to get Dodge springs for a 2500 at the dealership he works at dirt cheap. So, my brother went for springs, and new Monroes. When they pulled the front wheels off, the pads were almost into the rotors, so he got new pads too. The sway bar end links were rusted away, so he replaced them.

He said the truck has never had such a great ride. He is really impressed. I didn't get to drive it yet, but I am anxious.

After we put that Superlift in 5 years ago, there was a thumping under the passenger floorboard. It actually felt like something was hitting the floorboard, but we couldn't find anything. He put up with it for 5 years! Well, after installing the Dodge springs, and new Monroes, guess what??? The thumping is gone!!

The only "bad" thing he noticed doing the spring job, is that his front axle seals are starting to leak a little. When I explained the gears have to come out to change the seals, he decided to live with the leak until it gets worse. I told him it might have been some oil from the shocks too.

I got a set of Monroes, with coil over springs on them. I had them on my truck just over a year, and less than 5,000 miles, and all the oil leaked out of them. Go figure. I replaced the same Monroes that were on there, because they were completely rusted. They still worked though. Still have old Monroes on the front, God only knows how long they have been on there. They are still working fine, but the bozo that put them in, put the bolts from the tire side mount through the shock eye and into the engine side mount. So now I can't use a nutsplitter to split the nut, and a hammer and punch to drive out the bolt.... That's the only reason I haven't replaced them yet, that and "if it ain't broke...". Now I will have to grind the heads off the bolts, and beat them out with a hammer and punch. So remember it DOES make a difference sometimes which way you put a bolt in!

As far as any problems over the years with his Dodge? Not many. He got 103,000 miles out of the trans (which the BIG rumor said was a problem) and changed the motor at 100,000 after blowing a hole in the top of a piston. That was caused by the EGR valve malfunctioning. He has had to replace the catalytic converter 4 times so far. It happened at 35,000 miles (warranty covered it), and again at 70,000, then when he did the motor, and just last month he did it again. My buddy who replaced it the last 3 times said it keeps plugging up because my brother's truck idles for hours a day, year round. In the summer he leaves it running with the AC on, and in the winter running with the heat on. He is a housing police officer, so his truck is his office.

Anyway.... anyone who has read my posts over the years, or read my Snowplowing Handbook knows how hard my brother is on anything with an engine. You name it, he has destroyed it. From when he was 13 and had a Yamaha 80, to when he was 15 and killed a General 5 Star moped, to when he was 18 and blew the trans in his 88 Kawasaki KLR400 twice from riding wheelies on it and shifting gears in the air and shredding the synchros, to getting 30 points on his driver's liscense when he owned a 79 Z/28, to killing his Yamaha Waveraider that was bored out, had a custom head, and 4" exhaust and only ran on avaition fuel.

This Dodge he hasn't been able to kill. He has busted his plow into 2 pieces on more than one occassion, he cracked an A frame on the plow, went through 5 sets of tires, and the Dodge has taken it all in stride. When plowing and coming to the end of a run he would often pop it into 2wd, do a 180° and pop it back into 4wd and plow the other way. Said it took to long to back up, and too long to turn around in 4wd. The wires in his tilt steering column broke from moving the tilt wheel so much, the driver's seat is shot beyond belief, but that is minor after 7 years and 130,000 miles!
I am a Chevy man, but if I had my choice of 3/4 ton truck, I'd be driving a Dodge.



Senior Member
Lords Valley, PA
When plowing and coming to the end of a run he would often pop it into 2wd, do a 180° and pop it back into 4wd and plow the other way. Said it took to long to back up, and too long to turn around in 4wd.
That's halarious!!! I'd love to see that one.


Long Island, NY
That is pretty funny. Would deffinately like to see it. As far as the track arms, i just replaced mine for the first time. I have 73,000 on it now, and i replaced it about a month ago. Also did the EGR valve and o2 sensor. All in all, the truck is great for me, being 20, all i do is go on the beach and beat it. Also throw a mower in the back in the summer. Chuck, tell your brother good luck and I hope he gets many more miles on it. By the way, this summer might call for a supercharger, so if anyone has any ideas, feel free to post them. THANKS!!


Junior Member
west seneca,ny
Chuck..sounds like he really beats the crap out of it,good to hear its holding up.I plow with my ram 2500 and Ive done some bonehead things but the truck is very forgiving except when I was going to get smokes at the reservation(bout 30 miles from my house)and at the start of one road theres two sets of train tracks one is a small hill no big deal but the second is steep,not sure of the degree of incline but at 15mph it was enough to lift my front end off the ground and I have a diesel in the front,anyway I felt the truck leave the gorund and it came down hard on the other side
and now I have the right front tire losing air at a slow pace but enogh where I have to fill it up every three days or so.Truck has 70,000miles and Its holding up well,but not as bad as your brothers ram.Give me time though he sounds just like me.
2WD is great for turning around

I have a 97 Ram diesel,club cab long bed and it takes ALOT of room to turn it around when plowing.I can almost spin it in place if I put it in 2WD.Now that I'm used to it I do it all the time.

Now with a few minor upgrades to the Cummins I can do it on dry pavement too. :)
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