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Dodge Diesel... 96 - 99 years....

Discussion in 'Ram Trucks' started by ProWorkz.com, Dec 10, 2004.

  1. I am looking to purchase a Dodge Diesel truck for work. 96' thru 99' 3/4 regular cab with auto trans. Any type of mechanical issues with the 96' thru 99' year Dodge Diesels?
  2. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113

    The engines were great and reliable too. The only weakness is the front axle if you use a snowplow with those model years and up to and including 02. 99 back had mechanical injection pumps (as I recall they changed over in 2000) and were pretty trouble free.
  3. axles

    When you say the Dodge axles are weak...... are the prone to breaking? I have a 71 Jeep Wagoneer that I picked up this season. It has been plowing hard for the last 7 years with no axle problems. I can not imagine the Dodge trucks from 96 - 99 having any weaker front axles than the my 71 wagoneer? I will put a western uni mount 7' 6" plow on the Dodge.... Thanks for the input.....

  4. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113

    The problem is that the cummins weighs a lot (engine and tranny is over 1400lbs!!) and when a plow is on truck the front axle weight can hit 5500 lbs and more pretty easy (well above design limits for the axle in use in those older trucks). The first thing to go is the axle ball joint/pivot points with premature wear. It is a big problem and the main reason the quietly replaced front axle in 03 with a much beefier unit with much larger ball joints to better carry the load for a longer period of time too. Also, I have owned a few Fullsized jeeps in my day and the D44 used in them was a bit studier than the one the big 3 used (thicker housing and such) and the vehicals weighed less too to begin with for their size so when a plow was on them they still usually had a bit of reserve.

    Do not take my word for it. Look under a 93 thru 02 Dodge 4x4 diesel and then look under a 03 model or newer and the difference is night and dayeven to a untrained eye.
  5. apkole

    apkole Member
    Messages: 75

    Except for a failure of a torque converter at 66,000 miles, our '99 Dodge Cummins pickup (155,000 miles) has had no major drive train problems. The front axle is a Dana 60 and the rear is a Dana 70. The truck is equipped with a Boss super duty 8' straight blade and an Ebling 7' back blade. We are quite quick to drop the plows when plowing operations are complete. Our '91 Dodge diesel had 177,000 miles on it when we sold it this spring. The buyer just upfitted that truck with a 9' Ebling back blade and a Western V on the front. Again, outside of a couple of tranny failures (caused by operator error) this truck exhibited no evidence of axle failure. Setup the same as the '99. Both of these trucks have served us well in our commercial and residential snowplowing operation.

    Dodge trucks have been a core component of our snowplowing operation. Of course, our company has only been around since 1964, so it's not like we've got a good handle on the truck thing. ;)

    Last edited: Dec 12, 2004
  6. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113

    Glad to see you have had good luck. Also they do not fail and fall apart but I would be willing to bet that if you checked the axle pivot/ball joints, you would find a good bit of wear because that is the weakest link on them and why complete assembly was upgraded.
  7. apkole

    apkole Member
    Messages: 75

    Yeah, Tarkus, you're probably correct on that one. After 155,000 miles the dealer tech did have to replace an upper ball joint on the '99 this fall. Pretty scary.

    We've run 'em all, and for us the make with the lowest cost of operation and the least downtime has been the Dodge. Can't say that they work that well for everyone. We do have a heated shop and a consistent maintenance program. That probably helps put us ahead of the game just as much as the brand of manufacturer.
  8. Ggg6

    Ggg6 Senior Member
    from IL
    Messages: 521

    You might want to consider a 1 ton instead of a 3/4. Bigger brakes, tougher suspensions and axles. You can get the D70 front depending on options. Tarkus is correct on the weight a Cummins weighs #1100 compared to a big block at 700. I have a 93 Cummins W350 SRW with a D80 rear and D70 front, those are good beefy diffs, even compared to my other D350 DRW D70 rear. Any year on the Cummins is a good year period. They all will last 500,000 with normal maintenance. But the diesel trannies have been a weak link in my opinion, autos and manuals. The stock clutches on 93+ are weak too. You can get a real good aftermarket torque converter and rebuild, but they are not cheap. Large trans coolers are a must.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2004
  9. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    From 94-02 the 2500 WAS the 1 ton- there were 2 versions, the heavier duty which was most of the diesel equipped ones was rated at 8800# GVWR- 1 ton capacity the 3500 models were DRWL only. Mine, an 8800 has a Spicer 70 rear- same as the 3500's.

    The trannys are weak if you want to add any power to the engine- they can only handle about 600FT/Lbs touque without self destruction.

    Front suspension related aside from what has already been said the track bars are a major problem- they wear out very quickly- as fast as every 2 months on some trucks. they result is wandering and failure to align the front end.
    MIne lasted over 100K miles but many only last 6 months. The after market replacements are no better than factory but they are cheaper.

    Several custom shops make kits with much better racing type components.
    the cheapest solution is a Luke's Link which lets you rebuild the failed ball joint end and adjust it when needed to re tighten it. Less than $75 and well worth it.

    Check out the dodge boards on line like DIRT and TDR for better info and more specific issues (dodgeram.org is my fav) with many solutions.
  10. Mopar44094

    Mopar44094 Junior Member
    from IL
    Messages: 3

    you can also go to dodgetruckworld.com
  11. BigDaddyT

    BigDaddyT Junior Member
    from Alaska
    Messages: 13

    The 98 12v is the pick of the litter.
  12. hickslawns

    hickslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 627

    Front ends with problems, yes. However, they all do that nowadays. My gas powered Superduty has the same ball joint issues as my current ride which is a diesel 2000 Ram3500 quad cab 4x4. I had a 91 Dodge 250 2wd, 95 Dodge reg cab 2500 4x4 and a 95 3500 ext cab 4x4 all with the cummins. Ball joints will be a problem. If you want a good setup I would recommend the 5sp tranny. My 95 Ram2500 4x4 with the cummins had 3 tranny within 25000 miles. If you need to replace one I would not recommend Jasper. At least I only bought one and the rest were warranty. Here is a problem I am hearing more of lately. Whenever you have the truck serviced check the fuel pressure from the fuel transfer pump between the tank and injector pump. They get weak forcing the injector pump to work harder and fail prematurely. The transfer pump is about $200-300 I think, but much cheaper than $1200-1300 for a rebuilt injector pump. I have not heard of anyone having problems with the actual axles on these trucks, just the ball joints and track bars, and occasional fuel transfer pump. Other than that, everyone I know that has owned one replaced it with a newer Cummins. By the way, if you must have the auto tranny, they do make some aftermarket items to help them. There are tranny coolers, and they have ways to boost the pressure in the lines and lock them until they need to shift. . . many remedies to the auto tranny problems. Supposedly some shop in California sells one for around $3k with a lifetime warranty. Some guy in W Virginia can rebuild them to make them comparable to the allison trans. Everybody seems to know someone with the answer, but my solution was going to the 5sp. Good luck with your decision.
  13. Dodge

    I will be picking up a 94 Dodge 2500 Diesel. Orignial owner ,4 x 4 with a 5 speed. Power everything with matching shell. $7800.00 . No plowing with this rig.....
  14. 94

    Drove the truck home last night. 85 mph the entire way. 22.5 miles per gallon.


    Camper shell and nerf bars are for sale........ Reno, Nevada area.....
  15. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    nice. Drive more like the speed limit and you should get 24 mpg. Mine with 4.11 gears tops out at about 77 Mph and gets (when running right) 16mpg.
  16. ProWorkz.com

    ProWorkz.com Guest
    Messages: 0

    New Paint

    Just got the truck out the paint shop. Paint is exact match for factory.. No molding or badges....




  17. T-MAN

    T-MAN PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,363

    Sweet look, is that new Daimler paint ? Looks an awfull lot like the color of my 05 LOL
  18. OneBadDodge06

    OneBadDodge06 Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 770


    Hey do you know if any mods are required to the cummins td to be able to run biodiesel?
  19. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    There are no mods required of ANY diesel engines to run Biodiesel-there are mods required to run straight veggie oil, but not biodiesel- biodiesel is by definition diesel fuel produced from biological rather than petroleum sources.
  20. Ggg6

    Ggg6 Senior Member
    from IL
    Messages: 521

    The only "mod" that I know of to run Biodiesel is to make sure any natural rubber hoses, o-rings, etc. are replaced with a synthetic material. Viton o-rings are good ones to use, and elastomer rubber hoses are good too. The year and engine you have make a big difference on what was used at the factory. For example; I have a 91 Dodge/Cummins which requires new synthetic rubber parts, but in 92 they switched to synthetic rubber at the factory so they are pretty much ready to use bio.
    But as far as any special tanks, pumps, or injectors, you do not need to mod any of them to use bio. Like was said, running straight WVO is another story.