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Dodge vs. Chevy

CrewCut

Junior Member
I hear rumors on how much better a chevy 3/4 h-d is so much better than dodge 3/4. I have a brand new 2001 2500 ram and I beg to differ, I don't see anything the chevy can do that the dodge can't. Whats your opinion?
 

thelawnguy

PlowSite.com Addict
Location
Central CT
"I hear rumors ..."

Thats about it. Your Dodge has higer front axle rating, more ground clearance, roomier cab, proven track record, solid front axle vs. VW Jetta-style front end in the GM, you get the picture.

Anybody can read the fancy rhetoric from a glossy ad folder, but put em to the test and the real winner will stand tall.
 

John DiMartino

PlowSite.com Veteran
Location
Walden,NY
Gm's usually offer better ride quality and overall reliabilty,up til now they have never been able to match Dodge or Ford for capabilitys(towing,hauling,plowing).The better ride thing is gone,the HD's ride as firm as Ford and Dodge now,but the on-road feel and tracking of the IFS is superior to the solid axle,but thses are trucks,and id rather have the beefy Dana 60 in mine,it handles great for me.Reliabiltiy of GM's has been slipping,especially with the 99 and newer models,and Dodge's are now a lot better than they were in 99.Either truck will do what i need,but the Dodge will do the work end better and the GM would be my choice if i wanted a compromise between work/play.Im toosing both these trucks back and forth,ill end up buying one of them,Im not sure which one yet myself.Leaning more towards the dodge i think,now,especially after seeeing a new HD excab with an 8 ft western-front end is almost dragging on the ground,about 4" of clearance between road and plow frame.This one was a 6.0 auto with plow prep,short bed.My 89 LD 2500 sags less than the new HD,and ive never touched the torsion bars or anything in the front end.
 

PMU

Junior Member
All trucks are a compromise, and each has its streangths
that make it biased toward a certain use. The Dodge has
unsurpassed heavy towing economy with the I6 diesel and is
available with an iron cased 6-speed which is very robust.
Ford has a good all-around product, and their diesel will
appeal to those desiring acceleration near equal to a gas
engine (unloaded). Ford has a little better record with
their auto tranny behind the diesel than Dodge. Chevy has
a history of undersizing the cooling system, and even
programed the 6.2-6.5 to reduce power when the cooling
system couldnt keep up. There are a lot of problems with
the 6.2-6.5 Chevy compaired to Dodge/Ford, but they steer
and ride well. Chevy has done better with gas engines.
I'm still waiting to see if Chevy has done an in-depth
quality job on the duramax, or if they once again cut
corners on streangth,durability, and ultimate capacity.
Long winded, but if I could have the Allison in my Dodge
with brakes like the F450 then I wouldnt even consider the
others!
 

plowking35

2000 Club Member
Location
SE CT
I will qualify this post by first stating that I am a GM man. That being said I will go over the + for the GM product, you apparently know what you like about the Dodge.
I have driven all three brands, diesel and gas, and will say that next to the GM I would get a dodge.
The 2001 GM trucks have the best ride and interior of The big 3. Exterior looks are subjective so I wont go there.
The GM will do at least one thing the dodge or ford cant, and that is tow a gcwr of 22000 lbs. The ford and dodge are rated at 20000 lbs for 3/4 and 1 ton trucks.The limited slip differential is also better in the GM.
With the auto you get a far better tranny, and a grade braking feature as well that will stop the truck payload and trailer on its own, with no brakes. The duramax is alot quieter than a cummins, which translates to a an overall better driving experience. So at the driveup youi can order with out yelling. With the auto you also get alot more torque and hp thana dodge, with the 6 sp, you still get more hp and torque, but the HO cummins is better, but still not up the d max power levels. The dmax also has a very flat torque curve, so engine power is steady across the plain, instead of peaking and dropping off like the cummins.
Also you have the ability to purchase a crew cab with 6 and 8' beds, something dodge hasnt been able to offer in the 94+ models.
And for as many issues people have with the 6.2/6.5 mine has been more than able to perform for my needs, and I personally know of several dodge owners with a mutiltude of tranny, front end, and injector pump troubles. And unlike GM,dodge wont foot the bill past 100K or 5 yrs.
One has to drive the new d max to fully understand the level that Gm has raised the bar to, but time will tell as to whether or not it is as reliable as it needs to be.
I am not trying to start a flame war here, I have tried to keep it middle of the road, please dont start a brand war from this.
Dino
 

PMU

Junior Member
No brand war here, and I hope the d-max chevy is everything
GM claims, as we will all benefit from the competition. I
better not tell my Dodge that it can't tow 26000 GCVW, as
so far it has done so 400 miles each way while returning
11 mpg@65 mph for the last 4 years and 35000 miles. I can
also drive 65mph with my 9' plow on front without the
cooling system giving me any trouble, and my 88 chevy sure
couldn't do the same! That said, my 96 3500 GM was a better
truck than the 88 chevy, and had the best steering of any
truck I've ever driven as well as a smooth quiet ride. No
doubt, the Cummins is biased toward hard industrial use and
mine is turned off at the drive thru window! If that d-max
lives up to the hype then some day I'll buy one! Hope GM
(& Dodge) puts out a 4x4 to compete with the F450, and that
they ride as smoothly and quietly as my 96 chevy 3500. Now
THAT would be quite the truck: tow the loader, plow snow,
AND navigate that drive thru window!
 

plowking35

2000 Club Member
Location
SE CT
I have no doubt that the truck can tow it, its just exceeds the limits that Dodge has put on the truck. I dont think its the engine that isnt up to the challenge, its the rest of the drivetrain that may be suspect.
I see many hotshots towing goosnecks with 3-4 cars on them, how they can be legal, I dont know. But they do it all the time, and 75% of them drive dodges.
I see now that both ford and gm are designing class 5 trucks to be used just for that segment of the market.
Chevy is releasing a new line of medium duty trucks this year, and 4 wd will be an option late in the year.
Dino
 

PMU

Junior Member
Dino, do you know if the GM class 4 or 5 4x4 trucks will
have independant front suspension? If so, this sounds like
a very nice developement in the marketplace. I have owned
all the brands, and buy whichever comes closest to providing
a solution to my needs. I had been looking at another truck
and wanted to test the chevy 3500 chassis-cab, but none were
to be found near me. I looked at the F450, but it rode very
harshly and I didnt care for the interior. I am interested
to learn more about the class 4 Chevy 4x4. FWIW I'm not
brand loyal to Dodge, just satisfied that the truck does a
wide range of jobs without complaint.
 

John DiMartino

PlowSite.com Veteran
Location
Walden,NY
Dino,the 6 speed dodges have a 21,500GCWR,the auto s have a max of 19K with a 4.1o axle.The GM's are sweet trucks,but the Dodge's just handle the blade so much better I my opinion.As far as GCWR,it is for warranty only,i have a friend with a 1999 Dodge 3500 and its an auto,he is tagged for 38K lbs,legally,truck has 278K on it,still original tranny,engine's just broken in.LOL.
 
I have test driven a new GM HD,and they are a really nice truck.One concern though,they are REALLY slow in reverse,and the trans seems to shift to much (concerned about longetivity).Not too good if your lots require a lot of backing up.

I sure wish our dodge's tracked as well,as the GM's.That's my only complaint with the dodge's we have.We just bought another 2001-2500 Quadcab diesel,and was hoping to see an improvement.Nada,zip,my 97 Ram steers just as well,if not better.
 

DaveO

PlowSite.com Veteran
Location
Ma.
Ram Steering

wyldman,

The newer Rams definitely have a steering issue. I drove several before buying my '01 2500, and they all wandered somewhat in a straight line. Many people have brought them in for new steering boxes. Dodge has released a new box (Delphi) to be installed if warranted.

That said, perform the bearing preload adjustment, then the OTC(over center adjustment), on the box. These corrected mine to driving like it should. The TSB's are on "Fritz's" web page. Takes all of 1 hour, and steers excellent. Normally the dlr won't perform these, they just swap out the box.


Dino,

You don't think the torque curve is flat for a Cummins? From 1700-2700 it's a straight line....LOL


Dave
 

thelawnguy

PlowSite.com Addict
Location
Central CT
The 2001 has completely different brake system and steering components-knuckles, rotors, linkage, even wheels are not interchangeable with 94-00 models.

Could be 00 was the change but since it was only in production 3 mo its hard to say without research.
 

John DiMartino

PlowSite.com Veteran
Location
Walden,NY
Bill the 2000's have the new front end with the 5200 lb rating.and the 2001.5's got the rear disc brakes on top of that.The Gm steering box they come with is usually out of adjustment from the factory,proper adjustment takes out all the wander and play,but they will never track quite as good as IFS,but an IFS will never hold up to plowing and not sag out like the Dana 60.
 

plowking35

2000 Club Member
Location
SE CT
I dont know John about the plowing wear John.
Case study
1997 W-300 cab and chassis
1998 k-3500 cab and chassis
Both trucks have similar bodies on rear, and have plowed the same amount of time. My truck did need replace the pit man arm and one idle arm at 30K.
The dodge has had every component in the front suspension replaced, all bushings and springs.
The axel is stronger yes, but the springs,control arm bushings, and items related to them are not as strong.
As far as torque curves go, the d max is above 500 ft lbs from 850 rpm through 3100 rpm. That is as flat as it comes.
Dino
 

thelawnguy

PlowSite.com Addict
Location
Central CT
"The dodge has had every component in the front suspension replaced, all bushings and springs."

Dodge cab and chassis are not available (well, at least in 97 werent) with snow plow prep package. The steering components of a plow prep truck are stouter than those from a standard package truck.

Dodge dropped the "W" nomenclature in 93. 94-up are known as "BR".
 

plowking35

2000 Club Member
Location
SE CT
Dave is right, the d max torque curve starts at 1000 rpm at about 320 ft lbs and reaches 500 ft lbs at 1500 rpm, and stay above 500 ft lbs till 3100 when it begins to drop off.
In 97 we were told that the plow was acceptable for that truck. I was looking at a 98 dodge c&c and was told that the plow was not available for that model year.
The only ? I then have is, if the truck can take the abuse and weight so well, why no plow prep option?
Dino
 

PMU

Junior Member
UH-OH, starting to sound like a brand war...

Just speaking from experience, my 97 Dodge chassis cab has
held up well and I've only had to replace the track bar on
the front end. Is it a perfect truck? NO, there is no such
animal! I did own a 88 chevy that overheated, needed ball-
joints at 13000 miles, blew the guv-lock posi into small
expensive bits, and chevy was in denial until the arbitrator
told GM they would have to buy the truck back. Truth is
that ALL the brands could do better, and the customer is
always the field test engineer for a new design. If you
find a dealer that is a cut above the competition, then
that may surpass all the brand considerations. I've heard
the 98 story concerning lack of plow package, and I'm
not discounting it...sounds like another case of the mfgr
not knowing their customers needs. Note that the marketplace
soon straightens those nitwits out! ALL the brands have
problems, and half of a satisfactory ownership experience is
if the dealer steps up when the owner has a problem. BUT I
still say if you tow over 5 tons then the dodge-cummins will
be the fuel economy leader:>)
 

pottstim

Member
Plowking wrote:

"The axel is stronger yes, but the springs,control arm bushings, and items related to them are not as strong."

In referring to the current generation Dodge trucks, I agree with Plowking wholeheartedly on this. Yes, the axles on a dodge 4X4 pickup are strong and relaible units. Is the hardware which holds the front axle on strong enough for this truck? My answer is NO. You've got a big, heavy, and tall truck here..and the front axle is held on by 4 small link arms. Common sense tell you that after some time and some miles are racked up on the truck, a lot of play is gonna develop in this front end. There are 2 guys in my town that i know of that have had these problems. My mechanic, which has his own garage, told me about these 2 guy's experiences. One had a 95 2500 4X4 with the cummins..the other is a prominent farmer here in town and he has a 96 or 97 3500 diesel dually. The guy with the 2500 had his truck at the local dodge dealer for several service visits. My mechanic told me that he said the truck was shaking bad while you were going down the road, and it was especially bad when you hit a bump in the road. As it turned out, the dodge dealer knew it was a problem in the front end..but didn't quite know how to fix it. He said, "Well i know how to fix that..i'm going down the the Ford dealer now and get rid of it." He did just that and ended up with a 97 PSD crew cab. His dodge was 2yrs old and had just over 30,000 miles on it.
One day my mechanic ran into the farmer at the local auto parts store. He asked him if he had any problems with his dually shaking in the front end..then he told him about the other guys experiences. He told him that yes he was having the same problems and had been down the the same dodge dealer and discussed the problem with the owner of the dealership. I don't know what ended up happening with his situation, because my mechanic hadn't seen him since then. In the trucks defense, the farmer did say that nothing pulled like the cummins did.
I'm a Chevy man all the way, and i don't mean this to come across like i'm knocking dodge pickups. I'll admit that i wish the new Chevy HD's had a solid axle with leaf springs, that's the route that Dodge should follow also. IMO..nothing beats this setup for heavy duty work

Tim
 
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