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New Cummins 12 valvle owner

Discussion in 'Ram Trucks' started by szorno, May 23, 2003.

  1. szorno

    szorno Senior Member
    Messages: 308

    Hey guys,
    I just picked up a '97 Ram 2500 with Cummins and Auto trans. I am going to use it for a mountain commuter, and backup snowplow for my fleet of 5. Here are a couple questions I am sure you other Cummins owners have come across:
    1- I have a Western 7 1/2 ft Pro plow that will likely go on this truck. (taking off old '90 W250 so it is paid for) Do I need Timbrens or Airbags on this truck?
    2- It has factory dual batteries. Which battery should I hook the plow solenoid to?
    3- Is the factory towing package tranny cooler big enough for moderate plowing?
    4- What, if any, diesel additive do you use in the winter?
    I have heard about turbodiesel register web page & will go there for maintenance issues and education.
    Thanks for any answers to the above you can provide.
    Happy summer.... scott

  2. chtucker

    chtucker Senior Member
    Messages: 618


    I don't own a dodge, but I can give you some insight into diesels and the moutains.....

    I don't think you need any additives. Buy your diesel from a busy station. There are enough powerstrokes, cummins and durmaxes in our neck of the woods that people would be screaming if the got poor quality fuel.

    The dodge "should" start down till 0 degrees. With my powerstroke when it doesn't start something is wrong..... On the other hand I almost always have it plugged in. I gave up on the appliance timer thing because I was coming and going at odd hours. The truck is definately happier when it is plugged in. You will lose mileage and power in the winter because of the blend (most places blend 50/50). The dodges have a better preheat system with grid heater versus the more failure prone glowplugs.

    The dodge has the desirable dana 60 front, so put a big plow on it.

    Dodge autos are not well know for the survivabilty behind the cummins. I wouldn't worry about a bigger cooler, just flushing it at least twice a year. I do mine three times a year, once in the fall, once mid season and once before summer (when I start towing the jeep all over) Costs 70 bucks at the quick change place.

  3. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    Scott, congratulations! You bought a good truck with a great engine! . To answer your questions. You shouldnt need stiffer springs
    I had a 96 Cummins Ram,LWB excab,I put a fisher MM 7.5 on it,the truck only dropped about 1/2" with the blade,it handled it so good that I went with a 9'2" 980 lb V on my 2000Ram.This truck drops about a full inch with the 980 lb plow raised.If the stock springs are sagged out,then I d put new ones on,instead of adding timbrens.
    You can hook the solenoid to whichever battery you'd like.The alt feeds the drivers side battery,but the huge cables going to the pass side are more than enough to handle the current of using the plow. I use the pass side battery only because there is a lot more room there,it is crowded on the drivers side of the engine compartment.
    The trans cooler is big enough for my trucks. If you have 3.54 gears and taller tires,the trans will run quite a bit hotter than a similar truck with 4.10,due to the torque convertor sheering the fluid a lot more on the 3.54 trucks. I have a temp guage in my trans ,this is the best way to monitor the fluid temps,and only costs about 40-70 bucks.There is a double deep Pan available from Mag hytec, http://mag-hytec.com/Transmission_pans.htm I have one of them as well,they drop peak temps 20-40 degrees,and are easy to put on,they arent cheap though.Do not let the truck idle in park,use N and set the parking brake,this will greatly extend the trans life when plowing/towing.Do this on every cold start as well for 30 seconds before going into gear.
  4. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Congrats,couldn't have bought a better truck (or engine at least) :D

    Most of your questions have been answered,so I'll just say this.Add a bigger plow (like an 8.5 or 9 ft),and use the truck to it's potential.You may find it works better than what you have in your fleet now.These trucks will push (or pull) a house down.Timbrens will help keep the front end up and make it easier on the truck.Just take them out in the spring.
  5. BWhite

    BWhite Senior Member
    Messages: 496

    John D

    Dont forget the transmission advice you gave me . ..... Adjust the bands at least every 30 K sooner if plowing Bill
  6. szorno

    szorno Senior Member
    Messages: 308

    Thanks for the advice guys. I will look at a new plow in the fall. I have the 7.5 Western Proplow in my driveway, so saving the $$ and using the 4 year old plow is desireable. I will definitely get the tranny serviced at the tranny shop, not the Jiffylube. (and have them adjust the bands)
    Thanks again... scott:nod:
  7. KrohnEnterprises

    KrohnEnterprises Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    You will love plowing with this truck. Plenty of power, fuel economy and it sounds really sweet with a straight-pipe exhuast and no silencer ring in the turbo. I hope you will find this truck a pleasure to work with as I did with mine.

    See ya,

    Jim :sleeping:
  8. meyer22288

    meyer22288 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,003

    Hey it soounds like you got a really nice truck. I think you might want a bigger plow like 8.5 foot:)
  9. snowplowjay

    snowplowjay Banned
    Messages: 890

    Hey Szorno. Im curious I see you wrote 12V cummins. Is it a 12V or a 24V????

  10. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    It's gotta be a 12 valve

    It has to be a 12 valve,as it was the only one available in 97.

    Early 98's still got the 12 valve,98.5's got the 24 valve.

    Early 98 12 valves are the most sought after as they got the new quad cab,but kept the better 12 valve motor. :D
  11. szorno

    szorno Senior Member
    Messages: 308

    Chris is right. It really is the 12 valve model. Anybody got any suggestion on things to do to add life or keep it running sweet? Favorite injector cleaner? Oil or additive that works well in a diesel? I'll take any suggestions. This is my first diesel, but I know Dodges and gas engines inside & out.
    Thanks guys... scott
  12. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    I usually use Howes lubricator every fill up for routine maintenance,and a double dose of Stanadyne every few months to help clean her out.

    For oil,if your going to use Dino oil,then Valvoline Premium Blue 15W40 is the recommended oil.You can also use Premium Blue 2000,which is semi-synthetic,and not much more money.

    For synthetic,you can go Amsoil or any other,but to get your monies worth,you need a bypass filter setup to run extended drain intervals.

    I'd just stick to Dino oil,and change it every 3000.Fuel filter every other oil change.Use the 24V ISB 2 micron filter,instead of the 7 micron 12 valve one.It works better,just requires changing a little more often.If you don't like a few extra dollars on filters,just take a look at what a P7100 injector pump is worth. $$$$$$

    Use only Fleetgaurd filters.Wix or NAPA Gold can be used in a pinch.NEVER use a Fram,as the Cummins shakes them apart and the filter media plugs the piston cooling nozzles.Same goes for fuel filters.

    Replace the oil drain plug and washer every few changes,as they tend to fracture sometimes and fall out.A lot cheaper than a motor.

    Fleetgaurd part #'s

    Oil filter (Stratapore) - LF 3894

    Fuel Filter (Stratapore) - FS19598

    Adjust the valve's and have the timing checked.Valve's should be done every 24000 miles.Timing can be bumped up to 15-16 to help starting and performance.

    Lube the entire throttle linkage,even the stuff back behind the pump,as they will sieze up.Lube the fuel shutoff solenoid lever pivot too,as it will sieze.

    Scrap the airbox and stock filter,and get a BHAF,or big honkin air filter.Don't have the Fleetgaurd number handy,but i can dig it up.You can also get them at NAPA.You will not believe the size of this thing when you get it.It will turn heads,and give you increased airflow and filtration.

    If you want to turn up the power a bit,let me know,there are lots of cheap tricks for that motor to wake it up.

    I would recommend you join the TDR or Turbo Diesel Register at www.turbodieselregister.com . Best $43.00 you will every spend on your truck.

    And I almost forgot,get the KDP,or killer dowel pin checked or repair ASAP.If it falls out your in BIG trouble,It breaks gears,timing cover,etc,etc and can be big $$$$ to fix.Join the TDR,and order the jig to repair it ASAP.

    OK,I'm done for now,anything else you want to know,just ask.
  13. szorno

    szorno Senior Member
    Messages: 308

    Thanks Chris,
    One of my small customers is a Valvoline lube place. We have done a lot by barter so I will keep having them do the oil changes. I have heard about the Fram filters, so that is duly noted. I have also heard other folks mention the killer dowel pin. I am limited in time and diesel skills. Is that something a competent Cummins shop could fix? There are several Cummins specialty shops in Denver. (45 mi away) Is it imperative to do soon? (90 K mi now)
    Thanks for your expert advice. scott:nod:
  14. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    yes,Cummins can tab the KDP,they even have a dowel pin tab made up now, for that very purpose. The pin can work its way out,and fall into the gear drive for the injector pump/cam,usually it gets caught between the timing cover and cam gear,and breaks the cover open,giving you a big oil leak.In some cases the pin has gotten caught between the crank gear,and cam gear,if this happens you likely will need a new engine,the crank,block and gears are usually destroyed.
  15. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Pretty much any compentent shop,or even yourself can do the jig fix.Get on the list,and get a jig,and take care of it.Much easier and cheaper than the tab fix.