WELCOME
October 22nd
          The new mats are doing well. The only issue is that they tend to slowly move up instead of conforming where they're suppose to sit. The mat hook holds for a few days then releases. My last oil change was at Oil Changers using Petro Canada 5W20 full synthetic. Mileage over the last month has improved as the temperature is starting to drop. I've averaged as good as 15L/100km with mixed driving and load carrying. I'm still debating on getting a cap, or a tonneau cover for the bed.
March 29th
          New Husky floor mats are in from Overdrive Auto. Once I get the truck cleaned out I'll try them out!
March 19th
          I managed to get a 200km trip in today. A mix of back roads, highway, and city driving. Fuel gauge needle isn't quite on the 3/4 tank mark, so nearly 1/4 tank of fuel used. Now, the needle doesn't move for the first 50km or so. I don't check the oil as often as I should, and checking it today showed no sign of oil usage despite the several short trips over the last couple weeks where the engine doesn't get up to proper operating temp. Hence my reasoning for a short trip. I filled up with a tank of 87 yesterday, about $90 for 80L, not bad. The Ram is a quiet lazy beast when cruising as driving at a serene 95km/h the engine is barely wafting over at 1600rpm in top gear. I would much prefer the 3.92 gears over the current 3.55's for better responsiveness without needing to downshift, although the RPM will only be roughly 200rpm greater at 95km/h. Transmission kickdowns are quick for a 'truck' automatic but I can only imagine how much better this engine would pair with even a 5 speed manual transmission. A double over drive 6 speed manual could allow for 4.56 gears with similar highway RPM cruising speed as the current automatic and would make this truck tops in performance among the rival half tons.
March 7th
          The snow is melting and double digit temps are forecasted for the coming week. Mileage should improve slightly. Since purchased there has been zero engine fluid consumptions. I think I'll fork over the extra $20 and get the full synthetic engine oil at the next change.
January 11th
          Snow has arrived, slightly. More is on route over the next 48 hours. Total accumulation will only be a few inches but that's plenty to bugger up traffic and test out my Michelin Tires in the white stuff. Currently, there's a light half inch of snow covering up the freezing rain from yesterday. Traction isn't too bad on local roads but I find the light rear end does keep a decent job (with traction control) of keeping the truck moving, even up slight inclines. I still haven't had to use 4wd yet this winter, which is surprising. I was thinking about getting an engine tuner, but frankly, the HEMI with 390hp has enough gusto already in stock form that any more HP would make winter driving more of a workout. I believe the HEMI was tuned to be more sedate under 2000rpm, as it shines above 2500rpm, to factor in us folks who use trucks in the winter months. I'm also debating on either selling my CB radio, or finding an area to install it in the Ram although where I want to put it, may be more trouble than what it's worth (top centre in the roof liner - I think it'll fit!). 87 octane is down to a low $0.927/L.
January 7th
          I went to the local Oil Changers today. I would normally change the oil myself, but due to the aftermarket warranty, it's a small price to pay should problems arise. Once the warranty is done, then it's back to do-it-myself. I took the old Durango here years ago as well. Average priced, great service all around. I passed 77,720km and after the oil change the truck feels smoother. It's been a while since I used Petro Canada motor oils but they don't dissapoint. I went with the standard oil change package at $39, plus a $7 off coupon. I inquired about a full synthetic fluid change, which starts at $69. Not a bad price overall. I might go for the synthetic for the next oil change, mostly to see if it helps with increasing mileage. Next up on the list is to do a 4x4 service. I'll have a local shop do the work, again, so I don't compromise the warranty. Temperature is around the freezing mark for the next several days with light precipitation, so mileage won't degrade too badly. I still have yet to test the snow performance of the new tires.
January 5th
          Now that the snow has arrived, even with the new tires winter traction is so-so. It has improved, but the open diff rear axle still has me babying the accelerator. The ride is more compliant with the new tires. As in years past, GoodYear tires tend to harden up after a couple years. I find if I can build and hold 1500rpm, there is no wheel spin. If I build and hold 2000rpm there is some wheelspin as the traction control interviens. The HEMI is a fairly sedate engine despite it's 390hp rating. I find it really wakes up past 2500rpm, where there is no hope for traction in slick conditions. One fault is the inside of the front windshield likes to frost up on cold mornings, taking additional time to clear by idling the truck as the icescraper doesn't conform to the inside of the windshield. It seems when I turn off the HVAC controls from any position outside of defrost, that's when I get the interior frost. If I blast the windshield with heat before shutting the truck off it seems to help alleviate the frost buildup, but there are often still frost lines. Going back to the 5.7L HEMI engine, it is meant to tow. It lives above 2500rpm and has a lot of gusto at the 4000rpm mark. Push the throttle in on the highway in 3rd gear, and you're off!
December 18th
          To date, I went 345.6km on 40.2L. Excellent. That's using cruise control at 90km/h traveling to the beach and back. New tires are on - Michelin LTX MS2. They should last me upwards of 7-8 years as I only put on 15K kms a year. So far so good. Much better than the OEM GoodYear Wrangler ATS tires. The GoodYears were at the wearbars but have been squealing profoundly during any and all parking lot driving. They had 77K kms on them and were rated for 80K kms. The new Michelin's are rated for 100K kms if not more. I still have yet to take the Ram on a good highway trip. Perhaps this spring. No snow is in the forcast for the coming week yet as mild temperatures remain so I have yet to tackle the snow performance. I did take it off the path last week north of Waterloo when we had 2" of wet snow. It made quite the mess on the trail turning the trail into a slick mud surface. Going down the trail was fine, as it was on a slight decline. However, I had to switch to 4x4 high to climb it as wheelspin was quite pronounced yet the truck didn't slide sideways much at all that I noticed. I attribute the lack of sliding to the new tires.
December 2th
          The low fuel light came on with 1/16 tank remaining. I drove an astonishing 500km on 93.24L, which rounds out to a not too bad 18.65L/100km with mostly city driving. The Durango under the same conditions, would only muster 340km on 80L, or roughly 23.5L/100km. Mileage will improve more in the summer, as I was operating the Ram primarily in 2wd, so I'm sure I lost more fuel to wheelspin than I would have using 4wd. I am also impressed at how well the Ram drives in 2wd, even in light snow with no weight in the vehicle. Also of note the GoodYear Wrangler ATS tires are in their last year of life with roughly 4/32 of tread remaining. Another bonus with the Ram over my old Durango R/T, is the tire size. P265/70R17 tires are half the cost than the Durango's 275/60R17 size. Long term, the Ram should beat the Durango's operating cost per mile by a solid 30%. Just like the Durango, with the Ram, parts are everywhere and aftermarket support is impressive. My only fault with the Ram is the poor headlights. They don't aim toward the road at all, merely about 100 feet in front of the truck and the beam isn't overly wide, making them not much better than the Durangos headlights. That might be my first upgrade.
January 11th
          The low fuel light came on with 1/16 tank remaining. I drove an astonishing 500km on 93.24L, which rounds out to a not too bad 18.65L/100km with mostly city driving. The Durango under the same conditions, would only muster 340km on 80L, or roughly 23.5L/100km. Mileage will improve more in the summer, as I was operating the Ram primarily in 2wd, so I'm sure I lost more fuel to wheelspin than I would have using 4wd. I am also impressed at how well the Ram drives in 2wd, even in light snow with no weight in the vehicle. Also of note the GoodYear Wrangler ATS tires are in their last year of life with roughly 4/32 of tread remaining. Another bonus with the Ram over my old Durango R/T, is the tire size. P265/70R17 tires are half the cost than the Durango's 275/60R17 size. Long term, the Ram should beat the Durango's operating cost per mile by a solid 30%. Just like the Durango, with the Ram, parts are everywhere and aftermarket support is impressive. My only fault with the Ram is the poor headlights. They don't aim toward the road at all, merely about 100 feet in front of the truck and the beam isn't overly wide, making them not much better than the Durangos headlights. That might be my first upgrade.
January 3rd
          After a freezing rain storm here, I am impressed yet again with the Ram. The HEMI doesn't really come alive until pushed over 3500rpm. The throttle is very easy to modulate and you have just enough 'go' off the line to get rolling, even on ice, without worry of triggering the traction control. Acceleration is comfortable keeping RPM under 2000 in most driving conditions. The MDS works flawlessly. I'm just over half a tank remaining with 270kms driven. Not bad.
December 15th
          My initial impressions of the new Ram is great. It's very flexible vehicle. One thing I'm pondering is how to cover the bed to keep the snow out at a reasonable cost while still maintaining the flexibility of the bed. I had a high rise cap on my 1990 GMC C1500 and it worked great, but limited what I could 'throw' into the bed as storing a large cap when it isn't needed isn't easy. In three days I've burned a meager 1/4 tank of fuel and will get a chance to stretch it's legs over the holidays. At least I'm not burned with 2300rpm idling, exhaust leak that allowed the CO to get inside the cab and a whopping 26.4L 100/km from the Durango. If the Ram stays under 20L/100km in 100% city driving I'll be very content. I have been playing around with the MDS system and watching my throttle.
          Cruising RPM is very good. I got it up to 70mph and the rpm was in the 1700rpm range, which is aided by the tall 3.55 gears. I climbed a 6% grade and it stayed in 5th gear all the way. It was only me on board with some audio equipment but even with the tow/haul engaged and a trailer behind, I'm sure the HEMI has what it takes for low cost long term ownership. The only downside is the spark plug changes every 50,000kms.
December 18th
          2000 Durango R/T traded in on a 2011 Ram Quad Cab SXT 4x4 HEMI.
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This site and all of it's contents are operated and maintained by Brian Wilson for Bio Diesel Technologies and BAW Enterprises 2003 - 2006.
All rights reserved. Updated when I have free time.