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Old 09-25-2014, 08:56 PM   #1
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'13 RAM 8-speed first AS pull

Hey folks,

Thought I'd offer some of my observations with the new RAM puller. The truck is a very late, last-week build 2013 RAM 1500 Crew Laramie 4x2 with the 6.4' bed. It is equipped with the 5.7, ZF-sourced 8 speed, 3.92 gearing with limited slip, and integrated trailer braking controls. It had 3 miles on it when I took delivery last year, and at first AS pull has approx 10,000 now. The truck has been trouble free.

The pull home from the dealer was 200 miles.
Average speed was 55 mph.
Engine oil temp max 230f
Engine coolant temp max 210f
Transmission fluid temp max 188f
Lowest cruise control forced downshift gear to maintain 55mph - 6th
Cylinder deactivation still functions on tow/haul, mainly off throttle
MPG average 12

Upon doing the post trip punch list, I noted there was no visible loss of oil at the dipstick. The right rear shock upper bolt need to be torqued; noticeable klunking unloaded. Other than that, all ok.

This RAM is one of the better 1/2 ton pickups I've owned. Ok, it really is the best fit I've ever had in any pickup. Astonishingly responsive under load; I had no struggles passing slower traffic going uphill. It's at least as strong as a previous 8100/Allison Sierra I once owned, and that was a bull. The ZF 8 speed is a useful transmission for hauling or just normal driving; it's intuitive and never seems to be at a loss for what gear it needs to be in when you call for throttle.

The integrated trailering brake control worked fine, too.
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Old 09-25-2014, 09:28 PM   #2
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Sounds very good - what sort of mileage do you get in regular use?
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Old 09-25-2014, 09:37 PM   #3
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Approx 16 with 80/20 urban/hwy travel. The highest number was 18, averaging 65 mph on a 550 mile trip on mostly flatland. Other RAM owners with either 3.21 or 3.55 8 speeds do a little better.
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Old 09-25-2014, 09:49 PM   #4
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How close are you to your max payload? Those International 28 models are pretty tongue-heavy...
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Old 09-26-2014, 07:58 AM   #5
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I've been hearing nothing but good things about those 8 speeds and towing. Makes me tempted to upgrade. But think I won't until I have a year of towing the Airstream under my belt to determine if I want/need more truck.

I've heard that the gearing of the 8-speed makes the 3.21 even more ideal as the first gear is almost the same as a 4.10. Read here: Does Ram need lower axle ratios?Allpar Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep News | Allpar Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep News

I know a lot of the guys on the Ram Forums are loving the new 8 Speeds.

Just wondering if you have a lead foot, I'm averaging 18mpg back and forth to work and I've got the 5 speed with 3.92's. Although I've been hyper miling, folks behind me probably hate my guts at a green light. Whateverz! :P
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Old 09-26-2014, 09:27 AM   #6
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Have you had a chance to weigh your rig and we're you towing near your home? I would be interested in how much weight you are pulling around.
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Old 09-26-2014, 03:44 PM   #7
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Have not had a chance to weigh the rig wet, however that is on the "to do" list. The coach was dry with the exception of full propane tanks. The truck had my wife and I, full tank of fuel, and nothing else.

Tend to drive the truck conservatively. There are many traffic lights, idle times, and heavy suburban traffic that destroy any chance of decent mileage. However, 14 mpg is the city estimate for this truck, so it is within that range.

When the first 6.4' 8-speeds began to hit dealer lots, it was well into the 4th quarter of 2013 production. The owners manual did not mention what the gross tow rating of the truck was, much less mention a 6.4' Crew pickup in the 1500 range. Indeed, the RAM website didn't until 2014. A call to the RAM customer service center yielded nothing...they ran the VIN and could only tell me it was made the last week of 13 production. Later, a rep from Warren Assembly called and said that my truck was rated at 11,000 gross towing; later, the RAM website indicated 10,100 for a 6.4' 5.7 Crew 4x2 Laramie with 3.92 gearing. I'm estimating an average wet load for the truck of 900 lbs, with the coach carrying an additional 800. This truck is equipped with the first batch of ZF Saarbruken sourced transmissions, for whatever that counts for.
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Old 09-26-2014, 03:50 PM   #8
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13 RAM 8-speed first AS pull

I'd be very interested in the 1500 if the payload ratings weren't so low, especially on the top Laramie Limited models. I don't understand why they aren't paying more attention to that. It's a shame. Once you hitch a thousand pound tongue weight trailer, you're basically done (or even over, on some models).
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Old 09-26-2014, 03:57 PM   #9
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For what it's worth, the Travelall was about the most capable 1/2 ton class puller I've ever driven. Of course, in today's environment, I don't risk that rig on our crazy roads any longer. Exceptionally well-balanced rig with the 392 V-8.

The RAM pulls the Serenity as sedately as the Travelall ever did with the old Holiday Rambler. The 392 had enough torque to lug-through most grades without downshifting...at the cost of 6 mpg (7 downhill with a good tailwind, freshly waxed).
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Old 09-26-2014, 04:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ciparis View Post
I'd be very interested in the 1500 if the payload ratings weren't so low, especially on the top Laramie Limited models. I don't understand why they aren't paying more attention to that. It's a shame. Once you hitch a thousand pound tongue weight trailer, you're basically done (or even over, on some models).
Might want to rethink that.. I posted this in another thread, and it got buried in arguments. But I'll try again in this one since it's a RAM discussion.

I discovered before I bought my Tow Vehicle that Ford's GVWR and GAWR's vary by model all over the board on the F-150.

Dodge went and standardize it across the board. All 1500's 5.7 are stamped 6800 GVWR on the door. And on the door they all read front & rear 3900 GAWR. That I have seen so far, no one has disagreed with this point yet, but please post up if your door sticker is different. And I am referring to 2009-2014 models.

So the Axles actually have a max weight of 7800lbs or 1000lbs over the GVWR.

Now, on the Fords, in there thread I posted several other members photos of their door jam stickers. I found that Ford left 100lbs each time between the GVWR and the Combined GAWR.

No one has yet given me an explanation for why this is. And I'm not sure how it is on the Chevy's.

But the point is, payload is a moot point as long as you aren't overloading your front and rear axle and your truck's back side isn't dragging on the ground.

I don't know what dodge is doing, but I suspect that either hurts them, or they are being honest and Ford plays a numbers game by leaving way less of a safety margin.

I bet is that Dodge knows the average buyer is unaware of Payload and has left extra room for safety.


For Reference:

GVWR = Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
GAWR = Gross Axle Weight Rating
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Old 09-26-2014, 04:34 PM   #11
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Actually I do have one theory. Dodge switched to rear coil springs, where Ford & Chevy are still sporting leaf spring and Dodge is running "P" rated passenger tires at 35psi on the trucks, unless you get the 17 inch LT tires as an OPTION.

Those factors are also why the Ram out handles and rides smother than the other two trucks.

This theory makes sense if you consider how many folks complain of sagging in the Ram under even the lightest loads within payload ratings.

The sagging is so annoying because of the soft springs they added Air Ride in 2013.

But this is all just my theory. As of this moment. Take it with a grain of salt and do your own research.
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Old 09-26-2014, 04:50 PM   #12
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I have a 2012 Dodge Ram 1500 with 5'7" bed. I have owned trucks all my life and never have I had such a good riding and handling truck then this Dodge. I believe it is all about the rear coil/independent springs that make the difference. I have towed my 2012 28ft FC for about 20k miles without an issue and regularly pass diesel pushers on steep hills. I just cannot imagine needing more torque or hp. Over 20k miles towing my average gas mileage was/is 11mpg. I did get the 32 gallon gas tank as an option so..gas is rarely an issue. I recently took my truck into the dealership for transmission service (at 37k) and had them change the oils and check the pressures. All the pressures were perfrect. By the way, the payload on my truck is 1278lbs with 3900lb axles. My total rig weight is 13,000lbs. I do run my P rated Goodyear tires at max capacity of 44psi when towing. Interestingly, the ride is still very good at 44psi. compared to 33psi no load recommended.
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Old 09-26-2014, 07:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoldAdventure View Post

The sagging is so annoying because of the soft springs they added Air Ride in 2013.
I wonder if the Air Ride suspension compensates for ride height. My Lincoln Mark VIII has an air bag suspension and has ride height sensors on all 4 corners.
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Old 09-26-2014, 10:10 PM   #14
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It does, according to the literature. I cannot speak to the system, as I've never worked-on one. At the time, there were no 6.4's in ATL that had air ride, so no chance to look at.

The system is supposed to be fairly reliable.
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