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Old 03-18-2010, 06:40 PM   #29
2 Rivet Member
2007 30' Classic S/O
Somewhere , South Carolina
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 38

I think one of your better bets would be to check out some of the Dodge Diesel websites, I know that two have been mentioned here already. I cannot quote any trailer towing mileage numbers, and this is a topic that parralels discussions about tires and WD hitches on our forum. I personally have a Banks 6 Gun on my truck, it produces additional power not doubt. One guy that I spoke with at my work said the Ottomind from Banks was more of a towing tuner. Might be worth a call to Banks and get their opinion. NOTE: In the hard core Dodge arena, Banks is not carrying the same reputation as several of the other tuning companies, but Banks has a method to their madness and it works for me.

You can add a simple gage to the engine and monitor the Exhaust Gas Temp EGT and Turbo Boost, simple installation. I didn't notice what year your truck is, but drilling the exhaust manifold for the EGT probe and tapping it is easier than you think and if you have a HPCR, you tap into the manifold with a special thru bolt and boom, you are monitoring Boost.

The Banks 6 Gun, someones exaust and air intake are a nice saturday project if you are handy or can buy some lunch for your busted knuckles buddy. The 6 Gun includes a (at least mine does) Palm PDA for your gage display, it downloads engine fault codes and is easily customized for monitored functions.

I have no proof that my 6 Gun improves mileage in towing, ain't towed it yet other than bringing my AS home.

I recommend for a website.

2007 Classic 30' SO
2005 Dodge Ram 2500 5.9L Cummins 6 Speed
1997 Dodge Ram 3500 5.9L Cummins 5 Speed
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Old 03-22-2010, 04:19 PM   #30
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1996 34' Excella
Elberta , Alabama
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 763
You'll love it! I own a 2003 Dodge/Cummins, High Performance 2500, 6speed manual tranny, 2 wheel drive. As far as I'm concerned 4 wd is a waste of money, and you usually get about 100 feet further before you get stuck.
I pull a 2003 AS Excella, depending on the terrain and wind, I've been getting 12 to 15 mpg. I added an exhaust brake (U.S. Gear), and a 115 gallon auxillary fuel tank.
Best truck I've ever owned, and yes, I would buy another one...
Good luck
Larry C

=big_john;822429]I'm really, really close to buying this just doesn't have 4 wheel drive.

Will I regret it???!!!!

Great price for a sub 100k Cummins.

Help me Forum!!!

Cars for Sale: 2003 Dodge Ram 2500 Truck 2WD Quad Cab in Sugar Hill, GA 30518: Truck Details - 267759606 -[/QUOTE]

Old age is coming at a really bad time!

1996 34' Excella 1000, interior totally redone, 2003 Dodge/Cummins HO, U.S. Gear exhaust brake, Diablo tuner, 115 gallon aux fuel, Bedslide, Airsafe/Reese Dual Cam, and a bunch of other stuff
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Old 03-23-2010, 01:55 PM   #31
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Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 7,784
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Originally Posted by tslanier View Post
I am hearing different scenarios relative to adding performance equipment. I have had the Smarty Junior recommended for $500 and a complete Banks sytem including chip, exhaust systems and a digital monitor for $3000. My truck tows my trailer just fine, but I primarily am interested in improving mileage. But I've been warned about adding a chip am not adding the additional exhaust and monitoring systems. I'm interested in some information from experienced owners.

It would be a waste of money. No one can substantiate fuel mileage increases, AND none will or would prove that you are doing other shortening the life of the engine because you are . . . . . THERE IS NO FREE LUNCH!

A Powerstroke, a Duramax, has lost 2/3 of engine life at 165,000 miles, a CTD is less than halfway at that point. (Industry average MTBO [mean time between overhauls] not "wisdom of the Internet"). They are NOT all the same . . PS & DM are MTBO'd at 250k, in a CTD you have the best at 350k. Just learn to use it well. (The "competition" can huff and puff . . the Cummins is the only genuine medium-duty rated engine in a light-duty application. The H&P crowd is the same that sells/trades every few years . . . . ) A 700,000-mile PS or DM is flashed across the Internet in 44-point headlines . . the guy can sell autographs. A CTD with that many is commonplace.

The CTD needs nothing except a driver willing to educate himself. As a truck driver one learns to let the engine TELL you what it wants. If you listen -- and adapt -- you'll love it.

2WD means an independent front suspension and rack & pinion steering. You will avoid not only the increased wear and tear of a 4WD (balljoints, u-joints, fluids, etc) but see better highway manners and ride. Steering is wonderful.

If you want to spend money, then upgrade the fuel pump/filtration system (AIRDOG or FASS), stick with DONALDSON, FLEETGUARD or BALDWIN filters, and change ALL fluids often. I waited until recently to replace ujoints and re-balance driveshaft. Next time will only go 100,000 miles. Same with valve adjustment, do it earlier than 150,000. Get some BILSTEIN shocks, replace rubber bushings on anti-roll bar with polyurethane and install one on rear (HELWIG).

The one big ticket item I'd like to have would be an exhaust brake. PACBRAKE or BD look good.

It is also a commonplace on CTD's that brakes and tires will last beyond 100,000. 80,000 for the lazy. Stick with MICHELIN highway rib tires and MOPAR oem brake pads/rotors.

Springs are stiff. Where a PS/DM is dragging tail going down the road a CTD will not. But, unloaded, you pay for it as all of them are designed to carry a 1,000-lb load. If you want to change, then here's an upgrade:

Deaver Suspension

Full Progressive Leaf Spring Pack for Dodge Ram Suspension Systems
1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 12-cpm solo, 19-cpm towing (fuel)
Sold: Silver Streak Model 3411
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Old 03-23-2010, 04:12 PM   #32
Vintage Kin
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Fort Worth , Texas
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Images: 1
=big_john;822429]I'm really, really close to buying this just doesn't have 4 wheel drive.

Will I regret it???!!!!

Great price for a sub 100k Cummins.

Help me Forum!!!

Cars for Sale: 2003 Dodge Ram 2500 Truck 2WD Quad Cab in Sugar Hill, GA 30518: Truck Details - 267759606 -[/QUOTE][/QUOTE]

At 97,000-miles annually over [7] years it would be about 14,000 per annum, thus slightly below average. As it appears to be the top trim level (Laramie) -- unusually, it is tow hooks installed on a 2WD -- I would guess it has had one owner, who, judging by the fifth wheel bracket in the bed and what I am guessing is a Trans Temp gauge in the ashtray bought it for the purpose of extended travel. Still, the bed liner looks awfully new, so I'd get up under it. The second owner may have been the one to do the additions.

As it was bought at auction -- and the price reduced since the original listing -- you are fortunate that you are STILL in a position to bargain. People are foolish when it comes to trucks. This one has the nicest trim, the exterior appears great, the "history" has some external clues (but lose the cheap tires pronto) AND 2WD outlasts 4WD considerably . . . and "customers" walk past them continuously.

Evidence of abuse are trans-shifting problems, "tuners" under the hood or once mounted on velcro/screws inside; fancy & worthless parts under hood, etc. As well as gooseneck hitches, airbags or overload springs, etc, where trailer pin weight was too high, look for other evidence of wire tampering. Same with brakes. It should be on originals or a set of replacement pads on turned-once rotors.

Expect to replace ALL fluids, serpentine belt, tires, shocks; get a valve adjustment and go ahead and redo driveshaft u-joints early. Other than this stick with BALDWIN FP7977 fuel filter (in-tank fuel pump TSB done?) Lesser problems include a TSB for improved door seal; and HVAC doors sometimes quit early (search "Heatertreater"). Other factory HVAC improvements can be made for pre-2005 models.

GOERENDS and others sell aftermarket custom transmission rebuilds (do a search; maybe DTT as well), the trans will make it or not to about 140,000-miles. IMO, the usual fifth wheeler has a thing about buying cheap and abusing, so expect the trans may have been overheated at least once and the PO got cold feet. On the other hand, it may have been beautifully cared for, and he traded it for new . . the dealer wholesaled it due to, first, 2WD, and second, age.

It it has had a "chip" (tuner) installed, expect that injector life has been compromised and that other engine-installed components (turbocharger) may not last the full OEM specification. Carefully inspect frame, spring mounts, body bushings, etc. All of these trucks weigh in excess of 7,000-lbs, and abuse will take a toll all over the place.

The 2003-2004 engines (250HP and 305HP; see valve cover sticker; rear gear info should be in glovebox door) have the best combination of power and economy. I have owned mine just short of three years, and, for ALL miles traveled since purchase am just above 20-mpg (nor am I alone in this). You won't find that with Ferd or Chubby. With a sharp transmission convertor the mileage will be excellent. 1,750-rpm is the sweetest of sweet spots for highway travel.
1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 12-cpm solo, 19-cpm towing (fuel)
Sold: Silver Streak Model 3411
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Old 03-23-2010, 06:50 PM   #33
4 Rivet Member
2000 34' Limited S/O
Jamestown , North Carolina
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 374
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Great advice Rednax! I had reached that conclusion not long after I posted regarding performance upgrades to my Cummins.

With reference to 4WD, I have it and would get it again. I don't use it often but there are times it has been handy backing my trailer upgrade when the ground was soft. Also, driving on the beach at the Outer Banks and parking next to the ocean with your chairs, umbrellas, cooler etc for the day is quite a plus!
2000 34' Limited with Sofa Slide
06 Dodge 3500 Cummins Turbodiesel 4X4 Quad Cab Hensley Hitch Pressure Pro Centramatics
WBCCI #4358
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Old 03-23-2010, 08:20 PM   #34
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1976 25' Tradewind
. , AZ to Maine
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 545
Sweet Ride

Just what the doctor ordered. After due diligence if it passes buy it.
2 wheel drive because staying away from ice and snow is smart. Off roading is for Jeeps.
Economy, reliability and style in one package.
My diesel Jeep Liberty is going. I think 4 cyl is enough but no Cummings travel in my circles that have 4 cyl.
As soon as the Jeep is gone I will be shopping for a diesel replacement.

"Talk is cheap, Airstreams are expensive," Wally Byam.
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