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post #1 of (permalink) Old 03-15-2004, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
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O/T 2004 Ram 2500 tranny options

I am thinking of getting a 2004 Ram 2500 quad cab short bed to use as a DD and tow rig.
Tranny choices are either a 5 speed stick or a 5-45RFE five speed auto for $1170 more. Both mate with the hemi engine.
Anyone have any experience with either? I have no problems using a stick for a DD so I am thinking of going that route just to save money. I have never owned a pickup before. I would assume the stick is better for towing?
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 03-16-2004, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
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Re: O/T 2004 Ram 2500 tranny options

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 03-17-2004, 08:56 AM
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Re: O/T 2004 Ram 2500 tranny options

I think the general consensus is, go with the manual in a dodge. The autos have a very short life if worked hard. This is not from personal experience, but just what I found out when I was researching my new truck. I do have to clarify, I was specifically looking for diesel options, and the auto may be fine behind the gas engine although most people I talked to still went with the stick.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 03-17-2004, 10:33 AM
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Re: O/T 2004 Ram 2500 tranny options

I have a '99 dodge ram 1500 quad 5.9L as a tow vehicle and DD, it is an auto (don't remember model). I have not heard that an auto is weaker or a stick will last longer. If you take care of an auto, and get a tranny fluid cooler,they should last a long time.

Main reasons for auto: Traffic and towing are way easier on the driver in an auto. I prefer sticks in fun vehicles like jeeps and sports cars, not work vehicles.

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 03-17-2004, 02:29 PM
 
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Re: O/T 2004 Ram 2500 tranny options

I have the 45RFE in a 2000 Durango that I tow with. It does great. I have not heard of the 45RFE being a weak Tranny. It has towed my rig and trailer with no problems. The nice thing about it is the lock up torque converter that acts like a 2nd overdrive. It also has two 2nd gears for greater gear range. It has a 2nd gear used for accelerating and the other is used at downshifting so you don't get that highr rev when shifting into 2nd. It does great in the mountains.
I worked at a Jeep dealership and the 45RFE came out in 99. I have not seen any problems with it.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 03-17-2004, 06:02 PM
 
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Re: O/T 2004 Ram 2500 tranny options

Not an issue for you I am sure, but it is well known in MI that if you plow in a dodge auto, expect to be rebuilding every other (somtimes sooner) year. When you use a truck to its limit you quickly find what breaks, and on the dodge its the auto tranny. It is not uncommon to have a rebuid every 25k miles. Of course pushing snow is very hard on the truck...especially if an idiot is driving it. I worked with a guy that went through 4 trannies in a year. He was fired, the rate of tranny destruction slowed down.

Now as for your use, who knows, it could last 100k miles, but since you will be towing my personal preferance would be the manual.

Phil
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 03-17-2004, 09:48 PM
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Re: O/T 2004 Ram 2500 tranny options

I am not an auto fan, however ther 45rfe is a bullet proof tranny. It is a true 5 speed auto where they moved the overdrive unit up front where it belongs. I believe the the stick is the NV 3500, which in my opinion is just a fair tranny. In all fairness, why do you want the hemi? I have seen more valve spring problems with the hemi than 45rfe problems. I would like to have the Cummins with the NV 5600 6 speed! Those rigs haul butt!
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 03-18-2004, 01:06 PM
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Re: O/T 2004 Ram 2500 tranny options

If it was me, I'd spend the extra money and get the Cummins 600, as it is just the best engine out there for towing... and they get better mileage than the Hemi, too.

The NV5600 6-speed is a completely stout manual, that's what I have in my '02 Dodge Ram 2500HD Cummins H.O. truck.

The 48RE should also be a good stout transmission, I haven't heard of any problems with it, but it's new... might take a while. Much beefier than the old 47RE, Dodge made a lot of improvements... and the newer versions (after Jan. '04 build dates) have the ability to lock the torque converter for engine braking.

Also, the resale value will be much higher down the road with the Cummins... and the 15,000 mile oil changes are nice, too.

-Howard
post #9 of (permalink) Old 03-18-2004, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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Re: O/T 2004 Ram 2500 tranny options

The diesel would be nice but I can't justify spending $5K more on it.
The only towing I am going to do is to trail heads 2 hours away about once a month.
If the diesel got slightly better mileage it would still never pay for itself.
Remember, I don't really need a truck, I just want one.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 03-18-2004, 03:13 PM
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Re: O/T 2004 Ram 2500 tranny options

The diesel should get around 18 mpg. The hemi is what? 10-12? That's a big difference.
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