E_HILLMAN

Enthusiast
70 points
2500 Diesel truck owner
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Car Review: 2002 Dodge Ram 2500
February 22, 2009, 12:36 PM
The 2002 Dodge Ram Quad Cab 4x4 Cummins Turbo Diesel Laramine is possibly my favorite truck I have had thus far. It took every bit of 4x4 ABUSE I threw at it. Hauled some crazy above payload loads I put in it and kept cranking up for more every day. I drove it like a sports car (its very stiff suspension made this easy) and treated it like a 30 year old beater farm truck on the farm. The only issues I had were: At about 70k on it I blew a right front brake line and had to limp home and to a repair shop using my manual transmission for brakes. At around 80k the very heave tail pipe from the tip to around 2' back broke off and I had to have a new one welded on. My guess is from too much jumping and banging the poor truck all the time plus I am sure I have bottomed it out back there a few times. I did not even plan to trade it in but I was just looking at a lot as a lot of other truck loving guys do one day and got an offer I could not refuse on a new one that normally I would not afford. Pics http://s80.photobucket.com/albums/j173/E_HILLMAN/Misc/2002%20Dodge%20Ram%202500%204x4/
Car Review: 2006 Dodge Ram 2500
February 22, 2009, 12:13 PM
I am a 4th time Dodge Ram truck owner and this is my second 2500 4x4 in a row. This one was purchased new in late January of 2007 as a 06 model leftover. Inferno Red, Quad Cab,4x4, tow package, Bighorn, Cummins Turbo Diesel, Short bed. Pictures http://s80.photobucket.com/albums/j173/E_HILLMAN/Misc/2006%20Dodge%20Ram%202500%204x4/ Got a $15k discount so even in the economic downturn I still owe less on it than it is worth. I liked the rear stiffness of my 02 better than the 06 but I LOVE how much quieter it is as I do not wake the neighbors when I leave. It has no problem towing anything I have thrown behind it and though it sits down a little more per pound loaded it has haulded all I have needed to haul with no issues. I tow a 6,000lb boat frequently during the summer along with the occasional 14,000lb buggy of fertalizer, 18,000lb load of hay bales and 2,500 lbs of rock salt in the bed. The stock tires only lasted me around 27,000 miles but that is most likely my driving habits as I met someone with the same truck and tires that got over 90k out of his and at the time has as much tread as I did. I wish the mirrors were more like my 02 as the tow mirrors on this model have more blind spots when in normal position and I don't want to be one of those a-holes driving around with them extended all the time like dumbo hogging up road space. Mine has the 6way power seat, DVD, etc in the interior and all work fine. The outside temp gauge however in the afternoons seems to take around 10 minutes to start updating. Thus far I am VERY happy with this truck but wish it had more than two grease fittings. And with all post 1980s cars the sheet metal could be a little thicker but it is thicker than the foreign models at least. :-) Driving it is nice and smooth for a 2500. Maybe a little tooo smooth for my likes of a heavy duty truck. This is my first automatic transmission in years as I have not trusted Dodge Automatics for along time. The tranny seems firm but I hate the way it can randomly shift since the amount of torque and horsepower this truck puts out can be an issue when it decides to downshift in the middle of a curve especially on slick roads. At first I had fuel economy issues even for a automatic (I expected it to use more than my manual shift ones) and finally I took it to a dealership who ran a program update on it and I gained about 5mpg economy which now puts it right where i would expect it with a 18mpg average. 16 city/20 highway. The heater fan in the past couple of months started vibrating a lot in the box so I need to take it in and have that serviced before my 36k mile warranty is up. Currently I have 32k on it or roughly 16k a year usage. Some of those miles are VERY rough farm miles in mud, rock, trees, etc. with loads in the back. Some are highway and a lot are country back roads into a mid sized city (Lexington KY) with a lot of stop and go to work during the weekdays.
Car Review: 2004 Dodge Durango
February 22, 2009, 11:19 AM
This is a review on my wife's 2004 Durango 4.7 liter. Everything on the vehicle still feels pretty solid. The only issue we have seen out of it is where the pipe from the exhaust manifolds comes down and connects to the reset of the exhaust the gasket keeps going bad and that point keeps getting loose. Also it appears there is no an issue with the left exhaust manifold itself and it will need to be replaced. If it were not for the exhaust issues and a couple times where her dash lights have done some strange things it would be a great vehicle. It still has taken a lot of miles and towing abuse so we can not complain too much just yet.
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