Crew Cab, Regular Cab
Notable Features in 2011
Notable Features in 2010
Crew Cab, Regular Cab
Notable Features in 2009
Crew Cab, Regular Cab
Notable Features in 2008
Crew Cab, Regular Cab
Notable Features in 2007
Notable Features in 2006
Notable Features in 2005
Crew Cab, Regular Cab
Notable Features in 2004
Get Service on Your Dodge Ram 3500
Nuts & Bolts: Dodgy HubsTrenton McGee November 4, 2016
A reader asks about the advantages of a Dynatrac Free-Spin Kit. He owns a 2011 Dodge 3500.... » Read MoreSuspension & Brakes
Synergy Long-Arm Conversion for Heavy-Duty RamsFred Williams March 17, 2016
You can add comfort and control to your 4x4 with Synergy Manufacturing’s long-arm conversion.... » Read MoreView Photo Gallery Suspension & Brakes
Adding EBC Brakes & a South Bend Clutch on a Daily Driven Cummins DieselFred Williams May 7, 2015
Our big white 2010 Ram 3500 has been dragging trailers and cruising highways as well as bouncing... » Read MoreView Photo Gallery Product Reviews
Toyo Open Country R/T Tire Test - An R/T For EverybodyFred Williams January 26, 2015
We bolted a set of 35x12.50R17 R/Ts onto our big white Ram 3500 and hit the road. We towed with... » Read MoreView Photo Gallery engine
Engine-Driven Compressor - Belt Driven BlowerFred Williams March 4, 2014
Extreme Outback Products’ ExtremeFlow compressor system is designed to mount on many of the... » Read MoreView Photo Gallery features
Off-Road Rides - June 2013Agustin Jimenez June 1, 2013
Homegrown Off-Road Rigs... » Read MoreView Photo Gallery electrical
2010 Ram 3500 Custom Switch Wiring InstallFred Williams May 24, 2013
Having a Jeep is easy. A gajillion companies make stuff for Jeeps. But what if you want some... » Read MoreView Photo Gallery wheels-tires
Dick Cepek Mud Country Tires ReviewFred Williams January 1, 2013
Work Truck Tire... » Read MoreView Photo Gallery suspension-brakes
White Truck-Up - Lifting Our 2010 Ram 3500Fred Williams April 1, 2012
Taller, Softer, Stronger... » Read MoreView Photo Gallery project-vehicles
Project White Truck: 2010 Dodge Ram 3500Fred Williams June 1, 2011
Part 4: Chains, Bikes & Lights... » Read MoreView Photo Gallery project-vehicles
Project White Truck: 2010 Dodge Ram 3500Fred Williams April 1, 2011
Part 2: Mopar Makes It Bigger, Better... » Read MoreView Photo Gallery events
Inaugural White Truck Road TripFred Williams April 1, 2011
Slow Desert Going... » Read MoreView Photo Gallery project-vehicles
Project White Truck: 2010 Dodge Ram 3500Fred Williams March 1, 2011
Part 1: A Simple Do-Everything Man Machine... » Read MoreView Photo Gallery body-chassis
Dodge Ram Fab Fours BumperKen Brubaker May 1, 2010
Burly Bumper... » Read MoreView Photo Gallery project-vehicles
2010 Dodge Ram HD First DriveFred Williams March 1, 2010
The New, Heavy, Do-Just-About-Anything '10 RAM... » Read MoreView Photo Gallery how-to
Dodge Ram HD Pure Performance Triple Threat SuspensionDirk Saters March 1, 2010
More Parts And Better Performance For Less Money... » Read MoreView Photo Gallery vehicle-reviews
2010 Dodge Ram 3500 & 2500 Power Wagon First DriveDouglas McColloch February 1, 2010
The Latest Generation Of Heavy-Duty Rams Can Work And Wheel-And Flat-Out Haul... » Read MoreView Photo Gallery transmission-drivetrain
Build Your Own Diesel Power WagonFred Williams February 1, 2010
Build Your Own With Air Lockers, Winch Bumpers, And More Suspension... » Read MoreView Photo Gallery how-to
Dodge Ram 3500 Dynatrac Free Spin KitColin McLemore December 1, 2009
More MPG And Less Wear... » Read MoreView Photo Gallery
Maximize Fuel Efficiency - Fuel Efficiency 101 - TechMoses Ludel June 1, 2009
Part I: Drive More And Use Less Fuel!... » Read MoreView Photo Gallery features
Dodge Ram 3500 4x4 DualiePhil Howell December 20, 2007
Massive Dodge Ram 3500 Quad Cab 4x4 Dualie featuring the new Cummins 6.7L inline-six... » Read MoreView Photo Gallery features
Custom 2006 Dodge Ram Dualie - The Ultimate Ranch TruckMarch 1, 2007
Exclusive Custom 2006 Dodge Ram Dualie, featuring a Kore Chase-series suspension system, Weld... » Read MoreView Photo Gallery features
Cummins Diesel Engine - Off-Road InsiderSeptember 1, 2003
Dodge unveils One-Millionth Cummins Diesel engine in a Dodge Ram 3500 Quad Cab, Jeep shows off... » Read MoreView Photo Gallery features
Explosive Dodge M80 Concept Car - Off-Road InsiderJune 1, 2002
Dodge introduces it's Dodge M80 Concept Truck and we have all the specs, and we also spy the new... » Read MoreView Photo Gallery
When the 1994 Dodge Ram burst onto the scene, there was nothing like it. From the user-friendly interiors to the Magnum engines, the Ram 1500, 2500, and 3500 revolutionized the American pickup truck scene, sending Ford and Chevrolet scrambling to catch up. Dodge built up its production capacity more each year, and found no shortage of buyers.
The second generation came in 2003, one year after the revised Ram 1500. The styling was usually seen as a let-down from the highly acclaimed 1994-2002 pickups, but a tough new frame with hydroformed and boxed sections sat underneath the sheet metal.
The new frame design’s greater stiffness contributed to the best steering and handling in a 2003 heavy-duty pickup — and still let Dodge use fewer welds in the chassis while increasing torsional rigidity. It also allowed the new heavy duty pickups to claim a segment-leading Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 12,000 pounds.
Engine details are on a separate page, but in essence, buyers had:
Rear drive Ram pickups an independent front suspension and a rack-and-pinion steering; new front suspension geometry had caster, camber and toe patterns that remained consistent throughout the full range of travel.
The four wheel drive Ram trucks used beam-type front and rear axles, with recirculating ball steering. The new recirculating-ball system had lower internal friction, improving on-center steering feel, and a faster (13.4:1) ratio for more responsiveness. The company boasted it stayed on center better than competitors, making driving easier. Ball joints seemed to be a weakness in this design, along with the Dana axles.
Since most Dodge Ram Heavy Duty pickups had four wheel drive, off-road performance was enhanced with new transfer cases and new beam axles. The front suspension on the 4x4s was based on the prior generation, with a five-link coil-spring setup; the beam axle was new. The axle had a 5,200 pound gross weight rating.
The rear suspension was similar on the rear-drive and 4x4. The longitudinal leaf springs at the rear were three inches longer than in 2002, to improve ride quality. Standard two-stage springs (Ram 2500 only) had three leaves to carry normal loads, and an additional leaf to support heavy loads. The rear box section was widened to create a wider lateral rear spring span, improving the ride, reducing cornering lean, and ending the need for a rear stabilizer bar.
The Dodge Ram 3500 series pickups had reduced spring rates for better ride quality with light loads, and an auxiliary leaf spring for heavy loads — only used when the truck was heavily laden.
The 2003 Ram 3500 was rated at a best-in-class 12,000 pound gross vehicle weight (with the diesel, 4.10 ratio, and 4x4). The standard rear axle ratio was a 3.73 with a 4.10 ratio available as an option; the 4.0 added 2,000 pounds of towing capability. Dodge Ram 3500 rear axles had a GAWR of 9,350 pounds.
A new, optional limited slip differential used a helical gear design for torque biasing, ending the “chatter” found in friction plate designs and requiring no lubricating additives.
Dodge Ram Heavy Duty pickups had standard four-wheel disc anti-lock brakes with the largest rotors in the segment — 13.9 inches (353 mm) front and rear, with swept area of over 40% more than the 2002. That required a move to 17-inch wheels, but increased braking power and brake lining life.
The trucks used two transfer cases, a conventional manual shift and new electric shift; the manual-shift was standard on ST and SLT 4x4s, while an electric shift was standard on Laramie.
Both the Quad Cab and Standard Cab had larger-than-the-competition interiors.
The Dodge Ram was, when the 2003 heavy duty pickups were launched, the longest lasting pickups sold in America, based on a Polk registration study (trucks registered from July 1987 to July 2000, and still registered as of July 2002).
Dodge created a new duty cycle for the 2003 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty, aimed at commercial customers; it included conditions from -40°F to 130°F, running the equivalent of 150,000 miles, on and off-road, and at maximum payload.
The 1994 Dodge Rams were the first pickups with driver’s airbags; the 2003 were the first heavy duty pickups with side curtain airbags, power adjustable pedals (on both automatic and manual transmission equipped trucks), and pre-tensioning, constant-force seat belt retractors.
The truck product team vice president, Frank Klegon, wrote that the use of “the stiffest frames ever on a heavy-duty Ram and the extensive use of hydroforming has allowed us to design controlled crush zones into the frame rails and create much better levels of energy dissipation in a severe crash. This new frame also allows us to achieve handling and braking levels never seen before in a heavy-duty pickup.”
Oversized brakes and superior cornering also contributed to safety, via crash avoidance. The Ram Heavy Duty had standard driver and front passenger airbags; the latter could be turned off to use child seats.
The famed Power Wagon name returned, on a fully modern truck that could handle severe off-road conditions. Full 2005-2009 Power Wagon story.
The 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 MegaCab decisively ended “interior space wars” with the largest interior of any pickup, boasting 145.2 cubic feet — larger than any Chrysler car, and competing with stretched limousines for leg space. The cab was a foot longer than the Ford F-250 Crew Cab, and still had a six foot bed.
The standard engine was the Hemi V8, powering three tons of pickup; the diesel was optional, but there was no Ram 3500 version (light-duty buyers could get a Ram 1500 Mega Cab, and we reviewed one back in ’06).
The 2007 Dodge Ram pickup with the 5.9L Cummins diesel engine was the only OEM pickup that could be used for underground mining applications. The Ram came with a derated 175 horsepower in-line six-cylinder engine that was approved by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) for underground mine uses. With this engine, emissions were much lower, lowering ventilation costs. Some aftermarket modifications were required for specific vehicle uses, but these Dodge Rams all had the Cummins 5-year/100,000 mile factory engine warranty. (Thanks, Stratuscaster.)
The Hemi V8 was boosted, through variable valve timing, to 355 hp and 395 lb-ft of torque, and now came only with an automatic and only on the 2500. The 3500 now had a standard 6.7 liter Cummins turbodiesel and limited slip rear axle.
Larger front and rear brake rotors had twin-piston calipers. Remote start became optional on 6.7-liter Cummins engines. The Power Wagon continued, but only in Quad Cab form. The Ram 2500 Box-Off continued, despite the new Dodge Ram 3500 Chassis Cab.
The maximum payload on the Ram 3500 was up to 5,130 lb, with 16,850 lb of towing capacity
The 2010 Ram 2500 and 3500 continued the 2003-09 chassis and frame, but the Quad Cab was replaced by a crew cab; the suspension was retuned, with new parts; capacity went up; new mounts increased damping, improving handling and ride; and new TRX and TRX4 crew cabs were adapted to mild off-road use, not replacing the Power Wagon. The truck would continue to be refined through 2012; the 2013 Ram 2500 and 3500 had new frames and suspensions, a clean break from the 2003 designs.
Common problems and repairs • Specifications • Engines
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