03-05 Ram 3500's - Advice/wisdom needed

Discussion in 'Tow Rigs and Trailers' started by Chris_Keziah, Jul 31, 2017.

  1. Chris_Keziah

    Chris_Keziah Joe Dirt

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2010
    Location:
    Winston-Salem
    It is time to replace the hole that was created in my life when I sold the Ford, never release how useful a truck bed is until it's gone. I am now looking for a 03-05 3500 CCLB DRW (5.9 Cummins of course), since the wife can't drive a manual I'm stuck with looking at the auto trucks. Currently I'm leaning toward 2wd but it's really all in what I can find truthfully, don't care either way. The truck's main purpose will be daddy-mobile (Daycare and work) and the monthly Jeep hauling duty's.

    Main ?'s/Concerns:
    • Does the 48RE suck in stock form? (I will more than likely keep the truck stock other than exhaust and a tow tune)
    • 5.9's are always assumed bulletproof, anything to look for under the hood specific to those?
    • Rust issue's? (Seen quite a few with bad tailgates)
    • 4wd vs 2wd front durability?
    • Higher mileage an issue (220k+)
    • Anything to look for specific to these trucks
    Thanks in advance
     
  2. BigClay

    BigClay Well-Known Member

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    Sep 24, 2008
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    Winston-Salem
    Glad to see you saw the light and ditched the Fix Or Repair Daily haha
     
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  3. broncosbybart

    broncosbybart Is it 5 YET?

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  4. BigClay

    BigClay Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    My personal opinion: I would never own a 2wd truck. I can't tell you how many times I have driven an unloaded truck in wet grass to only have it start spinning and need 4wd to get out.
     
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  5. RHSCTJ

    RHSCTJ Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    ROCK HILL, SC
    I have a 06 3500 drw 2wd auto. Not sure exactly why but mine has tow haul and od off. In tow mode if you manually shift it to 2nd gear it will lock the converter in 2nd gear which is nice on steep low speed pulls. If you leave it in d in tow mode it only locks 3 and 4. From what i have seen the earlier ones wont do all those tricks.
     
  6. CasterTroy

    CasterTroy Motarded

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    Location:
    Wallburg
    HIPSTERJUDGEshawn.jpg
     
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  7. Jody Treadway

    Jody Treadway Croc wearing fool Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Location:
    Hendersonville, NC
    I used to have a 03 CCLB SRW 4WD and it was hands down the best truck I ever owned. Period.
    Mine was a H.O. (early 03 could be either FYI), auto with 3.73 gearing. Like all 03-04.5 HO, it got great fuel mileage. To the tune of 22 empty and mid teens towing (hand calculated over the course of 40k miles). My engine was stock aside from an AFE intake and a Flo Pro exhaust.
    The Cummins of that vintage is nearly bulletproof when left near stock. A mild tune is fine, but most performance tunes will cause premature injector issues over time. Aside from water pumps, you'll probably not need to do much wrenching on the engine. See if the lift pump has been moved from the filter housing to an in tank setup. The filter housing mounted ones like to die and early death.
    The 48RE is a decent transmission, again when the engine is stock. On mine I added a better valve body, converter and deep pan to help with overheating.
    The front suspension and drive on the 4WD will need service. Unit bearings, front axle joints and ball joints are all wear items and will need serviced from time to time.
    Inside, the dashes tend to crack and fail over time as well as HVAC doors that like to break. Neither are huge deals, but very, very common.
     
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  8. dlcrawler12

    dlcrawler12 Member

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    Aug 18, 2016
    Location:
    Vale,Nc
    My dad has a 06 3500 srw and it's been great, it has a chip and an exhaust. He has had to have the transmission rebuilt at 50,000 and it has a little over 91,000 on it right now
     
  9. VortecJeep

    VortecJeep Powered by Uranium-235

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    Aug 24, 2005
    Location:
    Concord, NC
    I have a 2500 CCSB 4x4 with automatic. 193,000 miles. Engine and tranny are stock except last time I changed the tranny fluid I replaced the tranny pan with one that has a drain plug. I wouldn't worry about buying a 200k miles 3rd gen with a Cummins unless it has been owned by some kid.
     
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  10. shawn

    shawn running dog lackey of the oppressor class Administrator

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    Mar 13, 2005
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    The only problem is that if you try to buy an 03-05 today with 200k on it, you'll pay more than we paid for ours 10 years ago when it only had 85k on it.
     
  11. CasterTroy

    CasterTroy Motarded

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    Dang.....too bad you didn't have a perfectly good 7.3, 4x4, with a back seat and a new trans......oh...wait
     
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  12. Chris_Keziah

    Chris_Keziah Joe Dirt

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    Momma couldn't drive it and while it did have a back seat there just wasn't much room to get in and out.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk
     
  13. Chris_Keziah

    Chris_Keziah Joe Dirt

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    Hence the looking at 2wd drw to keep the bro tax to a minimum.

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  14. shawn

    shawn running dog lackey of the oppressor class Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    Cyd couldn't drive a stick when we bought our Dodge, either.

    Now she DDs it, and complains when she drives anything else.

    The other problem with buying an 03-06 truck is that it probably won't have an exhaust brake.
     
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  15. CasterTroy

    CasterTroy Motarded

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    Hell all 3 of my CHILDREN can drive a stick....and this "mother" can not? Boy, take all of 12 minutes to teach her!! That's how long it took my son to learn how to drive the only car he's ever owned :flipoff2:
     
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  16. Jody Treadway

    Jody Treadway Croc wearing fool Moderator

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    Hendersonville, NC
    He's never done anything for 12 minutes straight.
    Werd.
     
  17. BigClay

    BigClay Well-Known Member

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    12??? Hell, more like never done anything for 3 minutes straight :flipoff2:
     
  18. BigClay

    BigClay Well-Known Member

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    Crazy thought here. Why do you need a cummins? You could get a nice 5.7 hemi with 4wd for your budget I bet. You won't win any up hill towing races, but it will get you there and will have zero bro tax.
     
  19. Chris_Keziah

    Chris_Keziah Joe Dirt

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    It almost sounds like you are volunteering to teach her.....

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  20. Chris_Keziah

    Chris_Keziah Joe Dirt

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    Do I need one now, no. I'm planning more ahead for Laura getting a TJ. A half ton isn't gonna tow two jeeps well at all.

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  21. BigClay

    BigClay Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't saying a half ton, just saying a gas 2500 or 3500.
     
  22. CasterTroy

    CasterTroy Motarded

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    It almost sounds like you can't drive a straight either o_O
     
  23. Chris_Keziah

    Chris_Keziah Joe Dirt

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    Winston-Salem
    Not enough GVWR on the gasser's to haul two Jeeps. I'd rather have way more truck than I'll ever need than to not have enough.

    :cool: Almost.....
     
  24. VortecJeep

    VortecJeep Powered by Uranium-235

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    You'll get a 2WD stuck somewhere while pulling a trailer.
     
  25. Lankford

    Lankford Well-Known Member

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    Nov 29, 2010
    Location:
    Sophia, NC
    unload jeep, winch or tow both...done.

    Been there with a 4WD tow pig.
     

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