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1st Gen RAM general discussion/NON-tech This section is for general discussions about your 1st gen RAM. Non tech related RAM threads belong here.

Reliability of 1st Gens

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  #1  
Old 08-29-2013, 09:40 AM
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Default Reliability of 1st Gens

Hey y'all I'm a pretty active member in the 3rd gen section, but I'm thinking of getting a first gen. I've had a ton of issues with computer/electrical stuff with my truck (my fault not the truck's) but I'm really wanting something more mechanical that's not such a PITA to work on. Plus my truck was handed down to me and I kinda want a truck that I bought with my own money. Anyways the 1st gens just look awesome to me and I would be using it as a daily driver. How reliable are these trucks if well maintained? What engine and transmission should I avoid and what's good, that kinda stuff. What year models are best? Also I'm considering a first gen cummins but those are kinda hard to find. I'm interested to know y'all's answers. Also does anyone know much about ramchargers? Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 08-29-2013, 11:47 AM
dodge dude94 dodge dude94 is offline
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To be honest, if you want simple, get a late 70's or early 80's truck. If you want comfy-ish, get a 90-92 with the Magnum V8s.
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Old 08-29-2013, 01:00 PM
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How much worse mpg will I be looking at if I got a gasser? I get 10-11mpg in my truck with 35's and stock 3.92's. or better but I won't get my hopes up lol
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Old 08-29-2013, 03:02 PM
dodge dude94 dodge dude94 is offline
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That's really hard to gauge. These trucks are old. So the gas gauges and ODO's aren't the most accurate. I think I'm getting between 6 and 10mpg in town with my 76, however, it's also a 2WD big block with 4.10 gears. I think the MPG will be on par or maybe a tad better depending on what year you get. These first gens are crap tons lighter than the 3rd gens.

For perspective: according to the TXDOT, my Ram weighs in at 5400lbs. My 76 weighs in at around 4200. My dad's 02 Ram 2WD weighs in at 4500. So there is a big weight difference to offset the ....um...."inefficiency" of the older engines.

Something like this:
http://easttexas.craigslist.org/cto/3906205019.html

Or even one of these badass machines:
http://easttexas.craigslist.org/cto/3954925979.html
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:11 PM
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That RC is sweet!

As far as weight, I think period literature is slightly off. My truck is listed at 39xx from the title, and 39xx or 40xx from dodge. In reality, it weighs around 4600 with me (180), a half tank of gas, and some basic tools and tie-downs.

I don't think there is really anything to avoid. Even if you buy a lean-burn truck, you can retrofit the crappy ignition to a regular system for pretty cheap. Just avoid rust and ghetto hack ( don't look at me! lol)

Check out the MPG thread to get an idea of the mileage you can expect. As usual, be wary of any claims that are less than 2, or more than 25.

For reliability, I've put nearly 40,000 miles on my truck without it not being able to get home safely, under its own power. It's a lot like a tractor. You may have to do some tinkering, but most things that break cost less than $20, and usually a $15 socket set and a crescent wrench will be all you need. And it will still run in the mean time.

If you want a road legal farm tractor, then buy a first gen, and don't look back.
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:20 PM
dodge dude94 dodge dude94 is offline
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To add to your last sentence, if you want a road legal farm tractor that will surprise the crap out of people, get a big block with a 4 barrel.






I'm spoiled, I know.
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Old 08-30-2013, 10:50 AM
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Wow both those links are awesome trucks! I'm not looking to buy yet, but it will probably be when this fall semester is over for me. By then I will have plenty of work money saved up. I love gassers but right now I'm leaning towards a cummins. If I did get a cummins, (I know every truck isn't the same) but if it was/still is well maintained, could I rely on it to start up every morning, especially in the winter? It'd sure be a bummer if I had to ride my mountain bike down i20 on a cold morning LOL! Side note- in Texas, we think 40* is -40* lol
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Old 08-30-2013, 01:16 PM
dodge dude94 dodge dude94 is offline
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Most of the trucks would just have either little wiring issues that are easily fixed or maybe a random mechanical issue pop up. Other than that, I can't say I've seen a Cummins that has had a major issue that was not easily fixable.


And you're not telling me something I don't know about temperature here. I'm about 120+ mi east of you. lol
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Old 09-01-2013, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dodge dude94 View Post
Most of the trucks would just have either little wiring issues that are easily fixed or maybe a random mechanical issue pop up. Other than that, I can't say I've seen a Cummins that has had a major issue that was not easily fixable.


And you're not telling me something I don't know about temperature here. I'm about 120+ mi east of you. lol
Are you in Tyler area? In my opinion. Heaven is between Tyler Texas all the way through.... Well whatever state comes before Florida lol! Floridas got sharks! Ha
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Old 09-02-2013, 03:53 PM
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I have 2 92 w150s. My DD (the black automatic one) with just over 4in lift and 35s, 4.10s gets about 11-12 mpg

my other one has a nv4500 (great transmissions but hard to find) got about 14 mpg last tank. First full tank Ive put through it. But its all stock

Overall in my experience 1st gens are extremely reliable. Between my 92 and my dads 92. Ive put alot of money into mine but most of it was upgrades not really needed.
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Old 09-02-2013, 03:53 PM
 
 
 
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