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2nd Gen Ram Tech1994-2001 Rams: This section is for TECHNICAL discussions only, that involve the 1994 through 2001 Rams. For any non-tech discussions, please direct your attention to the "General discussion/NON-tech" sub sections.
Greetings all, I have had need for a truck for a long time and I am considering getting a 2nd generation RAM 1500 4x4. My issue is that the ones I can readily afford have upwards of 138,000 miles. So I'm curious as to the life expectancy, miles wise, of the 5.9 & 5.2 liter V8's. I know that there are several factors to consider like maintenance and what not but lets just consider the engine generally well kept. So how many miles can the average 5.9 & 5.2 accumulate before it'll just not be a decent purchase. I don't feel like purchasing a Truck with 170,000+ miles on it and it only lasts another 10,000 before it's shot. Thanks for your' time.
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The motors are decent. They seem to last for quite a while unless you have one that cracks the heads which seems to be fairly common. However, the transmissions do not last, the rear ends don't seem to last if it has the LSD in it. Well, the LSD's don't last, the interior seems to fall apart. Specifically the dash. The front end parts seem to go bad. These trucks just have a ton of issues that it seems like everyone with one of these trucks has to deal with with the exception of a few. Now most of this stuff you can upgrade to be decent but chances are that if buying a used truck it's not going to have this stuff upgraded.
To be honest if I needed a truck to last knowing what I know now I would not buy a Dodge. Seeing the experiences my friends have had I wouldn't buy a Chevy either. The ones I know with Fords have had good luck. The only two with a ton of problems are one friend who has literally beat the **** out of his truck. He will tell you that. It's still running but the transmission doesn't shift right. Like I said he has beat the **** out of it and it's had less problems than my truck. His is also a 97 so 4 years older than mine. To me that's sad.
Another guy has one that a rod went in the motor with like 80k miles or something. He said he had just had Jiffy Lube change the oil that morning before going on a trip so he wondered if something happened there but couldn't prove it.
Other than those two most of the people I know with them have had great luck. I'd say the one that's been beat on has been decent as while stuff has broken it's not honestly had that much break and it's been treated like crap.
I honestly would look for a Toyota or Nissan if I wanted it to last. If I needed a heavier duty truck the Fords are the only ones I'd look at.
2001 Dodge Ram 1500 Offroad Edition with the 360.
So....so far I've seen engines with anything from 130k up to 400k. Everything else is just usual BS that needs to be done. Apparently, plenum leaks are a factor, from what I've read. Otherwise, u-joints go, and front ends do too, that's just expected. I've owned nothing but Dodge/Chrysler cars since 1989 so the issues with these vehicles is nothing new. I've just been curious as to how many miles you can possibly put on a 1500 since my friend will be selling his and it's got 175,000 miles on it, but I've been with him and the truck since it was new. Only it's a 2002 with a 4.7 liter V8, which is a 3rd gen, I think? It's never had a single issue with anything however it does throw a P0455 code now and the passenger window goes up and down only some of the time, but otherwise it's a solid truck. However, I'm a fan of the 5.2/5.9 and would prefer a truck with either of these engines, so I've been curious to the longevity of these engines....
I've owned nothing but Dodge and Jeep trucks for the last 30 years and a few Mopar musclecars before that. Reliability has never been an issue with any of them. The stuff that broke was mainly my fault. Yeah, they have some idiosyncracies, but that can be said of almost any brand. My brother currently has a '96 Ford F150 sitting in front of his house waiting to be fixed for the 3rd time in 2 years. This is a truck that has never been off-road, abused and only rarely even used as a truck. I wouldn't judge all Fords by this one (although I have not and will never own a Ford). I just bought my RAM with 101k on it. It has had a new transmission in it and a few other things fixed, but overall it is a great running truck. People warned me about the V10, but for every horror story you read on the internet there are probably about 100 happy owners who never post. That's true of any brand. The internet is a great information resource, but as far as representing reality...forget it.
Find a reputable dealer/seller, do your due diligence in getting any prospect checked out completely and enjoy your new ride.
Thanks Miami_Son... I could not agree with you more. My Father has owned nothing but Fords and currently owns a 2008 F-150 Crew Cab 4x4 King Ranch. Don't get me wrong it's a very nice truck, but He's already having issues with the front end on it and it barely has 10k miles on it. He always has issues with fuel system delivery issues and electronic issues with all his Fords, but continues to purchase them. My friends 2002 SLT RAM Crew Cab with 170K on it has never had a single issue. It runs and drives like it's brand new. Same transmission, all original parts, I think he's replaced belts and maybe an alternator, brakes, and the usual maintenance goodies. I refuse to believe these trucks are pieces of crap, other than the transmissions which I am all to well aware of the short comings of them. So let me hijack my own thread and ask a different question. When I am out there looking for a Dodge RAM 1500 quad Cab 4x4 of any year from 1996-2002, what should I look for as far as worn out pieces underneith and under the hood. What really is going to stand out that will make or break the sale?
My 5.2 has just reached 210k. The engine itself has not had any problems. The transmission was rebuilt some time ago, I don't know when, my father was the owner at that time. I have had to replace u-joints, ball joints, track bar, and other things, but I was expecting this as I received the truck from my father 2 years ago with 198k miles, and these parts have never been replaced before.
I bought my truck a 1997 ram 4x4 with a 5.2l as my first vehicle. I bought it with 155,000 miles about 2 years ago. Ive rodded on it, took it ofrroading in snow and mud. I drive it like I stole it about 70% of the time(like any other teenager). Ive hauled hay, boats and campers and never had a problem. I guess what im trying to say is i never regreted buying it and would buy another one tommorow if I could. I think they have the best 4x4 system with the straight axle and are very reliable. You can find second gens for pretty cheap now days and I think 130-160k miles is just broke in for these magnum engines.
1997 Ram 1500 3inch body lift, 35 inch DC Radial FC-II (Awesome tires), 35% tint, chrome package, eagle alloy rims, blue painted diff. covers,rough country nitros,shorty headers, 14x3 moroso blue air cleaner w/ K&N element. Coming soon...4.56 gears,1.7 HS RR.
If maintained, it seems that 200,000 to 300,000 seems about right. It all depends on how well it has been taken care of. And there were two main issues with the magnum motors. The aluminum on steel belly pan caused the gasket to blow out.
2. Heads are known to crack (not all of them will, seems hit or miss)
The thing you have to worry about is other components on these trucks. There is the infamous tranny issues, various steering components, and a few other "hit or miss" issues.
I actually laugh at who ever mentioned looking at a Nissan or Toyota. They do have a little more umph from the factory, but you might as well throw a motor in an tin can. There have been many many complaints about the bodys rusting out at less than 20,000 miles. Just my opinion.
Call it an early midlife crisis.
My truck has 210000miles on it and its still the original engine. Only problems ive had was the front suspension being replaced at 204000miles, transmission replaced at like 205k miles, the rear end is going bad, clear coat sucks, dash is in pieces. but besides that its a solid truck that runs good and yes i am actually very hard on the truck and it hasnt broke to bad yet.