1996 Ram 2500 4x4 5.9 gas auto trans. Multiple issues, questions.
Long time reader, first time poster.... Naw, not really, just found you guys today. Anyway, on to the topic at hand.
Purchased my first 2nd gen ram in may of this year. 1996 2500, ext cab, long box, 5.9 gas, auto trans, 173,000 miles, 285/75 r16 on black steelies, 3.55 gears.
Truck fires right up, runs fairly good. used it to move from Ohio back to California (I know, I know, but the weathers better, plenty of desert wheeling, and I have a lot of family here) On the way out, towing a fairly heavy box trailer, I plugged the cat and had to replace it in Utah. did the plugs at the same time, filter etc. had a really hard time pulling hills.
Even unloaded (I live in the mountains) it has a hard time getting out of its own way and gets warm on long grades (replaced t stat with 180 deg, full cooling system drain, flush, refill), and pulling any kind of weight is just a painful, slow, gas sucking experience from hell.
1. Could the loss of power/ warm condition be related to a plenum issue?
2. the 285's are 33 in tall, with 3.55's, never had power issues with other truck brands running similar combos with v8 power, do I need to re gear, and if so, are there factory dodges with either 4.10's or 4.56's in the axles I can rob from a yard (limited budget) and its d60 front, not sure if d60 or 70 rear (8800 gvw truck)?
3. How can I eke more power out of this motor while still being smog compliant in Cali? Or with the mileage should I consider a rebuild?
4. Can someone post a link to a trans band adjustment for this truck?
5. Any other known issues I should consider with these trucks (besides Chrysler elec gremlins)?