1994-2001 Dodge Ram 1500, All engines
1994 Dodge Ram 1500 RC with the 5.9L and automatic transmission.
Things that you will need:
-6 Quarts of oil (8 quarts for the V10)
-Oil filter (mopar part number 5281090BA)
-a 16mm wrench or socket/ratchet
-a catch pan
-a couple rags
Open your hood. Remove the oil cap on the left side valve cover, as well as pulling the dipstick and checking your oil. Alot of people dont know that they have an oil system problem until its too late, so if youre going to change your own oil, this would be a fine time to do so, if not at other times.
Slide the catch pan under the truck. Before climbing under the truck, have a look down along the passenger side of the engine, toward the back/bottom, and youll be able to see the oil filter. This will give you a frame of reference, and makes it a little easier to locate it once youre under the truck. Slide under the truck just behind the passenger tires, and move the catch pan toward the front of the truck. The oil plug is at a slight angle, and points toward the front of the truck. I always remove the drain plug first, and this is where the 16mm wrench comes into play. When laying under the truck, you will want to turn the plug counter-clockwise. You can try to catch the plug as it comes out, or you can let it drop into the pan. There is no gasket on the stock plug to get lost in the dirty oil. While that is draining, and has slowed to a trickle, fish the plug out of the oil, and inspect the threads. Alot of companies will say to change the plug every time, but if you inspect it, you can be the judge whether to replace it or not. Wipe the threads clean, and the threads should look "sharp". If they appear to be rounding off, or flattened out, I would suggest buying a new one. Once the oil has stopped coming out, replace the oil plug, and be very careful not to crossthread the plug, and dont over-tighten it, as it will ruin the plug, and sometimes the oil pan. Just make certain that the plug is nice and tight, but it doesnt need to be torqued down.
Slide the catch pan back towards yourself, and locate the oil filter. Make sure that the catch pan is centered under the filter. I will usually loosen the filter, and let the oil begin to run down the sides for a bit. Something to keep in mind, when you loosen the filter, oil WILL run out, and the oil should be hot. If youre laying on the ground, and let it splash into the catch pan, it may splash hot oil, so be careful. There shouldnt be much oil coming out of the point where the oil filter mounts, so once youve gotten the old filter out, move onto the step four.
Fill the new filter with new oil, and then take some of the oil in the filter on your finger and rub it around the filter gasket. Before installing the new filter, inspect the filter mounting surface, or the old filter, and be certain that the old filter gasket isnt stuck on the filter mounting surface. That makes for a real mess, and a big hassle if you have an old gasket stuck there when you put on a new filter. Once all is clear, screw the new filter on, and never use tools to tighten the filter; it should only be hand tightened.
I typically start by pouring in 4 quarts, letting it settle for a minute, then put the oil cap on and start the truck, to move the oil around the engine, and ensure that the filter is full. Then check the oil per the dipstick, and add as needed. I think that it takes around 5.5 quarts. The V10 engines take 7.5 quarts.