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Old 04-29-2009, 01:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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What years gave the best fuel economy???

Well, last Sunday my wife totalled my 1995 Dodge Ram 4x4 with the Cummins diesel. Along with our 26' RV. Just had to keep going in a Montana blizzard instead of pulling over and waiting out the winds. Not a scratch on anyone, so I guess their is a positive side to it all.

Anyways, to me it looks like there is sufficient damage such that the insurance company will probably write it off; I doubt the fact it was still getting 24 mpg on the highway and didn't have a mark on it will mean much to the adjustors. When they make their decision, I will have to decide whether it is worth having it rebuilt or not if they do write it off and I can buy it as salvage. Maybe I will get lucky - I sure loved that truck as I bought it brand new as a factory order with my bullet bonus from my tour in Bosnia.

But, if worst comes to worst, can you folks advise me which years of the Rams got the best diesel economy? I got 24 mpg (about 29 mpg imperial) on the last tank I put in my truck and I have heard of guys getting as good as or better milage than that with similarly equipped trucks to mine in later years.

That's what I bought the diesel for in the first place, economy, although it certainly hasn't hurt when towing our now-deceased travel trailer around. I drove new Dodge diesels in the oil patch last year - gobs more power that I don't need, but nowhere near the fuel economy.

My Ram was a 95 4x4 with the long box, five speed manual transmission, limited slip differential, and tow package. Only comfort extras were A/C and a sliding rear window to access the Gemtop canopy. No trim packages, no power crap, nice and minimal plain jane truck with little to go wrong with it. Hopefully I can find something similar out there - not only do I not have the money to buy a new Dodge, but I liked my old truck better than the new ones I was driving in the oil patch last year.

Anyways, if I do have to go shopping, I would appreciate which years I should be looking at in terms of economy. I confess I didn't pay much attention to information about the successive years of Dodge trucks: I just maintained and drove the hell out of it for 14 years and was planning on driving it for at least another decade or two.

Thanks guys!
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Old 04-29-2009, 01:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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there is no cummins gonna get better milage than the old 12v's (89-98) although to me 24 mpg is even high for a 12v. if it were me looking for economy id buy anther 12v no doubt.

sorry to hear about what happened but atleast no one got hurt. trucks can be replaced.
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Old 04-29-2009, 01:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
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oh and
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Old 04-29-2009, 01:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
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there is no cummins gonna get better milage than the old 12v's (89-98) although to me 24 mpg is even high for a 12v. if it were me looking for economy id buy anther 12v no doubt.
Thanks.

Yeah, I had nothing to complain about. Having the manual transmission and a Gemtop canopy that was even with the roofline probably helped as did most of the miles being with no load other than the driver. And along with the fact I usually put it in 5th gear on the highway, clicked the cruise control on at 60 mph, and left it there. Not a lot of traffic and other hindrances to deal with out here in the boonies when you're driving the highways.

The new Dodges I was driving last year were fun for the power they had, but I just don't need that kind of power for 99% of the usage of my truck. Who knows, maybe I should even be looking at a gas pot big enough to tow our trailer on the short hauls we do go out with it. When I bought my truck way back then, I didn't even consider a gas engine because diesel was so very much cheaper back then.

Thanks for taking the time to offer your opinion!
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Old 04-29-2009, 02:06 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks.

Yeah, I had nothing to complain about. Having the manual transmission and a Gemtop canopy that was even with the roofline probably helped as did most of the miles being with no load other than the driver. And along with the fact I usually put it in 5th gear on the highway, clicked the cruise control on at 60 mph, and left it there. Not a lot of traffic and other hindrances to deal with out here in the boonies when you're driving the highways.

The new Dodges I was driving last year were fun for the power they had, but I just don't need that kind of power for 99% of the usage of my truck. Who knows, maybe I should even be looking at a gas pot big enough to tow our trailer on the short hauls we do go out with it. When I bought my truck way back then, I didn't even consider a gas engine because diesel was so very much cheaper back then.

Thanks for taking the time to offer your opinion!
no problem, thats what im here for, good luck in finding your new truck. just to warn you i have a 07 with the 5.9 and the best economy i get is 16mpg but mine is slightly modded and i drive it hard so..
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Old 04-29-2009, 02:48 AM   #6 (permalink)
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no problem, thats what im here for, good luck in finding your new truck. just to warn you i have a 07 with the 5.9 and the best economy i get is 16mpg but mine is slightly modded and i drive it hard so..
I kind of scratch my head at any mods I would want to do with mine. Anything that increased the economy, I suppose, or reduced the engine noise (although I didn't particularly mind it). I just liked that truck all the way around.

I didn't drive it hard because I didn't need to - 60mph is lots here in the Rocky Mountains where there's lots of neat scenery and not a lot of high speed highways or traffic to begin with. Most places I might have needed to go were within a 60 mile radius, and I don't think you could find anything around here that could qualify as being called "city traffic". It pretty much idled around on the highways empty except for me driving. And trips with the trailer were never more than two or three hours one way at most, although that truck did haul that trailer back and forth between Canada and Utah about six times.

Nope... off the top of my head I can't think of anything with the truck that failed to meet my demands and expectations that made me think I should look for some mods. Perhaps I'm just easily satisfied, but I always thought it was a hell of a truck just the way it is/was.

If I'd done a lot of heavy hauling with it, then I would probably have been a little bit dissatisfied with the manual transmission and the lack of raw power.
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Old 04-29-2009, 02:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
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i understand that. i play with my truck so thats why i mod mine. its my toy
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Old 04-29-2009, 10:24 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I'd say stick with a 12 valve if you can find a good one. 24MPG is good for a 4x4.

My 1st Cummins was a '97 2500 EC 4x4 Auto and I could get 24 MPG if I stayed under 60 MPH. My current best-MPG truck is the '96 3500 EC 2WD Auto, that one will get over 23 MPG at a very steady 65 MPH.

To improve mileage, you can set the injection timing to around 16* and maybe change injectors. I've also got low stall speed torque converters on both trucks. About 90% of the battle goes back to driving style, and if you were getting 24 MPG you've got that one down right!
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Old 04-29-2009, 11:18 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I will input what I know about mine. I have an 06' QCSB 4x4 Bully dog programmer and straight pipe w/ Volant CAI. Its more power than i will ever need, but is great when I do pull. I drive about like you and get 20-22 hwy. Thats hand calculated and with 34" tires. I hand calculate because the overhead console reads 26-27 and I know thats a lie! Just thought I would let you know stats from my rig.
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Old 04-29-2009, 11:33 AM   #10 (permalink)
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got 19!!!

On my last tank with listed mods. This was with 4 or 5 good 0-60 rags! 19.05 to be exact. I was very very pleased.
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Old 04-29-2009, 12:10 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Sorry my state got you. It can be tough here.
It seems to me the '94-'96 trucks got the best mpgs. Maybe the pump and other changes in '97 effected mileage.
I consistently get about 24 mpg with mine.
I would rebuild the truck if it isn't too bad.
The reason the insurance is calling it totaled is because a 15 year old truck isn't worth much monetarily.
For kicks I asked what a VW dealer would give for a trade in on my excellent condition, one owner 2500.... they said $1500-$2000.
It's still worth the $24,000 I paid new for it to me.
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Old 04-29-2009, 03:33 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I would think the lower hp 94-95 stick's would be hard to beat mileage wise.

My buddy bought a 94 3500 4x4 with a stick and 3.55 gears. Damn thing got 25mpg all the time mind you it was bone stock down to the air filter and muffler. Fuel plate and afc untouched. Was no speed demon thats for sure in stock form.
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