Considering buying 2004.5 Ram, any specific concerns? - Dodge Cummins Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-03-2014, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
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Considering buying 2004.5 Ram, any specific concerns?

I am shopping for a used diesel truck, crew cab, short bed, 4x4, for a second vehicle, to tow a 7500 lb travel trailer, plus for general pickup duties. Today I found a 2004.5 Ram, Quad cab, short bed 4x4, local one owner trade in on a new truck. I looked at it in the service department at the dealer today, and should be going back later to inspect it more and drive it.

I surmised that it is a 2004.5 because it states 325 hp on the valve cover. Am I correct? It appears to have been mainly used to tow a fifth wheel, as it has the hitch rails in the bed, the notched louvred tailgate, and the flip up wind deflector thing. It shows 137,800 miles. It appears to be in very solid, clean condition, but I haven't heard it run or driven it yet. I noticed under the hood that it has a PacBrake, I believe it was, which appears to be aftermarket. It's a Southwestern truck since new (where I live) -- I checked the CarFax history on it, so there should be no corrosion issues. Under my initial inspection, it appears like it might be pretty much stock, except for the PacBrake, but I haven't been able to do a detailed inspection as yet.

My questions are, what specific mechanical / drivetrain concerns, if any, should I have with the 2004.5? What can anyone tell me about the PacBrake? I presume it is an exhaust brake. I hope that they will let me take it to a local diesel repair shop I know of to have checked out, but I don't yet know if they will allow me to do that.

Any tips or info would be greatly appreciated, as I am very interested in this truck.

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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-03-2014, 05:03 PM
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I have on 04.5. The stock fuel pump went out at 45,000 miles. The dealership relocated the underhood pump to the fuel tank and that one has gone 200,000 miles. I change the front brakes about every 75,000 miles, and the rears every 120,000. the front u joints need to be replaced every 75,000 miles ish. I have done the wheel bearings about every 150 when the front u joints need to be done. I am at 245,000 miles and I just had nearly the entire front end replaced, as well as a shot transmission cooler and tras cooler lines. The drivers side door handle is jammed up inside the door. The trim piece for the locks and windows on the drivers side busted loose. The vinyl cover of the center console where I always rest my elbow is all torn up. Their is rust over the rear wheels and the bottom of the tailgate. The rail pressure sensor also just needed to be replace. Oh and the water pump had to be done around 200,000 miles. Yes, the 325 hp is an 04.5.

Oh I also wanted to add I plow snow with this truck, in Michigan, with a 950 pound plow. I really beat the crap out of it.

2004.5, Smarty and MP-8, HTS Trans, E.D 64/68/14,
DiPricol fuel, rail, boost, trans, EGT
Intake, elbow, exhaust

Last edited by DieselPlower; 03-03-2014 at 05:09 PM.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-03-2014, 05:05 PM
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What kind of price do they have on it?

If the dealer where it is for sale won't let you take it to a mechanic of your choice to have it checked out, then I would find another truck.

My 04.5 is a decent truck for the most part. It just has little Dodge issues here and there, no engine or tranny issues to speak of as of yet. It should have a cat converter if it is 04.5, mine does. Expect around 17 MPG in the real world of mixed driving and 14 or so all city with about 20 on the highway. It's real hard for me to believe that someone gets much over 20.

--Kyle

2004.5 QCSB, Smarty S-06 PoD, Carli Ball Joints, PSC Steering Box Brace, Diesel Site Spin-On Trans Filter Kit
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-03-2014, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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What kind of price do they have on it?

If the dealer where it is for sale won't let you take it to a mechanic of your choice to have it checked out, then I would find another truck.

My 04.5 is a decent truck for the most part. It just has little Dodge issues here and there, no engine or tranny issues to speak of as of yet. It should have a cat converter if it is 04.5, mine does. Expect around 17 MPG in the real world of mixed driving and 14 or so all city with about 20 on the highway. It's real hard for me to believe that someone gets much over 20.
Thanks, DieselPlower and wkmincey. Appreciate it.

The asking price is $18K. Given what I have told you about the truck -- appears very clean, original, straight and solid, then if it checks out mechanically, what is it worth in your opinion?
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-03-2014, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Dudeonthenet View Post
Thanks, DieselPlower and wkmincey. Appreciate it.

The asking price is $18K. Given what I have told you about the truck -- appears very clean, original, straight and solid, then if it checks out mechanically, what is it worth in your opinion?
Well I'd say you're going to get them down a couple grand and have a good truck on your hands. For what it's worth, I get 15-16 mpg empty or light towing cause I have the 4.10 gears. Not good.

2004.5, Smarty and MP-8, HTS Trans, E.D 64/68/14,
DiPricol fuel, rail, boost, trans, EGT
Intake, elbow, exhaust
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-03-2014, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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You guys that own the 2004.5, would that be a 4 spd or 5 spd auto trans?
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-03-2014, 06:17 PM
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The autos are 4 speed until 2007.5 when they jump to 6.

2004.5, Smarty and MP-8, HTS Trans, E.D 64/68/14,
DiPricol fuel, rail, boost, trans, EGT
Intake, elbow, exhaust
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-03-2014, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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The autos are 4 speed until 2007.5 when they jump to 6.
Thanks, and one more Q, if I might. What is the OEM fuel tank capacity on that year?
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-03-2014, 08:22 PM
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Check for blow by by removing to oil fill cap and rest the cap over the hole. If the cap bounces then stay away... Seem to be a lot of 04.5 to 07 5.9 with bad engines specifically broken compression rings... Don't' task me how I know.

1997 - 2500 Extended Cab, BD Super B Over S472/83/1.10, CPP 7x10 Injectors, 024DV, 4K GSK, no fuel plate, Timing 20deg, ATS Tranny, extreme head studs.
2006 - 2500 CR - Stock
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-03-2014, 08:44 PM
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blow by, ball joint and track bar movement. Track bar is easy home job, but ball joints are either expensive or a royal pain.
18 seems pretty high.

2006 2500 quad cab SLT 4X4 SRW, 265/70/17 BF goodrich (yeh I know changing soon) T style steering, 48re Auto, Borg warner solenoid and transducer, Steering gear box brace. Draw tite gooseneck.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-03-2014, 11:48 PM
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Thanks, and one more Q, if I might. What is the OEM fuel tank capacity on that year?
34 gallons but it will hold more if you do the fuel tank mod.

2004.5, Smarty and MP-8, HTS Trans, E.D 64/68/14,
DiPricol fuel, rail, boost, trans, EGT
Intake, elbow, exhaust
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-03-2014, 11:55 PM
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Looks like everyone has ya covered! But I'll add axleshaft u-joints, all driveline u-joints and water pump weep hole leaking.

And I wouldn't go much more than $16,500 on that one, since it may have had the reans worked quite a bit...? Unless of course it was regularly & meticulously maintained?

Good Luck!

Former Dodge Truck(s) Owner... Still a part of Cummins!
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