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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In the few days that I've been reading I have learned a few things that I didn't know. I've driven diesel "passenger" vehicles for a long time. I've been driving (leased) a Cummings 2500 4x4 Single rear wheel since 2015, and get a new one every 2 years. Now I'm getting ready to order one in the next month or so and have some decisions to make. Typically they have been crew cab with 6'-4" bed, last two ('19 and now '21) have been 8' bed and HO power train.

I put on a number of miles in a short mount of time. The majority of them are highway miles. Midwest, flat land. Typically from April to November I'll run around 40K miles. So fuel economy is of importance to me, as is time spent on the road. Every new truck has seemed to get worse and worse fuel economy, even though my driving habits and payload hasn't changed. With the '15, 24 mpg empty and 18-19 mpg loaded (9,950# trailer that is about as tall as the top of the tailgate on the truck) and a box in the bed that is as tall as the roof of the cab that weighs 1,700#). With the '17 the mileage dropped to 20-21 empty, 15-16 loaded. '19 I dropped to 17-18 empty, 12-14 loaded. Now with the '21 (yeah, only 8K miles on it now) it's dropped another 2-3 mpg across the board. I am not happy about the mileage and want to try and address that issue when getting the new truck. I know they will never come close to the 50 mpg average, 63 mpg best tank average that I'd get with the 2003 Jetta TDI, but I'd be way happy if I could duplicate the '15 or '17 mpg numbers.

I see that the HO package seems to get typically less mileage than the standard package.

3 weeks ago I had an issue with the new truck where I was 700 miles from home (trailer on but empty) cruise set on 78 and the trans went from 6th to 4th all on it's own. Check engine light is on now. Talk about a change shorts moment! Got it slowed down, off the interstate and shut off. Checked all the fluids, everything is OK. restart and truck acts like it has a 2,000 rpm stall converter in it. (retrospect it might have been stuck in 4th gear). Shut it off, looked for the closest dealer and called, of course service dept is closed. That took about 10 minutes, when I fired it back up everything seemed normal except for the CEL light.

Anyway, after 3.5 hours at the dealer and talking to the service manager he told me about the Aisin transmissions, so now for the new truck I'm thinking of going that route, but see they are only available in the 3500 and HO platform.... I know gears were changed between the '17 and the '19 (trucks had 3:42's now 3:73's) which is part of the mpg problem since I motor along at about 9 mph over the limit. I know rpm is the bane of fuel economy in diesels, but since the 3:42's aren't an option any more I guess there's not much to do.

I plan on leaving the new truck stock because I am seriously thinking about getting the FCA lifetime "covers everything" warranty with it. So, that might preclude doing a gear swap, gear vendors overdrive or a tune. Reliability and the potential of getting fixed if SHTF while on the road is something that I need to consider too.

So, can the brain trust here point me in the right direction? I plan on keeping the truck for 4-5 years, which would equate to roughly 200K miles, so a 5 mpg difference would = about a $23K fuel cost savings. Is the Aisin trans that much more bullet proof than the 68RFE? What else should I be looking at? Not looking at ordering a fancy truck, a Bighorn, bucket seats, air suspension, Mega cab, 6'-4" bed, 4x4, full length running boards, posi, and Nav system.

Thanks.
 

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Not sure I'm the one to be advising, but here's my comments.

The best mileage is with the SO (I have the HO for it's power)

The Aisin is for heavy towing and is bulletproof (I have one and love it)

The lifetime warranty is not available on a diesel truck.

I have the 8' bed with the 50 gal fuel tank, something to consider but not if you are set on a Mega.

I'm sure there will be others commenting for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks John. When I had this leased '21 in at the dealer the service manager (when I asked him about the warranty) said that it was available but salespeople didn't like to make it public because it hurt their repeat sales. I will be doing more inquiring when I'm talking to them about a purchase. If it isn't available that will leave the door open to doing some aftermarket mods to the truck to increase mileage.

Yeah, the Mega is something that I have to take a close hard look at. Some things about it I like, others I don't. I have to weigh them all out. I do a number of trips a year where the trip is 2 days of driving, and I could sleep in the back of the Mega instead of grabbing a $100 hotel for 8-10 hours.

I never heard about the Aisin trans until I was there at the dealer talking to the service manager, and I like what I am reading about it. I need to make sure before I talk to a salesperson if it is available behind a non-HO engine and if it is available in a 2500 or only the 3500. I like to do all my homework before talking to a sales person so I know if I'm getting told what I want to hear or the truth.
 

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I wouldn't trust any sales person's answers.
The Aisin is only available on the HO.
I suggest you go to Ram's website and play with their building a truck. It's free and easy and gives you all the options, etc.
Build a Truck

I played with that site for days before I ordered my 2020
 
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Some dealers offer lifetime engine warranty. I got one And didn’t know it till after I signed for it - but they are supposed to do all oil changes, etc. if I live within 100kms of the dealer. Outside the 100kms I’m allowed to do my own oil changes. Needless to say I likely don’t qualify anymore.
 
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Some dealers offer lifetime engine warranty. I got one And didn’t know it till after I signed for it - but they are supposed to do all oil changes, etc. if I live within 100kms of the dealer. Outside the 100kms I’m allowed to do my own oil changes. Needless to say I likely don’t qualify anymore.
That must have been an aftermarket lifetime as Mopar has no lifetimes for diesels
 
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That must have been an aftermarket lifetime as Mopar has no lifetimes for diesels
Yes it's through the group of dealers that my dealer belongs too.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That must have been an aftermarket lifetime as Mopar has no lifetimes for diesels
I was told it was through FCA and had to be honored by all the RAM dealers nationwide. I guess I will see when I go to the dealer and ask to read the paperwork.
 

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As you said you can't get a high output (Aisin) on a 2500 AFAIK; that's only available on the 3500's. The 68RFE would be HO compared to the stick shift, is that what you meant?
The 2500 will get better fuel economy for obvious reasons. I'm not sure how the tires have changed over the years but they may be partially responsible for the difference in fuel economy you noticed. The gear configuration would matter for highway mileage as well and that may have varied between your trucks. Consider getting the 3.42 if you can.

If anything the new trucks should be getting better fuel economy than the old ones. the other obvious solution is to go 65 MPH instead :p
 

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2021 Ram 2500 Big Horn w/6.7 SO & 68RFE, CCSB, Granite Crystal Metallic
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I could be mistaken but you can’t get the 3.42 any longer, only the 3.73 or 4.10. The dealership where I purchased my truck gave me a lifetime power train warranty through them. Unfortunately they’re 8 hours from me. When I shopped around for an extended bumper-to-bumper warranty, my local dealership offered me a lifetime power train if I purchased the extended warranty from them. I went with someone else for the extended warranty as their price was ridiculously high.
 

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Alright, you got me curious. What are those reasons?
Well, my initial thought was the 3500 was a heavier truck which, kind of makes sense given the higher payload/towing ratings....After checking the numbers, at least on the 2021 trucks the weight difference is negligible (~100 lbs or less depending on the model). I guess I wasn't expecting the weight difference to be so small between the two.

So I lied, the 2500 won't get better fuel economy, or a noticeable amount anyway.

I could be mistaken but you can’t get the 3.42 any longer, only the 3.73 or 4.10. The dealership where I purchased my truck gave me a lifetime power train warranty through them. Unfortunately they’re 8 hours from me. When I shopped around for an extended bumper-to-bumper warranty, my local dealership offered me a lifetime power train if I purchased the extended warranty from them. I went with someone else for the extended warranty as their price was ridiculously high.
Wonder why they'd ditch it. I just noticed that on the ram builder. Shame. I wouldn't want any higher of a gear ratio on my truck to be honest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks guys! Yes I believe the economy took a hit because of the gear ratio. If the bumper to bumper lifetime warranty isn't available for the diesels, then swapping gear ratios or going with a Gear Vendors Overdrive is a possibility.

If the Aisin trans isn't available on the 2500 at all, then 3500 it is. Planning on going with the air suspension to help mitigate the harsh no payload ride in the 3500. If going with the 2500 I was going to go with the air suspension too just for leveling headlights with the load in the bed. I have aftermarket air bags on the lease now.
 

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If the Aisin trans isn't available on the 2500 at all, then 3500 it is. Planning on going with the air suspension to help mitigate the harsh no payload ride in the 3500. If going with the 2500 I was going to go with the air suspension too just for leveling headlights with the load in the bed. I have aftermarket air bags on the lease now.
It’s not exactly a direct comparison but I have a 13 2500 (leaf spring) and a 17 3500 DRW with air suspension. The 3500 rides smoother then my 2500, empty or loaded, so for ride comfort I will pick the 3500 with air suspension.
 
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Thanks guys! Yes I believe the economy took a hit because of the gear ratio. If the bumper to bumper lifetime warranty isn't available for the diesels, then swapping gear ratios or going with a Gear Vendors Overdrive is a possibility.

If the Aisin trans isn't available on the 2500 at all, then 3500 it is. Planning on going with the air suspension to help mitigate the harsh no payload ride in the 3500. If going with the 2500 I was going to go with the air suspension too just for leveling headlights with the load in the bed. I have aftermarket air bags on the lease now.
I was gonna suggest swapping gears but that is a pain in the ass including programming etc.
 

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Thanks guys! Yes I believe the economy took a hit because of the gear ratio. If the bumper to bumper lifetime warranty isn't available for the diesels, then swapping gear ratios or going with a Gear Vendors Overdrive is a possibility.

If the Aisin trans isn't available on the 2500 at all, then 3500 it is. Planning on going with the air suspension to help mitigate the harsh no payload ride in the 3500. If going with the 2500 I was going to go with the air suspension too just for leveling headlights with the load in the bed. I have aftermarket air bags on the lease now.
Just to clarify, I’ve not heard of a lifetime bumper-to-bumper (BTB) warranty. I was referring to a lifetime power train warranty that some dealerships offer. I found a 10yr/100K BTB for a great price, but that’s for another discussion. 10 yr BTB is the highest I’ve heard of offered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Just to clarify, I’ve not heard of a lifetime bumper-to-bumper (BTB) warranty. I was referring to a lifetime power train warranty that some dealerships offer. I found a 10yr/100K BTB for a great price, but that’s for another discussion. 10 yr BTB is the highest I’ve heard of offered.
O.K., understood. The service manager said that unless the extended warranty is one that is thru FCA some dealers might not honor it because they might have a heck of a time getting paid. He said it's not a problem for people that live near their dealership that the warranty was gotten from, but if out of the region, then it may be a problem.
 

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So I lied, the 2500 won't get better fuel economy, or a noticeable amount anyway.
If the 3500 sits a little higher than a 2500, which I don't know if they do, that would probably be the largest difference in fuel economy.
 

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If the 3500 sits a little higher than a 2500, which I don't know if they do, that would probably be the largest difference in fuel economy.
I checked that when I checked the weights. I would have thought that too but the ride height is comparable. The 2500 if anything sits a fraction higher.
 

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They are essentially the same truck. A 2500 is only a de-rated (GVWR - wise) 3500 for commercial/registration purposes depending on region. Rear suspension is slightly different due to the coils on the 2500s but the RAWR is still almost the same as a 3500.
 
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