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Discussion Starter #1
I have 2004.5 DRW CTD,auto . It has 170,500 miles on it and I want to get it ready to Tow a 2011 Sierra 5th wheel (dry weight 11,118 , Max 14,300 ) .

Going to this to get it ready :
Change oil
fuel filter
air filter
trans fluid & filter ( may also add temp gauge )
Bilstein Shocks
brake pads ( need some input for some HD brake pads )
Firestone airbags

Any other not too expensive task I need to do ?? This truck will be used for towing 95% of the time .

Thanks
Bigdaddy51200
 

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Thats a good starting point. Unless you know the trucks history, you wont know whay else to look for really. Just drive it and pay attention to her until you find the things that need attention.
 

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I agree with MikesH,

While your doing the trans fluid change, you might consider a deeper trans pan. i.e. Maghitech or others. Makes life a little easier.
 

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You might also want an EGT guage. I have mine with the EDGE.

It gives a real quick idea of the load the engine is under. In seconds that puppy will jump 600 degrees. The tranny temp reacts a lot slower.

And I'm surprised nobody already said....engine brake. My 6.7l comes with it stock but on your '04 you will have to go aftermarket. I love mine!
 

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Master of Mayhem NASFIG
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change the rear differential too. Lotta folks forget that those need changing about every 80k or so if you tow a lot.
 

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Change all fluids/filters.

The consensus on brake pads I've seen is the premium ones from MOPAR (not "value line").

The Bodybuilder guide recommends an exhaust brake for trailers above 10k.

I would also replace all exterior lamps . . they dim before they go out.

Tires should preferably be less than 5-years old (sidewall date). If in question, have a tire dealer remove and inspect them.

The front end should also be inspected: bushings, tie rod ends, links, etc. Steering should be checked for "dead center" play.

Don't forget u-joints & carrier bearing.

Good luck

.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the tips !! I think I am going to get a deep dish transmission pan, any cheaper than 200.00 bucks ?? . Going to change the rear differential . What does the EGT tell me , I am newbie to this diesel thing . From what I have read (may be wrong) but the exhaust brake is not recommended for the 48RE Auto trans .
 

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EGT= Exhaust Gas Temp or in other words, the temperature of the air coming out of the engine going into the turbo, if it gets too hot you are doing damage to the engine or turbo. That's about as basic as I can say that, do a search and you will find years' of reading.
When you do the trans pan get a rear diff cover also, Mag Hytec is what I have and it clears the spare tire at full suspension compression and adds a lot of cooling and fluid capacity to the rear differential.
You can use an exhaust brake with the 48RE, but for a 2004 you will need the additional control to make it lock up the torque converter when it is engaged, this should come in the kit you get once you select your year model. Pacbrake is air actuated and seems to be a favorite. Jacob's is vacuum actuated and requires addition of an extra belt driven vacuum pump, but is the only one actually made with Dodge and Cummins.
Top three gauges are EGT, boost and trans temp. You can keep going with fuel pressure (lift pump supply), rear diff temp, engine oil temp, etc etc......
I have EGT, Boost, Engine oil temp, fuel supply press, fuel rail press, rear diff temp.
 

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I use the Banks Brake and it has a module for the trans and it works excellent. Read up on it on their website. I know it violates your "not too expensive" guideline, but personally I wouldn't want to tow without it...
Other things to check are the condition of your tires and batteries. Basic stuff, but the kind of things that can leave you stranded and ruin a trip...or at least be very inconvenient!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I use the Banks Brake and it has a module for the trans and it works excellent. Read up on it on their website. I know it violates your "not too expensive" guideline, but personally I wouldn't want to tow without it...
Other things to check are the condition of your tires and batteries. Basic stuff, but the kind of things that can leave you stranded and ruin a trip...or at least be very inconvenient!
How hard is the banks to install ??
 

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Firestone airbags in my opinion are a must. They are fairly cheap, really easy to install and help your trucks rear suspension not sag. Also the Mag-hytec rear dif cover is a good upgrade.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Firestone airbags in my opinion are a must. They are fairly cheap, really easy to install and help your trucks rear suspension not sag. Also the Mag-hytec rear dif cover is a good upgrade.
Is there a cheaper option rear dif cover ???
 

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Mag Hytec is the best out there, price should not be an option when looking at such items. Is your rig a 4 WD ? If so, be sure to check ball joints and unit bearings up front.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Mag Hytec is the best out there, price should not be an option when looking at such items. Is your rig a 4 WD ? If so, be sure to check ball joints and unit bearings up front.
well maybe not for some but for me price does matter . mine is 2WD .

Bigdaddy51200
 

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Master of Mayhem NASFIG
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if your gonna tow then buying the stuff that will help your truck from breaking down, then money shouldnt be important, some thing are cheaper in the beginning then in the end.
 

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Is there a cheaper option rear dif cover ???
yes there are. PML make a better priced diff cover. I dont think the diff covers are a must, just keep the fluid fresh and your good to go.
That being said, I really like the looks and the drain plug/dipstick of my MagHytec cover
 

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Salty Squid
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You will benefit more from picking up a $250 aux transmission Cooler from Summit Racing. It's the one rated for 30k GVW. Keeping your ATF cool is a top priority. I would also get your bands inspected and possibly tightened when you get your fluid changed.

The diff covers are cool looking, but not mandatory. You could change it out the next time you do a gear oil change.

You should have your front end checked out, there seems to be something that always needs replaced around 100k, and I'd also get your front wheel bearings at a minimum repacked.
 

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I wouldn't think air bags would be necessary with your 3500 DRW truck as it has a 9350 RAWR. Many DRW Dodge trucks weigh around 3300-3500 lbs rear unladin. The leaves around 5800 lbs for a payload. I doubt your 5er has a pin weight much over 3000 lbs. I would pull the trailer and then make a decission if bags are needed. Might save bucks for something important like a bigger beer cooler :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Change oil
fuel filter
air filter
trans fluid , filter , & added Derale Deep Trans Pan
Bilstein Shocks(still waiting on them )
brake pads & Rotors ( slotted rotors and pads from brake performance ) I decided not to do this job myself , got it done for 225.00
Firestone airbags ( not a easy install for a rookie )
Mag-Hytec rear Differential Cover & new Fluid
New Fan Clutch ( wire cut , Hope I fixed that problem :)
 

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My advice is to do everything that your budget will allow. There are so very many things in life that are beyond our control that it is encumbent upon us to control what we can.
 
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