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My first new (to me) 04 Dodge 2500

8847 Views 72 Replies 26 Participants Last post by  8secondride
All I can say is “WOW” and “WOW”, I really like this truck. 04 SLT Quad 5.9/Auto, Graphite Gray, Black Interior, 101k miles, Hypertech tuner, K&N CAI, rear air bags, stock wheels, and I believe there is an aftermarket exhaust (still doing the research on the exhaust and tuner). Only ran one tank of fuel through her at this point, and it’s so new that I haven’t even turned the radio on yet, as the sound of the turbo put a smile on my face from ear to ear. At first my wife was skeptical of the diesel, but after she drove it she wants it. So, I guess I’ll be sharing.

Body is in great shape, running gear is tight, engine and tranny are strong, interior is like new. The only think I don’t really care for is the stance with the fender flairs and the stock wheels/tires, and of course the level. I like the flairs, so they will stay, but am looking into some new wheels and tires to give it a little more aggressive stance, and help fill in the 2.5” gap I have from the outside of the tire to the outside of the flair. Probably looking at around the 33” tires max with either 17x8, 17x9, 18x7, or 18x9. Not really sure yet, still doing a ton of research on tire size, wheel size, back space, offset, and the do’s and don’ts that go along with each (like too much negitive Offset is hard on the bearings, ball joints, ect…). My biggest problem right now is not knowing what size tires will fit the 17x8 wheel (how big, Diameter and width), and not jeopardize SAFTEY and drivability, Or do I need to jump up to a 9” wide wheel. Will be driving in the snow.

Also researching the leveling kits. Would like to give it a little lift in the front to help offset the rear air bags. Probably start out with 1.5” spring spacers, maybe 2”. Once I get the stance I want, I will order the full front spring kit. Still doing the research on the leveling kits though. The only think I am really stuck on is all the components required to keep perfect geometry in the suspension and steering. Understanding that longer travel shocks are req’d, possibly an adjustable track arm. But still researching, what’s req’d for what length of lift to keep perfect geometry. I do not want to take any short cuts and sacrifice the near perfect drivability it has right now.

And the MPG is another “WOW”. So far just basing it off of the mpg readout gauge, the first tank averaged 24.6 mpg. This was driving it back from WI 400 miles 55/70 mph. Playing around with the mpg gauge I was getting around 27.2 at 55mph, 24.3 at 65mph, and 22.7 at 70mph. I will have a better idea once I start calculating actual miles and gal used. Not sure how accurate the mpg gauge is, but it still gave me a good feeling.

I haven’t completely done my part yet, as far as searching for information needed. So, I wouldn’t be asking any questions just yet from you guys until I do my part. There is a ton of posts with answers to most all of my questions. Just need to search and find them.

Thanks, and hopefully I will be welcomed to the forum.



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Mpg gauge sucks lol I got an 03 2wd stock and I get around 22 hwy hand cal but my gauge all the time says 20+ , in town cold driving is around 14-16 .... Good lookin truck though hope you got a deal on it

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You will love it!

My '04 was a great truck, just needed a dually to haul my 5er otherwise I would still have it. Great fuel mileage as well, thanks to no emissions. I ran 285-70/17 tires on mine to fill the wheelwell up some. Didn't want any bigger due to hauling my 5er.

Welcome to the forum.
Nice truck. I love that color. Good luck and enjoy!
04s are great!! Haha loving mine so far as well, I put 285-70-17s on it with a level, wish I would have gotten a bigger tire, just food for thought
I ran 35 x 12.5 on my stock wheels with no level for the longest time and I felt it was one of the best upgrades I could have done to the truck. Gives it a very tough look, lots of gearing for the highway and I still averaged 18.5 Mpg while pulling 10k lbs 50% of the time. Truck was very happy with the stock rims and that size of tire, the extra sidewall actually made it easier on suspension etc because potholes and other irregularities are effectively smaller to the truck. Ride quality improved 10 fold over the stock sized 80 Psi hockey pucks.

No compromises whatsoever with the large tire on the factory rim, I put my truck through more than most (was 23 when I bought it) and never had a single issue.

Now that I have had 18s and now 20s installed for a while, it is obvious that the extra offset is not healthy for the front end. I have 343000 km but things didn't start coming apart until the larger rims were installed.

I'm pretty sure milage suffers with the leveling kits as you are putting quite a bit more of the front of the truck into the air therefore increasing frontal area. I have always loved the stance my truck has with the rear up a little bit but to each his own.

Welcome to the forum everyone hear kicks a$$. I love that color, definitely would have picked that for my truck if I had the choice. Anyways, beautiful truck and I know you will enjoy it. I've had mine over 6 years now and never left me stranded. - cam

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Thanks guy's.

I was leaning towards the 285, but wasnt real sure if they would be too much for the 8" wheel. Thanks again.
looking great Willy.g
Thanks Bud.

After finishing up the "get ready for winter plowing" on my 1 ton 76 chevy, I had a little extra time tonight. So, I jack the front end up on the dodge and it looked pretty dam good with a 1.5 level. So for starters I am going to throw the 1.5 spacer in for now. I also played around with the rear air bags, lifted the back end a good inch lift. Havent towed any weight yet to see how they work, but it will be soon. My dad and I had a few beerz in the shop just sitting back and looking at it. Man am I happy!
depends on your style but I have 285/75 on the stockers and I wish I needed to get new ones! 35s would look great! the leveling kit makes the front tires look small but oh well! you'll love it. I get in town 17.5 and highway I have no idea. that's with no programmer just CAI and open exhaust. I just flip out the mirrors for more HP hahaha
Good buy. Looks like it was well taken care of.
Ya, she is in pretty good shape, prev owner used it in the summer to pull his race car on the weekends, never really saw snow much.

Still researching wheels, but i have a quick question. Looks like the stock wheel set-up is "Hubcentric", guessing due to the weight of the 5.9's. Is the hubcentrics important on our trucks, or can the 8/6.5 lugs do the job. Coming from an engineering stand point i understand that the hubcentrics is better, but is it req'd. Ton of aftermarket non-hubcentric wheel out there, but few with hubcentric.

I have a 4x pannel folding bed cover, and was looking for some parts and ran across this web site. Thought i would just pass it along. FYI

Fold-a-Cover Factory Store :: Replacement Parts :: LS Series Replacement Parts
A 18x9 inch rim with -12 offset (4.5BS) will fill ur flares perfectly. With a 2 inch level kit te biggest tire u can run is around 295 65 18. With no rubbing. Add longer control arms and potentially could fit a larger tire.

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my truck came with 315/70/17's on it, bone stock, no rubbing.

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Thanks guys.

Almost ready to drob the ball on a set of wheels and tires. Looked at a ton of picks and post on 35 vs 33, 20 vs 18, 11.5 wide vs 12.5 wide. And I think the -12 offset would be too much.
Very nice color choice, some tires are going to fill out those fender flares nicely.
I would go with 18s over 20s if your going with a 31-33 inch tire it will ride better (more side wall = more cushion) but if your going bigger like 35-37 would recommend the 20s they look much better. My buddy has an 05 with a 2 inch leveling kit and my stock hight 03 rides/drives much better, both trucks have 285 75r 17s with stock rims, like the way both look and I would say his looks better but the handling on mine is far superior (food for thought). I also average 18-20 mpg were he gets 13-16 mpg but mine is a 6 speed and he has a fully built auto might play some roll in that part. Also if you level the truck get the bigger sway bar links, the stock ones bend or break, there like 100 bucks and take like 20-40 minutes to install depending on if you need to drill out the mounts or not you might no have to on the 03/04 I dont remember if they are tapered or not I know the 05s are. Another thing is when you need ball joints dont cheap out get the biggest and the best ones you can it sucks to shell out 6-700 bucks for them but its so worth it in the long run my truck is on its 3rd or 4th set they were done before I bought it and so I dont know how many time they were done but the cheaper ones that were in it did not take long to get sloppy and warn out, and its not a very fun process to replace and if you do them be careful when removing and installing the axles the seals are not easy to replace. A little oil on the shafts goes a long way when installing.

Sent from a smart phone... Sorry for the grammar errors.
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Thanks for the info. I will definitely upgrade to the larger sway bar links, and will do some research on the heavy duty ball joints. But for starters, can you point me in the direction of where is a good place to purchase the heavy duty sway bar links and ball joints. And, are they just listed as heavy duty, or is there a specific description I should be looking for? Might be a little premature asking these questions, but at least it will get me pointed in the right direction of my research. Is this something NAPA would have, or do I need to go with a special aftermarket.
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