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Discussion Starter #1
New Cummins owner here, previously had a Powerstroke. Just purchased a 2004 2500 4x4 quad cab with the 5.9L.

Truck appears bone stock. Use will be mostly regular driving with the occasional towing of my 20ft open trailer and racecar or my 18ft bowrider boat. No heavy towing to speak of.

Looking to make some minor inexpensive upgrades. Are there any "do these first" budget upgrades recommended by those here with real world experience? I have read differing opinions on airbox mods.

Not looking to turn it into a race truck. Just would like to primarily increase fuel mileage, open up breathing (intake and maybe exhaust) a bit. Nothing major.

Would like to entertain the idea of a programmer. Again primarily for fuel mileage and of course any hp gains are a plus.

Also, will removing cat or muffler throw codes?

Thanks. I'm sure I will have more questions along the way.

Warren..
 

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:welcome:

Stock Air-box and the 4" pleated filter are good to 450-500 HP.
No gain in HP with a CAI, even 'tho they advertise it as so.
I actually picked up amost 1.5 mpg when switching back to OEM from a CAI.


Adding more fuel filtration is the best 1st mod.
Using the Baldwin PF-7977 in the OEM canister gets you 5 mic filtering.
A lot of us use the GDP kits. https://www.glacierdieselpower.com/c-109-fuel-system-related-fuel-filter-systems-2003-thru-2007-dodge-ram-filter-systems.html
which one depends on where the APPS is located.


Removing the cat or muffler will not throw a code, Cat is required if you need to pass a smog test.

Smarty jr or Smarty S06 are good plug & play tuners.
Digital gauges are nice to have, primarily EGT, Again there are a lot of us that use an Edge product for that.

Spend time reading old threads will gain you much information.
a couple of good links:
https://www.cumminsforum.com/forum/3rd-gen-powertrain/1909713-newbies-guide-your-new-you-truck.html

https://www.cumminsforum.com/forum/3rd-gen-powertrain/588162-frequently-asked-questions.html
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply. I actually had been looking through some of the threads you posted/recommended. A lot to take in. But keep the info coming!
 

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2003-2004 std/HO cummins did not have cats. except in states CA,ME,MA.
2004.5 had cats so should make sure research figure out what motor you have to avoid getting wrong parts.
 
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2004 was a transition year for the Dodge Cummins. There were significant changes mid-year which is why you see the 2004.5 model years listed like mine.

These trucks are now 16+ years old, so who knows what engine, injectors, transmission, turbo are now in the truck.

The transition date for the 2004.5 trucks was Jan 1, 2004. A truck manufactured Jan 1 2004 or later is a 2004.5.
The Cummins engine transition date was earlier.

The 2004.5 trucks had a catalytic converter but it's easily removed.
The 2003-04 trucks had the coolant overflow tank on the drivers side up by the radiator. The 2004.5 trucks had the coolant overflow tank on the passenger side firewall.

The 2003-04 trucks were better in some ways and worse in other ways than the 2004.5+ trucks.


Be careful when shopping for 2004 truck parts.
When shopping for parts for my 2004.5 truck, I always specify a 2005 model year.
If your truck is an early 2004 model truck, specifying 2003 model year for specific parts will reduce confusion.


Good luck with your truck!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Truck is indeed a 2004.5

325hp sticker on v/c, production date after 1/1/04 and coolant reservoir near pass side firewall. Truck also has a 48RE transmission per the rebuild receipt from previous owner (9k miles ago @ $4900+ including convertor).

I changed the serpentine belt and tensioner today due to a slight chirp at idle and squeal when shutting down.

Gates tensioner P/N 38285 and Gates belt P/N K081264HD should anyone need this info in the future.

Got to run to the parts store and grab an air filter.


Also, one thing I noticed when driving, when I hit the button on the end of the column shifter, it doesn't seem to do anything and I don't see any indicators on the dash?? I have read a bit about the tow/haul vs overdrive override but not sure if something is up.

Thanks again! Love the truck so far.
 

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Truck is indeed a 2004.5

325hp sticker on v/c, production date after 1/1/04 and coolant reservoir near pass side firewall. Truck also has a 48RE transmission per the rebuild receipt from previous owner (9k miles ago @ $4900+ including convertor).

I changed the serpentine belt and tensioner today due to a slight chirp at idle and squeal when shutting down.

Gates tensioner P/N 38285 and Gates belt P/N K081264HD should anyone need this info in the future.

Got to run to the parts store and grab an air filter.

Also, one thing I noticed when driving, when I hit the button on the end of the column shifter, it doesn't seem to do anything and I don't see any indicators on the dash?? I have read a bit about the tow/haul vs overdrive override but not sure if something is up.

Thanks again! Love the truck so far.
04.5 Tow Haul should light up on the dash and it locks out OD (4th).

To add to the confusion with the mid model year 04.5, it seems Dodge put on two different style APPS/TPS* and used up some old 2003 build parts.

One is engine mounted in front of the intake horn, the other under the battery box(?) Cost me extra on an e-brake because mine is on the engine.

Put in a fresh air filter, do the fluids and filters, and get an oil analysis.

Check the exhaust manifold for warping/shrinkage and bolt bending. I had to replace mine and installed a 2-piece.

How many miles?

I might regret it, but I'll be selling my 04.5 with (not quite) 72K after my 2020 arrives.

The 04.5 is an awesome truck, mines been great. I hope the 2020 goes as long trouble free.

* (I HAVE TO USE THE CORRECT TERM OR THE POST PATROL WILL SCOLD ME).
 

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I might regret it, but I'll be selling my 04.5 with (not quite) 72K after my 2020 arrives.

The 04.5 is an awesome truck, mines been great. I hope the 2020 goes as long trouble free.
I imagine you will regret it; I would anyway.
My 04 has 260000, and I wouldn't trade it even up for a brand new 2020; I cannot conceive of selling a 04.5 with only 72k on the clock. But to each his own.
Certainly the 2020 won't go 14 years trouble-free; there are just way too damn many electronic bells, whistles, and gadgets to break.
 

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04.5 Tow Haul should light up on the dash and it locks out OD (4th).

To add to the confusion with the mid model year 04.5, it seems Dodge put on two different style APPS/TPS* and used up some old 2003 build parts.

One is engine mounted in front of the intake horn, the other under the battery box(?) Cost me extra on an e-brake because mine is on the engine.

Put in a fresh air filter, do the fluids and filters, and get an oil analysis.

Check the exhaust manifold for warping/shrinkage and bolt bending. I had to replace mine and installed a 2-piece.

How many miles?

I might regret it, but I'll be selling my 04.5 with (not quite) 72K after my 2020 arrives.

The 04.5 is an awesome truck, mines been great. I hope the 2020 goes as long trouble free.

* (I HAVE TO USE THE CORRECT TERM OR THE POST PATROL WILL SCOLD ME).
Long term design/durability of Fiat in prior vehicles especially electronics does not have a good track record.:stirpot:
Hopefully you get a made in USA version.:wink2:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
197k miles. Bought it from the widow of the owner and per what she said it was his baby. The condition is VERY good. Interior is like new. Exterior looks like 100k or less.

I have changed the air filter. Went with the 4" Wix unit.

No light illuminating on the dash when pressing the tow button. Maybe it is in-op. Truck runs about 2200 rpm at 75mph on the hwy.

Thanks for all the info!
 

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197k miles. Bought it from the widow of the owner and per what she said it was his baby. The condition is VERY good. Interior is like new. Exterior looks like 100k or less.

I have changed the air filter. Went with the 4" Wix unit.

No light illuminating on the dash when pressing the tow button. Maybe it is in-op. Truck runs about 2200 rpm at 75mph on the hwy.

Thanks for all the info!
I think I saw that thread and you got a very good deal on that truck.
 

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Mt brother has a 2004 as well. It has almost 300k miles on it now and has been very reliable. The only major thing to go out was the tranny, started slipping only when towing his TT at about 200k miles. He had it rebuilt and it has been flawless ever since. Here it is along with my 2nd gen Dodge on an elk hunting trip.

 

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