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Discussion Starter #1
Looking at a Ram 2500 vs F-250 powerstroke.

I like both trucks but am leaning towards the Ram. Here is the big issue, however.

Ram only offers the ‘standard output’ in the 2500. Which is something like 75 HP and 200 TQ less than the powerstroke. That is a huge gap torque wise. I tow a lot. Every day.

the ‘high output’ is only offered in the 3500 series. I can get a 3500 SRW but they are pretty difficult to find.

this just seems like a glaring oversight on Ram’s part.
 

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In talk with Rod Romain, chief engineer ram HD, on diesel podcast this is partly due to tuning that emphasizes low end torque rather than high end hp and torque.

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I tow a lot. Every day.

I can get a 3500 SRW but they are pretty difficult to find.
Sounds like you really should have a 3500. And if you really can't find one to your liking anywhere in the nation, order one that's equipped exactly like you want it.
 

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I've had a 3500 HO and currently have a 2500 SO. To be honest, I really didn't notice a difference between the 2 except the drive-ability and ride of the 2500 is far better. I really don't think you are going to notice much in the power department out on the road either. I have Ford and Chevy friends who beat me bench racing (especially with the 10 speed topic), but then there's my 2500 SO doing what all the rest of the truck are doing. It pulls my garbage up and down all the same hills as their trucks, and my old HO truck. Just as fast, just as easy. Out on the highway, those numbers are just numbers and a SO CTD is just fine. I laugh at them as they brag about all of their gears. I guess the broad torque band of the Cummins doesn't need to split gears.

If you are towing heavy, 15k+ lbs, then go 3500 with the HO. Not so much for the extra power, but for the payload and towing capacities. If you're under that, get a 2500 that is nice and smooth, and won't spill your coffee all over you when the road gets bumpy.

Edit: To add to my post.... I think RAM stuck with the SO CTD in the 2500 because the 2500 isn't rated to tow/haul as much and most 2500 buyers are are looking for better driveability and comfort while having a large diesel truck. The HO/Aisin is a bit more industrial and less friendly when used as a daily/unloaded driver and it really isn't necessary to have a 1000ft/lbs on a truck rated to pull less and used is a lighter manner.
 

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Comparing V8 diesel data to Cummins L6 data is like apples and oranges. That said, today's diesels are all more powerful than most of us will really need. If you are towing very heavy go with the HO and Aisin, the best load carrier and towing of them all.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Love the responses. Thank you so much. Heaviest I’ll tow is right at 12500 lbs. Mini ex and trailer.
 

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Not everyone wants or needs the tougher ride of a 3500 truck. And with the 2500 crew cab Laramie 4x4 truck rates around 16k, I do believe Ram needs to standardize on one engine and transmission combo across the entire line.

I will definitely drive a Ford when I’m ready to grade mainly because of better engine/transmission combo and they actually offer a usable short box on their trucks without having to limit 5th wheel towing to a specific trailer with the right front cap or go to a slider hitch or offset gooseneck ball.


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Biggest limiting factor is the transmission. You may find the attached video enlightening...some published ratings are truer than others in real world conditions.
I love these videos where they compare manufactures flywheel hp/torque ratings and think that equates to what should be put out on the ground.
 

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Love the responses. Thank you so much. Heaviest I’ll tow is right at 12500 lbs. Mini ex and trailer.
At 12.5k, the 2500 with the CTD SO will be great. You’ll appreciate the 2500‘s drivability and comfort and can always add air bags if your tongue weight is too high. Also with my 2500 SO, I’m getting 20mpg on the highway, and 17mpg in town. Towing my 10k Toy Hauler, I’m at 10mpg. It yanks the heck out of my trailer, stock with 3:73 gears.

You’ll be happy with the Ram. Seriously it’s the best looking, has the nicest interior, and it’s a Cummins.

910467
 

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In what way does the driveability differ between a 2500 and a 3500?
The SO and 68RFE are butter smooth when daily driving and city use. The HO/Aisin is much more industrial, but right at home pulling heavy loads. The H.O./Aisin is such a brute.

And the ride is night and day between the two.
 

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I guess I got lucky when I decided to jump into a diesel. I found a 4 year old (12,000 miles) 2012 CTD HO Laramie 4x4 with 4:10 rear end. It will pull my 10,400# 5th wheel without any hesitation. Holds the speed up hills and the exhaust brake holds it coming down the hills. The 2012 was the last year without DEF. It has leaf springs like the 3500's so I can't respond to the difference in drive-ability between the two. It is a truck, don't expect it to ride like a touring car.
 

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I have a 3500 srw mc HO Aisin. It doesn't feel industrial to me. It is slower 1-3 gears than my sisters 2500 cc but honestly doesn't feel harsher to drive. They both drive like full size trucks. Smooth on smooth roads & bumpy on bumpy roads. Both tow great with heavy toy haulers.
 

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Gotta remember, the specs for all three trucks is at the crank, so they measured at the wheel, and the Ram had the best torque number. Torque gets ya moving and ho keeps ya moving. In other words, torque gets ya through the wall, hp is how far ya take the wall with ya.
 

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I have a 3500 srw mc HO Aisin. It doesn't feel industrial to me. It is slower 1-3 gears than my sisters 2500 cc but honestly doesn't feel harsher to drive. They both drive like full size trucks. Smooth on smooth roads & bumpy on bumpy roads. Both tow great with heavy toy haulers.
I had a 2015 HO/Aisin. Don’t get me wrong, It was great, but it always felt a bit more grumpy than this 19’ SO. The new 68RFE feels more refined. Maybe I’m wrong here but I’m pretty happy having the SO 2500.
 

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The latest Aisins are different animals than the earlier ones but the 68 still fails far too often
 
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The newer 68s last just fine when stock, even if towing a decent amount. The 68RFE has gone through quite a few revisions. But if adding any additional power, the Aisin is the way to go. The 68RFE, even built up, won't last long(as in much over 100k) with extra power.
 
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Repair shops, transmission builders like RevMax and tuners are reporting that if anything, the latest 68's are proving to be worse in terms of durability. A 68 is like roulette - some fly but some surely die. I had one die at 92k, another die at 122k and one has been fine but i'm only up to 65k on it. All three were stock setups with smaller than 34" tires that never towed over 10k.
 

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There was a video from tfl truck which showed the SO 2500 beating the new Duramax towing the exact same trailer up Ike Gauntlet. That being said, their testing up the Ike Gauntlet is far from scientific. They're in heavy traffic at times. There's no way it could be apples to apples.
 
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