2018 Ram 3500 Expedition Family Adventure Vehicle

Explorerinil

Observer
Got a little time off today to do a few things on the 3500. The SDHQ Offroad A-Pillar light mounts went on pretty damn easy. I used a hot knife where some of the plastic covers needed trimming. Then they basically slide right in. The BD XL Pro's look pretty good on them, and there is a quarter inch of clearence between the hood and the lights, even in the forward most hole.

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I also took the time to install the S-Pod, the S-Pod touch screen controller, and all the associated wiring.

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That was as far as I could get today. I'm still in the process of wiring everything, and trying to decide on a final location for the ARB tank, distribution block for the lockers, and the ARB Twin compressor. Packaging this under the hood where I want it is proving to be a challenge.

Jason
Do you have any tips for getting the dash apart? I got my spod and plan on mounting it in the same place as you.
 

Kingsize24

Observer
All I did was remove the two screws on top of the dash where you will be mounting the touch screen, then pull on the radio bezel around the outside perimeter starting at the top. It simply pulls off, then you unplug the OE accessory buttons. I then ran the wire through the firewall with a plug. You can use the clutch pedal plastic cover, then use a 3/8" grommet on the plug once drilled. Run your single wire through the grommet into the cabin. Route the wires into the lower dash, up through the area where the center bezel would be. Zip tie the wire up out of the way, then plug into touchscreen once mounted where you want it and the bezel is back in.

It is very easy to run. I didn't remove any other sections of dash. Even the kick panel stayed in place. It is easier to remove the clutch pedal cover from the firewall, then drill the hole and add the grommet.

Do you have any tips for getting the dash apart? I got my spod and plan on mounting it in the same place as you.
 

Michigan4x4

Observer
Kingsize.. I sure am liking what you're doing here. I currently have a 2016 Ram 2500 Tradesman power wagon that has been at the dealer for the last month with trans issues. Trans started to develop a whine/whistle at lower RPMs while in gear. Dealer replaced the front pump for the trans and thought that would solve the problem. Nope. truck still has the whine. I thought it sounded like a failing torque converter but the dealer isn't listening and I am loosing patience. My truck only had 16K on the clock and shouldn't be having these issues. It is essentially new! Dealer has had the truck for 31 days now trying to figure out what's going on. I am trying to keep my cool.

I may just wait for them to fix my power wagon and trade it in for something else. Was planning on keeping this truck until it was dead. Due to the recent trans issues I am losing confince that this truck will be reliable for the next 10-15 years. Plus the dealer doesn't seem to have a clue what they're doing.

I don't think I am done with Ram just yet and like the path you decided to go with the 3500. Did you decide on the 3500 simply due to not having TPMS? How is the ride compared to a 2500 with coils? To be honest, I really don't need the additional payload that comes with the 3500 so I may be silly for even considering it. Are you glad you went with the cummins over the 6.4 gasser? Are you concerned about DPF/EGR issues, Limp modes etc? I would love to consider the Cummins but again, I just don't really have the need for a diesel. Plus I think I may have issues as I really don't drive my truck all that much to give the cummins a workout. Thoughts?
 

Tex68w

Beach Bum
Kingsize.. I sure am liking what you're doing here. I currently have a 2016 Ram 2500 Tradesman power wagon that has been at the dealer for the last month with trans issues. Trans started to develop a whine/whistle at lower RPMs while in gear. Dealer replaced the front pump for the trans and thought that would solve the problem. Nope. truck still has the whine. I thought it sounded like a failing torque converter but the dealer isn't listening and I am loosing patience. My truck only had 16K on the clock and shouldn't be having these issues. It is essentially new! Dealer has had the truck for 31 days now trying to figure out what's going on. I am trying to keep my cool.

I may just wait for them to fix my power wagon and trade it in for something else. Was planning on keeping this truck until it was dead. Due to the recent trans issues I am losing confince that this truck will be reliable for the next 10-15 years. Plus the dealer doesn't seem to have a clue what they're doing.

I don't think I am done with Ram just yet and like the path you decided to go with the 3500. Did you decide on the 3500 simply due to not having TPMS? How is the ride compared to a 2500 with coils? To be honest, I really don't need the additional payload that comes with the 3500 so I may be silly for even considering it. Are you glad you went with the cummins over the 6.4 gasser? Are you concerned about DPF/EGR issues, Limp modes etc? I would love to consider the Cummins but again, I just don't really have the need for a diesel. Plus I think I may have issues as I really don't drive my truck all that much to give the cummins a workout. Thoughts?

We just let go of our 2017 Alumiduty/F-250 PSD for similar reasons. We simply weren't towing with it any longer so there was no need to keep the more expensive and harder to maintain diesel around and it was nearing the end of its bumper to bumper warranty as well. I too plan to keep my 2018 Power Wagon for the long haul since it came with so many off-road accessories and capability stock, that is after all what attracted us to the platform to begin with.
In our six months of ownership this truck has been to the dealership six times, three of those issues were for safety recalls and a TSB, the other three were for repeat issues with those warranty recalls. I have not yet given up hope that the truck will fail to be reliable in the long run as I have seen many of these trucks with super high miles still being used and abused on a regular basis. That said, I can't deny the fact that my faith in it's reliability and longevity has been somewhat diminished and called into question. It doesn't ease those feelings seeing issues like yours displayed here, but if we do throw in the towel on this truck at some point, I am not sure what I would replace it with.
I'd love to say that the Tacoma would be my first choice as an alternative, but the lack of useable back seat space for adults would require me to remove the rear seats in order to make any real use of that area and would ultimately turn it into a two seat truck. I'll be keeping an eye on the soon to be released Ford Ranger and Bronco for this very reason.
 

Michigan4x4

Observer
We just let go of our 2017 Alumiduty/F-250 PSD for similar reasons. We simply weren't towing with it any longer so there was no need to keep the more expensive and harder to maintain diesel around and it was nearing the end of its bumper to bumper warranty as well. I too plan to keep my 2018 Power Wagon for the long haul since it came with so many off-road accessories and capability stock, that is after all what attracted us to the platform to begin with.
In our six months of ownership this truck has been to the dealership six times, three of those issues were for safety recalls and a TSB, the other three were for repeat issues with those warranty recalls. I have not yet given up hope that the truck will fail to be reliable in the long run as I have seen many of these trucks with super high miles still being used and abused on a regular basis. That said, I can't deny the fact that my faith in it's reliability and longevity has been somewhat diminished and called into question. It doesn't ease those feelings seeing issues like yours displayed here, but if we do throw in the towel on this truck at some point, I am not sure what I would replace it with.
I'd love to say that the Tacoma would be my first choice as an alternative, but the lack of useable back seat space for adults would require me to remove the rear seats in order to make any real use of that area and would ultimately turn it into a two seat truck. I'll be keeping an eye on the soon to be released Ford Ranger and Bronco for this very reason.
I like the idea of a bullet proof manual trans in a HD truck. Unfortunately for me, I dont believe Ram offers the manual trans with anything other than a CTD.

I had two vw tdi that I was forced to sell back to VW due to the emissions debacle a few years ago. I swore that I would never buy another vehicle plagued with a bunch of emissions garbage.

Any ideas how much it costs to delete a cummins?

Sorry to interrupt the awesome build kingsize has got going here.
 

Explorerinil

Observer
I like the idea of a bullet proof manual trans in a HD truck. Unfortunately for me, I dont believe Ram offers the manual trans with anything other than a CTD.

I had two vw tdi that I was forced to sell back to VW due to the emissions debacle a few years ago. I swore that I would never buy another vehicle plagued with a bunch of emissions garbage.

Any ideas how much it costs to delete a cummins?

Sorry to interrupt the awesome build kingsize has got going here.
My cummins is bone stock, 40 k and counting no issues, this is my 3rd 6.7,all stock never had a problem. Figure around 2 k to delete the proper way.
 

Tex68w

Beach Bum
I like the idea of a bullet proof manual trans in a HD truck. Unfortunately for me, I dont believe Ram offers the manual trans with anything other than a CTD.

I had two vw tdi that I was forced to sell back to VW due to the emissions debacle a few years ago. I swore that I would never buy another vehicle plagued with a bunch of emissions garbage.

Any ideas how much it costs to delete a cummins?

Sorry to interrupt the awesome build kingsize has got going here.

At least the discussion is on topic and relative to the vehicle at hand.

To properly delete, tune, and put 4-5" exhaust on these trucks with quality parts will cost you a few thousand. It can be done for less and it can easily get up to $5K depending on what you select to run. Find a local diesel tech/mod shop in your AO and touch base with them. They will likely have a certain manufacturer for all of those parts that they prefer or push. Just know that you will have to reverse it annually if you live in a state/area where they do emissions testing. The same can also be said for any warranty work through the dealership and it varies from one dealer to the next. Some dealers don't give a rats ass about that stuff while others will be quick to deny any related claim.

Just know that picking up more power is ludicrous on these new trucks since they already come with plenty as it is. I would only consider going this route if you plan to keep the truck for the long haul as it can help to lengthen the life span of the engine. Personally I wouldn't mess with it until your factory warranty is out simply to avoid any possible issues.
 

ttengineer

Adventurer
I like the idea of a bullet proof manual trans in a HD truck. Unfortunately for me, I dont believe Ram offers the manual trans with anything other than a CTD.

I had two vw tdi that I was forced to sell back to VW due to the emissions debacle a few years ago. I swore that I would never buy another vehicle plagued with a bunch of emissions garbage.

Any ideas how much it costs to delete a cummins?

Sorry to interrupt the awesome build kingsize has got going here.

At least the discussion is on topic and relative to the vehicle at hand.

To properly delete, tune, and put 4-5" exhaust on these trucks with quality parts will cost you a few thousand. It can be done for less and it can easily get up to $5K depending on what you select to run. Find a local diesel tech/mod shop in your AO and touch base with them. They will likely have a certain manufacturer for all of those parts that they prefer or push. Just know that you will have to reverse it annually if you live in a state/area where they do emissions testing. The same can also be said for any warranty work through the dealership and it varies from one dealer to the next. Some dealers don't give a rats ass about that stuff while others will be quick to deny any related claim.

Just know that picking up more power is ludicrous on these new trucks since they already come with plenty as it is. I would only consider going this route if you plan to keep the truck for the long haul as it can help to lengthen the life span of the engine. Personally I wouldn't mess with it until your factory warranty is out simply to avoid any possible issues.
5k!!!!!

I don’t know where you’re looking but I’ve never seen them that high!

It will cost $2500 MAX to delete a CTD.

EGR delete kits run $100-$200

Cat back exhaust run up to $500 with a muffler

Tuner from your choice of company with a delete set of your choice shouldn’t cost more than $1400 unless you’re going super custom and require heavy HP, then you get into a whole other animal and deleting really isn’t involved.

People should delete for better longevity, reliability, and economy. But some just want to roll coal and beat up on rice burners and krauts and run a 250HP tune. I think 100 HP tunes are perfect and all anyone should ever need.

A lot of people look at a delete like this: If you have to replace your DPF or have an issue with it, it will cost around $2100 from the dealer to repair and replace. So you might as well delete and not ever have to worry again.

Deleting these trucks is the only way to go. It not only saves fuel but it will run and drive better than you ever thought.




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Tex68w

Beach Bum
5k!!!!!

I don’t know where you’re looking but I’ve never seen them that high!

It will cost $2500 MAX to delete a CTD.

EGR delete kits run $100-$200

Cat back exhaust run up to $500 with a muffler

Tuner from your choice of company with a delete set of your choice shouldn’t cost more than $1400 unless you’re going super custom and require heavy HP, then you get into a whole other animal and deleting really isn’t involved.

People should delete for better longevity, reliability, and economy. But some just want to roll coal and beat up on rice burners and krauts and run a 250HP tune. I think 100 HP tunes are perfect and all anyone should ever need.

A lot of people look at a delete like this: If you have to replace your DPF or have an issue with it, it will cost around $2100 from the dealer to repair and replace. So you might as well delete and not ever have to worry again.

Deleting these trucks is the only way to go. It not only saves fuel but it will run and drive better than you ever thought.




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That cost isn't just directed at the Cummins, also PSD. I've had a 6.7L PSD deleted and tuned and while I agree that it makes for a better running truck, the tune is only as good as the guy writing the tune. There are lots of bad programers out there and they don't always get things exactly right the first time around, you must be willing to play with it and upload different tunes until all of the bugs get worked out for your individual truck. I agree that if you think you want to keep your late model diesel for the long haul that you should delete and tune it, but I still wouldn't recommend it until your warranty was out. You can get silly with stuff especially if you build the transmission to handle the extra power beyond a 100HP tune, which like it or not, lots of guys do.

At the end of the day, these new alloy diesels simply aren't built for longevity like the older diesels, ask any diesel tech and they will tell you that these modern motors are 250K throw aways. That doesn't mean they can't and won't go beyond that, it just means they aren't expected to and the main culprit for these shortened life spans are the castrating EPA systems. This isn't just relegated to the consumer grade stuff, tractor trailer rigs and commercial grade farm tractors suffer from these restrictions as well. We deal with issues on both in my family annually.
 

Dalko43

Explorer
At the end of the day, these new alloy diesels simply aren't built for longevity like the older diesels, ask any diesel tech and they will tell you that these modern motors are 250K throw aways. That doesn't mean they can't and won't go beyond that, it just means they aren't expected to and the main culprit for these shortened life spans are the castrating EPA systems.
Cummins still rates their 6.7L's B50 life at 350k miles, which was the same rating assigned to the pre-emissions 5.9l's (I can't speak for the Powerstroke and Duramax engines).

There are plenty of people who keep these newer diesels stock and run them to 350k miles, and well beyond, with nothing but simple maintenance. People who actually work their diesels seem to have a higher probability of getting to that mileage than do those who use them purely for grocery-getting. The engine might feel more responsive without the emissions stuff and tuning, but the OEM's certainly designed these engines to last just as long as the older ones. Also, there are whole lot more a$$hats looking for easy power in the diesel scene nowadays versus 10-15 years ago...a lot more opportunity for tuning catastrophe's.

And FWIW, the 6.7l Cummins' block and cylinder head is still made out of cast iron, not that I think the 6.7L Powerstoke with its alloy cylinder head is any less durable.
 

Tex68w

Beach Bum
Cummins still rates their 6.7L's B50 life at 350k miles, which was the same rating assigned to the pre-emissions 5.9l's (I can't speak for the Powerstroke and Duramax engines).

There are plenty of people who keep these newer diesels stock and run them to 350k miles, and well beyond, with nothing but simple maintenance. People who actually work their diesels seem to have a higher probability of getting to that mileage than do those who use them purely for grocery-getting. The engine might feel more responsive without the emissions stuff and tuning, but the OEM's certainly designed these engines to last just as long as the older ones. Also, there are whole lot more a$$hats looking for easy power in the diesel scene nowadays versus 10-15 years ago...a lot more opportunity for tuning catastrophe's.

And FWIW, the 6.7l Cummins' block and cylinder head is still made out of cast iron, not that I think the 6.7L Powerstoke with its alloy cylinder head is any less durable.

I have spoken to more than a few mechanics who have all said the the new alloy motors aren't expected to get the longevity of the older iron blocks. Obviously that was directed at the PSD, I have no experience with the Duramax other than seeing first hand a few buddies have issues with theirs.

I agree that not working the motor regularly can lead to more issues, but in my family alone we've had a 6.7L Cummins grenade itself and more recently a 6.7L PSD need an entirely new fuel system and turbo. Both of these trucks were used nearly daily on a working 4000 acre farm and regularly yank around more weight weekly than most trucks see in an entire year. ******** happens and things fail, but the complexity of these electronic systems don't lend themselves to the long term reliability and ease of maintenance of the older diesels.

I am not trying to argue here about whether or not the newer diesels will last as long as the older ones, that remains to be seen. But I will say that the power out of the box on these newer motors is impressive and if that means we have to give up a little in the longevity department I am all for it. For the first time in over 10 years I am personally without a diesel in my driveway and I honestly feel like I don't miss it one bit (the diesel aspect).
 

ttengineer

Adventurer
5k!!!!!

I don’t know where you’re looking but I’ve never seen them that high!

It will cost $2500 MAX to delete a CTD.

EGR delete kits run $100-$200

Cat back exhaust run up to $500 with a muffler

Tuner from your choice of company with a delete set of your choice shouldn’t cost more than $1400 unless you’re going super custom and require heavy HP, then you get into a whole other animal and deleting really isn’t involved.

People should delete for better longevity, reliability, and economy. But some just want to roll coal and beat up on rice burners and krauts and run a 250HP tune. I think 100 HP tunes are perfect and all anyone should ever need.

A lot of people look at a delete like this: If you have to replace your DPF or have an issue with it, it will cost around $2100 from the dealer to repair and replace. So you might as well delete and not ever have to worry again.

Deleting these trucks is the only way to go. It not only saves fuel but it will run and drive better than you ever thought.




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This isn't just relegated to the consumer grade stuff, tractor trailer rigs and commercial grade farm tractors suffer from these restrictions as well. We deal with issues on both in my family annually.
That’s certainly true. My guys have been having a hell of a time keeping a lot of our equipment running on the majority or our sites all due to EPA garbage. I also get the occasional dumba$$ that puts fuel in the DEF tank ... that’s fun.

It has always been my recommendation to delete a truck the first opportunity you have though.

Hell I’ve seen guys do it to brand new trucks and not take anything off. Just disconnect the sensors and tune it. Then if they need to take it in, they reconnect everything and tune it back to stock, just in case the dealer wants to be a problem.

But like someone above said, some dealers don’t care.

Either way, my recommendation, delete a diesel the first chance you get. But buy a quality tune from a big name company like PPEI or RaceMe.



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marshal

Burrito Enthusiast
ive heard that if you swagger your way into California with a deleted truck, CHP is waiting for you at the border to inspect and fine you 10 grand for your first offence.

that alone is a huge problem for me, while California is 2000 miles away - i see several trips there in my future.
 

Dalko43

Explorer
**** happens and things fail, but the complexity of these electronic systems don't lend themselves to the long term reliability and ease of maintenance of the older diesels.
Complexity is the name of the game for any new engine nowadays, including gasoline. We're not too far away from having hybrid turbo-gasoline engines, relying on HCCI and cooled EGR. Some OEM's are already using one, or several, of those technologies in their engines.

So yes, the newer diesels aren't as simple as the older ones, but then again neither are any of the other engines, excepting some of the legacy naturally-aspirated engines used in some trucks and 4x4's (even those are starting to integrate newer technology).

I know some people have bad experiences with their diesel engines, but every time I drive down a highway or rural county road, I see diesel after diesel either pulling a load or powering a work truck (mostly Cummins in my area). These trucks obviously work well enough for a good number of owners. Otherwise, why would so many people still be using them?

I am not trying to argue here about whether or not the newer diesels will last as long as the older ones, that remains to be seen. But I will say that the power out of the box on these newer motors is impressive and if that means we have to give up a little in the longevity department I am all for it.
The power is beyond impressive, it's unnecessary for many owners. Unless you're towing heavy car trailers with a dually, +900ft-lb just isn't needed IMO. I think all of the OEM's would be better off reducing the power somewhat for the sake of better fuel efficiency and perhaps a somewhat longer working life. Unlike the older diesels, these newer diesels don't even compete with gasoline engines anymore; the HD diesel's torque output and towing capabilities far exceed what the gasoline variant is capable of. This fascination with higher diesel power #'s is part of the reason mpg improvement has stagnated with the recent HD trucks.
 

ttengineer

Adventurer
ive heard that if you swagger your way into California with a deleted truck, CHP is waiting for you at the border to inspect and fine you 10 grand for your first offence.

that alone is a huge problem for me, while California is 2000 miles away - i see several trips there in my future.
Really, that is just a full on ******** move.

Do you know someone that this happened too?

Last time I drove into southern Cali it was from Arizona on I10, there was a checkpoint but they weren’t even out there.

I even found it odd that there was a checkpoint. I don’t even see how it’s legal, as one must have probable cause to pull over or inspect a vehicle.


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