Gassers: Ram 3500 6.4L vs Ford's F350's 6.2 and 7.3 Godzilla for overlanding

ramblinChet

Member
Thank you for citing your source jadmt - I respect that. Over the past three decades I have modified so many vehicles that warranty is not much of an issue to me. A close friend and I were having dinner a year ago following the purchase of his $70k truck and he was contemplating modifying it now, accepting some risk but enjoying it for the next several years. Or, his other choice was to delay the modifications and enjoyment while waiting for the factory warranty to expire.

At our age time is much more valuable when compared to money. He ordered all his components the next day and has been keeping me updated on his adventures. He's just waiting on me to get my truck completed before we spend more time around the campfire sharing stories of the past while creating new ones at the same time. I'm living life and loving it while encouraging others to do the same.
 

jadmt

Well-known member
Thank you for citing your source jadmt - I respect that. Over the past three decades I have modified so many vehicles that warranty is not much of an issue to me. A close friend and I were having dinner a year ago following the purchase of his $70k truck and he was contemplating modifying it now, accepting some risk but enjoying it for the next several years. Or, his other choice was to delay the modifications and enjoyment while waiting for the factory warranty to expire.

At our age time is much more valuable when compared to money. He ordered all his components the next day and has been keeping me updated on his adventures. He's just waiting on me to get my truck completed before we spend more time around the campfire sharing stories of the past while creating new ones at the same time. I'm living life and loving it while encouraging others to do the same.
I am the same. I literally have drove a new jeep home from the dealership 6 miles away and immediately installed an AEV lift and a week later drove it to Moab and was doing golden crack and behind the rocks. I don't worry too much about it but do like people to know anything aftermarket can be cause for denial of a warranty. My next door neighbor is the GM at the RAM jeep dealership so I might have a little better luck than most but if on the road probably not so lucky. I only worry about the big things and electronic things. Most of my buddies are in the same boat all old and like modifying stuff lol. By good buddy bought an F150 5.0L middle of last week and already changed oil and is trying to figure out if he should change the whole exhaust or just the muffler or the resonator. He is looking for a front end lift for it. I am doing the same with my PW.
 

sg1

Adventurer
If you want to travel internationally avoid mods. It is difficult enough to get parts and support for a American one ton truck abroad. Aftermarket parts will have to be shipped. Any stock HD truck is capable enough to deal with anything you encounter on a trip to Patagonia or Africa with one exception : With a stock fuel tank you may not have enough range. 500 miles on gravel roads is the minimum in my experience. 700 would be better if you want to visit remote areas. When I crossed the Sahara in the 90s I had a stretch of a little more than 1000 miles between gas stations. But these trips are not possible anymore. The other mod you may think about are heavy duty shocks. A few thousand miles of washboard will test the quality of your shocks. Don't get fancy tires. The only parts you definitely will replace on a long trip are filters, brakes and tires. Get a size you can find abroad. I met travelers who were stranded for weeks because they had to get their tires shipped from the US at considerable expense. Traveling is not playing in an offrad park.
 

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ScottPC

Member
I agree, the fuel situation is a real challenge. The gas trucks have have 30ish gallon tanks and depending on mpgs provide 300 - 400 miles in range. Not horrible, but not ideal either. So having spare tanks to supplement can be tricky and even dangerous if not handled properly. DIesel would be preferred in this vehicle selection if ULSD was available everywhere (I have another post on this topic), but the emissions gear is a pain. At least with diesel there are Higher Capacity tank replacements or auxiliary tanks that can be automatically transferred. Your point regarding mods and tires are well taken, too. There are no free lunches in this endeavor. On the one hand you may have a little more capability to handle difficult terrain successfully but if those capabilities fail, you're quickly SOL. Focusing on reliability first and then developing better field repair skills will be important for sure:)
 

mk216v

Der Chef der Fahrzeuge
Continuation from the other thread...
@ScottPC have you considered a Ford chassis-cab, so that you can get the 40gal aft-of-rear axle fuel tank? Pics of my it on my old rig with such a tank here; https://expeditionportal.com/forum/...perfect-roundtheworld-overlander-sold.221185/
Ford makes the chassis-cab in SuperCab or SuperCrew (although the wheelbase can get a bit longer than a pickup version).

For our "new" rig, we again went '19 F350 Lariat and 6.2L/6spd again, but Crew Cab 6.75' pickup (solely for our dogs--spoiled dogs--due to new camper decision), so 159.8"WB, 34gal midship fuel tank. But, Hwy Products is building the flatbed/boxes, I will add 4qty 4gal Rotopax to the tunnel/crossframe box, so we'll have 50gal of fuel max. Then one of the first new ATO Aterra XL campers; https://atoverland.com/pages/aterra-xl-flatbed-camper
Will be going with Carli/King susp, 37s, and thus Nitro 4.88 gears w/ Eaton e-locker front to get some pep back. Might be towing a bumper-pull 2horse trailer at times so I'll need the extra RPM's.

I went around and around on the Ford vs RAM (even considered a ProspectorXL, but no payload!), but having had '07/E350/6.0L, '10/E350/6.8L, '15/F150/Ecoboost, '18/Transit/Ecoboost, '19/F350/chassis-cab, I decided to stick with the blue ovals--just home feeling for us, used to/like the styling. Diesel was too much a premium entry cost, and being in the industry around even more complicated diesels and all their CEL's/parts failures, no way I want to build backcountry rig and complicate the reliability. I decided to stay away from the 7.3L Godzilla/10spd due to it being a new engine and newer trans still, the 6.2L/6spd has been out a long time. Sure, the 6.2L/6spd has less torque, less gears so worse MPG, but it's tried/true. And when trying to follow K.I.S.S, nothing wrong with tried/true IMHO. YMMV however. :)

PS--Most fuel tank mfr's won't make a larger petrol tank due to issues with emissions junk; they've had some issues with the petrol tanks sucking down due to vacuum related issues. Which is unfortunate, as it'd certainly be nice to somehow have 55gal of fuel in a single tank when desired. You could do something like @montypower did on his aux tank behind cab, or even possibly an aux tank where you use it to transfer fuel into the factory tank?
 

jonathon

Active member
I really like my Ram 6.4. I have the 8 speed auto and 4.10 gears. It’s a great truck and the brand presents an exceptional value. I would’ve paid between $9k and $10k more for a comparable Ford. I’m sitting at 12,200 miles since buying it 12/19, no regrets. I love the interior and the uconnect 8.4 is perfect for trips as I can use Gaia GPS with it on CarPlay.

I’ve had two issues. The first was a defective LED in the drivers mirror that was bad off the lot. Easy fix. The second is the 2019 and 2020 trucks have an issue with the blend door allowing heat in with the cold air. There’s a TSB on it and it’s been fixed.
 

RAM5500 CAMPERTHING

OG Portal Member #183
Well... Not many folks chiming in regarding the international travel factor..

I have and love my Ram, but i will be staying within the US and Canada, so not super worried about parts or service issue

If i was traveling more remotely/deeper internationally (yes i know Canada technically counts) I would of opted for a Ford.

I travel often and Ford outnumbers Ram probably 10:1 in most areas, so the dealer networks and part availability is a lot better on the Fords. If not dealers then fellow travelers possibly carrying spares.

Just through Canada, i can count the number of Rams Ive seen on 2 hands, meanwhile, i saw hundreds, if not thousands of Fords.

As for motors... Just ask yourself.. Have you ever in history seen a for sale ad stating "Truck has too much power, i am selling to buy one with less"? No

Its the same with bed length.. Ever see a for sale ad "Truck has too much space, want a shorter bed"? No

Same with fuel capacity... Ever see an ad "Truck has too much fuel capacity, i want less"? No

That @mk216v fella obviously hasn't actually used Rotopax much while on the road, in cold or crappy conditions. They 100% absolutely suck and are a nightmare. That poor guys brain is still stuck in "Overlanding for the gram" mode! 😘

So when making your decision, also look at what aftermarket aux tanks are available for what models from Transferflow or Titan. Can probably get upwards of around 65-80 gallons of onboard fuel. Fuel capacity was huge deciding factor for me on how i ordered/built my truck.

My .02
 

tacollie

Land traveler
My buddies Ram 6.4 seems to use less gas then my 6.2. Maybe due to having 2 more gears. Our camper fit the Ford better and I like the interior layout more than Ram. Ram and Ford both make decent trucks. Neither has a solid edge over the other imo. OP should drive both and buy the one they want.

My 6.2 with a 34 gallons tank has more range than any of my Toyotas...
 

jadmt

Well-known member
I think it's safe to assume the 7.3 will last a long time as it was overbuilt for that purpose. That's why the HP and torque numbers were disappointing to people expecting a race truck. Reliability is still somewhat unproven but so far so good after the first year.
well except for the spark plug cap fiasco or whatever it was that was leaving them dead in the water.
 

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Porkchopexpress

Active member
well except for the spark plug cap fiasco or whatever it was that was leaving them dead in the water.
You mean spark plug wires or coils causing misfires? That's about best case scenario as far as engine problems. 5 minutes to fix and likely a quality control problem with a supplier.
 
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skrypj

Member
I also vote 7.3L. Big, pushrod, and no DOD/MDS/displacement nonsense.

Also, the 10 speed and 4.30 gears will give a ver solid crawl ratio. You should have zero issues offroad even with larger tires.
 
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