Christmas Road Trip Report - DodgeTalk : Dodge Car Forums, Dodge Truck Forums and Ram Forums
Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 10 Old 01-06-2017, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
Ram1878
Senior Member
 
Ram1878's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,106
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Christmas Road Trip Report

WARNING: LONG READ

Well, another year, another trip across I-90 to Minnesota, my favorite drive.

The truck turned 213,xxx as I rolled back into Everett so here are my thoughts on how it did:

She started right up every time. The new timing chain helps this. Ran smoothly and never had a hiccup or stutter or noise.

MPG was bad. I maxed out at about 15 and worst tank was about 12. I just eyeballed it this year as I know the gauge and how many gallons are each notch. Had terrible, frigid head winds coming back with windchill in the -30 range so that didn't help. If I hadn't put on my winter front, it would have never warmed up. Temp ran about 175 which also didn't help but after about an hour, I got enough heat to warm up inside.

The new Skyjacker M95s are A M A Z I N G !!! I have driven this stretch over a dozen times in this truck, in the summer, in the winter, towing, and empty. Never has it been so comfortable or smooth. The stock shocks were always soft, like riding in a caddy. The Skyjacker water shocks were hard as rocks and bucked the whole way. These are a happy medium with control and absorption.

The tires are Cooper ATP 285/75/R16 and I will NOT be getting them again. They have hummed since about 1 year old and wear horribly on the edges every other lug. I've been told this is called "scalloping" and one store said it was my truck (bullsh*t) and another had never seen a tire do that. But I checked my parents' 05 Tahoe that has the ATP in 265/70/R17 and they are starting to do it too.

The vibration that has me stumped the last 2 years has to be in the trans or transfer case. I could feel it a little around hwy speed but cruising down a mountain at 80 made the steering wheel buzz so bad it tickled and the rearview mirror was blurry. Coming to a stop it buzzes real bad under the floor boards. Not really worse, just telling you what it's done for 2 years. It may be tire related, but other times the tires are super quiet on a nice new road and I still feel it. I don't believe its tires.

Speaking of tires, I usually air up to 55-65 for a road trip. But this year I kept them at 45 in case I hit snow. And I did. Snow, hard pack, ice, and glaze was on both stretches between Chamberlain, SD and Butte, MT. It got pretty dicey at times. But the tires only broke loose a couple times and always felt planted. Of course, I'm getting passed constantly by little SUVs like CRVs and such. How those little light rigs don't spin out is beyond me. The lower psi also contributed to lower MPG. If it was summer, I would see 15-17 on most tanks until I get into Ethanol country. Grrr.

While in MN, we got rain. Which sucked. It froze. Which sucked worse. I finally got to town one day and didn't go in the ditch although I saw a fellow 2nd genner do a header into the ditch. But as I was getting out, my foot hit ice and I went down. The only thing I was holding onto was the door handle which gave as I was almost on the ground. It snapped right off at the door panel. Now I have to stick my finger in the hole and pull to get out. Guess those stupid panels have to come off again. . . .

Coolant leak seemed non-existent as it didn't use any. Not sure what or where it is but I'm still keeping an eye on it. Oil consumption was up as it's been the last year. Usually I use 1 quart over the trip but this was almost two. I haven't checked it yet this morning but I'll bet its at ADD mark. I used Valvoline 10w40 Maxlife as I have the past five years. It had no trouble starting at 0 and -5 while in MN and MT. Just fired right up, not plugged in.

Now for the steering. Most of you have probably read my thread, "Is there no hope" and will know that everything is knew up front (sometimes twice) except ball joints. The 2nd Redhead steers much better than the first, with no play if you get on a flat stretch. The truck feels very planted and I let go several times and until it found a rut, would stay on track.

The steering feel though, it actually worse than before. I had to really fight it to stay centered as its so STIFF. It takes a lot of effort in the hand and shoulder to drive it. People have said that with a Redhead, you can use just one finger. I had to use both hands. There is no feeling of return in the wheel. Once you turn it, especially right, it just stays there. So its like steering a snowmobile. Speaking of snow, once I took an exit, most roads were snowpacked along the way and at low speeds, there is ZERO return. You take a corner and it just keeps turning. I had to be very careful driving through towns. In a word: sucked. All there is installed right now is the 2nd Redhead and the Moog T steering. I left off the DSS and the shock. The pump whines going right but not left. Fluid level was good the whole way. The Redhead has not broken in or loosened. But like I said, when you can get the truck flat, it will stay there so I know the toe is good. It's just so dull to drive it really takes a toll.

Maybe its the oem ball joints after all. They are original and always check out on the "up and down" test. But maybe they have oval-ed or something and when turning, make the wheels stay? I'm truly lost at this point.

With the new speed limits everywhere (75 in SD and 80 in MT) it was hard to keep up. She can only really do 68 to 70 and then every little hill kills it. The deathflash doesn't help though. While I miss my stolen Hypertech, the engine is smoother and quieter without it. Odd but true. It would be nice to have a newer rig that can keep up with traffic. Some of those stretches in MT and SD get awfully boring.

The scenery was spectacular. Best yet I believe. There was snow on the ground from Snoqualmie to my folks' place. The least amount was in MN while the most was between Spokane and Billings. The blizzard on Christmas was cleaned up by the time I hit western SD. The latest snow in MT was beautiful but it was mostly cleaned off. It was so cold that even the ice was kind of grippy. The winds were horrible though. I got some great sunrise and sunset pics over the winter landscape and it was good to feel the boogers freeze again. As a MN native, nothing feels like winter unless its butt cold with snow. It's actually below freezing in Everett today which feels good for once here.

Well, this turned into more of a blog than anything but wanted to share my experience. I drive instead of fly because I like my sanity. My Dad is life-long trucker (cattle) and I basically grew up on I-90 and 212 so this is my vacation. I have trucker in my blood. Taking my time, being alone, and seeing the best sights this country can offer is the reason I do this. Although, it may be the last time for my girl. It needs so much work to keep it comfortable and with the new steering worse than before, I'm getting real tired fighting it. Trouble is, there is nothing made today that I get excited about. Nothing under $40 grand that is. Oh well, hope you enjoyed this read. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

1999 Ram 1500 4x4 X-cab short box, 215,000+ miles
318 3:55 ASD
NV3500 w/ tow pkg
33" BFG T/A KO2
3" SKYJACKER LIFT w/ M95s
Thuren 0-3" track bar
Redhead Steering (2)

Magnaflow Hi-flow cat w/ Thrush GP
Hughes Plenum Kit
Stant 180 stat
K&N drop-in
Luverne Chrome Grille Guard
Westin Nerf bars
LMC Dash
Fog and backup lights w/ relays
Smoke Pacer Cab lights
Recon Big Rig lights

BLACK TRUCK CLUB #78
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


CAN'T LAY SCRATCH CLUB #3

TRUCKS & GUNS CLUB #29
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


*DodgeTalk.com 318 Enthusiast Member #( 68 )*
Ram1878 is offline  
Quote Quick Reply
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 10 Old 01-06-2017, 10:03 AM Thread Starter
Ram1878
Senior Member
 
Ram1878's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,106
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Sorry but I forgot this:

BUMP STEER was absolutely T E R R I B L E. Several times the wheel was ripped from my hands over a bridge or pothole. I understood that the T steering is better but that is not true. It was very bad. I do NOT recommend the T steering. I'm sure if I had dual shocks installed it would help, but until the return is figured out, I'm not spending another cent. It does feel planted over even bumps and strong. No rattles which is nice.

1999 Ram 1500 4x4 X-cab short box, 215,000+ miles
318 3:55 ASD
NV3500 w/ tow pkg
33" BFG T/A KO2
3" SKYJACKER LIFT w/ M95s
Thuren 0-3" track bar
Redhead Steering (2)

Magnaflow Hi-flow cat w/ Thrush GP
Hughes Plenum Kit
Stant 180 stat
K&N drop-in
Luverne Chrome Grille Guard
Westin Nerf bars
LMC Dash
Fog and backup lights w/ relays
Smoke Pacer Cab lights
Recon Big Rig lights

BLACK TRUCK CLUB #78
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


CAN'T LAY SCRATCH CLUB #3

TRUCKS & GUNS CLUB #29
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


*DodgeTalk.com 318 Enthusiast Member #( 68 )*
Ram1878 is offline  
post #3 of 10 Old 01-06-2017, 07:38 PM
Moparite
Senior Member
 
Moparite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 4,770
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 322 Post(s)
Quote:
Several times the wheel was ripped from my hands over a bridge or pothole.
That's what the steering stabilizer is for. Time for a new one.
Moparite is offline  
 
post #4 of 10 Old 01-07-2017, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
Ram1878
Senior Member
 
Ram1878's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,106
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
A new one what? A new truck?

I don't have the stabilizer on the truck right now because I need to measure where to install it on the T steering. Plus, I may not keep the T steering so why spend any more time on it?

Btw, I test drove three trucks yesterday and they all had different steering feel.

1) 2013 1500 Sport steered amazingly. Best I've ever felt. Just perfect.

2) 2015 2500 6.4 incredible power and speed with stiffer steering. Actually wouldn't return very well. Made me appreciate how mine feels a little more.

3) 2012 3500 6.7 G56 doggy power but steering was lighter/better than the 2500. All drove nice and tight and straight though.

1999 Ram 1500 4x4 X-cab short box, 215,000+ miles
318 3:55 ASD
NV3500 w/ tow pkg
33" BFG T/A KO2
3" SKYJACKER LIFT w/ M95s
Thuren 0-3" track bar
Redhead Steering (2)

Magnaflow Hi-flow cat w/ Thrush GP
Hughes Plenum Kit
Stant 180 stat
K&N drop-in
Luverne Chrome Grille Guard
Westin Nerf bars
LMC Dash
Fog and backup lights w/ relays
Smoke Pacer Cab lights
Recon Big Rig lights

BLACK TRUCK CLUB #78
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


CAN'T LAY SCRATCH CLUB #3

TRUCKS & GUNS CLUB #29
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


*DodgeTalk.com 318 Enthusiast Member #( 68 )*
Ram1878 is offline  
post #5 of 10 Old 01-08-2017, 04:57 PM
ScarredKnightfn
Old Cars, Strong Hearts
 
ScarredKnightfn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Elgin IL
Posts: 775
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 70 Post(s)
Very cool. I love to road trip ... & hope to get back to it this year, after road tripping annually 2002-2011.


Cort, www.oldcarsstronghearts.com
pig&cowValves.paceMaker * 1979 CC to 2003 MGM + 81mc
"Out in no-man's land on an old 2-lane" | Bucky Covington | 'It's Good To Be Us'
ScarredKnightfn is offline  
post #6 of 10 Old 02-11-2017, 08:57 PM
MoparFanatic21
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 192
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 25 Post(s)
What engine do you have? I have the 360 and can do 90 easily up one of our steepest hills. You have a plug in for your gasser?
MoparFanatic21 is offline  
post #7 of 10 Old 02-12-2017, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
Ram1878
Senior Member
 
Ram1878's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,106
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
318. It's all in my sig. My truck has always been slow. The Deathflash made it worse. Plus I have 285s. Just the nature of the beast with only 230hp new at the crank. I'm probably doin' 150 at the wheels now.

1999 Ram 1500 4x4 X-cab short box, 215,000+ miles
318 3:55 ASD
NV3500 w/ tow pkg
33" BFG T/A KO2
3" SKYJACKER LIFT w/ M95s
Thuren 0-3" track bar
Redhead Steering (2)

Magnaflow Hi-flow cat w/ Thrush GP
Hughes Plenum Kit
Stant 180 stat
K&N drop-in
Luverne Chrome Grille Guard
Westin Nerf bars
LMC Dash
Fog and backup lights w/ relays
Smoke Pacer Cab lights
Recon Big Rig lights

BLACK TRUCK CLUB #78
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


CAN'T LAY SCRATCH CLUB #3

TRUCKS & GUNS CLUB #29
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


*DodgeTalk.com 318 Enthusiast Member #( 68 )*
Ram1878 is offline  
post #8 of 10 Old 02-16-2017, 10:45 AM
MoparFanatic21
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 192
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 25 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ram1878 View Post
318. It's all in my sig. My truck has always been slow. The Deathflash made it worse. Plus I have 285s. Just the nature of the beast with only 230hp new at the crank. I'm probably doin' 150 at the wheels now.
Hemi swap it
MoparFanatic21 is offline  
post #9 of 10 Old 02-17-2017, 10:10 AM Thread Starter
Ram1878
Senior Member
 
Ram1878's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,106
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Nah, was thinking of doing a V12 Cummins that has 5000hp. That should get her going.

1999 Ram 1500 4x4 X-cab short box, 215,000+ miles
318 3:55 ASD
NV3500 w/ tow pkg
33" BFG T/A KO2
3" SKYJACKER LIFT w/ M95s
Thuren 0-3" track bar
Redhead Steering (2)

Magnaflow Hi-flow cat w/ Thrush GP
Hughes Plenum Kit
Stant 180 stat
K&N drop-in
Luverne Chrome Grille Guard
Westin Nerf bars
LMC Dash
Fog and backup lights w/ relays
Smoke Pacer Cab lights
Recon Big Rig lights

BLACK TRUCK CLUB #78
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


CAN'T LAY SCRATCH CLUB #3

TRUCKS & GUNS CLUB #29
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


*DodgeTalk.com 318 Enthusiast Member #( 68 )*
Ram1878 is offline  
post #10 of 10 Old 02-17-2017, 10:50 AM
MoparFanatic21
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 192
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 25 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ram1878 View Post
Nah, was thinking of doing a V12 Cummins that has 5000hp. That should get her going.
Diesel YUCK. I just pulled a Cummins out of one of my trucks I bought and swapped in a 360
MoparFanatic21 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to use most of our features, you must first register.
Please enter your desired User Name, your Email Address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
The registration process requires you to activate your membership by following a link in an E-Mail that will be sent to you immediately upon completing this form. You must enter a valid email address or you will not receive this activation code and you will NOT be registered. Your E-Mail address is NOT publicly available to anyone as policy.

AOL E-MAIL USERS: Please click HERE for important info pertaining to your e-mail address.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











  • Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
     
    User Tag List

    Thread Tools
    Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
    Email this Page Email this Page


    Forum Jump

    Similar Threads
    Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
    Amplified Road Noise - Bilstein 2k9ram 4G Dodge RAM - Interior/Exterior Talk 1 02-21-2017 12:53 PM
    Next up, new door locks and fixing the Odo, trip meter. Sniper X Dodge Ram Truck 1st Gen (88 - 93) Forum 5 12-06-2016 02:27 PM

    Posting Rules  
    You may post new threads
    You may post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is On
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is On
    HTML code is Off

     
    For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome