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Hey,
I'm new to these forums, so hello! I am considering buying a 99 1500 4x4 locally. It has 98,xxx miles, 4x4 hasn't been used very much, and it runs very well. It is a short bed, single cab all stock, and the body is in very good shape other than 2 or 3 dents here and there. Is there anything specific to this year or model I should be looking for, other than normal wear and tear? If/When/After I buy this, my budget will be fairly tight at first. In the long term, I hope to make this truck more "me" with tires, a lift, etc. but in the short terms what should I get done at first to make sure it stays a reliable and dependable truck in the future? Thanks guys! :D
 

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so I am guessing it the 5.2L gas model and not the cummins?

Cummins...#1

Ram 5.2L...good truck,I would go to edmunds to get expert advise.

got pics?
 

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Check out the front end, Axle ujoints are most likely bad. Track bar is another issue. Was the plenum repair done(Hughes kit). Rear brake line next to the tank rusts out along with the tank straps. Check the bottom of the doors for rust. No need to go to edmunds, we know all the issues with these trucks.
 

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Check out the front end, Axle ujoints are most likely bad. Track bar is another issue. Was the plenum repair done(Hughes kit). Rear brake line next to the tank rusts out along with the tank straps. Check the bottom of the doors for rust. No need to go to edmunds, we know all the issues with these trucks.
Thanks for the list, will definitely be checking them. Can you explain what the Hughes Kit is?
 

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If it's the 318, it better have the 5spd. If not, go find a 360. No point in dealing with the bad autos and have the weaker engine. The 5.2 is very reliable and tough but low on power. Check all front end parts, plenum, steering, get it hot and listen for ping, go off road and check the 4x4. Treat it like any used truck and you should be fine.
 

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the 5.2 was rated at 230hp and 330ft.lbs of torque. the 360 was rated at 245hp and 330ft.lbs of torque.
not seeing alot of hp difference to warrant ignoring a truck.
performance wise a 360 will make more power. but stock to stock the 318 is a great engine.
 

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ive owned a 98 durango and 2000 ram 2500 , both 5.9 mag and 4 wheel , and both trannys went at 100k . and ive read 100s that have had same issue and ive seen nobody including chrysler that has the fix . so if you i wouldnt buy it
 

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ive owned a 98 durango and 2000 ram 2500 , both 5.9 mag and 4 wheel , and both trannys went at 100k . and ive read 100s that have had same issue and ive seen nobody including chrysler that has the fix . so if you i wouldnt buy it
Only fix I know of is to spring for the Viper http://www.transmissioncenter.net/dodge.htm instead of just getting a shop to rebuild it when it goes out
 

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If it's the 318, it better have the 5spd. If not, go find a 360. No point in dealing with the bad autos and have the weaker engine. The 5.2 is very reliable and tough but low on power. Check all front end parts, plenum, steering, get it hot and listen for ping, go off road and check the 4x4. Treat it like any used truck and you should be fine.
How is the offroading in these trucks? I know I won't be doing the Rubicon in it or anything but are there any major problems known with the 4x4?
 

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How is the offroading in these trucks? I know I won't be doing the Rubicon in it or anything but are there any major problems known with the 4x4?
As said above, trans sure can cause issues: myself, avoid forced hard downshifts: and when trans is loaded more than normal, and when possible; use manual 1, and manual 2 instead of D (trans is "stronger" as each of those two positions will have an extra element engaged).

... Extra/aux trans cooler too; myself prefer "Lapped Plate Design" over the tube/fin types, no fins to bend when washing out mud/etc.

... 4X4 light comes on when the "vacuum operated" Central Axle Disconnect (CAD) on front axle housing is only about 80% engaged; before loading front wheels/axle, it's wise to "break the torque on the splines" so to speak, to help CAD fully engage; myself, steer a bit left, pause, return to center, pause, steer a bit right, pause, you get the idea.

... Pay attn to any/all vac system leaks, and check valves etc; also the lines to the CAD, and lines anywhere else (there are 4 going to vac switch on transfer case, and must be in their restraints); some check valve info

http://www.dodgetalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=189564

... The complicated 2G factory tow hooks are almost impossible to find; let everyone know if you find some decent tow hooks!!!

... Many stock trucks came with 3.55 gear ratios, something to consider if your planing on using tall rubber; OE ratio is on the sticker on the "underside" of hood. good luck, and welcome to DT.
 

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The metal vac lines that run along the frame to the cad got clogged with rust(blocking vac) in mine. If the 4X4 has issues engaging something you may want to check out.
 

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How is the offroading in these trucks? I know I won't be doing the Rubicon in it or anything but are there any major problems known with the 4x4?
They hold up well off road, since the Dana 44 is a staple of many off road rigs. The problem lies when people put big tires on the smaller axle and start snapping parts. For every day stuff it will be fine. For serious builds, get the 2500 with Dana 60s.

Little_yellow: I know there isn't much difference in the engines, but you are incorrect (unless you mis-typed). The 318 was at peak power: 230hp, 300 lbft and the 360at 245hp and 330lbft. They never had the same torque numbers which is why only the 318 had the optional NV3500 as it was rated for only 300lbft. All I was saying is that if you have to get an auto and deal with its problems, which is the same for both engines, why not find the 360 which was used all the way up to 2500 and 3500 trucks? It's obviously worth it since there's no mileage or longevity benefit to the 318.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
They hold up well off road, since the Dana 44 is a staple of many off road rigs. The problem lies when people put big tires on the smaller axle and start snapping parts. For every day stuff it will be fine. For serious builds, get the 2500 with Dana 60s.

Little_yellow: I know there isn't much difference in the engines, but you are incorrect (unless you mis-typed). The 318 was at peak power: 230hp, 300 lbft and the 360at 245hp and 330lbft. They never had the same torque numbers which is why only the 318 had the optional NV3500 as it was rated for only 300lbft. All I was saying is that if you have to get an auto and deal with its problems, which is the same for both engines, why not find the 360 which was used all the way up to 2500 and 3500 trucks? It's obviously worth it since there's no mileage or longevity benefit to the 318.
Well this will be a daily driver for me, so again I dont expect to me doing any hardcore offroading, however in the long run I do plan on possibly installing a 5" Rough Country lift and 33's or 35 inch tires. There shouldn't be a problem with any of those right? I would let it go and wait for a 360 however the market is very small around me especially for what i'm looking for and with my small budget this is the best deal i've seen in a long time and i'd hate to let it pass. Beggars cant be choosers you know what I mean? I appreciate all the input by the way it's really helped me out so thank you everyone.
 

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if u buy it ive seen many say dont have all the tranny fluid all pumped out as it stirs stuff up that ruins tranny . many say just change what ever fluid comes out by removing pan

my friend a dodge mechanic for 30 years says he'd put a deeper tranny pan on them becuz more fluid keeps it cooler
 

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Well this will be a daily driver for me, so again I dont expect to me doing any hardcore offroading, however in the long run I do plan on possibly installing a 5" Rough Country lift and 33's or 35 inch tires. There shouldn't be a problem with any of those right? I would let it go and wait for a 360 however the market is very small around me especially for what i'm looking for and with my small budget this is the best deal i've seen in a long time and i'd hate to let it pass. Beggars cant be choosers you know what I mean? I appreciate all the input by the way it's really helped me out so thank you everyone.
Then you'll be just fine. A 5" with 35" combo is the recommended max for the 1500. You will need to regear though and that can run a couple grand. Start reading tips and tricks for keeping the trans alive for now. That should be your immediate concern.
 

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my friend a dodge mechanic for 30 years says he'd put a deeper tranny pan on them becuz more fluid keeps it cooler
A cooler will help way more than extra fluid. It's vital if you tow anything. transmissions don't like heat. And don't use overdrive when towing!!!!
 

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more fluid does keep it cooler but a transmission cooler is much more effective for cooling then a deeper pan. a cooler paired with a pan will be best but doing just one a cooler is going to be much more effective. a deep pan will likely only lower your temps a few degrees. in the end the oil is still all sitting in the bottom of the transmission soaking up heat.
 
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