2011 Ram 2500/3500 High Output announced at 2011 Chicago Auto Show
Here we are again at the Chicago auto show covering the Ram Brand's press conference. The big news for our readers is a high output 6.7L Cummins engine for the 2500 and 3500 series pickups equipped with the automatic transmission. With basically a software change they have increased the torque to 800 lb/ft (at 1,600 rpm) and it exceeds the previous models output from 1,200 to 2,800 rpm. Horsepower is also higher from 1,200 through 2,800 rpm, although maximum horsepower remains at 350 hp at 3,000 rpm.
After an extensive interview with Dodge and Cummins engineers I grilled them for the information I knew you our readers would want to hear about. First as said the high output engine will be available in all 2500 and 3500 series pickups equipped with automatic transmissions. The manual transmission will continue with the existing 350 hp and 650 lb/ft of torque. The Chassis Cab trucks will stay at their existing ratings as well. Amazingly they accomplished this increase in power with basically a software only change. The only change necessary to the engine was a change in the harmonic balancer to address NVH (noise, vibration, and harshness) issues. Everything else on the engine is a carry over from the existing engine including all emissions equipment! This is great news.
As with the existing trucks they are using torque management to reduce the power in the lower gears. The engineeers I spoke with said they believed that full power wasn't available until 4th gear. I got their email addresses and we will be following up on that.
Also, the 6.7L engine in the 2500 and 3500 series pickups continues to be the only engine that meeets the current emissions without using urea injection. The chassis cab trucks will continue to use urea, however. But in discussing this the engineers brought up a test that they did where they drove a Ford chassis cab truck and a Dodge chassis cab truck hauling identical heavy trailers on a 4,000 mile trip to Las Vegas and back. The vehicles were driven together, filling up at the same stations, encountering the same weather conditions, etc. The cost of fluids were added up and extrapolated out to 200,000 miles and they found that the Ram would cost $9,000 less to operate over those 200,000 miles.
In relation to the engine I asked extensively about the teething issues that were had with the 6.7L engine related to the emissions systems. I was told that these issues have been corrected and they are seeing very minimal warranty related issues at this point. As a matter of fact the last half year production of the 5.9L engine in 2007 had achieved Cummins highest ratings from Dodge ever when it came to customer problems. The 6.7L engine has been meeting or exceeding those ratings since 2009.
They related a couple of stories of specific customers which I think you would find interesting. One was a postal delivery person and drove his truck for 8 hours a day at 6 mph from the right seat and never touched the throttle. He simply idled the truck all day. The call came into the STAR center and they flew Cummins engineers to the dealership to analyze the issues and were able to resolve them. It was individual customer situations such as this that were out of the scope of what they anticipated customers doing with their trucks and them analyzing those situation and coming up with solutions that allowed them to incrementally improve the software over time.
Another customer was a commercial hauler that purchased an '07 6.7L engine. He put 110,000 miles on his truck in the first year and when they learned about this started talking regularly to this customer. At 280,000 miles they had him come to Columbus and they replaced his engine so that they could extensively test and disassemble his engine to see how it was doing. They tested his engine at CMEP and it passed all of the tests that brand new engines have to pass. They disassembled the engine and found no issues and took pictures of the parts. I am working on getting copies of those pictures to put in the magazine.
Now onto the other changes in the new truck. Related to the power increase I asked about other changes that were necessary to deal with it which were minimal. First they made a minor change to the torque converter. The rest of the transmission is a 100% carry over. They have added a power steering cooler and also a water to oil cooler for the transmission which mounts on the side of the block. Also the rear differential has new rear-axle pinion, new helical gears, upgraded bearings and a heat-dissipating, finned aluminum differential cover. Thanks to these changes they have increased the Gross Combined Weight Rating to 30,000 lbs and a segment leading 22,700 lb maximum trailer tow rating.
I asked about the u-joint issues that I had seen customers having in the past and they stated that starting with job 1 2010 they had increased the size of the u-joints and haven't seen issues since then. Those same u-joints are carried over into the new truck.
While I neglected to find out when you will be able to order the new truck I did find out that they will be arriving at dealers in the 2nd quarter of this year. I will try to find out when you'll be able to place orders in a follow up email.
As to how the truck is doing in the market year over year the HD series trucks have gained 8 points of market share. The chassis cab trucks increased their market share by 5 points.
In talking with the engineers and with Fred Diaz, President and CEO of Ram truck brand, I was impressed with the level of excitement they have and that these guys are true enthusiasts and truck guys. One of the things we talked about was that the Ram is the only truck still available with a manual transmission. The head engineer for the powertain at Ram that I was talking with personally owns an '01 with a manual transmission and said that he is committed to keeping the manual transmissions. Fred Diaz was speaking with another journalist and the topic of the Ram being the only truck still available with a manual transmission and he said "yeah, isn't that great". This journalist was trying to put it down. These guys get us. I think we're in good hands with these guys at the helm.
Video of the press conference:
(Posted by Chuck Toney) Rating
Excellent article. Steve asks the questions the people on the TDR would ask. He gets the answers too. Easy to read and informative.
(Posted by Seth Teichert) Rating
As the owner of two dodge cummins both manual transmissions I am very happy with Dodge sticking with them. It is a popular transmission in this part of the country, thank you Dodge. I also love the new trucks.
(Posted by Dick Langendorff) Rating
Bragging rights hit a new high!
DODGE / CUMMINS
INLINE WITH TORQUE!
(Posted by Gtoli) Rating
Thanks Steve for an informative article. I am eagerly awaiting any follow-up information that you obtain.
(Posted by charles harris jr) Rating
very informational! answered alot of questions and very impressive stats my next truck will be a 3500 and i was thinking a cummings engine this just confirmed for me what ill be looking for.
(Posted by A Redmon) Rating
I had been searching the web for information about this new 800 lb ft HO Cummins and this was the best, most complete article I've read anywhere.
(Posted by Jeff Knight) Rating
(Posted by a. holbert) Rating
Thanks for the update Steve, nice article. I've been a frustrated Ram enthusiast waiting for a serious upgrade in the tow ratings of the Ram. Looks like my patience and common sense has been rewarded and will be purchasing one of these upgraded trucks.
(Posted by Wayne Owen) Rating
Steve, I commend you for the excellant write-up on this newer versin of the Dodge/Ram, as well as your continuous example of a very interested and hardend automotive type guy, especialy with the TDR and the Dodge brand! I always enjoy the articles you write, and the dedicaton you have to the TDR and its membership. As you know, I am one of the monitors on the TDR website, and have written some articles that were placed in the TDR magazine. As a monitor, I have seen some members get out of hand, and you have stepped up to the "plate", and handled the stuation very nicely. I admire you for that!
You may not know, but I now have a 2010 model Dodge/Ram, this being my 4th Dodge/Cummins since 1991. I am very pleased with the truck so far, with the exception of the Fuel economy! BTW, the 2003 Dodge/Cummins I had now owned by my grandson, has 100K on it, and it still runs and drives like new!
Please send me any additional info you may get concerning fuel mileage.
(Posted by Greg Harman) Rating
Outstanding upgrades. Need better fuel mileage!
(Posted by Robert Parker) Rating
Enjoyed the article. Hope to see more like it.
(Posted by Jeff Henderson) Rating
250,000 miles on my 04 and hadn't even thought about a new truck until now. How do I persuade my wife?
(Posted by Bill) Rating
Great article!! Will existing 6.7 owners be able to upgrade to their existing trucks to the new specs?
(Posted by Harvey Barlow) Rating
We are fortunate to have our TDR representative invited to these big naiional auto shows when new products are announced and to be invited to have personal discussions with such figures at the RAM CEO. Excellent reporting!
(Posted by Lloyd Handlos) Rating
I would give this article a 5 except that I purchased a 2011 3500 just a couple of months ago and now I could have had the same thing with 800lb/fts of torque. Darn
(Posted by David Rountree) Rating
I'm glad to here they are committed to manual transmissions. We bought an '09 chassis cab and the manual transmission was one of the reasons why we did. The obvious question is why aren't they offering a manual with the high output engine? Is the clutch/transmission not strong enough? I would willingly pay more to upgrade the manual. It is the best, and shifting gears is a big part of the driving experience.
(Posted by Thom Gourley) Rating
Very good write-up. Why not 800#'s of torque in a manuel transmission truck?
(Posted by Todd Fauth) Rating
AWESOME!!!! I was just at my dealer about a week ago and he didn't say a thing about the new H.O. All he said was they might have a bigger wheel size?? I own a '07 Dodge 3500 quad cab with the last 5.9. No problems and no emissions! My 17 year old said he'll take it off my hands! HAHAHA
(Posted by gray) Rating
this truck is great
(Posted by Allen Porteous) Rating
Excellent article...there should be some way to upgrade my 2010 2500 cc...please,please,please. Loved the test run with the Ford... Thanks STEVE.
(Posted by mike matthews) Rating
the best good going.
(Posted by Robert) Rating
Please address the black oil issue. I have a 2010 6.7L and the oil is jet black in a few hundred miles.
Is that due to the EGR ???
(Posted by Earl Gee) Rating
I like what I see !!! Currently have an 04.5 5.9. Just passed 212,000 miles.
(Posted by Ncostello) Rating
While the torque was bumped up using essentially only software...I don't find it particularly "amazing" but rather commonplace. Ford did in on the 6.7L Powerstroke already and anyone who buys aftermarket software does it too. What's the price now? $70,000? lol. I do know several who have purchased new Rams because of the manual transmission...going away from GM and Ford after years and years of ownership. Hats off to Dodge for that!! Good article.
(Posted by Jerry) Rating
Great to see Dodge on Top
(Posted by Bill Heiting) Rating
Isn't Cummins basically doing what Smarty and other box makers have been doing, while Cummins was voiding their warranties?
(Posted by Robert Ashby) Rating
Will I be able to upgrade my 2010 to the H.O torque specs with electronics
(Posted by Neil) Rating
I just ordered my new 3500 - should be getting the order number today. Before I ordered, I called the Ram New Vehicle Info line (1-866-RAMINFO
(1-866-726-4636). The lady I talked to, said the new High Output Cummins would NOT be available for order until the Fall of 2011 - delivery late 3rd quarter. If you look at their commercials tohough, it says in the small fine print at the bottom that they would be available in March of 2011...
(Posted by Bruce Harrison) Rating
I have the 2007.5 6.7 Ram 2500, will the software update be available for my truck at sometime in the future?
Great article. Although I can't afford it ($50K+), I'd like to have one. But since it's paid off and only 1/2 past it's 'average' life span, I'll keep my '98.5 with 230K for many more years.
(Posted by Gene Hayford) Rating
I hope to see the new engine in June at the TDR convention.
(Posted by Mark Berry) Rating
Excellent content. My only "concern" is the two spelling errors. My guess is that the author was eeexcited about the new truck specs. :) I am by no means a spelling nazi.
(Posted by Ervin Rivera-Soto) Rating
Very well researched and explained for the novice diesel owner
(Posted by Nate) Rating
great job! Maybe ona few years after they have driven these for awhile and worked out any other kinks I can afford one!
(Posted by Stephan King) Rating
This is an excellent article - it's short and to the point, but is comprehensive enough to cover the salient information on the new Ram for those of us considering an upgrade from our existing truck.
(Posted by Mike Franz) Rating
Great news to here.
(Posted by Casey) Rating
Great article,glad the Ram is catching up torque wise. I would to replace my '03,the only thing holding me back is poor fuel mileage in the new trucks. When we see a noticeable increase in mileage is when I will make the jump.
(Posted by byran lasich) Rating
Love seeing the new torque number. I am a diesel mechanic and own my own shop and have customers come in all the time bragging about there GM products and Ford products and how much HP they have and I just tell them it's all about torque and keeping the emmisions systems as freed up as we can to help the engines breath.
(Posted by Mike Jarske) Rating
Excellent article! This is why I joined TDR and continue to renew membership.
(Posted by C.T.S) Rating
great piece!!would enjoy milage comparisons with out a focus on "total trip" cost's. Now can't wait for 750hp 1000lb-ft
(Posted by Dan) Rating
very interesting and helpful
(Posted by ronald norris) Rating
I'AM HOPING TO BE A NEW OWNER OF THIS TRUCK.
(Posted by Al Alturo) Rating
this is a great, reliable engine....still like the 5.9 which is the world's most reliable diesel!
(Posted by Allen Porteous) Rating
Would somebody please come up with an upgrade for the 2010s and current 2011S so we can take advantage of that 30,000 GCWR and higher tow rating....Thanks for the excellent work STEVE. A.PORTEOUS.
(Posted by Brad Nelson) Rating
Too bad they can't find a standard transmission that will hold up in the real world to the power that's available. Anyone experienced with a standard know that the new automatics are wonderful but still are not capable of doing what the driver wants the truck to do when he wants it to.
(Posted by Reid Fischer) Rating
I own a 2004 5.9 3500 4/4 373 gears really like the fuel milage
and power band, next truck will be another Dodge 6sp auto. I have
230.000 on my truck now only changed the water pump no other issues.
(Posted by Keith H.) Rating
Excellent article. The right questions were addressed.
(Posted by Mickey) Rating
We just ordered a brand new 2500 with the upgraded torque yesterday. Should have it within 6-8 weeks! :-) Because there is a transmission tweak to handle the added torque, it's NOT something you can upgrade to. Our dealer said the 8 speed is canceled but there will be a diesel in the 1500's very soon.
(Posted by Jeff Johnson) Rating
I'm hoping that maybe there might be an update that can be installed on earlier 6.7 in the future. The future is looking good for the 6.7.
(Posted by Dave Oldenburg) Rating
I have a 04 STOCK 325-600 6 speed manual with 90some thousand miles on it. I like HP and tq as much or more than the next guy.I have only 2 times thought I needed more power.I would love to get a new truck as I realy like the looks of the new one.I was buy the Dodge dealer the other day just looking. I almost went into shock when I seen sticker price on them. $20,000 and up more than I paid for my 04!! They had 5 sitting there,1 4500(the lowest price one) caband chasis,the other 4 were 3/4 tons in various stages. Mine is a 1 ton 3500 drw.at 50-60 thousand dollars I will be driveing my 04.5 along time. Dave oh yeah. Good for Dodge for keeping a manual transmission avalable!!
(Posted by ronald norris) Rating
When will know other changes for 2012 .
(Posted by michaelisle) Rating
Any word on improving the fuel consumption of the 6.7? I went from a 2007 W2500 5.9 6speed w 3.73 gears that got 24mpg to a 2011 6.7 W2500 6speed with 3.43 gears that is getting 16mpg.
(Posted by John R. Squire) Rating
The Turbo Diesel Register is a wealth of information and a quality source for peopl;e to learn about Cummmins engines
(Posted by e richardson) Rating
I always like the way all of the information is put, straight up or as some people say, they shoot straight from the hip.
(Posted by Mike Groft) Rating
Don"t understand why we need all the plastic(bat wing i have herd it called)under the hood.Gonna make life HELL when it comes to doing something in the engine compartment.
(Posted by Charlie Maffei) Rating
Your article was great! I'd like to know if the back wheels are set back far enough to pull a 5th wheeler with the shor box being as they don't offer a quad cab or club cab long bed. I don't care for a sliding hitch. I use a B&W that can be easily removed. What do they do about clearance of the cab with a short bed 5er?
(Posted by bill) Rating
will you be able to still get the 4.10 axle ratio with the new h.o diesel, or will it max out @ 3.73? Not that I need a 4.10, and especially since fuel economy WILL suffer, but since some of us truck owners are still just little kids @ heart, and we ARE going through our own midlife crises, it would be nice to be able to place the big tires, suspensions, etc. and still realize the full potentials of our engines and drivetrains. Nice article, thank you.
(Posted by BigFun) Rating
Nice report Steve. Looking forward to all your follow ups mentioned above.
(Posted by Obren Djordjevic) Rating
Very well done and extremely informative
(Posted by shane) Rating
It would be nice if they could upgrade the 2010 to the ho specs
(Posted by cumminsdieselman) Rating
what kind of software update? a factory chip
(Posted by John Sears) Rating
(Posted by Joe Kover) Rating
Awesome truck became the proud owner of the high output 2500 on August 8th. Tows effortlessly uphill and downhill - live in mountain country.
(Posted by Wayne Sharp) Rating
Excellent article Steve...in your planned follow up I think it would be interesting to list the tests with scores CMEP conducted on the 6.7 engine that had 280k miles.
(Posted by Jose Campa) Rating
I was wavering on if I was going back to go Dodge on my next truck purchase after a negative experience with the warranty dept. I have to say that the new Cummins engine and the "Long Hauler" concept have caught my attention. Informative article.
(Posted by LeRoy Mathis) Rating
I just purchased a 2011 ram 3500 Laramie Longhorn and have noticed quite a difference in my gas mileage compared to my 07 5.9 my new one only gets 13.6 mpg were my 07 5.9 cummins got 17.8 mpg. I read this article to find out about urea. My neighbor said I had it in my but after reading your article I found out I don't.
(Posted by maurice thomas) Rating
I have just purchased a 2500 4x4 mega cab and I missed out on having the hi output engine ,I have been trying to find out the difference between the 650ft lb and the 800ft lb engines ,all the web sites I have found are so obscure or hard to navigate yours is easy to read and to find what I needed to know . Thank you
(Posted by Mark Tuft) Rating
This was a shot in the arm to trust the 6.7 Diesel since the forums reflected problems with the emissions systems before in earlier 6.7`s~ This is really a great,fun truck to test drive and puts me closer to purchasing one soon! Hope the new 800lb Torque diesel doesnt have any problems! Thanks Mark
(Posted by william) Rating
Keep up your good work
(Posted by Dennis G. McKain, M.S.) Rating
I own the 2009 Ram 3500 4 x 4 Mega-Cab with the 6.7 Cummings. We love the truck, but just as this article fails to address the LACK of fuel mileage. This truck has all the PM's required and still fails to give average freeway mileage better than 15.5 to 16.5 on 100 mile round trips to town via I-5.
The dealer (Lithia-Grants Pass, Oregon), advised that the truck would get mileage increase up to 22.0 mile per gal as overal milage increased with the truck. He stated that generally his experience from previous customers indicated the mile per gallon would show up withing a year.
To date with 34,000 miles on the vehicle and 90 percent of the mileage all freeway and 70 plus percent of that on cruise control has not increased. 90 percent of the time, the miles per gallon hold at 15.5 MPG. Rather pathetic for an alleged well engineered Cummings 6.7.
With all the bells and whistles the truck has, the miles per gallon STINKS.
My 1974 one ton POWERWAGON that I retro'd to a 5.9 Cummings Turbo in 1991 with over 300,00 miles and sits at over 10 thousand pounds with utility sides and gear gets better mileage than the 2009 Ram 3500 Mega-Cab short bed sitting empty.
I almost didn't buy the Ram because of the short bed and am sorry I did. The short bed is only for hollywood asphalt driver and not for Ranchers that need it to work with.
This doesn't count for the Left front Tie Rod that fell off while 17 miles up in the mountains in the bush. Not a good thing. Had to tie together with plastic baling twin to limp off the mountain to get a tow truck to haul in for repair. Not a Good Thing.
Over all ... NOT A HAPPY CAMPER.
Would like to hear from Dodge on these problems.
Dennis G. McKain, M.S.
(Posted by henry dyck) Rating
Is the engine built by FPT?
(Posted by Wm. Mitchell) Rating
Your article does not indicate the MPG of diesel fuel.
My mileage on my 2011, 2500 High Output Cummins diesel is 11.5 MPG and I feel this is way to low.
I was getting 13.5 MPG on my 1999 Dodge 2500 with the large V8.
Is the 11.5 MPG the expected mileage for the High Output Diesel????
(Posted by HPSimpson) Rating
Best looking truck i want one!
(Posted by moises maese) Rating
this article is great n just to let you guys know I own a 2001 dodge 4x4 pick up with 318 plus thousand miles n still running good im just to get it back from the body shop im repainting it and the start of a restoration project if u guys want n let me I could send u pictures its all original n it would be a plasure.o and almost forgot it has a CUMMINS ja ja!!!
(Posted by Montie) Rating
This article was very informitive... I've been a fod guy all my life and reading this makes me want to chane over to a RAM.
(Posted by jd) Rating
as an owner of 4 rams. two 2500 and two 3500 this is the best truck i have ever drivin.
(Posted by Edward Archuleta) Rating
Great article. I have been concerned about the relaibility of my engine with all the emmisions on it.
(Posted by john) Rating
I bought a 2012 Ram 2500 SLT with auto tranny. Love the truck so far. Great informational article. Thanks
(Posted by Steven) Rating
Excellent article. Concise and to the point. These guys do get us!
(Posted by David Bryant) Rating
I recently purchased a slightly used 2011 Dodge Ram 2500 4x4 crew cab w/ 6.7cummins HO and and seeking any information that I can find. BTW 800 ftlbs. Of torque is incredible.
(Posted by greg k) Rating
As a retired master tech i appreciate technical stuff,but i know it can be confuseing to most. Most postings are off base,and not helpfull to those who have questions. Thanks for your forum. Sold my 09, now have a 12 and am learning the changes,the truck is much improved, and will shortly have 600rwh,&1100rwt.I dont abuse with off line launches,and wait till fully warmed up,plus 3000mile oil changes,fuel filter every 10,000mls trans filters every 30,000(yes 2 filters) flush every 15,000mls Mag hytech extended covers on rear diff and trans, for extra durability.synthetic engine oil not needed as its sooted up anyway. The 09 towed 10,000lbs trailor in 100 degree summer no problem, with an edge attitude on no 2 hope the 12 is as good thanks Greg .
(Posted by Greg Lane) Rating
I purchased a 2012 Ram 2500 a few weeks ago and I am very impressed with it. I have never owned a Dodge before but I decided on the Ram after extensive research. One of the major selling points to me is the power & reliability of the Cummins.
(Posted by email@example.com) Rating
I have used your article to determine the purchase of a 2011 2500 MegCab Diesel. Thank you for informing us enthusiast.
(Posted by Dennis Kenna) Rating
I've retired and look to travel. In the process of trading in a 2011 Ram 1500 for a 2012 2500 6.7 auto. Your article is well written,informative and enjoyable. Thanks.