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RE: oh joy...........

Nothing new since yesterday. Have prices on a new GM long block, rebuilt ones. Know where there are some decent prices replacement trucks are. Just for reference, last year we put a Spartan/ATK reman long block from CarQuest in my son's '89 K1500 project truck. $1,350 for the long block or $1,500 with the pan, timing cover, and valve covers. It's not a HiPo engine but has ran just fine so far. There are a few bad reviews on these but I talked to a builder who said the engines are good and nearly all the complaints are due to shade tree install errors. Of all the shop installed engines 99.9% have zero issues but maybe 10% of the personal installs have problems directly related to the owner messing up. Depending on the condition of your current truck, and how motivated you are to do an engine swap, you could get it back on the road in a weekend and for around $2K. It looks like the 5.7L Vortec 4-bolt main for your truck runs right at $2K with all the tin already installed. KJ
LIKE2BUILD 02/13/21 09:20pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Truck Seat Repair

I have a 2006 Ford Lariet with the fake leather seats. In one area the seat is wearing (about 6 x 6 area). What I want to know is if any one has had luck with any manufacture of vinyl repair or will eternabond roof tape work? The problem is on the driver side front area left of the seat, so it is not a flat area, but curved. Duct tape and Eternabond are both bad ideas. The adhesive on the edges will rub onto your pants as the fabric flexes and make a mess. The link OPNSPACES provided with a replacement fabric kit for $70 is about your cheapest option. You might call around to salvage yards and see if you can get a 'new' seat in good condition but I'd bet that would cost more than the $70 re-cover kit. KJ
LIKE2BUILD 02/13/21 08:56pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Hitch Upgrade - Should I?

Why not just use the hitch you have? It will probably do just fine. More than likely if the hitch can’t handle what you’re pulling you’re going to want a heavier truck anyway. Instead of wasting money on a hitch save it to go towards a new truck. 4x4ord, Go back and read the previous posts. The OP has a GMT800 based vehicle which there was documented hitch failures when these trucks were new. His truck is now 15 years old and they are taking about towing 8000#. Why tempt fate? Exactly. The OEM receiver on GMT800 were a joke. Towing a utility trailer or light boat was fine with the OEM receiver. Anything with heavy tongue weight was a bad idea. KJ
LIKE2BUILD 02/12/21 03:28pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Hitch Upgrade - Should I?

Have a 2006 Chevy Silverado 1500HD. Came with a class III 600lb tongue weight hitch. Seems to be the weak point. The OEM hitch on that era of GM truck was a total piece of junk. Do a search on this site and you'll find all kinds of conversations that happened in the past about these receivers and the multiple weak points. A good Class IV/V Receiver like this one is what you need on that truck. It's true you don't always need a WD hitch, however I've always found with heavier tongue weights using WD makes the connection feel much more solid and you get less bounce in the rear suspension. The kicker is always going over bridge joints you can get into a porpoising condition without a WD hitch. KJ
LIKE2BUILD 02/10/21 01:57pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Recommendation for Folding Hard Tonneau Cover

I have an https://extang.com/solid-fold-2-0?gclid=CjwKCAiAsOmABhAwEiwAEBR0ZusJW5P3zNAeOGrbry4RXByxQC6gpB3XTdnZ184mTDPh1m6eSYDzWhoC1kwQAvD_BwE cover on my long bed 2014 RAM. I'm pretty happy with it overall. It does leak a little at the two seams, but it folds easily to 1/3 length when I use a 5th wheel or gooseneck trailer. In the winter is can freeze to the tailgate, but a little prying with a scraper gets it loose. KJ
LIKE2BUILD 02/03/21 03:19pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Best for service work

Hey there OP. I think you're not getting replies because the post title is vague. Maybe if you change the title to "Best Chevy Service Dealer in Chattanooga, TN?" or something like that you may get more responses. If you're looking specifically for Duramax service you might include that in the title as well.
LIKE2BUILD 12/23/20 09:30am Tow Vehicles
RE: Ram 2021 questions

The 2014 with 68RFE was 370 HP and 800 lb. ft. of torque. 385/850 was the HO only with the Aisin. The HP and Torque for the SO 68RFE was flat at 370/800 from 2013’ to 2018, then in 2019 it got a 50 lb. ft. increase in torque. I Yep, realized that after I went back and checked myself. But, the gist of my comment to the OP is simply that without the HO you still get a fantastic power and load capacity.
LIKE2BUILD 12/23/20 09:23am Tow Vehicles
RE: Ram 2021 questions

Going to get a new Ram --> Have a 2012 3500 Dually --> going to go to a 3500 crew cab 8 ft bed SRW --> I have the high output on my dually but torque is 800 # so is the HO worth the 3 thousand upgrade over the standard cummins --> going to go to a fifth wheel and not anything huge --> SRW will make daily driving a little easier. The truck you want to buy is nearly identical to my 2014 crew cab, long bed 2500. My Cummins is 370HP/800TQ with the 68RFE transmission. I pulled a 14,000lbs 5er through the Rockies just fine and never felt overmatched by the trailer. I've also pulled gooseneck trailers in the 15,000lbs range and it handled that very well. The OEM engine brake is out of this world for towing :B Is the HO upgrade worth it? The extra 275 ft-lbs of torque is nice and the Aisin transmission is more stout than the 68RFE. Is it $3K better, I'm not sure because the standard 385HP/850TQ is a pretty good package. Also, I don't know if you can get the HO package in the SRW 3500. Absolute #1 thing for sure: Get the factory 5th wheel and goose neck prep packages! It's only something like a $500 option and worth it's weight in gold. This setup makes install and removal of the 5th wheel hitch a breeze. Plus your in-bed wiring is already done as well. The optional camera package is really nice. I've driven the newer trucks that have the bed view camera and it makes lining up your 5er pin really easy. Obviously you can do this without the camera, but man it makes things so simple and eliminates those 2 or 3 trips in and out of the cab to check alignment. One final suggestion. If you get a 4X4, order the OEM side steps. These trucks set really tall and unless you have some long legs it's a real stretch up into the cab without the side steps. My truck had aftermarket steps when I bought it and I had to replace them. I went with OEM and they are so much firmer and solid feeling than the aftermarket ones. The SRW crew cab long bed truck is definitely narrower than the dually, but it's still a land yacht. Easier to drive for sure than the dually, but you still need to plan your turns and watch your mirrors because these dudes are looooooong KJ
LIKE2BUILD 12/22/20 11:28am Tow Vehicles
RE: New Truck Buyer Needs Help

Go to a dealership and buy a used truck. Not quite. Many car sales people don't know much at all about towing capacities, especially if it's a used truck that is not the dealership's brand. Case in point, a friend went to the local Ford dealer to get an F150 with the max tow rating. He drove away with a 4x4 F150 that had no OEM brake controller and a 5.0 V8. The 3.5L EcoBoost had the max tow rating that year but the sales person convinced him that "big V8 engine will tow anything". This is not the first story on this forum about sales staff not knowing squat about tow ratings and packages. KJ
LIKE2BUILD 12/22/20 10:54am Tow Vehicles
RE: Hit a bump and lost my transmission

Geigo started with 15k and after neg I was able to get 17k. Broaden your search toward the midwest and south. Yes the truck market is hot, but I'm certain you can find something much newer with less miles for well under $25K. KJ
LIKE2BUILD 12/06/20 10:45pm Tow Vehicles
RE: 2021 Ram 3500 H.O.

They are selling everything that they can make. That implies that cost is not a problem for them. Or that banks are handing out 7 and 10 year loans to make them affordable in monthly payments. There are many nice features on the newer trucks, but with 385HP & 800 lbs-ft my 2014 will tow a ridiculous amount for a 2500 series truck. The new ones are enticing, but so is no payment :B KJ
LIKE2BUILD 12/01/20 06:54pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Tow Haul Mode

On my Ram I can manually engage the exhaust brake and Tow/Haul mode. I always drive with the exhaust brake on and whenever I hook onto any trailer I engage Tow/Haul. The Tow/Haul mode does a great job of managing shifts when a load is connected and it also makes the exhaust brake more aggressive. Actually, the exhaust brake works so well I've had to tap the throttle descending a hill because it was slowing me too much...and that was towing a 13,000lbs 5er on a 10% grade :E I figure transmissions are extremely expensive and Tow/Haul mode gives better shifting performance under load so I might as well use it. KJ
LIKE2BUILD 12/01/20 06:50pm Tow Vehicles
RE: DEF Math

DEF is an aqueous urea solution made with 32.5% urea and 67.5% deionized water. Brand shouldn't matter Brand shouldn't matter, but I have a different experience. I had always used Peak Blue DEF but a local farm store had some off-brand DEF that was $7 for a 2.5 gallon container. I used the cheap stuff to fill up prior to a long trip and about 100 miles in I got a CEL and noticed that my DEF gauge started dropping MUCH faster than usual. At an O'Reilly's I used their scanner which showed a code for "Insufficient Catalyst". I topped off my DEF tank, but the CEL came back on and the excessive use of DEF continued for the trip. When I got home I siphoned out the entire DEF tank and refilled with Peak Blue along with clearing the code. That was 6 years ago and I've used Peak ever since and have never had that code again. Was it cheap DEF that was made at a bad spec? Maybe. Was it just old DEF that had been stored improperly and degraded? That's probably the more likely scenario. However, I decided that my track record with name brand Peak and the problems with the one use of the cheap stuff was enough to convince me to use the name brand and not risk problems just to save a few $$. I may be spending more for no good reason, but I don't like taking the risks. KJ
LIKE2BUILD 11/25/20 10:55am Tow Vehicles
RE: settle an arguement

We currently have a TT but I've heard that a 5th is easier to tow.....we have a 2015 F350, single rear wheel, crew cab, 4x4, 6.2 gasser. I say we should look at 5ths that are 10,000 or below. He says we can go higher. I've towed both. My old TT with a Chevy 6.0L gasser then my current Ram with 6.7L Cummins and then later a 5th wheel with the Cummins. There are definitely advantages to both types of trailers. Hitching up a TT isn't a big deal. Some say it is and that's why they go with a 5er, but I never really had a problem with it. 5er's are pretty easy to hitch up but a mirror or camera certainly helps. The biggest difference is turning and steering. Neither is bad or good, just different when it comes to taking corners and backing into camping spots. One other thing is TT's can tend to be lower and easier to get in and out. 5er's tend to be taller and have more steps both into the trailer and also into the front bed area. As others have said, your F350 is rated for 12,000lbs at least. That's fine, but I see your location is Northern California which means some decent hills, valleys, and elevation changes. Because of that, I'd say you stay under that 12,000lbs range for your truck. Sure, it's RATED for that or more, but climbing steep inclines will make that gas motor scream. Yes, that engine is built to rev and will do it well for a long time, but I can tell you when I had my Chevy, listening to that engine rev at 4,000RPM as I pulled up long hills got very tiring. There is absolutely nothing wrong with towing up to the engineering limits of the vehicle but hearing the engine rev for long periods of time can get old pretty quick.
LIKE2BUILD 11/12/20 06:42pm Tow Vehicles
RE: 2018 Chevy 3500HD

Yes, I am looking at the Chevy for future possibilities. We have a TT now, but still consider going back to a 5er. When I bought my 2017 I didn't do as thorough research as I should have. My 2017 (SB, SRW, 4x4) only has 2,300 lbs cargo capacity, which limits the size of a 5er. I believe the Chevy has around 5,500. I like to play within the rules, but if you look closely at your Ram, the 10,000 GVWR is just a number so they can call it a 2500. On your door sticker you'll see FAWR is 5,750 and RAWR is 6,000. Combined you have "real" GVWR of 11,750. I know the weight police are preparing charges against me for say this, but your RAM only says 10K GVWR for the badge, not the real limit of the truck. What's interesting is my 2014 is even higher, I have a 6,000FAWR and 6,500RAWR :E Your base rear axle weight is 2,900 and with a RAWR of 6,000 you actually have 3,100lbs of capacity and max trailer weight of 17,000lbs. If the 5er's you're considering exceed these values than that I'd say look into a dually. However, don't underestimate the capacity of your truck. If you like the current truck and find a 5er that matches the specs then I'd say keep the Ram. But, if you want to go bigger and need the dually capacity then by all means get the 3500HD to give you that safety factor. Our previous 5er was 37' and about 12,500lbs fully loaded. The truck pulled that trailer just fine all through the Rockies, was very stable, I had plenty of power up the inclines, and the exhaust brake was AMAZING on the declines. I never measured the actual pin weight but calculating 25% I was about 3,100 lbs on the hitch. I never felt unsafe or over matched by the trailer. But again, if the specs of your (potential) trailers exceed the RAM then it's worth looking a higher capacity trucks. KJ
LIKE2BUILD 11/06/20 06:36pm Tow Vehicles
RE: 5W40 or 15W40 in 6.7 CTD?

Sounds like a perfectly legtimate explanation to me. If this is the case, gotta wonder what specific issue in that 6 mo. to 12 mo. MTBF/OCI data pushed their warranty costs high enough to warrant a 6 mo. OCI? Hhhmmm . . . $$$$ is part of the explanation. They are hoping you bring your shiny new Ram back to the dealer for that 6 month service. They are going to charge you $150+ for an oil change that costs less than $85 for oil and filter. Oh, and there's always the up-sell of other services that a lot of people buy once they're in the door. KJ This is true as well! And there are many gullible owners than do not know any better that will follow suit without question Service departments are a big money maker for dealerships, and it's all about the up-sell. We looked at a Camry years ago and the salesman told us all about the reliability, longevity, etc. Then when we started talking numbers it turned to the amazing service department and extended warranty purchase options. Service? Extended warranty? Wait a minute, didn't you just tell me these cars are extremely reliable? It's all the same game. Get you in the door, get you on the hook to buy the vehicle or pay for a service, then start adding all the little things "you really need" to make it complete. The worst game is to get you in the middle of a service then they bring you some part (or call you) and convince you something else must be done to drive the car away. Now they really have you behind the 8-ball. Sure, there are times when you start the work and find something else connected that has to be done. But to a great degree that middle of the service, dire warning is just part of the up-sell game. That's one primary reason I've done nearly all of my own service and repairs for years. KJ
LIKE2BUILD 11/05/20 01:55pm Tow Vehicles
RE: 5W40 or 15W40 in 6.7 CTD?

Sounds like a perfectly legtimate explanation to me. If this is the case, gotta wonder what specific issue in that 6 mo. to 12 mo. MTBF/OCI data pushed their warranty costs high enough to warrant a 6 mo. OCI? Hhhmmm . . . $$$$ is part of the explanation. They are hoping you bring your shiny new Ram back to the dealer for that 6 month service. They are going to charge you $150+ for an oil change that costs less than $85 for oil and filter. Oh, and there's always the up-sell of other services that a lot of people buy once they're in the door. KJ
LIKE2BUILD 11/05/20 09:17am Tow Vehicles
RE: 5W40 or 15W40 in 6.7 CTD?

. . . Another point for me is oil change frequency. The manual says to change oil every 15,000 miles or 500 hours and I don't even come close to that mileage in a year. So, I just change my oil once a year and with the 5W40 I'm covered for any temperature range and I don't have to worry about it. KJOur 2016 Ram Cummins OCI is 15,000 mi., 500 hours, or 6 months, whichever comes first. Your profile says you have a 2014 Ram Cummins. Is the OCI different for the 2014's? You're right, it does say 6 months. However, I'm comfortable with the additive packages in the synthetic oil and use the 1 year time frame. When I changed oil this summer I had only put 5,200 miles on the truck since July of 2019. If I would have changed oil at 6 months it would have been less than 25% used (on a mileage basis). KJ
LIKE2BUILD 11/04/20 11:49am Tow Vehicles
RE: 100K mile preventive maintenance

2005 Dodge CTD 2WD finally approaching the 100K mile mark. I've owned it since new and have done periodic routine maintenance. At 50K I preemptively replaced the water pump, serpentine belt, tensioner and pulley. Now at 100K I'm wondering if I should look at replacing any of these items again. Any other items that I might look at replacing? At minimum I'd change the belt again just due to age. Was flushing the brake lines part of your periodic routine maintenance? If not, I'd do that for sure. KJ
LIKE2BUILD 11/02/20 07:39am Tow Vehicles
RE: 5W40 or 15W40 in 6.7 CTD?

This is what the owner's manual says: https://i.imgur.com/9DWEdh7.png width=640 I went down the same path wondering which to run when I first got my Ram. The easy answer is run synthetic 5W40 since the arrows point to infinity in each direction. When I first got my truck I went to my local dealer for some Jeep parts and while there asked them which oil they use for servicing Cummins engines. The guy turned around and pointed at stacks of Rotella T6 5W40 on the shelf and told me that's what they put in every single 6.7L truck. I know, DEALER can be a 4-letter word, but if they are using this oil for trucks under warranty then I'll go with it. Another point for me is oil change frequency. The manual says to change oil every 15,000 miles or 500 hours and I don't even come close to that mileage in a year. So, I just change my oil once a year and with the 5W40 I'm covered for any temperature range and I don't have to worry about it. KJ
LIKE2BUILD 11/02/20 07:31am Tow Vehicles
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