Jubel Caldwell and his wife, Annette, live in Stephenville, Texas, and our the proud owners of a 2004 Dodge Ram 1500. Jubel travels to Fort Worth five days a week; he is the part owner of an aircraft maintenance company that maintains private and corporate jets. He also works on a mining project in Arizona.
With the long daily commute, Jubel puts about 1,000 miles a week on the truck. As of January 15, 2013, the Ram had 504,201 miles showing on the odometer.
His trips to Arizona take him past Chrysler’s Yucca, Arizona, testing facility. “I have been tempted on several occasions to pull up to that facility and ask if they wanted to test my Ram 1500 that has been proven in the real test ground, but I resisted,” Jubel said.
Jubel purchased the Ram new from a local dealership; he liked its body design and the Hemi. The ram is an SLT with the towing package, basically stock minus a Tec exhaust muffler and a spray-in bed liner.
As far as maintenance goes, Jubel said a valve dropped because of a broken valve spring at about 115,000 miles. “I have heard of one other instance of this on a 2004 model at about the same mileage,” he said.
At about 350,000 miles, he installed a new throttle body to fix an electronic throttle control failure light he kept getting. The Ram’s alternator and water pump were replaced at about 400,000 miles.
Jubel later helped a mechanic overhaul the transmission after it failed at 486,000 miles. “The clutch plates show very little wear, and we think the failure was due to the torque converter failing,” he said.
Jubel can’t find anything to dislike about his Ram. “Even though I had the premature failure with the valve spring, I very much like the Hemi,” he said. “I am also completely surprised about getting 486,000 miles out of automatic transmission.”
Jubel has been quite impressed by the Ram's durability and service so far.
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