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The Dodge Power Wagon: Ultimate Off-Road Ram

dodge power wagon - size

The Dodge Ram Power Wagon returned in 2005 for the first time in 25 years, as the most capable off-road pickup on the planet. (It also returned for 2010 — details).

Dodge Power WagonThe Dodge Ram Power Wagon had class-exclusive electric locking front and rear differentials, a class-exclusive electronic disconnecting front sway bar and a custom-built Warn 12,000-lb. winch. The 345-horsepower 5.7-liter HEMI Magnum V-8 was the only available engine.

Based on the Dodge Ram 2500 and available in either Regular or Quad Cab body styles, the new 2005 Dodge Ram Power Wagon stood 80.6 inches tall and was distinguished by custom matte finish wheel flares, a large Power Wagon badge across the tailgate, custom 17 x 8-inch polished forged aluminum wheels and 33-inch BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/A tires — the tallest standard tires offered on a production pickup.

The 2005 Dodge Ram Power Wagon boasted best-in-class wheel articulation with new suspension designs. The front suspension used a solid front axle with coil spring design, while the rear featured a new single stage leaf design and used unique, softer spring settings. For serious off-roading capability, the Dodge Ram Power Wagon featured new 4.56 gearing and Bilstein monotube high-pressure gas shock absorbers.

"The Dodge Ram Power Wagon goes where other pickups cannot, but without deteriorating the Ram Heavy Duty's ride or towing capability," said Donoughe. "The Power Wagon was built by off-roaders for off-roaders. One look at it — and especially at the standard custom 12,000-lb. Warn winch — lets you know that Power Wagon means business."

original Power Wagon | our Dodge Ram Power Wagon test drive

Zetsche and the Dodge Power Wagon off-road Ram pickup

Dodge Power Wagon specifications

Assembly Plants

Saltillo, Mexico and St. Louis, Missouri

Alternator

160-amp

Battery

Group 65, maintenance-free, 750 CCA

5-45RFE AUTOMATIC G56 MANUAL

Availability

Optional

 

1st

3.0

6.29

2nd

upshift; 1.50—kick-down

3.48

3rd

1.0

2.10

4th

0.75

1.38

5th

0.67

1.00

6th   0.79

Reverse

3.0

5.74

Overall Top Gear

3.06 with 4.56 axle ratio

not available

TRANSFER CASES: NV271 (no center differential)

Availability

Standard

Type

Part-time

Modes

2WD; 4WD High; Neutral; 4WD Low

Low-Range Ratio

2.72

Specifications

 Quad Cab

Regular Cab

Wheelbase

140.5

140.5

Track, Front

69.5

69.5

Track, Rear

68.5

68.5

Overall Length

227.7

229.7

Overall Width

79.8

79.5

Overall Height

80.6

80.6

Tailgate Load Height

36.3

36.3

Front axle clearance

8.4

8.4

Rear axle clearance

8.3

8.3

Approach Angle

35°

35°

Ramp Breakover Angle

25.5°

25.5°

Departure Angle

26.5°

26.5°

Frontal Area, sq. ft.

35.4

35.4

Fuel Tank, gal. (L)

34 (128)

35 (132)

Front Suspension: Live axle, Quadra Link leading arms, track bar, coil springs, electric disconnecting stabilizer bar, gas-charged Bilstein monotube shock absorbers

Rear suspension: Live axle, longitudinal leaf springs, gas-charged Bilstein monotube shock absorbers

Other: Hotchkiss drive, transfer case. Ladder-type frame, double-wall steel pickup box

Transmissions: the 545RFE had three planetary gear sets, one overrunning clutch, full electronic control, and an electronically controlled converter clutch. The G56 six-speed manual was synchronized in all gears, and was (with late availability) standard with the 5.9L high-output diesel and the 5.7L Hemi engines.

Compared to the 2007 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon: (ranges on Wrangler Unlimited are due to a variety of available tire/wheel sizes)

 

 Quad Cab

Regular Cab Wrangler Wrangler Unlimited

Front axle clearance

8.4

8.4

10” 8.7-10.5°

Rear axle clearance

8.3

8.3

Approach Angle

35°

35°

44.3° 40.6-44.4°

Ramp Breakover Angle

25.5°

25.5°

25.5° 17.8-20.8°

Departure Angle

26.5°

26.5°

40.4° 37.5-40.7°

Central Tire Inflation System (by Bob Sheaves)

[Webmaster note: the Power Wagon does not have this after all.]

For those not familiar with the term CTIS, this is an acronym for Central Tire Inflation System. Originally developed in the mid-1950s by the Soviets on the ZIL131 and Czech Tatra Kolos 813, the invention opened a new era in offroad mobility. By lowering the tire pressure, several things happen, as described in this report on the agricultural uses of CTIS. To quote a small section from this report by Brian Adams:

..."the decrease in tire inflation pressure achieved by using CTIS resulted in a 2% improvement in traction, a 10% decrease in rut depth, and a slight improvement in cone index in the top 15 cm (6 in.) of soil. Benefits for of addition of CTIS on large agricultural tractors could increase tractive efficiency, reduce the need for dual rear tires, and reduce soil compaction..."

Additionally:

..."the decrease in tire inflation pressure achieved by using CTIS showed an average ride quality improvement of 99%. When the harmonics from the tracks were forcing the vibration at the natural frequency of the tractor with the lowered tire inflation pressures, the ride quality improvement averaged only 21%. Equipping agricultural vehicles with CTIS would improve the health and alertness of the operators and extend the amount of time that they could effectively and safely operate the vehicle. ..."

CTIS, in simple terms, would improve the vehicle occupants comfort offroad, reduce the environmental impact of the tires on the soil surface (reduce rutting and trenching of the dirt), and reduce the shock and loading of offroad travel on the vehicle itself.

The Army "Duck" of World War II, a wheeled amphibious vehicle, had a central tire inflation system. CTIS has been on the Hummer H1 since its inception. GM had it as an option on the CUCV Blazers and pickups at GM/MVO as early as 1984.

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