Dodge / Ram
According to Allpar sources in Mexico, the Ram 4000 chassis cab has been a popular choice for buses and other vehicles, with bodies made to order. A Chrysler México spokesman wrote that the main differences between the Ram 3500 and the Ram 4000 are:
With regard to the rear suspension changes, Ram 4000’s overall rear suspension rate is 175 N/mm (compared with 168 N/mm on the Ram 3500); and one of the rear leaves is thicker on the Ram 4000 by 0.66mm, due to the higher payload rating and the different uses in Mexico. Stability control calibration was modified to take these changes into account.
To clarify the “different uses in Mexico,” according to a company spokesman, Mexican trucks tend to be used:
Therefore, testing in Mexico is performed at much higher altitudes, and while “validation and severity of the tests is equivalent for both trucks, the Mexican variants are designed to have a higher hauling usage than the US counterparts.”
Unlike the Ram 3500 chassis cab, there is no Cummins diesel option for the Ram 4000. The 5.7 gasoline engine is rated at the same 383 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 400 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm as the American version; both American and Mexican versions have a 4.10:1 axle ratio (with that engine), but the American one comes with a standard 66RFE automatic, which is only used on the Ram 4000 4x4.
Air conditioning is optional on rear wheel drive models, but most or all of the safety features remain standard.
Pricing as of November 24, 2014, including a promotion, was MX$352,900 for the base “P” level, MX$362,900 for the “PL,” and MX$496,900 for the 4x4. By comparison, the US Ram 3500 started at $31,700 for the Tradesman, US$35,170 for the SLT, and US$42,715 for the SLT Crew 4x4 (there is also a luxury Laramie Crew 4x4 at US$47,770; Laramie is sold in 4x2 and regular cab form, too. All US prices include rebates and incentives as of November 24, 2014).
The Ram 4000 is less expensive than American versions — partly because it has a shorter list of standard equipment, including air conditioning; and the American versions have a six-speed manual while the Mexican rear wheel drive versions have a five-speed manual. However, the Mexican version has a standard “duallie” setup and a stronger rear suspension.
* With incentives, and pesos-to-dollars conversions, as of November 24, 2014.
One upfitter is Vanetesa, which upfits Ram 4000s into light 27-passenger buses; they also make minibuses on General Motors chassis, using a 6-liter V8. They use the Ram 4000’s manual-transmission rear-drive chassis cab as the base, and can fit a natural gas option. One sample from their web site:
When comparing these vehicles, it is important to realize that the Ram 3500 figures are only for chassis cabs with the 5.7 liter gasoline engine, not the 6.4 liter gasoline or 6.7 liter diesels. Figures on the left are from the Chrysler Mexico site, the figures on the right are from the rambodybuilder.com site.
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