Dodge / Ram
See the 2013-2017 chassis cabs •
For 2011, the Ram Chassis Cabs gained new
styling and interiors. A new full sized crew cab was launched; polished aluninum wheels
were optional on all models; and upfit capability remained the same.
The Ram 3500 gained a 2011-model-year best-in-class 26,000 pound GCWR and
13,000 pound GVWR. Ram 3500 was the only chassis cab with a gasoline-engine
option; all can have the proven Cummins diesel engine. The gas engine
is the most powerful in its class, while the diesel uses an NOx Adsorber
Catalyst that provides 2010 emissions compliance without a urea/DEF
injection system. (There are rumors that, in pursuit of higher gas mileage, Dodge might adopt urea/DEF though they do not legally need to).
Thanks partly to a new six-speed transmission,
chassis cab gas mileage has been best in Class 4 and Class 5 — 14%
better than Ford F-550 and 23% better than GMC C5500. Still, the 2011 Dodge
Ram will have the largest standard fuel tank (52 gallons).
The Ram Heavy Duty is aimed at commercial and
fleet users, buyers of serious, diesel-powered chassis cabs; upfitter
friendliness and maintenance costs are best in class. Lowering maintenance
costs and increasing stopping power, the Ram 4500/5500 has the largest
front brake rotors (390 mm) and calipers (66 mm) in its class, with a
standard diesel exhaust brake. The standard diesel 24,000 lb. Gross
Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) and optional 26,000 lb. GCWR package are both
best-in-class on 3500.
The 2011 Dodge Ram chassis cabs will continue
to use the previous generation’s proven chassis and frame, but with more
comfort, higher capabilities, and more body options, including a crew
The ride was greatly improved through
re-tuned suspension components; handling under a full load was also beefed
up. Fluid-filled hydro-mounts under the cab reduce beaming and bounce over
rough surfaces. (What are fluid-filled hydro-mounts? Here’s what Dodge
said: “C-pillar hydro mounts were added to improve damping through the
frame-bending mode frequency in order to better manage shake and
after-shake response. The result is reduced shake and improved
The 6.7 Cummins turbodiesel will be
essentially unchanged, but with a new particulate feature that slashes
nitrides of oxygen by 90%; in the pickups, the engine produces 350 hp at
3,000 rpm, and 650 lb-ft of torque at a stunning 1,500 rpm, just off idle
(automatic transmission). With the G56 manual transmission, the Cummins
puts out 350 hp and 610 lb-ft of torque; with the chassis cabs, 305 hp and
610 lb-ft of torque.
Maintenance for the Cummins engine includes
7,500 mile oil changes and overhauls at 350,000 miles (100,000 miles more
than Ford or GM). It includes an exhaust brake, a major safety feature and
unique in this segment; and a B20 (biodiesel 20%) version for fleet buyers.
Power-wise, the Cummins engine has the same ratings as the Ford Super Duty
diesel (though peak torque comes in earlier), while the Silverado’s
Isuzu-boosted Duramax diesel has 15 more horsepower and 10 lb-ft more
chassis-cab service, the engine meets 2010.5 emissions standards in 50
states, thanks to diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) injection based on urea
injection Selective Catalyst Reduction (SCR) technology. The standard
diesel has a 5 year/100,000 mile warranty, the best in its class. The base
alternator increased from 136 to 180 amps.
Ram Chassis Cabs come with a proven
six-speed Aisin automatic transmission (with 3-year/180,000-mile warranty)
or a six-speed manual transmission. The commercial-grade six-speed
automatic is electronically controlled, with excellent shift quality (using
advanced electro-hydraulic clutch-to-clutch control) and close gear ratios
with both static and mobile PTO capability. With more control, the
six-speed manual transmission achieves a high-ratio sixth gear for longer
The Aisin torque converter now locks up in
PTO mode for better fuel economy and speed control while using aerial lifts
and air compressors; customers also have the ability to program a precise
engine RPM that is activated immediately when the PTO is engaged. This
eliminates the need to toggle up to the desired engine RPM.
one of two transfer cases: the manual NV271 unit (ST and Power Wagon) or
the electric, shift-on-the-fly NV273 case. Axle ratios are 3.42, 3.73, 4.10
The interior was naturally upgraded, with optional
heated/ventilated front seats; heated rear-seats and steering wheel;
automatic temperature control; two-tone upholstery; memory seats, radio and
mirrors; navigation; adjustable pedals and numerous infotainment options
including Backseat TV(tm) with three channels of programming, uconnect
tunes with a 30-gigabyte hard drive, and a first-in-segment 10-speaker
surround-sound system. Numerous storage options include in-floor
Upfitter friendliness continues partly by using the
existing commercial-grade frame and suspension system with best-in-class
(for 3500) frame steel strength (50,000-psi). Maintaining its common
architecture for commercial applications, the one-piece C-channel
rear-frame rail’s riveted crossmembers provide more durability than
traditional welds or bolts. In addition, rivets allow for easy removal
and/or replacement of components during upfits and modifications; and using
industry standard 34-inch spacing without raised
surfaces allows for easy adaptation of add-ons designed for other trucks.
All chassis components are below the frame surface.
The one-piece C-channel
frame, sheer plate or u-bolt access along the length of the frame, and
shear plate mounting locations identified along the frame contribute to upfitter friendliness, as do
commercial-grade service and support with Body Builder Guides and hotline
support from the engineering team.
The 2011 Dodge Ram 3500, 4500 and
5500 Chassis Cabs now feature four upfitter switches integrated on
the instrument panel; each is linked to an auxiliary Power Distribution
Center (PDC) under the hood which includes one fused 20-amp battery feed
and one 20-amp fused relay controlled by the ignition. Two switches
are ignition-fed and the remaining two are either battery or ignition.
Switch outputs are under the hood. A seven-circuit trailer harness and a
special upfitter jumper cable are both standard.
Incorporated into the design is a rear
ground stud rated for 50 amps. Electrical connections are user-friendly
thanks to one fused battery feed and one fused ignition feed routed into
the cab and to the rear of the chassis. With built-in PTO capability, all
models feature a heavy-duty cooling system in order to meet additional heat
loads that are often generated from PTO upfits and/or extreme
A capped auxiliary fuel line on the fuel tank facilitates
the use of auxiliary equipment running on fuel. Fuel and brake lines are
routed together on the frame’s driver side to make better use of space
along the frame. Both standard and optional fuel tanks feature a
through-the-frame fuel filler (external on the mid-ship tank) allowing
virtually any upfit without the need for additional modification. The new
urea system is placed in unused space, out of the way and under the cab for
added upfitter convenience.
The internal friction of the recirculating-ball
steering systems was reduced, improving the response and on-center steering feel.
The chassis cabs have solid front and rear axles, and
a five-link, coil-spring front suspension with solid axle, a front and rear
link-type sway bar and heavy-duty tubular shock absorbers. The
rear suspension on two- and four-wheel-drive models has leaf
springs and includes standard two-stage springs as part of the design for
greater load-carrying capability and better ride with light loads.
Rear axle ratios on Ram 3500 are 3.42, 3.73, and 4.10:1; rear axles
for Ram 4500 are 4.10, 4.44, and 4.88; while the Ram 5500 only has 4.44:1
and 4.88:1. Base weight for the Ram 4500 starts at 7,599 lb (4x2) and rises
to 8,655 lb (Crew Cab 4x4); the 5500 weights are similar. Maximum GCWR on
both 4500 and 5500 is 26,000 lb, while GVWR ranges from 15,000 to 16,500 on
Ram 4500 and from 18,750 to 19,500 on Ram 5500.
Cab to axle lengths
on Ram 3500 are 60 and 84 inches (just 60 on crew cab); 60, 84, 108, and
120 on Ram 4500/5500 regular cab, and 60 and 84 on Ram 4500/5500 crew
Styling followed both
aesthetics and aerodynamics. The tailgate is sculpted for better air
flow, incorporating a spoiler in the upper part of the sheet metal. This
tailgate also accommodates an available back-up camera for convenient
trailer hook-ups and includes a lift-assist feature that makes raising and
lowering a one-hand operation. Standard bedrail protection is included with
both the 6-foot-4-inch. and 8-foot cargo boxes. The boxes now feature
bedrail caps that protect sheet metal from dents and
External mirrors are sculpted to produce a more useable
area, with aerodynamic benefit and less noise. Mirrors are equipped with
turn-signal indicators, memory function, puddle lamps and adjustable convex
mirrors. Depending on trim level, mirrors are finished in black, or black
and chrome. The larger 7-in. x 11-in. mirror for trailer towing is standard
on 3500 models and available on 2500 pickups. These mirrors flip up and out
into a vertical configuration for trailer-tow use. Front fenders and
headlamps of the new 2011 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 are shared with
light-duty pickup models.
grille includes a chromed surround with either black center bullets (ST,
SLT and Power Wagon models) or chromed center billets (Laramie, Big Horn
and Lone Star models).
To accommodate cooling requirements of the
6.7-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel engine, the new 2011 Dodge Ram chassis cab
grille opening is larger than the light-duty grille. The larger grille
requires a taller hood that incorporates louvers on each side. Access
to the front winch (on Power Wagon models) and tow hooks led to the unique
Front and rear doors follow the style pioneered
by the 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 — a design that places the door cut to the
side of the truck, rather than into the roof, in order to reduce wind noise
Ram Chassis Cab Pricing: All prices include $950 for
oh20 had predicted the crew cab with an
eight foot bed; the upgraded interiors and creature comforts (right down to
heated steering wheel and ventilated seats); and audiophile option. He also
predicted active head restraints, turn signals in the mirrors, and blind
spot detection; we don't know about these yet. We'd expected the new
smaller Cummins diesels, but those were officially delayed.
In 2012, Ram 4500 and 5500 medium-duty (Class 4 and 5) Chassis Cab commercial trucks will be available with an optional 30,000-lb. gross combined weight rating (GCWR), an increase from 26,000 lbs. The new Ram 4500/5500 Chassis Cab GCWR upgrade is part of an optional “Max Tow” package, and is available on both regular and crew cab models and in 4x2 and 4x4 configurations.
The Ram Max Tow package includes a new transfer case gear set and chain and sprocket upgrades, recalibrated transmission software and an enhanced collection of thermal management devices. Max Tow is available on Ram Chassis Cab trucks equipped with the optional, commercial-grade Aisin six-speed automatic transmission and 4.88 rear-axle ratio. A 4.44 axle is standard on 4500 models and not available with the Max Tow package. A class-exclusive six-speed manual transmission is standard on Ram 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cab models.
Ram 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cab trucks will come equipped with the proven, commercial-grade 305 horsepower (228 kW) @ 2,900 rpm and 610 lb.-ft. (827 N•m) @ 1,600 rpm 6.7-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel engine.
The 30,000-lb. GCWR gives the Ram Chassis Cab a 4,000-lb. increase in trailer-towing capabilities, up to a maximum of 22,300 lbs. on a Ram 4500 or 5500 Chassis Cab equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission.
In 2012, a new six-speed automatic transmission that will increase GCWR to 20,000 lbs. – a 3,000-lb. increase – will be added to Ram 3500 Chassis Cab trucks powered by the 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8. An increase in fuel economy will also be added. The Ram 3500 Chassis Cab will have a standard 383 horsepower, 400 lb.-ft. of torque, and 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine. The Cummins Turbo Diesel is available as an option on Ram 3500 Chassis Cab trucks.
Ram has also upgraded the trailer brake controller on Chassis Cab trucks to include electric over hydraulic capability, to further enhance its towing ability.
Ram Truck will offer the following special low-volume paint color options for 2500 through 5500 models: Black, Bright Red, Dark Brown, Detonator Yellow, Light Cream, Light Green, Omaha Orange, School Bus Yellow, Timberline Green Pearl, Yellow and National Fire Safety Lime Yellow.
For 2012, the Ram Chassis Cab will have a customer-selectable maximum speed. Ram Chassis Cabs can be ordered from the factory with or programmed by a Ram Truck dealer at no charge with either 55, 60, 65, 70 or 75 mph speed limits. Ram 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cab trucks have a best-in-class standard 87 mph top speed, an important feature for fire, ambulance and other safety and rescue roles. A five-minute shutdown timer is also available.
Keith K. wrote that the circuit board in the door of the Ram — the passenger door module, which handles power locks/mirrors/windows, is bolted right behind the door panel. On the 2010-2011 chassis cabs, a few driver’s door modules have issues with water leaking in and directly onto the connectors of the door module, and killing the interior (CAN.-IHS) bus. The repair is a new door harness and module, then sealing the connectors so they don’t corrode again. “I think it affects chassis cabs mainly cause the windows are left rolled down a lot while the driver is out of the truck (truck idling) in the rain.”
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