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· Virginia Gentleman
8,500 Posts
Hello everyone,

I used to own a 99 Plymouth Voyager and found this site very useful. Now I'm back!

After much searching for a competatively priced vehicle to use for a farm truck to cut firewood and move things around our property. Man, I should have never sold my old pickup! Anyway,....

I recently purchased a 2005 Ram 1500 ST, 4.7L Flex Fuel, with automatic and 4wd. It was used as a lease vehicle, then wholesaled to a private buyer, who shined it up and sold to me. I did eyeball it closely looking for accident damage and noticed it had some touch-up paint on it. It has plenty of small dents, but runs and drives well. No evidence of leaks and the engine runs strong. Car fax showed no accidents and a clean title. Not much documentation of maintenance.

I'm planning on changing all the fluids and filters. Went to purchase a trans filter and there are many options on which one to choose; shallow versus deep pan, spin on filter....etc. Is there a way to run the VIN and determine what specific filter I need outside of purchasing from a dealer? I use RockAuto for my parts and LOVE the prices/quality, and since I live in the middle of now-where, saves me fuel to/from stores.

Is there anything I need to be aware of that could bite me in the butt with this truck? I'd rather fix it now than wait until winter.

Welcome to Allpar! As far as the transmission filters go the 4x4 units have two filters - the spin on filter and a flat filter. The 2 wheel drive units only have the flat filter. Your Ram has the 545RFE transmission - they are pretty stout. I have 160K on my '06 and no problems. I recommend servicing the transmission (change filter & fluid) every 60K miles. You should also service the differentials every 30K minimum. Check the owner's manual for the fluid types.

Things to keep an eye on:

1) front bearings - mine started growling around 120K - to fix means replacing the entire hub at ~$360 per side (dealer). You can get cheaper hubs at Advance Auto/AutoZone, but they won't last.
2) Pinion Seal - mine developed a leak at 50K miles - not a costly repair (about $125), but make sure the shop torques the pinion nut properly or you'll have problems down the road (don't ask how I know.....)
3) HVAC doors - the '02-'08's have issues with the blend doors (there's five of them) of the HVAC system evenutally failing. The doors are driven by small motors. The computer calibrates itself by opening/closing the doors. The doors have pins (plastic) that can break. The recirc door is the most common one to fail. The recirc door and mode 2 door (controls floor/defrost) failed on mine. I actually took the recirc door out - it fell on motor blocking air flow. The dealer fix is not cheap - involves taking the dash apart to replace the doors. I still have yet to get mine fixed. There is a kit from Heater Treater (steel doors) but unless I take the dash apart there's no way to access the mode 2 door - it's behind a steel bracket in the dash. Right now I'm just living with it.

The 4.7L engine is pretty reliable - I've haven't read of many having major issues though it tends to be thirstier than the Hemi. But at least it only requiress 87 octane. The Hemi prefers 89.

The transmission has a Tow/Haul feature that locks out 5th gear (2nd OD), but unfortunately there's no way to lock out 4th. That feature (No OD) came with the '06's.

Overall, it should be a reliable truck for you.
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