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2013 Ram Heavy Duty Pickup Trucks: Ram 2500 and 3500

2014 Ram Heavy Duty Ram Heavy Duty
2013-2014 Chassis Cabs
Cummins engines

Ram's 2013 heavy duty
pickups, the Ram 2500 and 3500, have upgraded powertrains, lighting, creature comforts, utility, and electronics. The Ram 3500 shot past Ford and Chevy pickups' maximum tow rating of 23,100 pounds to a stunning 30,000 pounds, enabled by a new 50,000 pounds-per-square-inch, high-strength steel frame, a stronger transfer case, a higher-load transmission (Aisin AS69RC), larger front drive shafts and U-joints, an upgraded Cummins diesel engine, and other upgrades.

The Ram 2500 is mainly used for towing large personal items, while the Ram 3500 is usually a work truck that hauls heavy equipment, boulders, or livestock. In both classes, Ram claimed at launch that the Heavy Duty pickups have best-in-class "attributes" in cost of ownership, towing capability, features, quality, and dependability.

The Ram 3500's Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) was boosted to 37,600 pounds, which far surpasses the closest competitor's 30,500-pound GCWR. The 2013 Ram 2500 also saw towing and combined weight rating boosts; at 18,350 and 25,000, Ram 2500's towing and GCW ratings are also best among ¾-ton pickups.

The 2013 Ram Heavy Duty will be available as a two-door Regular Cab, four-door Crew Cab, and four-door Mega Cab, with two bed sizes (6-foot 4-inch and 8-foot). There are ten trim levels: ST (fleet only)/Tradesman, Power Wagon, SLT, Big Horn/Lone Star, Outdoorsman, Laramie, Laramie Longhorn and Laramie Limited.


This year, the Hemi 5.7 V8 (gasoline engine) is standard on both Ram 2500 and Ram 3500. For 2014, a new 6.4 liter Hemi V8s is coming - see the 2014 Ram heavy duty page.

The 6.7 liter Cummins straight-six turbodiesel has been upgraded, and comes in three different power levels, matched to the transmission. All of them have a substantial torque boost from 2012's maximum of 600 lb-ft.

@ rpm
Lb-ft @ rpmRequired
5.7 Hemi (Gasoline)383 @ 5,600400 @ 3,95066RFE six-speed automatic
6.4 Hemi (Gasoline)(See 2014) (Probably 68RFE, maybe ASC69RC)
Cummins Diesel385 @ 2,800850 @ 1,600Aisin ASC69RC (Ram 3500)
Cummins Diesel350 @ 2,800660 @ 1,500Six-speed manual
Cummins Diesel370 @ 2,800800 @ 1,60068RFE six-speed automatic

The new Aisin AS69RC six-speed automatic transmission, available only in the Ram 3500, has wider gear ratios for better efficiency and performance. For buyers preferring a manual, Ram's segment-exclusive six-speed manual transmission features a
wear-compensating clutch for lifetime like-new performance and a
dual-trunion shift tower to accommodate a compact shift pattern.

Buyers opting for the Cummins and 68RFE
six-speed automatic transmission in the Ram 2500 get an unsurpassed-in-¾-ton trucks 800 lb.-ft. of
torque at 1,600 rpm.

Diesel engine upgrades

All 2013
Ram Heavy Duty diesels benefit from a new cooling system, which uses a
high-efficiency fan, dual radiators, dual transmission coolers, and a
low-slung charge air cooler to raise heat-rejection capacity by 25%,
delivering higher performance and durability.

The Ram Active Air
intake system
, triggered by the computer, draws cooler air from the front
of the vehicle when it senses extreme heat; it also engages at high
altitudes for superior throttle response. When conditions are wet, the
system pulls air from an under-hood inlet, dry and clear of snow

Two new innovations help to increase gas mileage by 10%.
The new selective catalytic reduction (SCR) is more efficient than the old
Lean NOx Trap (LNT) technology, and while it requires diesel exhaust fluid
(DEF), the Ram maintains full power when fluid levels are low. DEF is
relatively inexpensive, compared with the fuel savings; easily available;
and does not need to be refilled often. The larger exhaust-gas
recirculation (EGR) cooler slashes soot production and fuel
dilution, allowing best-in-class oil change intervals of up
to 15,000 miles.

The Cummins diesels have better cold-start performance and
refinement, due to innovations such as the "smart" exhaust brake.
Enabled by Cummins' sliding-nozzle turbine design, this setup
electronically manages exhaust braking for smoother downhill driving,
regardless of vehicle load. Cummins' variable-geometry turbocharger also
affords more effortless operation at high altitudes, greater management of
EGR flow rates and improved control over exhaust temperatures to
accommodate de-sooting. [Variable geometry
turbochargers were pioneered with Chrysler's gasoline
engines.] The SCR-equipped diesels are certified to run on B-20

The frame-mounted fuel filter/water separator has
3-micron particulate filtration and water stripping to increase engine
performance and durability. The unique venting system prevents dirt and
water from entering the tank; a warning light illuminates on the truck's
instrument cluster when the high-capacity sump requires

Ram Heavy Duty drivetrain and suspension

The 2013
Ram Heavy Duty has a higher Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and Gross
Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) than before, continuing the capacity race
with GM and Ford. To support the greater weight, the Ram Heavy Duty's
front drive shafts and U-joints are larger, and the Ram 3500 has a
11.8-inch rear axle matched with the high-output diesel engine. This axle
boasts a 300-mm hypoid gear set, a 4-pinion helical differential, and a
finned aluminum cover for thermal management.

A segment-exclusive
front axle disconnecting system disconnects select drivetrain components
when possible, allowing a gas mileage increase of up to 1 mile per

Ram has two new Borg-Warner part-time transfer cases, both
of which have a low-range ratio of 2.64 and use a locking differential from
front to rear.

  • The BW 44-46 is an electric shifting part-time
    transfer case with 2WD, 4WD High, 4WD Low, and Neutral.
  • The BW
    44-47 is a manual shifting transfer case with 2WD, 4WD High, 4WD Low, and

Ram 3500 dual-rear-wheel setups are the first in their class to get electronic stability control (ESC).

2013 Ram Heavy Duty engineering, suspension, and

For 2013, Ram Heavy Duty trucks are using new frames, built
with high-strength 50 KSI steel, to increase stiffness, improving noise
reduction, ride, and handling. These frames have eight separate
cross-members, hydroformed main rails, and fully boxed rear rails.

Wider front frame rails (around one inch per side) allow the front
springs to be moved slightly out, to create more positive roll stiffness.
The front suspension cross-member is now a two-piece welded component,
essentially vacuum formed between the front axle and oil pan. The plated
structure's interface to the frame has a weld surface that's twice as large
as the previous model. This creates a stiffer, more robust front section,
and eliminates the need for reinforcements.

Center frame rail
sections are roll-formed, for maintaining strength in less complex
longitudinal sections. In the rear portion of the frame, there are fully
boxed rear rails and a factory-installed rear axle cross member with
provisions for 5th wheel and gooseneck hitches.

The trailer hitch
system was upgraded to Class 5 with a 17,000-lb. load capability and 1,800
pounds of tongue weight for use with 2-inch or 2.5-inch

New front and rear suspensions aid handling and ride. An
advanced three-link front suspension on Ram 3500 ensures roll stiffness,
contributes to the higher Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), and aids use
with heavy front loads, including snow plows. A newly designed Hotchkiss
leaf spring rear suspension on the Ram 3500 has better ride, handling,
towing, and payload. The hydro-filled cab mounts at the C pillars are 30% larger to cut noise and vibration.

The new reciprocating ball steering gear gives
greater durability and control with redesigned steering knuckles, ball
joints, and more robust steering linkages delivering an enhanced and
precise feel despite the vehicles higher towing and payload

Four-wheel disc brakes are standard on all 2013 Ram
Truck models with dual-piston calipers all around. Front rotors measure
14.17 inches in diameter, while rear rotors are 14.09.

A new capless
fuel filler on diesel applications enables side-by-side fuel and diesel
exhaust fluid (DEF) ports for more convenient refills.

Ram 3500
buyers who opt for the fifth wheel or gooseneck tow prep package now get a
standard uses a factory-installed 7-pin trailer tow connector in the truck
bed. New structural support is designed into the body to support the
payload increase and increase durability; and tie-down points have been

New and improved features

Finally, 2013 Ram
Heavy Duty customers can enjoy the convenience of power folding/auto-dimming side mirrors and
a defrosting power-sliding rear window. Auto rain-sensing
wipers and SmartBeam headlamps also find their way into the feature
availability list, adding to a truckload of content

The quad headlamps have better light
spread, pattern consistency, and distance. Laramie Longhorn and Laramie have bi-functional halogen projectors, with 15
amber LEDs for park/turn/position, and three amber LEDs for the side
marker, with an inner lens softening the glow (it's optional on Laramie).
The Ram shield logo is molded into the housing.

An intelligent battery sensor monitors current flow and "intelligently" shuts things down as the battery gets low.

New power folding
6x9-inch outside mirrors provide a better view of trailers when towing; and
a tailgate handle-mounted rear camera back-up system has been upgraded for
2013 with higher definition. A new center high-mounted stop light camera
provides a view of the bed for easier fifth wheel or gooseneck trailer
connection, and can help to monitor bed loads.

Styling and

The 2013 Ram Heavy Duty will have four different grille
designs: Tradesman and SLT use the molded-in black "Hex-Link," while
Big Horn and Power Wagon have a "Billet-Perf" (with different
finishes), Laramie has a chrome "Hex-Perf," and Laramie
Longhorn has "Wave-Mesh."

There are also five new colors: black
gold pearl, copperhead pearl, maximum steel metallic, prairie pearl and
western brown pearl.

Wheel-to-wheel polished stainless steel running boards
have a sturdy box cross-section design with a hexagon tread pattern; the design offers aerodynamic improvements and more access to the truck bed's forward portion. Front
and rear custom end caps feature Ram logos.

Soft-touch materials enhance armrests and upper door bolsters, while all trims except for Tradesman are available with canyon brown/light frost interiors.

  • Tradesman has a black/diesel interior with iron gray metallic coloring and disel vinyl seating.
  • SLT has black/diesel interior with anodized driftwood paint and satin chrome accents, along with disel or canyon brown seating.
  • Laramie has an all-black interior with light anodized driftwood paint (for a contemporary wenge wood pattern) and all black or light frost leather seating.
  • Laramie Longhorn has a cattle tan/black interior and real walnut burl inserts stained in canyon brown or cattle tan with cattle tan leather with black welting/stitching or canyon brown with tan welting/stitching.

Six-passenger capability is
available with the 40-20-40 bench seat. The bench seat design includes three cup
holders in console lid with a washable rubber bellow lining.
The center console and center front seat base have a large
storage bin with optional CD player. Both versions of the console
have two tiers of storage and are available with a multi-media port
(USB, SD card, and auxiliary inputs) in the upper tier. The console center stack has a
115-volt outlet and a new drawer with USB and 12-volt outlets.

Surrounded by a chrome tracer, HVAC controls have improved function with redundant architecture allowing the
driver to use either the 8.4-inch touchscreen or manual controls.

Below the upgraded HVAC arrangement is a
new switch bank with relocated controls. The top row has
functional controls including exhaust brake, tow/haul, and electronic
stability control (ESC). The bottom row has comfort controls including heated steering wheel and heated and ventilated seats; it also can be optioned as an auxiliary switch bank for all five
spots. Next to the switch bank is an adjustable
trailer brake control.

Ram Heavy Duty trucks continue using a column shifter
for the automatic transmission. Electronic range select (ERS) is now
located on the right side of the steering wheel for individual gear
selection. Only diesel models are offered with a manual six-speed

Ram Heavy Duty also uses
sapphire blue LED lighting on switches and the rear-view mirror. Laramie
and Laramie Longhorn are adorned with white LED lighting for dome, map, and
foot wells. Laramie has additional sapphire blue ambient
lighting throughout the interior.

Uconnect, gauge cluster, and audio

The next-generation
Uconnect system
depends on the fast Powernet architecture, which allows up to 40 modules; each module (e.g., stability control)
can activate other systems (e.g., anti-lock brakes). The dashboard gauge cluster has a
7-inch, color multiview display, controlled from the steering wheel. Up to three analog vehicle status gauges can be
added to the display.
The main screens in the instrument cluster
menu are:

  • Digital speed
  • Engine hours
  • Vehicle information
  • Fuel economy
  • Diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) levels
  • Trailer-tow information
  • Audio
  • Stored messages
  • Screen customization

The 2013 Ram Heavy Duty has optional Alpine high-performance
speakers with a 12-channel digital
signal processing (DSP) amplifier, 7.1-adapted surround sound, and ten speakers:

  • Three 3.5-inch speakers
    in the instrument panel
  • Two 6x9-inch speakers in the front
  • Two 2.5-inch rear surround speakers in the
  • Two 6x9-inch speakers in the rear
  • One 8-inch dual voice coil (DVC) subwoofer in a
    sealed enclosure under the rear seat

Credit: Chrysler Communications as edited and appended by David Zatz

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