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For 2011, the Ram Chassis Cabs gained new
styling and interiors. A new full sized crew cab was launched, and polished aluminum wheels
were optional on all models.
2013-2017 chassis cabs
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, but any chassis cab could be specified with the proven Cummins diesel engine.
The gas engine
was the most powerful in its class; the diesel used an NOx adsorber
catalyst for 2010 emissions compliance, without an exhaust fluid injection system.
A new six-speed transmission helped to keep chassis cab gas mileage at best in Class 4 and Class 5 — 14%
better than Ford F-550 and 23% better than GMC C5500. Still, the 2011 Dodge
Ram had the largest standard fuel tank (52 gallons).
friendliness and maintenance costs were designed to be best in class. The Ram 4500/5500 had the largest
front brake rotors (390 mm) and calipers (66 mm) in its class, with a
standard diesel exhaust brake. The standard diesel’s 24,000 lb. Gross
Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) and optional 26,000 lb. GCWR package were both
best-in-class on 3500.
The 2011 Dodge Ram chassis cabs used the previous generation’s chassis and frame, adding a crew cab body option.
The ride was improved by returning suspension components; handling under a full load was also beefed
up. Fluid-filled hydro-mounts under the cab reduced beaming and bounce over
The 6.7 Cummins turbodiesel was mostly unchanged, but had a new particulate feature that slashed
nitrides of oxygen by 90%; in the pickups, the engine produces 350 hp at
3,000 rpm, and 650 lb-ft of torque at 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, unique in the 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 met 2010.5 emissions standards in 50
states, thanks to diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) injection. The standard
diesel had a 5 year/100,000 mile warranty, the best in its class. The base
alternator increased from 136 to 180 amps.
Ram Chassis Cabs came with a six-speed Aisin automatic (with 3-year/180,000-mile warranty)
or a six-speed manual. The automatic used electro-hydraulic clutch-to-clutch control, with both static and mobile PTO capability. The
six-speed manual transmission had a high-ratio sixth gear for longer
The Aisin torque converter now locked 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 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 a 30-gigabyte hard drive and a 10-speaker
surround-sound system. Numerous storage options include in-floor
The 2011 Dodge Ram 3500, 4500 and
5500 Chassis Cabs gained four upfitter switches in the instrument panel, each linked to a Power Distribution
Center (PDC) under the hood, with one fused 20-amp battery feed
and one 20-amp fused relay controlled by the ignition. Two switches
were ignition-fed and the remaining two were either battery or ignition.
Switch outputs were under the hood. A seven-circuit trailer harness and a
special upfitter jumper cable were both standard.
ground stud was rated for 50 amps. All
models had a heavy-duty cooling system to meet the extra heat
loads from PTO upfits and/or extreme
A capped auxiliary fuel line on the fuel tank makes it easier to use auxiliary equipment running on fuel. Both standard and optional fuel tanks use a
through-the-frame fuel filler for upfits without additional modification. The urea system was out of the way and under the cab.
The internal friction of the recirculating-ball
steering systems was reduced, improving the response and on-center steering feel.
The chassis cabs had 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 had two-stage leaf
load-carrying capability and better ride with light loads.
Rear axle ratios on Ram 3500 were 3.42, 3.73, and 4.10:1; rear axles
for Ram 4500 were 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 started at 7,599 lb (4x2) and rose
to 8,655 lb (Crew Cab 4x4); the 5500 weights were similar. Maximum GCWR on
both 4500 and 5500 was 26,000 lb, while GVWR ranged 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
An optional back-up camera aided trailer hook-ups, with a lift-assist feature for one-handed operation. Bedrail protection was included with
both cargo boxes. Boxes gained feature
External mirrors were made larger, but with less drag, and could be purchased with turn signals and puddle lamps. The big 7 x 11 mirror was standard
on 3500 and available on 2500 pickups; they flipped up and out for towing. The front fenders and
headlamps of the 2011 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 were shared with
grille included a chromed surround with either black center bullets (ST,
SLT and Power Wagon) or chromed center billets (Laramie, Big Horn
and Lone Star).
The chassis cab
grille opening was larger than the light-duty grille to allow for diesel cooling; that meant a taller hood. The unique front bumper was created to provide access to the winch (on Power Wagon) and tow hooks. The door cuts were to the
side of the truck, rather than into the roof, 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 including heated steering wheel and ventilated seats; an audiophile option; and turn signals in the mirrors. We'd expected the new
smaller Cummins diesels, but they never came.
In 2012, Ram 4500 and 5500 medium-duty (Class 4 and 5) Chassis Cab commercial trucks had an optional 30,000-lb. gross combined weight rating (GCWR), up from 26,000 lbs, part of an optional “Max Tow” package on regular and crew cabs and in 4x2 and 4x4 configurations.
The Ram Max Tow package had an upgraded transfer case, recalibrated transmission software, and enhanced thermal management; it was sold with the Aisin six-speed automatic transmission and 4.88 rear-axle ratio.
Ram 3500 chassis cabs could be ordered with a new six-speed automatic to increase GCWR by 3,000 pounds, to 20,000 pounds, with the V-8.
Ram also upgraded the trailer brake controller on all Chassis Cabs to include electric over hydraulic capability.
The 2012 chassis cabs also had a customer-selectable maximum speed, programmed at the factory or by a dealer, from 55 to 75 mph (in 5 mph increments). The top speed of the Ram 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cab was a best-in-class 87 mph.
Keith K. wrote that the circuit board in the passenger door, 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.”
2009 Ram 1500 Test Drive |
Powertrain | 2008 Ram Heavy Duty
| 2010 Ram Heavy Duty
Chrysler 1904-2018 •
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