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Old 02-19-2017, 07:05 AM   #11 (permalink)
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2004 CTD - '04 DODGE RAM 2500 SLT
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Okay, shifting. These are light duty trucks by classification. We were lucky Dodge chose both a medium duty engine and transmission. Rated above 30,000-lbs duty.

Tradeoff is that it's a slow revving engine and the transmission, though synchronized, is also slow.

The operators manual will tell you --and I fully agree -- every gear every time. First is not a granny when one has stock tire sizing and 3.73 gears. It's set up for a highway working range of 55-65/mph.

It shifts slowly. There is the barest pause across the Neutral gate that you'll learn to anticipate. Done right the shifter will LITERALLY fall into the next gear. If you can fingertip the NV5600 into next gear, you're getting it.

Driving one of these is not about throttle opening. The throttle only exists to move between gears. It is gear choice that matters. Around town, as these are hard to stop, a lower gear that allows only 37 in a 45 is what I'm talking about. Safety first.

As to what rpm: slightly above 2k makes shifts easiest (solo). Just above 1500 is adequate for economy, it one is pushing ones luck in some situations.

The truck is very happy with town rpms and and shifts 16-1800. Use that as template. Can't go wrong.

Don't skip First. Bad habit. It's about getting truck rolling easily and that's all about gearing. First is short, but it's a matter if being good at shifting. That'll take about 10k miles as with other muscle memory problems to solve. Make an exception for downhill and turning left across broad open six lane with suicide center.

Keeping up with traffic is irrelevant. One wants the morons far ahead for maximum space. And space is the magic that produces best results.

In the big truck I'm already into the High side of the transmission and going from 6th to 7th gear at about 20-mph.

In the pickup I'm looking to ease my way up. Let the engine be as natural and unstrained as is reasonable. Light load. Not, no load.

Conversely, with my 35' TT, my shifts are up above 2500-rpm and I'm looking to keep manifold pressure high. From shift to shift. Learn to read gauges. Read on "progressive shifting" if you want to learn how the old hands got a million miles from a Big Cam Cummins of yesteryear.

These trucks are grossly overpowered when solo. A 10-12k trailer is a nice little workout. Lives longer due to a good load. When I ran these in the oilfield, the trailers were often above 20k. We worked them hard. Time constraints. Still lasted over 300k.

One of the best things you could do for you and truck is to hook up a low height 10k trailer and really learn how to get it rolling and get it stopped. Run it hard. Very smoothly. (This is about average speed. I have to run WV Turnpike today. It's a workout to keep average speed "up").

These engines don't like featherfoot / no load. Meant to work. Need to fit that in once in a while.

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2004.0 DODGE Ram QC/LB 2500 2WD/NV-5600 305/555 ISB. 7,940-lb. Stock. 200,000 miles/5000-hrs @ 40-mph average.
1990 35' Silver Streak TT 7,900-lb.
8-cpm solo & 11-cpm towing; 21-mpg average past 54k-miles
Sold: 1983 Silver Streak 3411

Last edited by slowmover; 02-19-2017 at 07:17 AM..
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Old 02-27-2017, 07:01 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Well the overhead is way off. I did 104.7 miles all city averaged 25 mph basically 2 weeks of 4 mile each way commute, full cooldown before return trip, (I know it's bad for it, it is not the intended use, I'm checking it out while I had a 2 week warranty, I will go back to my Subie for commuting soon) and used 7.99 gallons, for 13.1 mpg. The overhead was reading 23.7! That still is what my Hemi would get, if not better, doing the same duty in this weather, even my 4.0 Grand Cherokee was similar (the Subie does 23-25mpg though).
I did get all the fluids changed, the front diff looked pretty bad but the rest looked good. I ordered an EGT, fuel pressure, and boost gauge that I want to get on before making any other adjustments. I have started using all 6 gears as Slowmover suggested. I do think that helps, shifting about 1900rpm which lets it drop to 1250-1500, once I'm done accelerating I might put it in 6th if I'm going over 40, if not I run in 5th. It's easier now that I have had it awhile and maybe the new syncromesh fluid helped, it was a bit low. I did do a brief run up to 80 mph for 5 miles to look for problems but it seems solid and vibration free.

Once I get my gauges on I'll probably take it in for and injector test to see if they are even or if any are out of balance. That is probably the worst thing that could be off, $1800 worth of injectors. I wonder if they are overfueling if they would be causing the overhead computer to be so far off. Basically they are giving more diesel than the computer thinks they are giving. I also wonder if it isn't running some kind of tune that I may not know about. I might see if the shop (not a dealer) can flash a stock program just to be sure.

I can't wait to hook up the camper and give it more of a workout, still buried in snow with more falling everyday still!
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Old 02-28-2017, 09:42 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Overhead mpg readout is usually off by a percentage. Say, 11%. Mine is high by .75/mpg 55-60/mph. I use it to check effects of external factors on fuel mileage.

Yours being so far off makes me think a tuner has been present. MADs Smarty JR is the best recommendation on that. I'm generally not in favor of them, but this one will allow stock programming to be run among other options. Read up over on CF. I would not allow dealer to reflash.

Injectors (with associated expenses of feed lines) is a good deal more than $1800. $3500-5000 is more like it after everything is tallied. Read all you like about problems with remanufactured injectors. Not good at all. Failure can mean loss of engine. Brand new only. And then only from particular sources. On CF, read posts by Steelhead01, Cerberusiam, PWong and AH64ID (actually, for any and all tech questions). Best step now is extra fuel filtration. Nice kits available. Glacier Diesel and others. See thread by AH64ID. Baldwin brand only in OEM position.

I wouldn't assume injectors are a problem without some evidence. You've so far not mentioned smoking at startup or other warning signs.

No, bad FE can have other sources. The classic ones are wrong tires, lift kit, CAC leaks, alignment, steering, brake caliper drag and fuel or air filtration. And climate plus terrain.

Missoula, MT is cold. And not flat. 13-mpg town is hardly off for a truck a few years along on short trips (under 45-miles). Under 41F you need the MOPAR winter front (and to be plugging in the engine overnight no matter temps). Oil temps come up much more slowly than coolant. And coolant won't get anywhere near 187F this time of year without the WF. Not when you're empty, solo. Oil has to be up near 220F for economy.

IOW, I have yet to see anything to be disappointed about.

I've said use of CC on highway for any condition of load makes consistent test results. So, too, about both shifting and cruising in town. All at 16-1800 rpm. Lower won't produce much change in mpg results. It's easy to do which is important for steering and brake inputs. It's how to teach someone to drive one of these. Steering and braking are higher on the scale in driving one of these without wasting energy. Focus on them. Steady rpm, and when (and how) to brake, to steer, to accelerate. It simply isn't a car. Throw the undisciplined teen out of drivers seat. We all have to at some point.

Choose rpm (gear) and let speed fall where it may. 16-1800 consistently (underlined) makes all else stand out. Use it for now. You've other concerns more important. (And these trucks have no business being in OD below
45).

Have you put it on a scale yet? Put tire pressure to factory spec? The truckstops carry Howes Meaner Cleaner. Throw in a double dose (or higher). Schaeffers Diesel Treat is best everyday, but not so easy to find. The Cummins service house should have their proprietary formula. Check website first. That last is best, and coming downwards in effectiveness with the others. Add to tank first and fuel on top of it (after new filters which you can change yourself per directions. Fuel is Baldwin, and air is MOPAR.

Play in steering is my guess if temp control isn't it. And even new that truck wasn't good (2WD like mine is IFS with rack & pinion). Synergy brand components plus new steering Redhead or MOPAR box and Borgeson shaft are likely necessary. Research using these.

4WD front end / steering ("death wobble") and injectors are the big expenses on pre-2009 trucks. All else but some minor electrical is reliable.

Besides, 100 miles is too short for a test. Do a highway loop of 200 miles as outlined above. Town mpg is a percentage change and (italicized) only if operating temps are already met will that be low!

Hit one of the Pilot truckstops there. Sign up for the RV discount fuel card (see website first). Fill at the big truck pumps. This is practice For When you have your trailer Avoid Car pumps.

Go inside after pulling up and have fuel desk run transaction ahead (cash, or on card; set up more than you'll use and get balance afterwards). Buy the Howes Meaner Cleaner off shelf near fuel desk. Ask them (Scale master) how to use CAT Scale (even though you've read up at their website).

Put additive in tank and fuel. Put handle on lightest feed. May have back out nozzle some. When it pops off, stop. Do not top off as you'll do this on return also. Pull truck forward to line ahead and return to get cash change. If not, enter CAT Scale correct direction (same as entering fuel island, look for sign) and pull up to annunciator. Push button and wait for Scale master. Tell them you are private (they need name, use yours or just "Dodge") and get back into truck. Axles should be on different pads.

Leave and park when told reading done. Go to fuel desk and pay the $11.

Ease onto the Interstate and set cruise at 58/9-mph. Note rpm and use that in future. 100-miles out to a crossover you've already verified via satellite allows minimal turnaround time. No parked idling. Roll on back to same pump and refill the same way.

This is your baseline. Truck tires to 50/55-psi cold (read before leaving house). Axle weights and overall "empty" weight now known. Compare to online towing guide published weight figure.

As to fuel: You want odometer miles recorded and engine hours. With a known travel set speed and rpm, after refill you want to again record engine hours to find average speed.

Average speed matters. (As does average mpg). These numbers will be used
against loaded conditions. And in analyzing hitch setup with trailer. They are vital.

Rest easy. If it seems good it probably is. It's a working vehicle, not a commuter go kart. Differences are in costs. But the owner and operator can keep those minimal.

.
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2004.0 DODGE Ram QC/LB 2500 2WD/NV-5600 305/555 ISB. 7,940-lb. Stock. 200,000 miles/5000-hrs @ 40-mph average.
1990 35' Silver Streak TT 7,900-lb.
8-cpm solo & 11-cpm towing; 21-mpg average past 54k-miles
Sold: 1983 Silver Streak 3411

Last edited by slowmover; 02-28-2017 at 11:18 AM..
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Old 02-28-2017, 11:15 AM   #14 (permalink)
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No smoke on start and it always fires within the first second of cranking. There is some condensation shortly after startup like any other car in the cold but it goes away faster than any non-diesel I have ever had, my mail truck for comparison seems to have that condensation in the exhaust all day. I do plug it in overnight but cant plug it in at work which is ususally a 8-10 hour shift. I also have tipped the passenger mirror down and I do see some grey, black haze sometimes after shifting but it's nothing that is like a cloud you could see in the rear view. If I get on it full throttle to redline in say 4th it makes a little more grayish haze but the streets are still dusty as well.
I did get the Baldwin feul filter in a 2 pack from Amazon but was waiting to install with the guage as it goes in the bottom of the filter housing and I don't want to drink it twice.
I hope to try more of what you have said but I have been working 6 day weeks and resting Sundays so it's slow testing.
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Old 02-28-2017, 11:28 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I was still revising after posted.

Only time I see haze is full throttle onto highway (I only wind it to redline in 4th and Direct) when solo and it's been a month or so.

Shouldn't see any oil or fuel related smoke at startup. The combo is indicative of a tuner (after shifts and at start). Those, plus overhead reading being off is tuner evidence.

Do the MPG Loop. And don't sweat it otherwise. Once done and investigation about tuner plus other mechanical issues settled, you'll know where you are.
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2004.0 DODGE Ram QC/LB 2500 2WD/NV-5600 305/555 ISB. 7,940-lb. Stock. 200,000 miles/5000-hrs @ 40-mph average.
1990 35' Silver Streak TT 7,900-lb.
8-cpm solo & 11-cpm towing; 21-mpg average past 54k-miles
Sold: 1983 Silver Streak 3411
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Old 03-04-2017, 12:18 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Well I found out the problem but not the solution now that I got gauges installed. I have low boost. Hardly 1-3 psi normal driving and max possible under load only about 13-15 psi. It should go about 32 psi stock. I checked the turbo and it has no play or rubbing and spins freely. I thought the cat might be plugged so I too off the whole exhaust to test but no change except noise (there was a hole rusted in the muffler anyway so I want a new exhaust system). I will maybe try to build a boost leak tester. I don't see or hear any leaks but apparently it doesn't take much to lose boost pressure. The exhaust brake is disconnected and in the open position but I wonder if a carbon "potato" can form on the plate. I will probably pull the downpipe and look in that end. The air compressor is dead so it doesn't work anyway, I may just pull it off altogether, although is was a $1300 part so fixing it would be nice for downhill grades.

At least I got my Subaru back so I may just take it in to the shop for the experts to figure out.
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Old 03-04-2017, 01:24 PM   #17 (permalink)
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little jona - '91 Dodge D 250 first gen cummins LE
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Last 3: 24.65 mpg (US)

Little Jona airo modded - '91 Dodge RAM 3/4 TON D 250 24 AUTO
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Had the AC line rub a pinhole in the hot side IC boot. It just looked like a chafed spot on the passenger side boot. It blasted a hole in the hood insulation 1.5' above and would only make 12psi. Made 15psi after repairs but I'm 1st gen with a non wastegated H1C turbo-charger. 32 sounds high unmodded
You want MORE BOOST? Read here!
Explains there are 2 modds needed to pass the 20psi mark.
Tells you what to look for and how to undo/reverse engineer.

What are your EGTs running at cruise/ psi. Vs pulling a grade. What EGT corresponds to your 15psi?
For me its 1000f=15psi. 1050 during turbo lag aprox 1-3sec.
Depending on wether 5-600 1-3psi in the flats between Anaconda and butte.

Any one got a HX35 laying around I'm looking for a wastegated ehxsost ?
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Old 03-04-2017, 02:59 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Egt climbs like crazy at that max boost, like I said it's WOT seems like it hit almost 1200, backing off it quickly goes down to 600 or less crusing at 55-60. Any off throttle deceleration pulls the egt under 200 almost right away. I have the 2004.5 which from what I read will do over 30psi stock.
The torque app reading the MAP shows it is getting boost but it stops registering at I think 22-23 psi and you have to subtract 14 atmospheric pressure. The torque app also shows a boost number but I don't know how it gets that number. It is showing more boost than the gauge. I guess it's possible there is a problem with the new gauge but I also feel it fall flat at 2000 rpm and it does make quite a bit of black smoke at WOT.
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Old 03-07-2017, 07:43 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Well dumb me I had the fuel and boost sending units backwards. One was a 10 bar and I figured that was for boost while the 60 psi was fuel but not according to instructions. I swapped them and I can hit 29 psi boost pretty easy (now the exhaust is open so I don't want to tick off the neighbors) and fuel stays at 10 psi which would be right for a stock in tank lift pump. I also found out that this motor could run 1400 degrees stock so that 1200 isn't crazy. I don't think I will spend much time at max boost so I'm not as worried anymore.
Now the question is if there is a tune. I think I decided to get the Smarty JR. the 2004.5 is write only on the computer so the Smarty has the stock tune inside, plus it has a lower power tune that doesn't add any more fuel, just maps timing better and supposedly lowers cruising EGT a fair amount.

I ordered a muffler and resonator, a 4" air filter, and one new intercooler boot that is missing some expansion preventing rings and feels soft to me.

Feeling much better overall for sure.
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Old 03-09-2017, 03:38 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Never found anyone who could show records about mpg using Smarty, but near universal that it's the least damaging tune. Trucks with auto trans suffer reduced life of that component. Same for injectors.

If one CAC system boot is bad, they all are. Having lasted that long they're due for replacement.

MOPAR 4" paper air filter the one to have.

Glad mysteries are receding.

Exhaust brake great for 10k pound trailers. Not really otherwise. I'd still do repair.

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2004.0 DODGE Ram QC/LB 2500 2WD/NV-5600 305/555 ISB. 7,940-lb. Stock. 200,000 miles/5000-hrs @ 40-mph average.
1990 35' Silver Streak TT 7,900-lb.
8-cpm solo & 11-cpm towing; 21-mpg average past 54k-miles
Sold: 1983 Silver Streak 3411
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