DJL_57's RAM

DJL_57's RAM

This is a discussion on DJL_57's RAM within the RAM 1500 Diesel Builds forums, part of the RAM 1500 EcoDiesel Forum category; Hi all Making a placeholder thread to link to in my signature instead of cluttering up my signature with a long list of stuff. Lots ...

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    RAM Guru DJL_57's Avatar
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    DJL_57's RAM

    Hi all
    Making a placeholder thread to link to in my signature instead of cluttering up my signature with a long list of stuff.
    Lots and lots of pictures and things that I've accumulated over 2.5 years of ownership and it's time I try to wrap it all into one thread.
    As I make new posts within this thread I'll put direct links to their post into this first post so they're at the top.
    Cheers

    Might as well start with my pics from delivery day 10/07/2015:

    A few days later, added my usual cheapo tailgate anti-theft (even though these are locking):


    Apparently I need to figure out an image hosting service...doing this as attachments will get really annoying to y'all...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DJL_57's RAM-20151017_163509.jpg   DJL_57's RAM-20151007_175909.jpg   DJL_57's RAM-20151007_202951.jpg  
    Last edited by DJL_57; 04-01-2018 at 02:49 PM.
    2015 RAM 1500 3.0L EcoDiesel/8HP70 4x4. QC 6'4' 140" WB. Factory options: Protection Group, Exterior Appearance Group, Trailer Tow Mirror and Brake Control Group, Popular Equipment Group, 3.92, Anti-Spin, UConnect 5.0, ParkView
    List of mods - DJL_57'S RAM

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    RAM Guru DJL_57's Avatar
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    So because some immature people don't know how to leave the forum gracefully, I can no longer edit older posts. So instead of being able to add links to my first post for quick reference, I just have to let people sift through this thread for things. Thanks for ruining things for everyone!!

    Anyway, slowly organizing my photos...
    I don't like advertising for a dealer without getting paid for it, so one of the next things I did was license plate frames.
    I used a rubber license plate frame to the front. These are cool because they're black and nondescript, not flashy at all...but also add an ounce of protection for the slim chance your truck and another car with painted bumpers might ever contact each other.
    Sounds like no big deal but the one I used was such a perfect fit, I remember being impressed with how it turned out.
    I had a different one on my other vehicle (flexyframe) but it fits sloppy so I tried this one instead:
    BumperArmor Standard Edition
    https://www.amazon.com/BumperArmor-S...se+plate+frame
    This thing was almost like it was made for our trucks. It has a rib on the backside that perfectly sits inside the flat recess on our front plastic mount.
    However, because this one fully encloses the plate, the retention tabs on the bottom of the stock holder will no longer work (and get in the way of it sitting flush inside the flat area). After lots of consideration, I Dremeled out the retention tabs on the stock holder as shown below.
    Because the lower retention tabs are now deleted, the bottom of the plate needs to be secured. But once the mount is on the bumper, there's no longer access to the backside to add a nut for the lower holes.
    Solution: added 2 1/4"-20 rivnuts to correspond with the lower holes on the plate:


    Then I used 2 coarse stainless wood screws to replace the 2 stock steel ones on the top, and 2 1/4"-20 stainless machine screws for the bottom bolts. Can't tell at all that there's 2 different kinds of screws. The order of install was, add 2 steel stock screws to the recessed holes in the holder to secure it to the bumper, then add the 4 stainless screws through the plate. The top ones also secure the holder to the bumper (coarse wood screw) and the bottom ones only secure the plate to the holder.



    The rear one was even cooler. Also added an OEM badge to the tailgate. The Tradesman doesn't have a logo here like other trucks, so it helped add something to the left side to balance out the "4x4" on the right. They're about the same size, so it was easy to carefully measure and stick it on there to look even. Anytime I see a Tradesman 4x4 now, it looks totally awkward to me compared to how it should have looked from the factory:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1



    Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk
    Last edited by DJL_57; 04-21-2018 at 11:46 AM.
    2015 RAM 1500 3.0L EcoDiesel/8HP70 4x4. QC 6'4' 140" WB. Factory options: Protection Group, Exterior Appearance Group, Trailer Tow Mirror and Brake Control Group, Popular Equipment Group, 3.92, Anti-Spin, UConnect 5.0, ParkView
    List of mods - DJL_57'S RAM

  3. #3
    RAM Guru DJL_57's Avatar
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    Added weathertech mats. Never had these before but always wanted some. Had some coupon codes with jet.com when they were first kicking off so got these for a great price. Went with over the hump model for front.
    They're awesome. The front ones needed trimming slightly at the center area (weird). Only issue is the front ones are difficult to remove because they're so bulky.
    The rear ones fit well too but are about half the thickness. I contacted weathertech to ask if I got a defect and they said this is normal.

    Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk
    2015 RAM 1500 3.0L EcoDiesel/8HP70 4x4. QC 6'4' 140" WB. Factory options: Protection Group, Exterior Appearance Group, Trailer Tow Mirror and Brake Control Group, Popular Equipment Group, 3.92, Anti-Spin, UConnect 5.0, ParkView
    List of mods - DJL_57'S RAM

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  5. #4
    RAM Guru DJL_57's Avatar
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    Sometime shortly after new, I added a Dee Zee bed mat and the tailgate shock. The tailgate shock was an awesome toy, so much that several other people that let my tailgate down ended up getting one for their trucks (my dad and brother now too). Easy install. The plastic cable bushing on mine broke when I was installing it, so I slit a piece of rubber hose and used 3 zip ties instead. A few months later I took that off, I've never had an issue with the cable going where it's not supposed to and getting stuck.
    The bed mat was just because the stock spray liner isn't all that thick, so it adds a decent bit of protection for the most abused part of the bed - the bottom. It makes sweeping out easy, and is heavy as hell. It's great for dropping heavy things in the back.

    I also added AVS VentVisors and a hood deflector. My family never used to modify things but when my dad bought a used truck about 10 years ago, it had these things and so we all kind of got used to them and started adding them to other vehicles.
    The hood deflector doesn't do much for bugs but I mainly like it for protection it gives to the leading edge of the hood from rocks and road debris. The little bit of accent it adds to the front end is cool (with the black Tradesman bumper cap and grille), and I've always found this helps with tight maneuvering because it helps you know how close your front bumper is to something...with the aggressively sloped hood on the Ram, it helps a lot.
    Here it is next to a former coworkers sweet R/T truck on a 4/2 level.


    The vent visors work quite well for being able to keep the window down a bit in inclement weather (except highway speeds) and help vent it in the summer. The in-channel ones don't stick to the paint (those are fugly) and don't interfere with the window if installed correctly. They made a noticeable amount of wind noise on this truck though, maybe because it's so much quieter than other trucks I've had?

    Yeah, there's a tonneau cover, I'll address that in my next post...

    Oh, yeah in that pic above, there's something else...
    I also wanted to secure my fuel. Because, well, we don't punish criminals here in California like we should, so you have to secure everything. There were no locking gas caps for this truck at the time (Geno's does now), but even then, someone could still sabotage your DEF tank. Only solution was a locking fuel door. AMI makes them, they're typically about $100. The cheap Chinese knockoffs are exactly that, CHEAP, and I don't trust them for only being $50 less. That said, I didn't want to pay $100 for locking up my fuel. So I scored the Ebay deal of the century when someone had an AMI 6047KL (6047=Ram platform, K=black textured, L=locking) with an open package and it said "missing screw." A closer look revealed the screw was still in the package but the hole in the aluminum was stripped. I risked it and bought it for a whopping $23.16. An overnight job of JB Weld with the screw, and it worked flawless. As you can see above, the textured black fits in pretty well with the Tradesman's textured black door handles and front bumper cap.
    For anyone worried about it, these are really a no-drill installation, and it was very easy if I recall.

    As a note, the factory fuel door has a seal on it to protect the capless fuel system from debris. You MUST add a cap to the fuel filler if you're doing an aftermarket door! I originally bought the Mopar one before I did the fuel door, and it has a tether that attaches to an existing hole in the stock door hinge. I was able to reuse it with the AMI door. It has to be rotated slightly (the tab at about the 7-8 o'clock position, see pic) for the door to close properly. The AMI has two recesses drilled into the back of the door, just enough for the tether to still attach. It loops over the latch when filling and never gets in the way.




    Some cheap seat covers from Costco. These have since been replaced as of very recently, but they sure worked excellent for the sweet low price of less than $20 and the color scheme was pretty perfect for the Ram black/diesel gray.
    The neoprene made it real easy to "slide" in and out of the seat. But, that also meant while driving around too.
    When I took these seat covers off recently, the seats were spotless!


    I hated my arm sticking to the leather once the weather in Fresno warmed up. A cheap solution was this cover on Amazon.
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UNNN4ES...ing=UTF8&psc=1
    I bought the "dark gray" and it was a bit darker than the truck but I'm sure it hid grime better than the light gray would have. Just a shout out to this cheap cover because it was well-made and kept my arm from sticking to the leather. Plus, the handwritten note in the package was a nice touch:


    Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk
    Last edited by DJL_57; 04-22-2018 at 04:17 PM.
    2015 RAM 1500 3.0L EcoDiesel/8HP70 4x4. QC 6'4' 140" WB. Factory options: Protection Group, Exterior Appearance Group, Trailer Tow Mirror and Brake Control Group, Popular Equipment Group, 3.92, Anti-Spin, UConnect 5.0, ParkView
    List of mods - DJL_57'S RAM

  6. #5
    RAM Guru DJL_57's Avatar
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    I've been through 3 tonneau covers in about 2 years...
    Links to tonneau pics and details that I posted in the "Best Tonneau Cover? Experiences welcome!" thread in the accessories section.
    Enjoy!
    Undercover Flex FX31004
    Bak Revolver X2 39213
    Truck Covers USA American Work Cover CRT303

    On a related note, the Bull Ring anchors I installed early on have worked with all 3 covers. I purchased 2 sets of p/n 4066 and installed them without the special bits that are included in the 4067 kit.
    It was a little difficult but I made it work, and touched up the paint inside the stake pockets as needed. Just follow the directions and DON'T cut out the front ones on the factory outline and all will be good.
    If I had to do it over again, I would have used a fresh utility knife and done it in warmer weather. I used a utility knife to install some standard Bull Ring tie downs (not low-profile) to my brother's truck last fall, and it was really easy and turned out better. Shoot, I should have grabbed a pic of those as they turned out really good.
    Last edited by DJL_57; 04-22-2018 at 09:16 PM.
    2015 RAM 1500 3.0L EcoDiesel/8HP70 4x4. QC 6'4' 140" WB. Factory options: Protection Group, Exterior Appearance Group, Trailer Tow Mirror and Brake Control Group, Popular Equipment Group, 3.92, Anti-Spin, UConnect 5.0, ParkView
    List of mods - DJL_57'S RAM

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    RAM Guru DJL_57's Avatar
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    Wheels and tires, etc.

    I knew I'd be adding some bigger tires to the truck when I bought it, #1 reason why I searched far and wide for a 3.92.
    I wanted 20s because these trucks looked better with them and some oversize tires due to the large wheelwells, but decided to stick with the Tradesman and figure it out later.
    I like the stock wheels because it's easy to find a replacement in the future if something should happen.
    I wanted the wider 20x9 but wanted to stay away from any factory plastic-clad ones. That leaves only the 20x9 forged wheels from a Longhorn/Limited, or the 20x9 Sport wheels.
    Good luck finding the forged wheels for a reasonable price.
    Shortly after I started looking for some, I found a set locally (craigslist strikes again) with some 15k miles used tires. Score!


    I had my tire guys swap sensors over to some new stems and mount/balance them up.
    Not a bad deal in the long run. They gave the truck a slightly wider stance and it looked great for a while.




    Of course, I changed my mind about these last year once I started pricing out 34" to 35" LT-rated all-terrains, when I found out they were going to cost me about 1.5 times as much compared to the same tire in a 17". Nuts! Plus I found out the cast 20x9 are some of the heaviest stock wheel options.
    I still had my stock 17s in the shop, but I wanted a bigger tire and didn't want to have the center of the tire bulging out by having too narrow of a wheel.
    Plus, any of the stock wheels prevent any sort of snow chains/devices from being used in crappy weather, the inner sidewall clearance on the front spindle and the rear brake line is ridiculous...

    I went off to find some aftermarket wheels (yeah, against my original idea of "easy replacement") and settled on some Method Standards in 17x8.5 in a 0 offset. For those of you like me that had to research wheel offset to understand it, Basically the stock 17s had a +1" (+25.4mm) offset meaning the centerline of the wheel was behind the wheel mating surface 1" (it's tucked into the wheelwell).
    The stock 20x9 had a +3/4" offset (+19.05mm) meaning the centerline of the wheel stuck out 1/4" more.
    0 offset means the centerline sticks out 3/4" more than that.
    I wish I could have gotten 18", but they were only available in a +18mm (almost stock) or -12mm (obnoxiously sticking out) offsets.
    Tired of the blackout look, so got the diamond polished. Ended up buying them on a 15% off sale in March 2017 at 4WP, then going back a few months later within the 90 days and getting a price-match refund when they had them 20% off. Sweet!
    These sat in my game room for several months, along with the suspension parts, while I burned up the stock 20" tires, until one of them sprung a leak on Black Friday...so my installation timeframe was now greatly accelerated while i drove on a spare.

    Here's some pics and details on the wheels and tires I picked out, and the suspension to make them fit:
    Cooper Discoverer A/T3
    Suspension bits are on

    I cleaned up the 20" set and put them on craigslist with the very obvious disclaimer that one of the tires was bad and I was basically selling the rims, with some rollers.
    In true cheap-ass fashion, I bought them for $700 originally, got about 18 months and 13k miles of use out of them, and sold them for $650. Pretty smart dealing once again.
    Last edited by DJL_57; 04-23-2018 at 07:47 AM.
    2015 RAM 1500 3.0L EcoDiesel/8HP70 4x4. QC 6'4' 140" WB. Factory options: Protection Group, Exterior Appearance Group, Trailer Tow Mirror and Brake Control Group, Popular Equipment Group, 3.92, Anti-Spin, UConnect 5.0, ParkView
    List of mods - DJL_57'S RAM

  8. #7
    RAM Guru DJL_57's Avatar
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    Some other little things I've added of note, but not many details to share:
    MOPAR 68052292AA cabin filter door. I'm still puzzled why the plenum was designed for it, but it was left out.

    MOPAR 82214241AB power steering skid plate. Just like above, I'm puzzled why the factory "protection group" included tow hooks, a transfer case skid plate, and a skid plate that only protected half of the stuff in the front, but this one was left out. At least it's added now.

    Picked up some OEM wheel-to-wheel steps for the QC/140" wheelbase. Another craigslist road trip! Local dealer had the hardware kit in stock and quoted me a fairly reasonable price, so it was a quick and easy install. I just preferred the OEM for the simplicity and definitely wanted the extra step behind the cab. It was worth the drive - got great economy that day running down to Southern CA to pick up my Highway Products toolbox (off craigslist, of course), and then back north to Gilroy, CA to pick up the boards, then back to Fresno. Got over 27 on the tank and boosted my average to over 25...not bad for a 6000lb 4x4 on 20s.

    Bought another Andersen Hitch. I say "another" because about 12 years ago, my brother and I bought one of these for my dad. It cost over $300 with the dual locking pins. We have all used the hell out of it compared to our other hitches, it's so handy to have an adjustable hitch. When you take $300 into 12 years, that's a pretty good investment. So when I found out I could get another one, with the plastic-coated aluminum ball and the "new" design locking pins for less than that 12 years later (because inflation is a real thing), it was a no-brainer to get myself a set of balls too. Let's see if any of you figure out the innuendo in this pic:


    One day I discovered I needed something to hold me over until I could figure out the rear air bags…

    that’s approximately 15 4x8 3/4" sheets of particle board. Rough ride on the stock foam blocks, that’s for sure. I found a set of Timbren DR1500DQ from another user on here and they are still working out well for me until I get some bags in the back.

    Bought the Edge CTS2, pillar pod, and the EAS power switch kit. Love the Edge, it prevented me from shutting down in the middle of a regen multiple times. The pillar pod fits "just OK" I expected a lot better for such an expensive piece of plastic. I specifically got this over a Scangauge or Ultragauge because the switch kit will prevent me from drilling holes elsewhere in the dash, and I will use the monitor to add an additional backup camera to my trailers, plus it will change my speedometer for tire size - something I finally adjusted yesterday and proved it works. I haven't hooked up the switch kit yet but I'm sure it will be awesome.






    More recently picked up a simple 3x18" intake tube from ebay, it was already matte black powdercoated and had 2 rolled ends for boot retention. It went on super easy and the matte black is not flashy at all. It's nice to have a little feedback from the engine that you can hear over the air conditioner for a change.
    Last edited by DJL_57; 04-23-2018 at 07:32 PM.
    2015 RAM 1500 3.0L EcoDiesel/8HP70 4x4. QC 6'4' 140" WB. Factory options: Protection Group, Exterior Appearance Group, Trailer Tow Mirror and Brake Control Group, Popular Equipment Group, 3.92, Anti-Spin, UConnect 5.0, ParkView
    List of mods - DJL_57'S RAM

  9. #8
    RAM Guru DJL_57's Avatar
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    Window tint:
    I used 3M Color Stable because I've had great results with it on my other vehicles. Lifetime warranty against fading, discoloring, any defects, and the labor to install too.

    Rear doors stock privacy glass metered at 26%, yet the rear window metered at 21% (lighter). WTF RAM?
    I put CS50 (actual VLT 52%) on the rear doors, and CS35 (actual VLT 39%) on the back window to darken it more than the doors. It brought them both to about 10% VLT.
    I chose to stick with my usual preference of 35% on the front doors.
    I went above and beyond though and had them do the full windshield in 50% (I kind of regret not doing 50% on the doors because the 35 looks dark now because of the windshield). I've never had a tinted windshield before and all I can say is WOW, I've been missing out. My eyes are extremely sensitive to light, so I sometimes wear sunglasses at night. Because in California we have inconsiderate jerks who think its "cool" to put HID/LED retrofits into halogen beam reflectors, and I can't see jack sh!t when they're driving towards me. Or, oblivious people that drive with their high beams on and are completely oblivious to me reminding them to shut them off as I flash mine back. Or, dumbasses with one low beam out, so they drive with their highs on to avoid a ticket. This cuts all that nonsense out!
    Additionally, because RAM puts no factory sun fade on the top of the windshield, its unbearable in sunrise/sunset conditions. They added a 5% strip layered over the 50% on the windshield. I can actually drive in comfort at all hours, the dashboard never gets hot anymore, and the inside stays so cool in the summertime.

    Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk
    Last edited by DJL_57; 04-23-2018 at 01:07 AM.
    2015 RAM 1500 3.0L EcoDiesel/8HP70 4x4. QC 6'4' 140" WB. Factory options: Protection Group, Exterior Appearance Group, Trailer Tow Mirror and Brake Control Group, Popular Equipment Group, 3.92, Anti-Spin, UConnect 5.0, ParkView
    List of mods - DJL_57'S RAM

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    RAM Guru DJL_57's Avatar
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    Tangent here:
    My dad got a new truck in October 2016 and parked it in my driveway:

    Pretty much same options as mine but in a 2500 with a "real" diesel engine.
    His stock wheels were some crappy chrome-clad steelies.
    In true cheap-ass fashion, I found a set of stock wheels on CRAIGSLIST for him. They are the forged wheel option from a 2015 Big Horn HD.
    Bought them for some ridiculous price I don't even remember, bought a set of OEM stainless lug nuts from yet another craigslist seller, had our tire shop swap everything over, and somehow managed to sell the stock steel wheels, caps, and nuts for enough money that I think he paid about $100 NET for the upgrade.
    If I recall correctly, I think the forged ones weighed about 22lbs each, versus the steelies at 40lbs each.


    Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk
    TwoBobs likes this.
    2015 RAM 1500 3.0L EcoDiesel/8HP70 4x4. QC 6'4' 140" WB. Factory options: Protection Group, Exterior Appearance Group, Trailer Tow Mirror and Brake Control Group, Popular Equipment Group, 3.92, Anti-Spin, UConnect 5.0, ParkView
    List of mods - DJL_57'S RAM

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    RAM Guru DJL_57's Avatar
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    I wanted to ditch the useless muffler and rear resonator, since they do literally nothing on this truck but look bulky and weigh more than they should. The tail section is just a carryover from the Hemi/Pentastar trucks and doesn't do anything for the Ecodiesel, all the sound is trapped by the DPF/SCR systems.
    I knew going into it that it wouldn't change the sound based on multiple reviews on here.

    Had my local muffler guy quote me approx. $150 to replace the full tail section with a piece of 3" steel pipe (instead of just splicing in 2 straight sections). A tip would bring it somewhere less than $200 if I wanted it.
    At the time (Summer 2016), MBRP was offering a rebate on their exhausts. $25 off the aluminized steel "installer" series kits (such as S6169AL) or $50 off the 409 stainless "XP" series (such as S6169409).
    With a sale price and coupon code I had online, the mail-in rebate made it cheaper to but the steel one myself, and about the same net price to get stainless as it would have cost me locally.
    The stainless has a lifetime warranty, versus the 3-year on the steel.
    Plus, our whole exhaust system is stainless from the turbo up to the tailsection, it wouldn't make sense to put regular steel on it after that.
    I purchased the 409SS kit after I contacted MBRP ahead of time, and was told that the included tip didn't have to be installed. They stated the pipe was long enough to go without and the tip was purely cosmetic.
    Good, because I didn't want to use the included tip (p/n T5112), it was way too flashy for my taste, with a big obnoxious company logo stamped into it. It looks quite ridiculous.

    Turns out, they were wrong. The pipe was way too short to be used without the tip.


    The final bend in the pipe was an odd angle, making the end of the pipe tilt upwards. It allowed water to collect near the final bend of the pipe instead of flowing out.


    Because the tip had to be installed, this upward bend makes the tip (which gets really hot) really close to the plastic trim on the bed.


    To top it off, the included tip would not fit no matter what I did. If I put it on with a few inches of pipe inside it, it wouldn't clamp down far enough at all, even with the bolt fully tightened down and distorting the metal.


    It was able to wiggle around and actually rotate by hand. The pipe was bent using a traditional press, not a mandrel, so the inside radius had that telltale kink in it which made the pipe less than 3.5" and the tip not fit.


    Putting the tip near the very end of the pipe (where it was a full 3.5") made it tighten down more, but it was still loose, and now it stuck out and looked ridiculous.


    I sent this explanation to MBRP...they said the upward bend was normal (WTF?) and the short pipe was normal (even though I was told otherwise previously).

    The included tip was a 3.5"x4" 12" long single-wall tip (T5112). I mentioned to them that they also sold a 3.5"x4" 10" long dual-wall tip (T5110) and perhaps it would work better since I could put it on the end of the pipe and it would stick out 2" less. They offered to send me a T5110 as a warranty concern (didn't need to return the original).

    Its dual-wall design only allows it to be slid on a certain amount, I put it on and it tightened down perfectly secure, like it should have, and doesn't stick out.


    The logo on the shorter tip is much less obnoxious too.


    Quite frankly, their kit should have included this tip from the get-go. Sure made it look better!!


    You can see above, the few days of driving turned the stainless steel a nice golden color. A few days after that, I pulled our 21' pontoon to to the lake (11 miles of 7% grade in 100F ambient) and it's been a deep purple ever since.



    End results?
    With the rebate cash-back and shopping wisely online, I spent less than $200 for a good stainless steel pipe.

    The kit was very easy to install. I got home after 11pm one night from watching a local baseball game, had a few beers, and decided I could get it done. I think all my tools were cleaned and put away, and I was showered and sawing logs by 1am.

    Because I have the 140" wheelbase, and the kit is designed for 149" wheelbase trucks, I only had to cut one piece of pipe. All I had was a reciprocating saw. I felt sorry for my neighbors that night.

    I remember weighing the stock system and this one the night I installed it. The weight difference was about 35-40lbs.

    And NO, it didn't make the truck louder at all, but "different" is the best way to describe it. Can tell when it's warmed up and going through a regen when you come to a stop. Some tonal difference throughout. I didn't expect it to be louder so I wasn't disappointed.
    Last edited by DJL_57; 04-23-2018 at 08:11 PM.
    2015 RAM 1500 3.0L EcoDiesel/8HP70 4x4. QC 6'4' 140" WB. Factory options: Protection Group, Exterior Appearance Group, Trailer Tow Mirror and Brake Control Group, Popular Equipment Group, 3.92, Anti-Spin, UConnect 5.0, ParkView
    List of mods - DJL_57'S RAM

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