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2021 Ram Eco Diesel Laramie Crew Cab 4x4
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I did my first big tow in the heat and she ran a little hot. It was low 90’s up the grades to Payson, Az. It’s the same 2 grades that would heat up my 18 eco boost coolant to as high as 248. My new truck peaked one of the grades at 240 coolant and 270 oil. This showed 3/4 on my needles so it wasn’t maxed out. My eco boost was close to maxed out and just shy of power down mode. Nice part was my Ram trans only hit 188. So no worries there. The f150’s trans would follow the engine temps eventually since it was ran off the same radiator for cooling. The downfall to that system.

This is obviously higher than I would like to see but it really only hit these temps for a short amount of time towards the top of the hills. My eco boost hit these temps much quicker than this truck. One other mention is my truck sucked down the def fluid like no other through this run that’s maybe a 70 mile run is all at that point. I was a little under a half tank. At my arrival I was surprised to only be around an 1/8 tank and buying a box of def. Averaged 9.8 mpg on the way up and 13.5 on the way back to give you an idea of the terrain in each direction.

No issues on the way back but temps were only 80’s on the evening drive back. My eco boost would heat up on the return grades as well so the Ram fully beat it there only hitting mid 220’s on the grades back. Overall I was pleased with the power and feel of the truck towing. It only felt sluggish when I was peeking my temps towards the top. I’m sure it was pulling power then, so I wasn’t surprised. No dummy lites, just the 500 miles def warning at the top of one grade.

What do the eco diesel experts think of this? Can I do better? In the middle of summer this drive will be in the low 100’s. So more heat to be stow. I’m towing at around 50-55mph through the worst part of the grades. 30’ Travel Trailer sitting around 7700#. The next tow I’ll try to drop a little speed with the extra heat. It’s a curvy grade through some of this. So no place to race through. I just try to distance myself enough from sketchy trailer drifters. Usually someone renting a travel trailer to dodge on this drive.
 

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Good write up. I don't yet know the derate temps for coolant and oil on the Gen 5 trucks. Green Diesel filled us in last time. Hopefully they share their test findings again when they release the tune for the Gen 5 Ecodiesels which I believe will be this summer. With the 4th gen it starts derate after 244 coolant and 266 oil. With that truck I limit sustained rpms to 3k let speed fall to what it will and it never makes derate. Sometimes I will hold it flat on the floor to maintain 50 mph if I know I can get to the top before derate. That is admittedly running it hard. Perhaps in part why both my engines failed from coolant issues IE a head gasket and a cracked head at 371k & 423K respectively. Jame's truck also cooling issues at 452k.

I've taken Airstreams from Holbrook through Payson to Scottsdale many times. Heaviest I've taken through there probably 6,800. My truck benefits from a tune (love the turbo brake) the 3.92 and Tradesman grill which I don't even know if the grill will be a thing with the gen 5 trucks. Ram finally relocated the intercooler away from in front of the grill so they don't have the cooling issues the old truck had. Same radiator just now it gets fresh airflow. Do keep us posted of your findings as you rack up some summer tows.
 

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Good write up. I don't yet know the derate temps for coolant and oil on the Gen 5 trucks. Green Diesel filled us in last time. Hopefully they share their test findings again when they release the tune for the Gen 5 Ecodiesels which I believe will be this summer. With the 4th gen it starts derate after 244 coolant and 266 oil. With that truck I limit sustained rpms to 3k let speed fall to what it will and it never makes derate. Sometimes I will hold it flat on the floor to maintain 50 mph if I know I can get to the top before derate. That is admittedly running it hard. Perhaps in part why both my engines failed from coolant issues IE a head gasket and a cracked head respectively at 371k & 423K respectively. Jame's truck also cooling issues at 452k.

I've taken Airstreams from Holbrook through Payson to Scottsdale many times. Heaviest I've taken through there probably 6,800. My truck benefits from a tune (love the turbo brake) the 3.92 and Tradesman grill which I don't even know if the grill will be a thing with the gen 5 trucks. Ram finally relocated the intercooler away from in front of the grill so they don't have the cooling issues the old truck had. Same radiator just now it gets fresh airflow. Due keep us posted of your findings as you rack up some summer tows.
Vern ur second engine failed?
 

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Well it was losing coolant and was found to have a cracked head.

 

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Do you still have the engine cover and factory equipped sound deadeners / heat foam installed on the top of the engine and fuel pump? I’ve taken mine off and will be making a trip to Florida in July and will be curious to see the difference. Running around town and after relatively flat hauls I see the temps plateauing quicker than with them installed.
 

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Ecodiesels seem to tolerate heat quite well. You might try Blackstone Labs to test the oil at next change. My 2017 has always shown excellent results with 10,000 mile changes. I'm old school, started driving in the 1960's and if anyone told me that I'd be driving a 6300 lb Dodge PU and towing a 10,000 lb trailer with a 3L or 180 cubic inch motor....... But you are right, it tows great!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Good write up. I don't yet know the derate temps for coolant and oil on the Gen 5 trucks. Green Diesel filled us in last time. Hopefully they share their test findings again when they release the tune for the Gen 5 Ecodiesels which I believe will be this summer. With the 4th gen it starts derate after 244 coolant and 266 oil. With that truck I limit sustained rpms to 3k let speed fall to what it will and it never makes derate. Sometimes I will hold it flat on the floor to maintain 50 mph if I know I can get to the top before derate. That is admittedly running it hard. Perhaps in part why both my engines failed from coolant issues IE a head gasket and a cracked head at 371k & 423K respectively. Jame's truck also cooling issues at 452k.

I've taken Airstreams from Holbrook through Payson to Scottsdale many times. Heaviest I've taken through there probably 6,800. My truck benefits from a tune (love the turbo brake) the 3.92 and Tradesman grill which I don't even know if the grill will be a thing with the gen 5 trucks. Ram finally relocated the intercooler away from in front of the grill so they don't have the cooling issues the old truck had. Same radiator just now it gets fresh airflow. Due keep us posted of your findings as you rack up some summer tows.
Thanks Vern! It’s funny you say 50 holding it on the floor because that’s where it was on the-worst grade. 50 and on the floor. I was initially at around 3/4 and checked to see if there was anything else there but there wasn’t. Just the floor... yea it will be nice to see what GDE discovers in their testing. It seems like a pretty stout little set up despite stressing it in its upper limits.

I would like to see something that can help just a little extra with cooling in these situations but these newer trucks are complicated. If we could take just 5-10 degrees of oil cooling off the top right away we might be golden. With the oil getting as hot as it does in the upper limits the coolant seems to be holding pretty good. Where’s the southwest cooling package? A better oil cooler or a button for an auxiliary fan to kick on for the mountains. I’ll let Ram test it on my truck. Better yet have them test it on your truck Vern. I’ll never do the miles you do.

I guess with your guys track record a good 400k plus isn’t so bad for a small displacement diesel working hard most it’s life. Did you just drop a new factory engine in both times? I wander if you popped some new heads on around 350k if it would stay together another 350.

I have the ORP with 3.92’s but slightly larger tires than what would come on a rebel. The ridge grapplers did get us out of a hairy camping spot that was not meant for a trailer. I used it to turn around because the trail was getting questionable as far as we had went. The front tires were sliding as I backed down the hill and I could only get the trailer so far back before the spot dropped down into a wash. So I put it in 4x4 and let her eat... and she ate well. My wife was like I’m surprised you didn’t have me video this. She always has great ideas after the fact.

Anyways, I will definitely update you guys on the next hot hilled runs. Maybe I’ll figure out a miracle cure for these hot temps. I’ll do some spelunking. There’s got to be a way to shave just a little off the top.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Do you still have the engine cover and factory equipped sound deadeners / heat foam installed on the top of the engine and fuel pump? I’ve taken mine off and will be making a trip to Florida in July and will be curious to see the difference. Running around town and after relatively flat hauls I see the temps plateauing quicker than with them installed.
Well that’s good hear. I haven’t tried any of this yet but I will play with this and see. Thanks!
 

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Yes I dropped a new factory engine in both times now. I suspect the last motor would have went another 350k had I put new heads on at 350k. The “holds the line” at 50 mph doesn’t surprise me my tuned 4th gen at about 268HP/465TQ vs stock 5th gen 260HP/480TQ is very similar & both having 3.92.

It’s often a climb where semi are in the first lane going 25 mph I’m going 50 mph in the middle lane & hot rod cars in the hammer lane are going 75.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Nice. Very close numbers indeed. Hopefully Ram gives you a descent price on those engines (they should) for showing people that the little diesel can go the distance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
UPDATE on the 2nd tow!

So I managed to squeak out a second trip during the Phoenix heat wave. Around town on the record 118 degree day up and down the rolling east valley highway she sat around 224 coolant, 242 oil and 186 trans. We left the following day and It was around 106-108 during my trip through the mountains. Brings you up to 5000 ft elevation in these temps. Then on the next leg the temps drop a little on the final ascent to 7500 ft. Still was high 90’s on those grades with the lovely heat wave.

On this second voyage I managed to keep my peak temps slightly cooler even in this hotter weather. I did slow down a bit trying not to push it. Usually between 50-55 on the grades but did drop down to 47 on the very end of the worst grade to keep temps in check. This grade consumed a nice looking Duramax that was abandoned 3/4 of the way up with a fifth wheel. Probably blew up from racing me last trip with trailers on at stop lights 😉

Speed limit is 55 on these grades. I peaked 237 coolant and 264 oil. During the rolling hills before the big grades it peaked 231 and 258 @60-65 mph. A 6 degree gain towards the top of the big mountains doesn’t seem too bad in about the harshest conditions we see. These temps were holding pretty strong, didn’t feel like it was going to run away if the grade didn’t end. Plus they drop quickly once you peak the grade. Overall I feel better about what this truck can do now that I see it’s limits. I’d still like to figure a way to drop overall temps so it doesn’t run as hot in either scenario.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
What’s going to shave some heat? I would like to see10 degrees cooler on both coolant and oil temp but I’d be fine with any improvement. I’m skeptical of playing around with the foam under the top hat. Since it seems only speculative that this is only for sound deadening. We can assume that is it’s only intention but I’d be more convinced if we had legitimate confirmation. My Laramie grille doesn’t look too constricted but If I can find something better looking with more flow I’ll be on it.

Larger oil pan with cooling fins? The trans has fins, why not the fluid that can reach up to 270 degrees? Wish they wouldn’t have went so drastic taking 20% of the oil capacity out from previous gen. Is there room for improvement on the radiator? It would be nice to just replace one main component that would solve it all. Not sure the eco will get enough love for an upgraded radiator though. It does seem to be drawing more attention this time around. I know someone testing an egr cooler for this gen. So we have that going. He seems to really like the little eco. So maybe we will see some more parts if the master of egr coolers digs deeper. I’d like to get his opinion on these temps and what might help after they play with it some more.
 

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What’s going to shave some heat?
I have a huge oil cooler on my 2nd Gen and really believe that's the route to go. 20-30º temp drops on oil, and coolant temp is down as it's no longer heat-soaked by the oil. Increase in oil capacity is a benefit as well, both in cooling and oil longevity.

Larger radiator is a bandaid with only marginal results. You still have limited air flow over the coolant stack, and nothing is done to help cool the oil that is squirted at the bottom of the pistons to scavenge heat.

The 2nd Gen Laramie grille doesn't flow too well, so I swapped in a Longhorn grille to stick with chrome and get more air.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
This just dropped today. Sounds like 1500 do have a tougher time towing.
Wow! Doesn’t seem like they fixed the cooling in the new gen f150. That was only 80 degrees out and most of my towing is in the 100’s. Exactly why I didn’t keep my 18 f150. Many had a couple grand into them trying to combat the heat without amazing results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have a huge oil cooler on my 2nd Gen and really believe that's the route to go. 20-30º temp drops on oil, and coolant temp is down as it's no longer heat-soaked by the oil. Increase in oil capacity is a benefit as well, both in cooling and oil longevity.

Larger radiator is a bandaid with only marginal results. You still have limited air flow over the coolant stack, and nothing is done to help cool the oil that is squirted at the bottom of the pistons to scavenge heat.

The 2nd Gen Laramie grille doesn't flow too well, so I swapped in a Longhorn grille to stick with chrome and get more air.
Nice! Not a bad way to do it. What does your oil/coolant run loaded and unloaded? I still wouldn’t mind trying the radiator route on the 3rd gen if there was something viable and reliable. That with a better grille might get it down enough for me while under warranty. I’m not looking for huge drops necessarily. If I get around 10 degrees across the board I’d be golden. I need to talk with my dealer to see what they think as far as warranty goes for now. They have lots of modified trucks come through. Like the 1300hp trx that was in front of me. I think the oil cooling method would be great, but could it open up a bag if I had engine failure?
 

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I think the oil cooling method would be great, but could it open up a bag if I had engine failure?
Depends on your service writer or service manager. I've had a few warranty items covered while tuned, AGS deleted, oil cooler installed, and catch can. Never a word. But, they weren't engine failures either. They did recently warranty my DPF.

I'm at 135k miles. Engine oil is down around 30º across the board, coolant down 10-20º. Base operating temp of my oil is 167º due to the 180º oil thermostat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
That is good to hear. It’s a big dealer here so who knows what you’re going to get. They usually are so busy they’re just trying to get things through. So I should be alright.

Whats interesting in this video is the Hemi was at 275 oil and low 220 coolant. A 50 degree plus spread. I’m usually a 20-30 spread when towing. Coolant was fine But that oil was piping! That was at the top of the Ike though at high RPM.

What’s the highest temps you see now?
 

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I had intended to take the truck to Florida but a last minute change of plans left it home. The wave of hurricane’s and tropical depressions made us decide not to temp fate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
You mean you didn’t want to hurricane test your rig? You could have been in the next ram commercial. Hurricanes? No problem… RAM
More likely worlds craziest videos on you tube.

Probably a good call though. Most of our forrest areas here had been shut down because of fire danger after a couple big fires this last month. Usually flash floods become greater issues too because the vegetation’s gone in those areas. Haven’t checked if they are back open yet. They had some good rain up there last week so we’ll see.
 
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