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Discussion Starter #1
Took a motorcycle ride and looked at a 2019 2500 Cummins. I was stopped at a 3500 and told the salesman I want to see the engine compartment. He got keys for a 2500 that was there because he said it would be lower to make it easier to view the engine. That was like a prediction based on my age.

Major cut-out in the front-right inner fender well. There sits the oil filter where you should be able to get at it. Know they had a trap door or some kind of flap the past couple of years. No flap - wide open which is good for access but bad for debris thrown into that area.

After opening the hood I was quite pleased with the space around the top of the front fuel filter housing and actually, most of the engine components. Seemed a bit more open than even the Ecodiesel. Guessing they reduced the size of those covers like the Ecodiesel is so burdened with. I removed mine on the Ecodiesel This 6.7 does not even seem as crowded as my old 5.9 was. I give a big plus to that engine compartment layout for service and cleaning.

This revised 68RE transmission has a dipstick. Unlike the ZF transmissions, I pulled the dipstick and checked the transmission fluid easily. Did not look for a filler area. Major plus over the Ecodiesel with the ZF. I read that future editions of the Cummins may go to the ZF 8 speed. Good because it may lower the rpm at highway speeds as today there is no higher (lower numerically) gear ratio than the 3:73's. Read the 6 speed did rpms around 2,000 at 70 mph. That tells me just above that will be the top cruising speed of the vehicle to get optimal fuel mileage. NOT a good thing when local roads have traffic doing 75-80 mph. The future 8 speed may have a lower top gear and improve on that but then again - no dipstick and reasonable way to deal with the fluid level in that transmission.

Noticed the column gear shift has a different shroud than than those before. Know there was some shift linkage issues with previous 68RE's. Guessing that's part of the upgrade.

Rest of the interior was the same although I hear the seat design has changed. Not really worthy of note. What was worthy of note is a basic characteristic of the 2500 and more so with the 3500. The wife and I struggled on the border of not being able to even get into the truck. My old 5.7 did not seem that high of fthe ground. Guess I was younger. It was kind of like climbing into my old Ford tractor. You have to grab hold of something like that pillar handle and yank yourself up, if you can get your foot up high enough to step on the floor. On my old one I tore that handle off the pillar pulling myself in. They are flimsly attached. This one did not tear off on my entrance but longevity is questionable.

The wife could not get in. She stood outside and stood until I got the message. Way too high for her. With some urging she agreed to have me try and lift her into the truck, much to the embarrassment of the salesman. I had to struggle pushing and cradling her under the butt to barely get her high enough where she could climb the rest of the way in. Sure the addition of a rather large running board/ step board will help. Actually help is not saying enough. That would be a necessary addition to hopefully allow us to actually get in. Getting out also took some care and careful dropping.

Liked what I saw mechanically. Surprised at the entrance and exit difficulties we both experienced. Product of age I guess. Sure not remotely comfortable and manageable for most anyone of any age. Something to consider into the near future and beyond.
 

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Where did you get the info about the only rear end being 3.73?

Maybe they changed it, but I thought 3.42 was their main go to gear now. My dad's '18 with the heavy duty (non 68rfe) runs crazy low rpm at highway speed. To the point that towing our 5000 lb boat it is constantly shifting out of 6th on any hill. Towing at 65 mph in 5th gear it runs about 1750 rpm with tons of power and actually gets better mileage towing the boat in 5th than lugging it in 6th. His has 3.42 gears.

You sure you got it into 6th gear? Or perhaps the transmission gearing is that different.
 

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Capt, I used to think the powered running boards were a gimmick. They appear to have stuck around and cornered a segment of the market. They don't hang down so low to get torn off, but drop down farther than regular steps. A wise investment for you if you upgrade to such a truck. Best part is they can be installed by a dealer now - meaning you can use it as a negotiation tool at purchase.

It's not just you, it's the HD trucks. After being used to my 1500, first time I tried to put my foot on the rear bumper of my dad's new 2500, I realized I had to stretch first to swing my leg up that far. I installed a swing-down bed step for him. He never uses gimmicky things like that - yet he uses that all the time!

Unless something changed in this new generation of HD, the 4th gen cummins trucks were all 3.42 gear, UNLESS you got a 3500, DRW, with the Aisin transmission. Only then it opened up the options for 3.42, 3.73, or 4.10. That's what I found doing research on the HD for my parents in 2016.

This new Cummins motor is quiet. Just saw/heard one in person the other day (dealer sponsored truck at rodeo event). Literally could not hear any diesel noise from engine. Only when truck was put into gear and started accelerating away did I hear some clatter.

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He’s right. According to Rams website only 3.73 and 4.10 available for the 2500. Gas and diesel. Maybe the updated 68RFE gearing is different. If not I agree waiting for the 8 speed might be a good idea for a cummins.


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Captain we may be able to order a 2020 ED before summers end for fall delivery with the 2nd gen ED. Wasn’t the 4th gen tradesmans also available with the air suspension? If that holds true to form with the 5th gen you may consider it. Being in Florida you wouldn’t have the cold issues our Canadian friends have. Also not only is it nice to drop the truck for easy entree & exit but also for loading the bed. Even drops the truck an inch for improved aerodynamics IE fuel economy for interstate cruising.

BTW the 3.92 trucks are still comfortable cruising 85 mph. Certainly not as efficient as a 3.55 truck at that speed but the motor is still in the top end of its comfortable efficient range. Out west where the speed limits are 80 I have done long stretches of 82-85 and often still get 22-23 mpg while doing it. I say this because I think you would like the 3.92 better towing a toy hauler and also that at times unloaded you like to roll.
 

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Agree with Vern's comments on the air suspension. I live in MN and only when its greater than -10*F do I ever have issues with the air suspension, and even then it just needs to sit in the garage for a couple hours. I lower / raise mine whenever my wife is with me. There are many days where its up / down 6 to 8 times. Sure saves on the knee's. It may also prevent you from pulling out another pillar handle! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You guys are right. It's only 3:73 and 4:10 for the 2019's. Asked an owner on another forum about the rpm's and it is like my old 5.9 Cummins. That is about 2,000 rpm at close to 70 mph. Too much in my book. I would not want a 2018 with the lower gear ratio because of the older motor and transmission design. Probably not going to go that way but never sure. My toy hauler is smaller and the wife wants a larger one. Good possibility the new Ecodiesel with 3:92's or the new in-line GM 3.0 might work. Just strange that right now neither are available and have not been for near a year.

Now looks like I will be using mine all Summer with a very probable tow out West in the mix.

As for a possible 2500 again - running boards are little more than $100 on Ebay. Not an issue and bolting them on is simple. Never buy the factory ones. They charge over $700 for something worth way, way less. Just not sure I want to subject myself and the wife to that much of a clime each time we get in and out.
 

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Before my Ecodiesel, I drove modified hemis, a Magnum and a 2005 Ram Thunder Road. Both had race cams, headers and Borla exhausts. Seems like I was always driving well over the speed limit, getting tickets, and once lost my license for driving 100 in a 65 zone. Since owning the Ecodiesel, I have "geezered up". I drive in the slow lane at 65 mph , when on the turnpike, listen to the excellent Alpine stereo and get over 30 mpgs. I believe, if you drive 300 miles at 65 vs 70, you only lose 15 minutes or less. There are plenty of over the road trucks running 65 , as many are actually governed. Seems like 65 is the sweet spot for 3:92's with the Ecodiesel. Running boards are your friend. My friend has a lifted 05 Ram with giant General Grabber tires, what a pita to climb into.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Before my Ecodiesel, I drove modified hemis, a Magnum and a 2005 Ram Thunder Road. Both had race cams, headers and Borla exhausts. Seems like I was always driving well over the speed limit, getting tickets, and once lost my license for driving 100 in a 65 zone. Since owning the Ecodiesel, I have "geezered up". I drive in the slow lane at 65 mph , when on the turnpike, listen to the excellent Alpine stereo and get over 30 mpgs. I believe, if you drive 300 miles at 65 vs 70, you only lose 15 minutes or less. There are plenty of over the road trucks running 65 , as many are actually governed. Seems like 65 is the sweet spot for 3:92's with the Ecodiesel. Running boards are your friend. My friend has a lifted 05 Ram with giant General Grabber tires, what a pita to climb into.
Main is a nice place to visit in the Summer. Smaller, windy, scenic roads abound. couple major interstates areas in the southern part but essentially smaller roads. Speeds are kind of limited by the terrain.

Now contrast that with Florida and other places like Texas and many or most Western states. The interstate roads ha ve 70 - 75 mph speed limits. Long flat stretches abound with normal traffic running 5-10 mph OVER the posted speed limits. I have been on I 75 just south of the metropolis of Tampa running 85 and getting passed on a regular basis with normal traffic. It's a crazy situation. Traveling in that traffic malize at 65 mph is unsettling to me. Big trucks and busses with farm workers or children go faster than that and will pack up behind you in the far right lane. The constant traffic encounters as you are passed is just not safe. Best to find a niche in the traffic and maintain traffic speeds so the encounters are minimized.

My old Cummins was not fuel efficient above 2,000 rpm. I had to often do 2,400 rpm to find that comfortable traffic niche. My Ecodiesel does find it around 1,900 rpm, getting me a solid 28 mpg seemingly for hours. Actually, heading north today to a flat track motorcycle race on that same interstate. It will be a run much above 70 mph to be comfortable. No way do I want to deal with fuel mileage in the teens because of the higher speeds that fit traffic patterns here. To me it's laughable to see so many lifted trucks with oversize tires making major tire noise running 80 mph in traffic while getting maybe low teens in fuel mileage. Of course, they are run by "the man" with the gold chains.

Going to really figure out what an Ecodiesel does get with 3:92's and the same for a 2019 Cummins and maybe the GM 3.0L. Right now - heading to the motorcycle races with my 3:55's pushing the Ecodiesel.
 

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Captain we may be able to order a 2020 ED before summers end for fall delivery with the 2nd gen ED. Wasn’t the 4th gen tradesmans also available with the air suspension? If that holds true to form with the 5th gen you may consider it. Being in Florida you wouldn’t have the cold issues our Canadian friends have. Also not only is it nice to drop the truck for easy entree & exit but also for loading the bed. Even drops the truck an inch for improved aerodynamics IE fuel economy for interstate cruising.

BTW the 3.92 trucks are still comfortable cruising 85 mph. Certainly not as efficient as a 3.55 truck at that speed but the motor is still in the top end of its comfortable efficient range. Out west where the speed limits are 80 I have done long stretches of 82-85 and often still get 22-23 mpg while doing it. I say this because I think you would like the 3.92 better towing a toy hauler and also that at times unloaded you like to roll.
80-85 nets my 3.55 20-21mpgs. Probably better but only slightly for a non leveled truck and I am running 12.5 E rated ATs...just not convinced the 3.92 makes a significant difference regarding MPG inefficiencies overall. My next truck will be looking for 3.92.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Capt.... Did you happen to notice the price of the 2019’s ?
Yes. Saw little money difference but not looking for that so not sure. Did see some offered at good discounts. If I would move in that direction expect to get something in the mid-higher $40's. Try looking at the Lakeland Ram site for an example. There are a few local dealers with 2019's. Wells, in Avon Park, is NOT one of them.

Firkins has been literally all over me today with texts, emails and a call to see if they can sell me something. I had to inform them on all three media about the Ecodiesel settlement and how that affects current Ecodiesel owners related to immediate purchase. Clueless. Best way I can describe their knowledge from internet manager, salesman and sales manager. Clueless.

Leaving for the races right this moment.
 

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You got me thinking that an 8 speed could be too much rpm wise to play nice with the CTD. Perhaps it's time to lock out some gears especially first when not towing. CTD are towing animals.
TFL continues its love affair with FCA products with a HO CTD 3500 up the Ike Gauntlet video. Mr Truck loved it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
You got me thinking that an 8 speed could be too much rpm wise to play nice with the CTD. Perhaps it's time to lock out some gears especially first when not towing. CTD are towing animals.
TFL continues its love affair with FCA products with a HO CTD 3500 up the Ike Gauntlet video. Mr Truck loved it.
Too much rpm??? I would think the 8 speed would have a lower top gear and therefore LOWER the rpm. That higher rpm is my major complaint about the 6 speed and the dropping of the lower gear ration rear end. With that higher ratio rear end the rpm's will be higher at cruising speed and result in more fuel consumption. To me that is a bummer I will not tolerate. I want fuel mileage.

Last night after the races I was just cruising south on I 75 fitting into a slot so no traffic passed and I did not pass much. Looked down after a while and was doing 85 mph. Watched the instant EVIC consumption bar and it was hovering around 27 mpg, lower than my normal 28+ in the 75 mph range. I slowed down to 75 and stayed there. Traffic started to pass so I felt more comfortable picking it up a bit.

Because of local high traffic speeds I am thinking the new Cummins is NOT desirable as a vehicle to cruise at Florida interstate speeds. Maybe an extra couple of over drive gears will improve that if FCA refuses to offer a 3:45 rear end ratio.
 

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Too much rpm??? I would think the 8 speed would have a lower top gear and therefore LOWER the rpm. That higher rpm is my major complaint about the 6 speed and the dropping of the lower gear ration rear end. With that higher ratio rear end the rpm's will be higher at cruising speed and result in more fuel consumption. To me that is a bummer I will not tolerate. I want fuel mileage.

Last night after the races I was just cruising south on I 75 fitting into a slot so no traffic passed and I did not pass much. Looked down after a while and was doing 85 mph. Watched the instant EVIC consumption bar and it was hovering around 27 mpg, lower than my normal 28+ in the 75 mph range. I slowed down to 75 and stayed there. Traffic started to pass so I felt more comfortable picking it up a bit.

Because of local high traffic speeds I am thinking the new Cummins is NOT desirable as a vehicle to cruise at Florida interstate speeds. Maybe an extra couple of over drive gears will improve that if FCA refuses to offer a 3:45 rear end ratio.
You are thinking about this wrong. The MAJOR component in the equation for MPG at speed is wind resistance. The reality is that the effect of gear ratios is comparatively going to be very small. Have a look at this chart which is a reasonable approximation of speeds on a vehicle's fuel mileage. (Note that the curves may be a little flatter for a real slippery sports car and worse for an aerodynamic brick like a pick-up truck. 3/4 and 1-ton truck are additionally plagued (aerodynamically) by their height and other things being equal, the additional ride hieitght alone will impact fuel mileage over their 1/2 ton cousins.)

In short, your assumption that gearing can change the slope of these curves is incorrect. Gearing would likely have an almost unnoticeable effect - hence the reason the OEMs gear as they do.

MPG.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #16
You are thinking about this wrong. The MAJOR component in the equation for MPG at speed is wind resistance. The reality is that the effect of gear ratios is comparatively going to be very small. Have a look at this chart which is a reasonable approximation of speeds on a vehicle's fuel mileage. (Note that the curves may be a little flatter for a real slippery sports car and worse for an aerodynamic brick like a pick-up truck. 3/4 and 1-ton truck are additionally plagued (aerodynamically) by their height and other things being equal, the additional ride hieitght alone will impact fuel mileage over their 1/2 ton cousins.)

In short, your assumption that gearing can change the slope of these curves is incorrect. Gearing would likely have an almost unnoticeable effect - hence the reason the OEMs gear as they do.

View attachment 79840
Agree that fuel mileage is dramatically affected by wind resistance. Agree that aerodynamic design is extremely important to improve fuel mileage. Neither issue will explain this.

I owned a 5.9 Cummins 2500 with the 3:73 rear end. Granted I had a manual transmission and no longer remember the 6th gear ration compared to that rear end ratio. A close friend, now deceased, also had the same Cummins 2500 near the same year and same configuration but he had an automatic transmission with 3:45 rear end gearing. We would both drive the same I 75 from South Florida to our shared hunting camp in central Georgia. At times we would share a ride, using each-others' trucks and often pulling the same quad trailer. Same engine, same body, one year apart, different transmissions and different rear-end ratios. To me the aerodynamic drag would be the same for both vehicles.

Now we often used to switch off driving these two Cummins 2500's. His consistently, with the automatic transmission and 3:45's. Ran about 250 rpm LESS than mine at speeds 70 mph or higher in top gear. From what I could tell that rpm was the only real thing different between the operational characteristics of these two 2500's. Mine would do 23 mpg if I ran 68 mph with rpm's around 2,000. His would have the same rpm and get the same fuel mileage at around 75 mph. That 75 mph, maybe even to around 78 mph, had a much higher wind resistance than my 68 mph. His automatic transmission was historically thought to give worse fuel mileage than a manual. His was way better fuel mileage than mine.

If I tried to run with him, something I did when we each drove and traveled together, I would run his speeds. When he got 23 mpg, I got 17- maybe 19 mpg.

Now my memory for the exact details is clouded after say the 5-6 years that have passed since he was alive and I had my Cummins. Still I am certain general my experiences related here are correct. Wind resistance was probably not the factor to account for the difference. RPM was the issue, in my opinion.

Much of my running involves operation at those higher speeds. Based on my experience the announcement that current Cummins offerings are limited to 3:73 and 4:10 rear ends ratios comes a a distinct disappointment.
 
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