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2021 RAM 1500 Ecodiesel crew cab 4x4
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last weekend I installed the chrome tow hooks my truck didn't come with. Pretty easy once the truck is up off the ground. Just remove the partial front tire inner fenders; I also removed the motorized air dam (not the mechanism, just the plastic / rubber spoiler). After that was done, with a good flashlight, I examined the underside.

First off, even though my truck only has about 2k miles on it, there are no leaks around the timing cover or anywhere else.

I can see the oil drain plug is not in a super easy to get to spot. The DPF is very far forward, which is beneficial from two standpoints: less heat loss from the downpipe to DPF, and a shorter run for the low pressure EGR. I've never seen this design on the larger HD pickups, so its kind of neat to see a smaller diameter exhaust pipe running from the back of the DPF back up to the EGR.

The frame looks fine, but presumably its made from high strength steel. The wall thickness is very thin. While I'm sure it's very rugged, thin steel doesn't bode well for rust issues in the future. The frame also has a very interesting "Y" design at the front, where the rails splay outward. I imagine this improves crash worthiness, and is also the reason for the very long tow hook linkage back to the frame.

The lower control arms are a very robust design and surprisingly made of aluminum. The upper control arms appear to mostly be made of plastic, which has sort of a waffle matrix visible from underneath as reinforcement. Very interesting lightweight design which likely also improves ride quality.

The DEF line from the tank over to the injector don't appear to be heated, which would be a first. I'm sure the pump and tank are heated. There is tons of room for the larger 33 gallon tank if you have the 26 gallon tank like I do.

The bottom sills / rockers do not appear to be a better design for preventing rust than on the 4th gen trucks. The front tie rods appear to be very small.

Overall, looks very well made. The electric air dam is pretty impressive in my book.
 

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Great observations, particularly on the DPF and low pressure EGR.

As you guessed, the splayed frame rails are for front overlap crash-worthiness, as explained by a Ram engineer when the 5th gen trucks debuted. it is supposed to prevent the wheel from taking the majority of the impact and forcing it's way into the footwell.

For the suspension, Autoblog did a "suspension deep dive" on the 5th gen that you may be interested in. It's written by a former suspension engineer so he gets pretty detailed.
 

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2021 RAM 1500 Ecodiesel crew cab 4x4
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Lol nah it’s all good. Thanks for that Autoblog article...read it with interest. Seems RAM put a lot of thought into both the front and rear suspension on these trucks.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It’s not uncommon for that type of damage in any wreck. Check out how the aluminum Ford’s shear...yet they are safe.
 
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2021 RAM 1500 Ecodiesel crew cab 4x4
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I am worried about rust...everyone living in the salt belt should be. I plan to undercoat it myself late summer with a product called Wool-Wax that I’ve had good luck with.
 
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Wait until you crawl farther back. That's where it really gets interesting!

The SCR is huge, and is followed by a solenoid activated butterfly valve that purposefully chokes the exhaust down at preprogrammed times to enhance flow into the low pressure side of the EGR pipe.

The amount of wiring and harnesses along the frame rail is crazy.

The transmission appears to have a fill port on both sides. Which one is the correct one to use?

The rear axle no longer has no drain plug and a rubber fill plug, necessitating removal of the inspection cover for ALL fluid changes. Now there's actually a steel threaded fill plug AND a steel threaded drain plug! (The front diff is a CAKE WALK to service compared to a Ford!)

Mine has a lot of surface rust all over the rear shock mounts, axle tubes, etc. I wash it pretty regularly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The SCR is the DEF system. I thought the DEF injector looked pretty small compared to what I'm used to on the HD pickups. I did not notice the electric solenoid butterfly to enhance EGR from the low pressure side, but that's not unusual. The HD pickups have a throttle butterfly up top that does the same thing...reduces fresh air intake to help induce more EGR.

I don't mind removing the inspection cover to drain the diff; I guess that's what I'm used to.
 

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I wonder what the frame thickness is?

I know on the F150's there is three different frame thickness frames offered, mine is the middle/HD variant.

HDPP gets the 0.11" frame, HD frame trucks get 0.10", and 0.087" for lighter F150's (most of the 2.7EB trucks)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
High strength steel changes the game, since it could be thinner yet stronger. I'd prefer the thicker frame myself.
 

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One benefit of living at 7,000' feet in a dry climate is that things don't rust.

There is tons of room for the larger 33 gallon tank if you have the 26 gallon tank like I do.
Are you considering swapping to the 33 gallon tank?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yes, I’d like to swap to the larger tank, assuming the sending unit is the same and Alfaobd can correct the miles to empty
 

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Yes, I’d like to swap to the larger tank, assuming the sending unit is the same and Alfaobd can correct the miles to empty
I just ordered a 40 gallon in-bed fuel tank. The lead time is 6 weeks out, so it will probably be the end of June before it gets installed. If you don't use/need bed space, that might be the way to go, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I prefer to keep my bed space. The OEM 33 gallon tank is about $440. The problem is that everything else must be changed...the fuel pump, the filler tube, vent tube, both supply and return fuel lines to the engine. I cannot believe RAM did not keep the relative location of these items common between the different size tanks, so they would only need one different part number for the tank. The parts total up to roughly $1000-$1200; I'm not sure its worth it for 7 more gallons of fuel, given the unleaden fuel range of the standard tank is still outstanding.
 
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I prefer to keep my bed space.
Most people don't want to give up their bed space, and I don't blame them. I trailer almost everything, so I rarely use the bed space. I use bed space for fuel, a few tools, and a cooler. Instead of hauling around 5 gallon diesel jugs, I'll now have a large tank with auto controller.

The parts total up to roughly $1000-$1200; I'm not sure its worth it for 7 more gallons of fuel, given the unleaden fuel range of the standard tank is still outstanding.
I ordered my truck with the 33 gallon tank knowing that I was still going to add an in-bed fuel tank. 33 gallons + 40 gallons = 73 gallons.

Life is very different here in the wild west. I've driven 250 miles through rural areas where there's no diesel along the way. When averaging 12 mpg towing, you can see how this is troublesome, especially when going to a rural area (with no fuel) and having to return home.

Fuel stations I've come across in rural areas is sometimes questionable. Pumps may or may not be working. The mama & papa station could be out of diesel, or the delivery truck hasn't shown up yet. The mama & papa station sometimes closes in the evening (no method to pay at the pump). I've seen it all. Plus, I really don't want to pump questionable fuel into my truck.

For years, I've carried diesel in 5 gallon jugs. It works, but it's not ideal. We have to find a safe place to pull over with a trailer so we can add fuel. I have to make sure the jugs are tied in so they won't tip over during travel. I have to cover the jugs during a rain so no water finds its way into the fuel. I have to carry a clean funnel long enough to push open the double flap fuel neck, but big enough to allow for easy pouring.

The last issue is having to fill in a conducive environment. Dusty environments require keeping the pour spouts clean. You hope that it isn't raining when you need to add fuel to the system. Freezing cold temperatures isn't fun, either.

With an in-bed fuel tank, I can now easily mix fuel additives in advance, bypass expensive fuel stations, bypass questionable fuel stations, and have more control over my stops. Most importantly, I can monitor how much fuel I have from the comfort of the cab. No more worrying, less planning around fuel stations, and more enjoyment in our travels.

On a side note, I've noticed that fuel stations along certain interstates are jam-packed before, during, or after certain holidays. I've seen Love's fuel stations backed up 30+ minutes as people are in line waiting for diesel, and that happens sometimes in the middle of the summer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Your reasons are very valid. From the HD pickup diesel forums, 5-gallon jug diesel seems to be a big no-no in regards to possible contamination. I guess you can control cleanliness better than some.

I have an RDS 60-gallon aluminm transfer tank which I always keep in the back of my HD pickup. It does have a bung at the bottom for gravity feed into a fuel filler tap, but I would not do that. Water settles to the bottom, and unless you have a way to filter it, I wouldn't risk it. Instead, I have a pump and filter on the top, and use it to fill up my tractors or other equipment. I buy the dyed diesel for this purpose, but if I ever "ran out" of fuel, I'd break the rules and use it. Up here in the Northeast we also heat with fuel oil, which is the same thing as diesel...so plenty of times I use my tank and pump to fill my home oil barrel instead of paying delivery fees.

Here's a photo of the tank (sort of) sitting in the bed of my previous 2018 3500 truck, fueling up one of my tractors:
89551
 
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