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Old 07-10-2018, 08:31 PM   #1
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2003 Dodge Ram 2500 SLT Quad Cab 4wd. Input please

Considering this truck. 5.7 L hemi. 5 speed auto. Has 80,000 miles and is very clean.

What is the good and bad on this year model etc.

Anything I should be looking for? Ask the seller?
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Old 07-10-2018, 09:03 PM   #2
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Mileage might suck when towing...
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Old 07-10-2018, 09:34 PM   #3
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Haven’t found anything that gets good mileage wen towing
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Old 07-10-2018, 09:44 PM   #4
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Old diesel gets 14.4 at 65, and 22.4 at 70 empty.....all depends on where you go and long as no rust is present.......
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Old 07-10-2018, 10:14 PM   #5
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Is this the one?
If so, I'd want it inspected for body damage by someone who knows their stuff. Carfax doesn't always catch wrecked vehicles. Hard to tell in pictures, but with the hood up, I think I see silver paint over-spray where there shouldn't be, front-end damage?

The carpet also seems quite color faded throughout, much more than an 80K truck should be?

Maybe it's just the part of the country, but I have a hard time with vehicles this old, showing such low miles, only 5K per year, when the average is often over 15K per year.

We used to joke that if the miles were too low, it must have spent a lot of time in the body shop waiting for parts. Funny thing is, you'd be amazed how often a thorough inspection proved the theory. I'd rather see normal higher miles with a stack of service records, than be focused on low miles.

Last, the carfax shows this dealer has had the truck in inventory nearly 4 months, wonder why nobody has snapped it up yet?

So here's the good news from the build sheet, it's very nicely optioned for towing.
Here's the cool stuff:
Sport appearance package
4.10 gears
Limited slip differential
Power adjustable pedals
Power trailer tow mirrors
Trans cooler
Engine oil cooler
Trailer tow group
Note the factory aluminum wheels have been swapped for chrome wheels, (maybe owner preference?).

With all that said, if you like it and the price, get an independent ASE certified mechanic (who knows bodywork too) to give it a pre-purchase inspection, on your dime. It's quite well-equipped to do your towing work, and fairly well dressed up in the interior too.

Here's a relevant article:
2003 Dodge Ram 2500 HD Price, Review, Specs & Road Test - Truck Trend

If this isn't the truck you're looking at, enjoy the discussion anyway.
Well, you did ask...
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Old 07-11-2018, 04:00 AM   #6
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I'm a Ram fan, but I wouldn't buy a 2500 with a 5.7 Hemi. That engine is great, they have the kinks worked out at this point, and it preforms awesome in a 1500. But you're stepping up to a 2500 (and expecting 2500 performance I would assume). That means you need more power than a 1500. A 2500 with a 5.7 is basically a 1500 with a stiffer suspension and a little higher payload. I think you mentioned in another post you are wanting to pull a TT at 10K lbs. Yea, the 5.7 will get it moving, but mileage is gonna suck and wear on the motor is gonna shorten the lifespan badly I'm afraid. You can not cheat your way around having a legitimate towing vehicle. You can shop around and get the best deal you can, but don't short yourself, you will regret it in the end.
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:48 AM   #7
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I had a dually truck that I did not drive much. But I still put 6,000 miles a year on it...anyway, I think this truck deserves bit more investigation and a test drive. With 4.10 gears it will tow ok. Not great, but ok. What you are really looking for is the towing platform. The Ram 2500 will have a good towing platform. A lot of your towing will be on flat land, until you get to the mountains. Now the mountains are not crazy high altitude mountains like out west so the gasoline engine will not be affected as much by elevations thinner air.

This truck will be more powerful than the Chevy 2500 6.0 and a bit more refined than the Ford F-250 V10.

Look close for any paint over spray and ask to see the carfax. Most dealers can easily supply it. This truck pre-dates carfax by a few years but ask to see it anyway.

A 2500 5.7 is not just a 1500 with stiffer suspension. The frame, wheelbase, brakes, suspension, axles, tires, are all going to be bigger.

Drop the Jacks - no truck is going to be perfect. Especially a 15 year old truck. I feel better about the 5.7 hemi simple gas engine vs a 15 year old complex diesel engine. The injectors last the life on a gasoline engine while injectors on a diesel engine last 70,000 - 100,000 miles.
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:51 AM   #8
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Thanks guys, instructive as always. Still really eyeing a great looking diesel and trying to work out my travel schedule with work so I can get to NC to see it.
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Old 07-11-2018, 10:59 AM   #9
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5 years ago I bought an 04 low mileage Ram. I had to replace the ignition switch because the ventilation fan motor is routed through it and burned the contacts. No big deal, 40 bucks and and an hour of time. The intermittent wipers are finicky. Had to take it in for an air bag recall. Replaced the hood support struts. That's it. At 91k, the paint shines, the leather is in great shape and it is a pleasure to drive. Original brakes are at 60%. Very happy with the truck. Can't comment on the 5.7 as I have a diesel.
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