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Old 10-01-2020, 06:56 AM   #1
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68RFE vs AISIN

This is a fine tuning of some other threads I have started in reference to Ram 3500 dually. With the new Ram the AISIN transmission comes with the 6.7 diesel high output engine and the 68RFE comes with the standard 6.7 diesel engine. HO and AISIN have more HP and torque but the standard is no slouch either.

Let's ignore bragging rights as "my trucks bigger than your truck" and deal with some facts. Ram literature is not much help, and searching the internet brings mainly adds to improve either one, or subjective opinions. I know we'll get opinions but looking for notable differences between the 2. My understanding the AISIN weighs more, have read 200+-#??, has different/lower gearing, and of course is paired to the HO engine with more HP and torque.

My trailer isn't light but it's not a 24K DRW or New horizon either. Right now I'm between 4k and 4.2K in the bed and that counts my pin, aux fuel tank, and hitch. "Lightly loaded" so to speak and under trailer GVWR by 6-800#, scales verified weights. I haven't looked at a lot of capacity stickers on the door jambs of the trucks but have seen anywhere from around 5.5K to 5.8K. Laramie, CC, LB, 4wd.

I give all this info so responders can understand where I am and where I'll go. I'll say $$$ is not a factor but that's a lie. I'm sort of a cheap bastard but better described as getting value. Function over form.

What observations do people here have between the two not only in performance but drivability and reliability?
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Old 10-01-2020, 08:06 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chunker View Post
This is a fine tuning of some other threads I have started in reference to Ram 3500 dually. With the new Ram the AISIN transmission comes with the 6.7 diesel high output engine and the 68RFE comes with the standard 6.7 diesel engine. HO and AISIN have more HP and torque but the standard is no slouch either.

Let's ignore bragging rights as "my trucks bigger than your truck" and deal with some facts. Ram literature is not much help, and searching the internet brings mainly adds to improve either one, or subjective opinions. I know we'll get opinions but looking for notable differences between the 2. My understanding the AISIN weighs more, have read 200+-#??, has different/lower gearing, and of course is paired to the HO engine with more HP and torque.

My trailer isn't light but it's not a 24K DRW or New horizon either. Right now I'm between 4k and 4.2K in the bed and that counts my pin, aux fuel tank, and hitch. "Lightly loaded" so to speak and under trailer GVWR by 6-800#, scales verified weights. I haven't looked at a lot of capacity stickers on the door jambs of the trucks but have seen anywhere from around 5.5K to 5.8K. Laramie, CC, LB, 4wd.

I give all this info so responders can understand where I am and where I'll go. I'll say $$$ is not a factor but that's a lie. I'm sort of a cheap bastard but better described as getting value. Function over form.

What observations do people here have between the two not only in performance but drivability and reliability?
Test drove both side by side. In theory, the Aisin is better. In reality, the Aisin is quite jerky comparing the RFE. But seems true to most Aisin trannys. I have no idea how it shifts when loaded. Iíd go for the Aisin, and they donít charge an arm or leg for the Aisin upgrade.
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Old 10-01-2020, 08:41 AM   #3
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I was in the same boat a couple years ago. My ultimate plan was to tune and delete whatever truck I ended up with. At first I wanted the AISIN but after lots of reading I decided the AISIN was not going to workout for my end goals, as that tranny cannot be tuned easily. Tons of reading can be found on cumminsforum.
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Old 10-01-2020, 05:17 PM   #4
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I would recommend the 68RFE over the AISIN for your needs! This is based on my experience using the 68RFE for the last 12 years, dragging my 5 ER around. I have 136K on the OD with 3:73 gears and about 400+ HP, at the engine, do to a programmer. The transmission is service regularly about ever 40K miles changing the fluid and filters. My transmission temps per the probe in the Mag-Hytec deep trans pan reads 195F +/- 5DEGS, when towing.

Now improvements have been made to the new 68RFE transmission in the 2019 and 2020 trucks to handle the higher HP of the standard output engines. So I would not worry at all about the capabilities of this transmission. These trucks will be equipped with 3:73 gears per what I read about the new trucks.

If you were a perfesional driver using the 3500 Ram trucks and who will drive 40,000+miles or more a year. Than I would get the Aisin transmission, as this was the intended use of the transmission. With the HO engine and 4:10 gears.

I would check out Turbo Diesel Register.com and see what they say over on that forum.
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Old 10-01-2020, 06:49 PM   #5
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Do I n-e-e-d the HO with the Aisin tranny? Not at present. I towed my 2008 WolfPack 295WP with my 2013 RAM 2500 SO diesel 68rfe with 3.73 gears just for me. But I was using 90% of my truck with a trailer loaded at 11.5k. The Aisin I s geared for heavy towing. And will also pull my next trailer, which will be 15k+.

My current truck is a 2020 RAM 3500 Tradesman CC LB 4x4 DRW HO diesel w Aisin. Not stripped as folk thins a Tradesman is.

My payload is 5475 on the door. My truck with my regular gear, me and full fuel, weighed in at 9100. I am 300-ish. So 4900 to get to 14k rating. GAWR rear is 9750, so I have 5890 remaining.

I'm good for any RV I'd consider.

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Old 10-02-2020, 04:06 AM   #6
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My ram 3500 has the 6.7l h.o. and Aisin trans.
First gear is very low, it does shift more firmly pulling 15k. Overall the trans works very well. There is no unwanted downshifts, or gear hunting.
In tow mode With the exhaust brake in full on mode it will downshift as needed to keep the brake on and barely need to use the brakes. I've included my door stickers for weight ratings
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Old 10-02-2020, 06:34 AM   #7
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weight capacity differences

Further research on this creates confusion for my feeble mind. Now the question of carrying capacity between the 2 transmissions and engines. Given that all things else are equal, does having the 6.7 HO and AISIN transmission reduce the carrying capacity of the truck as reflected on the door sticker? The AISIN transmission itself weighs 100#+ more than the 68. Unfortunately I can't go see a bunch of trucks and stickers to verify anything and based on the sticker above, capacity is reduced. BUT no way of knowing what other options or level the truck is cause as we know, the more added at the factory, the less the capacity will be for the customer to add. Since my towing bed weight is 4-4200 now and that's are well under trailer GVWR, if I carry more water then I could be pushing several hundred pounds more.

I like the idea that the HO engine/transmission combination is designed for heavier towing applications and that theoretically it should tow a heavy load better and last longer. "Heavy" is subjective as my trailer GVWR at 17K. For this hauling cattle or using the trucks commercially to haul really heavy stuff, my 17K is a light weight load.

Bottom line I don't want to lose several hundred pounds of capacity in order to be able safely and reliably tow far more than I ever will. I expect that 4200# will jump to closer to 5K when I plus up the load. FWIW this last trip of almost 4K miles over mostly flat terrain was flawless and smooth. I used the tow/haul when hooked up and didn't really need the 2 stage engine braking but activated it a couple times to see. Not needed for my trip.
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Old 10-02-2020, 08:47 AM   #8
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Have you check the Ram home page for towing basics? All of the Ram trucks are SAE J2807 compliant. These pages list the truck model and what engine and transmission with gear differential are in the trucks plus the towing information that you are looking for!
I have attached the link for the 2015 thru 2020 trucks for you to review!

https://www.ramtrucks.com/towing-gui...0&gclsrc=3p.ds
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Old 10-02-2020, 08:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
I like the idea that the HO engine/transmission combination is designed for heavier towing applications and that theoretically it should tow a heavy load better and last longer. "Heavy" is subjective as my trailer GVWR at 17K. For this hauling cattle or using the trucks commercially to haul really heavy stuff, my 17K is a light weight load.
This is the combo what we would use when going into lets say LTL work/hotshot/etc.
In this work lets say were looking for a one ton DRW Ram. We would choose one with the biggest FAWR/RAWR Ram which is a 6000 fawr and a 9750 rawr = 15750 lb gross weight .....and a big GN trailer at 24k with tandem 12000 lb axles. Now were operating at 39750 lb gross combined. Ram does give a 44000 gross combined but we have to be careful and not exceed fawr/rawr tire load ratings. In this type of work GVWR or payload sticker isn't used for any legal weights.....or civil lawsuits.

Your not anywhere near pulling that much weight every day/all day so the 68RFE 4.10 gears would make a nice tow truck for pulling a 17k rv trailer ...or any trailer.

Looking at Ram Body Builders guide show around 80-100 lb difference in weight (Aisin vs 68RFE) on the DRW Rams rear axle. GVWR payload stickers show around 250 lb difference.
A tranny sits between the front and rear axles ......closer to the front axle on a crew cab long bed. IMO don't over think a couple of hundred lbs on this size LDT.
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Old 10-02-2020, 09:16 PM   #10
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Test drove both side by side. In theory, the Aisin is better. In reality, the Aisin is quite jerky comparing the RFE. But seems true to most Aisin trannys. I have no idea how it shifts when loaded. I’d go for the Aisin, and they don’t charge an arm or leg for the Aisin upgrade.
The Aisin is a smart transmission it learns your driving habits. At 55,000 miles our is smooth, shifting empty and towing.
I will add that there is currently a recall on 2019 and 2020 68RFE’s.
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Old 10-02-2020, 09:22 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by jimcumminsw View Post
Have you check the Ram home page for towing basics? All of the Ram trucks are SAE J2807 compliant. These pages list the truck model and what engine and transmission with gear differential are in the trucks plus the towing information that you are looking for!
I have attached the link for the 2015 thru 2020 trucks for you to review!

https://www.ramtrucks.com/towing-gui...0&gclsrc=3p.ds
Jim thanks I had been looking for that chart and for some reason couldn't find it for the new trucks. I had seen it in past years.
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Old 10-02-2020, 11:12 PM   #12
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According to the ram capacity page with a 3500 big horn 4x4 4.10 gears drw the difference in payload and max trailer between a std output and h.o. is

Std 6.7L.. 5770 lbs payload 21,600 lbs max towing
H.O. 6.7L 5510 lbs payload 33,620 lbs max towing
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Old 10-03-2020, 07:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyinace View Post
According to the ram capacity page with a 3500 big horn 4x4 4.10 gears drw the difference in payload and max trailer between a std output and h.o. is

Std 6.7L.. 5770 lbs payload 21,600 lbs max towing
H.O. 6.7L 5510 lbs payload 33,620 lbs max towing
The actual weights are;
Aisin 400#
68RFE 263#
So the actual difference in weight is 137#, that is nothing in the big picture.

I will also state that the payload on our 2016 Ram Laramie 3500 DRW Aisin 3.73 is 5,411# with moon roof and 5th wheel prep.
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Old 10-03-2020, 07:59 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by jimcumminsw View Post
Have you check the Ram home page for towing basics? All of the Ram trucks are SAE J2807 compliant. These pages list the truck model and what engine and transmission with gear differential are in the trucks plus the towing information that you are looking for!
I have attached the link for the 2015 thru 2020 trucks for you to review!

https://www.ramtrucks.com/towing-gui...0&gclsrc=3p.ds
Jim I've gone over this charts again and and for difference between the standard diesel with 68RFE and the HO with the AISIN is stark and significant. As I mentioned in the earlier reply That's the chart I was looking for and for some reason it eluded me. I'm going to go with the HO version now the question is whether a dealer has what I want and will sell for what I want to pay. Eventually someone will.
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