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I want to do alittle comparison. If you were to build a Dodge truck for wheeling, would you use a 72-93, or a 94-02 and why?

To simpilify this, Lets compare an 84 Reg cab Short bed 4x4 318/727/208, to a 96 Ram 1500 Reg cab Short bed 318/46re/231.

Disregard the initial cost.

Which would you build and why?

Garrett
 

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The 84 has manual hubs right?

Rear axles are identical model and both leaf spring. Nothing to compare. Other than rear disk options on the newer rigs, but there are several ways to upgrade to disks on both.

Front axles are both 44s, but the manual hubs are much nicer, as is the one pc. pass axle. BUt I hear that the bearings are a serious POS/PITA and tend to need more frequent R&R.

The 4-link and coils are nice, but more expensive to lift and more complex, but damn does it flex nice. I doubt you could get the same front end flex out of a leaf spring lift of similar height and still be acceptable for a daily driver.

Fewer computer controls on the 84? I would assume so. Easier to waterproof.

In CA, I may even prefer a 72-73 for smog reasons.

Also, the newer hydro-formed frames are supposed to be stronger/stiffer right?

Isn't the 84 tranny better than the newer 94+ 46r?

The 84 is cheaper to fix and upgrade though. Late model parts are $$$.

Also, thrashing an older rig does not hurt as much as messing up the newer one you are still paying off...

All that said... I do prefer the look of the Gen II Rams, the 4-link ride and flex, just hate the unit bearings and price of repair/upgrades.... I would keep building my 97....
 

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Cheaper

I agree, older is cheaper and easier. I work for a Dodge dealer and have been wheeling dodges for 23 yrs.
Nothing bets a old dodge. Parts are all over the wreaking yards!
I've seen guys cry like a little school girl hrting their nice new rigs in the rock and muck! I trailer my 83 Ramcharger to where I'm wheeling and them bring it home. If I break, who cares, I can but it on my trailer. Tow Rig? 98 Cummings quad cab 4x4 solid black.
 

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I personally prefer the 81-84 dodges. They don't have the problematic smaller wheeler bearing of the fultime axles of the 70s or the POS CAD of the newer ones. They can be had relatively cheap, and easy to fix. Almost no computer crap, to get wet. I love my 84 RC with a stripped interior, a NP435, NP208 and good set of locking hubs. Only problem with the 80s is no big block. They are however relatively easy to swap in :D I do love my 383:D
 

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Gen 2

I vote Gen 2. Just cuz its bad ass to wheel a newer rig. If only I had a shop...and some tools...and some money...I could turn my '98 into a sweet wheeler :flipoff2:

Last trail run I did really well compared to the little guys, and got a lot of respect for wheeling such a new truck. Plus the newer truck will be more comfy...
 

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Are you trailering it? If not I would heavily lean towards the new model. I love my A/C, cruise, pwr everything, Infinity sound system for going to the trails, then I pull the doors off and I still have a sweet fuel injected V8, nicely programmed auto tranny, quiet exhaust nic e gauge package etc..... Not to mention less stuff breaks just because it old.
 

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ramv said:
Are you trailering it? If not I would heavily lean towards the new model. I love my A/C, cruise, pwr everything, Infinity sound system for going to the trails, then I pull the doors off and I still have a sweet fuel injected V8, nicely programmed auto tranny, quiet exhaust nic e gauge package etc..... Not to mention less stuff breaks just because it old.
Ditto what he said!!

:D :D :D
 

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Discussion Starter #8
ramv said:
Are you trailering it? If not I would heavily lean towards the new model. I love my A/C, cruise, pwr everything, Infinity sound system for going to the trails, then I pull the doors off and I still have a sweet fuel injected V8, nicely programmed auto tranny, quiet exhaust nic e gauge package etc..... Not to mention less stuff breaks just because it old.
My new model ram needs alot of the fornt end components replaced, already am on my 3rd transfer case, second transmission, needed new headgaskets, etc.. and came with a am/fm radio (not even a casette) from the factory. my old ram has AC, lots of the same packages, but it louder in the cab.
Less breakage from old parts is only when you have a really new ram, not a 95 or 96 with 100,000 plus miles on it.


Garrett
 

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big problem with the newer body style is the lack of room to trim the fenders, you can cut maybe 2 inches out of the rear tops.
lift kits are big bucks for the coil spring suspension setup.

I of course am ignoring this and building my 96 deisel to fit 44's somehow
 

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1972-1973
The initial price is so low...........sometimes free..........you can afford to make any BADASS combo you want, skip smog, and still be out less than buying new and making the new ones trail ready.
Add up a aftermarket FI system, lockers, atlas, lift/tires, new bushings and motor and brakes, along with whatever misc. cab seals, stereo, p/w, a/c, and interior if you want to live in luxury.
still out less I would bet. I suppose this all comes down to how much work you want to do yerself though, this equation won't work out as sweet if ya have to pay for somebody to make this monster.:p
 

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Hick said:


My new model ram needs alot of the fornt end components replaced, already am on my 3rd transfer case, second transmission, needed new headgaskets, etc.. and came with a am/fm radio (not even a casette) from the factory. my old ram has AC, lots of the same packages, but it louder in the cab.
Less breakage from old parts is only when you have a really new ram, not a 95 or 96 with 100,000 plus miles on it.


Garrett
Garret makes a few good points regarding reliability of the newer parts vs. the reliability of the older parts...

BUT... I'd point out that most the items he's mentioned should be on your upgrade list if you're gonna wheel it anyway. While the newer models are nicer and quieter, they just don't make 'em like they used to.

BTW... I've had ZERO problems with my 1998 model, 318 v8. Rear main seal developed a small leak and I ~just~ had it replaced under my extended warranty (if you can believe it!! :cool: ) I consider it a wear item over time anyway.

My t-case chain had a pop or two when I put the Atlas in. But I don't even consider the 231 HD up to wheeling for a pig like the full sizes. As a matter of fact, I'd like the see the 231J replaced with the 231HD in the Jeeps - at a minimum... if you're gonna wheel (Atlas preferred in all cases wallet permitting ;)).

My original transmission lasted 92K miles. *sigh* Till last Sunday. It wheels wheeled pretty hard (as you can see), regularly tows a 4000 lb travel trailer, many cross country towing trips (mountains) included... etc.. I figured nearly 100K on a heavily used/abused tranny was purty good.

I get to pick it up again today! Yay! Now i'll be good for another 100K. OR.... since we've gone with some upgraded parts (clutches, torque converter, tweeks here and there) maybe it'll last 150K. Only time will tell.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
My tranny, when it went out, only had the torque converter go out. I actually drove over 152 (from san jose to los banos) after i started noticing problems with the transmission, then a week of commuting on it. Oh well. And i kinda like my np231, i dont do anything hard core with it, so it works well, in my opinion. I even stoped by advanced adapters and talked to one of the engineers, and because of the way i drive my truck (alot of highway time) he didnt recommend i get an Atlas. Though, i do with i got a slip yoke conversion.. I am waiting fo ranother tailshaft to break :( .. and my transfer case warrenty ends in 3,000 miles.

Garrett
 
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