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.
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!!
) 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.