Dodge Ram truck Third Generation
|2002 to 2008|
|Production||2001–2008 (1500) 2002–2009 (2500 & 3500)|
|Designer||Cliff Wilkins (1998)|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door Regular cab 4-door Quad cab 4-door Mega Cab Dually|
|Platform||Chrysler DR/DH/D1/DC/DM platform|
|Engine||3.7 L PowerTech V6 4.7 L PowerTech V8 5.7 L Hemi V8 5.9 L Magnum V8 5.9 L Cummins diesel I6 6.7 L Cummins diesel I6 8.0 L Magnum V10 8.3 L Viper V10|
|Transmission||4-speed 45RFE automatic 5-speed 545RFE automatic 6-speed 68RFE automatic 6-speed AS68RC 6-speed NV5600 manual 5-speed NV3500 manual|
|Wheelbase||204.3 in (5,189 mm) 192.3 in (4,884 mm) 188.3 in (4,783 mm) 168.3 in (4,275 mm) 144.3 in (3,665 mm) 164.3 in (4,173 mm) 120.5 in (3,061 mm) 140.5 in (3,569 mm) 160.5 in (4,077 mm)|
|Length||295.1 in (7,496 mm) 283.1 in (7,191 mm) 279.1 in (7,089 mm) 259.1 in (6,581 mm) 255.1 in (6,480 mm) 235.1 in (5,972 mm) 207.7 in (5,276 mm) 229.7 in (5,834 mm) 249.7 in (6,342 mm)|
|Width||79.5 in (2,019 mm) 96 in (2,438 mm) (Towing mirrors)|
|Height||75.7-80.8 in (1923–2052 mm)|
The third-generation Ram debuted for 2002 model year on 1500 models and 2003 on 2500 and 3500 models. This was a major update including an all new frame, suspension, powertrains, interiors, and sheet metal. It included a larger grille, and special models kept interest up as most competitors had adopted the Ram's separate-fender look. The crew cab models for this generation were actually Quad Cab trucks that had conventional-opening rear doors. The four-wheel-drive light trucks (1500 series) lost their live axles in favor of an independent front suspension, but the 2500 and 3500 series retained the live axles for maximum longevity and durability. This body style drew heavily from the previous generation.
The redesigned trucks bolstered sales, with 400,000 sold during 2001-2002 and nearly 450,000 sold during 2002-2003, a new high point for the Ram name. At the same time, both Ford and GM trucks were increasing in sales from a 2001 peak over 850,000 to the 900,000 range. But the Ram's sales could not keep up with the eleventh-generation F-150 and the new Nissan Titan in 2003-2004 and 2004-2005, with 400,543 Rams sold that year. The primary reason was that Dodge did not manufacture a true crew cab to compete with Ford and other manufacturers.
The Dodge Ram was updated for the 2006 model year. One notable addition was the "Mega Cab", featuring a 6.25-foot (2 m) cargo box and 22 inches (560 mm) of extra cab space, allowing seating for six with rear recliners. Also, a full screen mapping in-dash navigation system became an option. The headlamps have been redesigned for better performance.
For 2006, the steering wheel design was changed to one from the Dodge Dakota and Dodge Durango. Bluetooth U Connect was now available as an option, and a front facelift was given to all Ram models. SIRIUS Satellite Radio was available, as well was a rear seat DVD entertainment system with wireless headphones. The SRT model, with the 8.3L V10 engine from the Dodge Viper SRT/10, was discontinued after the 2006 model year.
In 2007, a 3500 Chassis Cab model was introduced with industry standard rear frame width and wiring to accommodate outfitters. In addition to the 5.7 L (345 cu in), a Cummins 6.7 L (408 cu in) diesel rated at 350 hp (260 kW) and 650 lb·ft (880 N·m) was also available. Automatic Transmissions used were the 545RFE with the 5.7 L (345 cu in) the AS68RC with the 6.7 L (408 cu in). The G56 transmission was the only manual transmission offered.
For 2008, Dodge introduced two more Chassis Cab models, the 4500 and 5500. These were Class 4 and Class 5 trucks with a Gross Weight of 16,500 lb (7,500 kg) and 19,500 lb (8,800 kg), respectively. Both trucks came equipped with the same version of the Cummins 6.7 L (408 cu in) diesel as the 3500 chassis cab model. Sterling, who worked with Dodge in development, had their own version called the Sterling Bullet with a unique grille. Sterling is a division of Freightliner LLC which, like Dodge, was owned by the former Daimler Chrysler. Sterling Trucks was licensed to sell Dodge Ram 4500 series trucks as the Sterling Bullet. When the Sterling brand was phased out by Chrysler Corporation, the Bullet was discontinued.
Models built after January 1, 2007 offered a new 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel introduced as an option in 2500/3500 models replacing the 5.9L. It produced 350 hp (260 kW) and 650 lb·ft (881 N·m). Unlike the 5.9L which was backed by the 4-speed 48RE Transmission, the 6.7L was equipped with the new 6-speed 68RFE transmission.
2005 was the last year for the first version of the 5.7 L (345 cu in) Hemi V8. 2006 half-ton models offered the Multi-Displacement System Hemi V8 engine that also became available in Chrysler and Dodge sedans. This engine featured the same performance but had a cylinder-deactivating feature enabled under light loads to increase fuel economy by 3 MPG city and 4 MPG hwy. This new Hemi still delivered 345 hp (257 kW) and 375 lb·ft (508 N·m).
For the 2003 model year, AAM axles replaced the Dana Corp axles. In the front all 2500 and 3500 trucks got the 9.25" with 33 spline axles. The rear options for the 2500 and 3500 were the AAM (often referred to as "corporate") 10.5" and 11.5". Rear axle shafts are 30 spline. The rear 11.5" has a gear ratio "carrier split" at 3.73 and numerically higher, but the General Motors AAM axles used a different carrier spacing preventing installation of a Chrysler carrier into some GM axles, but the GM carrier can be installed in the Chrysler axle if a ring gear spacer is installed. Strength is similar to their earlier Dana 70 and 80 counterparts. Direct comparisons are difficult as the axles are made with completely different metallurgy.