1997 Dodge Ram from North America - Comments

11th Dec 2004, 20:34

My dad bought a 1997 Dodge Ram 1500 extended cab Laramie SLT 4x4 with the 5.9L in 1999 with 42,482 miles. Now it has 176,493 miles and just put in a new transmission. The old transmission would make a "winding noise" when you let off the gas or started to brake. and at about 160,000 miles the 1st gear linkage fell off so it would always start off in 2nd gear and there was no 1st gear period. also new catalytic converter and O2 sensors, new spark plugs, accessory belt and tension pulley. But now totally different story, its running "like a rock".

2nd Dec 2005, 15:25

I have a Dodge Ram 2500 and am getting significant rain water in the cab. Took it to the dealer, who charged me $90 to tell me they couldn't locate where the leak was coming from. One of the comments at this web site stated they had a rear sliding window problem, but did not elaborate. Any ideas out there?

6th Jan 2006, 11:38

I just bought a 1997 Dodge Ram Extended Cab, Short Bed. I live in the country where you have to drive 70 miles just to get groceries. My dodge has 138000 miles on it and runs like a dream. The steering is nice and tight, and it can haul a load better than any Chevy we have ever owned. It still has the original transmission, and it passed full mechanical inspection before I bought it. In addition to that my wife loves it and the cab gives plenty of room for the two car seats in the back. I feel great about our decision to buy a Dodge, instead of another Chevy. Out here in the Canadian Rockies, you have to have a reliable truck to get around, and I stand by my Dodge.

29th Mar 2006, 21:16

I own a 1997 dodge 1500 4*4 slt. I have no clue what is wrong with the front ends on these thing. On my dodge around 45-55 it will shack really, really bad. If anyone has any clue please post it on here. I have already replaced upper and lower ball joints and you joints.

11th Apr 2006, 10:02

I have a 1997 Dodge Ram Extended Cab that had a steering problem. The answer to the question about the tires wabbling back and forth in the front end. You can buy a pitman arm and go ahead and replace the idler arm too! I just replaced mine at 115k miles and it was real bad. You hit the smallest bump and the wheels would wobble wildly. But the truck really is a great truck. Parts do break down after some time! The pitman arm is tough to get off! You will need to buy the correct puller for this task. A cheap puller won't do the job. Also understand, wedging anything between the steering head and the Pitman. Will harm the Steering head, so don't pry on the Pitman arm to get it off. Simply rent or purchase the correct tool for the job.

3rd Mar 2008, 08:47

If you are having problems with the truck shaking you might have a shifted belt in the tire.

9th Oct 2008, 13:58

You might want to check the cabin air intake rail for a clogged drain and all, so check the A/C duct drain. My neighbor's Impala had the same problem of rain water. The drain was clogged and couldn't drain fast enough, so during medium to heavy rain, the water would end up inside.

28th Jan 2009, 13:24

I have a 99 Dodge Ram 4x4, and when I turned the key on to start it today, my wipers turned on and now they won't turn off... What can it be??? Any ideas??

16th Feb 2010, 06:45

I have a 97 Ram 1500 Ext. Cab, 5.9L 4x4 with 201800 miles.

My transmission is finally starting to go screwy. I started by changing the filter and fluid, but it doesn't seem to be the problem. It goes into D and R just fine; it is only shifting from 1-2 and 2-3, 3-4 that it has problems, and then slowing down it seems to not want to go back to 1st.

I love my truck, and it has been running like a scalded dog when the tranny was right. I give it hell and run over 90 mph on a regular basis. What could my problem be, is it the kickdown solenoid, or is it the control solenoid? I just hope it is either of those, because anything else means a rebuild, or worse, a new one. Please help me out here if you can.

17th Feb 2010, 09:57

I say your serious abuse is the problem. Running a transmission at that speed for long periods of time (especially a pick-up truck transmission, which is meant more for pulling than running at extremely high speeds) is going to be seriously harmful. Your transmission has probably been overheated too many times. Just like overheating an engine, it can cause serious damage.

Automatic transmissions use a series of small clutches to engage and disengage specific gears and what not; overheat these clutches, they're going to wear out faster. Once they're worn out completely, the transmission won't shift anymore. Since you say it seems to shift from 1-2 okay, but 2-3-4 is a problem, that tells me that going 90 MPH all the time is the mostly likely cause, considering the transmission is going to be in its highest gear at that speed. Your most likely looking at a rebuild or replacement, but only a proper inspection will give you the answer. My advice, SLOW DOWN.

1st Sep 2010, 23:53

I am a Dodge lover. I own a 97 Dodge 1500 4x4 and it is awesome. I drive the bag off it, put it through a whole lot of mud and bush and it treats me great, except for any of the mechanical damages I cause myself of course, what can I say?

I've put a lot of work into it, but the truck has 356000 km on it and I'm just about to drop a new tranny in it for the first time. The only other problems I've had is a couple you joint, water pump and cap and roader. I can't complain about this truck at all. It makes a great farm truck and daily commuter. 356000 km and she's still going strong... love it!

Tj

Lumsden SASK.

28th Mar 2011, 05:29

Plain and simple - next truck is a Chevy.

12th Jul 2011, 20:36

Thanks for the good news, that's what I like to hear (as I am getting ready to purchase a 1500 Ram 1997). Many people swear by these trucks, and I am hoping it will last a LOOOOOOOOONG time (for a work truck).

30th Sep 2011, 17:40

I've got a 98 1500 4x2 with an automatic, and it did the same thing at about 125000. The dealer said it was a shift solenoid, but it was the shift pressure switch on the valve body. Replaced it and everything started working great. Good thing..

30th Sep 2011, 22:41

Honestly, it just depends. I have a 95 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 with the original motor and tranny, and I haven't done anything except a timing gear on it, and it has 300k miles and going strong. Along with the fact that I beat the ever living crap out of it every day.

16th Jan 2013, 20:44

I have a 1997 Dodge Ram Club Cab with the 6'4" bed 4x2 with 5.2L 318.

Bought it in 2006 with 135,000 miles for $1000.00 (not running) from the original owner and neighbor.

Replaced the fuel pump, and replaced the entire front steering and suspension. Also redid the interior of the truck (it was nasty). All in all, $2000 for the truck.

I drove it like hell in high school (first car/truck), did the water pump at 142,000 miles, then radiator and thermostat at 150,000 miles. P/S pump sheared the shaft at about 156,000 miles (high speed doughnuts in the sand dunes at 4-5k RPM), and evaporator went out at about 145,000 miles.

The engine started knocking at 180,000, transmission went out at 187,000 miles, and the engine and transmission were rebuilt and installed.

Engine had to come back out for warranty with coolant in cylinder 7 at 207,000 miles, and I have been driving this truck daily for the last 4 years, averaging 200-300 miles a week, and now have 231,000 miles and counting without any issues since. Well I did have to change the water pump again at 227,000 miles (seeping front seal), but I am an automotive technician and maintain my truck.

Forgot to mention that the first owner drove it hard also. I will drive this truck till it is dead. I do a lot of heavy hauling and towing in this truck, and don't hesitate to floor it any time.

20th Oct 2013, 08:41

Just purchased a 97 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 with 130,000 miles on it. I'm having issues with my steering. I am yet to buy any parts. The mechanic I took it to told me it was the steering gear... I was fine with that until I saw and read everyone else's comments on having same issue even after replacing $2000 worth of parts! I absolutely love driving this truck. If anyone out there has had the same issue with a success fix, please let me know. It really is a pain when I find myself wandering into oncoming traffic, then I over correct into the breakdown lane. I'm just waiting to get a DWI when I don't even drink LOL... Thanks all.

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