1997 Dodge Ram Pickup RAM 1500 Laramie SLT 5.2 V8 Magnum from North America

Summary:

Well thought out and planned, and a work of art

Faults:

My parents bought the truck in 2006 for me to drive. The truck that lived next door since new. My neighbor just filled the tank, and was going up hill on Atlantic Blvd when the engine just died out. Won't restart. Towed home. He was looking at new Dodge trucks, and ended up buying a new Dodge Ram 1500. So we bought it from him.

Me and my dad start working on it, and found that the gas pump had died. We replaced the entire gas sending module, and the truck fired right up.

We then found out that the entire steering linkage system was worn out. There was a quarter of a turn of free play in the steering wheel. We rebuilt the entire steering assembly and have had no problems since.

There is a small tear in the Driver's door seat facing top side seam about 2-3 inches in length. Other than than upholstery is near perfect, except the previous (original) owner smoked a lot. We replace the carpet and head liner, and scrubbed the entire interior.

Original radiator upper driver side front side seal went at like 149,000 miles. Also replaced the original radiator hoses. Also replaced the original thermostat.

Original water pump went at like 150,000 miles.

AC started to leak at 156,000 miles.

Original transmission no problems. Original engine never rebuilt. Still going strong.

At like 146,000 miles, I noticed a rattle in exhaust, probably a baffle plate in the muffler. Not worried.

Noticed the original belt tensioner was sticking a little, replaced at 147,000 miles, but the belt was not slipping.

So far nothing else has had to be done. We paid $1000.00 for the truck and have about $1600.00 in parts in it, if that. So $2600.00 for a 97 Dodge Ram 1500, that's not bad.

Original front and rear shocks replaced at 156,500 miles.

General Comments:

If you step down on the gas, you get pinned to your seat. Floor it and the truck does 45mph in first gear before a forced shift in the transmission. 75mph in second gear, 90mph in third. Not sure when it shifts to 4th.

This truck handles better than Corvettes and other high speed sports cars.

Lots of power; haven't found anything I can't tow. Only wish is that it was 4x4.

Accelerates with ease. All you have to do is lightly push down on the pedal and you will accelerate without the truck down shifting.

With it being a truck and having a stiff suspension for payload, the ride is a little bit rough, but not like teeth shattering vibrations or jaw breaking jolts. But you feel some of the bumps on the road; enough to make small ripples in a bottle of water.

Love the fold up rear bench seat.

Seats are very comfortable. Everything on the truck is functional, everything works perfectly.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th October, 2008

7th Sep 2010, 13:17

Yeah they are beautiful trucks I just bought a 97 Dodge Ram Laramie off my dad and it has been the most reliable truck my dad has ever owned.

Now it is my pride and joy. :)

27th Feb 2011, 13:59

I bought a used '98 Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab 4x4 with 170,000+ miles for $5900 that needed a little work. I get all my parts at RockAuto.com, so the first things that went were the power steering pump & power brake booster. I got a new PS pump for $97, and a new PB Booster for $98 off Rock Auto, had it installed (along with new axles to replace the annoying "clacking" noise in the front end) and have had no problems since then.

No other truck beats the Dodge's cabin interior - it's so cavernous! The center console is filled with 3 large ratchet straps, a few CDs, and some emergency spare change ($10 worth). Glove compartment is spacious and huge. Rear seat is nicely positioned that I can still fit stuff underneath it, as well as my passengers can sit comfortably.

I also like the Dodge's stance when it sits - with an aggressive front look and a very high rear end (I have the 4wd 1500 Sport model), so high in fact that those drivers with their fancy Xenon HID lights aren't able to blind me when sitting at stoplights.

For years, I've driven Fords (87 Ranger, 95 Bronco, 94 F250, & 84 F150) and have horrendous issues with trying to come to a stop in wintry conditions. The more I pressed on the Ford's pedal, the more it wanted to force itself back up, resulting in a horrible crumbling noise. I was told it was Ford's Anti-Lock "safety" feature.

The Dodge has absolutely no problems when coming to a stop in snowy conditions, and performs as it should. Engaging & disengaging the 4WD is a breeze too.

1997 Dodge Ram Pickup 5.9 L from North America

Faults:

I am on transmission #3 and it is no longer shifting correctly.

Have to replace ball joints yearly.

Overall.. tough truck, but highly expensive to drive and maintain.

General Comments:

Lots of power, but lots of money.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 9th September, 2008