1985 Dodge Ramcharger Royal SE 318 2V from North America
Low-maintenance dependability in a rugged 4WD
I experienced no problems and spent no money on repairs during the first 40,000 miles of ownership, from 160,000 to 200,000 miles.
After 200,000 miles, the starter and alternator needed replacement.
After 200,000 miles, the magnetic pickup in the distributor needed replacement.
After 200,000 miles, the steering knuckle needed replacement.
At 215,000 miles, the front and rear differentials needed to be rebuilt.
At 217,000 miles, the hydraulic lifters rattle after starting, and the engine uses 1 quart of oil per 2,000 miles.
This vehicle has been very dependable and required extremely low maintenance. My average maintenance cost has been 6 cents per mile.
This vehicle has been very rugged and responded well to use as a 4-wheel drive in remote mountainous areas, adverse weather conditions, and general driving conditions.
At altitudes over 6,000 feet, the engine ran too rich, experienced loss of power, and was susceptible to cold and moisture, but this appeared to be a carburetor or choke adjustment problem.
I plan to keep this vehicle forever because there is simply no other SUV on the market that could replace the Ramcharger.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 20th April, 2002
4th Feb 2006, 18:30
It's me again, the original reviewer. My '85 Ramcharger now has 241,000 miles on it and is still going strong, showing no signs of quitting. I drive it to work every day and the occasional 120 mile round trip to the airport or 300 mile round trip for sightseeing adventures, with no problems. Gas mileage is 12 city/16 highway. Still starts, runs, and shifts good. The only thing is that the oil blow-by seems to cause the spark plugs to foul earlier than the recommended 30,000 mile replacement interval. This thing has become the linchpin of my financial strategy because I was saving up for a new car, but when it became apparent that it was going to keep running for a long time, I used the money to knock down my mortgage instead! Too bad they don't make 'em like this anymore.