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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

This Cummins-powered 1984 Dodge Ram is all the work truck you can handle | Hagerty Media

Last week, my neighbor called a plumber, and he turned up in this rig. Perhaps that's an inadequate description. This truck does not "turn up." It shoves itself into view with the authority of the Chrysler building. Or the USS Eisenhower. Or a fully armed and operational Death Star.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/car-profiles/this-1984-dodge-ram-is-all-the-work-truck-you-can-handle/
43 REPLIES 43
RAMCHARGER
New Driver

. Dodge masterfully engineered the RAM to accommodate the size and power of the Cummins turbo diesel engine, and the first Cummins-powered RAM hit the streets in 1989.
sego
Intermediate Driver

A beautiful beast!
Aquadave
Intermediate Driver

Wonder if one of those engines would fit in my 06 Jeep TJ?
Without cutting it up of course.
PRScott
Detailer

No , but cummins has a 4cyl diesel crate version that puts out 170 bhp and that would slip right in
BrendanMc
Intermediate Driver

There's also a clever VW TDI swap (retains all Jeep ancilliaries) from an outfit called COTY that's local to me. It's an offshoot from HPA, so they know what they're doing.
Eric2
Intermediate Driver

Well, the boys on Roadkill dropped a Cummins 12V Diesel into an older 70's-80's Caddy (They did have to do some serious cutting though)! lol
SGL
Pit Crew

I know it’s never going away, but it grates me hearing these called “first generation” trucks, when they are actually about the fourth generation Dodge pickup (depending on whether you count the change from “birdbath” to flat hoods and the associated circa-1980 restyle a “generation,” personally I wouldn’t). It’s like someone decided that the Dodge truck sprang into existence in 1989 when they put the Cummins in the 1972-generation truck that came right after the Stepside/Sweptline generation. It didn’t. And in fact there are at least two separate Dodge pickup truck family trees if you throw in the military Power Wagon, as well as the heavies all the way up to the Class 8 Bighorn tractor prior to 1976.
MATTMERICA
Instructor

Excellent point. I wonder how many people actually know how Dodge spun off the Ram brand? Regardless, the Dodge power wagon was perhaps the best 4x4 truck for decades - like 50 years - so to imagine that this rig just poofed into existence is laughable.
BrendanMc
Intermediate Driver

Fair, but I meant this was a first-gen Ram. I suppose I could have put something in there about the Power Wagons, and in fact, the owner of this truck is currently restoring a '46 PW.
SGL
Pit Crew

My point is that they started calling it a Dodge Ram halfway through a generation, not at the beginning. And it’s no more a generational change than Chevy switching from Cheyenne to Silverado. It’s just a name, nothing substantive.  

But like I said, I know it’ll never change. Too much inertia. 😞

RAMCHARGER
New Driver

The Dodge Heavy Duties had Cummins and Perkins Diesels.

Dodge made its own Diesel Engine, and in 1977 the D250 model had a Mitsubishi Diesel engine [one model/model year]

Dodge produced 4 wheel drive trucks for the military before WWII and civilian market way before Ford or GM.

 

Battle_Born
New Driver

Relax and just enjoy a great story.
TimA
Pit Crew

The generational terminology applies to Cummins-powered trucks. Don’t make it more than it is. That’s where it came from, as a way to differentiate between them. Because at the time you had two different 12 valves. Of course it has also spread to include the body style in general. It’s an oddity but is what it is. I get into debates all the time about the ‘19-current HD trucks not being a 5th gen since they are still on the 4th
Utopia1
Detailer

The truck harkens back to a time when RAM's were decent trucks.....dated but decent.
Oldimpala
Intermediate Driver

100% with you.

Wouldn't touch a modern Dodge for all the money in the world. This era Ram and PowerWagon are cool, almost for the exact reason that they *are* so vintage.

It's scary that this '84 makes the already more than a decade old GM Squarebody look downright modern.
MATTMERICA
Instructor

I have a 1979 macho wagon and the thought of driving any other truck sickens me. Except for the 1994 Lightning it sleeps next to lol
gfviperman
Detailer

Hide the women and children!!!!
25aniv
Intermediate Driver

Man I LOVE this truck! My daily drivers over 15yrs were a mixed bag of four diesel/gas crew cab dually pickups and I'm hunting for the 5th.
That Cummins engine, what more can you say about it? It may actually be the only thing that outlives Keith Richards!
Eric2
Intermediate Driver

My friend has a 97 Dodge Dually with the 12V steelhead and he's got over 550,000 on it. He broke it in pulling a heavy duty 48' flatbed trailer doing hotshots across the country. (never been out of engine bay either) From my understanding, when Dodge started slapping the Cummins 24V aluminum head, the engines started having problems?
TimA
Pit Crew

No Cummins in a Dodge Ram has EVER had an aluminum head. The engines don’t “have” problems; the 24v had an insufficient supply pump, which when it failed, robbed the VP44 injection pump from much-needed lubrication (the diaphragm inside is lubricated by fuel) thereby causing injection pump failures. The Common Rail trucks are solid, however if you lose an injector it can get spendy very fast. And of course emissions on the 6.7 are a problem that is here to stay.
tahend
Detailer

I think Dodge still makes great trucks. My 04 1500 5.7 Hemi has 238,000 miles on it and has never left the engine bay.
stevecobb45
Detailer

But have you had any problem with the heater/A/C air flow directional flapper. Parts made from plastic just don't hold up for most automotive applications. Love my 04 1500 too but Dodge screwed the pooch when they chinched out cheap parts.
Reinhold_Weege
Advanced Driver

Sound logic. You should probably limit yourself to vehicles made only using steel HVAC mode doors.
TimA
Pit Crew

Except plastic has been in wide use in vehicles since the ‘60’s. All the plastic bits in my ‘70 Challenger are fine. Same with my ‘68 Roadrunner and Satellite. Hell, the few plastic bits on my ‘57 Chevy are fine. My point is this: your argument is flawed.
Numberscruncher
Detailer

How many people really *need* something like that?
dblinton
New Driver

Lots of people that work hard and appreciate what they heave...and have the time and skill to make it work.
Air_and_Water
Detailer

Isn't it wonderful that other people cannot dictate to us what, within reason, we want or need in our lives? I mean, how horrible would that be?
64jeepsrt
Intermediate Driver

you probably dont need it... but it sure makes a HUGE statment when it make an appearence!
turbobill
Intermediate Driver

My '97 12 valve is a large beast......extended cab 8" box. It too stays in the garage and never goes out in salt. I only use it when I need a truck. Lot's of other drivers to put wear and tear on.

Low miles 119K so off to the body shop it went for a redo in '18. I only put 1,000 miles a year on it so it should last well past me.
Maestro1
Instructor

Brendan, well done. Machado's creation with help from some very good people is excellent and impressive. Thank you for this and stay well.
Jpdelpozo
Pit Crew

Oh man, I just gotta get my 2 bits into this conversation! I once owned a Dodge POWER WAGON! Circa 1972 issue 1/2 ton. A step side running a 383 cubic inch engine as I wore out the 360 that came in it. I lived in Idaho at the time. This truck went places that guys only took Jeeps! It had the factory locker in the rear and I added a locker in the front along with a Warn winch and bumper. Upgraded all the u-joints and there were 6 total in the drive lines. It had an automatic that was upgraded and built by an outfit in California that built them for off road race trucks. Ran 11:50X16's on American Mags! Folks thought it was a 3/4 ton! I used to skid trees down the mountains with the winch. It's too bad that the factories don't build 4x4 trucks like that anymore. When it went away finally , I think I cried ! Hell I still miss that truck!
SuperDeLuxe
Detailer

$75,000 for a new Ram 3500, less overall durability, less cache, more to insure, more to license, more taxes. Drive the '84 for 10 years and sell it for $40k (maybe more?) - hard to go wrong.
markmathes
Pit Crew

Like my 1st ex-wife's daddy used to say, "It's longer than a hooker's dream."
iamaverb
New Driver

I still own and drive my 2003 3rd Gen Cummins 1 Ton 4x4 short bed a daily basis and plan to die owning it. 

Reinhold_Weege
Advanced Driver

These new Dodge trucks are called "lifestyle" pickups. Can you believe that? The top of the dash is made of plastic; just like the gas tank! No more solid axle on the 2WD, but you can get cruise control and a stereo. Only hippies listen to FM, so you know these aren't being used for work. On top of that, they're cracking $5000 with some options; a few years ago that coin would get you a house in Detroit. All these companies don't understand the market... People won't keep buying trucks.

Every Old Grouch, -1972
Tinkerah
Technician

Very very cool overall but I've never understood the outboard dually configuration. It looks macho but to my thinking all it does is require wider parking clearance. Increased stability in high speed evasive maneuvers? More than enough carrying capacity can be had with single-wheel axles so could someone clue me in?
Reinhold_Weege
Advanced Driver

Increased stability for towing and increased weight carrying ability by spreading the load over a larger contact patch.  

TimA
Pit Crew

It’s for towing and hauling guy. If the outside duals were mounted flush like a single read, then why the hell would you have duals to begin with? You wouldn’t. Having them outboard adds stability and the duals in the first place increase the contact patch and thereby reduce the pressure on the ground from the truck.
chrlsful
Instructor

we re-power w/the 12v at every opportunity. F*^K the 'puters. Now tranny's? a lill more decisions. But like every automotive choice it's asnwred by the APPLICATION Q.
BMD4800
Instructor

We were putting B-series into Case-IH combines, while Navistar was selling the IH V8 diesel to Ford.

Something comforting about that B series lugging along at 1800 rpm, no stress, no problems, hauling way too much weight up to Rim Country.

Crew Cab, 4x4, diesel, long beds is where the Instagram ladies are separated from the breach-birthin’ farm girls.
Gary_Bechtold
Technician

I like the color of the truck and the picture with the steam trains seemed to fit perfectly with the truck. Cummins motors are hard to kill.
SAG
Detailer

Have a 1993 Ram 350 [stock], dually, Cummins turbo, 4x2.
Amazing how much attention it draws still.
_ start-up after fueling draws attention, & a thumbs up.
_112K miles.
almost broken in, Ha.
brb
Advanced Driver

Nice article about a nice project well executed. I admire people that use their rigs daily and keep them nice.