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Old 11-12-2014, 08:09 PM   #1
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2014 Ram 2500 6.4l Hemi 5er Review

Well I looked all over for information regarding pulling a 5er before pulling the trigger on a new 14 2500 CC 4x4 6.4 with 3:73s. I found very little so I thought I would post my experiences and opinions.

My background... Responsible married male with 2 married daughters and 3 grandsons. I have pulled all over with the exception of the north east and north west parts of the country. I have put hundreds of thousands of miles on an 03 2500 5.9, 05 3500 5.9 and an 08 3500 6.7. All Cummins all quad cabs and all 4x4. The 6.7 was an automatic and I ordered it. It was going to be my last truck.

Now I am no slow poke but I don't run 80 pulling either with diesel bumping $4 a gallon I really started looking at my mpg. I purchased a new 5er and we make weekend runs of 200 miles one way to the coast. My 08 was averaging around 9 mpg pulling and that is using cruise and stuck on 65 mph. The more I drove the more mad I became at low sulphur and the price and the emissions on my oil burner. So I decided it was time to let her breath only to learn that the rules had changed in the last few years regarding dpf deletes and the h&s that I wanted. I was looking at 3 grand. Again I was not thrilled.

I had been eyeing the 5.7s and just did not think it would fit my needs. I had a 5.7 charger that I put 120k on and thrashed it regularly with out issue.

My local dealer called to say there were some significant rebates on the 14 rams and I went to look. The salesman owns a 6.4 and the sales manager has one for his personal as well. So I start to look into the 6.4 as a viable replacement.

The max lifetime warranty sealed the deal. The numbers where good and I made the swap. Now I pull a 20' bay boat, a 25' walk around and Wildcat 313RE which comes in at 12k pounds and 34'. I put on full replacement bumpers my headache rack and tool box, a B&W turnover and side steps. I also added Firestone airbags and an HD compressor. I pull the 5er with a B&W companion. 90% of the time my truck is hooked up to a trailer and it is not my daily driver.

My biggest concern was power and then mpg. I took a 1200 mile round trip through the Texas hill country to southern Arkansas. I had 600 miles on the truck.

I can say that while it wasn't a Cummins the power was very good. It was very much like my 03 5.9 HO (which I loved and wish I still owned). It never struggled but did run from 3rd to 5th regularly. I never felt a shift and only heard it when she went to 3rd. I put cruise on 65 we had a quartering crosswind and lots of stop and goes in small towns. My first stretch was 200 miles and I averaged 7.4 hand calculated. My second stretch was a little over 200 and averaged 8.9 at 60 and lots of slowdowns and power up through small towns. On my return trip I wanted some wide open interstate to run. Once we hit Texas I rerouted to interstate hiway. We had quartering and headwinds of 35 mph +. I wanted to play a bit and I ran her harder. Faster starts and passing folks on back roads. I averaged 6.5 hand calculated and speed was 55-70 mph varying with traffic.

I topped off in Texarkana and set cruise on 70 running in a quartering headwind on I 30 to Dallas. Again 35 mph winds. She cruised right along in 4th at 2500 rpm and averaged 7.01 hand calculated. I ran up to 80 mph when passing. Mostly flat ground. Ounce I made the Turn and got the tail wind I bumbled to 10.3 hand calculated at 70 mph. Rpm's ran 2000 in mostly 5th gear.

Running 68 rpm's in 3rd 3000, 4th 2500 and 5th 2000. The Hemi was very quiet except for 3rd. I don't think I felt it shift the entire trip. I believe the tow/haul mode does more than knock out 6th gear and MDS. I really seamed to gear down and downshift when slowing.

2500 springs vs 3500 leafs. The springs on the 2500 definitely give a smoother ride with the exception of back to back bumps. With airbags set at 5 it would give almost a recoil like reaction. With air bags at 30 psi it was the smoothest riding rig I've ever owner trailering (not quite level and a little nose high).

Things I miss: turbo, I love hearing the turbo spoiling. Exhaust brake... No explanation needed. Constant speed. With the Cummins if I set cruise at 65 it stayed at 65... Straight up or down it didn't vary the turbo kept it right there. The hemi seems to have a 10 mph swing. If cruise is set on 65 it will run between 60 and 70 MPH.

I am very pleased with everything. I think if I was pulling anything much bigger or heavier or in mountains all the time or a full timer I would stick with an oil burner.

Things I don't miss. Running the credit card through twice to fill the tank. I ran all 87 octane as per the owners manual and gas was $2.51 to $2.69 vs $3.49-$3.79. Regen. Worrying about egr temp.

I am averaging 12.7-14 mixed driving. On a 200 mile stretch I got 14 mpg set on 70 mph.

It will be interesting to see what the next few years brings. I would think bumps in hp and torque. I would like to see what real world numbers are dynoed.

Anyway. That's my two cents for guys doing searches pondering the 6.4l Ram Hemi.


2014 Silverback 29RE, 2014 Ram 2500 CC 4x4 Hemi 6.4 auto w/ airbags, B&W Companion. Saltwater boats and rum like any good pirate.

Loose the 2nd and the rest will follow.
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Old 11-12-2014, 09:28 PM   #2
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Thanks for the detailed report.



Nights camped in 2013 - 55, 2014 - 105, 2015 - 63
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Old 11-13-2014, 10:38 AM   #3
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Hate to say it but reading that makes me glad I have a 12 Ram 2500 CTD. 11.5-12.3mpg towing my 9000lb 5er. 11mpg in town, 17-18.5 mpg hwy. My break even point is .50 difference in fuel cost. Had a gasser that got the same non mpg towing but only 8.5-9 mpg towing. I split 50-50 during the year between towing and non towing. Never been bothered by regens. Only have one extra oil change a year. $68.00 at the dealer. I suppose if I lived somewhere besides Oregon and didn't constantly tow hills and mtn passes then a gasser might work. The constant gear changing when running through the Cascades gets annoying over time. BTDT with a 1/2 ton gasser and 7300lb TT. Especially when you tow 5000 miles a year .
JMO but 12,000lbs is a good load for any gasser. I would bet that dropping that to 6000-7500lbs would really make the 6.4 shine. Not that it doesn't have the power for 12,000lbs, it would just be a more relaxed tow with 5000lbs less behind it. Probably would never see 4th except for a steeper climb. Mpgs would go up as well.
Nice report. Your experience seems inline with most I've read.
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Old 11-13-2014, 11:13 AM   #4
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My 1500 gets 8-10mpg when towing my trailer which has a dry weight of 6800 lbs. Without the trailer I'm getting 16 city driving and low to mid 20's on the freeway. I do have to go through mountains everywhere I go since I live in a valley and my truck handles the trailer just fine, but I was considering upgrading to a 2500 just for the heavier suspension. After reading your review I might just stick with what I have since it's working and the mileage seems to be better.

Thanks, you saved me a bunch of money!

2015 Evo 2700
2013 Ram 1500 Big Horn Hemi
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Old 11-13-2014, 06:52 PM   #5
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One addition item. The Cummins was of course heavier. I never felt any wind. I could drive into a 60 mph wind and never feel it. The same with Picking a line on a curve. I am going to get an alignment done just to be sure.

Just to be clear I am very pleased with the Hemi. I paid 5k less for a 14 2500 Hemi than I did a comparably equipped 08 3500 Cummins (I had a coupon deal from dodge for 17k off MSRP in 2008) with a max lifetime warranty.

I love the V8 rumble. I had no doubt I could run hit the rev limmiter in a 35 MPH headwind pulling 12k. Will it pull more? you bet. The guys I have talked to are getting a 2-3 mpg bump after 3 or 4k miles.

I have always pulled heavy loads since I had my first truck at 15. Goosenecks and stocktrailers with cattle stacked on top of each other. At no time was is uncomfortable or stressful. quite the opposite. With 30 psi on the airbags you wouldn't know it was back there unless you were watching the gas gauge.

I drive a 2010 F250 4x4 5.4 for work. The Hemi blows it out of the water. As far as gassers I have had 3 7.5 (460s) and a 454 (vette motor) in an 84 I ton flatbed gm. This truck leaves them all in the dust. That being said I doubt you will find anyone that wants to buy one for its hill climbing ability or any other gasser for that matter. Where I expect it to really shine is pulling my boats.

If diesel was the same price and low sulpur was not in the vocabulary I would still have one. No regrets on this one.

2014 Silverback 29RE, 2014 Ram 2500 CC 4x4 Hemi 6.4 auto w/ airbags, B&W Companion. Saltwater boats and rum like any good pirate.

Loose the 2nd and the rest will follow.
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