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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
here's our new tug boat :) We found this hiding on Facebook marketplace for a very reasonable price and couldn't pass it up. It's a 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 CTD Megacab - 5.9 Cummins/48RE auto. Has 217k miles on the clock - runs and drives great.

It'll get a few cosmetic/restoration items attended to soon, and according to the PO it has never had a valve adjustment, so that's going to be done very asaply. Not sure what the color is but it's a light metallic tan - with a matching interior - really like it, plus it'll hide a lot of dirt {cool}.

Best part is when I checked the mpg calculator gizmo it read 24.3, which was freaking awesome - have since reset it and in town it's getting 21+ mpg. Not quite sure whether it has 3.73s or 4.10s but with the 'little' 31" tires so it gets moving "effortlessly", and does about 2300 rpm at 80 mph - not terrible. Will likely put 32's or 33's on it when time comes but not much bigger



 

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Nice...I'm guessing this is the replacement for the Durango?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
...yup, as well as a solid tug boat for the Dakota...and a limo for hauling the kids and lotsa gear {cool} ;D
 

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I had an 06 mega, still one of my favorite trucks although if you ever work on the steering i would recommend upgrading to the 2008.5 and up components.  Much more beefier! Lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
yah roger that - Ben and I have been talking about similar upgrades he had done to his 05 - I'll employ some of those when that time comes {cool}.  So far it feels pretty solid underneath, although I imagine ball joints and steering will likely be addressed within a year.

I'd never driven a 3rd Gen Cummins with the automatic, and I have to say that I reeeeally like it :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
...so I still reaaaaaly like the truck, but I thought I'd pass on some intel we got yesterday from the truck's first tow test.

So the truck is a nice clean '06 mega 5.9/48RE with 217k on the clock. No blow-by - at all. No leaks - none; I'll even park it on my concrete pad. Fluids all look good including the tranny - nice light pink color and no smell after towing heavy. With the tach being a little erratic I can't say for sure whether it has 3.73s or 4.10s, and I haven't yet found a decal saying which, but I think it has 4.10s.

Got it about a month ago, and around town it feels great - 'light and nimble' - plenty of power and nearly no smoke. Sailed through emissions test clean. The PO seems to have genuinely taken pretty good care of it - really pretty happy with it overall. Oh and it gets about 22 mpg average. The PO did say it's never had the valves adjusted nor had injector cleaner ever run through it, both of which have been remedied or scheduled for remedy.

It has a few cosmetic/electric gremlins like broken front grab handles, tach reads 'low', seat adjuster inop - none of which are critical. Stick yer foot in it and the turbo comes on and plenty of power.

Unloaded it just 'goes' - takes nearly no throttle to just roll on out. Granted there's no load and not much boost needed when it's unloaded but it definitely feels 'light' compared to many other auto's I've driven, including some gassers.

Got a brake controller installed and a proper bumper connector for my trailer, loaded my neighbor's 01 Dakota QC on my 3200 lb flatbed, and took it out yesterday for an hour and a half for its first 'tow test'.

The issues. When I first started out the trans seems to shift fine - it didn't move on out as fast as when unloaded of course but it felt 'normal' for having 10k lbs behind it, but the more I drove it the more I noticed that when taking off from a stop light it seemed to develop increasing levels of sluggishness and black smoke - foot is in it but the engine did not 'rev up' like normal - it felt 'bogged down', and not much movement, and lots of smoke - it felt like something (maybe the converter?) was not flashing up into some decent 'get going' rpms nor was the turbo 'there' - not sure if it was turbo lag or what but it felt like it was maybe trying to take off in second gear...but manually shifting into 1st did not change anything.

Come to a stop, drop into 1st, take off and lots of lag/smoke until several seconds later and then it caught up and moved out with a purpose...shift into 2nd and it would shift as expected...then at the top of 2nd it seemed to engage the lockup(??)...which I didn't think it could do.....shift into 3rd and it seemed to very rapidly disengage/3rd/re-engage lockup - each right after the other.

On the way back I noticed the overdrive did not seem as 'eager' to want to engage like it had been thus far - I nearly had to lift completely a few times to get it to go into OD, which it would hold when I throttled back up.

I was in tow-haul mode most of the time.

So, very sluggish off the line when towing - lethargic rpms lots of smoke, and not much power...until after a few seconds and then it would eventually start powering up and yeah it'd start hauling it.

With over 200k miles on it we expect some maintenance will be required sure, I was just very surprised at the vast difference in the off-the-line performance between loaded and unloaded. My '93 CTD would flash stall up to about 1200 rpm and start moving out nicely - every time, but when loaded this 06 seems to have something preventing it from revving up into the power band. I suspect it may need the usual sensors replaced and maybe a new converter...but with how well it drives unloaded it sure doesn't seem to need anything...unless it's towing, and even then I can live with it...but it sure seems like there's something amiss.

Would appreciate any thoughts.

Cheers,
- Sam
 

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I'd say have the fuel system checked, I'm wondering if you having injector over fueling issues.  Might be diluting your oil and washing the rings clean, be careful if it is, lots of potential damage.

I've had to have all 6 injectors, and high fuel regulator changed on my 06, as well as I blew thru a TC and trans.
 

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I’m sure your already planning but a good set of gauges or a good APP pulling info out of the OBD should give you some direction.

I’m assuming you have verified nobody has some weird tune or turner somewhere in the system.

If the injectors are original I would consider changing them, most of my friends that have the 5.9 from that series (including me) have not seem them go over 150k with replacement.  One guy bought your same truck new back when I bought my 06 at 30k one injectors stuck open which hydraulic the engine and put the rod thru the block.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
yes I'm planning a small host of items including the big 3 gauges (pyro, boost, trans temp), and I'm going to swap out the trans governor solenoid and transducer and do an aluminum pan with the temp port.  I'm also going to have the valves adjusted pretty soon - according to the PO they've never been done so that needs to happen pretty asaply.

I'll keep the injector info in mind - sure don't want THAT to happen.

Oh and Happy Birthday America!

- Sam
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
cool thanks! {cool}.  It says the truck has 3.73s...which is what we wanted {cool}.  The tach is a bit 'lazy', which has made determining the gear ratio a bit difficult.  It's a common issue for trucks this age, and fortunately there's a simple fix I'll eventually do - probably when I install some gauges.
 

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No problem. I used it extensively when I researched my new tug boat purchase.

It also goes back well before 98...I did a few 95 Dodge trucks and another guy did his 89 daytona.

It helped me locate a 2015 RAM 2500 Crew Cab 8' bed with the 6.4l HEMI.  Only thing it doesn't have is the 4.10 gears, but the deal was so great I had to jump.  19 grand out the door...justseen today carfax lists it as 27 k value now lol.

I like it so much more than the 2013 Cummins I had, obviously not as much torque, but man will she pull...my 99 V10 is in the resurrection stage of its life, this one makes her missed, but not needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
we test drove a 2013 Megacab 2500 CTD truck and wow I was really not very impressed - it felt like it had to breathe in deep before it got moving - don't know of it was turbo lag or power management or what but it did not feel awesome - it felt 'heavy'.  Soon as we brought it back from the test drive we test drove a similar truck with a 6.4 hemi and yah it fell lots better, and according to the mpg meters in both trucks the CTD registered an average of 9.5 mpg (??!!) and the hemi registered an average of 11.5 - the CTD truck MUST have had an issue or was really really rode hard.

Conversly...this '06 Megacab with the 5.9 feels freaking fantastic...oh and gets 22.5 avg mpg {cool}, and cost less than half of the 2013.  GO 3RD GENS!!
 

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Unless you are planning on a lot of towing miles and a log life for the truck, the HEMI would likly be a better overall cost/efficiency decision.

I only went with he Diesel because my truck tows 70% of the time, and I'm keeping it till one of us dies.
 

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Mad Max said:
we test drove a 2013 Megacab 2500 CTD truck and wow I was really not very impressed - it felt like it had to breathe in deep before it got moving - don't know of it was turbo lag or power management or what but it did not feel awesome - it felt 'heavy'. Soon as we brought it back from the test drive we test drove a similar truck with a 6.4 hemi and yah it fell lots better, and according to the mpg meters in both trucks the CTD registered an average of 9.5 mpg (??!!) and the hemi registered an average of 11.5 - the CTD truck MUST have had an issue or was really really rode hard.

Conversly...this '06 Megacab with the 5.9 feels freaking fantastic...oh and gets 22.5 avg mpg {cool}, and cost less than half of the 2013. GO 3RD GENS!!
Most likely that truck was equipped with 3.42 gears that is on reason why it might of felt that way
 

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Pretty sure 3.42 was the only gear choice available on 2500.  3500 dually could get 4.10.

The new 2019s get 3.73, unless you get the 3500 dually with 4.10s
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Wilsonphil said:
Most likely that truck was equipped with 3.42 gears that is on reason why it might of felt that way
oh wow - really? I suppose just for mpg reasons...and that truck registered an avg of 9.5 mpg so that theory was blown. Man that's a shame - it could have really used more gear. We love our '06 - love it {cool}
 

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Yes that was the theory better MPG.  Its hard to tell if you drove it for awhile the MPG might or showed better unless someone was screwing with it.

My bone stock 06 crew, long bed, 4X4 with 3.73 will get 20-21mpg at 70-75 going down the freeway empty/not towing.

Now throw a loaded car trailer behind that and watch that drop to 14-15mpg, hook a travel trailer and go up a hill it can drop into the single digits if your running hard but figure 11-13mpg
 

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devildodge said:
Pretty sure 3.42 was the only gear choice available on 2500. 3500 dually could get 4.10.

The new 2019s get 3.73, unless you get the 3500 dually with 4.10s
Pretty sure those crappy 3.42's didn't come on scene until around the 15's or so, definitely in the 6.7 era. Tallest gear for the 5.9 era was the 3.54's
Doug
 
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