and harshness levels have been dramatically reduced in the 2003 Dodge
Ram Heavy Duty pickups by re-engineering the chassis and suspension.
claims the Ram's new hydroformed chassis is the stiffest and strongest
available in the segment. It uses 'box' construction methods to reduce
the number of welds along with manufacturing complexity. Fewer welds also
improves the frame's integrity so it's sturdy enough to accommodate a
gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of up to 6 tons.
The 4x4 and
4x2 Heavy Duty Rams get different front suspensions, custom tailored to
better accommodate their owners and the way they use their pickups. The
4x4 Ram gets a newly refined five link, coil suspension setup based on
the same "Quadra Link" front suspension found in the previous
truck. It also adds a new front beam axle. An all new independent front
suspension, similar to the 2002 Ram 1500's, is provided on 4x2 HDs.
suspension is the same for both 4x2 and 4x4 2500 and 3500 models. Live
axle, longitudinal leaf springs have added 3-inches more length to help
reduce compression stress. 3500 model spring rates are reduced to improve
ride quality in unloaded and slightly loaded conditions. All new rear
axles help boost payload capacity to 12,000 pounds.
pinion steering is newly provided on 4x2 pickups while 4x4 models get
a redesigned recirculating ball system. Both improve steering response
and feedback to the driver.
Dodge Ram Heavy Duty pickups set new firsts in driver and passenger safety
and convenience. Side curtain airbags are added along with the largest
brakes in the segment, providing best-in-class stopping distance. Power
adjustable pedals help drivers fine tune their seating position. 17-inch
wheels and tires are the largest available as standard equipment in the
heavy duty segment.
to those 'in the know', the Heavy Duty Rams retain the same looks as the
light duty trucks. They were once rumored to carry the same form pioneered
on the Power Wagon Concept truck from
the 1999 North American International Auto Show.
the 2003 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty 2500 and 3500 Series pickups set the stage
for the next iteration of competition in the class that determines which
manufacturer has the bragging rights to the most powerful truck on the