has re-engineered the back half of the Ram’s
frame to support the different torsion and bending forces managed
by the truck’s coil spring
suspension. New federally mandated rear impact standards have also been met.
front half of the frame is almost identical to the old chassis but higher
strength steel allows a lower gauge to be used, saving about 30-pounds.
frame is fully boxed from end to end and uses only welding to join
the pieces. No rivets.
is better (than riveting) from a fixture and stiffness perspective. And we’ve
improved the frame’s modal map, so
there’s no alignment between any torsional bending mode and key
suspension inputs. The entire truck will be shake free,” notes
wheelbases will be available: 120-in and 140-in. The standard cab will
be configurable in both wheelbases, depending on bed size. Quad and crew
cabs will only ride on the 140-inch wheelbase. For comparison, the short
wheelbase on the 2008 Nissan Titan is 140-inches and the long wheelbase
160-inches. Mr. Kunselman says “garageability” was
a key consideration determining the Ram’s frame lengths.
one area where Dodge is willing to accept being a step behind the other
full size trucks is in towing capacity. An optimally configured Ram
(Regular Cab, short box, 4x2, 5.7-liter V8, 3.92 rear axle) won’t
tow more than 9,100-lbs.
“We’re keeping towing capacity about
the same as the previous Ram. We don’t have any plans to compete
against Ford or Toyota for max towing. It’s rare that people tow
a 10,000-lb trailer. Buyers towing that much recognize the mass of the
truck helps tow a big load, so they buy a heavy duty. Most of our buyers
will tow around 5,000-lbs. and infrequent towing might be 7,500-lbs.,” says
won’t have an optional tow package. Every
Ram will have standard tow/haul mode and 4-pin and 7-pin connectors integrated
in the rear bumper, out of harm’s way.
the 2009 Ford F-150, an integrated trailer brake controller will not
be available as an option. Frequent towers will have to make do with
an aftermarket kit if they want better control over their trailer’s
axle ratios will be available: 3.21, 3.55, 3.92 and 4.10. Super low
3.21 is new for 2009. 3.92 and 3.55 are the most common ratios. 4.10
will only be available for a regular cab HEMI with 20-inch wheels.
be inevitable comparisons between the 2009 Ford F-150 and 2009 Dodge
Ram. The new F-150 still retains its position as the more capable of
the two haulers. But Dodge has come from so far behind to close the
gap in many areas and to break new ground in others that the Ram has
to be recognized as the more revolutionary of the two trucks.