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2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

clfrnacwby

Recovery Addict
Location
Eagle Mountain
Pulled the trigger last night on a 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. That Dempsey is one hell of a salesman and was relentless! :D

Here it is waiting to be detailed:

E76EB08B-46FF-4318-8850-21AD2E1CA3E0_zpsx2ygrb7c.jpg

The major factor for me going with the ED was fuel mileage. I loved everything about my 2010 Tundra, except the fuel mileage. When I built it, I had NO plans of pulling a trailer. Heavy steel bumpers, winch, rock sliders, lift, 35" tires...worked GREAT off-road...and I could still eek out 14-15mpg. Not bad. Then, my wife wanted a Polaris RZR. Pretty much everyone in her family has one so we found ourselves traveling at least once a month to meet up with them. Problem is, they all live in Vegas so we're typically traveling 300+ miles to meet up with them. With the trailer in tow (~2500lbs), we were now getting 10mpg. With only a 26 gallon tank, I was filling up at least 3 times each trip. With the reality that the truck was become a dedicated tow rig, I decided I needed better fuel economy and wanted someone else to enjoy a built Tundra.

I contacted my now good friend Dempsey (TurboMinivan) @ Doug Smith Autoplex in American Fork. We started looking at some 1500's. I know the Hemi gets pretty good highway mileage, but I knew once I put the trailer behind it, those numbers would drop. I thought it would be kind of pointless to trade 1 gasser for another. So, I focused on the new EcoDiesel. At 19 city, and 28 highway, my anticipation was that I could get somewhere between 16 and 18 towing. With a 26 gallon tank, my calculations put me at filling up every 320 - 350 miles instead of the 170 - 200 I do now. Being a guy, that makes a huge difference :p.

We focused on the Tradesman package first but after almost 2 weeks of searching, we couldn't find anything that worked. I was hesitant to upgrade to the Big Horn package since I am NOT a fan of lots of chrome. Low and behold, once we expanded our search, we immediately found a perfect match...very close by...in Provo. Once the truck was on the lot, I made sure it had everything I wanted - only to be surprised to see things that I didn't know I wanted...lol.

Once all the paperwork was done, I reset the fuel mileage tracker and headed home. Driving home last night and to work this morning (12 miles each way), I was VERY happy to see this:

3964A073-D722-43A5-BD9D-7ABDB45FE9C5_zpsnbgkes6o.jpg

Current fuel economy was 30mpg and almost 480 miles until empty. :eek: Yowsa! Right now the Avg is sitting at ~25mpg. Since my commute to and from work is partly on I-15 and then Pioneer Crossing, I don't expect those numbers to drop much below that average. I do drive like an old grandpa so that will help out a bit as well.

I am hoping to keep this thread updated with my thoughts and impressions of the EcoDiesel and how well it works as a 1/2 ton family tow rig. I am happy to answer any of your questions along the way, as well.

So...we'll start with the specs.

Vehicle model: 2015 Ram 1500 Big Horn Crew Cab 4x4
Engine type: 3.0L V-6
Aspiration: Single variable-geometry turbocharger, air-to-air intercooled
Fueling: Bosch high-pressure common-rail with CP4.2, solenoid injectors, and 29,000-psi injection pressure
Mfg hp: 240 hp at 3,600 rpm
Mfg torque: 420 lb-ft at 2,000 rpm
Transmission: ZF 8HP70 eight-speed automatic
Transfer case: BorgWarner 44-44
Axle ratio: 3.92:1
Suspension (front/rear): Independent upper and lower A-arms/Five-link with track bar
Brakes (front/rear): 13.2-inch ventilated disc with two-piston caliper/13.8-inch disc with single-piston caliper
Wheels/Tires: 20x9-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels with 275/60R20 Goodyear Wrangler SR-A tires
Curb Weight: 6,040 pounds
Payload capacity: 1,125 pounds
Towing capacity: 7,700 pounds
Fuel capacity: 26 gallons
DEF capacity: 8 gallons
 
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TurboMinivan

Still plays with cars
Location
Lehi, UT
That Dempsey is one hell of a salesman and was relentless!
Har, har. :p

... only to be surprised to see things that I didn't know I wanted...lol.
You were like a kid in a candy store--everywhere you looked, you saw something wonderful. It was fun to watch.


In all seriousness, I'm glad this finally came together like it did. Now it's time to update your signature. :)
 

sixstringsteve

Well-Known Member
Location
UT
Very cool, congrats!

I'd love to see if the computer matches hand-calculated MPG. I love that they're finding new ways to get more and more MPG out of big trucks.

I'm impressed your tundra got more than 11 mpg with how you built it up. I loved that truck.

It's cool to see some real-world info on these, I'll be watching this thread. Congrats.
 
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Caleb

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
Supporting Vendor
Location
Riverton
Very cool, congrats!

I'd love to see if the computer matches hand-calculated MPG. I love that they're finding new ways to get more and more MPG out of big trucks.

I'm impressed your tundra got more than 11 mpg with how you built it up. I loved that truck.

It's cool to see some real-world info on these, I'll be watching this thread. Congrats.
I got 9-10mpg out of my Tundra with my 35' camp trailer behind it and (IIRC) 15ish around town. (that was with 35" tires, 6" lift, etc, etc) As mentioned, the around town was low but livable, towing was painful with such a small tank. Having to fill up in Price and then again (coasting in on fumes) in Fruita is not ok.

I'll be watching this thread, should be a nice truck.
 

Hickey

Rusty Girdle
Supporting Member
Your new diesel also has insanely low emissions.

If your mileage still suffers with your trailer in tow, take a look at your load ramp. If it's one big panel of expanded steel, it causes a ton of wind drag because of the turbulence created by all those tiny holes and edges.
 

clfrnacwby

Recovery Addict
Location
Eagle Mountain
Cool, I'm interested to know how the air suspension rides loaded and unloaded.
Whoops! It doesn't have the air suspension...removed that from the specs. Regardless...with the coils all around, it rides really, really well. Besides how quiet the diesel is, ride quality was the first thing she noticed.
 

clfrnacwby

Recovery Addict
Location
Eagle Mountain
If your mileage still suffers with your trailer in tow, take a look at your load ramp. If it's one big panel of expanded steel, it causes a ton of wind drag because of the turbulence created by all those tiny holes and edges.
Yup, trailer has the massive load ramp. Never even thought of pulling that off! Thanks!
 

Hickey

Rusty Girdle
Supporting Member
I have a 6x10 with a huge ramp. My 2012 JK struggles to pull it with the ramp up. Pulls like a dream without the ramp. The trailer only weighs 700 lbs.
 

clfrnacwby

Recovery Addict
Location
Eagle Mountain
1 week update.

I've put 150 miles on the truck this week. Current fuel mileage is 24mpg. Needle is sitting just above 3/4 of a tank. In the Tundra, needle would be just below half a tank at this point. It says that I still have over 400 miles until empty...very impressive.

This diesel is QUIET...and rides SMOOTH...the grandpa in me is loving it!

In my opinion, Toyota has the interior features and comfort nailed. I LOVED the interior on my Tundra...the Ram not so much. It isn't horrible, but attention to detail is lacking. The front middle seat, for example, doesn't recline at all and has only a lap belt. In my Tundra, it reclined and had a full shoulder seat belt. The rear seat was sliding and reclined as well...in the Ram...nope. To release the parking brake, I have to reach down and pull a level...on the Tundra, it's a push on, and push again, off...I love that. When it comes to backing up, I love that the Tundra had the camera screen integrated with the rearview mirror. This allows me to check side mirrors and then bounce between the camera and the rearview mirror itself. In the Ram, the camera screen is integrated with the dash at the radio level. Now I have to check my sideview mirrors, and then bounce up and down between the camera screen and the rearview mirror. I find myself staring at the camera screen to start backing up, making it about 2 feet and then freaking out because I can't easily see my mirrors. So I step on the brakes, check all my mirrors and then proceed back. In my Tundra, I could back up straight into a parking spot, line up with my trailer, etc. almost perfectly the very first time. Now, it takes me at least 4 or 5 tries before I succeed. I could easily manage looking at 2 places, but now that there's 3 it's seems 10x harder to feel safe backing up.

But, these differences don't have a financial impact, so the increased fuel mileage makes up for everything. :D

One thing I did notice is the throttle sensitivity - especially when driving it when the engine is still "cold." Once it warms up, the pedal seems a bit more responsive. I found this theory online when searching for "ecodiesel throttle sensitivity."

Ever heard of the designers protecting the engine and drive train from owners of diesel's that have no mechanical sympathy or common sense about properly warming up a diesel motor before getting on the throttle hard? It's an engineering design in the software/firmware, fueling programming that limits boost and fueling rates on cold engines, turbochargers, pollution control systems, etc, until everything is up to proper operating temperature and up to proper clearance tolerances. It's to prevent poorly trained operators from damaging very expensive equipment. It's self preservation, by the makers of the vehicle, so they can at least reach the end of their warranty with you the owner, before you destroy things on your own accord with poor operating practices.

Maybe go read your owners manual on proper warm up procedure for a cold diesel engine, as I am sure there is something in the Owners Manual about proper warm up procedure.


If you notice these observations, make note of it, and drive accordingly, so that you DON'T notice the symptoms you are complaining about... your truck is telling you, the operator, that you are being too aggressive before it is fully warmed up.
Wondering if any of you diesel experts can chime in with your thoughts???

In the mean time, I have to remember that if I decide to pull into the flow of traffic, that pedal response is delayed. I do understand the thinking behind this (if the above explanation is true), but dynamically adjusting throttle sensitivity is a dangerous game, IMHO. I can never know with 100% assurity how responsive the pedal will be if I need to step on it.

I've only done some very light towing (trailer with furniture on it) and so far no concerns there.
 

TurboMinivan

Still plays with cars
Location
Lehi, UT
When it comes to backing up, I love that the Tundra had the camera screen integrated with the rearview mirror.

In my Tundra, I could back up straight into a parking spot, line up with my trailer, etc. almost perfectly the very first time. Now, it takes me at least 4 or 5 tries before I succeed.
Oh my gosh, really? You mean you did better with that teeny tiny screen in your former mirror compared to the almost-life-size 8.5" display you now have? ;)

Seriously, thanks for another real-world update. Keep 'em coming.
 

bryson

RME Resident Ninja
Supporting Member
Location
West Jordan
Engineers definitely make vehicles more idiot-proof these days, (please don't think I'm calling you an idiot) so the decreased performance before it's up to temp sounds legit to me. Also, I drive a Toyota, and the "dynamically adjusting throttle sensitivity" (which is permanent on my Toyota;)) has never left me in any predicament. I can't think of a scenario where it would be a problem as long as you're a conscientious driver. What's your concern here?
 

clfrnacwby

Recovery Addict
Location
Eagle Mountain
Oh my gosh, really? You mean you did better with that teeny tiny screen in your former mirror compared to the almost-life-size 8.5" display you now have? ;)

Seriously, thanks for another real-world update. Keep 'em coming.
HA! You do bring up a great point. The 8.5" touchscreen is pretty awesome...I'll give Ram kudos for that. I can control radio/media/climate control, etc all from 1 spot...and it's large enough that I don't feel unsafe using it while driving.

My problem is not the size, it's the location. I feel completely unsafe staring down at the 8.5" screen when in reverse...I NEED my mirrors (that came from years of driving dump trucks on a dairy farm...) and Toyota made that convenient for me.
 

clfrnacwby

Recovery Addict
Location
Eagle Mountain
Engineers definitely make vehicles more idiot-proof these days, (please don't think I'm calling you an idiot) so the decreased performance before it's up to temp sounds legit to me. Also, I drive a Toyota, and the "dynamically adjusting throttle sensitivity" (which is permanent on my Toyota;)) has never left me in any predicament. I can't think of a scenario where it would be a problem as long as you're a conscientious driver. What's your concern here?
When leaving work one day, I turned right on Red into the flow of traffic. I saw cars coming up quickly behind me so I stepped on the pedal...nothing seemed to happen. So, I pressed harder. After about a 10s delay, all the power was sent at once and the massive jump in torque almost threw my truck into the left lane...kinda scared me. I am getting used to it now, but had never experienced that before.
 

clfrnacwby

Recovery Addict
Location
Eagle Mountain
Yup, exactly :eek:
 
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