Dodge Cummins MPG: 4X4 vs 2X4

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by Swampbeast, May 13, 2003.

  1. Swampbeast

    Swampbeast LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 463

    So! Anyone here got any hard data on the difference in MPG between a 4X4 and a 2X4 Dodge Ram 2500, 3/4 ton, Cummins HO diesel, four door? Thats the next truck I am going to be getting, (I would get a Ford, but I am gonna wait until they get the bugs worked out of the new 6.0 stroker) and I am wondering whether to get a 4X4 or a 2X4.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated from you Dodge boys

  2. Randy J

    Randy J LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,124

    No hard data Swampbeast, but from what I've read over on Turbo Diesel Register , I would say about 24 or 25 for the 2X4, and about 20 for the 4X4, give or take a little on either one. I would go for the 4X4 though, as better resale value, even in Texas where 4X4 really isn't needed! Glad to see you're seeing the light and going Dodge/Cummins;) .

  3. swing blade

    swing blade LawnSite Member
    Posts: 123

    Randy J

    I too am looking at getting the new dodge ram 2500 HO diesel four door, but when i test drove it the overhead computer showed much less than you said. I was running at 40-50 or so with it and it was saying 16.0 mpg. when i got on the highway it only went to 18 mpg. this my be right, and i know you said +/- a bit, but is that the best i can hope for??? I know its not made for economy, but its also my daily driver so I need it to be somewhat good. Also I was wondering if a Banks turbo kit would change the numbers much??


    Swing blade
  4. Evan528

    Evan528 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,144

    my 03 standard output deisel ram 3500 4x4 crew cab gets 9 pulling my 16ft trailer and about 14 without the trailer. Im a little disapointed.
  5. jsr2741

    jsr2741 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 392

    Swing blade, that computer isn't that accurate and you need to drive a couple tanks of fuel through your truck before you can really get a feel for the mileage.

    The more miles I put on mine the better it seems to do. Pulling my 16' trailer and city driving I'm getting 19 mpg. On trips I'm getting 21 mpg.

    Evan, you might want to call your dealer. Sounds like somethings not right. You shouldn't be getting gas engine mileage with that truck no matter if you've got the standard engine or the HO.
  6. Randy J

    Randy J LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,124

    JSR is right about that computer, those things are notoriously inaccurate. Also, it will take a while for the engine to break in. You won't see your best mileage until 20,000 miles, or more even, depending on how much you pull with the truck. Although Evan, your's does sound way low. The best thing you can do for that engine is to hook up to the heaviest load you can find, and pull it as much as you can, as early as possible. That'll break the engine in sooner. I didn't reach my best mileage until about 60,000 miles in my '98.

  7. Swampbeast

    Swampbeast LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 463

    Evan, take that thing in. Its sick. I know for certain no diesel should be running that low. Thats pretty bad.
    Swingblade, yeah, you never get your best fuel mileage until the truck is worn in a bit. Brand new diesels are never as fast, or as fuel effecient as the ones that are broken in. Thats really the only reason my old truck can still beat the brand new trucks that still have paper license plates! ;)

    Thanks Randy, I will go with the 4X4 then. And no, I have NOT seen the light! Just the Ford Stroker is not doing well right now, thats all. :( I am still a Ford man!

  8. Nozzleman

    Nozzleman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 225

    I have a 2003 Dodge 2500 reg cab 4X4 with the High Output Cummins and the auto transmission and I have been averaging around 13-13.5 mpg's per tank of fuel. This includes towing my landscape trailer and regular around town driving. I have never checked it just pulling the trailer and I do hardly any highway driving. The truck only has about 2500 miles on it

    As someone else stated the Cummins takes awhile to fully break itself in especially if you aren't towing "heavy". This can be anywhere from 10-20,000 miles.

    You can't compare the newer 24 valve engines to the old 12 valve engines. My understanding is the 12 valvers were the best on fuel economy.

    Also, you need to consider that even though the new engines are computer controlled and somewhat more efficient they generate alot more power which in turn equals more fuel. For example. 1996 12 valve Cummins/auto was making somewhere around 180-200hp and 450-460 pound feet of torque. Now my 2003 Cummins is rated at 305hp and 555 pound feet torque. The bottom line is that kind of power difference is generated by using more fuel.

    I do understand that Evan 528 has the standard output which is 250hp and 460 pound feet of torque so this theory may not apply to his truck.

    BTW Evan 528 I briefly had a 2003 SO and I was getting around 15mpg around town and 20mpg on the highway and that was with 4.10 gears.
  9. jsr2741

    jsr2741 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 392

    Swampbeast, while I know your an avid Ford man, I think you made the right decision. My buddy just bought a new 6.0, I told him about the trouble they are experiencing. He called his nephew-in-law in California who's a big wheel with Ford and he told my friend that he had a 50/50 chance of that motor going down on him.

    From what I understand the 6.0 has been out a couple years in I.H.'s bigger trucks and they haven't had any problems but that particular motor is only making 235 Hp.

    I think you'll be plesantly surprised by the upgraded Cuimmins. While it may not out run the Ford and Chevy, I think the longevity of the motor over a period of time while under a load and its towing capacity will make up for what you lose in outright speed. Besides if you like to tinker the Cummins is the best to tinker with.

    JM .02 though.
  10. Swampbeast

    Swampbeast LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 463

    I think that anybody who is so stuck on one particular brand they cant admit when it has a weakness is stupid. Anybody can see the new 6.0 has bugs that need to be worked out, and 50/50 chance just aint gonna cut it for me.
    So, its time for a Dodge.
    Plus, soon as I get the thing, I am going to place an order to Banks Power Equipment and have them send me a PowerPac! That'll make the Cummins HO pretty darn fast. And really powerful! And more fuel efficient. Its $2700, including instalation, but I think its worth it. (for bragging rights if nothing else....;) )
    And then my trusty old F-350 will be put into retirement mode, it will become a weekend warrior type truck, pulling my boat, pulling the jetskis, the horse trailer, etc. It will be used all of maybe 2 times a week instead of the 7 days a week with trailer its been doing. And it will probably still be chugging and pulling my boat around when I die! :D Those old 7.3 liter Powerstrokes were really something.


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