2003 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty 2500/3500 Chassis
All-Star Chassis Ups the Ante for Ride, Handling and Durability
The new Dodge Ram
2500/3500-just as tough under the skin
New Levels of Ride and
Stiffest Frame Ever on a
Dodge Ram pickup
The extensive use of hydroformed and boxed sections also simplify the frame manufacturing process and reduce the number of welds, contributing to improvements in dimensional integrity and durability by limiting variations in the manufacturing process. Because 2500 and 3500 series carry much heavier loads than their light-duty siblings, the frames are noticeably more robust.
New Steering Systems Aid
Handling and Safety
"We went to great lengths to ensure that the steering feel on these Heavy Duty Rams was second to none," said Frank Klegon, Vice President, Truck Product Team.
Two-wheel drive Dodge Ram Heavy Duty trucks feature a new rack and pinion-type steering system that delivers precision effort, feel and response tuned to give the driver precise control and positive feedback.
Four-wheel drive Dodge Ram Heavy Duty trucks have a redesigned recirculating ball system made to more exacting tolerances than their predecessors. The new system improves on-center steering feel through lower internal friction and responds more precisely, with responsiveness enhanced by a quicker ratio. In fact, at 13.4:1 and 2.75 turns lock-to-lock, heavy-duty four-wheel drive Dodge Rams have the quickest steering ratio in the industry. The faster ratio is especially effective in a heavy-duty truck when turning sharp corners, or maneuvering a trailer in tight quarters.
New Suspensions Provide
Smooth and Durable Hauling Ability
Since the majority of Dodge Ram Heavy Duty pickups are ordered with four-wheel drive, Ram's off-road performance is a key selling point. To improve off-road performance, the 2003 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty trucks feature new transfer cases and new beam axles. The beam axle system can sustain the types of off-road load forces the truck will endure, while providing improved load ratings.
Dodge Ram 2500s and 3500s provide a new suspension system for four-wheel drive units. Front suspension on four-wheel-drives is a refined version of the five-link, coil-spring suspension used on the previous-generation Dodge Ram Heavy Duty, with a new front beam axle. The system furnishes an outstanding combination of ride, handling and off-road operating characteristics.
Rear suspension architecture is common to both two-wheel and four-wheel drive models. It continues to use longitudinal leaf springs, but the springs are three inches longer than 2002 models. The added length reduces spring stresses. The standard two-stage springs used on 2500 series have three leaves to carry normal loads while providing a comfortable ride and an additional leaf to support heavy loads.
All 3500 series feature reduced spring rates for unloaded and lightly loaded conditions to improve ride quality. To support the full-rated load, all 3500 series include separate auxiliary leaf springs.
On two-wheel drive Dodge Ram Heavy Duty pickups, a new front suspension geometry delivers caster, camber and toe patterns that remain consistent throughout the full range of travel. A wider lateral rear spring span than on the prior model creates less cornering lean without compromising ride quality. Longer, flatter rear leaf springs and stiffer frames are also found on all new 2003 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty.
Biggest Brakes in
A dual-rate vacuum booster, first introduced to the industry in 2002 on the 1500 Dodge Ram, gives the 2500 and 3500 series more stopping ability at high brake pedal loads than single-rate boosters used by competitors. Overall, the Dodge Ram Heavy Duty's brake system gives the driver a sense of confidence that it can handle any situation.
New Transfer Case