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I simply would like an educated opinion about the reliability of a 03,04 vs 98-2002.......(also which 3rd gen year is the most reliable)


The truck will be used to pull a camper and some daily driving. I have owned a 2002 6 speed, so I know common issues with these trucks....vp44, auto trany ect....


I know there are many variables, such as, how the truck has been taken care of.

But are the common problems between the years a wash? ....I have read  about injector issues in the 3rd gen. 


I have been looking for a truck for about a month, I have read so much that I have confused myself. So I thought I would come here to get some opinions....the only reason I am going back and forth between the years is that I like the extra room and four full doors of the 03,04.......(i picked these years simply to hit my price range but would spend a little more for reliability) 


Thanks for any help/advice you can give me. 


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  • Administrator

The biggest weakness to 3rd and 4th gen trucks both is the injectors. After about 100k miles you need to replace them working or not. Beyond that your on borrowed time. The other thing that impacts the lifespan of the injectors is the filtration of the fuel. If you're using a high-quality fuel filter and true 2 micron filters and then double stack them you have a better chance of extending the lifespan of the injectors. Most folks just run the stock filter and the 10-micron filter and end up eating injectors rather quickly. Still in all injectors are highly expensive in the $3,000 to $5,000 a set price. Get too cheap and you might end up with poor quality rebuilds than might not last long. There are few true BRAND NEW injectors out there. I know BBI is an injector manufacture that sells new injectors for sure. 

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my 04 has 245K on stock injectors, it's a far better truck than my 08 in driving comfort.

04 has a built auto, and it's a world of difference from stock.

my 08 has 170K on stock injectors, the G56 is nice for sure, but slow. it tows like a train though. it's amazing the 6.7 power wise,

i just like the ergonomics of the 04 over the 08.

the 08 is deleted, and gets about 1mpg better than the 04.


find one that was cared for, or had recent injectors installed with the updates. and get better filtration in them. both will be great truck.

all 3rd gens have HVAC issues,  broken wires in the door jambs,


the late 03 and early 04 are the best ones, the 305 HP engines have zero smog junk. and has been toted as some of the best trucks dodge ever made.

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Thanks for your replies.


So I found an 03 in my price range...this is what he did to it in the last 40k


"I am considering selling my 2003 Dodge Ram 4x4. It has the 305 horse Cummins diesel with the NV5600 6 speed manual transmission. It runs EXTREMELY strong with the help of a Industrial Injection Silver Bullet 64mm turbo, Industrial Injection 100hp Injectors, Industrial Injection 33% over CP3, Fass fuel supply pump, 4" MBRP exhaust, S&B Intake, Flex-a-Lite electric fan, and an Edge Attitude with CTS (color touch screen) monitor. All of the Industrial Injection parts were installed at 205,000 miles. The truck currently has 244,000 on it. The transmission shifts very smooth with no grinds."


Just wondering if the injectors he put in are good quality.


He says all the fluids have been changed in the last 40k miles, the clutch has been replaced as well, within the last 40k miles.


He said he set it up to tow. 

Hes asking 13,500- it's loaded with leather, which I don't really care but I guess that adds value. Looks over all good shape, rust over the wheels...

Thanks for your help!



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I think the II 64 is too big for a towing turbo for regular towing in the mountains. 


I don't really believe it's set up to tow as the electric fans are not rated to move as much air as the OEM fan and they really limit your ability to tow. 




The 03-05's are reported as more comfortable than the 06-09's. 


With modern tuning there isn't as good of a reason to stick to the 03-04 HO, but those are STOUT trucks.


Injectors are money, but I love my common rail and wouldn't trade it. 

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Thank you. 

The guy never got back with me anyway. 

It's amazing the amount of people that are sellin a truck on Craigslist that do not really seem to want to sell there truck.

You send them an email or text, they reply once and then never again.... happened at least 4 times in trucks I have been interested in........

the search continues haha

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  • Board Of Directors

What some do is make it tough to strike a solid agreement cause they want to turn it into an auction by waiting for another already interested party to look at it and make an offer, or that another better offer is trying to put together the money so he'll make you wait.



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