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Second-Gen - Blow-Off

Ram Diesels Then & Now

Mar 24, 2015
Photographers: Daniel Fabela
A lot has changed since the modern version of the Ram diesel truck was introduced for 1994, but a lot has stayed the same with this family of trucks that’s still known for incredible performance. Back in the early ’90s, the average price of fuel had just surpassed $1 per gallon and there were no such things as diesel particulate filters or urea injectors on the new trucks to worry about. The ’94 Ram, with the 12-valve 5.9L Cummins engine, still had “Dodge” in the model name, and the 3500 weighed in at just 5,906 pounds, while the powerplant under the hood made 420 lb-ft of torque. Almost 20 years later, the ’14 Ram 3500 has a clean-diesel, common-rail 6.7L Cummins that’s capable of making a once-unbelievable 850 lb-ft of torque (and a best-in-class 865 lb-ft for the new ’15 model), and it tips the scales at 8,568 pounds.
Photo 2/4   |   Sheldon Croney Jr. helped the Ridgeview Wolfpack of Bakersifeld win the CIF Division II Central Section Championship game. He ran for 2,269 yards and scored 31 touchdowns during his senior season, including six TDs in just one game. He was awarded All-Area Offensive Player of the Year by The Bakersfield Californian newspaper.
I was thinking about how different, yet similar, these distinct generations of Ram trucks are while watching my friend’s son tear up the football field last fall. I played alongside the first-gen Sheldon Croney for Foothill High School back in 1994. He was known as “Steel” because he was a defensive force who hit like a truck and had a game-time glare that almost made you feel sorry for the other team…almost. The kid I was watching is Sheldon Croney Jr., and there’s a good chance you’ll see him on TV playing for a Division I college in the near future.
In his last season under the “Friday Night Lights,” the 6-foot 1-inch, 210-pound, second-gen Croney amassed 2,269 rushing yards and 31 touchdowns (including six TDs in one game alone), helping his team win the California Interscholastic Federation Division II Central Section Championship game. For those of you more familiar with horsepower and torque figures, those are most definitely “best-in-class” numbers, which resulted in Offensive Player of the Year honors. Just like the Cummins-powered trucks, it wasn’t hard to tell that performance runs in this family, with Junior looking just like his dad, with a determined, yet relaxed demeanor while overpowering other players left and right.
Photo 3/4   |   The first- and second-gen versions of Sheldon Croney posed along with wife/mom, Rosiland Croney, after a tough game this fall. Junior had a tweaked ankle and sore ribs but managed to put on his patented “superstar” smile for this photo.
You could say times were simpler in the early ’90s, but that doesn’t mean the “kids these days” have it easier. In fact, they might actually have it harder. Just like truck makers, modern kids have to deal with a world that’s far more complex than it was just 20 years ago. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and other social apps didn’t exist during the ’90s, but they follow today’s kids wherever they go. Likewise, engineers have to meet extremely strict emissions guidelines while developing a computerized truck that’s more than a full ton heftier than the same model from just two decades ago. As much as things have changed during this time, they do still stay the same, with Cummins-equipped trucks of all types always in super-high demand (regardless of whether you prefer a simple 12-valve or a high-tech 6.7L).
Photo 4/4   |   The 6.7L Cummins engine in the ’14 Ram 3500 is rated at up to 385 hp and 850 lb-ft of torque, compared to 175 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque for the 5.9L inline-sixes that powered ’94 Ram 3500s. Along with upgrades in power output, the ’14 version of the Ram is much more capable and complex, causing it to weigh up to 8,568 pounds compared to 5,906 pounds for the ’94.
Ram Diesels: Then and Now
1994 Dodge Ram 3500
Engine: 5.9L Cummins 12-valve I-6
Power: 175 hp at 2,500 rpm
Torque: 420 lb-ft at 1,600 rpm
Weight: 5,906 pounds
2014 Ram 3500
Engine: 6.7L Cummins common-rail I-6
Power: 385 hp at 2,800 rpm
Torque: 850 lb-ft at 1,700 rpm
Weight: 8,568 pounds
Trevor Reed



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