2019 Ram 2500 Power Wagon Boasts Subtle Significant Upgrades

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With all the significant changes inside and underneath the full 2019 Ram heavy-duty lineup, the 2019 Ram 2500 Power Wagon benefits from many of the same upgrades even though the 2019 version may look similar to the previous-generation off-roader. Rest assured: There are plenty of significant changes — you just need to know where to look. We got a closer look during the 2019 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Related: More 2019 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

To begin, although the 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 is essentially a carryover engine, it's paired to a new eight-speed transmission that's smarter and more versatile than before, which will likely make the big pickup handle better around town. Additionally, to help with off-road use, the new transmission's much lower 1st gear (now 4.71:1) means it will have a better and more controlled crawl ratio than ever before. The interior feels more spacious without a column shifter sticking out, and you now have the option of a 12-inch Tesla-like information screen. The rotary dial that controls the transmission incorporates front- and rear-axle locking buttons, a hill descent select and a sway-bar disconnect switch, which add to the cleaner overall interior look.

Our favorite upgrade is the front bumper, which has been reworked to incorporate a heavier-duty Warn winch that has a more rugged grab hook and a new synthetic rope in place of the heavy steel winch cable. The new winch also has externally integrated power controls to make hooking it up much quicker and easier. The 2019 Ram 2500 Power Wagon will continue to be offered with cloth or leather seating and all seats will be embossed with the Power Wagon name stitched into the side bolsters. Expect pricing closer to its early-second-quarter on-sale date.

Cars.com photos by Christian Lantry

 

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Comments

a shame the automakers don't put drainplugs on the diff covers. Vehicles in HD and off road use demand annual fluid replacement if not more often.

Good papa. Payin' attention to the details.

Manual 4WD shifter and sideways 'Power Wagon" lettering on the side. NO THANKS, I stick with my 99 'Power' Ranger 5 speed.

I did not realize that they stopped putting drain plugs on the differential.

today most oil change shops use a fluid-exchange machine to drain/fill the diff (and other) maintenance chores involving fluids.

For them it's an idiot-proof (and quick) option that eliminates removing diff covers and screwing around with gasket leaks and customer service complaints.

Unfortunately it also means the same metal particles in the grease are more likely to remain in the housing and create mischief later on.

Payin' attention to the details.
Posted by: redbloodedxy | Jan 15, 2019

take a look at those photos and tell me it would not be a pain to get those diff covers off and back on. I'd want those covers taken off during service so I can use a shop towel to wipe out the bottom of the compartment and get the crud out of the housing.

Today the service departments don't want to worry about a component that will survive the typical first owner (and the warranty period).

"Today the service departments don't want to worry about a component that will survive the typical first owner (and the warranty period)."

Agreed. It's sad these manufacturers can't add a $2.00 drain plug.

Dial shifter, manual lever for 4x4???
wonder if it has power windows or crank

Agreed. It's sad these manufacturers can't add a $2.00 drain plug...Posted by: redbloodedxy | Jan 15, 2019

Parts departments love selling you a cheap die-cut gasket for crazy money.

And cheap fasteners. A little steel screw you can buy at Home Depot or Lowes for a few cents is crazy expensive at the dealer's parts window.

Drain plug? No way. They'd rather sell you a fluid exchange.

LOVE that they still have an actual shift lever for the 4x4.

Agree most places don't use a drain plug but I still like to have one.

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It looks like the engine compartment now has structural supports at the corners, wonder if that was due to using ‘lighter’ material on the frame.

Front and rear solid axles and electric lockers is pretty cool....especially with that front 14 bolt. Stronger outers than a front dana 60. Still at 7,000 pounds the thing is an iron pig off road. No tight trails for this rig.

Still frowning with the grill I see.

papajim will not divide us.

Papajim put a sock in it.

@Tacoma2011
I’ve run my 2014 on Black Bear 2x.
It’s climbed the wall too.
1st trip on stock tires, second on 315/70R17s.

@water
The ZF has no external range selector shaft, electronic only.
So a dead column shifter would be an expensive 1-off part, albeit more appropriate. The manual shift T-case is a welcomed part. I’ve had both manual and electric shift. I’ll take manual all day.

When it comes to maintenance, I had the ZF in the Grand Cherokee serviced at 75,000 miles. The service department said I was insane. Perhaps. Or, perhaps I get 300k out of it, like I did with the 4R100. Even ZF filter pan combos are cheaper than a replacement trans, rebuild (if you can find someone), or a new vehicle.

I had the ZF in the Grand Cherokee serviced at 75,000 miles

@James

If you don't abuse your gear, and you service it when needed it's way better than the hassle of a broken trans. I have not had an all-out auto trans failure since the 1970s. With today's fluids, trans coolers, better seals and proper upkeep there's no reason your trans won't last.

Engines, radiators, batteries, and transmissions never crap out when it's convenient. Especially if you have a 4x4.

When you have 4 wheel drive your trans will only break when you are knee-deep in the woods. Or snow.

@papajim

Off-road driving, towing, and the desert Southwest result in higher than normal trans temps.
Changing trans oil is hardly a hassle, simply money. I pay a shop to total exchange all the fluid.
On the severe driving maintenance schedule, the lifetime of fluids changes dramatically.
I guess growing up on a farm, maintenance was critical, so everything was done. On time, or early, and we never had a failure from keeping fluids changed and topped off, fittings and bearings greased.
How many folks clean and grease their hitch ball before towing? Or use waterproof grease for the boat?

I change the trans oil religiously on every vehicle I have ever owned and too have never had a failure. But, I tow weekly, off road 2x per month, drive in stop and go driving when the ambient temp above the asphalt is about 140, I get trans oil hot. Changing it doesn’t hurt. Letting it break down, even a little, from excess heat DOES hurt the trans.

I was looking at a 2018 RAM 2500 with a 6.4 Hemi,but now hearing the 2019's have a 8 speed with the 6.4 Hemi,i am waiting and buying a 2019 RAM Power Wagon Tradesman with the 6.4 Hemi and 8 speed,that will be a slick truck !



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