The Dodge Ram, also known as the Ram pickup, is a full-size pickup truck marketed under the Ram Trucks brand and manufactured by Chrysler Group LLC. The name “Ram” was first used in 1981 during the redesigned Ram and Power Ram launch. Originally, it was developed on Dodge’s light truck line, but the brand has branched out to other heavier lines over the years.
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First Generation (1981- 1993)
During this time, Dodge began displaying a Ram hood ornament on their trucks and vans. Since the line was new, Dodge decided to keep the prior model designations for its vehicles. “D,” “B,” or “Ram” referenced that the vehicle in question utilized two-wheel drive while “W” or “Power Ram” referenced a vehicle with four-wheel drive capability. When it came to aesthetics, the first-generation of Ram vehicles were essentially the same design as the previous generation Dodge D-series pickup truck that was first presented to the markets in 1972 with a few modifications. The new Ram model sported larger wraparound tail lamps, a newly designed headlamp, and new body lines.
The interior of the Ram line was updated with a new style of bench seat. The internal instrument cluster and dashboard came with a new three-pod design – the speedometer dominating the center, an ammeter on the top left, a temperature gauge on the bottom left, a fuel gauge on the top right, and an oil pressure gauge on the bottom right. For models that did not come with the full gauge package, indicator lights replaced the oil pressure and temperature gauges.
Other options for the first-generation Ram included a sliding rear cab window, cruise control, air-conditioning, bumper guards, tilt steering column, power door locks/windows, and an AM/FM stereo with a cassette tape player. In 1989, the Ram trucks sporting a 5.9 L V8 engine received a throttle body fuel injection for a 20 hp (horsepower) increase.
Another feature that was added (considered a luxury at the time) was Rear ABS. Furthermore, Dodge added an overdrive automatic transmission that reduced fuel consumption in many of its vehicles. This transmission, considered light-duty, was dubbed the A500 and came packaged with the 3.9 L V6 and 5.2 L V8. Also, a pushbutton called the “O/D Off” was added to give the driver the ability to turn off overdrive functionality.
For the 1991 line of Rams, the grille was redesigned, although it kept the classic rectangular headlamps and crossbars featured in past designs. 1992 included a huge upgrade to the engine (3.9 L and 5.2 L). 1993 introduced a 5.9 engine, new manifolds, multi-port fuel injections, and higher compression cylinder. This latest package was given the marketing name of “Magnum.” Also, a heavy-duty overdrive Torqueflite automatic transmission known as the A518 was packaged with the 5.2 L and 5.9 L engines. Eventually, an engine from the Cummins B series was added to the Dodge engine lineup.
For the very first time, Dodge saw an increase in its sales. The Cummins was recognized as a great engine because it could be coupled with a sturdier version of the A727 automatic or 5-speed manual transmission. The Cummins is available on Ford F-250 and Ford F-350 series pickup trucks