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Test drove a few trucks. Ram Pentstar V6? #5269801 11/17/19 10:15 AM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1,148
dja4260 Offline OP
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I'm considering the purchase a newer preowned truck next year.

My main uses will be towing my 3000lb boat w/ the family. I currently have two car seats so a crew cab is a must have.

I drove a new Frontier SV 4x4. I drove better than I expected and didn't have any qualms with it. I liked it and its road manners. I drove a new Tacoma as well and preferred the Frontier. I was quoted 27k OTD for the Frontier, and 32K OTD for the Tacoma. Both were cramped with the car seats that I carried around to stick in the trucks during the test drives. The Tacoma had a nicer interior and s neat slow drop lift gate.

I then drove a Ram 1500 classic crew cab w/ Pentstar v6, 4x4. It's longer, wider, tows slightly more, gets better gas mileage. Under the hood was roomy with ample space to work on in the future.

I've located a few 2019 Ram 1500 classics, 4x4, V6, with under 20k miles for $22k-23k, which is the SAME price as a slightly used Frontier.

With that said, my focus and research has shifted to the Ram as it is a better value on paper.

Anyone have first hand experience with the Pentstar platform and ZF 8 speed? I'll be keeping this truck for 10+ years.

Last edited by dja4260; 11/17/19 10:17 AM.

2013 Hyundai Elantra Gt Hatch 6 spd
2005 Toyota Highlander V6
1997 HD Sportster
Re: Test drove a few trucks. Ram Pentstar V6? [Re: dja4260] #5269808 11/17/19 10:25 AM
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 1,066
sloinker Offline
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The ZF 8 speed is supposedly the best torque converter style transmission being built right now. The Pentastar has a few known issues from the past that have probably been worked out by the '19 model year. There were a slew of not hard enough valve train components early on and an oil leak issue with the oil filter adapter/cooler assembly. Probably a good choice if it has the remaining drivetrain warranty and it's low mileage,.


'16 Tiguan TSI Ravenol VST 5W40
'15 VW Golf TDI Ravenol VMP 5W30
'15 VW Golf Sportwagen TDI VMP 5W30
'14 Dodge Grand Caravan 3.6 Red Line Blue Label 5W20
'64 Plymouth Fury440 Red Line Blue Label 10W40
Re: Test drove a few trucks. Ram Pentstar V6? [Re: dja4260] #5269813 11/17/19 10:31 AM
Joined: Nov 2008
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JC1 Offline
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Pentastar motor has been around since 2011. It's a great motor. I don't know if I'd want to do a ton of towing with the Pentastar, but for occasion towing I'm sure it will be fine.

There was engine leaks with the oil filter housing previously. If you change your own oil make sure you don't tighten the capoke a gorilla. I use the Fram Ultra on my caravan and leave it on for two OCI.

I don't know enough about the 8 SPD tranny, just whatever you do with the tranny male sire you use the correct fluid in it. Do the Rams come with an external transmission cooler for towing?

Last edited by JC1; 11/17/19 10:33 AM.

2015 Grand Caravan SXT Plus 0w-20 Pennzoil Ultra/Fram Ultra Filter
1997 Honda Civic CX 5w-30 PPPP/Fram Ultra Filter
Re: Test drove a few trucks. Ram Pentstar V6? [Re: dja4260] #5269819 11/17/19 10:34 AM
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 7,164
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doitmyself Offline
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My co-worker recently had a pleasant experience buying a GMC truck through Car Max, but his desire for single cab, minimal upgrades resulted in a spectacular deal. I cannot help with your specific request, only to say that you have to really dig deep to overcome internet bias and determine if any particular Achilles heel that EVERY truck brand has now is a legitimate deal breaker.

My input: determine if FCA has eliminated the premature rust causing body insulation of the 2013+ generation: https://www.ramforumz.com/threads/check-your-fenders-rust-bubble.240109/

Best of luck finding your dream machine.

Re: Test drove a few trucks. Ram Pentstar V6? [Re: dja4260] #5269827 11/17/19 10:42 AM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 3,062
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JLTD Offline
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Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 3,062
Originally Posted by dja4260

Anyone have first hand experience with the Pentastar platform and ZF 8 speed? I'll be keeping this truck for 10+ years.


Not first hand, but secondhand and from this site. The Pentastar is a solid engine with the kinks worked out. The 8 speed is a very good unit and I would think the combo will be good to go. (FWIW use 5w-30 in the Pentastar, it was the original specification and nothing in the oiling system has changed)


I use the overseas manual to choose my viscosity.


Hers: 2008 Jeep Liberty 154k, SS 5w30/Amsoil
Looking at options.

His: 2015 4Runner 60k, SS 5w20/Amsoil

Re: Test drove a few trucks. Ram Pentstar V6? [Re: dja4260] #5269832 11/17/19 10:43 AM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,458
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ragtoplvr Offline
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Everyone is horsepower crazy right now. I used to pull a 3000 lb boat just fine with 120 HP V6 in a S10 5 speed.. You might have to actually think to pass and merge. You will not hit 80 on an uphill merge. You can still outrun every semi so you are good. If you have any long uphills you probably want to manually down shift and let the engine wind a bit. It is gas and 4000 RPM for 5 minutes will not hurt it. It circulates the water and oil better. I assume the transmission has a trailer tow mode, you should use it. If you have hills or stout headwinds I would get some premium in there so the timing will not retard and you keep power. Use a Dexos or other high quality oil
to help fight low speed preigintion.

Rod

Last edited by ragtoplvr; 11/17/19 10:44 AM.
Re: Test drove a few trucks. Ram Pentstar V6? [Re: dja4260] #5269834 11/17/19 10:45 AM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,927
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dareo Online Content
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If you have car seats that makes a full size they way to go. I was set to buy a ZR2 until the reality of what space was left after the big car seat was installed. Ended up finding a perfectly equipped for me used repo deal on a gmc 1500 slt 6.2. Not exactly the same as a pentastar ram, but it was only 31k and the interior didnt show wear. Sometimes a used truck makes sense but often you can get better deals brand new with a good haggle.


2018 Regal TourX, 2016 Golf Wagon 5MT, 2016 GMC 1500 SLT 6.2
Re: Test drove a few trucks. Ram Pentstar V6? [Re: dja4260] #5269853 11/17/19 11:00 AM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 6,159
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skyactiv Offline
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I test drove new full size trucks last year. Yep, the Ram has the best automatic transmission compared to Chevy and Ford. Oddly, the 10 speed automatic seemed to do a better job in a 2019 Ranger than a 2019 F150.
The Ram has the best ride of any truck. Full size Ford, Chevy/GMC and Ram trucks have huge discounts off the sticker when bought new. It's not uncommon to see 1-2 year old ones sell for what a new one is because there are enough buyers out there that don't know any better.


Wife: 15' Audi A4 quattro 6 speed manual
Sold: 13' VW GTI 3 door 6 speed manual
Me: 18' Elantra Sport 6 speed manual


Re: Test drove a few trucks. Ram Pentstar V6? [Re: dja4260] #5269864 11/17/19 11:06 AM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 4,117
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JC1 Offline
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To the OP check your local high volume ram dealer. You might be able to get a brand new Ram with excellent rebates. That was the case in September 2015 when I was buying my caravan.


2015 Grand Caravan SXT Plus 0w-20 Pennzoil Ultra/Fram Ultra Filter
1997 Honda Civic CX 5w-30 PPPP/Fram Ultra Filter
Re: Test drove a few trucks. Ram Pentstar V6? [Re: dja4260] #5269870 11/17/19 11:11 AM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 32,600
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buster Offline
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In your case I'd lean towards the Ram. If I were after a full size, I'd likely be getting the Ram. My uncle has the V6 in his Ram Warlock. It's a nice truck.

I get a kick out of how many people are surprised the dated Frontier still drives very well. The Tacoma is the worst driving vehicle I've ever driven. Frontier SV is a solid value. I love my truck in the mid-size segment. Gas mileage is horrendous though. It's built well, has a smooth shifting 5spd automatic, torquey V6 engine and reliable.


2019 Frontier Pro 4X - RGT 5w30
2019 Impreza Sport - OE fill
Re: Test drove a few trucks. Ram Pentstar V6? [Re: dja4260] #5269888 11/17/19 11:39 AM
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 2,565
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UncleDave Offline
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Originally Posted by dja4260
I'm considering the purchase a newer preowned truck next year.

My main uses will be towing my 3000lb boat w/ the family. I currently have two car seats so a crew cab is a must have.

I drove a new Frontier SV 4x4. I drove better than I expected and didn't have any qualms with it. I liked it and its road manners. I drove a new Tacoma as well and preferred the Frontier. I was quoted 27k OTD for the Frontier, and 32K OTD for the Tacoma. Both were cramped with the car seats that I carried around to stick in the trucks during the test drives. The Tacoma had a nicer interior and s neat slow drop lift gate.

I then drove a Ram 1500 classic crew cab w/ Pentstar v6, 4x4. It's longer, wider, tows slightly more, gets better gas mileage. Under the hood was roomy with ample space to work on in the future.

I've located a few 2019 Ram 1500 classics, 4x4, V6, with under 20k miles for $22k-23k, which is the SAME price as a slightly used Frontier.

With that said, my focus and research has shifted to the Ram as it is a better value on paper.

Anyone have first hand experience with the Pentstar platform and ZF 8 speed? I'll be keeping this truck for 10+ years.



3K? - its going to be fine.

Nice truck. The late model pentastars are pretty nice and the ZF late tunes are also nice - early ones not so much

As ragtop is right - People have been towing more for decades with comparatively v8 weak mills and rigs.

Take care of your fluids and keep them fresh and clean and you'll be fine.

Bitog is a car focused site and sayings like you'll wear the car out before the motor/ engine d thats by and large true for cars.

Trucks not so much -

Especially naturally aspirated towing rigs that rev and stay revved up for long periods of time.

You rolling along in the hills at 3K for hours while the sedan following you is at about 2K is a 40% difference to the engines rotating assembly

I do everything I can to keep the particle count down and use top tier filters, I put mags everywhere, and do regular drain and fills to the trans after hot towing seasons. Keeping that thing chain as clean as is reasonable won't hurt.

Enjoy your new to you truck.


UD


Uncle Dave
Cat 3126/2 MB3500/Titan/RX400H/17 Ridgeline
700HP V10/ 725HP BBC/ Raptor 700/ KFX450/ YZ250/Onan 8K/ Cat3011C
Re: Test drove a few trucks. Ram Pentstar V6? [Re: buster] #5269891 11/17/19 11:43 AM
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UncleDave Offline
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Originally Posted by buster
In your case I'd lean towards the Ram. If I were after a full size, I'd likely be getting the Ram. My uncle has the V6 in his Ram Warlock. It's a nice truck.

I get a kick out of how many people are surprised the dated Frontier still drives very well. The Tacoma is the worst driving vehicle I've ever driven. Frontier SV is a solid value. I love my truck in the mid-size segment. Gas mileage is horrendous though. It's built well, has a smooth shifting 5spd automatic, torquey V6 engine and reliable.


Agreed.

Ive got guys at work with both frontiers and tacos and canyons - Im the odd man out with a ridgeline

Frontier is a solid choice and a stout midsized truck The 4.0 6 is a great mill- it does drink though. Is 4WD drive works great in the Sierra Nevadas

Totally agreed on the ride of the tacos - driving long distance on our lousy highways is a bone jarring experience.


Last edited by UncleDave; 11/17/19 11:43 AM.

Uncle Dave
Cat 3126/2 MB3500/Titan/RX400H/17 Ridgeline
700HP V10/ 725HP BBC/ Raptor 700/ KFX450/ YZ250/Onan 8K/ Cat3011C
Re: Test drove a few trucks. Ram Pentstar V6? [Re: dja4260] #5269896 11/17/19 11:50 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 10,920
4WD Online Confused
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Friend just traded in his 2018 RAM … too much time at the dealership between problems, recalls and TSB’s … Oh, and MPG/range while towing
He’s not the first at our office to switch back to prior brand.
I normally stay out of these things … but if you are buying over that interior, maybe get an SUV …

Last edited by 4WD; 11/17/19 11:51 AM.
Re: Test drove a few trucks. Ram Pentstar V6? [Re: dja4260] #5269900 11/17/19 11:57 AM
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Danno Offline
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I work at a Ram store. For your towing and space needs, the V6 crew is a great combo.
Had a co-worker that traded up to a hemi from the V6 - he was towing about 5,500 lbs. and wanted the extra capability of the hemi.


2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit 5.7L Hemi
2019 RAV4 Limited Hybrid
2016 Sorento SX V6 AWD
2010 Mazda 3 2.0L
Re: Test drove a few trucks. Ram Pentstar V6? [Re: buster] #5269901 11/17/19 11:58 AM
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hal26 Offline
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I have owned 2 Hemi Ram V8's and 2 Jeep Wranglers with the 3.6 Pentastar. I have to say the 3.6 is a weak motor that is stressed just pushing around a 4000 pound Jeep. I don't care what it says on paper, this thing is always revving and shifting up and down. I'm sure it is a tough LITTLE motor but why not run with the big dogs and get the 5.7 V8 hemi for a few hundred dollars more? I'm getting 18MPG overall.

Last edited by hal26; 11/17/19 11:59 AM.

2016 Dodge Challenger ScatPack 6.4
2003 Harley Road King
2019 jeep wrangler 4 dr 3.6
2019 Ram Hemi
2016 Triumph 1200 Thruxton
2016 Kawasaki Versys 1000 Sym wolf classic 150
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