I absolutely love these 1st generation Dodge W250 / W350 Trucks with the Cummins engine and the heavy duty Manual Transmission (getrags). What years does the 1st Generation Dodge Trucks cover? First Gen covers from 1981 to 1993 with the last few years (89-93) having an option for diesel. Anywhere hear of Cummins? Yea that diesel. The diesel found in most heavy duty equipment, tractors, RV's.
1st gen Notes
- Easier to work on but has limited hp due too pump
- Has a small Bosch rotary pump that can only put out so much HP. VE rotary injection pump
- a H1C non waste gated turbo
- non lock up tranny
- Rough ride
- Front end is heavy duty but bone jarring rough and tends to eat all but the very best shocks (4x4 models)
- Getrag (5spd manual) has to be babied with an additional quart of oil added to the mfr's suggested amount
- Body parts are getting very difficult to find
- Aftermarket parts are getting difficult to find
1st gen Cummins Buyers Guide
- Pay attention to RUST. It's the first killer of these 1st gen Cummins. Look in all the usual places which would include under the carpet, along the aprons, around the lamp openings, across the firewall, and in the bed. Special areas of the truck would be the passenger side, above the windshield, the cab mounts, the frame behind the fuel tank, spring perches, and so on.
- Transmission. In my opinion your golden if you get a 1st gen Cummins with the manual 5spd transmission. Transmissions for these trucks were either the standard Getrag 360 five-speed manual, or the Chrysler-made Torqueflite A727 three-speed automatic. Also have the A518 automatic which is better versus the 727, since it has an overdrive gear. Soon after purchasing, automatic trans should be a fluid and filter change, and then a new torque converter and flexplate to bring new life; for a manual, check for clutch slippage and order an aftermarket clutch if you find it lacking.
- You’ll want to check out the fuel pump. For all five years of production, the Dodge Rams used Bosch VE rotary injection pumps. These pumps have some hidden potential and can support larger fuel injectors, but they top out at around 500 horsepower. The popular thing to do is go for a Bosch P7100 fuel pump from the following 1994-98 generation.
- You're going to run across many engine bays in varying conditions. Whether dirty or pristine, make sure to look at lines, cables, and wiring as closely as possible.
- Intercoolers are obviously good to have on a forced induction engine to keep engine temps down and super helpful for towing as well. Standard in 91 and after.
- Cold air intake kit
- Bigger fuel injectors
- Increasing the exhaust pipe size after the downpipe
- Upgrade to a larger Holset or BorgWarner turbocharger
- Upgrade new torque converter/clutch
- Beefier fuel pump
Restore Part Resources
- Jims Auto Parts
- Rock Auto Parts
- Discount Body Parts
- Mopar Truck Parts (odd parts to include dually fenders)
- Diesel Parts Direct (great resource for lift pumps)
- T & B Trans (great resource for rebuilt getrags)
- Auto Body Specialties (many parts to include body mounts)
- Raybuck (lots of parts)
- Mill Supply (lots of body parts)