3.21. vs 3.92 gear

ExcursionDiesel

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All mechanical structures have a safety factor built in. It is advisable to not exceed the rated limits but the structure can typically handle more. A truck frame and axles/suspension aren't like a fuse where something blows at exactly the limit. The truck is rated to haul/tow the rated limits at least through the warranty period, and hopefully much longer. Longevity of bearings and suspension linkage are likely components to fail early if overloaded.

The other concern is braking and handling. An abrupt stop on an overloaded truck puts tremendous strain on the brakes and, if anti-lock kicks in, the modulation creates very high line pressures from the pulsating hydraulics. I blew out my anti-lock controller on a Blazer S10 towing an 18 ft. flatbed with a Ford 4000 tractor on it. That's an example of towing too heavy. Don't do it. I was lucky the breaks didn't fail altogether!
 

Willworkfortruck

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All mechanical structures have a safety factor built in. It is advisable to not exceed the rated limits but the structure can typically handle more. A truck frame and axles/suspension aren't like a fuse where something blows at exactly the limit. The truck is rated to haul/tow the rated limits at least through the warranty period, and hopefully much longer. Longevity of bearings and suspension linkage are likely components to fail early if overloaded.

The other concern is braking and handling. An abrupt stop on an overloaded truck puts tremendous strain on the brakes and, if anti-lock kicks in, the modulation creates very high line pressures from the pulsating hydraulics. I blew out my anti-lock controller on a Blazer S10 towing an 18 ft. flatbed with a Ford 4000 tractor on it. That's an example of towing too heavy. Don't do it. I was lucky the breaks didn't fail altogether!
The new tow standards, J something or other number that have been adopted my most manufacturers, now make the playing field more level as far as claims of towing and payload. Used to be that you never really knew how to properly calculate the payload, was there driver, 150%?, fuel? Etc

pickuptrucks.com offeres a slightly dated article from Jan 2018, for the coming 2019 RAM 1500’s. While a bit old, it provides info that may help clear up the waters as far as what the claimed payloads and tow ratings are based on. Note, I cut out some “fluff” to reduce the size of the copied arrticle:

Begin quote:

“We've learned a lot about the all-new 2019 Ram 1500 at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and now we're taking a closer look at its payload and towing numbers.

There have been some interesting upgrades made to the new truck that should help make it a better/stronger tow vehicle, such as the new, stiffer frame, upgraded axles and even the extra power the eTorque mild-hybrid system offers.

We like the fact Ram is offering a special thermal heating system for the rear axle (only offered on two-wheel-drive models for now) because it not only warms up the rear axle gear lube, it could also be used to take heat away from an overworked rear axle. The system uses warm engine coolant to heat the axle, so why not use that same coolant to dissipate heat, too? Right now, the system is only offered on the smaller (9.25 inches) non-tow-package axle. We're hoping that will change. The max tow 10-inch rear axle (called a Dana Super 60 center section) would be impressive with the segment's first active rear axle cooling technology.

Regarding the Ram's Max Tow Package, it's worth noting it will have one of the biggest ring gears in the class. Upgraded with a 35-spline set of rear axle shafts, it will run 3.92:1 gears and have a max towing rating of 12,750 pounds. We're guessing that number is likely to go up when the all-new Ram 1500 regular cabs get onto the new platform.

Ram will offer three axle ratio choices: 3.21:1, 3.55:1 and 3.92:1. The last one is packaged with the Max Tow Package and it's the gear set attached to the configuration with the highest gross combined weight rating of 18,200 pounds; as a consequence, the largest max trailing weight listed is 12,750 pounds. To get those capacities, you need a 4x2 Quad Cab with the 5.7-liter V-8 Hemi with the eTorque mild-hybrid system and a gross vehicle weight rating of 6,900 pounds.

The vehicle combination with the most payload capacity, according to Ram's tow chart, is also a 4x2 Quad Cab model with the 6-foot 4-inch bed with the 3.6-liter Pentastar engine (we're assuming with or without the eTorque system) and 3.55:1 gears. That setup offers a 7,100-pound GVWR and 2,320 pounds of payload capacity. Most of the configurations show a payload capacity somewhere between 1,700 and 1,900 pounds, with the bigger numbers provided by the smaller, lighter engine; lower numbers come with the larger, heavier 5.7-liter Hemi with the eTorque technology (which we estimate adds a little less than 100 pounds).
(Bolding above is mine)
Quad Cabs will come only with the longer bed; crew cabs will be offered in both bed (or wheelbase) lengths. We should note that the smaller 5-foot 7-inch bed typically has less payload capacity (sometimes by less than 100 pounds).

After studying the tow chart, we were unable to find a 2019 Ram 1500 that has a GVWR higher than 7,100 pounds (with the lowest at 6,010 pounds for the HFE trim); the majority of powertrain, axle gear and cab configurations are still at 6,900 or 7,100 pounds, just like the current generation.

Here are just a few examples, with the Ram's top payload and trailering combinations first:

  • Quad Cab 4x2, 3.6-liter V-6: 3.55:1, 7,100 GVWR, 2,320 payload (max payload)
  • Quad Cab 4x2, 5.7-liter V-8 with eTorque: 3.92:1, 6,900 GVWR, 12,750 towing (max trailering)
  • Quad Cab 4x2, 5.7-liter: 3.21:1, 6,900 GVWR, 13,900 GCWR, 8,590 towing
  • Quad Cab 4x4, 3.6-liter V-6: 3.21:1, 6,800 GVWR, 11,900 GCWR, 6,460 towing
  • Crew cab 4x2, short box, 3.6-liter V-6: 3.55:1, 6,900 GVWR, 12,900 GCWR, 7,590 towing
  • Crew cab 4x4, short box, 5.7-liter V-8 with eTorque: 3.92:1, 7,100 GVWR, 17,000 GCWR, 11,190 towing
  • Crew cab 4x2, long box, 3.6-liter V-6: 3.55:1, 6,900 GVWR, 12,900 GCWR, 7,550 towing
  • Crew cab 4x4, long box, 5.7-liter V-8 with eTorque: 3.21:1, 7,100 GVWR, 13,900 GCWR, 8,080 towing
End of quote

While not a definitive list (it doesnt differentiate between trim levels), you can see that they state the “towing” amount after GCWR, which is their probable max trailer weight number. I haven’t dug around to get anything newer, just remember that the payload will be reduced if you have like me, a Limited with the heavy pano sunroof as well as other options. See the yellow sticker on the door for the FCA calculated numbers.
 

the wanderer

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If you've ever seen the performance spec's for those tugs that move giant jets around at the airport, moving something really large with a vehicle as a marketing stunt isn't a big deal.
That's true and I agree with you, but to be fair, those tugs are probably geared a little differently and would not reach highway speeds either.

I always wondered if the Toyota in that test was in 4x4 low.
 

RedRocketZ28

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3.92 because that's what I have, duh.

On a serious note, I drove a truck with 3.21's and then one with 3.92's. For me it was a pretty substantial difference in feel. I like the way the 3.92 feels when not towing and can only imagine the difference they make with something hooked up.

I could have easily gotten away with the 3.21 but didn't want to be disappointed when I started towing with it. I'm happy to report that it tows our boat and open car trailer very nicely, and almost as well as my 2500 Suburban 8.1L did.
 

Willworkfortruck

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If I were to tow more than a runabout skiff or jet ski, I’d have opted for the 3.92. When building the truck its a $95 option, that’s ridiculously cheap for the performance upgrade.
I still don’t understand why RAM didnt offer the 3.55 with the hemi, that would have sold better than the 3.21.
I deliberated and read countless threads and posts about the differences between the 2 gearings and it really boiled down to the truck available on the lot. I was leaning towards the 3.92, figuring that its always better having too much capacity than not enough. Sadly the supposed good deal fell through and the local guy had the colors we wanted in a 3.21.
I won’t worry about it as I’m through towing, but I’d recommend that if you are thinking of using your truck as a truck, get the 3.92’s. If its a highway trip “car” then 3.21’s are fine.
 

NordicNevs

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Towed a dump trailer at 7,000 with it this weekend (just calculated 910lb tongue weight and I have a 1400# Payload) squat city by the way

3.21

Did just fine but any more than that I would go back to my HDs

You guys are gonna yourselves a heart attack over this stuff.

For a half ton a 3.21 with an 8 speed is JUST FINE. The capabilities of the 3.92 comes down to a numbers game and if you want to tow 9-11,000 lbs in a half ton you’re crazy anyway.

Enjoy your bragging rights but I bet that 99% you out there with 3.92 stay within the 3.21 towing capacities if you tow at all. Most of these 3.92s are great for the rebel for those of you who use that for its intended purpose as well.

Coming from towing;
32’ enclosed goose car hauler
28’ good deck over
38’ RV
4 horse slant
3 horse slant
28’ stock trailer

Some of you all buy into the truck wars advertising like crazy.


Does a 3.92 help, it does for getting things moving, but throw a properly distributed trailer behind you and your to tongue weight/Payload will limit you anyway let alone without the added help of a 3.92.

Still gotta stop
Still gotta maneuver
Still gotta control the **** thing behind you

you guys on this forum are the BEST but please look at this through the eyes of a manufacture in a numbers game more than they are in a real world game, even though they will claim it to be so all day long



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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Willworkfortruck

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But its fun to argue about it! :ROFLMAO:
Seriously, the gap in gear ratios is just sooooo wide, that’s why RAM should have given us a 3.55 ish to choose from as well.
On my (light duty 8.8 axled) F150 I had to choose from: 3.31, 3.55 and 3.73’s. (The HD axle of 9.75 did have a 4.1 option).
Now that generated lots of discussion, people posting torque curves and talking about final drive tranny ratios with each gearing, mostly the guys who wanted big lifts and 305 series tires wanted deeper gears, like 4.3 or even 4.56 to get their rpm’s matched up better.
 

rceagle1a

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If you haven't already done so, please refer to the thread entitled
First camping trip: Success
in the general comments section. It will show you how another member towed with a big trailer close to yours, and what his comments were. I will respect the forum by not repeating his findings or adding anything else except for this one caveat: please be careful of the total (especially rear) axle weights on your truck.
First of all, thanks for the respectful reply. Second I think some here mistook what I meant about my airbags. I know they don’t add payload but they prevent the stupid squat these trucks have WITHIN the allowable payload parameters. Also I’m not and never will be a long distance camper. I stay within my state when camping.
 

Willworkfortruck

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First of all, thanks for the respectful reply. Second I think some here mistook what I meant about my airbags. I know they don’t add payload but they prevent the stupid squat these trucks have WITHIN the allowable payload parameters. Also I’m not and never will be a long distance camper. I stay within my state when camping.
Sounds like you are aware of what you need and what is safely done.
 

Swayse

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4.17 first gear ratio, 3.21 feels very quick off the line, and doesn’t stay in first gear very long. You’ve got an eight speed transmission, pick the right gear for what you’re doing. I’d rather pull heavy in sixth gear anyway, direct drive in transmission.

Big tires and lift are another thing, but if you’re planning that anyway, buy a 2500.
 

the wanderer

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I know they don’t add payload but they prevent the stupid squat these trucks have
That's not the best way to remove squat, are you using a weight distributing hitch? If you're seeing squat, it's because there is too much weight on the back. The air bags will firm up the rear suspension, but doesn't fix the root cause of the squat (imbalance of weight distribution). A WDH will transfer weight from the back axle to the front axle and to the trailer axle, which is the better solution.
 

devildodge

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That's not the best way to remove squat, are you using a weight distributing hitch? If you're seeing squat, it's because there is too much weight on the back. The air bags will firm up the rear suspension, but doesn't fix the root cause of the squat (imbalance of weight distribution). A WDH will transfer weight from the back axle to the front axle and to the trailer axle, which is the better solution.
This is what more people need to realize. We got quite a few members now who are learning and applying this with great results. Although that is all for other threads.

Thatsaid, once again. The only real reason to go with 3.92 over 3.21 is GCWR. 17000 for 3.92 and 13900 for 3.21. So if you need 3100 more lbs gross get the 3.92.

If you are buying a truck off the lot and do not need the extra gross, get the one you like.

If you want a Rebel, the choice is made...3.92.

If you are going to drive highway miles and meet all the right things for maximum fuel economy, get the 3.21.

If you feel, well it is a truck, get 3.92.

This is so much personal preference and driving style. There is no right answer.

One person with 3.92 can get better mileage than a person with 3.21, depending on location and driving style.

And a person with 3.21 can tow as well as a person with 3.92...especially when payload is considered.

Good luck with the quest for the answer.

Just get the RAM that makes you smile and it will all work out.
 

rceagle1a

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That's not the best way to remove squat, are you using a weight distributing hitch? If you're seeing squat, it's because there is too much weight on the back. The air bags will firm up the rear suspension, but doesn't fix the root cause of the squat (imbalance of weight distribution). A WDH will transfer weight from the back axle to the front axle and to the trailer axle, which is the better solution.
Again, I can Easily be within the allowable weight and these trucks squat too much..I will tow within the limits of this truck but I will also equip it as fits my needs. A 6x12 enclosed trailer does NOT exceed this trucks limits.
If I pull a camper I ABSOLUTELY will have a wdh with anti sway bar, and I wouldn't tow a camper without one.
 
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Willworkfortruck

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In our (RAM) case, the squat is part of the softer coils issue. It’s not that a WD hitch will help with everything, and smaller trailers that can still squat the back are not always set up for WD.
Years ago I had a cut-off pickup bed that was very heavy as far as tongue weight, and putting a toolbox on the crossmembers exacerbated it. There was no room for a WD hitch setup (but then my old 1 ton didn’t care). If I had a newer RAM 1500 it likely would have “squatted” quite a bit.
 

the wanderer

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Again, I can Easily be within the allowable weight and these trucks squat too much..I will tow within the limits of this truck but I will also equip it as I see fits my needs. A 6x12 enclosed trailer does NOT exceed this trucks limits.
If I pull a camper I ABSOLUTELY will have a wdh with anti sway bar.

I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. You absolutely require a WDH when you go beyond 5000 pounds. 5000 pounds is well within the truck limits, doesn't change the fact that you should have one well before reaching the limits of the truck.

 

riccnick

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I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. You absolutely require a WDH when you go beyond 5000 pounds. 5000 pounds is well within the truck limits, doesn't change the fact that you should have one well before reaching the limits of the truck.

The owners manual does not list a specific figure, it just states that one may be required given trailer configuration to stay within GVWR requirements.
 

riccnick

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Towing chart states that a weight distribution hitch is recommended beyond 5000#

You are correct, in fact, the Towing Guide on ramtrucks.com states this as well for the DT Rams. I searched the pdf file of the owners manual and I didn't come across it stated anywhere, just the line about staying within GVWR. Seems like a big oversight for the owners manual

 

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