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I have been contemplating buying an 04 or 05 dodge ram 4x4. The hinge in my choice is what frame I will need for my build. I have spent the last few months researching different small displacement diesel engines for one sole purpose... MPG. I will be driving 2000 miles a month for work. There are many strong options, with the Merc om606, Perkins 6.354, Cummins 4bt (ended up with mixed feelings), and even the Detroit 453t (who doesn't love a screamer?) was under consideration. My biggest concerns are weight and efficiency. What effective hp and tq figures will I need to get better mpg than the stock hemi/24v? What could I expect? This isn't going to be used for anything but traveling on interstate (80mph in my state), so no towing or racing. Are there engines that would do better for me? Any incite would be appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That’s why I have mixed feelings about it. I have a friend that drives a F150 with the 4bt, and it’s fun putsing around, but it gets annoying after a road trip. The Detroit is the same way.
 

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If you did a 2500 the logical engine would be a 6bt. Much smoother. All the engines you have mentioned are pure mechanical and you'll be mixing those with a total computer truck. As for fuel mileage, nothing is going to be great at 80 MPH. A 6bt might get 16-18 MPG. Once you exceed 2000 RPM the fuel consumption goes up a lot. OM606 is only 3 liter. Too light for a 2500. The Perkins is very old school as it the Detroit. With any of the ones other than a Cummins you have to consider transmission adapters. Not much available for some of those. Also, what transmission will you be running?
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I definitely be traveling around 73 on the interstate. My transmission of choice would be the nv5600, or a 6-speed auto (haven’t found a good candidate). The om606 should be fine for a 1500 after a tune up. I have a local mechanic that can do the custom adapter. I’d love to stick with the smaller displacement engines, but that’s just because performance isn’t a concern of mine. Do you have any suggestions for trans combos?
 
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