Dyno-Tested - 2009 Dodge Ram Pickup 1500 Long-Term Road Test

2009 Dodge Ram 1500: Dyno-Tested

June 17, 2010


Hoo boy. For a second there, I thought that was a photo of our 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 on -- get this -- a chassis dyno.

<rubs eyes>

Wait, what?

Call ita Mopar kind of day. Photographer extraordinaire Kurt Niebuhr had driven the Ram to the dyno on the day we dyno-tested the Viper. Things wrapped up with the Viper and before we knew it, the Ram's 5.7-liter V8 was singing a full-throttle song while spinning the rollers. The explanation eludes us. Maybe it was the exhaust fumes. Maybe the Starbucks lady slipped a little something-something in our Pike Place that morning, who knows.

Whatever the root cause, it happened, and this is the result. Dodge's pushrod "Hemi" V8 is rated at 390 horsepower at 5600 rpmand 407 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm. The chassis dyno measures output at the wheels, and the Dynojet 248 inertia dyno we typically use had this to say about that (click chart for a larger image):


A 3% SAE weather correction has been applied.

You'll notice that the data starts at a relatively high 3,750 rpm, a direct result of the automatic transmission's tendency to downshift even in manual mode. Hitting wide-open throttle at anything lessthan 3,750 rpm triggered a downshift, which caused revs to soar andabortedthe run.

Fortunately, this is low enough in the rev range to capture the torque peak. We measured328 hp at 5,700 rpm and 336 lb-ft at 4,050 rpm to the wheels.

We haven't dyno-tested many trucks recently but a few years back I wrote a pickup comparison test of the 2007 Tundra, Silverado and Titan that included a trip to this very dyno. Unfortunately theraw data is long gone but this image of each truck's horsepower remains, and is duplicated below, alongside a similarly scaled version of the Ram's run. I realize it's not an ideal way to compare the trucksbut please bear with me:

Thumbnail image for ram_chart2_dyno_1600.jpgram_chart3_dyno_1600.jpg

Disclaimer: All the usual disclaimers pertaining to dyno testing on different days (years, even) apply here. Still, it's worth noting that the 5.7-liter V8 in the Ram is remarkably akin to the Tundra's 381-hp 5.7-liter V8in the magnitude and character of its power delivery, as it continues making power all the way to its 5,750 rpm fuel cut.

ram_eng_dyno_1600.jpgAlso worth noting, however, that the Ram recommends 89 octane (which is what we had in the tank) whereas these other trucks herewere tested on87 octane.

On amore personal level, this time spent on the dyno with the Ram was perhaps my final opportunity to wheel -- er, throttle -- the big truck. And I'mgonna miss it.It's been a terrific truck.

Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor

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2009 Dodge Ram Pickup 1500 Research