Ram Truck has just taken the wraps off the 2019 Ram Chassis Cabs at the Chicago Auto Show. Hot on the heels of the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty debut last month at the North American International Autoshow in Detroit we are now getting our first official look at the 2019 Ram Chassis Cabs. Available in 3500, 4500 and 5500 configurations Ram engineers set out to make the 2019 Ram Chassis Cabs the most capable, luxurious and hardest working Chassis cabs in the business. With sweeping engineering changes, new styling and interiors and the addition of the Limited trim level the Ram team accomplished just what they set out to do.
2019 Ram Chassis Cabs share Ram Trucks new “interlocking” design shared with 2019 Ram 2500 and 3500 models. All new sheet metal from the A-pillars forward features an aluminum hood which shaves off 27 pounds compared to the outgoing models steel hood. An all-new front fascia has a 30% larger grille for increased cooling capacity and three different headlights. Standard on Tradesman and SLT trims are Halogen headlights, Laramie gets full LED reflector headlights with LED accent lighting (optional on SLT as part of the premium lighting group) while Limited gets LED projector headlights with LED accent lighting and adaptive front lighting which turns up to 15 degrees in the expected direction of travel. All trim levels get unique grilles and are easily differentiated. Parking sensors are smartly integrated into areas of the truck to make them less visible than previous models.
Sharing the all-new interior of the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty gives the 2019 Ram Chassis Cabs a massive upgrade over the outgoing models, this is what we wrote about the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty interior:
Technology, quality, and luxury were the goals set by the Ram design team. Coming off the success of the acclaimed all-new 2019 Ram 1500 interior, the Ram design team completely redesigned the Heavy Duty interior for the 2019 model year.
The instrument panel is all-new for 2019. Using the same instrument panel from the all-new 2019 Ram 1500, the Heavy Duty has a bold new appearance inside. The new dash moves the central controls up towards the driver, which improves the overall reachability and ease of use of the switchgear. A new enhanced-ergonomic switch bank now offers push buttons with up to five auxiliary switches including a PTO on/off switch.
3500 Chassis cabs with the 8 speed use Rams rotary shifter. The new shifter area also intelligently groups transfer case controls when equipped. Models powered by the Cummins diesel engines and 6.4 Hemi Powered trucks with the optional Aisin transmission will come with a column shifter. All Chassis Cabs get push-button start for 2019.
The redesigned upper glove box acts as an open shelf for smaller items. On upper trims that shelf is covered by a retractable door, made of wood on the Limited trim.
The reimagined center console is a useable, complex piece of art with more than 12 different storage combinations. Center stage, a wider docking area with optional wireless charging can hold a small tablet or 2 smartphones. A three-position sliding cup holder tray can be stowed under the center armrest to reveal a deep storage tub designed to fit a 15-inch laptop. Lifting the lid of the center armrest also reveals an additional lined storage compartment sized to fit a tablet and/or hang a full-size file. At the rear of the console, there are two additional cup holders, which include a tablet holder for rear passengers.
Laramie and Limited models can be optioned with a new 750-watt 17 speaker Harman Kardon stereo system.
To keep devices charged, five USB ports reside in the center console – three up front and two in back. Three of the USB ports, including one in the rear seating area, are fully functioning and communicate with the Uconnect interface.
The 2019 Ram Chassis Cab features the second application of Uconnect 4C NAV on a 12.1-inch fully configurable touchscreen, tailor-made for various Ram models. The touchscreen can house one application, such as the navigation map, across the whole 12.1-inch screen, or can be divided in half, displaying two different screens at once. An all-new toggle switch bank lies below the touchscreen giving physical control of specific features.
The new 2019 Chassis Cab features an available 7-inch, full-color, 3D animation-capable driver information display. This display is fully reconfigurable allowing each owner to display the information that is vital to them. The new screen is designed to easily communicate information quickly and efficiently using text and graphical displays.
Following the 2019 Ram Heavy Duties lead the 2019 Chassis Cabs include 100 standard and optional active and passive safety features. As a segment first Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning, Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) and AEB with trailer brakes are available on all trim levels of the 2019 Chassis Cabs. A new tire pressure monitoring system can monitor up to 6 truck tires and 12 trailer tires with four different trailer profiles. As part of the tire pressure monitoring system, you can set your desired tire pressure and receive an audible alert when filling tires and that pressure is achieved. Here are a few other safety and security features:
-Class-exclusive ParkSense Park Assist system provides visual and audible indications of the distance between stationary objects and the front and rear of the truck
-New class-exclusive 270-degree camera system with trailer reverse-guidance view gives a greater field of vision
-Class-exclusive cargo-view camera allows owners to monitor the upfit and/or payload in the rear of the truck and aids hookup with fifth-wheel and gooseneck hitches
-Class-exclusive trailer reverse-guidance view provides a single display-screen view of both sides of an upfit and/or trailer to assist drivers while maneuvering in Reverse
-Class-leading Vehicle System Interface Module (VSIM) is capable of communicating between aftermarket modules and truck control modules on more than 70 inputs and outputs
-Class-exclusive auxiliary, remote exterior camera improves visibility with custom positioning in and around upfits
-Class-leading advanced LED headlamp systems with Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS), new Bi-LED headlamps and new Quad-LED projector headlamps for a segment-leading light spread, pattern consistency, distance, and more lumens
-Exclusive automatic high-beam system adjusts to oncoming traffic to deliver maximum lighting
-New mirror-mounted rear spotlights help guide the Ram Chassis Cab when backing trailers in the dark, and segment-leading power convex trailer-tow mirrors provide additional convenience and increase the rearward field of vision
Ram started with a new frame made from up to 97 percent high strength steel with hydroformed front rail sections. Available in four industry-standard cab to axle frame lengths
(CA 60, CA 84, CA 108 and CA 120) With 34-inch rail spacing to cater to a variety of upfits. This frame has been designed with upfitters in mind incorporating pre-drilled holes to run upfit lines or mount hardware, and a C-channel design rear frame section with a flat mounting surface to make upfit and accessory design and installation easy, reliable, and cost-effective. Front frame rails are wider to account for the increased front track width on 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs and also allowed Ram to position the front springs further outboard to provide better roll stiffness. On 3500s a new front cross member has a lengthened weld surface which creates a stiffer front section while optimizing weight. A redesigned track bar mount also adds lateral strength.
With the backbone of the truck sorted out Ram engineers then turned their attention to the suspension system. With the ability to haul up to 12,510 lbs of payload or tow up to 35,220 pounds when properly equipped Ram engineers sought out to create a durable suspension that could handle some serious weight and still provide a comfortable ride when unloaded.
3500 Chassis Cabs utilize a three-link front coil spring suspension with a 35mm sway bar, outward-positioned springs, and well as two large frame-to-axle radius arms. Constructed of steel and approximately 40 inches in length, the arms ensure optimal front torsional stiffness with three massive bushings per arm located at the frame and axle connections. The bushings naturally generate a force to counteract roll motion, regardless of load. Optional on 3500 single rear wheel (SRW) Chassis Cabs is a 10k GVWR package which gives customers a lighter duty Chassis Cab option, this package is only available with the 6.4 Hemi V-8.
The front suspension on the Ram 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cab is a five-link, coil-sprung suspension with a beam axle. Its strength and durability equate to lower cost of ownership, and the system provides an outstanding combination of ride, handling, and off-road operating characteristics. A track bar keeps the lateral location of the front axle while four parallel leading links position the axle longitudinally. A link type sway bar and heavy-duty shocks gas charged shocks with built-in rebound travel stops are standard. Each Chassis Cab wheelbase and engine combination gets a specifically tuned shock absorber. Rectangular section control arms add stiffness and provide precise control of suspension travel, while upper and lower control arms feature large rubber bushings at the frame and axle ends to reduce ride harshness. Tall urethane jounce bumpers work in combination with the rest of the front suspension to provide gradual engagement during full suspension travel. Optional on 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cab models is a high capacity front suspension package consisting of taller springs and higher spring rates to provide maximum front gross axle weight rating (GAWR) which is recommended for customers with front biased weight upfits such as snow-plow packages or aerial booms.
The rear leaf suspension on all 2019 Ram Chassis Cab trucks has been tuned to achieve the highest available towing capacities of 35,220 pounds and up to 43,000 pounds of Gross Combined Weight, helping retain vehicle attitude at load, and provide handling benefits in terms of roll steering and overall vehicle dynamics (front/rear phasing). The system consists of two-stage longitudinal leaf springs to provide a comfortable ride regardless of load.
All 2019 Ram Chassis Cabs utilize a recirculating-ball type steering rack tuned to reduce steering effort and enhance driver control and confidence. Ram has incorporated robust steering linkages to help provide precise on-center feel in spite of the higher capacities compared to outgoing models. To accomplish that Ram uses a large 29mm drag link and 51mm cross vehicle links which Ram says ensures premium steering characteristics regardless of payload or tow load.
Braking systems were upgraded for 2019 as well. All models have four-wheel disc brakes with a hydro-boost style braking system aside from the aforementioned 3500 with 10K GVWR package which features four-wheel discs with a vacuum style braking system. 3500 Chassis cabs get new brake calipers as well as a new brake booster and master cylinder; these upgrades work in conjunction with a larger ratio pedal swing to deliver a more confident and powerful braking application with little effort from the driver. 3500 Chassis cabs also use 14.17 inch (360mm) diameter front rotors and 14.09 inch (358mm) diameter rear rotors with dual piston calipers front and rear.
4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs also benefit from increased brake force with reduced brake pedal effort, complementing the increased capability and offering shorter stopping distances. Front and rear rotors both measure 15.35 inches (392mm) in diameter with dual piston calipers front and rear.
Allowing upfitters to tie into this strengthened backbone is a best in class Vehicle System Interface Module (VSIM). The VSIM acts as a secure gateway to the vehicles’ electrical systems and data bus architecture to enable safe, secure plug-and-play connectivity for upfitter friendliness and increased reliability. Rams VSIM features more than 70 inputs and outputs including but not limited to lighting controls, door position, and throttle and transmission position. Dual alternator setups are optional on both the 6.4 Gas and 6.7 Cummins providing 380 and 440 watts of charging power respectively to handle higher electrical loads.
6.4 liter (BGE) HEMI V8 Gas
Standard in all 2019 Ram Chassis Cabs is the proven and powerful 6.4-liter HEMI V8 which features variable cam timing and puts down 410 horsepower and 429lb ft. of torque in 3500 models. New for 2019 is the standard TorqueFlite 8HP75 8-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission, and cylinder deactivation in HEMI powered 3500 models. Optional on the 3500 is the Aisin AS66RC six-speed automatic transmission with Power Take-Off (PTO).
Moving up to 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs and the 6.4-liter HEMI V8 puts down 370 horsepower, and 429lb ft. of torque, the Aisin 6 speed automatic with optional PTO becomes the standard transmission. The 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 uses interactive Deceleration Fuel Shut-Off, which stops fuel flow to the cylinders when decelerating to improve fuel economy in all models.
6.7 liter Cummins Turbo Diesel
As with the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty, the 2019 Chassis Cabs get a significantly revised version of the 6.7 Cummins inline 6. Benefitting from a new Compacted Graphite Iron (CGI) block, a new cylinder head with new exhaust valves and springs, new rocker arms, and a new hollow camshaft the Cummins I6 is stronger, more refined and weighs less than the outgoing engine. Also new are lighter and stronger pistons, low friction rings, new forged connecting rods and bearings and an all-new exhaust manifold with an improved variable geometry turbocharger. Tuned for Chassis Cab duty, the Cummins delivers 360 horsepower and 800lb ft. of torque, the most available torque in a Class 4 or 5 truck.
New for 3500 Chassis cabs powered by the 6.4 liter HEMI V8 is the standard TorqueFlite 8HP75 eight-speed automatic. Tailored for heavy-duty truck work, the TorqueFlite 8HP75 has been upgraded with additional torque converter brazing, additional pinion gears for two of the gearsets and a heavy-duty park system to manage increased towing and payload capabilities.
There are more than 40 individual shift maps to optimize shift points for fuel economy, performance, and drivability. The transmission uses shift-by-wire technology, eliminating a mechanical linkage between the transmission and gear selector.
The TorqueFlite 8HP75 transmission uses 6th gear as a direct drive, while gears 7 and 8 have overdrive ratios. The wide gear-ratio spread helps maximize fuel economy by reducing engine rpm in city and highway driving. Internally, the transmission has four gear sets and five shift elements (multi-disc clutches and brakes). Only two shift elements are open at any given time. With fewer open shift elements, drag losses due to multiple parts rotating relative to one another are reduced.
The electronically controlled Aisin AS66RC six-speed automatic is the standard transmission for 2019 Ram 4500/5500 Chassis Cabs equipped with the 6.4-liter HEMI V-8, and optional on the 2019 Ram 3500 Chassis Cab with the HEMI. This transmission offers PTO capability on the left or right side in 4×2 and 4×4 configurations.
Upgrades to the Aisin AS66RC include new ring gear material and heat treatment, larger thrust bearing to increase capacity and additional heat treatment for select components. Hard finishing of the No. 1 pinion gears helps minimize noise, vibration, and harshness. A new transmission controller has a dual-core processor and double the memory of the previous unit to manage all-new control software for faster, more seamless gear changes. Fuel economy is enhanced with a new torque converter and unique pump assembly as compared to the version of the transmission used with the Cummins Turbo Diesel engine.
New 2019 Ram 3500/4500/5500 Chassis Cab trucks equipped with the Cummins 6.7-liter Turbo Diesel use an Aisin AS69RC six-speed automatic transmission with optional left- or right-side PTO capability.
The fully electronically controlled Aisin AS69RC uses a new transmission controller with double the memory of the previous controller and a dual-core processor. This delivers faster, more precise shifts under all driving and loading conditions.
The transmission’s durability and capability are enhanced with a new ring gear and heat treatment, larger thrust bearing and additional heat treatment for select components. A dynamic damper for the torque converter and hard finishing of the No. 1 pinion gears help reduce noise, vibration, and harshness.
Buyers that take the PTO option on their 2019 Ram Chassis Cabs get a variety of new customization options. PTO outputs are available on either side of the truck on 4×2 and 4×4 configurations, with each side capable of 60 horsepower and 250 lb.- ft. of torque output. The left-side output can power hydraulic or shaft-driven devices. The exhaust pipe in the right-side PTO area on diesel models is double-walled to provide significant heat insulation.
Mobile Mode RPM Up, a new feature, lets the operator manage PTO engine speed by selecting an RPM at which the engine will operate when the transmission is in Park. Engine RPM can be easily selected through the commercial menu in the cluster. This eliminates the need to “feather” the accelerator for additional RPM/power — a feature convenient for refuse or tow vehicles.
Other new PTO features available for 2019 include:
-Multiple new PTO setup and control options via the cluster
-Split Shaft Mode with two gear choices
-Menu-enabled hard wire remote stop/start
-Five-minute shutdown timer disable
-Upfitter CAN bus PTO engine RPM control
-PTO on/off button with last-known state capability
-Variable engine speed ramp rates
Four-wheel drive Ram Chassis cabs get an assortment of BorgWarner part-time transfer cases. Electronic or Manual shift transfer cases are available, all with three operating ranges: 2WD, 4WD High, 4WD Low, and a neutral position. 4500 and 5500 models, as well as 5500 max tow models, use an all-new BorgWarner transfer case featuring a low-range gear reduction system designed to handle higher input loads.
Ram Chassis Cabs get a 12 inch AAM rear axle while 4×4 models get a 12 inch AAM rear axle and a 10.5 inch AAM front beam axle with a center disconnect. A multitude of gear ratios are available ranging from a 4.10 all the way up to a 4.89 ratio depending on Engine/Transmission and model configuration.
Stay tuned to HDRams.com over the next few days as we cover each part of the new trucks in detail. We are also at the Chicago Autoshow and will be updating the website with pictures from the show floor throughout the day.
2019 Ram Chassis Cab Gallery: