December 18

2005 Dodge Ram 3500 Diesel – Clutch Replacement

Auto Repair, Dodge Trucks


Our latest post is clutch replacement on a 2005 Dodge Ram 3500 Diesel pickup, brought to us by a client from Kensington/Cedar Cottage, Vancouver.

Dodge Ram 3500
2005 Dodge Ram 3500 – A rough and ready work truck


The 2005 Dodge Ram 3500 is a tough truck featuring a Cummins Diesel, 4 wheel drive, a tough 1 Ton drivetrain and a 6 Speed manual transmission. Dodge must have sold a lot of these trucks with standard transmissions because we service many of them at our shop. The ratio of Dodge trucks with standards to automatics is much higher than Ford and Chevy’s diesel trucks.

A tough truck needs a tough drivetrain and this vehicle fits the bill. The transmission in this vehicle is a Mercedes unit. The clutch uses a dual mass flywheel which can make this repair job very expensive. Clutch repairs on a dual mass flywheeled vehicle require the flywheel to be replaced and this often adds a thousand dollars or more to the repair costs. The dual mass flywheel has damper springs and moving parts that wear out in sync with the clutch disc and pressure plate.

Dodge Ram 3500
The massive transmission and Transmission and transfer case assembly removed from the truck to access the clutch

Fortunately there are alternatives: for most vehicles, clutch kits that include a solid flywheel and redesigned clutch assembly are readily available. These are substantially cheaper than replacing the dual mass flywheel.

Now you might wonder why dual mass flywheels are used in the first place. The biggest reason is that they reduce vibrations when engaging and disengaging the clutch. It makes the whole operation smoother. That is certainly most welcome on a diesel which is rough and shaky. They are also found in many high end sports cars and surprisingly also in economy cars such as the Nissan Versa.

For most clutch replacements with dual mass flywheels we opt for the solid flywheel replacement as most of our clients appreciate the reduced repair costs. Is there a disadvantage? None that we’ve noticed and we’ve done them on everything from big tough diesel Dodges to fast and sporty supercharged Mini Coopers.

While this Dodge needed the complete clutch the main component failure was the release bearing which broke apart. The truck was towed in but fortunately we were able to drive it into the service bay for replacement. One thing about big tough trucks is that they are no fun to push!

For more about Dodge Ram 3500 Trucks click on this link

For a video that explains dual mass flywheels click on this link

Dodge Ram 3500
The arrow points to what’s left of the clutch release bearing. This is only the inner section that slides on the collar. All the ball bearings have disintegrated and the outer section has come off.


Dodge Ram 3500
New release bearing installed

About the author 

Bernie Pawlik

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