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2008 Ram 1500 4x4 5.7 for now....
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42 Posts
Discussion Starter · #21 ·
a harness does not give you the ability to control the transmission and drive the truck. a harness gives you the ability to plug the harness into the transmission and tcu. you need a proper calibration in the tcu in order for it to control the transmission. yes you can order the tcu and yes you can order the harness and you can plug it in, but it will not operate the transmission without the proper calibration loaded into it.
ok so you meant you dont know of any simple plug and play TCM solutions that exist for the rfe.
There are TCMs, but they need to be programmed. Cool. That doesnt scare me. I can pay for anything I cant do myself.
no wife, no kids, no mortgage, good job.
I expect challenges, wouldnt be doing this otherwise.
 

Proud Canadian
Joined
135 Posts
ok so you meant you dont know of any simple plug and play TCM solutions that exist for the rfe.
There are TCMs, but they need to be programmed. Cool. That doesnt scare me. I can pay for anything I cant do myself.
no wife, no kids, no mortgage, good job

PCS engineered and manufactured this controller and its firmware. PCS has never offered direct support (calibration/programming) for the 545RFE. This is not because they don't know how to work with transmissions.

There isn't a plug and play standalone for the 545RFE. This in and of itself should tell you something.

I'm not trying to be an asshole. I'm just being direct and honest, we are all adults here.

Can I give you some advice from someone who has already been through all of this?
 

Registered
2008 Ram 1500 4x4 5.7 for now....
Joined
42 Posts
Discussion Starter · #24 ·
PCS engineered and manufactured this controller and its firmware. PCS has never offered direct support (calibration/programming) for the 545RFE. This is not because they don't know how to work with transmissions.

There isn't a plug and play standalone for the 545RFE. This in and of itself should tell you something.

I'm not trying to be an asshole. I'm just being direct and honest, we are all adults here.

Can I give you some advice from someone who has already been through all of this?
I don't think you're trying to be an asshole, but I'm also trying not to piss you off because I'm trying to get more information from you.
Yes I want your advice, that's the whole purpose of this conversation, and I'm trying to pull more information from you than what you're giving, again trying not to piss you off with annoying questions.
I'm just trying to get this straight to see if it's worth it, keeping in mind that 'worth' is in the eye of the beholder... That makes it not an easy set of questions on an already complicated topic.
Yes please just tell me what you really think
 

Proud Canadian
Joined
135 Posts
yes please, im trying to pull more info from you to get it straight.

do a lot of research and set an end goal and work towards that. spend the money once and do things right the first time. don't waste your time and money on stopgap measures when you can be patient for free.

if you want an 8 speed in your truck, don't spend money on the 545RFE. Start accumulating the parts you need to swap in the 8 speed. Of course, do what you need to do for the time being, but don't just donate money to chasing the mod dragon.

you mentioned going FI in the future. Before you build, decide whether or not you will, and build your motor appropriately. Don't buy two cams. Don't buy two sets of pistons. Don't pay for machining and balancing twice. the money you spend the second time around could have been put towards your ultimate goal initially.

I will give you an example. I have had my truck since new. the very first mod i ever did was headers. I did 5 minutes of research and bought painted hedman shorty headers (cue the laughter). I also firmly believed that I got a performance gain from them (cue the laughter again). I then upgraded to some coated mid length headers, still not wanting to drop 700 bucks on longtubes. then eventually I bought the set of longtubes. the shortys cost me 370 bucks and went in the garbage where they belong. I paid 350 for a used set of mid length headers and sold them later for 250. I then spent 700 on longtubes. each time also required a $50 set of gaskets. so all said and done I ended up paying about $1,270 for the longtubes and gaskets that would have cost me 750 bucks if I had just bought them initially. for what I paid for longtubes, I could have had longtubes and say a cam and springs. now apply that to multiple modifications. do you see where I am going with this? do it right the first time.

I am not saying that you need to have a plan set in stone, I am just saying that once you start messing with your truck, you aren't going to stop. it gets very expensive very quickly, so it is wise to choose parts with an eye towards the future. an extra few hundred dollars on a stronger set of rods and pistons is cheaper than buying a set and using them for a while and then buying stronger pistons and rods when you want to hit your motor with a 200 shot. if you're buying an 8 speed and the sound german controller, buy an 8HP90 instead of an 8HP70. Buy it once and install it once and have room to grow rather than doing a second transmission swap when you go wilder on the motor (notice how I said when and not if). Do a lot of research and build everything a little stronger than you figure you will need, and if there is a bigger/better/stronger option that won't throw off your overall combo, spend a few extra bucks and go with that.

As I am sure anyone who has gotten deep into modding their truck will tell you, do a ton of research before you drop a bunch of money. Parts are expensive, reading is free. A lot of us have spent a lot more time and money getting to the point we are at than we would if we re-did it all today. Learn from our mistakes rather than making your own!
 

Registered
2008 Ram 1500 4x4 5.7 for now....
Joined
42 Posts
Discussion Starter · #26 · (Edited)
do a lot of research and set an end goal and work towards that. spend the money once and do things right the first time. don't waste your time and money on stopgap measures when you can be patient for free.

if you want an 8 speed in your truck, don't spend money on the 545RFE. Start accumulating the parts you need to swap in the 8 speed. Of course, do what you need to do for the time being, but don't just donate money to chasing the mod dragon.

you mentioned going FI in the future. Before you build, decide whether or not you will, and build your motor appropriately. Don't buy two cams. Don't buy two sets of pistons. Don't pay for machining and balancing twice. the money you spend the second time around could have been put towards your ultimate goal initially.

I will give you an example. I have had my truck since new. the very first mod i ever did was headers. I did 5 minutes of research and bought painted hedman shorty headers (cue the laughter). I also firmly believed that I got a performance gain from them (cue the laughter again). I then upgraded to some coated mid length headers, still not wanting to drop 700 bucks on longtubes. then eventually I bought the set of longtubes. the shortys cost me 370 bucks and went in the garbage where they belong. I paid 350 for a used set of mid length headers and sold them later for 250. I then spent 700 on longtubes. each time also required a $50 set of gaskets. so all said and done I ended up paying about $1,270 for the longtubes and gaskets that would have cost me 750 bucks if I had just bought them initially. for what I paid for longtubes, I could have had longtubes and say a cam and springs. now apply that to multiple modifications. do you see where I am going with this? do it right the first time.

I am not saying that you need to have a plan set in stone, I am just saying that once you start messing with your truck, you aren't going to stop. it gets very expensive very quickly, so it is wise to choose parts with an eye towards the future. an extra few hundred dollars on a stronger set of rods and pistons is cheaper than buying a set and using them for a while and then buying stronger pistons and rods when you want to hit your motor with a 200 shot. if you're buying an 8 speed and the sound german controller, buy an 8HP90 instead of an 8HP70. Buy it once and install it once and have room to grow rather than doing a second transmission swap when you go wilder on the motor (notice how I said when and not if). Do a lot of research and build everything a little stronger than you figure you will need, and if there is a bigger/better/stronger option that won't throw off your overall combo, spend a few extra bucks and go with that.

As I am sure anyone who has gotten deep into modding their truck will tell you, do a ton of research before you drop a bunch of money. Parts are expensive, reading is free. A lot of us have spent a lot more time and money getting to the point we are at than we would if we re-did it all today. Learn from our mistakes rather than making your own!
Hey sorry for the late reply but thanks.

Well that sure helps.
I thought you were trying to talk me out of the whole trans swap. Saying its all too much work.
But no, its just, such a pain, only do it once. and do the 8hp90. K got it. back to the original plan. Worry about the trans later.

And I hear ya on "only buy things once"... but thats impossible sometimes.
Going FI later is not a definite thing, IF it happens it will be 3 years minimum.... so we gapped the piston rings for NA, but bought a set of pistons that land me at 9.65:1 compression so boost would be easier and not require high octane.
At minimum, a turbo would be a year or two after the trans swap.

And IF I were going turbo later, long tubes would be a waste and require exhaust work to switch to turbo later....
but no. im going long tube and ill spend the extra money later. some money is just unavoidable to spend twice.

Also staying with stock PCM now, i have to go drive by wire throttlebody (mopar style)
Later on if I switch to terminator, ill be cable driven... LS style..

I hear ya... TRYING to avoid it... but yeah... not always that easy.
Availability of parts is also an issue right now... sometimes you have to buy what you can get. My manley kit was the only one my machinist could get his hands on.
Its not even a "kit", its all the Manley parts off the shelf to make a full kit.

But LOUD AND CLEAR dont waste time on the RFE. thank you.
 

Registered
2008 Ram 1500 4x4 5.7 for now....
Joined
42 Posts
Discussion Starter · #27 · (Edited)
Update :
Yesterday I installed a Hellwig Rear Sway Bar kit:
Car Motor vehicle Automotive tire Tire Vehicle


had to fab up longer links due to my 6" lift (4" in rear), 7/16 grade 8 ready rod, 1/2" id steel tube.
reduced body roll by half, rear end stays really planted when power sliding.
money well spent.


And now im about to pull the trigger on some parts.

Would love some opinions, suggestions, or warnings.

Holley Sniper 837252 - Holley Sniper EFI Fabricated Intakes - mopar and LS mount 92mm ***keep in mind, im going car timing cover & acc drive
DeatschWerks 13U-00-0042-8 - DeatschWerks Fuel Injectors - 42 lb/hr
BBK Performance 1782 - BBK Power-Plus Series Throttle Bodies 90mm mopar drive by wire
Melling 10342 - Melling Performance Oil Pumps - high volume oil pump.
 

Greg
Joined
20,008 Posts
An alternative to the 8sp is a well built manual valve body 46rh/re. It is strong enough to hold a supercharged stroker motor and very streetable.
 

Registered
2008 Ram 1500 4x4 5.7 for now....
Joined
42 Posts
Discussion Starter · #29 ·
An alternative to the 8sp is a well built manual valve body 46rh/re. It is strong enough to hold a supercharged stroker motor and very streetable.
A priority with my final transmission decision will be highway mileage. I live in fort mac. the next largest city is Edmonton, the closest Best Buy is 500km away.... 1000km round trip.
And yes will have to do diff gears. already accepted that.
 

Greg
Joined
20,008 Posts
The 46rh/re trans have OD and lockup. But a SC'd jacked up 4x4 will not be good on mileage.
 
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Registered
2008 Ram 1500 4x4 5.7 for now....
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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
The 46rh/re trans have OD and lockup. But a SC'd jacked up 4x4 will not be good on mileage.
again... the forced induction is not a settled idea... and would want a highway tune for sure...
but really the turbo is for when i stop caring and feel like being stupid.
 

Proud Canadian
Joined
135 Posts
A priority with my final transmission decision will be highway mileage. I live in fort mac. the next largest city is Edmonton, the closest Best Buy is 500km away.... 1000km round trip.
And yes will have to do diff gears. already accepted that.

driving a 5,000+ pound truck with a V8 means you aren't that concerned with fuel economy. adding 47ci of displacement of your motor means you aren't that concerned with fuel economy. let's be realistic here.

you're going to drive a lot of miles before the fuel saved will offset the cost of gears, bearings, and installation. and a 10% difference in your final drive ratio (example, 3.92 to 3.55) does not mean a 10% difference in fuel economy.

I am assuming you plan to run midgrade or premium in your 392. if you want to save money on highway trips, burn 87. even if your compression ratio were higher, it still wouldn't cause you any problems unless you were driving it hard.

people focus too much on compression ratio when what actually matters is cylinder pressure. if you are operating the motor under light load, your cylinder pressure will be low and detonation will not be an issue with lower octane gas, provided you don't have a really aggressive tune. again, I am talking about low load scenarios, I am not talking about when you beat on the truck or when you tow or whatever. for light cruising on the highway, you're fine with lower octane fuel, just adjust your driving style accordingly.

you have twice the number of cylinders as any person who is actually concerned about saving money on fuel. on a truck that is as heavy and as non-aerodynamic as these trucks are, your foot is the only thing that can save you any real money. the amount of driving that you will have to do in order to recoup the money you spent will take a long time. and then you have to factor in the cost of, for example, another gear swap in the future when you go FI or whatever and your setup needs to be changed.

focus on modding your truck to make it enjoyable to drive, and spend your money the right way. the only way you will substantially increase your fuel economy is by driving a different vehicle.

my truck is only driven in the city and it murders fuel. it's horrible. but it is a blast to drive, I only drive it in the summer, and I don't put a lot of miles on it. if I want to rip around in a loud truck, I accept the fact that I am going to spend more money on fuel. it's a tradeoff. I have my little shitbox camry for economy and the truck for enjoyment. it is also far easier on the pocket to drive a gas guzzler that is paid for rather than an econobox that you're making payments on.

long story less long, you're not going to save money on fuel driving one of these trucks with a stroker in it. accept that. and when you buy parts, put your money towards making your truck better and faster rather than chasing a fuel economy dragon that you won't catch.
 

Greg
Joined
20,008 Posts
The man speaks the truth.. Red is built for fun and used when I want to go fast. My daily is a 07 24 valve diesel. But my current favorite is a 89' 12 valve, relatively quick and gets 21mpg. Good luck and enjoy your truck..
 

Proud Canadian
Joined
135 Posts
ok this is a perfect example of "don't believe everything you see on the internet". I will tell you straight up that dude is full of shit. the power curve he is claiming, think about it for a second. just under 500 lb-ft of torque 'just off idle', a peak torque number of 550 and peak hp of just over 660. his numbers are bullshit.

with a peak torque number of 550 lb-ft, the absolute lowest rpm at which he could hit 660hp would be 6,300 and he would need 550 lb-ft to do it at that rpm, yet 550 is his claimed peak torque number. plus, the torque would have to do a spectacular nosedive immediately after 6,300rpm in order for the motor to not make a higher than claimed peak hp number.

even if he hit his peak hp at 7,000rpm (which he wouldn't do without some expensive parts running a 4.050" stroke), he would still need 500 lb-ft at 7K to be in the 660s for hp. so just off idle to 7K rpm his torque curve is so flat that it stays within 50 lb-ft?

any well designed motor will have a fairly flat torque curve, but if he is making 500+ tq just off idle and then holding onto it for that long, why not spin the motor faster and make way more hp?

and as you see, he advertises it as being dynoed with a startup tune and then the motor runs with the self tuning. so he is doing all this without even tuning the motor?!? I bet if you ask him, he can send the shuttle into orbit with Roman candles.

to elaborate on this a bit for you so it doesn't sound like I am just being negative and/or shitting on that engine builder.

is a torque number in the 550's possible with an N/A 392? yes.

is a horsepower number in the 660's possible with a naturally aspirated 392? yes, nearly 1.7hp/ci is possible but it will be a wild combination.

his claimed peak power numbers aren't unattainable, but the combination of the two in an n/a 392 is unlikely, especially with a 4 inch stroke in a small block with a rod ratio in the 1.50s. he adds that this motor making 660hp/550tq produces 500 tq just off idle, and that makes it clear that there is some exaggeration going on here.

and then when you factor in his statement that the motor is putting down these numbers just with the self tuning, you know it's definitely not true. and THEN you see that he is selling it for 17 grand, complete from pan to throttle body with electronics/standalone, and he crosses the threshold from hard to believe over to total bullshit.

an untuned naturally aspirated 5.7/392 making those power numbers for that price isn't happening. if it were forced induction then sure, but even then the complete package wouldn't happen at that price. between all the members of this forum there is a lot of combined knowledge and pretty much every part on the market has been used by one of us at one point, so you can usually find some true real-world feedback before you throw your money towards a sales pitch that sounds nice but may be less than truthful.
 

Registered
2008 Ram 1500 4x4 5.7 for now....
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42 Posts
Discussion Starter · #36 · (Edited)
just to be clear...
im building something similar.... not exactly the same
im just stealing his parts list as as starting point for some research. not as "my build list"
im not expecting any HP/TQ numbers at the moment. Im hoping for over 500 hp when done, but dont expect shit.
I will be getting professionally tuned....
that was why i was asking about terminator vs stock PCM... to know my tuning route for this first part of the build.
staying stock PCM for now it looks like

and its also why im here asking questions. to get more info and make better choices for my use.
I just want a brand new engine that will last, and be fun when i stomp on it.
Im not going to the track. Im not trying to shave fractions of seconds..

A new ram with sunroof and heated seats? $50K?
this engine build is a much cheaper option, however it turns out, it'll be better than a new stock ram engine. ill be happy
 

Registered
2008 Ram 1500 4x4 5.7 for now....
Joined
42 Posts
Discussion Starter · #38 ·
driving a 5,000+ pound truck with a V8 means you aren't that concerned with fuel economy. adding 47ci of displacement of your motor means you aren't that concerned with fuel economy. let's be realistic here.

you're going to drive a lot of miles before the fuel saved will offset the cost of gears, bearings, and installation. and a 10% difference in your final drive ratio (example, 3.92 to 3.55) does not mean a 10% difference in fuel economy.

I am assuming you plan to run midgrade or premium in your 392. if you want to save money on highway trips, burn 87. even if your compression ratio were higher, it still wouldn't cause you any problems unless you were driving it hard.

people focus too much on compression ratio when what actually matters is cylinder pressure. if you are operating the motor under light load, your cylinder pressure will be low and detonation will not be an issue with lower octane gas, provided you don't have a really aggressive tune. again, I am talking about low load scenarios, I am not talking about when you beat on the truck or when you tow or whatever. for light cruising on the highway, you're fine with lower octane fuel, just adjust your driving style accordingly.

you have twice the number of cylinders as any person who is actually concerned about saving money on fuel. on a truck that is as heavy and as non-aerodynamic as these trucks are, your foot is the only thing that can save you any real money. the amount of driving that you will have to do in order to recoup the money you spent will take a long time. and then you have to factor in the cost of, for example, another gear swap in the future when you go FI or whatever and your setup needs to be changed.

focus on modding your truck to make it enjoyable to drive, and spend your money the right way. the only way you will substantially increase your fuel economy is by driving a different vehicle.

my truck is only driven in the city and it murders fuel. it's horrible. but it is a blast to drive, I only drive it in the summer, and I don't put a lot of miles on it. if I want to rip around in a loud truck, I accept the fact that I am going to spend more money on fuel. it's a tradeoff. I have my little shitbox camry for economy and the truck for enjoyment. it is also far easier on the pocket to drive a gas guzzler that is paid for rather than an econobox that you're making payments on.

long story less long, you're not going to save money on fuel driving one of these trucks with a stroker in it. accept that. and when you buy parts, put your money towards making your truck better and faster rather than chasing a fuel economy dragon that you won't catch.
The man speaks the truth.. Red is built for fun and used when I want to go fast. My daily is a 07 24 valve diesel. But my current favorite is a 89' 12 valve, relatively quick and gets 21mpg. Good luck and enjoy your truck..
yeah i need a bigger driveway for a more efficient daily driver, my household already Parks two on the street.

sorry for wasting your time on writing that long post, but I must have not been clear enough.

but i am NOT trying to make the truck "fuel efficient" or "increase economy".
And I know that i will not "make back the money spent" on fuel.
not trying to do that.
I heard a lifter noise and decided to spend 12K+ building a new engine.
this should be the first hint im not trying to save money.

I just dont want something that is unessesarily wasting fuel on the highway compared to a different setup.
I dont want it revving 3000+ RPM at 120 km/h, thats it.
right now its about 2200 rpm. i prefer it not to go higher.

My only point, was if i have a choice between 2 or more good transmissions, highway usage will be the tiebreaker.
looking at the final gearing on the zf vs the torqueflight... id go zf. but that doesnt take into account diff gears, for final ratio,
Yeah I got more research to do but not what you were suggesting.
Not doing the tranny yet.

I'm not trying to increase economy, just trying to A) reduce unnecessary fuel usage B) reduce engine noise, on 500km (5 hour) trips to Edmonton

This is about the fact right now with my 13 year old engine, 233,000 km, if there is a bad head wind while driving uphill to Edmonton (yes driving south is uphill here) it can take 3/4 of a Tank to reach the first gas station with a bad head wind. IF ITS OPEN. 80 km more til the next gas station.
i dont want to add a slip tank just to leave town with confidence.
On a good day it takes less than half a tank to reach the gas station

Last thing i want is to make it worse for no reason.

Every turn of the engine is more fuel. The more I can reduce it at highway speeds the less fuel used.
 

Greg
Joined
20,008 Posts
Red's a pig on gas. I have a 20gal tank that can go 160 miles. Low fuel light comes on I have 15 miles left. I carry a 5gal spare can, so as not to worry. Of course when playing I can dump the tank in something around 60 miles. Engine turns 2000 rpm @ 65mph. 32inch tall tires. 3:91 gear.. 46rh manual vb. Point is, don't get carried away..
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