Ten years ago, the Ram line of pickup trucks branched off from the Dodge name to form its own separate brand. Since then, the company has made many innovations in the design of its vehicles and continue to bring more impressive vehicles to the market. One of the latest released is the Ram Power Wagon.
Originally used as a military vehicle, the Power Wagon is now marketed as an exclusive off-road version of the Ram 2500. What’s under the hood that makes it so much better than the regular Ram? Engineering Explained gave us an up-close look at five of the Power Wagon’s awesome features.
Front and rear lockers
The Power Wagon’s front and rear axles can easily be locked by the driver from the cabin. This gives each wheel an equal amount of the engine’s torque. This is very useful to use while off-roading, but it’s not the best for daily driving situations. Because all the wheels rotate at the same speed while the axles are locked, there’s an increased potential for axle bind, which stresses the wheels to the point where they may stop working.
In the back, the Power Wagon operates with a five-link coil suspension system. Most trucks are built with a leaf spring design, but a five-link system is better for reducing excessive axle rotation. The coils are stronger than springs and produce less friction. For even more control, the Power Wagon has a third damper and a disconnecting electric sway bar.
At the front, Ram installed its unique Articulink suspension system. This three-link suspension puts some high-movement joints at the front control arms, which allows the axles to be more flexible. It also adds an extra rubber link and bushing to the control arm.
Disconnecting electric sway bar
A sway bar keeps a truck’s wheels on the ground while rounding tight corners and certain off-roading situations. It reduces the articulation on the front axles in order to give power to every wheel. However, this could make your suspension stiffer. For some situations, like going over large obstacles, it’s better for the axles to have more articulation.
The Power Wagon is equipped with a sway bar that can be connected and disconnected through the simple push of a button. The bar will automatically connect when going at speeds of over 18 mph, but the driver can turn it off manually. Once detached, the center of each front wheel receives up to 26 inches more ground clearance.
The Power Wagon features an integrated electric Warn winch capable of lifting 12,000 pounds, almost double the weight of the truck itself. The cable is made from a lighter synthetic material instead of steel. In addition to getting yourself out of tight situations, it’s also useful for towing other cars or large pieces of equipment. You can even use the winch to help tilt a flipped car right side up.
Raised idle and throttle control
This truck only has one exclusive engine option: a V8 6.4-liter Hemi capable of 410 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque. For comparison, the regular Ram 2500 has a V8 5.7-liter Hemi with 383 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. In addition to more power, this engine also performs better at low speeds.
With the Power Wagon, you won’t feel the rough jerk of the engine as it accelerates. This is because the engine has a softer throttle response, which in turn raises the idle RPM. The engine does this automatically when the truck is placed in 4Lo gear. Thanks to all these adjustments, the Power Wagon is one of the most capable off-roading vehicles on the market.