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When we last visited this diesel drama, a New Jersey man was flagged by the DMV for driving a “deleted” Ram 2500 diesel truck. It discovered the illegal removal of emissions components from the owner’s Facebook Marketplace ad selling the truck. In it, he used “deleted” as a way to say the diesel particulate filter and EGR valve had been removed, which is illegal. At that time, he said he would capitulate by finding a Cummins diesel engine with everything intact. Now, that thinking has changed

Can’t the Ram 2500 diesel engine be put back to compliance?

2008 Ram
2008 Ram 2500 | Stellantis

Not only owner Mike Sebold, but many diesel pickup truck owners remove these emissions devices for better performance, or merely to roll coal. Either way, it is illegal to do. But the EPA has instituted a crackdown on this activity. It employs agents to scan ad listings for those selling the service, and those selling trucks with the modifications.

That’s what happened to Sebold. New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection sent him a letter to return it back to compliance with state and federal laws. Either that, or take it off the road for good. And it is illegal to sell it, too. 

Since that time, Sebold claimed on his Facebook page, that he needed to return his Ram diesel to compliance or he would be sent to jail for 60 days. And he said that to conform to the demand meant spending $10,000. We’ve checked prices for 6.1 Cummins engines and EGR valves range from $550 to $1,500. Particulate filters are around $1,500.

Aren’t there options to avoid crushing this non-compliant Ram truck?

2008 Ram
2008 Ram 2500 | Stellantis

Those prices don’t include labor, incidentals, and possibly reconfiguring the exhaust system to accept the particulate filter. Programming the EGR may be necessary. Sebold could choose to do the work himself. In that case, the price could come in at under $5,000. Still, that’s a lot of money for sure.

Complete used Ram diesel engines are north of $15,000, and long blocks are around $10,000. So replacing the entire engine is not a good option in this case. But the need to do so doesn’t appear to be necessary since this is already a running and driving truck. 

Faced with these options, Sebold was originally going to make the truck legal. But now, he has told The Drive he is parting out the truck, with the remains headed to the scrapper. Earlier, he handed over the license plates to the state, advising it he would be using the truck for off-road purposes only. But the state said “no.” 

What if you don’t know the truck you’ve purchased is modified?

2008 Ram
2008 Ram 2500 | Stellantis

But the DEP has told Sebold multiple times it would extend the deadline for the required repairs. And it has also offered other unspecified suggestions to avoid him having to scrap the truck, according to Carscoops

Sebold maintains that he purchased the truck with the modification already performed. But the DEP won’t give you a pass for this. Whether he contacted the previous owner to come up with some type of solution is unknown. So the parting-out of the pickup has already begun. Sometime this week it will meet its fate at the scrapyard. 

Is there a moral to all of this? First, be aware of what you’re buying. And if you buy a vehicle knowing emissions controls have been tampered with, expect to get caught. Unless you own a wrecking yard with access to Ram and Cummins diesel parts, you should probably just pass. 


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