Time and again we’ve seen stories of cars racking up lots of miles with their loyal steed. Last year, we’ve seen a Nissan Frontier reaching one million miles and looking like it just drove off a dealership lot. That one got a replacement truck from Nissan for free, which was a feel-good story, we reckon. We also saw a small Mirage hatchback from Minnesota that has racked up over 400,000 miles.
This is one of those stories – a man from Oregon has amassed over 1.5 million miles with his Dodge Ram 3500, which he bought brand new in 1997.
Don’t let the badge on the side fool you; a Ram 5500 didn’t exist in 1997 and it was just an act of jest for this owner. Nevertheless, considering that this truck hasn’t had any paint job ever, it’s in relatively good shape. Used as a workhorse to pull RVs, boats, and horse trailers, among others, the 3500 has minimal rusting (one self-inflicted due to DIY mudflap installation), minimal dents, and there isn’t too much rust underneath either. Impressive.
But what made this truck each its 1.5-million-mile milestone is the bevy of powertrain changes that the owner had to employ. The truck has undergone three Cummins diesel engine changes – well, two technically as his second engine swap involved a rebuilt of the original unit that came with the 3500. The current one has already reached around 500,000 miles, according to the owner.
As for the transmission, the owner said that he had to go through 12 NV4500 transmission changes before he learned how to replace it with a G56 six-speed gearbox that’s currently installed right now. Yes, twelve.
When asked whether he plans to buy a new truck to replace his workhorse, the owner declined because he wants a mechanical engine bay he can work on, something that newer trucks don’t have. In fact, he’s about to replace the current engine with a new one soon. Talk about loyalty.
The man’s two-decade journey with his workhorse obviously wasn’t a smooth-sailing one but at least it’s something that he enjoys, so let him tell the story via the video atop this page.