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rv:ram_promaster
There is nothing, I repeat nothing, special or complicated or expensive or proprietary about the Promaster. The drivetrain, transmission, fuel system, cats, computer, hvac, braking, suspension, steering, etc are all almost EXACTLY the same as ANY Chrysler built from 2011 till today. As such, ANY decent mechanic can work on these things. There's nothing magical in there. – Kip On Trucking1)

Ram Promaster

The Promaster is a eurovan based on the Fiat Ducato platform. It is the most popular RV platform in Europe.2)

The PM is a front-wheel drive platform with nearly straight sides, tight turning circle, low cargo deck height, and a wide (74“) cargo area.

It comes in low (65” standing room) and high roof (76“ standing room) models, with 136” and 159“ wheelbases yielding 10' and 12' cargo areas respectively. There is also an extended body on the 159” wheelbase; this option has a 13.33' cargo area and is only available on the 3500 model.3)

159WB; note space between end of sliding door track and rear of vehicle. The 1500/2500/3500 badges are ambiguous.4) The 159“ wheelbase is offered on the 2500 and up.. The 159” Extended model is available only on the 3500. The only confirmed difference between the 2500 and 3500 is a sway bar added on the 3500.5)

drivetrain

s25.postimg.org_mx2tzzlf3_promaster_vs_sprinter.jpg The gas version has a 3.6L Pentastar and 62TE 6 speed transmission6). Brian P explains how this transmission works.

The diesel version has a 3.0L turbo diesel, the Fiat industrial F1C engine used in the Mitsubishi Fuso and IVECO Daily.7) It is mated with an M40 automated manual transmission (AMT); this is a manual transmission which is shifted automatically. It is the same combination found in the Ducato.8)

traction control

Promasters have an Electronic Brake Control System (EBCS) which allows independent operation of each wheel's brake. The system is comprised of:

  • Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) and Brake Assist System (BAS), which reportedly assists ABS.9)
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC) - controls oversteer/understeer through selective braking and engine torque management.
  • Traction Control System (TCS) monitors wheel spin on the driven (front) wheels. It applies light braking to the spinning wheel so torque will be transferred through the open diff to the other wheel. The overall effect is like a virtual limited slip differential.
    When TCS is managing a spinning wheel the ESC light in the instrument cluster flashes.
    TCS may also use engine torque management.10)
  • Trailer Sway Control (TSC) to minimize side-to-side oscillations
  • Hill Start Assist (HSA) which momentarily holds brake on inclines while the driver's foot moves to the accelerator.

In certain wheelspin situations at low forward speeds it can help to set ESC “partially off”. This reduces ESC intervention also turns off TCS' engine torque management. This allows the tires to spin up faster than TCS would normally allow. To do this press the ESC OFF button. In general, ESC should remain ON anytime the vehicle is moving faster than “parking lot speeds”.

TCS may not work with the transmission in reverse.

Note that immoderate use of brake-based controls can result in overheating or premature wear of brake components. [ie, don't turn off ESC then keep your foot in it for 3 miles of muddy road – secessus]

Also see FCA's description of a similar system in the Jeep line.

known issues

See the Promaster entry on the All Vans Have Issues page.

quirks

  • Strange driving position with high seat pedestals.
  • steering wheel adjustable for distance but not angle
  • rough ride when empty.
  • 6th gear is very tall for MPG; the van will downshift in headwinds and on hills.
  • The transmission will downshift automatically on long descents for engine braking.

gas vs diesel

Bluebonnet Chrysler in San Marcos, Tx has a good reputation with out of state buyers.11)

filters and fluids

  • Oil Filter
    • images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com_images_i_51ab7q0l3jl._ac_ul160_sr160_160_.jpg3.6L gas – Note: the oil filter is a cartridge type located in a long-necked plastic assembly . Do not overtighten or the oil filter housing adapter it's attached to15) can crack, resulting in an oil leak. You may want to hold the cartridge housing still with one hand while gently snugging the cap with a stubby 15/16ths or 24mm wrench. The location, lack of working space, and small diameter of the cap will likely make normal hand tightening16) impractical.
      • Motorcraft FL206617)
      • Purolator L3629618)
      • Wix WL1001019)
      • OEM MOPAR = 68191349AA20)
      • Aftermarket MOPAR = M0-34921)
      • Fram = CH11665,22) included for completeness but rarely recommended23)
      • Champ/LuberFiner = P100924)))
    • 3.0L diesel
      • Baldwin B738825)
      • OEM 68095335AA26)
      • MAN W900927)
      • NAPA FIL 10005828)
      • WIX WL1005829)

images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com_images_i_41hsoyt0udl._ac_us160_.jpg

62TE transmission

This 6-speed auto is used in gas models. It uses ATF+4 and/or Chrysler MS-9602 spec fluid.37)
Note: the trans technically has 7 forward speeds but 4th prime is only used during downshifts.

One rebuilder recommends full trans service (with synthetic) every 25k miles.38) Frequent service and correct fluids appear to be critical:

Many problems with Chrysler automatic transmissions are started when the automatic transmission fluid or “ATF” is replaced or topped-up with standard, more common fluids like DEXRON or MERCON type fluids. Chrysler transmissions need to use their own fluid, designated as ATF+4 Synthetic type 9602 fluid from Chrysler, not any other or any other plus an additive. If any quantity of other type of fluid is added to the transmission, a complete drain, flush and replacement with the correct ATF+4 will be needed. When properly serviced (periodic fluid and filter changes with the required ATF+4 fluid), the transmission performs correctly.39)

There is a possibility P0734 & P0792 transmission codes can be caused by a faulty TRS(Transmission Range Sensor), an inexpensive part.40)

A whine from the transmission that sounds like a power steering pump may be from foamy ATF. This could be caused by low AT fluid level.41)

solar fitment

RW and VJ's 159" with 810w of solar The PM roof is quite wide at the top and larger, higher-voltage residential/commercial panels can be mounted. If large panels are fitted across the whole width taller z-bracket or spacers may be need to allow for the PM's roof curve.42)

The roof of the 136“ PM can fit 600w (2x300w) with sufficient room for a roof vent.

The 159” can fit about 900w (3x300w) + roof vent.

Hein makes custom hardware for mounting panels to the Promaster roof.

roof vent fitment

The Promaster has a raised roof vent pad near the cab. Parts of it have no ribbing to make waterproofing easier.

towing points

There is a rear tow point on the passenger side. The front tow point is hidden behind an access port in the front bumper. A tow loop found in the jack kit screws into the port.43)

In either case a shackle of some sort will be required to attach loop-ended recovery straps.

accessories

receiver hitch

  • Curt 13295 - Class III Square Tube Hitch - Concealed. 5000# GTW. 500# TW.
  • Curt 13207 - - Class III Square Tube Hitch - Exposed. 6000# GTW. 750# TW.
  • Curt 13170 Original version for Promaster, now deprecated? Some reports of flimsiness.44)
  • Curt 13150 - better for cutaway models?45)
  • Draw-tite 75882 - Max-Frame receiver.46) 6000# GTW. 750# TW.47)

windshield sunscreen

side window vent

cruise control

visual identification

roof height

The Promaster has only two roof heights so identification is easy. The roofline is compared to the top of the van's cab.

  • the Low Roof is just above the cab
  • the High Roof extends beyond the cab

wheelbase

Wheelbase can be identifed by looking at the amount of body beyond the sliding door track.

  • the 136“ Regular Wheelbase (RWB) ends just after the track.
  • the 159” Long Wheelbase (LWB) has about a third of a track length behind the track.
  • the 159“ Long Wheelbase Extended(LWE) has about a two-thirds of a track length behind the track.

further reading

10)
This is not clear in the manual – secessus
14)
note that thread is about Jeeps, not Promaster
15)
part of
16)
like we used to do on full size filters
rv/ram_promaster.txt · Last modified: 2020/10/11 19:48 (external edit)