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2005 Dodge Ram - 4x News

Side View
Christian Lee | Writer
Posted December 1, 2004

Dodge Power Wagons To Use Warn Winches
The result of two-plus years of development, the '05 Dodge Ram Power Wagon will be equipped with a winch system from Warn Industries. Working closely with Chrysler Group engineers, Warn created the Ram Power Wagon's winch specifically to accommodate the capabilities of the truck, while also enabling it to be integrated into the Power Wagon as part of the vehicle-assembly process. Based on Warn's Heavyweight Winch Series, the Dodge Ram Power Wagon Winch features a 136-pound steel chassis; a three-stage planetary geartrain with a 315:1 reduction; a 12-volt 4.6hp series-wound motor; a rotating ring gear clutch and automatic direct drive cone brake; and a 12,000-pound pulling capacity. Other technological advancements integrated into the new winch are a thermal protection system designed to sense excessive heat and shut down the winch until an acceptable temperature is reached, and a low-voltage interrupt capability designed to protect the truck's electronics. The new winch also includes a 90-foot 7/16-inch-diameter wire rope, a large latched hook, and an industrial-grade remote-control unit with a 12-foot lead.

New Owners For AM General
Owners of AM General since 1992, the New York-based Renco Group has sold 70 percent of the operation as well as managerial control to MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings. Renco still retains limited control rights under the new ownership. Company officials stated that the changes in AM General Corporation's ownership structure should have little impact on the business and its employees.The New Joint-Venture Is Called Macandrews AMG Holdings LLC.

Renco originally purchased AM General from LTV Corporation for $133 million in 1992 and has transformed the company into an attractive investment option through the development of the Hummer H1 and H2. MacAndrews reportedly paid close to $1 billion to complete the transaction, though the exact value of the sale was not confirmed. Jim Armour will remain president and chief executive officer of AM General under the new arrangement, and day-to-day control of the company will remain in South Bend, Michigan, where the Hummer H1 and H2 vehicles are currently produced. MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings is controlled by billionaire Ronald Perelman, whose holding company also has investments in a variety of public and private companies, most notably cosmetics manufacturer Revlon.

Land Issues
BLM OK's OHV Use In Mojave's NEMO Planning Area
OHV enthusiasts received some much-needed good news during the summer months, as the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) approved OHV routes in 91 percent of the 1.3-million-acre non-wilderness area in the Northern and Eastern Mojave Desert Planning area (NEMO). The NEMO planning area covers 3.3 million acres, of which 2.7 million acres are BLM lands. The area stretches from north/northwest of the Death Valley National Park to Interstate 40 on the south and from the Nevada state line to the western boundary of the Mojave National Preserve. Edythe Seehafer, environmental coordinator for the BLM's Barstow office, stated, "We expect a moderate increase in use as the area east of the NEMO area in Nevada and California cities to the west grow." A million acres in NEMO are preserved as wilderness and off-limits to activities such as off-roading.

'05 Liberty Receives New Diesel Six-Speed Tranny
The '05 Jeep Liberty just keeps getting cooler. First off, Chrysler will replace the five-speed manual transmission in gasoline-powered Liberty vehicles with an all-new six-speed unit. This is an excellent improvement compared with the previous model-years, lending further overdrive capability. Even more impressive for the '05 lineup, however, is the Liberty's new engine option: a 2.8L Turbo Common Rail Diesel (CRD) designed to produce 160 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.

The 2.8L CRD is an enhanced version of the four-cylinder diesel currently offered on Libertys in the European market. The decision to adapt the mill to be used in U.S. model vehicles positions the Liberty as the first midsize SUV available with a diesel engine in the U.S. Using an advanced common-rail direct-injection fuel system, the new 2.8L will offer a driving range of approximately 500 miles and a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds. The 2.8L diesel uses improved injectors, so that the fuel burns more thoroughly, producing fewer particulates and lower emissions than previous-generation diesel engines. Two pilot injections prior to the main injection is designed to prepare the cylinders for the main injection of fuel, which aids in smoothing out the main combustion and quieting the engine, especially at idle. Another vital improvement to the new 2.8L diesel is the use of electronically controlled ceramic "smart" glow plugs with a warm-up time of only two seconds. This is a great advancement from older timer-operated glow plugs, which require as much as 10 seconds of warm-up time prior to start.

The new 2.8L diesel was designed to be an efficient, smooth-running engine that produces lower carbon-dioxide emissions without sacrificing performance. VM Motori, which is owned by Detroit Diesel, a DaimlerChrysler company, is the manufacturer of the engine. VM Motori has supplied the Chrysler Group with diesel engines since 1992 for minivan and Jeep products sold in Europe.

SMA and Fox Racing Offer Limited-Run H2sSMA and Fox Racing recently partnered together to produce two versions of a limited-edition Hummer H2. The limited run of H2 trucks are classified as the Fox 180 H2 truck and the Fox 360 H2 truck, both of which are offered in SUV or SUT form and each modified with unique perform-ance and in-car entertainment features. Only 500 of the Fox Racing SMA H2 trucks will be produced. The vehicles will be sold through the General Motors Dealer Network.

The Fox 180 H2 truck will feature 35-inch BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM tires wrapped around 18-inch Weld Racing Commando rims, as well as a host of exterior and performance items, including a lightbar, a roof rack, brushguards, a tire carrier, a heavy-duty winch, a Rancho suspension system, and an after-cat dual exhaust. Interior accessories include a host of billet enhancements with the Fox Racing logo featured prominently throughout.

The Fox 360 H2 truck steps it up a notch with 37-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO tires mated to 20-inch Weld Racing Commando rims. The 360 truck additionally features a Rancho shock-absorption system, an optional Rancho 4-inch lift system, a Magnuson supercharger, and interior upgrades similar to the 180 truck.

Both of the new Fox Racing SMA H2 trucks will be showcased at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, the Off-Road Expo, the AMA Outdoor Motorcross Nationals, and the Fox Racing Tour. The limited-run H2s will also be featured on the popular BFGoodrich Tires poster series.

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