I don’t pretend to fully understand the culture of diesel performance folks. To me, a diesel pickup truck is a tool, a workhorse, something that I can load up, tow with, or anything along those lines. Tool first, alternative to the family car second. In these days of $80,000 pickup trucks, the simplicity of a pre-1994 Dodge Ram is almost refreshing, and in 12-valve Cummins form with a five-speed…yeah, this is a desirable tool. Compared to any Cummins Ram that followed along, the 1989-93 diesel Rams are about as technologically advanced as the rock you can use to fix 95% of the issues that might crop up. Squared off and handsome, the legend of the Cummins made an otherwise ancient platform that had been reheated over and over into the truck to have, simply because of the torque alone.
So why would we recommend dumping money into twenty-five year old truck? Because far too few of these Dodges are left unscathed. Diesel freaks hunt these down as if they were the last tasty buffalo roaming the plains, and this particular example is the prime target for someone who has images of black smoke clouds and exhaust stacks. The Ram is pretty straight and clean, so other than a repaint of Graphic Red and some spit-and-polish under the hood, we’d say leave well enough alone. Enjoy the work beast as it was meant to be.