We've all learned lesson the hard way. We've all made mistakes. Take what you can from this page. You'll still make mistakes but at least they won't be the same ones I've made. I've mentioned a few things here that represent some of the trouble, large or small, that I've run into. These installs were largely on my 2000 Ram unless indicated otherwise.
Jet Chip: I've included this all though I no longer have my Jet Chip. No, it doesn't only take five minutes. At least not the first time. I recommend removing the PCM from the firewall before you try to remove the chip. The clips holding the factory wiring connector to the PCM are easy to break, as I've found out. Look at them carefully and remove them as best you can. There is on the top and bottom of each connector. Once you figure out the trick, it's not that bad. Jet Chips seat VERY hard. Make sure you have the pins lined up correctly and then give it some oomph. You should hear a click when it is properly seated. See my tech support page for Jet's phone number. The PCM on my 2002 Dakota is located on the passenger side fender and makes for a much easier install than on the 94-01 Rams. Jet
MSD Wires: No problems with these. They a nice, satisfying clip when connected. Make sure you buy their wire separators p/n 8841 because the Super Conductor wires don't fit well in the factory wire looms.
Fender Flares: Make sure you have the fit just right before you stick them to your truck. Otherwise, you will never get it right. Patience is key here. My best recommendation is to have a professional installer put your flares on. It's like bodywork, you need to do it on a regular basis to do it right.
Metrinch Tools: You will find there is no rhyme or reason as to which fasteners are standard and which are metric on your Ram. I sure wish I had a set of these.
Airaid: The directions are pretty poor. Truckin' magazine has an article on installing one in a Ram which I found useful. The article has some pictures which really help out. You should be able to search for it on their website.
Fiamm Air Horns: They're on drugs if they think this kit ($21.99 at JC Whitney as Signaltone brand) has enough tubing with it. Take what it comes with to Home Depot, match the size, and buy extra. Also pick up some stainless hose clamps. Color matched electrical tape is a nice touch under the hose clamps so they don't chew into the hose.
JET Thermostat: There is bracket (with a secondary bracket) which supports two metal lines and the alternator that has to be removed to get at the thermostat. It has a single nut on the block end and an upper and lower nut where it supports the alternator. It was on REALLY tight and I ended up bending the secondary bracket. I was able to straighten it back into shape but could have avoided it if I had anticipated the problem. On the 4.7 in my 2002 Dakota, the t-stat is a much easier install. You don't have to move much of anything to get to it. Although parts manuals may not list it, the 3.9/5.2/5.9 Magnum t-stats will fit the 4.7 also.
PIAA Headlights: If you have a Sport model 94-01Ram with quad headlamps, the FSM (factory service manual) says you have to remove the driver's side headlamp assembly to change the headlights. It's not true. I have large hands and was still able to change them. It was a tight squeeze but it worked.
MOPAR Magnum Cast Valve Covers: They come with the good MOPAR performance gaskets. You have to move a lot of wires and tubing when you install these so pay attention to where everything goes. Have some spark plug wire separators handy because you will have to re-route some wires. The bolts that come with the valve covers don't include studs but you can work around it with some wire separators. Also, you need RED LOCTITE to screw in the baffles inside the valve covers. Use a torque wrench, don't cheat. You don't want to have to re-do these because of leaks.
GIBSON Headers: It's a 2-3 hour install. Find a buddy with a lift if you can borrow. It makes it a lot easier. Re-torque your bolts after 500 miles. I had a minor leak. I've checked the bolts every 3,000 miles since with no problems. Also, they will stink real bad for a month afterwards. It takes that long for the gasket to "burn in". Then it's fine.
AAR Fiberglass Hood: I didn't do this install but I have some feedback from the body shop. Everything lines up very well. It uses all factory mounting points and hardware. They needed about a half a day to prep the hood for install. The instructions with regard to re-tensioning the spring for the lighter hood were not very good. I understand from AAR that those instructions are in the process of being corrected.
TRANSGO Shift Kit: Lousy instructions, major pain to install. There are a lot of variables to doing this installation. You need a lot of patience. I would not have been able to do it without the considerable assistance of someone who had installed one before. I installed it with the most aggressive settings possible and have been happy with the results. You will need 8-10 quarts of tranny fluid, a new filter, and a new gasket.
Mag-Hytec Products: I had a Mag-Hytec transmission pan and rear differential cover. Easy installs. The tranny pan includes a gasket and the diff cover has an O-ring so no RTV needed! They include all high-grade stainless hardware. You will need a set of Allen head sockets to install them. I would buy a metric and standard set because you will need both to work on a Ram.
MSD Digital 6-Plus Ignition: Easy install. Follow the instructions. You don't need their universal wiring harness. If you buy some quick-disconnect crimpless connectors you can make up your own which works better. I have developed a lot of alternator noise on my AM radio and CB which I have been unable to fix. I've tried different ground points and noise filters without luck. MSD says this is not an unknown side-effect of a high-powered ignition in a street-vehicle.
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