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2021 Dodge Promaster 2500 - 159
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63 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello!
Meet Earl. Our 2021 2500 high-roof 159 ProMaster.
We are planning on a build to get us moving around the PNW for long weekends and ultimately planning a cross-country road trip at the end of the year.


71787


Updates
  • The drama (Feb 24)
  • The build details (in progress)
The background
My wife and are got inspired last year after renting a van from Outdoorsy and spending a week cruising the North Cascades. We tend to be risk-averse but after the stress of 2020 and the lockdown, we went into 2021 saying we wanted a project to sink our teeth into and be proud of. We've had a bucket list of traveling to state and national parks, but no real plan.

We spent a few weeks scouring Car Gurus, Ram dealers, Facebook, etc looking for a van to call our own, but nothing lined up. Wicked high miles, flaky dealers, you've all been there. Then we came across Earl. A photoless posting on Car Gurus heading to Idaho showed up and it had the exact bells and whistles we were looking for. Not white, RV package, towing, 2500, 159... what more could you ask for in a van. After a few phone calls, we learned that it was in Portland at the docks waiting for its trek east. A week or so later, it was delivered to the dealer, we hopped on a plane and drove it 300+ miles back to Seattle through snow, rain, and mountain passes. And here we are...

I am hoping to keep this thread updated and link out to certain posts as we make progress.
I also want to say thank you to the active and helpful community that is PFM.

If you are interested in following us on Instagram, you can find us at @earlgreythevan.

<3
 

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Registered
2021 Dodge Promaster 2500 - 159
Joined
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63 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The drama
I didn’t want to start out with a negative post, but I believe sharing is caring. We had quite a few hiccups right out of the gate and I want to be sure share how we addressed them, and to let people know they aren’t alone in buying a $40k vehicle that comes from the assembly line chock-full-o-issues.

We picked up our van with 8 miles on the odometer. We brought that up to 13 tests driving it before we signed any papers. Everything looked good! Our seats swiveled, the engine hummed, the doors closed… What more could you ask for? Well, we did the paperwork, took the keys, and drove off, ready to start cutting holes and gluing wood in a vehicle. Well, at mile 24 on the odometer, my wife reclined the passenger seat and we were met with the sweet ringing of airbag warnings. The first-ever recline of the seat broke a wiring harness.

We called the dealer, and they offered to bring it back and fix it as fast as they could. But, we chose to drive the remaining way home because we were racing nightfall and a snow storm heading for Snoqualmie Pass. So we figured we will just get it taken care of at the local Ram dealer. So we continued on our way. The first couple hours were on slushy, snowy roads and we soon learned we are one of the lucky few who got the weird hole in the wheel well. Every time we stopped we could hear the sloshing of cold, gravelly water, echoing through our empty van. So we have that going for us.

Then, just because I can’t leave well enough alone, I decided to look at the front windshield cowling while we were at a rest stop. It was another one other posts I kept coming across on the forums, so I figured, why not. Low and behold... 2 reasonably sized bubbles had the cowling lifting off of the windshield about .25 inch.

I stopped looking for trouble at this point. Bad things come in three’s…. Don’t go looking for the fourth.

The next steps
We scheduled an appointment at the local Ram dealer and they pushed it out almost 10 days so that the van could be seen by “the leaks guys”. I was stoked. It felt like they knew what was coming and we should have it taken care of in a jiff, ba-da-bing, ba-da-boom. I met my assigned service manager and inform him why I am there airbag sensor and leaks. He apparently, didn’t have the information. I asked about the leaks guy and if he had heard of the problem I was having… deadpan. “We don’t have a leaks guy.”

Cool cool cool. So I waited ten days for what… Whatever, I’m non-controversial and I just wanted to show him what was going on.

I showed them the bottom rocker panels (base of the wall), and it that there was a few cups of wet road gravel in there. They noted it, said they will look into it, and would give me a call with updates. We discussed the airbag situation and off I went, waiting for that phone call full of ideas, solutions, and helpful information.

Nope. Again, I was just too optimistic. For the water intrusion, they said that's how the vans are designed, and it's normal... So, the same story as most of what you will find on PMF. Then the wire harness was back-ordered and was going to take a week to arrive, then Texas froze, so it pushed it out another 5 days. But it did show up and got fixed, so I’m grateful. After all that, I asked about the cowling. Boom… deadpan. He asked what was wrong with it? In my haste, we never went over that on drop-off day. So he ordered the replacement cowling but it may be a few weeks. Either way, as I am writing this, I just heard we should be picking up the van today with 1 of 3 things fixed.

I’m happy most things are getting/got fixed. I may look into sealing the water intrusion in the rocker panel on my own. I can't see how that is normal and working as designed.

Anyway, be on the lookout for more problems and partial solutions!
 

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Registered
2019 Ram Promaster 136 HT Gasser Stealth Work Van Weekend Camper
Joined
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270 Posts
The drama
I didn’t want to start out with a negative post, but I believe sharing is caring. We had quite a few hiccups right out of the gate and I want to be sure share how we addressed them, and to let people know they aren’t alone in buying a $40k vehicle that comes from the assembly line chock-full-o-issues.

We picked up our van with 8 miles on the odometer. We brought that up to 13 tests driving it before we signed any papers. Everything looked good! Our seats swiveled, the engine hummed, the doors closed… What more could you ask for? Well, we did the paperwork, took the keys, and drove off, ready to start cutting holes and gluing wood in a vehicle. Well, at mile 24 on the odometer, my wife reclined the passenger seat and we were met with the sweet ringing of airbag warnings. The first-ever recline of the seat broke a wiring harness.

We called the dealer, and they offered to bring it back and fix it as fast as they could. But, we chose to drive the remaining way home because we were racing nightfall and a snow storm heading for Snoqualmie Pass. So we figured we will just get it taken care of at the local Ram dealer. So we continued on our way. The first couple hours were on slushy, snowy roads and we soon learned we are one of the lucky few who got the weird hole in the wheel well. Every time we stopped we could hear the sloshing of cold, gravelly water, echoing through our empty van. So we have that going for us.

Then, just because I can’t leave well enough alone, I decided to look at the front windshield cowling while we were at a rest stop. It was another one other posts I kept coming across on the forums, so I figured, why not. Low and behold... 2 reasonably sized bubbles had the cowling lifting off of the windshield about .25 inch.

I stopped looking for trouble at this point. Bad things come in three’s…. Don’t go looking for the fourth.

The next steps
We scheduled an appointment at the local Ram dealer and they pushed it out almost 10 days so that the van could be seen by “the leaks guys”. I was stoked. It felt like they knew what was coming and we should have it taken care of in a jiff, ba-da-bing, ba-da-boom. I met my assigned service manager and inform him why I am there airbag sensor and leaks. He apparently, didn’t have the information. I asked about the leaks guy and if he had heard of the problem I was having… deadpan. “We don’t have a leaks guy.”

Cool cool cool. So I waited ten days for what… Whatever, I’m non-controversial and I just wanted to show him what was going on.

I showed them the bottom rocker panels (base of the wall), and it that there was a few cups of wet road gravel in there. They noted it, said they will look into it, and would give me a call with updates. We discussed the airbag situation and off I went, waiting for that phone call full of ideas, solutions, and helpful information.

Nope. Again, I was just too optimistic. For the water intrusion, they said that's how the vans are designed, and it's normal... So, the same story as most of what you will find on PMF. Then the wire harness was back-ordered and was going to take a week to arrive, then Texas froze, so it pushed it out another 5 days. But it did show up and got fixed, so I’m grateful. After all that, I asked about the cowling. Boom… deadpan. He asked what was wrong with it? In my haste, we never went over that on drop-off day. So he ordered the replacement cowling but it may be a few weeks. Either way, as I am writing this, I just heard we should be picking up the van today with 1 of 3 things fixed.

I’m happy most things are getting/got fixed. I may look into sealing the water intrusion in the rocker panel on my own. I can't see how that is normal and working as designed.

Anyway, be on the lookout for more problems and partial solutions!
Condolences had similar experience with 2018 Transit new off Dealer lot , trying to stay positive but in back of your head your saying " why me "
 

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Premium Member
2021 3500 Extended
Joined
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371 Posts
At least these are minor hick-ups. There is a thread on the rear wheel well gaps and I have yet to investigate mine but I think I will wait until it warms up and they stop spraying "Liquid that melts your vehicles" on the roads.
 

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Registered
Van #2 2021 EXT
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2,819 Posts
Thanks @iamchrisdaniels

Your post is very helpful to others.

We are lucky where we live as we have a decent dealership in town. If you have more than one dealer “locally” you might find out which one is better for working on PMs. I have developed a good relationship with one of our local dealerships & use them for vehicle maintenance at least while under warranty. I sometimes phone to discuss things, but then email & confirm. Usually I just email the service dept & then there is a record. I find the email system of dealing with my dealer the best form of communication.

Good Luck with your hiccups & Congratulations on your new PM !!
 

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Registered
2019 159 EXT HR (3500) in WA
Joined
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1,081 Posts
Sounds like you found a Granite van in Kellogg just like we did.

Good score on the factory swivel seats.
 
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