The Hemi V-8 Engine Lives On in Ram HD Pickup Trucks

March 22nd, 2024 by

Miami Lakes Automall 2024 Ram Big Gas Engine

Photo Source: Ram

The 6.4-liter (392 cubic-inch) Hemi V-8, known as the Big Gas Engine (BGE), was added to the Ram 2500/3500 and commercial chassis cab lineup for the 2014 model year, displaying more power than the smaller 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 while creeping closer to the capability of the mighty 6.7-liter Cummins Turbodiesel. In Ram 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks, the engine is rated at a peak 410 horsepower, while chassis and cab versions of the engine generate a peak 370 horsepower as a result of, among other specs, its lower engine speed.

The Enduring Hemi V-8 Engine

Even though Stellantis has been phasing out Hemi power from its current 2024 model year portfolio, sources indicate that the Big Gas Engine will continue to reside within the Ram 2500/3500 Heavy Duty series. The engine’s configuration features cast iron block construction paired with aluminum twin-plug cylinder heads. However, a key detail regarding the Big Gas Engine is that it differs greatly from the 6.4-liter (392 cubic-inch) Hemi Apache V-8 found under the hood of numerous SRT, Scat Pack, and 300Cs.

For example, the Big Gas Engine calls attention to thicker, reinforced, high nickel-content blocks with a shorter water jacket, making it extremely rigid and capable of withstanding massive amounts of power. The engine also features durable hypereutectic aluminum alloy pistons with a floating pin design. Keeping on the topic of the bottom end, it also features a powdered metal I-beam connecting rod and a bulletproof forged steel crankshaft.

It is worth noting that compared to the previous 6.1-liter Hemi, the 6.4-liter BGE features an entirely revised cylinder head with new port and chamber designs and larger intake and exhaust valves. Those modifications are thanks to a new and more aggressive hydraulic camshaft with longer valves and valve springs.

Engine Versions

Even though the Apache and Big Gas Engines are relatively similar in terms of overall construction, there are some significant differences between the engine iterations that separate the higher-output variants from the lower-tier ones. To clarify, compared to the standard 6.4-liter Hemi housed in SUVs and cars, the 6.4-liter V-8 found in Ram pickup trucks is noticeably different. The version found in trucks like the Ram 2500 and 3500 relies on different intake components, internal components, and other significant parts. The designers focused on towing capacity and bottom-end performance when creating the Big Gas Engine.

To that end, when comparing the Apache and the BGE, sources claim that some of the major differences between the two are that the “BGE has an intake manifold with a top-feed mounted throttle body, and this design has a runner length designed to make max power from 3,600 revolutions per minute (rpm) to 5,000 revolutions per minute.” As a result, the Big Gas Engine features a stronger bottom end for increased low-end torque and heavy-load applications. As mentioned, the Big Gas Engine has reinforced high-nickel blocks built for abuse. 

The BGE also has stronger high-grade T356 aluminum cylinder heads to cope with high temperatures under arduous towing conditions. While the truck engine utilizes hypereutectic aluminum alloy pistons, they are a different design from the Apache variant, lowering compression to 10.0:1. Unsurprisingly, the truck engine also received a revised camshaft better suited for low-rpm torque and performance.

While the Ram 2500/3500 Heavy Duty pickup trucks will experience a refresh in 2025 that includes updates to the BGE to make it more emissions-friendly, the engine should continue to make approximately the same power output. If you are intrigued by Ram’s potent engine, please come visit Miami Lakes Automall. Do not forget we have a trained service team that can help with an online appointment to get started on all maintenance work and repairs. Allow us the pleasure of helping you today.

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