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Dodge Dakota Transmission Problems

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  • Update: removed trans pan and pan was very clean! Good news! But, I found a bolt lying in it. I'll update again when I get it back together and test drive it.
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    But, I found a bolt lying in it

    That doesn't sound good.
  • What does the bolt look like. What size and what type of head?
  • Dasboot, thanks for checking back. Turns out the bolt goes to the governor solenoid manifold/base. Must have not been sufficiently tightened by the dealer several years ago when the solenoid was replaced. I just put it back in!
  • 2nd update: test drove the truck; drove great! It's amazing how much a filter/fluid change can make.

    BUT... the lock up is still gone. I'm guessing it is either a PCM issue (I'm going to do the reset), or the TV cable or TPS.
    If I get the PCM codes read, will the reader reset the PCM and the check engine light?
  • They don't have to clear the codes, just tell them you don't want them to. I can't stress enought though that a no lockup AT ALL condition is most likely a failed torque converter. Again the easiest way to find out would be to have a dealer run a TCC stall test. They would probably only charge you a half hour diag, maybe less if you went in there and told them that you just want that specific test ran. It only takes a couple of minutes. Then you are not guessing.
  • circuitrydercircuitryder Posts: 30
    edited February 2010
    3rd update: After driving some, lock up is not gone, but it is weak. At highway speeds (with cruise control on), RPMs are steady on fairly level ground, but uphill RPMS increase MOST OF THE TIME. Once in a while, the RPMs will stay steady with road speed even going uphill. Once in a while, even pressing the accelerator slightly won't increase the RPMs while at highway speeds. There is no shutter; trans shifts smoothly (there is a little flare at low speed accel very infrequently - mostly when turning, I think). I'm planning to have the TCC test dasboot recommended. I cleared the codes; the check engine light is NOT lit. Is it possible that the converter is okay, but the solenoid is bad? I checked the TV cable, and it appears to be adjusted correctly. I am considering replacing the TPS.
  • Ifyou feel that you have some lockup capability then the TCC solonoid is working. When that solonoid fails electrically it will set a TCC solonoid circuit DTC. If you truly have a weak lockup that should be discovered during the TCC stall test and that would point to a failed torque converter or one of the seals on the input shaft that is responsible for sealing the path the fluid takes to the torque converter.
  • Thanks for the response! I have detected one further thing, and I wonder if it sheds any light on this. The lock up seems to come in around 37 (not 47) (with RPMs at about 1700 at 50/55 MPH) and tends to be solid up to about 50 MPH. Over that, the lock up mostly goes away.
  • my 2000 dakota shifts fine when cold but does not downshift to low when parked and then put into drive. I have replaced the tv cable and adjusted it to the .32 in. as required by the manual. I am wondering why it seems to slip only when it is up to temperture. Anyone, please help ,as I am afraid the transmission will eventualy burn out.
  • 4th update: took my Dak to the dealer and had it tested. Result: no fault codes; trans clutch is locking up with scanner. After discussing it with the tech, decided to have the TCM reset, since its adaptive learning mode may have retained some bad parameters. $114. Now, the trans operates perfectly, no problems with lockup now! Thank God! (The CEL did light on the way to dealer! It was a catalytic converter problem, and I will soon replace the cat.)
    I suggest that anyone with this trans who has strange problems with no codes, try a TCM reset.
    Thanks dasboot for your suggestions, they were very helpful.
  • gagergager Posts: 2
    Hi, I saw several posts by DustyK made re Dodge Dakota transmissions. My wife's 2005 Dakota has developed a harsh downshift at exactly 25 MPH. When it downshifts it mades the entire truck shudder. I have had the transmission serviced, dealer can't come up with any suggestions on what the problem is. I saw many similar problems associated with the TPS, do you think I should replace the TPS, it is the org. that came on the truck. She has recently had a problem where engine stalls at idle also.

    Thanks, Gager
  • 5th update: 2001 dodge dakota/5.9/46re: the lockup converter has returned to its old habit and won't lockup at highway speeds. I suspect it is the catalytic converter causing the problem (CEL relit; lastly it was the cat). Cat is rattling; I will replace it. Asked the Dodge tech about the TPS: would it cause a TC problem if the TPS did not set a code; he said no. So, about the only thing left is the cat.
  • dasboot72dasboot72 Posts: 115
    I have just now read your last 2 posts. I am a Chrysler trans tech and have been for 15 years. When they said they reset the pcm I was like 'what?' You do not have a fully electronic transmission where you can 'reset' the pcm/tcm. Now if you had a 4.7L and a 45RFE then a quick learn will sometimes alleviate shift issues. There is nothing for the tech to reset on your truck. And a faulty TPS will not always set a code if the problem is too quick for the PCM to realize its a problem.
  • thanks for checking in, dasboot! The tech told me he reset the parameters via his scan device. Whatever he did really corrected the problem with the lockup for at least 50 - 70 miles of driving. Then, the lockup failure at highway speed returned, and the CEL was relit (haven't checked that new code, but I suspect it is the same one he found, which is the catalytic converter). So, what did he do? BTW, he did test drive the truck with the scan device (at least that's what I understood he did) and said that the lockup was functioning normally. He was a nice guy, but I did have to be pretty clear that the trans was actually NOT locking up. He did find that the cooling fan clutch had failed, and I replaced that immediately.
    Now, are you saying that the TPS can cause this steady, non- lockup condition at highway speed without setting a code? Should I simply replace the TPS just to be sure? How big a impact on the lockup mode of the trans does the catalytic converter have? And lastly, how good is the "adaptive learning" of the TCM/PCM? If there is a parameter caused by some sensor that leads to a highway speed non-lockup condition, then the problem that causes the sensor to record a out of range condition is corrected, will the computer go back to "good" operation? Does that question make sense?
    Your input is greatly appreciated. I'm really guessing now about the problem...
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    On your CEL and catalytic converter codes...

    What specifically was it? Was it something about catalytic converter efficiency low, or something like that? Worn out O2 sensors can sometimes mislead the emissions diagnostic system and lead it to think the cat is bad. Depending on the code, I would replace the rear (first) and front (second) O2 sensors first, and see if that clears up the problem. That's less than $300 for 2 or 3 O2 sensors vs $1500 or more for a cat.
  • dasboot72dasboot72 Posts: 115
    First, the RE series of transmissions does not have any kind of adaptive learning. Your engine has adaptive learning for fuel trim via the PCM. I would fix any known issues first (Cat Converter). One way of finding a TPS prob is to grab the connector at the TPS with the engine running at idle and give it a good wiggle. If your RRM's change you have a TPS / TPS connector issue. What the tech was looking at while driving was the Governor Pressure and RPM. You can also adjust your throttle pressure cable to make your shifts quicker or later also effecting the TCC.
  • dasboot, the converter is rattling. Tech said that was evidence that the converter was bad. I'll follow your advice.
  • Dasboot, I changed the TPS and did a test drive: no change. At least the TPS is now out of the equation! I had the code read: P0432 - downstream O2 sensor out of range. The cat is rattling, too. So, I suppose this points to a bad cat.

    On the test drive, I noticed that torque converter lockup (which is the primary problem) was fine up to about 60 - 65 MPH, then tended to unlock. Also, if I accelerated (like to pass), the converter unlocked as expected, BUT it would not relock once normal driving resumed. I could slow down to say 50 MPH, and the converter would relock, and I could slowly reaccelerate to 60 - 65 in lockup. Now, what do you think of this explanation: if the cat is bad, then emissions increase as speed/acceleration increase, up to the point where the emissions get out of range, and the computer signals the torque converter to unlock. Is this how the system works?

    So, I'm going to replace the cat. It needs it anyhow. If you have any other suggestions, I'd appreciate them.
  • I have a 2002 dodge dakota slt 4.7 4x4 with 90 k. Today i took the truck off road a little bit but didnt even do anything extreme like mudding, just went to a little pond in the woods. I also parked the truck on kind of an incline and pulled the parking break. when i got back on the hard road i noticed it was slugish, then it shifted from 1st and 2nd fine but would not shift into 3rd and just stayed inbetween 3000 and 4000 rpms. also when i slowed it would not down shift right away. and when i was going down the road you could hear a loud rattling noise. I recently just changed my tranny fluid atf 4 valaline and changed the filters. any advice would be helpful. thanks
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