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Dodge Dakota Transmission Problems



  • scoopyexscoopyex Posts: 31
    The 45rfe, 454rfe, and 545rfe are all electronically controlled via a solenoid pack inside of the transmission. the throttle controlled valve body went the way of throttle body injection and carburetors. The TPS serves to control fuel rate and shift points of the tranny dependant on TPS position and engine load and rpms.

    I've read several articles regarding the valve body control cable system, and for the life of me I couldn't find one on my 2000 Dakota Sport or my new Ram 1500. The health of any flavor of these transmissions is dependant on many factors. number one being maintenance. Anybody with a Dodge that uses this family of transmissions should follow the maintenance schedule in the owners manual and have them periodically checked by a good transmission repair shop or the dealership. If all of the procedures for maintaining these transmissions are followed, aside from periodic TPS replacement, they should provide decent service for the life of the truck.

    The reason why I toss TPS into the equation is because it will in fact cause the transmission in late model Dodge's to act erratically and possibly cause damage to the transmissions. The 2000 Dakota I just traded in required two replacement tps's in the two years that I owned it. in both instances the TPS and battery cable removal cured my truck of erratically shifting, hard shifting, and disconnecting the TCC at hiway speeds.

    Another item on maintenance is; for the life of Your Dodge truck, DO NOT USE DEXRON type fluids. Use CHRYSLER SPECIFIC fluid that is formulated for these transmissions. I have encountered many people who avoid Dodge's for transmission problems, and 99% of their problems were self-infliced by using DEXRON.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    "The 45rfe, 454rfe, and 545rfe are all electronically controlled via a solenoid pack inside of the transmission. the throttle controlled valve body went the way of throttle body injection and carburetors. The TPS serves to control fuel rate and shift points of the tranny dependant on TPS position and engine load and rpms."


    You know, I had to go back to the my previous post and the originating one to figure what the heck you were talking about. Then I realized that I had experienced an exceptionally deep senior moment! Lack of sleep and a constant battle with insomnia are my only defense.

    My apologies. Scoopy is completely correct. The 545RFE family does not utilize a mechanical shift modulation control as the previous generation Mopar transmissions. In fact, any Chrysler-built automatic transmission that has includes "RFE" nomenclature relies soley on electronic control for shift schedules.

    To be specific, the fully electronic Mopar transmission's speed range selection is controlled by a number of direct and indirect inputs.

    Direct Inputs

    *Throttle Position Sensor
    *Crankshaft Position Sensor
    *Transmission Range Selector
    *Transmission Temperature Sensor
    *Input Shaft Speed Sensor
    *Output Shaft Speed Sensor
    *Line Pressure Sensors
    *Overdrive Switch

    Indirect Inputs

    Indirect inputs to the Transmission Control Module (TCM) are the result of Powertrain Control Module (PCM) outputs that represent various engine operating conditions (i.e. engine load).

    *engine/body/axle ratio
    *intake manifold pressure
    *target idle speed
    *torque reduction confirmation
    *engine coolant temperature
    *ambient air temperature
    *fuel temperature (some models)
    *air conditioning compressor enabled
    *battery temperature
    *charging voltage

    Best regards,
  • Dusty,

    Even during one of your "exceptionally deep senior moment(s)", you have more knowledge about these beasts than most of the rest of us, put together. :shades:
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,083
    I herby relenquish my throne and sceptor to Dusty as the guru of Dakotas -- LOL

    I hope that Dusty does not want me to burn my tattered factroy service manual as proof. I still have not memorized the secion about automatic xmission (because I orderd MANUAL tranny from factory.)
  • KCRam@EdmundsKCRam@Edmunds Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,497
    We still need lieutenant gurus for when the main guru goes on vacation :D

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    KCRam - Pickups/Wagons/Vans+Minivans Moderator

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931

    You're being way too kind, but I appreciate it.

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931

    Not necessary. Besides, I'm not sure I could follow in your footsteps.

    By the way, my factory manual's starting to disintegrate, too.

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    Yeah, and I think I need one!!

  • i have a 1999 dakota r/t reg cab. there is nothing wrong with it besides i'd love to have a 5-speed tranny in it. i know that it has the 46re tranny in it which is the full size truck trans, so that should mean that the full size manual should fit in it but i don't know the name on the tranny or for sure if it would fit. if anyone could tell me anything, i'd appreciate it. thanks
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,083
    When you say "5-speed tranny" - I hope you suggesting you would like to swap out your automatic for the 5-speed manual transmission.

    If you are suggesting that you want to install one of the newer automotic xmissions, be prepared to also reprogram the engine-computer -to- transmission computer communications. Modern automatic xmissions do most of their "thinking" insiside a computer to determine shift-points and other important stuff.

    In model-year 2000, the Dakota recieved a the Jeep 4.7L V8 which came with a new automatic xmission. Personally, I orderd mine V8 from the factory with the 5-speed manual and enjoy up to 21MPG with it.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    The 46RE was used in full size RAM applications, however that doesn't mean that a 46RE out of a RAM will fit in your Dakota.

    Fortunately, Mopar engines have universal bellhousing-to-engine mounting configuration, so I'm pretty sure you won't have a problem bolting any truck manual up to that 360 engine. But extention shafts (tail stocks) vary in length depending on application.

    The Dakota in recent years used the 5-speed, NV3500 manual gear box. I'm sure you should be able to find one around that is out of a Dakota.

    A 5-speed out of a RAM will most likely be the heavy-duty version with wide-spaced gearing. I'm guessing that you really want the close-ratio version that came with the original Dakota R/T.

    Good luck,
  • yeah thanks guys, and yes i'm wanting a 5 speed stick, but if i use a nv 3500 that come out of the 318 dakotas, i'm pretty sure i'll end up tearing the gears out of it. a 318 is powerful but when you've got a 360, it produces alot more torque, which i'm sure you guys know. but mine is going to be built up with about around 500 hp.and i'm pretty sure that will tear out a standard 318 5-speed.

    Also i don't care about the lenght of the trans because i'll probably have a driveshaft made for it anyways.
  • oh yeah the transmission that is in the truck factory is a 46re, i've read all the numbers on the trans, and that's the trans it calls for. thanks though.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,083
    The 5-speed manual xmission in my 2000 Dak with 4,7L v8 is the New Venture 3500 (aka NV3500)

    Since the factory shop manual only mentions the NV1500 and NV3500 manual xmsissions and the NV1500 was only used on the 4 cyl engine... I have to assume that the NV3500 was also used on the 360ci engine.

    You may want to do some more research if you want a xmission to handle 500 HP. There are some websites around that list virtually every xmission/engine combonation imaganable. THey also list recommende torque for each trannie.

    I hope that info helps you in your quest.
  • Hopefully someone can help me. I have a 2003 Dodge Dakota. (6 cyl)(it's just a baby) It was driving just fine. Got ready to leave work, put it in drive, check engine light came on and it felt like I was taking off in 2nd gear. No get up and go. Took it and had the transmission completely flushed out. Had a mechanic test it and the codes came back 7612 & 7613. He said that it was the governer pressure solenoid/ governer transducer sensor that attach to the valve. He also mentioned that the voltage was too high or too low....WHAT?? Can someone please help me out here and let me know what is going on.
  • tonym5tonym5 Posts: 6
    I just bought a 2003 Dakota with 3.9 L and auto trans. The shifting is very hard. I have had 2 engine lights with the code P1740. I have read some of the previous messages and this appears to be a common problem. What does the code mean, and what are the suggested fixes?
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    The first thing I would advise is checking the fuses located on the left side of the instrument panel. An open IOD fuse will cause the transmission to go into Limp Mode, which on the 42RE transmission means it will try to start a vehicle launch in second gear.

    Next, I'd check all of the connectors at the transmission for corroded or damaged terminals.

    The codes are TCM codes. I would need more information in order to give you some idea what's going on.

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931

    Are you sure of the code? My list says, "P1740 Automatic Transaxle (Acura, Honda)."

  • KCRam@EdmundsKCRam@Edmunds Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,497
    Dusty, I found this:

    Service Bulletin Number: 211100
    Bulletin Sequence Number: 146
    Date of Bulletin: 0010
    NHTSA Item Number: SB614660
    Model: DAKOTA
    Year: 2000

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