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Dodge Ram (2002) UNVEILED!

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Comments

  • moparmadmoparmad Posts: 197
    In 1989 the A-500 and A-518 were introduced,they were based on the A-998/999 torqueflight and A-727 torqueflight respectively. They used a hydraulic governor for governor pressure,override and lock-up were controlled by the power control module. In 1992 the A-500,and A-518 were renamed to the 42RH and 46RH respectively,but were unchanged other than the name. The 47RH was added at this time and was used in the Cummins diesel. Eventually an electronic governor and separate transmission computer was added to these trannies and they were renamed the 42RE,46RE,and 47RE. The 44RE was also added for the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The latest transmission is the 45RFE that was developed specifically for the 4.7L.
  • wlm26wlm26 Posts: 33
    Can ANYONE tell me if I buy an 02 Ram 1500 4X4 QC, and choose the Image Group package, that I can't have the 4.7L???? Am I stuck with only having the 5.9L??? I don't give a rat's [non-permissible content removed] about the horsepower and torque. I just want the better engine, if I decide to go with one. But I want the Image Group, but I sure as hell don't want that too-old 5.9L!!!! Any help is greatly appreciated!!
  • I think you have to get the 5.9L. Check out www.4adodge.com and build one yourself.
    I checked it out for a 2wd and to get the Image Group you needed a 5.9L.
    Not what you wanted to hear...
  • bnosytbnosyt Posts: 23
    I checked out the www.4adodge.com website, and it appears it only comes with the 5.9L engine. Is there anything special with the Image group? To me it seems that the items on there can be added individually (through the website). As far as finding them on the lot, that might be a problem.
  • >> "I don't care about horsepower and torque, I just want the better engine!" "only engine that comes with the image group option is the 5.9l"

    I'm laughing my butt off. Unless you are only going to stare at it in your driveway, the only thing engines do productively is produce horsepower and torque. The fact you must have a "image group" option and don't care about the power of the engine speaks volumes for your priorities. These are trucks, and designed to be loaded up and used as trucks.

    To each his own, if you want to have a show truck, so be it. I see more than few sport trucks with stock v6 motors, probably driven by similar folks.

    Sorry DC isn't make the truck you want. For some reason they have been pushing the 5.9 as the "sport" motor for a few years, which is the wrong choice in my opinion (and I own a '95 version so I should know). Blame marketing.
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380
    hey moparmad,

    since the 44re in the jeep is basically similar to that in dodge trucks, i got the bible out again to look at how well the tranny behind the v/8 grand cherokee has performed in the surveys. the bible states that from '93 thru '99 that tranny got average to much below average scores. meaning it hasn't been that great either! these scores basically mimic those reported by ram owners...hummm...
  • Has anybody driven a 5.9 with a manual tranny??
    My girlfriend has a 2001 318 with a 5 spd 4x4 and it really rips. So I wonder what the 360 is like.

    Everybody knows that the 44re is a POS. It has sketchy reliability reports and it hogs more than it's fair share of power. My current truck has the 44re and if I want to stick with Dodge this will be the last automatic I buy from them.
  • I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm worng, but anytime in the recent
    past, 1999 or so to present, the manual was only available with the
    smaller V-8. This seems to be true of all of the big three. Not sure
    why it is.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,231
    I'm not sure what the emissions requirements are on trucks, but that might have something to do with the 5-speeds not available on the big engines. I know it's harder to meet emissions standards with a manual transmission and that's one reason why many V6 cars don't have a manual option.
  • You can buy a 2500 5.9 with a 5-speed.(or should I say order one). Dodge uses the H/D tranny from the diesel. Also the V-10 can be had with a manual(I've seen this myself) But they're like non-existent. I think I've seen 1 in the 94 - present style.

    What does emissions have to do with a tranny? It shouldn't make any difference. It's the motor that pollutes, not the trans.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,231
    Because an automatic can be programmed to rev the engine higher when cold to warm it up faster. A manual is up to the driver. Newer cars avoid the higher gears until the engine reaches a certain temp. I'm not sure how they test them, but it apparently has something to do with it. I'm guessing the heavy duty trucks don't have as strict of emissions requirements? Not saying that's why the 5.9L doesn't have a manual option on the light-duty, but a theory.
  • Just purchased a Ram 1500 SLT Sport, black with the 20 inch wheels and class IV trailer tow. It is a beautiful truck! I only spent a little time getting to know it better, but I can't figure out for the life of me why Dodge doesn't have auto on or off headlights. For this nice of a truck you would think this would be a no brainer. Now, that being said, maybe I am just not smart enough to figure out how to work the lights. So far I have tinkered with all the settings and even the overhead console which has a light delay feature, but to no avail. Any one have info on this? Thanks.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I'm contemplating a purchase of a pick-up truck in the next year or so and have been doing a fair amount of research on the various models. After close inspection I have put the Dodge 1500 RAM on my list as a contender.

    I've heard nothing but bad comments from people regarding Dodge truck transmissions. While I'm sure that there are better transmission designs on the current market, I am now convinced that GM and Ford are NOT producing them.

    I have been tracking the cars and trucks that are in for repair at the three local transmission shops in my area. I have tracked 231 vehicles in just a little over 8 months. Of the 231 vehicles, 52 of them were trucks. Thirty of them were GM (19 were S10 PU or Blazer), 18 were Fords, and 4 were Dodge Dakotas. I have not seen a Dodge RAM of any year at any of these shops in the last 8 months.

    I have talked to various transmission repair people. I have one, in fact, in the family. The consensus is that Dodge truck automatic failures were rarely seen until Dodge began using an overdrive system. These have been described to me as the A-518 and A-618 transmissions. This time frame for trouble extends from the mid-1980s through the 1997 model year.

    During this time frame there were several complaints about delayed engagements and shifts on these transmissions. It was determined that this problem was caused by ATF siphoning out of the torque converter after shutdown and was predominantly a problem in cold weather climates. Chrysler addressed this problem by field retrofitting a "drain back valve" in the transmission cooling return line. This prevented ATF from draining out of the torque converter.

    However, the drainback valve inserted another problem, that being that it was easily clogged or sometimes became frozen in extremely low temperatures which cut off fluid to the transmission. This set up a scenario that caused loss of pump pressure and sometimes overrunning clutch failure.

    I have been told that in as many as 50% of Dodge truck transmission repairs all that was done was remove this drain back valve from the cooling line. In others, a complete drainback valve replacement was performed.

    Other Dodge truck transmission related problems appear to be the result of some solenoids that either stick or fail, and an even smaller percentage related to corroded or faulty electrical wiring to these solenoids.

    In comparison it appears that automatic transmissions from Ford or GM are not necessarily better. In fact, the consensus from the transmission people that I spoke to is that the 700R4 used by GM is nowhere near as durable. I was told by one transmission shop that Dodge truck transmissions rarely fail because of catastrophic component failure, but more from contaminated ATF, either from lack of maintenance or severe duty use such as snow plowing. Indeed, the Consumers Report data shows more trouble for the Dodge 4x4. GMs, on the other hand, have several hard failures such clutch desintegration, output shaft wear, seal failures and sun gears breaking.

    As I read posts from others on the GMs or Ford's F-series I have noted a fair amount of transmission related woes as well. I also realize that the vast majority of so-called "reports" of bad Dodge truck transmission comes from the mouths of people who are blindly in love with Chevy of Ford. It has become clear to me that brand loyalty effects the personal integrity of many people. Especially people who are brand identity intensive, always cutting down the other fellows machinery. I do not need a degree in psychology to understand this juvenile thirst for superiority that plagues the discussion on automobiles.

    As to remarks about Consumers Reports (CR), there are several things that need to be understood about the data.

    First, the CR data reflects what is reported by owners, supposedly based on actual experience.

    Second, the reporting form used by CR asks to list "problem areas." Thus the input from these forms is only a reflection of a PROBLEM as defined by the person filling out the form. It is not an indicator of the severity of a problem, or whether there was actually a problem at all. In this respect a simple noise caused by a loose transmission cooling line will have the same gravity as a complete transmission failure.

    It is this area that, in my opinion, has gotten Dodge trucks the so-called "black marks" in the CR data. Upon inspection of the Dodge truck TSBs I noticed the vast majority addressed non-debilitating issues, such as noise or erratic shifts.

    Because of the aforementioned reasons the Consumer Reports method of evaluation leaves a lot to be desired and could be completely misleading in some cases. But ambiguousness in the reporting method doesn't stop there.

    The so-called "black mark" method is inaccurate. Consumers Reports rates by the little circle method that represents a percentage of reported problems per 100 vehicles: full red = 2.0%; half red = 2.0 to 5.0%; no color (white) = 5.0% to 9.3%; half black = 9.3% to 14.8%; and full black = more than 14.8%. You will note a statistical overlap.

    It is most unfortunate that CR does not report the actual number of problems reported per 100 vehicles. There is potentially severe ambiguity built into this little circle method. Without knowing the actual numerical figure of problems reported per 100 vehicles, it is possible that one vehicle with 9.3 problems reported per 100 vehicles will get a solid white (average) rating, while another with 9.31 problems will get the terrible half-black circle. The difference in actuality would be less than one-half of a vehilce per 100 vehicles.

    Still another problem. The CR transmission data does not differentiate between manual and automatic. So it is impossible to know which transmission is driving the reported problem number.

    Lastly, I have now talked to about 30 Dodge truck owners and I have had only two report that they have had a transmission problem of any type. One was a "failure" on 1994 RAM 4x4. The other was a Dakota manual transmission. The RAM 4x4 was operated by snow plow owner who admitted that he did not perform the routine 25,000 mile fluid changes. The Dakota owner reported poor shifting when cold and a rattle noise.

    Dusty
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    My description of the Consumer Reports reporting method contained one error. The percentage key (circle color) is not based on the percentage of problems reported per 100 cars, but based on a deviation from AVERAGE reported problems, represented in percentage.

    Apparently CR averages all reporting data to find a median figure representing the "average" of all makes and models sold in the US.

    My apologies,
    Dusty
  • Ok, I'm guilty of bad mouthing the dodge trannies a little bit, based on being a member of a Dodge Ram email list of owners for some time a few years ago. Most of the problems were with people using their trucks very heavily, like towing hay or horses, travel trailers, etc. The cummins has bo-coo torque and the entire driveline is light compared what that motor can do. the same motor in a marine application makes about 600ft lbs torque if memory serves me, so if Dodge could make a allison type transmission, the cummins could be boosted no problem.

    I had my Shadow Turbo's 5 speed clutch repaired at a local tranny shop. Spent quite a while talking to the guy in there. He says he sees them ALL - they all break. Chevy, Ford, Mercedes, Dodge, Honda, etc etc. Even the beefed police cars get transmissions fairly frequently (of couse they are getting dogged really bad).

    After talking with him, I felt better about driving a manual, as most of his business is automatics.

    Oh yea, many folks don't change the fluid enough if they are really pulling loads, and you MUST use the Mopar fluid purchased from the dealer, thats what many people said after extensive experience.

    Personally, if I was towing, I'd get the Chevy with the Allison. You shouldn't have trouble with that one. Regular truck owners, they probably are ok with any of them.

    I just dislike my '95 ram towing pkg 1500 tranny as has a very loose converter and you can hear the engine rev when you gas it but you hardly go anywhere, and the shifts are too smooth - I'm driving a truck, I expect to feel it go into gear and not like a town car. That easy shifting car-like stuff might be why the mfg's are having more tranny failures. On the loose converter, I guess that's great for towing heavy loads where you don't want to bind or bog the motor, but its not great for general driving. most of the GM stuff I've ridden in shifts tighter

    Good luck. I have 75k on a '95 ram and changed the fluid once so far and no problems, and its seen a few trailers and a long 3,000 mile tow.
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380
    dustyk,

    nice thesis! some good points. but, i'll say this...if an owner has a problem, it is a problem whether it's big or small. so, if i take your point of view about cr data, and accept that dodge's truck trannies have basically small problems vs big ones, then i'd have to say, "i guess the cr data points to the fact that dodge's auto trannies have significantly more "LITTLE" problems vs gm or ford."

    btw, i think cr only rates auto boxes these days...
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380
    one more thing, gm and ford have sold quite a few more cars/trucks vs chrysler, so i'm not sure how much information i should glean out of your visits to tranny shops...
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I've paid little attention to the diesel versions since my future requirements are not that severe. However, the company I work for has had light duty diesel trucks over the years and when we ran GMs the Allison transmissions had problems too, albeit nowhere near the rate as the gasoline versions.

    My daughter is into horses and dual-wheeled axle pick-ups are very common in her sport. I've heard from owners that the Fords with the Power Stroke V8 are the most troublesome, but that is second hand info.

    As to Consumers Reports not taking data on manual transmissions, I believe that is incorrect. I receive their yearly form and it does not ask to give information about auto transmissions only. Nor does their last auto buying issue even mention it. It would seem strange, in my opinion, to isolate automatic transmissions in trucks when it is trucks that are the most likely to see a manual transmission nowadays.

    >>one more thing, gm and ford have sold quite a few more cars/trucks vs chrysler, so i'm not sure how much information i should glean out of your visits to tranny shops... <<

    GM or Ford truck sales are not twenty to thirty times greater than Dodge, which is what they'd have to be in order to arrive at the representative sample rate.

    These are approximate figures, but RAM sales in the year 1999 were a little over 470,000 units, compared to (totals) Chevrolet and GMC at 1,210,000 units, and Ford at 1,340,000 units. I don't have a figure for Dakota.

    In the Rochester, New York area, Dodge trucks probably sell above the national average. The 'big three' trucks are all represented by dealers in my town and RAMs sell very well around here. I don't remember what the actuals were, but the last time the local paper published sales figures Dodge trucks were within 15% of GM and 20% of Ford, as I recall. In fact, Ford and Dodge truck sales were good enough to put the local GMC dealer right out of business.

    By the way, I've owned two GM trucks in my life. I know that GMs automatic transmissions are not the sturdiest around. Our current 1990 has the original transmission, but the torque converter has been replaced twice. We have just under 70,000 miles on it and have never towed anything. My son's three Chevy trucks all had at least one transmission overhaul at about $1500 a crack. I have two neighbors that have new Silverado's, both have had automatic transmission problems. In fact I think my one neighbor said they are going to replace the torque converter in his at 7200 miles. Been on backorder for over three weeks. I think that's a bad sign. (He's already had the engine replaced, too!).
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380
    dusty,

    the only way we'd know the full story about tranny durability would be if we could read the automakers internal audits. but that ain't gonna happen anytime soon. i could quote friends or acquaintances that have had tranny failures on virtually every brand of truck. but, of course i don't have enough info to make a statistical analysis. cr gets back thousands of surveys every year. and since the number of trucks sold is "quite a few" and there are relatively few truck models out there, cr should have a good sampling of all the truck makes. and those surveys year after year say that owners of dodge trucks (and v/8 jeep grand cherokees) report more "serious" tranny related problems than their ford or gm counterparts...
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    >>cr should have a good sampling of all the truck makes. and those surveys year after year say that owners of dodge trucks (and v/8 jeep grand cherokees) report more "serious" tranny related problems than their ford or gm counterparts... <<

    Your statement is emphatically incorrect. Nothing in the Consumer Reports data or rating indicates how "serious" these reported problems are. It just reports problems.

    If you are willing to rely solely on the Consumer Reports rating, then are you equally as willing to recognise that the F150 and the Dodge RAM 1500 get a better overall Predicted Reliability score than either the Chevrolet of GMC full size pick-ups?
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380
    when you get your survey, cr says to account for any problems you consider "serious". that is written right on the survey. obviously what some people consider serious may not be serious to others. i'm not sure what the overall pickup rankings are other than that ford has the best one at the moment. i was talking more specifically about owner reported problems with the powertrains and more specifically the tranny. two biggies if you have problems.

    of course cr isn't the only place to look for reliability data...but of course it is the most widely recognized...

    btw, i've owned three intrepids and leased a '97 ram for two years. i have nothing against dodge, except for their inability to make improvements happen at faster rate....
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I don't remember the exact wording on the survey, however I don't remember it asking for "serious" problems.

    If they did, then this is just one more injection of ambiguousness in the data. How does one define serious? In the past, I've listed everything and I suspect a lot of other people do to. If it causes me to go back to the dealer, I'm annoyed and that translates to "serious" for me.

    Just as a test I've asked four people how'd they consider a noise in the transmission or erratic shifts. To a person they felt that anything not exactly right with a transmission would be considered "serious."

    We have a 1999 Toyota Avalon that shifts hard at times and will downshift unexpectedly at others. I have consistently listed that as a problem on the Consumers Report survey. Is it "serious." My Toyota dealer says, "No. They all do that."

    Right.
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380
    "I don't remember the exact wording on the survey, however I don't remember it asking for "serious" problems..

    just got out my '02 buyer's guide. it states, "to guage reliability, consumer reports asks readers every year to tell us about any serious problems they've experienced in the last year with the cars they own." (page 184)

    i'll state again what i said before, it doesn't really matter whether the problems are major or minor, the scores for said dodge tranny have been "consistently" (for years) poor vs its direct competitors. when it comes to filling out surveys, are dodge owners more picky than ford or gm owners? doubt it. are ford and gm owners more likely to lie on their survey? doubt that too. is there some validity in nearly a decades worth of surveys that says dodge pickups and suv trannies have more owner reported problems than its competitors? yep!
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    It could very well matter. A sticking or failed solenoid versus the necessity to completely rebuild the transmission or replace major componentry is a significant difference in cost. Reprograming the PCM to improve shift quality versus a valve body retrofit is a difference in cost. There is no denying the Consumer Report data. However, neither does that data relate the severity of the problem nor the cost to correct it. The difference is I want to know what the data is really telling me.

    Based on what I've learned I am convinced that the Consumer Reports ratings are too ambiguous for the compounding problems I already mentioned. This is also observable in other areas, such as Ford Explorer's known problem with prematurely failing heater cores and broken heater mode door shafts, yet Consumer Reports ratings have failed to pick this up as a problem area.

    Dodge trucks use several different transmissions. The majority of the problems appear to be affecting the 46RE transmission which is used with the 360 V8. As to Jeeps, I have been informed that they began using the 45RE in 1996 which delivered much better reliability than the old "Jeep only" design. Grand Cherokee began using the new 45RFE in 1999 and Dodge in 2001. This transmission has had only a couple TSBs issued against it and appears to be a solid transmission so far.

    Interestingly, the Consumers Report data for 1999 indicates "much worse than average" for the Grand Cherokee. By your method of simple interpretation of the data, you would deduce that the 45RFE was bad as well. But only in 1999? A person who would be content to stop there you would never know that the problem was really defective transfer cases. Chrysler replaced over 18,000 of them in that year after it was learned that they had been shipped from the factory with the incorrect lubricant. It was not a transmission problem at all, yet the Consumers Report report rating picked this up as a transmission problem.

    (By the way, Dodge RAM 1500 with the 45RFE transmission gets a 100,000 mile warranty. Do you think a company is going to put a warranty on a transmission that would be far cheaper to design to a very low failure rate then it would be to service it in the field?)

    You seem far too anxious to proclaim all Chrysler transmissions as bad. Please note that the average of Dodge Dakota transmission reliability -- as reported by Consumer Reports -- is fairly close to that of GMs small pick-ups. A little better for 4x4, a little worse for 4x2 using the ambiguous colored circle system. This, despite the fact that four different engines and horsepower versions are available in the Dakota. Because the Consumer Reports is so ambiguous it cannot differentiate between the different transmissions used. In fact, in the case of the Dakota one would logically conclude that if there was a major shortcoming in the transmission design it would most certainly be more observable in the high horsepower V8s. Unfortunately, the way CR reports on the Dakota you cannot conclude which transmission is driving the reliability rating, either way.

    The actual delta of transmission problems between Dodge RAM and the GM twin pick-up, just as an example, cannot be accurately determined because of the ambiguousness of Consumer Reports sloppy handing of the data. So let's assume two extreme possibilities. In the widest scenario the delta would be for '98 & '99s, approximately 10 more reported transmission problems for Dodge per 100 vehicles, or at the narrowest delta, the same exact number of reported problems -- FIVE -- per 100 vehicles. In this case because CR does not report actual numbers the only thing one can assume is that they were different. You cannot assume a true comparative value.

    In addition, the Consumer Reports data cannot tell us much about how the vehicle was driven, used, or maintained. The difference between the reported number of problems for GM at 5 and Dodge at 10 could be easily explained by knowing the use and care profile of the vehicle. That's, of course, impossible to know even for Consumer Reports.

    The owners of different types, brands, and models of vehicles may or may not be more "picky." I'm sure it is assumed by the CR statisticians that across the population of vehicle owners each make and type get a proportional amount. But this is statistically illogical. Industry research has indicated that there are indeed different characteristics for different types of owners. People who typically buy Buicks, for example, are known to be more discriminating and more demanding consumers. This also applies as size or the vehicle price goes up.

    Could there be a difference between Chevy, Dodge and Ford owners that could make them report on the different makes with different perspectives. I'm convinced there are. As a past automobile technician myself I've seen people accept expensive repairs on one brand of vehicle that they wouldn't accept for another. Need I mention the seemingly endless trashing by Ford and Chevy lovers of each others hardware? I have bounding examples.

    In this case I believe that what you see reported against Chrysler products is likely to be more accurate because the tolerance factor is much lower for Chrysler products (This would be especially true for a car company that has a higher percentage of brand converts which is what Dodge trucks have had since 1994).
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380
    "There is no denying the Consumer Report data. However, neither does that data relate the severity of the problem nor the cost to correct it. The difference is I want to know what the data is really telling me."

    okay, tell me where i can fine definitive information, other than visiting transmission shops such as you did...

    "The majority of the problems appear to be affecting the 46RE transmission which is used with the 360 V8"

    what evidence do you have to support that? and are you admitting there are problems with the 46re...?

    "A person who would be content to stop there you would never know that the problem was really defective transfer cases"

    i understand what you are saying...but wouldn't you say that most people would consider a transfer case failure a big deal? and most folks probably think along the lines that the transfer case is part of the powertrain/tranny.

    "(By the way, Dodge RAM 1500 with the 45RFE transmission gets a 100,000 mile warranty. Do you think a company is going to put a warranty on a transmission that would be far cheaper to design to a very low failure rate then it would be to service it in the field?)"

    actually, all 1/2 ton '02s (46re and 45rfe alike) are being offered with the extended 100k warranty through dec 31st. so the warranty is not in any way a specific statement to the durability of the 45rfe. and there is a deductible. plus, don't know if dc plans to extend that powertrain warranty past the end of '01. lastly, extended powertrain warranties are added to move vehicles off dealer lots. how else can you explain that honda still has a middling 3yr/36k powertrain warranty on its accord while the camry and maxima have had 5yr/60k powertrain warranties for a number of years now...?

    "You seem far too anxious to proclaim all Chrysler transmissions as bad"

    where did i say that? obviously you haven't read my posts in the minivan topic where i thoroughly supported the once atrociously bad ultradrive...now known as the 41te and 42le...

    "Could there be a difference between Chevy, Dodge and Ford owners that could make them report on the different makes with different perspectives. I'm convinced there are."

    my opinion is that you are way overstating here. most people just buy vehicles to get them from point a to b or to haul something between those two points. most don't know the difference between a valve cover and a driveshaft...

    "In this case I believe that what you see reported against Chrysler products is likely to be more accurate because the tolerance factor is much lower for Chrysler products (This would be especially true for a car company that has a higher percentage of brand converts which is what Dodge trucks have had since 1994)."

    i might buy this concept if you were comparing foreign makes to domestics, otherwise i don't see it...
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    "There is no denying the Consumer Report data. However, neither does that data relate the severity of the problem nor the cost to correct it. The difference is I want to know what the data is really telling me."

    >>okay, tell me where i can fine definitive information, other than visiting transmission shops such as you did...<<

    More definitive information is difficult to find. Some fleet information is occasionally available, but fleet contracts usually bind the fleet owners against releasing such data. That is why I did the tails analysis by documenting actual vehicles at transmission repair shops. This would be what statisticians would call a &#147;time-series&#148; type of approach. What this method lacks in direct initial input, it makes up for over time. I&#146;ve been monitoring these shops for close to nine months now. Even as we speak I have yet to note a Dodge RAM of any year in for service. Now admittedly this has some potential for statistical bias as well and so just as I&#146;m admonishing you for accepting the Consumer Reports rating without scrutiny, I must be just as careful. For example, I can&#146;t conclude that Dodge truck transmissions never have a problem just because I&#146;ve yet to see one Dodge RAM. And in this case since I haven&#146;t tried to determine what level of service was actually performed, I do not know the severity of repair as well (although I think I have a rationale to guess).

    But the point of a tails analysis (usually), and specifically in this case, is not to try to determine the actual problem rate of Dodge truck transmissions from raw data, but to validate the Consumer Reports information. In this case I estimate that in a 8 month period I should have logged between 16 and 20 Dodge trucks, especially if they are as bad as you and CR say they are. But I didn&#146;t. This is what made me suspicious of the CR reporting data.

    "The majority of the problems appear to be affecting the 46RE transmission which is used with the 360 V8"
    >>what evidence do you have to support that? and are you admitting there are problems with the 46re...?<<

    This &#147;evidence&#148; comes from gleaning reports from transmission repair shop personnel and other information I&#146;ve read. Are there inherent problems with the 46RE? Even if we had better data it would still be hard to say. The same transmission is used in the Dakota and it doesn&#146;t seem to be a problem in that application, even in the R/T version. The fact that more full size RAMs are used in commercial-type service than Dakota&#146;s might be a clue. Based on what I learned, my suspicions are at this time that the number of reported problems are being driven by RAM with the 360 motor coupled with the effect of what I call the semi-commercial truck operator. I also believe that while they MAY be more numerous, the current Dodge truck problem sets are more non-catastrophic in nature, especially when compared to GM.

    >>I understand what you are saying...but wouldn't you say that most people would consider a transfer case failure a big deal? and most folks probably think along the lines that the transfer case is part of the powertrain/tranny. <<

    Yes, I agree that it would be considered a major problem and yes its part of the drivetrain. But that&#146;s not the issue. The point is that you are making a claim about something based on the CR data, which is based on their information regarding transmission reliability. I am trying to point out some glaring problems with the CR methodology that I believe leads to false conclusions. The point is that for that particular year Grand Cherokee they report it as a &#147;transmission problem,&#148; which is the discussion at hand. It was not a transmission problem. Your basic contention about Dodge transmissions stems from the Consumer Reports data, does it not? Here is a clear case of reporting inaccuracy, part of which you are building your case on.

    >>actually, all 1/2 ton '02s (46re and 45rfe alike) are being offered with the extended 100k warranty through dec 31st. so the warranty is not in any way a specific statement to the durability of the 45rfe. and there is a deductible. plus, don't know if dc plans to extend that powertrain warranty past the end of '01. lastly, extended powertrain warranties are added to move vehicles off dealer lots.<<

    Completely disagree here. Prices, either through dealer incentives or rebates, and lower interest rates, is the major mover of vehicles. Extended warranties might close a close deal but it won&#146;t attract much in sales and move anything in volume. The fact remains that a sale is closed inside the margin. Regardless, a warranty on bad equipment is a direct cost load to the manufacturer that will be eventually realized, especially if Dodge transmissions are as bad as you think they are.

    >>how else can you explain that honda still has a middling 3yr/36k powertrain warranty on its accord while the camry and maxima have had 5yr/60k powertrain warranties for a number of years now...?<<

    I&#146;m sorry, but as I read this I don&#146;t see how this supports your point at all.

    "You seem far too anxious to proclaim all Chrysler transmissions as bad"
    >>where did i say that? obviously you haven't read my posts in the minivan topic where i thoroughly supported the once atrociously bad ultradrive...now known as the 41te and 42le...<<

    No, I haven&#146;t read any of your other posts and no, I did not write that you said it. It just appears overly obvious to me. Let me ask again, how much transmission trouble have you had with your three Intrepids and the Dodge RAM?

    "Could there be a difference between Chevy, Dodge and Ford owners that could make them report on the different makes with different perspectives. I'm convinced there are."

    >>my opinion is that you are way overstating here. most people just buy vehicles to get them from point a to b or to haul something between those two points. most don't know the difference between a valve cover and a driveshaft...<<

    You&#146;re kidding me, right?. I may not have stated it strongly enough. If people just needed transportation we&#146;d all be driving Neons or Escorts or some such and all makes would be nondescript variations of one another. Auto manufacturers sell luxury, image, vanity and pretense just as much as practicality. That&#146;s why there are Lincoln Town Cars and that&#146;s why the word &#147;upscale&#148; is so much a part of the industry lexicon. How would one otherwise explain the boom in truck and SUV sales in the last decade? Do you consider these vehicles basic transportation based on the majority of people that own them?

    "In this case I believe that what you see reported against Chrysler products is likely to be more accurate because the tolerance factor is much lower for Chrysler products (This would be especially true for a car company that has a higher percentage of brand converts which is what Dodge trucks have had since 1994)."

    >>i might buy this concept if you were comparing foreign makes to domestics, otherwise i don't s
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    "In this case I believe that what you see reported against Chrysler products is likely to be more accurate because the tolerance factor is much lower for Chrysler products (This would be especially true for a car company that has a higher percentage of brand converts which is what Dodge trucks have had since 1994)."

    >>i might buy this concept if you were comparing foreign makes to domestics, otherwise i don't see it... <<

    I find it extremely hard to believe that you have never known people who are brand biased enough to be more tolerant of their favorite car or truck and unequally intolerant of other brands. I have seen this in action so many times that a total recounting is impossible. If you would buy this concept if we were talking the difference between domestic and foreign vehicles, then you are recognizing that the contention is valid. Then why would it be just valid in that case? If people get brand attachment over foreign nameplates, they can and will do this with domestics!

    I was a Field Representative for Buick many years ago. I am sure you are too far entrenched in your position to believe this, but my division (as well as the corporation) spent a fair amount of money researching the psyche of their customer base. Buick - and Cadillac to an even greater degree - did the most to ensure that they capitalized on owner preconceptions and vanity. It is no secret that Buick for many years had the highest loyalty rate of any US manufacturer. Buick&#146;s strategy relied heavily on convincing owners that the Buick marque conveyed prestige and sophistication…… to the point of generating snobbery.
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380
    okay dusty,

    if you wanna win the pissing contest...fine with me. you oughta work for dc since you have a nice way of poo pooing reliability data, you've done a better job of it than even they have. interesting that you don't even own a chrysler! as for my chrysler experience, never had any tranny failures, but none of my vehicles where driven past 35k miles and the leased ram never towed anything substantial.

    my overall experience with the 3 intrepids and ram was fairly decent, athough chrysler seems to have issues with proper assembly and niggling things like rubber door gaskets that shrink over time, too much road noise/wind noise (pertaining to the intrepids) vs the competition, and iffy paint quality. if dc can get the small issues worked out, they would probably do much better than they currently do in surveys such as that issued by cr....
  • jcmdiejcmdie Posts: 595
    I too have checked with transmission shops and the general cocensus is that the problems in '94-'96 have all been corrected and that the stigma or reputation that developed is what is lingering. The other note here that I will make has to do with maintainence. Most people follow the "heavy service" maintainence shedule for things like oil chages, but for some reason feel that they don't have to on the trans service. The book calls for 12,000 miles between services. I do it. Not a hint of a problem at 60,000 miles. My GMC was on its 3rd trans by this many miles and it also had scheduled maintainence. (GMC refused assistance).
  • c01c01 Posts: 28
    donnie has seen the light "if an owner has a problem, it is a problem whether it's big or small"."chrysler seems to have issues with proper assembly and niggling things like rubber door gaskets that shrink over time, too much road noise/wind noise (pertaining to the intrepids) vs the competition, and iffy paint quality" "i'll state again what i said before, it doesn't really matter whether the problems are major or minor, the scores for said dodge tranny have been "consistently" (for years) poor vs its direct competitors.

    what a turn coat!
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