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Dodge Ram Transmission Problems



  • well i was taking it to get it flushed at a shop that is 10 miles from my house and all of a sudden it lost 1st and 2nd all together. now all it has is reverse. i beleive that it is going to take more than a flush to fix it now. i have heard that the bands in the tranny might be worn. any ideas on whats wrong with it now? thanks :sick:
  • jmc5jmc5 Posts: 3
    I heard flushing does not completely clean out the other words the filter with the trans will not be replaced. Be careful with trans shops..they quote you a price, but continue charging. Rams are known for sensors going bad...keep an eye on that also.....I'm not a mechanic...just a consumer that still hasn't found an answer for my no overdrive in trans problem....1,2,3 gears are fine.. but no overdrive...
  • What did you ever find out about this? Thinking mine 97 Ram 1500 360 auto,had the same problem. Mine turned out to be the catalytic converter. Would shift fine if I let off a little bit. Then seemed like it was losing power and did not want to pull itself up a small incline. Had it to pay for flatbed towing to get it home after the transmissions shops told me I needed a rebuilt at 1400.00 plus. Got it home knocked the beehive looking crap out and ran great, just like before.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    This post is intended to address the most recent concerns regarding the 46RE. One of the biggest problems encountered is an unknowlegable person trying to diagnose various issues on the 46RE. More often that not shift problems are related to relatively easy items to repair.

    First, understand that the 46RE is an electronically controlled, hydraulically actuated transmission.

    There are a number of things that can affect a no 3-4 shift:

    *Assuming that the OD Switch on the stalk is off, the switch could be defected causing the OD circuit to be defeatured. This does happen!

    *Overdrive circuit fuse is open.

    *The overdrive switch circuit either open or shorted. Check the connectors at the transmission for corroded terminals. This is very common on older RAMs.

    *Incorrect outputs from the Distance or Coolant Sensors. A punky Distance Sensor can caused a weird collection of symptoms, including no 3-4 shift. Also, remember that the 46RE will not shift in to fourth gear until the transmission fluid reaches a certain temperature. If the coolant temperature sensor is bad you will not get a 3-4 shift. If this problem is recent to the winter weather, this should be a prime suspect.

    *Incorrect output or intermittent output from the Throttle Position Sensor. On Dodge trucks the Throttle Position Sensor can cause all kinds of problems. Maybe even global warming!

    *The Neutral Sense circuit to the PCM is open or shorted.

    *The Overdrive Solenoid either shorted, open, or weak. On older 46REs the solenoid plungers became partially magnetized over time causing inoperation.

    *The Overdrive Solenoid feed orfice is clogged in the valve body. A very common problem on vehicles that DID NOT receive a reqular transmission filter and fluid maintence.

    *Low hydraulic pressure. This can be caused by a number of things, too. But before you suspect the pump I'll bet that the Anti-Drain Back valve in the transmission line is clogged. Some shops clean them, but I would recommend replacing it and changing out the fluid.

    *Failed Overdrive Clutch. Unfortunately, this is somewhat common in earlier years, especially vehicles that towed heavy loads or were used in hilly country with the vehilce in overdrive.

    *Failure of the Overdrive Piston Seal. Usually not a problem unless very high mileage or Dexron-Mercon fluid was used.

    *Clogged Overdrive Check Valve. The result of dirty transmission fluid.

    *If this transmission has been "overhauled" or "rebuilt" by an independent and they DID NOT use a Mopar transmission overhaul kit, it is very possible that Overdrive Piston has the incorrect spacer installed.

    *PCM failure (the least likely).

    Hope this helps.


    PS Always use the Chrysler specified ATF. For pre-2000 vehicles, ATF+3 is okay. For 2000 and and later, ATF+4 must be used. NEVER USE DEXRON-MERCON FLUID IN A DODGE TRUCK TRANSMISSION.
  • Is there a chance that one of these items is my problem? my shift from 1st to 2nd is happening at about 3200 RPM. All other trans functions are fine, also, i just got the truck so i have no idea what fluid is in it.

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Are you also experiencing really sensitive (early) part-throttle downshifts?

    If so, it sounds like the Throttle Valve Cable (Modulator Cable) is out of adjustment, the Throttle Valve Return Spring at the transmissionis is broken or missing, or the Throttle Valve Lever at the transmission is binding.

  • my 97 1500 does the same thing any answers yet
  • jmc5jmc5 Posts: 3
    My truck is in a shop at this time with NO Overdrive...1, 2,3 gears are fine. I will pass this message on to the shop and will get back with you to see if any of the electrical problems you mentioned have worked...thx
  • everything works fine at start up, once the tranny reaches operating temp the O/D light comes on and a few minutes later the trans temp light comes on. When it first started, they would eventually go out and everything was fine. Now they stay on.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Dropping out of overdrive is a default symptom when the transmission fluid temperature sensor detects an overheat.

    It would be beneficial to know the history of this vehicle, but my first suspect would be a clogged anti-drain back valve. When partially clogged, fluid flow to the transmission is greatly reduced.

    You should try to determine if the fluid is really over heated. If the ATF smells hot and measures over 240 degrees F, then there's a problem. If not, it could mean the transmission fluid temperature sensor is defective.

  • 2001 Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab 5.9l 4x4. when running cold and shifted in reverse the engine stalls out. after running for appox 15 minutes reverse works fine. The only way I've found to prevent engine from stalling is to keep foot on gas to keep rpm's up but as soon as I take foot off gas it will stall unless I shift into neutral. Does anyone have any ideas on what's going on?
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Does this same problem occur when you place the transmission in drive or any other forward gear?

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    You have a 46RE transmission.

    Could be a dragging clutch or a stuck servo.

    I'd recommend taking a line pressure check and going from there. This is where a good Dodge dealer should be consulted.

  • Alright, I'll start off by saying I don't actually have the truck right now. I'm gonna take a look at it on Thursday for a friend. It's a 2000 Dodge Ram 1500 V8 automatic transmission. Not sure what other details pertain at the moment, but:

    MIL came on and she reported the truck lost power. Code reader came up with P1757(Governor Pressure Above 3 PSI When Request Is 0 PSI) and P1764(Governor Pressure Sensor Voltage Too Low) as the only codes. After resetting (disconnecting the battery) the MIL didn't come back on for a while, usually after she got out of her complex (3rd gear maybe, don't know for sure) it come back on. The two together makes me think bad sensor, but I just wanted to see if I could get a confirmation/second opinion. Fluid level is fine (well, some guy at a AutoZone-clone checked it for her and said it was fine), and there's no other problems reported.

    If it is the sensor, any resources out there for replacing it. Only thing I have covering that truck (Haynes) has only rudimentary transmission information, and nothing even showing where the sensor is (I haven't gotten a chance to actually see the truck yet)
  • I have slip in overdrive in my 97 Dodge Ram 1500. It's the 5.9 L V8. All the other gears are fine and the slip is very minimal. It's full of tran. fluid it did get low b/c I had a leak in the supply line to the trans. oil radiator, got that fixed and dumped two quarts in. I'm worried about it having done serious damage but don't know because it only slips in OD. ANy avenues I should take before I start looking for a 1300 rebuilt? Thanks
  • In followup to this post, today we took a look. Tracked down a problem with an aftermarket PCM "enhancer", but still have a problem with with the P1764 code. I ran it through its paces after we cleared it, and it was fine for town and highway, and then again later, but then the MIL came back on and it set the same code. We're thinking that either the sensor is bad, or there's something farked in the wiring. The only problem is we don't have diagrams for the transmission, or real wiring diagrams (just what's in the Haynes book). Anyplace online we can find the transmission diagrams, or even just the PCM pinout would help track it down.
  • I have my faithful 02 Ram 1500 4.7. The other day it started slipping when starting off and from 2nd to 3rd gear. When it gets hot it seems to work better.

    Took it in to my transmission place for a free check out and the found that the clutches are slipping. According to them the computer for the transmission will monitor the shifting and electronically adjust the clutch to get the best performance. When the truck is off for a while the system resets and until it works for a while to readjust them it slips. Being I have 164K they suggested a rebuild at approximately $1400.

    My dilemma is I still owe some money on it, it also needs some other minor repairs approx $600-1000. I love the truck and if I decide to trade will get another most likely.

    What else might I expect over the say next 100K to have to be repaired? Diff, frontend, engine

    Just trying to make the best decision I can.

    Thanks for any help.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Well first, what transmission do you have? In 2002 you could have the 46RE, but it should be a 545RFE. The 545RFE model has been exceptionally reliable.

    Before you rebuild, what kind of maintenance have you done on this transmission? Have you ever changed the transmission filters or flushed the fluid and replaced the ATF? Have you recently replaced the battery? Have you carried heavy loads or done a lot of towing?

    The 545RFE can only be properly diagnosed using a DRB3 scan tool. If your transmission technician didn't perform this test, or can't because he doesn't have the correct tool, go to a Dodge dealer for diagnosis.

    If you're getting an honest 2-3 slipping or flair, it could be low pressure due to clogged transmission filters, excessively dirty ATF, the wrong ATF, irratic or sticking shift solenoid, or clogged transmission lines.

    The 4.7 is a solid engine. I've seen some go over 200K with no signs of being tired or burning oil. I've never known one to burn oil, for that matter. On one high mileage 4.7 I know of the camshaft chain tensioners were worn. You will see an occasional water pump failure at high mileage. A lot depends, of course, on how the engine was maintained.

    I've not heard of any differential failures on 2002 and up RAMs. I can't say I've heard of any suspension parts needing replacement, either.

    Best regards,
  • 526hemi526hemi Posts: 1
    I've had the exact same problem. Does anyone know what's wrong? please e-mail me at Put TRANSMISSION in the subjet title bar.
  • i was wondering if you could give me some advice..i posted awhile back,about my 94 dodge 4x4 ,that has some weird issues going on.
    it lost all gears after being scanned,while running,@ the local advance auto store.i had just replaced the EGR valve,due to it bogging and dying everytime i put it in gear.
    i managed to get it home,by shutting off the ignition,and restarting every 50 feet..this allowed first gear to work..about 3/4 ways home,i was rolling and did a neutral restart,at which point it worked fine..all 3 gears,and strong with no slipping either..
    i had to take the truck off the road,because i Do tow heavy loads,usually total weight is max at 12,000lbs,and it was unsafe to be on the road.
    the truck did have mercon dextron in it.

    at this point,i have new fluid n filter,but am waiting to decide what to do.
    i would like to install my 94 360 magnum,and replace the 301,000 mile 318 magnum.however,i cant find anyone to give me a straight answer..
    do you know what i would need to use,to make this swap work?..does the computer need to be changed?
    etc etc?
    the 94 360 is still in the longbed truck,with a failed rear axle,and some Nasty grinding sounds coming from the trans in it.
    is there a way to use a 2wd transmission,in a 4wd,or vice versa?

    thanks in advance Dusty,i appreciate any advice you can give me.
  • also dusty,i was wondering about swapping a magnum motor into my 71 amc javelin..
    the motor fits like a glove,even the exhaust worked perfect.BUT,the trans is Very bulky,and im wondering
    if theres a way to retro a 727 to the magnum motors,and use that instead..although id love to have the overdrive,seeing as i have 391 posi/rear gears..
    im just not fond of cutting the floors and rewelding.
    i know this isnt a truck,but all the parts are coming from a truck.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926

    Quite a lot of mileage on that truck.

    The chances of your '94 transmission being repairable without much work or money is unlikely, I'm afraid. You've either lost the pump or have clogged transmission lines, or clogged shift solenoid pack, stuck govenor, or lot's of burned clutches. Unfortunately, having Dexron-Mercon in that transmission sealed it's fate. Dexron has a much higher friction coefficient and provides poor lubrication to vital transmission parts. Worse, Mopar transmission seals are not compatible with it. With Dexron in there I wouldn't trust a partial repair. I think you'd very likely have trouble down the road anyways.

    The 318s usually received the 45RFE transmission, unless it was ordered with the optional heavy duty transmission, or shipped from the factory with the tow or snowplow package. The 360 got the 46RFE, which is rated to handle more load and engine torque.

    Although it would bolt up, you don't want to put a 45RFE behind a 360, especially in a truck. In addition, the transmissions are tailored for engines and individual vehicle configuration. Shift and valve body calibrations are different, as well as line pressures. Even a change in axle ratio has an impact to valve body type. It would work, I'm sure, but it may not ever operate as perfectly as a truck shipped from the factory.

    In addition, the Power Train Module (PCM) and the Transmission Control Module (TCM) would need to match the engine AND transmission. Although a 2wd and 4wd transmission in a Dodge is essentially similar, differences may include tail stock length and mounting.

    My advice would be to contemplate installing the 360 and the matching transmission together into the truck you want it in. You don't mention the difference in years of the two vehicles. There could be some electrical wiring differences. I don't know. I recommend checking the rear axle assemblies. Dodge may have matched a larger unit to the 360 in that year.

    Best regards,
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Here I think you're in better shape. I pretty sure an A-727 will bolt up to the back of a Magnum 360, and it would be a more reliable unit for that application. I don't think a newer "RE" will work for you in this case because it needs shift and other electronic control circuitry that is only common to newer versions.

    If I remember correctly, 1970 was the last year of the AMC 390, so does the '71 Javelin have a 401 or a 360? I think the original automatics were Shift Command units made by Borg-Warner. They had a Flash-O-Matic that year, too, but I'm not sure it was used on the Javelin.

  • Dusty,thanks for the quick reply..
    both the trucks are 1994 vehicles..2wd longbed 360,and 4wd 318.
    i would like to put the 360 in the 4x4...esp seein as they are both 94`s..
    and,the longbed has power windows,tilt steering,cruise control,etc..
    i was thinking about basically taking the entire harness off the longbed,and putting it onto the 4x4..
    along with the doors..
    figured i would have to do that,to be able to use the options mentioned above..

    but then again,if rebuilding the 318/tranny is a better approach,i can do that too

    im stripping the longbed tommorrow.depending on how much snow we get..argh.
    gotta clean out the yard,might! be getting another javelin..(fingers crossed)

    my 71 has the 304,standard motor,with 2bbl..with the borgwarner transmission..not a good trans there...
    in 72,they went to the Chrysler automatic trans,and changed the Crank machining,and pattern..thus making all us poor saps with 71`s and down,lost for a good drivetrain..a cheap one i mean.
    i was glad to hear the magnum thing,because the 727 would be tight,but at least it would be in there.
    if this works out,even a 318 magnum should move a javelin down the road fairly good,wouldnt ya think?
    up here in the rustbelt,we have tons of donor trucks whose bodies are long gone,but have nice motors..and i know youll laugh,but over half are there with dead tranny`s

    thanks again Dusty
  • fs69fs69 Posts: 2
    Have a 96 1500 4x4. wont shift out of 1st gear until about 3000rpm or more. and then only if i get of gas. Then it shift into 2nd. all other gears shift fine. Any ideas
  • ucanfarmucanfarm Posts: 33
    Here is a few web sites for a transgo shift kit that might help you with your problem check out

    Not a transmission mechanic, but have fount out that by replacing the filter and putting new fluid in generally helps on some transmissions slipping. Hope the links above give you some more avenues to make your decision,
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