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Dodge Ram Transmission Problems



  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    If both are '94 models I would place a money bet that you will not have to change any wiring harnesses. Just swap PCMs and TCMs, you should be fine with swaping engines and transmissions.

    I'll bet a lot of those transmissions have Dexron-Mercon in them!

    Where in the rust belt are you?

    Best regards,
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Just noticed I referred to the 45 and 46 transmissions as "RFE." I don't know what got into me, but there was never any such thing.

    They are, of course, 45RE and 46RE.

    My apologies for any confusion.

  • jsc7jsc7 Posts: 3
    "05 STS Cadillac - 5L40-E tranny with 25K mi
    Shift was smooth as silk up top 21K mi -
    Started hardh shifting 2-3, 3-4, 4-5
    Dealer made software change - same symptoms -

    How can this be corrected ?

    John C.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    You somehow stumbled into the Dodge Ram Transmission discussion. You should re-post your question in the Cadillac STS/STS-V: Transmission discussion.

    kcram - Pickups Host
  • jltrayjltray Posts: 3
    I'll have to double check with the shop and see what scanner they are using to check the transmission. I had a solenoid pack change at 120k and serviced again 15k after that.

    I don't haul heavy loads at all mainly highway miles.

    Truck wise it is pretty solid, I have had upper arms on front end wear early an need to change left one now. U joints starting to make some noise and the normal noises for this mileage.

    Thanks for the relies.
  • jsc7jsc7 Posts: 3
    Thanks - have re-posted in the Cadillac trans discussion

    Please omit message #95

  • garneldagarnelda Posts: 1
    I have a 1999 dodge ram 2500 diesel 4x4. I've been having a problem for a long time. While driving , usually between 55 and 65 it has frequent episodes where the engine races up about 300-400 rpm for a few seconds then backs off, but my speed doesn't change. these episodes happen one right after the other sometimes. I've been to two dodge dealers and two independant mechanics and no body knows what causes doesn't happen all the time. any thoughts or suggestions?
  • dknoppdknopp Posts: 1
    My OD switch on the shifter of my dodge 98 4/4 1500 has not worked for about 3 years, didn't need it too much so I did not pay much attention. Now though my truck drops out of overdrive after about 45 minutes of driving at 70 miles an hour and sets the p0740 clutch circuit mal code. The first time it happened a couple of days ago I checked the fluid and it was low, I added more and it worked fine until today when it dropped down into third again. The transmission smells hot and the fluid looks dirty, so I am going to flush out the transmission, change filter, etc, and maybe change the convertor solenoid. Any other suggestions? also the od switch still does not work, (although the od light does come on when the trans drop into third. Got anything Dusty? your the man.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Hi Dave,

    Well, the P0740 code probably says it all -- you're losing Torque Converter (TC) lock-up.

    Some questions:

    1. You say that the O/D switch doesn't work. Does this mean the transmission has been in the overdrive mode all the time, or out of overdrive?

    2. Are there any signs of slipping in fourth gear?

    3. Are the 1-2, 2-3, 3-4, or 4-3 shifts unusually harsh?

    4. Any harsh engagement going from Park or Neutral in to Drive?

    5. How many miles on this transmission? Has the fluid and filter been changed?

    6. Has Dexron-Mercon ever been injected in to this transmission?

    Your sense that the transmission is potentially overheating bothers me. Be advised that fluid appearance and smell are not necessarily reliable indicators with Mopar ATF+ series fluids. However, this could also be explained by a slipping Torque Converter Clutch. This will have a tendency to burn and oxidize the ATF and can cause overheating on long drives, which you are experiencing.

    If the TC Solenoid is bad, not an uncommon problem on your vintage 45 or 46REs with high mileage, I think there's a good chance that it's already too late and the TC Clutch is probably worn from slipping. You should check the TC Solenoid circuitry, however. Corroded terminals on the transmission connectors are very common problem on that vintage RAM.

    You can try a filter change and a flush, and although it might make a lot of other parts and circuits happy I'm unfortunately doubtful that the TC clutch is still healthy.

    If this transmission hasn't received regular maintenance (filters, flushes) and you're going to attempt the maintenance and repair yourself, be mindful of the anti-drainback valve in the transmission cooling line. The valve is part of the cooling line that connects to the radiator. These things get clogged easily with exceptionally dirty fluid. Use only ATF+3 or ATF+4 and I would strongly recommend using a Mopar transmission filter.

    In some cases it is best to remove the valve body and manually clean it. In fact, if this transmission has a lot of miles and never been maintenanced, a ATF power flush could cause the shift pack and valve body to become clogged.

    Let us know how you make out.

    Best regards,
  • jdoug68jdoug68 Posts: 2
    I work for a horse farm and I use a 2006 ram 3500 cummings drw to pull with. The vehicle has less than 20,000 miles (mostly by me) and we are going on the 3rd rebuild on the tranny. Abuse is not the issue I am a very experienced hauler. I had a mechanic in VA tell me that the tranny won't hold the power of the cummings. I love the cummings but if this keeps up we are going to have to go with the duramax/allison because of reliability. Anyone have any ideas what is going on with the tranny?
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    First, what kind of weight are you towing and for what distances?

    What are the failure symptoms?

    Who is doing the rebuilds?

  • jdoug68jdoug68 Posts: 2
    weight varies from empty 42' gooseneck to 7 horses in same gooseneck. distances anywhere from 150 mile oneway to 1500 mile round trips.

    symptoms failure of over drive twice and last time loss of all forward gears from dead stop with empty trailer.

    Service Dodge dealership
  • morganvmorganv Posts: 49
    Idon't know how much a diesel ram can tow, but our friends with diesel Rams tow as much as you do and more havent had any trasmission problems. gOod friends of ours have a 5 or 6 year RAm that has over 150,000 miles and still going strong. Your failures seem unusual. We tow a 36 ft equispirit ,a 6 horse trails west and a Hart. all of these trailers are over 7000 lb empty. when we get our Morgan's loaded our Rams are sometimespulling over 15000 lbs and thats with the gas motors. we've had absolutely no transmission problems and one of our rams has just turned 90,000 miles. since our experiences with the pOwer strokes weve gotten completely away from diesels. ithink maybe you need another dealer,

  • ?????????? my transmission was leaking, so i removed it to fined my torque converter was stuck on the tranny, with some effort i was able to free it. the spring on the front seal had came off and there seemed to be no other damage so i replaced the seal and the truck ran beautiful for about ahalf an hour. all at once the transmission started leaking again. i made some calls and someone had told me that the front pump assembly could be worn out and not spinning true causing my front seal to leak.if anyone has any info on this please reply. thank u
  • ???????? anyone with some info please reply thank u
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Your 2006 Cummins RAM has the 48RE automatic. This is a very robust design utilizing 5-pinion planetary gearsets, heavy clutches and hardened components giving this transmission a torque capacity of just over 900 lbs. ft. This transmission is more than adequate to handle the new Cummins diesel and I'm not aware of any failures to date locally. They most certainly are not falling apart by legions.

    I don't know what you're total weight is on a fully loaded horse trailer of that size, but if you've lost the overdrive unit twice it indicates that you've been using the overdrive. An empty trailer alone of that size warrants switching the overdrive off, per the instructions found in the operator's manual. This would be the same for an Allison 1000 series, by the way, or a E4OD, or 5R110, or a TorqueShift.

    As far as your last failure, my first guess would be that the transmission cooling tank and probably the lines have been packed with loose clutch friction material, possibly clogged the anti-drain back valve, and choked fluid flow causing overheating and something to break. Whenever a transmission has burned clutches or lost an OD unit, the lines and tank should be flushed and the anti-drain back valve should be replaced (not cleaned). Pump failures or broken input shafts are very rare on Mopars. Maybe a broken sun gear. But if that's the case on a vehicle with that few mileage...and already been apart twice...I'd be suspicious of abuse.

    If you think Allison 1000s are better I'm here to tell you differently. They will lose third gear when stressed and burn overdrive clutches just like any other OD transmission. They also suffer from premature pump gear and torque converter cover bushing failures. In fact, there are at least two aftermarket suppliers of improved bushings for the Allison. Shops are seeing valve body wear causing irratic shifting as well. People not getting the expected life out of an 1000 series has caused Allison to recently recommend use of their own special Transynd ATF instead of Dexron-Mercon III.

    Allison, Chrysler, Ford, GM and others do not put a O/D or Tow/Haul switch on the end of the gearshift just for grins. Towing heavy loads in overdrive will cause excessive wear on the clutch facings and over heat the steels from low clutch apply pressures.

    Follow the manufacturers recommendations for towing AND maintenance and any of the automatics will perform well for better than a 100,000 miles before overhaul.

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    First, a few questions:

    1. How many miles on this transmission?

    2. Has this transmission ever been apart, meaning the transmission or torque converter removed.

    3. Has this transmission had regular maintenance (filter replacement and/or fluid flush).

    4. When you had the transmission out and the torque converter removed, did you inspect the end of the input shaft closely, noticing for scrathes, burrs, or other signs of damage? If you had a hard time removing the torque converter you might have scratched or burred the shaft. The converter seals are completely intolerant of shaft damage. Also, did you apply any ATF to the seal before you reinstalled it? Running the seal dry will damage the seal in the first few minutes of transmission operation at restart.

  • dusty thanks for the reply. to answer your questions 1. there is 80,000 miles on it. 2.all i know is that the previous owner had put a shift kit in it when he had buoght it new. 3. i only had the truck for about 8 monthes but i heard he kept up good maintinaince on it. 4. yes i did put atf on the seal. and there was acouple little marks on the torgue converter but nothing that seemed seriuos. is there any thing u can think of on this or is it possible it is the front pump assembly?????? your knoledge on this would be helpfull thanks man. trendkiller [brian]
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Well, most shift kits don't require transmission removal, so that's probably a good thing.

    Do I think it's the pump assembly. Hmmm, I guess it could be. Are you sure that the leak is at the rear of the torque converter? How are you deducing this? Torque converters can leak in several places. I'm more likely to suspect the front pump seal, to be honest with you.

    If you're convinced that the input shaft area where the seal rides is smooth, then at this point excessive shaft end play is a possibility. But I'm still a little suspicious you could have a problem related to the surface condition of the shaft or maybe damaged caused by re-installation. Not hard to do, so don't feel bad.

    There are a couple of checks you can make.

    Torque Converter Seating Depth

    1. Remove the transmission and invert in a stand (output shaft downwards. Leave the torque converter in the transmission.

    2. Using a straighedge placed across flange of the bell housing, measure the distance to the flex plate mounting bosses. It should be 0.500 inch.

    Input Shaft End Play

    1. Place the transmission on a bench.

    2. This really requires a special tool set, but attach a dial indicator to the bell housing and measure to the end of the shaft. Pulling upwards on the shaft there should be between 0.34 and 0.84 inch movement. Anything outside this is excessive end play.

    Best regards,
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Oh, by any chance did the previous owner use an aftermarket synthetic transmission fluid or a "shift improver" additive?

  • thanks for the info. ill do those things u told me, but im also going to take a better look at the torque converter, making sure the shaft is smooth. thank u for the help and ill give an update soon.
  • pamattpamatt Posts: 2
    I am about to purchase a ram 2500 with a 5.9 gas engine, and an automatic tranny. The problem is the transmission, when shifted into any gear the truck does nothing. the filter is clean, but the fluid is burnt smelling. Is this the clutches? I believe the pump is fine because when shifting from park you can hear the motor loading. If i buy a good master rebuild kit will it fix the problem, I dont have the cash for a professional rebuild.
  • Hey guys:

    I purchased a 2007 Ram 1500 2wd Hemi auto quad cab three weeks ago. I just turned 1000 miles on it.

    A couple of days after I got it, I noticed it would pop out of reverse about once out of every 7-8 times I put it in reverse. I put it in reverse, let off the brake, it goes about 3 feet, then pops out. At this point it is not in any gear because nothing is lit on the dash. It only does this the first time, once put in reverse a second time, it has never came back out. I have been monitoring it, and it seems random, it doesnt matter whether I am on flat ground, and incline, etc.

    I took it to the dealer, and the said there are no service bulletins for this, and that they did not get any codes from the computer. They tested it extensively and could not get it to pop out while at the dealership.

    Since they could not find anything, I got the truck back and am stuck with this problem for now. Any ideas out there about what may cause this, and what I should do next?
  • Dealer says used PCM cannot be reprogrammed. Does this make sense? The original PCM had been replaced for tranny problem but I stil have it. Am I better off getting that reprogrammed for tranny problem. Problem was no 1st gear with old PCM.
  • When I bought my 00 Ram2500 the PCM had been replaced with a used one for tranny problem (no 1st gear). The used PCM gives me an ABS problem since it does not recognize VIN of truck. Dealer says that the cannot be reprogrammed but I need a new PCM.
    Should I find a new dealer? Which PCM would be better to reprogram?

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I must correct a couple of things from my post #107 regarding the Chrysler-built 48RE automatic transmission used behind the Cummins Diesel engine.

    The 48RE uses 6-pinion planetary gearsets, not the five I stated earlier. Five were used in the 47RE.

    The torque rating of the 48RE according to Dodge truck is 770 lbs. ft, but according to ATRA data it's 804. In any event this makes the 48RE very capable behind the Cummins. (Compare this to the 610 of the Allison 1000 series.) It is widely believed that the 48RE was over built for the current Cummins series in anticipation future increases in Cummins torque. The new six speed 68RFE uses much of the same power transfer architecture as the 48RE which it is being replaced by.

    Compared to the 47RE that was used on previous Cummins' equiped versions, the 48RE incorporates the following improvements:

    6-pinion billet steel planetary gearsets

    Five clutch Direct Clutch with specially hardened Drum

    Six heavier (thicker) Overdrive Clutches with a 25% increase in apply pressure

    Twenty-Three Direct Clutches

    Heavier Intermediate Shaft, specially hardened, with increase in band apply pressure permitting a 22% increase in 2nd gear torque capacity

    Increased Overdrive Direct Clutch apply pressures

    Thicker and specially hardened Sun Gear Shell

    Increased hardening of the Sun Gear

    Improved steel, Nitride heat treated Input Shaft and Hub

    Thicker Front and Rear Ring Gear made from select steel, Nitride hardened

    Wider and thicker Band Struts, specially hardened

    Wider Front Band and Drum

    Wider Intermediate Bands

    Many other uses of special steels and increase use of hardened materials to mention.

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    E-gads! Did they check anything?

    This could very easily be a transmission selector cable adjustment.

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    The dealer might be right, but you deserve an explanation. Have him explain that to you.

    If the old PCM was replaced for a no 1st gear issue, I would expect that to be a hard problem. But if the old one works, then the old PCM wasn't causing the no 1st gear problem!!

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    First, run the gearshift through the gears and check for drive in each position, including reverse. If you have no drive in any gear, move the gear selector slightly off of each position and see if there's drive. If so, the gear selector cable is loose or out of adjustment. It could also be stuck, so check that the gear selector cable is moving at the transmission. This problem is not uncommon on REs.

    Don't rely on a visual inspection to determine if the filter is cleaning. Replace it, especially if you suspect the fluid is burnt.

    You could have a parking sprag that's not releasing. This is occasionally seen on RE-series transmissions with high mileage in cold weather.

    You could also have a bad torque converter, although usually they make some kind of noise when rev'ed if it's a turbine blade issue. There could be something broken inside, like a Sun Gear or Shell, a shaft or a broken band strut or band, but often times there's some kind of noise.

    Could be a failed pump because of excessive friction or other foreign material packed into it. I would more suspect a blown front pump seal, though, because that's a common failure mode. You can test the pump pressure from outside the transmission with the correct tools.

    Or you could have a clogged valvebody.

    The electrical connections at the transmission should be checked for corrosion. This was a very common problem on that vintage RAM. Also, check the fuses. A blown fuse can shut the transmission down.

    Good luck.

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    There are more and more transmissions being repaired or rebuilt nowadays using off-shore replacement parts. In general these are often inferior to factory parts and suffer from improper material selection, poor machining, poor heat treating or hardening, or all three.

    Be wary of low rebuild prices, especially if parts are required for the repair. If a input shaft is priced at $60, you can be sure this is an off-shore piece. Same for gasket and seal sets.

    A quality rebuild should go at least 100,000 miles before overhaul unless the transmission was abused or not maintenanced correctly. At overhaul, a good job also includes performing all of the upgrades. Dodge truck owners should be especially cautious.

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