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Old 07-16-2008, 10:28 AM   #1
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1995 Dodge B3500 Transmission Troubles

Hello All,

First 3 trips went flawless.
Trip 4 to the Mountains turned troublematic.

I know it is a novel.
My gut feel is I have a torque converter issue.
Not sure if I should just have all items replace (ouch $).
One AT site indicated this transmission is notorious for cooling flow starvation. Cuold me AT be find and just overheating and in need of
better cooling (new cooler and piping).

Any tips our shared experience is appreciated.

Thanks,
Greg

Symptoms.
After running up mild hills for 30 minutes, we hit some steep items.

The transmission/Torque converter began to slip. (engine roaring).
I pulled off and slip remained in drive or reverse. Ironically even when slipping the transmission continued to shift smoothly? ... I stopped , checked and smelled ATF fluid. Nice red color ... no burnt smell.

I get back into van and as I move, I hear tran/TC seat into gear (almost like letting out clutch). Tranmission shift smoothly, without slip for remaining trip home.

I stopped by AAMCO as if was friday at 5:51PM, the mechanic did same stuff (check and smell ATF). Said same thing ... fluid looks great, no ugly sounds from AT other that roar from fan when it slips.

Following morning on trip, with engine/AT completely cold... slip happend again right as I drove out of campground. AT caught right during exit, never slipped again going home.
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Old 07-16-2008, 08:47 PM   #2
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Hello Greg,

I hope the following makes your day...

Years ago when SMB converted many Dodge Ram vans, we discovered they were notorious for having "sensitive" fan clutches. Many customers took their vans to the local Dodge dealer with the exact same complaint, only to discover it was the fan clutch that was engaging and causing the symptoms you're experiencing. While the fan clutch helps cool the engine and transmission when it engages, the amount of noise it produces is definitely a cause of concern if you are not accustom to it.

I remember one customer who's Dodge dealer mis-diagnosed the same problem and was preparing to replace the transmission. Fortunately, the customer called me to alert me of the problem with his new van and I was able to give him the info on the fan clutch, which was the problem after all.

Good Luck!

John K.
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Old 07-16-2008, 09:05 PM   #3
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Hmmm, I guess I wonder what you mean when you say "slip"... to me a slipping transmission is when the shifts are slushy, like when you mash the gas and there is no snap in the shift points all the way to when the vehicle will barely move because the tranny is just slipping (test drove an Comanche recently that barely made it out the driveway).

I realize that with larger vehicles, newer trannys and Diesel there is no "snap" at shift points but I'm trying to describe what I've always thought of as a slipping transmission.

It sounds more like what you mean is like when I drop a gear (let the clutch out before the stick is fully in gear) in my Jeep (teeth grinding and bang! or something like that).

If that is slipping in an auto then what is the slushy/powerless shifts I've always thought of as slipping?
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Old 07-16-2008, 09:39 PM   #4
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Is this anything like the aux fan (trans fan?) that comes on in the Ford vans? I don't notice a power decrease, but the noise is definitely noticeable.


Herb
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Old 07-17-2008, 06:45 PM   #5
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Further stuff

I my be confusing the sound with two separate issues.
But the behavior is exactly the same.

The van certainly roars when I first crank up cold but quiets upon the first real acceleration (less than 1.5 minutes). The tranmission could be working perfect at this point but I think it is slipping due to the roar. I will buy a cheap tach to verify.

The event going up a hill is definitely mushy can hardly make it up the hill slippage. never clunking or hard shifts just like a clutch slip or halfway engaged. On the last event i was close to the summit so i just kept going while keeping the tranny in d1 ... it made it over and as soon as i was on level ground I gassed and the tranny caught (not harsh just like a slow clutch enagagement) and the roaring ceased at the exact same moment

I did this because i figured the AT was a lost and iI needed to get home (90 miles of flat). The van drove perfectly the remaining time home shift smoothly.

I read up on a AT replacement from a company called Jasper... the installation had the comments listed below. I think my issue maybe lubricant starvation or overheating. The fluid still looks red with no burnt smell. they list two transmissions 46RE and 46RH.
I need to figure out which one I have.
The notes below are on the 46RH



>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

****IMPORTANT INSTALLATION INFORMATION***
**This overdrive transmission has a very high failure rate due to the
lack of lubrication. Flushing the existing cooler is not recommended
and cannot be flushed properly. Jasper has available a cooler kit
which includes a heavy duty cooler, steel braided lines and mounting
hardware for an easy and professional installation.
There are two different cooler kits available. Due to the multiple
variations by the manufacturer, there could be a temperature sending
unit in the cooler line circuit. If there is, order Part # H7C. If
no temperature sending unit is used, order Part # H7B.
**The temperature sending unit used in this application must be
installed in the adapter block enclosed. If sensor is a 3/8 pipe
thread, it will screw directly into the adapter block. If the sensor
is a 1/8 pipe thread, it will have to be screwed into the enclosed
adapter before installing into block.
**Chrysler rear-wheel drive transmissions do not have cooler flow in
park. These units must be filled & checked in the neutral position.
If there is a check valve located in the cooler line, it has been the
root cause of many transmission failures & MUST be replaced. A new
cooler line check valve must be ordered from a Chrysler/Jeep dealer
or the warranty will be VOID. (NOTE: there is a photo example in the
fax menu-- listed under Chrysler Cooler Checkball Illustration
--that can be sent to the customer for reference.)
Do not use Teflon tape on the cooler fittings as that will crack the
case--use a liquid sealer.
**JASPER installs a line to the pressure regulator valve to supply
more fluid to the lube circuit than the original.
1. For increased durability, JASPER has upgraded the overdrive
planetary to a 5 pinion planet.
2. The direct clutch thrust plate has been updated for longer clutch
life.
3. The waffle plate has been removed for a better third to fourth
shift.
4. The overdrive clutch has been updated to a 5 plate clutch, and the
direct clutch has been updated to an 8 plate clutch. This was done
for increased torque capacity.
NOTE: this transmission comes with a new output vehicle speed sensor
.



Important:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
As you are well aware, the fluid cooler system is critical to the proper and warrantable service of your Jasper Transmission. Because you are inspecting and servicing the fluid cooler system during installation, it is your responsibility to verify that the system is free of contamination and has proper flow.
In order of preference, here are some options to insure proper cooler flow.
1. REPLACE WITH A NEW SYSTEM (RADIATOR).Check flow to assure lines are clear. Check for proper operation of check valve, if applicable. There are exceptions including pre 1997 E4ODs and some Chrysler applications. For these cases, JASPER provides a cooler kit to increase lube flow.
2. REPLACE WITH AN EXTERNAL SYSTEM (On applications where air flow could be restricted, a cooler fan would be required). Or install an oil to coolant style system.
3. FLUSH THE ORIGINAL SYSTEM. Hydraulic shock flushers are preferred, and the heated type are considered the best.
NOTE: FLUSH IN A CAN IS NOT CONSIDERED EFFECTIVE AND, THEREFORE, IT IS NOT AN ACCEPTABLE METHOD OF FLUSHING. In all cases, always flow test at operating temperature. Compare the volume exiting the transmission to the volume where it returns to the transmission.


Installation Instructions:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
OEM specifies ATF+3 (MOPAR 7176) or ATF+4 (MOPAR 9602) fluid for all
Chrysler units equipped with a lockup torque converter to reduce
clutch apply chatter. Warranty is void if this fluid not used.

This O/D trans has a very high failure rate due to the lack of
lubrication. Flushing the existing cooler is not recommended and
cannot be done properly. Chrysler RWD trans do not have cooler flow
in Park. These units must be filled and checked in Neutral position.

The check valve located in the cooler line has been the root cause of
many trans failures. If a cooler kit was purchased from JASPER there
is a new check valve with the cooler kit. If no cooler kit was
purchased a new cooler check valve must be ordered from your
Chrysler/Jeep dealer or warranty will be void. Do not use teflon tape
on the cooler fittings as it will crack the case - use a liquid
sealer.

Check overdrive cancel system for proper function prior to installing
the transmission.



Notes:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Product summary: Unit is a 4 speed automatic with overdrive. PK number is stamped into the pan rail on the drivers side of case. Has 14 pan bolts. The electrical connector is on the left rear corner of the case. Without PTO Provision on Rear of Transmission - ID by PK Code Stamped on Transmission - Can Not Determine ID by VIN Lookup
Assy/code: 52118307 52118323 52119161
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Old 07-17-2008, 09:52 PM   #6
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Are you sure you're not just experiencing going up hill?

When I flat tow my TJ up the rockies I have all similar symptoms. I have a Diesel and with the pedal on the floor I just go slower and slower, the engine noise comes from the revs and (in my case) the diesel turbo whistles on and off.

Also if you're in L1 are you sure you're not just sending the tranny and or the RPMs in to a range they normally don't go, thus making noise you're not used to? Maybe try driving on flat land in L1 and see if you hear the noise at higher RPMs?

I've also noticed that if you punch it the tranny will slush.. there is no laying rubber or even squeaking the tires. I know this is a factory setup to keep you from ripping things out. And consider that pulling out of camp you might have slipped a tire too.

Anyway hopefully everything is all right and you're just not used to the van in certain circumstances. I'd still keep a close eye on things, but I want to put some alternate scenarios in your head for next time it happens.
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Old 07-24-2008, 03:39 PM   #7
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I sugest reading through http://allpar.com/fix/trans.html

I'd also suggest to post on their forum about what happened to your SMB and get some free advice.

I was having problems with my tranny. The controlller was going in to limp in mode. Stuck in 3rd and not allowing cruse control. Replaced with some fresh ATF+4, flushed the torque converter and changed the filter.

2 hours work + $60 parts = fixed tranny
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Old 07-25-2008, 04:53 PM   #8
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UPDATE on Tranny

Hello All,

I took my SMB to a very reliable Transmission shop today.
Basically they can not replicate the "slip" behavior and just like the other folks, indicate the fluid looks pristine. They are betting some type of electrical/relay intermittent issue.

Pne item they indicated was that the standard computer plug-in port was not standard. Is this true? Does SMB modify the computer interface?
I am wondering if I can scan the computer myself rather than taking it to dodge.

Any advice would be helpful.
Thanks,
Greg
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Old 07-25-2008, 10:36 PM   #9
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Re: UPDATE on Tranny

My SMB does not have ODB, it predated it. Yours likely also


mine is the Chrysler proprietary connector. You can get a 2 digit code by turning the ignition on 3 times and watch the engine light blink.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmac
Hello All,

I took my SMB to a very reliable Transmission shop today.
Basically they can not replicate the "slip" behavior and just like the other folks, indicate the fluid looks pristine. They are betting some type of electrical/relay intermittent issue.

Pne item they indicated was that the standard computer plug-in port was not standard. Is this true? Does SMB modify the computer interface?
I am wondering if I can scan the computer myself rather than taking it to dodge.

Any advice would be helpful.
Thanks,
Greg
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Old 01-18-2009, 07:59 AM   #10
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All Fixed....Thanks to Marty!

A big thanks to Marty for the information.

I had a complete flush and new atf fluid as recommended.

Two trips to mountains and one trip to arizons and back

NO PROBLEMS!

I am in happy mode again.
I ran into 2 other 4WD SMB's at joshua tree SP during thanksgiving.

YIPEE!
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