00 Dakota performance

Over the course of the last week or two I have noticed several things my 00 Dakota with 4.7 is doing. initially when I start the engine, it revs higher than it normally does. It also seems to be down on power,
and a week ago while tooling down the highway, I noticed the clutch converter disengaging for a second and then locking up again. I thought it was my imagination the first time it did it, then I started paying closer attention to the tach.. sure enough, it was disengaging here and there on my way back from trip to visit family. I'm also not very impressed with the fuel economy of this engine.. it's horrible.
Are there any tricks to making this engine any less hungry for gas?? most of my consumption is during in traffic and a 4 mile round trip back and forth to work 4 days a week is causing the truck to guzzle half a tank of gas. I love this truck aside from the annoying rear view mirror and fuel economy. I bought the truck used back in November with 64K on the odometer and it is equipped with one of those intake tornados. I'm not convinced that it actually does anything except blocking the intake path. I removed the 31 inch all terrains recently and it seems to have increased my fuel economy just a tad on the highway. It certainly has made my ride much quieter and smoother.
I'm also experiencing some rough shifting in the transmission.. although it's not all of the time.. periodically it seems to bump, and normally when I hit the highway with the truck, and though not related to the tranny, about 10 minutes on the highway, the truck seems to burp momentarilly once and is fine from that point on. I'm also hearing the cycle duty solenoids bumping more now since all of this started.
I also currently own a Dodge Intrepid which is the second one I have owned. My first 95 Intrepid suffered shuttering problems in the tranny, and I fixed the problem myself by removing the Dexron and replacing it with Chrysler fluid. My question here is.. I read some place that the Dakota transmission is based on the transmission that was used in the Intrepids, so I'm wondering what kind of fluid is best for my tranny?? I have owned a lot of Chryslers in the past, and I have had all sorts of transmission problems with them.. mostly broken reverse bands in 904's and 727's.
Oh yes! the check engine light has not been on (thus far)
Thanks!!
00 Dakota Sport 4X4 4.7 Magnum
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Roger Rabbid wrote:

==================== As to the tranny..........
With the mileage listed, the fact that you just purchased it, not knowing what the previous service history was, it would be wise to service the tranny. I am NOT an advocate of transmission flushes on used vehicals without dropping the pan first to see if there's any debris. If you can convince the dealer dude to drop the pan, make sure there's not any material floating around in the unit, then do the flush IF the pan was clean, then go for it. If there's any debris in the pan, or the maganate (my preferred spelling, as i likes the way the word sounds) has a "thick" film on it, then DON'T flush the unit, just do a normal serivice.
m/o
~:~ MarshMonster ~defers to greater minds on the other concerns~
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