2002 Dodge Cummins Tranny issue?

Hello,
I have a 2002 Dodge Dually 4x4 Cummins, automatic transmission; boost, tranny temp and exhaust temp gauges. I have a K&N air filter (clean), 4"
smooth bend exhaust and one of those computer override gizmos on it: I think it is an EZ-Edge. I am the original owner.
I drive it mostly empty, but occasionally drag a 10,000 pound or so boat.
Last weekend, after I dumped the boat into the water at the boat ramp, I could hardly pull the trailer up the ramp. I had the thing floored in 4x4 high mode, the turbo boost was up to 20 PSI, but it would hardly move. After I put it into 4x4 low, then it pulled it up just fine, although very slowly. The ramp is in decent shape and the trailer was not hung up on anything.
Then, the thing would rev way too high before shifting into second and drive while pulling the trailer to the parking area.
I took the boat out and came back about 6 hours or so later and the truck dragged the boat up the ramp just fine. Then, on the way home, which is about a 50 mile ride, it took forever to shift when starting out from a dead stop when I was about 1/2 way home. When I got home, I put the thing in park and just let it idle for a bit. The tranny temp gauge was up about 100 degrees more then normal; where normally it will cool right down when idling. I left the boat out on the yard so I could wash it the next day. The engine temp was in the low end of the normal range and the exhaust temp had settled down to about 350 degrees after idling for a bit, but was just about 1,000 when dragging the boat.
The next morning (we are talking Monday now), I wash the boat and then park the boat in the barn. The truck drags it around the yard just fine and seems to shift just fine.
Then, today, while driving to work (empty), it shifted just fine too. The tranny temp gauge hardly registers which is 'normal'.
The truck has about 85,000 on it, and this is the first time I noticed this problem.
What's the consensus: Tranny problem or something else?
Thanks for any tips.
Clint ==
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Yep. When's the last time the fluid/filter was changed?
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Sounds like tranny is at end of life cycle and when it gets hots it slips more. Dodge has had a lot of problem with automatic behind the cummins and redesigned the tranny yet again on 2005 models. After you get it rebuilt, make sure it has a good sized aux cooler on it too. That "chip" you have on there to boost power adds a lot of strain to tranny that it cannot really handle. Few people consider the impact of these boosts on the tranny. Another thing, if you have a 3.54 or 3.73 axle ratio, the tranny will hold up a lot better with a 10 k boat on ramps with a 4.10 axle ratio.
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Re-designed? The only change to the transmission that I'm aware of is an upgraded thrust washer under the front planetary to handle an exhaust brake.... that and some re-programming of the TCM for an ehanced "tow/haul" mode.
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On Sat, 22 Oct 2005 11:53:06 GMT, "Tom Lawrence"

my understanding too.
the real "redesign" was in the middle of the '03 model year when they went to the 48re. there have been some minor upgrades since then, the most major one being for the '06 model year where they changed the electronics by adding a larger computer so they they could add the programming necessary to allow a exhaust brake to be used on the 48re. the other have been the thrust washer (i think they upgraded a couple of those) adn the tow/haul mode, as mentioned. the 48re, as i have been told anyway, is good for up to around 400 hp, but when you chip it or bomb it above that level the tranny is not going to handle it. even then, chipping it below 400 means that you have to use common sense when you drive it or the tranny is going to slip. that isn't a flaw, the tranny is designed to handle the hp and torque that comes out of the factory. if you bomb it you need to have a manual tranny or upgrade the auto. i don't understand how this thing about a pos tranny keeps coming on the dodge. the 48re is a very good tranny. i have towed a lot with mine. cruising tdr, i hear of very very few people with the 48re that have tranny problems with a stock truck.
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Even with the manual trans, the clutch can slip.
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wrote:

good point. several people on tdr have upgraded the clutch when they bombed. the point is that you can't bitch about the tranny they put behind a 325 hp/610 torque engine if you beef the motor up to 450 hp/750 torque. it is ridiculous to blame that on dc.
i have an '03,auto with the 305/555 engine. it is a pulling machine and i really don't need to bomb the engine to tow with it. the tranny has been strong and i tow around 11 to 12 k regularly.
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Bingo.
I have one of the first ISB's, 215/420, and I haven't had a problem pulling anything yet.
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Or the filter is clogged and the fluid needs to be changed.

No, individuals have had problems due to lack of maintenance, overloading (yeah, the tow rating DOES mean something) and power uprates. The trans is the same trans that came out in 1988 as the A618, with more clutches, more planetary gears in the gearsets, and upgrades such as thrustwashers etc.

Very good advice.
That

Which makes it the individuals problem, not Dodge's.

While true, in stock configuration the 10,000# boat is well within the tow rating for the AT. As such, the gears are of little concern.
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I disagree with some of this, the auto tranny was light to begin with with little reserve by design because Dodge did not spend the coin to make it a proper tranny. Also boat ramp duty is a LOT tuff on a tranny than going down the road with a trailer. SOme of those ramps and boat loads can be killers. I have seen more than one TV die on a boat ramp with a big boat behind it. Not filter change is going to fix his problem sorry to say.
Max Dodge wrote:

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Rubbish. The design is an A727 with an OD section. If you recall, the A727 was placed behind 425hp Hemi's (not the 5.7, but the 426) Six Pack 440's and a myriad of other tough situations, such as motorhomes and work trucks. If the 727 was good enough to survive this, the 618 should also be. The improvements to the 618 to make it the 47RE and now the 48RE were natural evolutions in trans design, not a new design, such as the 45RFE or 545RFE.

More rubbish. A boat ramp, taken at a proper speed, is EXACTLY like going up a grade on a highway.

Again, rubbish. you have no idea what is causing his problem, nor do you know what exactly is going on. Nor do I. BUT... suggesting that a trans is dead before doing diagnostic work, as well as maintenance to items that COULD cause the problem, is plain stupid. ITs a good way to spend money when a simple fix MAY solve the problem.
I'm not sure where your "expertise" comes from, but so far, its not exactly expertise.
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Rubbish? Yeah right. You can boost a Dmax and that allison will not come apart until you really push it. The old 727's and THM400's could take a LOT of extra HP without a problem. The auto was okay when the engine torque was below 500 ft lbs but it will not take more torque for a long period of time because it simply is not that strong of a design when it should have been because Chysler knew people were going to boost those motors and should have built a better tranny for it. The finailly beefed it up a good bit in 05 and time will tell on that one.
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Or until 50,000 miles, which ever comes first. And what does "really push it" mean? Do you mean "actually use the power your chip gives you?" Perhaps you should include the TC failures they experienced early in the run. BTW, for all the knowledge you seem to have, you don't seem to understand that lots of grunt with no RPM (simple words for you) is harder on a trans than not quite as much grunt but lots of RPM. An inline six is far more capable of doing the low RPM grunt than a V8 ever will be. Known fact, proven over time, time and time again.

More rubbish. ANY trans behind a modified engine gets modified itself. How do you think B&M, TCI, Fairbanks, etc got to be as big as they did? Hint: its not because the stock AT's were handling the modified engines. Now, if you are familiar with the fact that a diesel makes its peak numbers at low RPM, and a gasoline engine makes its peak numbers at well over 2500RPM (a number which is at the top of the RPM range for a Cummins) you'll start to understand why trans failure behind a diesel is more likely after modification. A Cummins can and WILL trash a 727 if its modified.

What a load of crap. Chrysler designed and built a very good drivetrain. Chrysler is in no way responsible for individual modifications, nor are they obligated to plan for those mods. This is like saying that a half ton pick up should be capable of hauling over a ton, because "Chrysler knew people were going to boost" the amount they put in the truck.

Again, RUBBISH. The 48RE, the improved version of the 47RE (which is doing just dandy in my truck at 420ftlbs) was brought out in 2002, three years prior to when you claim. It has not been upgraded by the factory since then, and complaints are DOWN from prior years. So time IS telling, and its saying "this trans can do the job."
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You keep saying this.... WHAT exactly was done in '05 that made the 48RE so much stronger than those of the '03 and '04 years? (The '03 being limited to the latter part of the year, since the 48RE wasn't available until January '03)
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Nothing!
Mike
(The '03 being limited

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Mike
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One thing...to cool the tranny down DON'T put it in park. Keep it in neutral, there is no fluid circulating when in park.
Ron

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