Another 97 1500 tranny question

Still got the old girl. After investing so much a couple years ago to replace both heads I really need to keep her. Currently 99k miles. (don't drive it much)
When cold (bearing in mind this is Houston, so we're not really talking about bitter cold) The transmission seems to howl or complain when backing out of the driveway in the morning. Also some slippage is noticeable. After backing out and then starting out in drive there is again some initial slight slippage. Go lesss than a block, step on the brake and the truck will then sometimes "lunge" and the engine immediately stalls. Starts up fine tho and can continue on from there without a problem.
No OBD-II codes. Once I go about a mile and get things warmed up the transmission seems to be fine.
The trans fluid level is fine and looks to be normal bright red'ish color, does not smell burnt.
Thanks in advance for any pointers, advice, etc.
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the houston hot sun combined with high fluid temps may have damaged the tranny. have you tried locking out the overdrive? a noisy reverse and weak 1st gear were the first signs that the tranny in my 97 ram was getting tired. this started at 175k on mine and i had to replace it at about 220k. warm the truck up before you take off in the morning and lock out the overdrive. if this cures the symptoms then keep driving. if it doesn't then let the transmission shop have a look. michael
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Thanks. However, look at the current mileage, barely 99k. Should I be having tranny trouble? This truck has been a lemon that keeps costing me thousands. I only keep it because fixing it (at an average $1000 ~ 2000 a clip) is still cheaper than buying new and aside from engine & transmission it is in extremely good shape, inside and out. We had both cylinder heads replaced in '06 because 1 had a crack across the #7 exhaust valve seat. No, didn't need both heads, but having the other head "done" so the top end is equal was within $200 of the cost of a new head so we replaced them both. Since buying the truck new it is now on it's 3rd A/C compressor and evaporator. The factory compressor shelled out at 37,500 miles. I'm only on my 2nd set of tires with this truck and now tranny trouble before I can even get 100k on the truck????? WTF is wrong here?
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<snip>

to the tranny. heat is the real killer of automatic transmissions. if you have been lugging the truck around town at 45mph without locking out the overdrive it has been killed by low fluid flow from lugging it in the texas hot sun. i have three dodge trucks with automatics. one with 277k on original tranny, one with 150k on original tranny, one that i replaced the tranny at 215k. that is when my wrench informed me that local delivery trucks need to have the od turned off whenever they are just running about town. he has another customer with several dodge trucks and they are religous about turning off their overdrives for city driving and are averaging over 350k before they start to see tranny troubles.
have not had head troubles with any of my trucks. i have heard about other folks with the same issue though. i would guess again that this is heat related. how often do you replace the fan clutch. my trucks seem to need a new fan clutch about every other year. its one of those things that you will never notice has gone bad until it costs you big somewhere else if it is not checked annually.
i just put my first a/c compressor on a dodge truck this year. i screwed up and let the truck sit too long. the truck is a back up truck in case one of the other trucks is down for service. if you let an a/c compressor go too long without cycling then it will crap out. the oil in the system needs to be circulated occasionally or all the seals in the compressor and other areas dry out. just driving the truck is not enough. during the winter you need to turn your a/c on at least once a week for at least a few minutes to circulate the oil. it will add years to the systems life. we have one truck that if you turn the a/c on at least once a month it will go years without needing refridgerant. if it goes 90 days without cycling the seal around the pully shaft dries out and all the freon escapes into the wild.
as to tires. we run nothing but michilen's and the trucks get an average of about 65k between new skins. do you rotate and keep your pressure checked? once every two weeks i go around and check the pressure on every tire on the lot. its a little effort but it saves money. michael
p.s. service is the key to vehicle longevity. i have five trucks. one with ~290k, one with ~280k, one with 277k, one with ~220k and the "new" one has ~150k. between all of these trucks i have had what i consider only one major service issue. there is not a one of them i wouldn't hesitate to drive across the country in. you get out exactly what you put in.
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I think you're missing my point. This truck, though 11 years old, has *only* 99k miles on it and over 11 years of ownership has consistently been a POS! It is garaged and actually driven often, though seldom more than 30 miles at a time, but it does get run up to 65~70 mph on most of those trips. It is also serviced at 3k mile intervals, though at 99k miles spread across 11 years it averages an oil change only 3x a year and has had the 30k, 60k and 90k dealer service all pretty religously, at least +/- 300 miles of when due. The tires on it today are the same ones (Michelins) I put on it at 37k and they still have some tread left. They get rotated every other oil change.
I don't have a tire problem and I've only had to put brakes & shocks on it once and changed the battery and the CAT once. What I have are seemingly frequent, **expensive** mechanical problems!!!! It just seems like I have to keep spending way more to keep this particular RAM 1500 fully operational than anyone I know with a similar Dodge 318 of similar age and also in the hot Houston area.
Initially A/C issues, just out of warranty, natch, then consuming excessive oil (over a quart) between changes due to some issue with the intake manifold or gaskets or whatever it was, I no longer recall. Then at 65k another AC compressor & evaporator, then at 88k or so a cracked cylinder head, then at 95k a new radiator, water pump & serpentine tensioner, now at 98 (almost 99k) the transmission is complaining and the rear main seal has begun leaking. Judas Priest!!! I had the tranny serviced at 60k at the dealer. The dealer also did the cylinder heads & 1 of the 2 replacement AC systems (dealer replaced the 1st one, the last one was done at an independent garage. My independent guy asked if it had ever had any flood damage - well not to my knowledge as long as I've owned it. I bought it "almost" new, it had 1100 miles on it, was a salesman's demo. Yeah, we've had some floods in Houston, but nothing around that timeframe (from date of manufacture to date of delivery). The big one, tropical storm Allison, hit Houston in 2001 and this truck was _not_ in it.
The tranny problem is the only (known) current issue today and as I said is only present when cold. Like you I would not hesitate to drive this thing cross country today, although I'd probably put some new rubber on it before starting out and with its mechanical history maybe have someone follow not too far behind with a spare long block & transmission, AC system, differential, etc. It's a great truck, comfortable to ride in & drive, etc. It's just had frequent mechanical problems and been unusually expensive to keep ***THIS ONE*** on the road.
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NUNYA has no idea, he is just guessing. Probably read it somehere else. Such a dummy

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snipped-for-privacy@dodgecity.cc wrote:

The 47RE in my '99 2500 slips a bit at first after it's been sitting for a week or so without being driven. The torque converter slowly leaks fluid back into the transmission while it's parked. If you start it up and let it run for a minute with the transmission in neutral that might help the torque converter fill up faster and prevent the slipping. I'm not real familiar with the gas engines. Might it be the IAC causing the lunge and stall thing?
--
Ken



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Thanks Ken, but we replaced the IAC in '06 while chasing ghosts trying to shotgun the truck and find the reason for a nagging P0307 OBD-II code. Turned out to be a cracked head at the #7 exhaust valve seat. I know the "slip" you're talking about, but this is worse than that, or at least seems so and the "lunge & immediate stall" at idle speed less than 1/2 block after starting out makes me think there's something else going on here. Arguably it's probably time to get rid of the truck, but with both vehicles having been paid for now for 4+ years I'm not looking forward to taking on a new note.
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I know this may sound silly but I just had my wifes chrysler sebring 2002 transmission worked on. It lunged at 32 miles an hour when coming to a stop. Took it back to the dealer, they reprogrammed or downloaded a program for the transmission and have not had the problem come back. Running like a champ now.
Maybe you should ask if they need to reprogram the transmission. Since it is a 97, not sure if they did that back then. They do have a computer brain but thought I would toss my 2 cents in and see if that might be the case and solve your problems.

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