tranny service advice

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interchange
Yep, instead of redesigning the unit to handle the new requirements they instead just stuff more shit into the same bag, IOW, turn a solid long life transmission into a high maintenance POS.

LOL, you just made my point again Maxi. Instead of redesigning the transmission to either better deal with the heat generated or make servicing it about as easy as an oil change, they just stuffed more parts into a difficult to service unit requiring the owner to go to the aftermarket to get parts that are basically a requirement for reliable, long term operation.
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Wrong again. 1975 Dodge FSM claims trans fluid and filter should be changed at 30k normallly, 20k for severe service. 2000 Dodge FSM calls for medium duty (schedule A) ATF change at 24k, heavy duty (schedule B) at 12k. Given the higher heat and loading of OD, the maintenance is not "high". Secondly, since the new transmissions are virtually the same, but with an OD ratio literally bolted on, it hardly diminishes the quality of engineering or the track record of the trans as a whole.

Wrong again. The trans now comes with a cooler for towing. Second, there are no more parts in the front section than there used to be. Third, its not difficult to service, certainly no more so than its predecessor, which wasn't difficult either. Parts from the aftermarket aren't required for long term operation. I have 62,000 on mine, and have changed the fluid twice. Its about due for another change.
I'm not sure where you get your information, but you certainly don't have any real facts.
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changed
Really? for what type of vehicle? Either way, that is once every 2 to 3 years.

That is just about twice as often.

With the advances in materials and lubrication, it most certianly is, especially when you pretty much have to take the trans apart (remove the pan) to do it.

OD ratio

the
The trans is only as good as it's weakest point. We had this discussion with the DC 9 1/4 rears and you were wrong there too. While the design of the rear was unchanged, they decided to save a little money by using second rate bearings and that turned the rear into a POS as well, especially for those who had to cough up the big bucks to repair it.

to
Then why are so many people installing aftermarket coolers?

be.
Is that the same as no more parts inside of the case at all and if not, WTF is your point? The point is that NOTHING is different even though the internal parts run MUCH hotter than the non-OD units of the past. How about a deeper pan and a drain plug?

predecessor, which

Sure it is. Much harder than changing the oil and the frequency is damn near the same amount anymore, especially with the new oils comming out.

Its
And for each change, you have to remove 4000 bolts to drop the pan (and it doesn't have a drain), remove and replace the filter while it continues to drip fluid on you, hope that the new gasket that comes with the kit is not damaged or folded so that it will leak for sure, reinstall the 4000 bolts that hold the pan on making sure not to overtighten any of them or strip any of them, and then pour the new fluid through the dipstick tube while praying that it doesn't piss half of it onto the ground. Now while this was acceptable when the change frequency was never or once in the life time of the vehicle, 1 or more times a year is unacceptable. A simple redesign would use a deep sump finned pan with a drain plug and converting the filter to an external spin on type but that would cost a few $$ per vehicle and we just can't have that now, can we.

Neither do you although your half-truths are interesting.
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Let's deal with current applications. For the 48RE, DC calls for fluid/filter changes every 30,000 miles for severe service (from my '03 FSM). Ford calls for the same (from Ford's online publications). GM (actually Allison) wants fluid/filter changes every 12,000 miles (from Allison's online publications).
Now - who's excessive here?

Better tell that to the supposedly-highest-technology transmission out there... both Dodge and Ford trannies can go over twice as long on fluid/filter changes.

Right.... because removing twelve bolts is JUST like disassembling the entire transmission. It's no different than a differential, Tom... are you going to piss and moan about Dana or AAM axles, as well?

Only off by 3,988. Hey, for you, that's pretty damn good...

Only if you're stupid enough to put you head in the way.

Funny... I could have sworn my gasket was re-useable. Oh yeah - that's because it is.

Yep - just like the 4,000 bolts that hold a differential cover on...

Correct. Basic mechanical knowledge and practices are required. If you can't handle that, you're better off paying someone who knows what they're doing... just like anything else on the truck.
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Tom Lawrence wrote:

Pardon me while I completely side step this pissing contest and ask a question ...
On the fluid/filter change called for by DC, are they recommending a complete fluid change or just the nasty crap that falls when the pan comes off? I have read that a complete change is preferable. However, if I requested that of my "5 star" service department, they would look at me like I had 4 heads.
I took my truck a "free detail" after I purchased it. When I drove into the service department, the service guy came over and took my information ... meanwhile my truck is still idling, while we're standing less than 6 inches from the driver side front tire ... the next question floored me ... "Hey, is this thang a diesel?"
Craig C.
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But that is what this group is all about!! <G>

In my "opinion" by having 26 years in the trade and by what I do on my own truck that is used fairly hard, every other time the pan is pulled and filter changed. This gives me a chance to see if there are any sparklies or chunks laying in the pan. The in-between times I put the flush machine on it and just exchange the fluid.

I didn't know ole tbone worked in a service dept..... <VBG>
Denny

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Just the contents of the pan.

Not in any DC publication...

If regular fluid/filter changes are performed, and the transmission isn't abused (ie. fluid burnt up), there's no need to do anything other than drop the pan (yep, all 4,000 bolts), change the filter, and re-fill.
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Good to know, thanks. One more thing. I have 25k on my truck right now. I usually prefer to change my own fluids, however there is the whole band adjustment thing which I would rather not mess with. So, is it wise then to take it in and let the dealer do the tranny? I will, in turn just change the trasfer case and diffs myself.
Craig C.
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It's really nothing to be intimidated about. Just pick up an inch-pound torque wrench (you don't need to go overboard here... I use a $25 wrench I bought from Harbor Freight). The front band can be adjusted without removing anything... the rear is adjusted when you have the pan off. You loosen a locknut with a wrench, tighten the adjuster to 72in.lbs., then back it off a prescribed number of turns (varies from year to year - either check a service manual, or post your exact config. here), then just re-tighten the lock nut. It really is that easy, and shouldn't take more than 5 minutes to to both.

Only if you feel the above is beyond your skill level (and trust me, it isn't).
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Cool, I'll give it shot then. My specs:
2004 Ram 2500, CRD 305/555, 48RE, 4wd. I hope these are the specs your asking for? I suppose I can get serial numbers if that would be better.
Craig C.
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Nope, that's fine.
For the front band, you'll need a Torx bit (somewhere between a T30 and a T45 - I don't remember exactly). The adjuster is on the driver's side of the case, right around where the front cooler line comes out of the case. Loosen the locknut with an open-end wrench, and back it off several turns (4-5). Now use the Torx bit on your torque wrench, and tighten the adjuster to 72 in.lbs. Next, back the adjuster off 1-3/4 turns. Hold the adjuster in place, and tighten up the lock nut.
For the rear band, you'll need a regular 6-point socket. This adjuster is inside the transmission, and will be accessible with the pan removed. Again, loosen the locknut 4-5 turns with an open-end wrench, then tighten the adjuster to 72 in.lbs. Back off this adjuster 3 full turns, hold it in place, and re-tighten the lock nut.
That's it.
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Thanks for the information. I will make my attempt at fluid changes for the diffs, transfer case and tranny weekend after next (along with a drain plug install and band adjustment).
Craig C.
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I stopped by the dealership and bought all of the fluids and parts I would need to service the truck myself. I asked the service manager for torque specs on the tranny pan bolts and the diff bolts. He said: "Aw hell, just snug'em up."
That kind of thinking is the reason I am doing this myself in the first place. :)
A couple of questions:
What do I torque the diff bolts to?
What do I torque the tranny bolts to? (Note, I bought a new gasket and I don't to just "snug'em up". I want to do it right.)
The parts guy said I needed friction modifier in the rear diff but not the front diff. But he personally recommended using it in the front diff. So I bought two bottles. Is it going to harm anything to use friction modifier in the front diff?
Here's what I got, feel free to point out errors:
6 qts Mopar 75-140 synthetic gear lube 9 qts Mopar ATF+4 tranny fluid for tranny and transfer case tranny gasket 2 bottles of friction modifier tranny filter RTF for diffs
Grand total: $235.00.
GD! That gear lube is pricey ... $20 per qt.
Craig C.
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Craig, I'm pretty sure you're in Dallas? Maybe you'd like to come visit our club tomorrow?
http://www.bigddodgedieselclub.com/calendar.htm
The group meets at Bic's Coffee Shop, at the corner of Keller Springs and Midway Road, in Dallas, Tx. (west side of Addison Airport and north of Beltline Rd). The address is 2245 Midway Road. Meetings are at 9:00 am on the 2nd Saturday of the month.
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Yep, I'm in the Dallas area (McKinney). Thanks for the invite. I couldn't make it today, but I glanced at your web site, perhaps I can make it to the next meeting. It really depends on whether I decide to give my liver a break the night before. :)
I know exactly where Bic's is ... in fact I've spent a great deal of money in that place in past years.
Craig C.
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Diff. bolts go to 30ft.lbs.

The book says 125in.lbs. 10 ft.lbs. if your torque wrench will read that low.

The parts guy is mis-informed... the AAM 10.5 and 11.5 rear differentials use a Trac-Rite helical-gear-based LSD, with no clutch packs. Friction modifier won't hurt, but is completely unnecessary, and a waste of money.

Only to your wallet... the same goes for the new tranny pan gasket - the stock one is re-useable, just like the front and rear diff gaskets.

This was a mis-print by Dodge (since corrected). Standard oil is 75W-90 synthetic. The 75W-140 is only recommended if towing heavy and often. See TSB 03-001-04 for reference: http://www.dodgeram.info/tsb/2004/03-001-04A.htm

No, no, no! The diff covers now use reuseable gaskets that are to be applied dry - no RTV (or even RTF, for that matter) at all. Tell the guys in the parts dept. to learn about the new trucks.

That's because of the magical Mopar dust. I spend about $6/qt. at my local parts place. In fact:
6 qts. Mobil 1 75W-90 synthetic - $36 12 qts. Pennzoil ATF+3 - $36 (I know they specify the +4... this is what I use) NAPA (Wix) tranny filter - $12
Grand total, with tax: $89. This is why I never buy parts/supplies from the dealership.
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Thanks for the torque specs. I took your advice and purchased the $28 in. lb. torque wrench from Harbor Freight. So, I'm set for the tranny torqueing.
The information I received from the dealership is very troubling. I gave my vin so that they could make sure to give me correct information ... it seems that didn't pan out quite the way I had hoped.
Did I get enough tranny fluid? 9 qts. 2 for the transfer case and 6 for the tranny? (1 extra just in case)
I'm glad you sent me the TSB on the diff fluid. Now I know to only fill them up 1/4" from the hole. Otherwise I would have filled it until it spilled out.
So, I will return the RTV and friction modifiers. Regarding the gaskets, I am more comfortable not re-using what is already there. So, I will purchase the diff gaskets when I return the other stuff.
I'm so mad, I could just spit.
Craig C.
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Yeah, that should be enough.

I have the 11.5" rear axle, and the spec on that is 1/4" below the fill hole, +/-/4". I read that as, "fill it till it leaks out". The caution against fluid foaming is somewhat laughable... the fluid is constantly getting churned up by the ring gear no matter what, and as such, is formulated with anti-foaming agents.

be re-used. Double-lipped, rubber over steel. I've had my diff covers on and off probably a half-dozen times, and have never had any leaks.

Tell the parts guy to put his nose in an '03+ service manual once in a while... these aren't Dana axles anymore (which need both the RTV and the modifier).
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I finished the fluid changes today. Both diffs, tranny and transfer case. Thanks for the advice and specs you sent . This was my first attempt at adjusting the bands. All went well, but it would have been nice if the front band was as easy as the rear band ...
As a side note ... the tranny fluid looked clean. It still had a brilliant red color. The front diff fluid was perfectly clean. The rear diff was pretty nasty. Here's the part that shocked me, the transfer case fluid was really dirty. Since I use 4wd so rarely, I was a bit shocked.
25k, BTW.
Craig C.
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Well, everything is always spinning inside the transfer case, regardless of 2WD or 4WD operation. Since the '03+ trucks have no front axle disconnect, the front driveshaft is always turning, which means the front output shaft and chain are always turning. In fact, the only difference between 2WD and 4WD in the transfer case is that when in 4WD, the sprocket that drives the chain (and therefore the front output shaft) is coupled to the rear output shaft.
Glad to hear everything went well.... you saved yourself a bunch of money doing it yourself.
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