Transmission shuttering at super slow speed

O.K. dodge guru's figure this one out. Dodge ram 1500 4x4 quad, 100,500 miles and new balanced tires, brakes and rotors. When initially taking off from
stop, and without touching gas, truck shutters ever so slightly but enough to see out rear view mirror. As soon as I touch the gas its gone, or if I reach 3-4 mph. It doesnt do it any other time. If I hold the brake and let it roll at 1-2 mph it will continue to shutter, almost hop. Is it the Torque converter going bad, something else? The fluid, and filter where changed (with proper fluid) but no improvement.
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Driveline shudder, caused by a worn U-joint.
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Isn't it common fo the lock-up unit on these to be a failure point? Wouldn't that shudder at very low speeds as it tries to lock up prematurely?

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Richard -- I think I've got your answer. I chased the exact same symptom for a year in my '97 318 @ 103K because of its variability: some days it was there, some days it wasn't. Eventually I was led to discover the fragile nature of the magnum cylinder head -- cracked valve seats. Not enough to see in a vacuum flutter or compression test, and not big enough to push coolant out or suck it in, but enough to get CO in the antifreeze. The ever-so-soft cylinder just fires with a little less gusto under high vacuum conditions -- your no-throttle take-off. As soon as you crack the throttle open, the higher load completely masks the symptom.
Run a test for CO in your antifreeze, and/or a leakdown test if these conditions make sense to you and your truck, and let us know.
FYI: think about where you put your money....I was in a bind on a Sunday afternoon, and we magnafluxed a dozen "core" units -- all cracked on the valve seat. I settled with an awful pair of new Asian castings for cheap money to get the truck running, but one failed before I was "ready" to sell it and move on...so personally I rolled the dice with an ebay reman'd OEM unit. For my money, however, the bare pair from Hughes plus a local valve refacing would be the way to go...it's priced right.
Jon
Richard Howard wrote:

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Thanks all, I will start with the u-joints since its easiest and cheepest and work through the other solutions, thanks for the input. Richard
Richard Howard wrote:

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On Tue, 26 Sep 2006 19:12:20 GMT, "Richard Howard via CarKB.com"

Richard - I'd be interested in hearing what you find out. I have a 2003 I just bought with 33k miles on it - similar situation. I don't notice it visibly in the mirror buti can feel it - not quite all the time, but most of the time. My gut feeling was directing me towards driveline in some fashion.
If you can't post it here, please let me know at
" john.redcord AT gmail.com "
Thanks,
Robert
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If you've had it all the time, and you have a vehicle with a two-piece driveshaft, sometimes shimming the center carrier bearing mount (adds a bit of angle on the front U-joint, lessens the angle on the rear) can cure this. I didn't mention this to the OP, because he said it had only recently developed.
Also, some have reported (Roy here being one of them, IIRC) that a procedure to "align the drivetrain" has cured this shudder. This involves loosening the engine and transmission mounts, driving forward about 100ft., driving backward the same distance, then re-tighten the mounts WITHOUT moving the vehicle. It seems some drivetrains were installed in a slight bind, and this has been shown to cure some shudder-on-takeoff problems.
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I will, plan to work on it Thursday
John wrote:

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