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tev9999 10-06-2013 10:59 AM

8 Speed (Hemi) - Not Using 8th on Highway, sometimes.
I finally got to take my first long road trip in the Ram "up north" through Michigan. At one point I noticed that my tach was showing I was at about 2600 RPM while cruising at about 75 on flat interstate, not towing or hauling and only myself in the truck. (Crew cab, 3.92 gears, German built 8 speed, Hemi) That seemed pretty high RPM, especially since the MPG gage was showing around 14. I hit the Gear+ button on the wheel and the truck upshifted, RPM dropped to 2000 and MPG went close to 20.

For the rest of the trip I kept an eye on it. It seems that if you are cruising in 8th and downshift to accelerate to pass, the truck will drop to 7th, but won't upshift again to 8th when you let off the accelerator. I was able to get it to lock in 7th several times using both cruise control and my foot on the gas. Pressing Gear+ every time forced it back to 8th. Note I never used Gear- to force it down - just hit the gas so it downshifted on its own.

I assume it is a software or calibration issue in the transmission controller. Has anyone seen similar or had a software flash done to correct it?

If you are not getting the highway MPG you might want to keep a lookout for this. The engine still runs very smooth and quite in 7th at 75 so you may not notice without watching gauges.

1stRAM2012 10-07-2013 05:00 AM

don't know if the 8 speed is like the 6 in that it takes time to learn your driving style but mine stayed in 5th when I'd let off the gas it would go to 6th but then I've obviously Lost speed so I started doing it the same way you do now and eventually it learned...also high winds affect my truck alot(but I'm lifted so not sure how much it affects you) so it will stay in 4th or 5 th depending how much wind resisitance I have

TransEngineer 10-07-2013 08:12 AM

How did you know it was in 7th (or 8th) gear? Did you have a "7" or "8" displayed in the cluster? Or are you just basing it on the engine speed?

Not saying you're wrong... just wondering if there was any kind of gear display.

tev9999 10-07-2013 08:31 AM

The gear number only shows if you intentionally put it into manual mode by pushing the Gear- button. I never did that, so it was not showing a gear number when I realized the RPM were high. Pushing Gear+ at 2600 RPM/75 MPH caused the RPM to drop to 2000, so it was obviously not in its top gear. There was no change to the EVIC display. Forcing it into 7th using Gear- bumps it back up to 2600 RPM - and 7 showed on the EVIC at that point.

At first I thought it could be a coincidence on the upshift, but I managed to do it a half dozen times on the trip through several driving sessions over two days. The following process seems to cause it:

1. Set cruise at 74 mph on a flat highway. Verify about 2000 RPM.
2. Press Cancel to disengage cruise.
3. Coast until you reach 65 mph or so - as if you just came up on a slow moving truck passing another. Don't touch the gas.
4. Press Resume. The truck will downshift to pick up speed faster and settle back in at 74, but won't upshift to 8th again when it gets there. RPM about 2600.
5. Press Gear+ to drop to upshift and drop to 2000 RPM.

Note it did lock in 7th at least once when I was not using cruise but had slowed down, then sped up again.

This only seemed to happen in the 70-75 mph zone. When I was on highways with 55 or 60 mph limits it would cruise along around 1600 RPM, I'm assuming in 8th.

gwilburn 10-07-2013 08:36 AM

My '14 with 3.92s does NOT behave like this. Lives in 8th

count2 10-07-2013 08:48 AM

I have the V6 and I noticed this same thing. I've only had it on the highway once but I was really disappointed with the MPG readings I was seeing. Then I started paying attention and based on the tach realized I wasn't in top gear. It was windy and the interstates here aren't exactly flat, so I attributed it to this. Periodically it would shift up to 8 but mostly it stayed in 7.

rkuhl84 10-07-2013 09:38 AM

I've never had this behavior before either. Just went on a long trip over the weekend and passed several people and the tranny always went back to 8th gear.

Did you make sure to get it out of the manual shift mode after you hit Gear+ once? It will stay in that mode until you cancel out of it. I think you just hit Gear+ again when you are in 8th and it will revert back to regular Drive.

tev9999 10-07-2013 09:53 AM

The only time I was in manual mode is when I wanted to verify my RPM vs gear. I then pushed it back up until the 8 was off the display. It also happened after parking, shutting off, etc. I am 100% certain it happens in regular drive.

Rexer 10-07-2013 10:36 AM

I've had this happen to me before. Actually it was last Friday when I noticed it myself, I was driving home and noticed it while I was in cruise control, using methods similar to you. Only difference with me was that when I tried to get it to go into 8th it would stay in 7th gear...I chalked it off at the time to being windy out as well (but I'm definatly going to be keeping an eye on it!)

opramsport 10-07-2013 12:11 PM

This is "normal" for my truck over 75 mph. It will initially shift to 8th, but after it downshifts into 7th after the first couple hills it will just stay there. If i manually shift to 8th and it bogs down on a hill with the cruise on it will skip 7th and go into 6th. Not sure why it skips 7th, but i've found that if i leave it in 7th it never needs to downshift on a hill.

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