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  #1  
Old 02-19-2012, 12:05 PM
wbowyer wbowyer is offline
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Default Torque Converter Replacement Experience

Hey Guys, my torque converter had the infamous noise coming from it under light acceleration between 1400 and 2000 RPMs. Thought I would post my dealership experience to help out others who have this issue (any by the way, this does apply to the 2012 6 speed tranny's as well).

First off, what happened:

Towing 7000 lbs from Orlando to Birmingham I noticed a slight "grinding" noise heading down the interstate. At the time I had the factory exhaust so I could clearly hear the noise.

Installed after market exhaust, couldn't hear anything over it. As time went on I grew used to the aftermarket exhaust and started picking up on an annoying noise with the windows down while driving close to building.

Ignored the noise until I had a pretty bad "shudder" when going to the dealership to get my oil changed (I have a lifetime warranty that requires I give the dealer a shot at maintenance costs). While at the dealer I asked to speak to the service manager, who was very helpful and took a ride with me to confirm there was an issue. I did not have any documentation of the STAR case with me.

The service manager told me that at a recent company meeting they were told there is a common issue with the torque converters being out of balance, and asked if I would prefer to leave the vehicle for the transmission tech to visually confirm what we heard as the issue. I am normally a stickler about not having my transmission cracked open until it fails, but due to this being a warranty issue and the harsh vibrations I had begun to experience I left the truck over night.

Transmission tech confirmed what was going on, parts were ordered and arrived in 3 days. Due to the weekend and me being out of town the truck will be completed and picked up after the dealership having the parts for 2 days. Based off of past transmission work this is not an unacceptable lead time as I have alternate transportation.

To recap: Dodge/Chrysler/Fiat/Ram knows there is an issue with the torque converter. They have told all of their service managers there is an issue and have instructed them to be very compliant in dealing with the issue. There is not a long drawn out process for getting parts in (although with this big of an issue they should have the parts on the shelf). And finally they are developing a "permanent" solution that should be available along with a recall in mid April.

Hope this helps!
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Old 02-19-2012, 07:21 PM
11bighornblue 11bighornblue is offline
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Thank you for the information. Cant wait to get mine replaced to. I have no problems yet but I dont want to deal with the problem when and if it comes up
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Old 02-19-2012, 07:39 PM
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wboyer-

Did they actually say there was going to be a recall on this issue?

I did have mine replaced a year ago. Mine was the first replacement done for my selling dealership.

Friday, I took my truck in to that same dealership for an oil change and the tie rod recall. When I picked the truck up that afternoon, the tech that did my TC swap recognized me and the truck and asked how the truck was performing. I did ask him if any others have come in for TC replacements and he said in a quiet, secretive type voice, that many have come back for the replacement. Don't know why he was so hush-hush about it.

That morning when I brought it in for the oil change I asked the service writer the same thing and he seemed dumb-founded about the whole thing. Weird.

Glad your's has been taken care of!
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:22 AM
TransEngineer TransEngineer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 11bighornblue View Post
Thank you for the information. Cant wait to get mine replaced to. I have no problems yet but I dont want to deal with the problem when and if it comes up
If you don't have the problem, you don't need to get your converter replaced. This is a noise issue, not a durability concern. The noise is caused by excessive clearance (backlash) in the spline between the turbine hub and the damper assy. Spline clearance will vary from part to part due to manufacturing tolerances. Some converters have the noise; some do not. If yours is quiet, then you do not need to replace it.
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TransEngineer View Post
If you don't have the problem, you don't need to get your converter replaced. This is a noise issue, not a durability concern. The noise is caused by excessive clearance (backlash) in the spline between the turbine hub and the damper assy. Spline clearance will vary from part to part due to manufacturing tolerances. Some converters have the noise; some do not. If yours is quiet, then you do not need to replace it.
Any chance this "backlash" is creating some of the vibration we are feeling in our trucks? I'm fairly confident my has developed this noise per the Star case information. Mine started around 2k, and appears to be slowly getting louder.

Any truth to the recall in April? It may not be a durability issue, but having customers unhappy about their truck will keep Chrysler (Ram) at the bottom of the reliability survey (JD Powers).

Thanks for your continued insight on these transmissions. It's very much appreciated to read your posts.
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:09 AM
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Transengineer,

Question for you then, mine make a grind type noise but only when I'm crusing at say 35 or so then on the highway anything above 55 mph. Now lower speeds it is totaly quiet but when I'm driving on post at 35 and with or without MDS kicking in there is a grind noise like a throughout bearing is going out on a stick shift car. Is this the same grind or not as my truck goes into dealer for service tomorrow and need to know if I should tell them about it or wait for the recall?

Gary
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:31 AM
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The noise is a growling / grumbling type noise (we call it "warble") that only happens when the torque converter clutch (TCC) is fully locked. In my experience, this is a noise only (not a vibration that you feel). In MDS mode, we run with the TCC only partially engaged, so you should not hear this noise in MDS. You can check for it by using the ERS buttons to select "5". That will disable MDS and allow full TCC engagement. The noise (if present) will be heard only at light throttle (light cruise) at fairly low engine speeds.

I have not heard anything about a recall (in April or otherwise) for this issue. Not all trucks exhibit this noise. Like I said, it depends on how high your spline clearance is.
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Old 02-20-2012, 02:13 PM
Manshoon Manshoon is offline
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I bought a brand new 2011 Ram 1500 Longhorn CC 4x4 here a few months back and have this same issue with the TC growling at these low speeds, most of the time in 4th gear. I had 300 miles on the odometer when I first noticed the noise.

I have had a few instances where the truck has lurched, erratic shifting, clanked into gear under normal driving and think more then likely it is related to the TC issue.

I am glad I found this site and the problems that everyone else has experienced with their own trucks and the fixes/steps they have taken to correct them.

Thank you ALL for the wealth of information.
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Old 02-23-2012, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmyRXP View Post
Transengineer,

Question for you then, mine make a grind type noise but only when I'm crusing at say 35 or so then on the highway anything above 55 mph. Now lower speeds it is totaly quiet but when I'm driving on post at 35 and with or without MDS kicking in there is a grind noise like a throughout bearing is going out on a stick shift car. Is this the same grind or not as my truck goes into dealer for service tomorrow and need to know if I should tell them about it or wait for the recall?

Gary

Gary:

How did you make out at the dealer? I too have a 2011 Sport, and it sounds very...very similar. I just can't remember if mine is doing it with the MDS kicking in or not. Something I'll have to test.

Mine starting around 2k miles, and the truck just turned 4k yesterday. Seems to be getting louder so pretty soon its' gonna be going to the dealer I'm afraid. Trying to hold out to see if there might be a recall on these converters or until the noise is unbearable.

Love my Ram but this is sure taking away from the happy experience that's for sure.
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:10 PM
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BrownDog,

Not too good, asked if they knew anything about the TC problems and got the deer in headlight stare. Tried to get the new TSB applied but got a big NO to that one also. So basically I got an oil change, tire rotation and some additive to the fuel tank for $90.00 Kinda sucks and even told them to be on the lookout for the recall in April. Service manager was like "really?" So guess I will keep going easy until the recall comes out.

Gary
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