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  #11  
Old 10-10-2012, 08:53 AM
TransEngineer TransEngineer is offline
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Originally Posted by looka View Post
Thanks, TE. So it's sounding like something electrical. Unfortunately the nearest Dodge dealer is 2 hours away. Will a Ford or GM dealer scan it? How do I get it out of full limp-in?
A Ford or GM dealer will not have the Trans Simulator tool, so I doubt they could do much for you. You might try a local trans shop, although they often seem bent on rebuilding everything that comes in.

Restarting the engine should take it out of limp-in, and it should stay out of limp as long as you run it only in 1st through 3rd gears. So if you drive it in O/D OFF mode (if you have that available) that should work.

Also, I must backtrack on my previous statements. I am getting too used to the 6-speed realm (68RFE in diesel trucks), where 4th gear is direct gear. In your truck, 3rd gear is direct and 4th and 5th are overdrive gears. In limp-in (direct [3rd] gear), the UD and OD clutches share the input torque (OD carries 67% of the input torque). In 4th and 5th gears, the OD clutch must carry 100% of the input torque. So you may, in fact, have an internal problem with your OD clutch after all. It isn't completely gone, since it holds torque OK in limp-in. But maybe it can only hold, say, 80% of full input torque. So it works OK in 3rd gear (limp) but slips in 4th or 5th.

This is not to say it couldn't be a wiring issue, but my previous statements that it's definitely NOT an OD clutch problem are incorrect. Sorry! Guess my brain was not fully engaged!

Since your OD clutch will apparently hold 67% of full input torque OK, you should be able to drive (in normal Drive, not O/D OFF) as long as you go gently and don't open the throttle too far. If it goes back into limp, turn it off, wait 10 seconds, restart, and you should be OK again.

Given the fact that it could indeed be an OD clutch problem after all, your dealer should go through our published diagnostic procedure for the P0734 (or P0735) fault. That should lead them to the correct root cause.

Again, my apologies for misleading you in my previous post!
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  #12  
Old 10-10-2012, 05:11 PM
looka looka is offline
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Well, shite. So in limp mode I'm runnin' in 3rd gear. Makes sense, that's what it feels like.

Is there any way I can force it into 4th or 5th to check for slippage? Drivin' 2 hours to the dealer is a last resort for me. Plus, I don't have the money to fork out for any dealer services, let alone gas for the drive. I've got a pretty good set of tools and an empty garage to work in, so any diagnostic stuff I can do on my own the better.

I appreciate all your help, TransEngineer. Lookin' forward to your next post.
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  #13  
Old 10-10-2012, 07:58 PM
looka looka is offline
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Nevermind. I cleared the codes and it's still slipping out of 4th. Time for a rebuild, I guess. Anybody know the best place to buy OD clutches for the 545RFE? Any tips on doing a rebuild? This'll be my first time.
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  #14  
Old 10-12-2012, 08:27 AM
TransEngineer TransEngineer is offline
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From Mopar, the input clutch kit (which includes the UD, OD, and Reverse clutch packs) is 05013090AG and lists for $113. You'll also likely need a new pump cover 68009609AB ($34.20 list) since the old one usually gets damaged when you remove it. There are two styles of pump cover. The original style has a large hole in the center and is retained by two snap rings (one at the ID and one at the OD). Your trans should probably have this type (68009609AB is this style of cover). The newer style has the torque converter hub seal pressed right into the cover, and is retained by only one snap ring (at the OD).

The original-style cover has a face seal around its center hole (inside the cover) that is compressed when the inner snap ring is installed. This means there will be some pressure against that inner snap ring when you try to remove it. It also means you must compress the seal in order to (properly) re-install the snap ring later. If that snap ring is not fully seated, you will get a leak. So put a screwdriver against the snap ring, and tap gently around it with a hammer, to seat the ring. Tap against the front of the snap ring (not the outer edge). You want to tap it so as to compress the seal behind it.


You should be able to just pull the converter out, remove the pump cover and then the pump assy, and then pull out the input clutch (IPC) assy, which is the next big chunk of parts behind the pump assy. To remove the pump cover, first remove the oil pan, sump filter, and the valve body assy. You can then stick a screwdriver against the pump cover (from inside the trans) and pop it out. When you reassemble it, install the VB, filter, and pan last, because the filter snout has to go up into the pump assy (so you have to install the pump first, and then the filter after that).

When you tear down the input clutch assy, tag the snap rings so you'll know where they came from. There are a lot of snap rings in the IPC assy, and many are similar in size, but you don't want to mix them up. Also note that two of the snap rings are tapered (one side is slightly angled). Those rings get installed with the tapered side facing rearward (UP as you are installing them). Also, note which direction the bearings are installed, and reinstall them facing the same way. Find the diameter that pilots each bearing, and then install the bearing with the race (inner or outer) that touches that pilot dia against the adjacent thrust face (adjacent to the pilot).

Good luck! Let me know if you have any other questions.
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  #15  
Old 10-12-2012, 08:32 AM
TransEngineer TransEngineer is offline
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Oh, one more thing I forgot to mention....

Put a dab of assy grease (Vaseline® works well) on each of the thrust bearings when you install them. This will make them stick to the thrust face you are placing them against. This keeps them from falling out of position as you are installing the IPC assy back into the trans case.

Then check the input shaft end play, once everything is back together (or at least, once the pump has been bolted back in). Make sure there is some end play on the input shaft!! If one of those thrust bearings drops out of position, you will have NO end play (and the input shaft will be impossible to turn by hand). You will also have a complete transmission failure (about 300-600 miles down the road) if you don't open it back up and fix that mispositioned bearing! So make sure you get the bearings stuck in with petroleum jelly, and make sure you have input shaft end play once it's buttoned up!!
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  #16  
Old 10-12-2012, 12:08 PM
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TE, thanks for taking the time to write up those directions. I lost 2nd and 3rd gear yesterday too. Now I only have 1rst and reverse. Which parts will I need to get? I found a used transmission for $800. At this point would that be my best bet?
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  #17  
Old 10-12-2012, 12:28 PM
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What happens when you turn it off, restart it, shift to Drive, and then take off? Does it shift normally into 2nd, but then slips when it gets to 3rd? That would mean that your OD clutch has gone bye-bye. You could also try pulling the main electrical harness again, and see (in Drive) if you get 1st gear or 3rd gear. If you get 1st, it means OD is not working.

You gotta pull the trans either way (which is the biggest job). Might want to tear yours down and see how it looks, then decide on whether to go with the used unit or not. What model year is the used trans from? Need to make sure it's compatible.
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  #18  
Old 10-12-2012, 02:04 PM
looka looka is offline
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Yeah, when I restarted it this morning and put it into D, it worked. Maybe the tranny fluid got really hot and the gears stopped working? I did throw a tranny temp sensor high code yesterday when 3rd went out.

Will I need air tools(impact and ratchet wrench) to take the tranny out? Are there any bolts that are really hard to get to? Oh, and the used tranny is out of a 2006, just like mine.
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  #19  
Old 10-12-2012, 02:43 PM
TransEngineer TransEngineer is offline
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I don't think an air wrench is necessary (bolt torques are not that huge), and I'm not aware of any particular problems, hard-to-reach bolts, etc. But a transmission jack (or a really strong friend) is a necessity.

I've heard that on some vehicles, it can be a bear to get the rear crossmember out (and back in), because you basically have to spread the frame rails apart to get it free. Not sure whether this applies to your truck or not. If so, I think something simple (like a bottle jack tipped on its side, and some wooden blocking to span between the two frame rails) will work. You only have to spread them a tiny bit to free the crossmember up.

Here is our complete removal procedure:

1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
2. Raise and support the vehicle.
3. Remove any necessary skid plates.
4. Mark propeller shaft and axle companion flanges for assembly alignment.
5. Remove the rear propeller shaft.
6. If necessary, remove the front propeller shaft.
7. Remove the engine to transmission structural dust cover.
8. Remove the exhaust support bracket from the rear of the transmission.
9. Disconnect and lower or remove any necessary exhaust components.
10. Remove the starter motor.
11. Rotate crankshaft in clockwise direction until converter bolts are accessible. Then remove bolts one at a time. Rotate crankshaft with socket wrench on dampener bolt.
12. Disengage the output speed sensor connector from the output speed sensor.
13. Disengage the input speed sensor connector from the input speed sensor.
14. Disengage the transmission solenoid/TRS assembly connector from the transmission solenoid/TRS assembly.
15. Disengage the line pressure sensor connector from the line pressure sensor.
16. Disconnect gearshift cable from transmission manual lever.
17. Disconnect the transmission vent hose from the transmission.
18. Support rear of engine with safety stand or jack.
19. Remove bolts securing rear support and cushion to transmission and crossmember.
20. Raise transmission slightly with service jack to relieve load on crossmember and supports.
21. Remove the crossmember.
22. If necessary, remove transfer case.
23. Disconnect transmission fluid cooler lines at transmission fittings and clips.
24. Remove all remaining converter housing bolts.
25. Remove the transmission dip stick tube.
26. Carefully work transmission and torque converter assembly rearward off engine block dowels.
27. Hold torque converter in place during transmission removal.
28. Lower transmission and remove assembly from under the vehicle.
29. To remove torque converter, carefully slide torque converter out of the transmission.
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  #20  
Old 10-12-2012, 03:18 PM
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