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Custom Dodge Ram Performance Mods - Engine - 5.7 HEMI V8 Discuss modifying your Dodge Ram with Performance Parts and Accessories!
Factory Spec: 5.7-liter HEMI® V8 engine - 390 horsepower, 407 lb-ft of torque.


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  #91  
Old 01-04-2012, 11:13 AM
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^^^^That is torque management at work! You have to drive it like you stole it, and the shifts will improve. If you baby it around all the time, it will always shift slow and smooth.
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Old 01-04-2012, 01:33 PM
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Dang Tim they chirpped at 60?!?!?
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  #93  
Old 01-05-2012, 12:05 AM
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I just put my Sonnax in a few days ago. It is so true that it is probably the easiest and quickest mod you can do on your truck (literally had mine plugged in in crawled back out from under truck in about one minute). I could feel an immediate difference between 2-3. I have felt some improvement between 3-4, but not as much.

It has been a couple of days now and the one shift I haven't felt much, if any difference is between 1-2. Maybe I am not driving it hard enough for it to show a difference? I didn't unplug the battery to reset the computer so that could also be working against me.

All in all, it was still a good $50 spent. The 2-3 shift was bar none the worst shift I had and it is no longer an issue at all.
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  #94  
Old 01-05-2012, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brad12kx View Post
Nope.....won't happen! The PCM doesn't know the pressure is different, as this unit is sending the PCM altered pressure information. If the PCM was able to react to this and alter the pressure down to where it was, then it would do the same without it, and that would cause the trans to burn up prematurely under normal driving conditions.



The opposite! Probably the best mod you can do for your truck at any price. The increase line pressure is not at all damaging, but rather to opposite. Hard shifts don't hurt transmissions, soft shifts do, as soft shifts cause heat and wear, which are pretty much the only things that kill a trans.

Why are factory shifts so soft then you ask????
The factory is too busy trying to make the trucks drive like a car, and nice soft virtually unnoticeable shifts is just one of those 'car' things that they did. Unfortunately, some of these 'car' things have a dark side, and those of use that drive hard and/or pull trailers are seeing lower transmission life then we should.

Do NOT hesitate. Spend the $50 and have the piece of mind knowing you just increased the life of your trans, and can finally 'feel' the shifts.
OK, let me try to explain things in a little more detail. Line pressure control (and shift control) on the RFE transmission is very complicated, but here is a simplified explanation:

Installing a line pressure "booster" will temporarily “firm up” the upshifts, since the actual LP is higher than the PCM thinks it is. But the PCM will see that the shifts are firmer than expected (what we call "overlapped," where the applying clutch gains capacity before the releasing clutch loses capacity). It will then gradually re-learn the CVIs and adaptives (to adjust to the higher-than-requested LP), and you’ll be right back where you started from, or close to it. There are limits on how far the clutch adaptives can learn, so if, for example, you learn one of the adaptives down to the low limit, that is as far as it will go. This may still leave you with a somewhat firmer shift than you originally had. But I suspect in many cases, you'll get back to "normal" shift quality before you reach the learning limits.

I believe the only real benefit from running a “booster” would be increased clutch capacity during heavy-throttle, in-gear operation, due to LP potentially being (actually) higher than the "max allowable" LP. But unless you're running performance mods, this is probably unnecessary, since the normal max LP is sufficient to hold the clutches at max input torque.

In normal operation, we use a learned line pressure gain factor that adjusts the ramp rate by which line pressure increases as torque increases. If the PCM detects slippage within the transmission, it learns this gain factor up to a higher value. Installing an LP "booster" will allow the LP gain factor to learn down, probably to zero, which would negate some or all of the “gain” from the booster. In vehicles that are already running at min LP gain (gain factor at or near 0), then there would be some increase in clutch capacity overall (with the “booster”). But since those vehicles weren’t experiencing clutch slippage at min LPs, this capacity gain would provide no real benefit (unless you consider decreased fuel economy a benefit).

If you've installed a line pressure "booster" and are happy with it, then I wish you all the best. Using a "booster" will not hurt anything (other than fuel economy), so enjoy!

But in my opinion, "boosters" are unnecessary, and likely ineffective in the long run, on a stock truck.
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  #95  
Old 01-05-2012, 09:33 AM
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Does this mean the PCM is using the Input and output shaft speed sensors to determine slippage and is adjusting LP to try to attain a pre-programmed slippage target?
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  #96  
Old 01-05-2012, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by brad12kx View Post
Does this mean the PCM is using the Input and output shaft speed sensors to determine slippage and is adjusting LP to try to attain a pre-programmed slippage target?
No, our in-gear slip target is ZERO!

There is a certain minimum base line pressure curve (it varies with input torque, rate of throttle change, etc.). There should typically be NO clutch slippage when running at this base curve. But, if the PCM detects any slippage (even a small amount, that the driver would never notice), it learns the LP gain factor up, which basically raises the line pressure curve.

Then, over time, the LP curve is slowly adjusted back down to the base curve. If any slippage is detected again, the curve is adjusted back up.

So if a truck has no slippage at the base curve, running a "booster" will be no benefit. If the LP curve is at a higher value, then adding a "booster" will allow it to be adjusted back down to a lower value.
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  #97  
Old 01-05-2012, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TransEngineer View Post
OK, let me try to explain things in a little more detail. Line pressure control (and shift control) on the RFE transmission is very complicated, but here is a simplified explanation:

Installing a line pressure "booster" will temporarily “firm up” the upshifts, since the actual LP is higher than the PCM thinks it is. But the PCM will see that the shifts are firmer than expected (what we call "overlapped," where the applying clutch gains capacity before the releasing clutch loses capacity). It will then gradually re-learn the CVIs and adaptives (to adjust to the higher-than-requested LP), and you’ll be right back where you started from, or close to it. There are limits on how far the clutch adaptives can learn, so if, for example, you learn one of the adaptives down to the low limit, that is as far as it will go. This may still leave you with a somewhat firmer shift than you originally had. But I suspect in many cases, you'll get back to "normal" shift quality before you reach the learning limits.

I believe the only real benefit from running a “booster” would be increased clutch capacity during heavy-throttle, in-gear operation, due to LP potentially being (actually) higher than the "max allowable" LP. But unless you're running performance mods, this is probably unnecessary, since the normal max LP is sufficient to hold the clutches at max input torque.

In normal operation, we use a learned line pressure gain factor that adjusts the ramp rate by which line pressure increases as torque increases. If the PCM detects slippage within the transmission, it learns this gain factor up to a higher value. Installing an LP "booster" will allow the LP gain factor to learn down, probably to zero, which would negate some or all of the “gain” from the booster. In vehicles that are already running at min LP gain (gain factor at or near 0), then there would be some increase in clutch capacity overall (with the “booster”). But since those vehicles weren’t experiencing clutch slippage at min LPs, this capacity gain would provide no real benefit (unless you consider decreased fuel economy a benefit).

If you've installed a line pressure "booster" and are happy with it, then I wish you all the best. Using a "booster" will not hurt anything (other than fuel economy), so enjoy!

But in my opinion, "boosters" are unnecessary, and likely ineffective in the long run, on a stock truck.
WOW, glad I read this. I was getting ready to order one of these, in fact I had the site up and was ready to fill out my information. Thank you for saving me $50.00.
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  #98  
Old 01-05-2012, 12:38 PM
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Thanks for chiming in TE!

My thoughts on this are that maybe what people are experiencing is the initial increased firmness, then as it slowly adjust back maybe they don't notice it going back to how it was since it's a gradual adjustment back to stock?
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  #99  
Old 01-05-2012, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
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My thoughts on this are that maybe what people are experiencing is the initial increased firmness, then as it slowly adjust back maybe they don't notice it going back to how it was since it's a gradual adjustment back to stock?
Yes, that's exactly what I'm thinking. As I noted, you may wind up with some permanent improvement in shift firmness, if you hit one of the limits as the TCM re-learns, but it's a gamble.
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  #100  
Old 01-05-2012, 09:35 PM
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OK. So the PCM will adjust the LP to the lowest pressure that achieves zero slippage (within the limits of adjustment of course), so when someone like myself regularly prompts a shift at high engine power (while towing a 7000lb trailer) which is most likely to cause slippage, the PCM is reacting by increasing the LP. Under these severe conditions, I may have already achieved the max it was 'programmed' to offer, so the addition of the Sonnax has become very noticeable.

However, if the normal driving conditions were more 'typical', there is high probability the LP could be reduced to a point the booster would not be felt.

If that's the case, it also sheds light on a personal observation. After installing the Sonnax, my trans temp never raises more then 10deg higher when pulling the trailer. Without it, the temp normally ran 25-30deg higher. If I have always been at the max LP the PCM has to offer, but actually needed a tad more, the boost may have filled this requirement, and because of the circumstances I am able to notice it so clearly.

BTW - I took off the Sonnax today, and after an hour on the highway with the trans temp higher than normal, and the mushy shifts, I gave up and put it back on. I don't know how long it takes to adapt, but after an hour, I was disappointed that the trans temp was not coming down. Once back on, my trans temp was back to normal in less then 5 minutes.

Thinking out loud - Is it 'possible' that this consistently noticeable affect is also related to the DSP tune I run? With the tune installed, is it possible the adaptive nature of the trans is dulled or turned off.

I make my living working with high-tech electronics. I have come to love and hate it. It brings so many great features/comforts, but also adds complication and unpredictability. Just the fact that we can never get the 'full' information about what is actually going on adds to the frustration at times.
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