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Old 10-21-2011, 03:47 PM
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Default I think my tranny blew but not sure...

Hey guys,well I think my tranny finally went but not too sure. I'll explain everything and hopefully one of yall can help me figure it out...first off it's a 96 1500 5.2 2 wheel drive auto with 238,xxx miles.About 3 weeks ago I took it out to the woods to play around a little and was riding some trails and some of the trails had water in them and got my truck stuck pretty deep in water up to the bottom of doors,Well a few days later I checked the trans fluid and it had water in fluid so I dropped the pan changed fluid,filter and cleaned out the pan before re installing, It seemed to be fine for about a week and was shifting ok. Then it started to shift hard and leaving from a light it would skip just before it would shift into 2nd gear then would shift.I checked the fluid again and it still had water in it. I changed it like 2 weeks ago. I'm thinking it still had water in the torque converter when I changed fluid. Now today I went to my girlfriends mom house which is like 10 miles south of me and it seemed to be ok shifted a little hard but I made it with no worries. I headed back home and noticed it wouldnt shift into 5th with it in over drive. I then got on it a little harder to see if it would shift then it just let go and had no forward gear. I started slowing down and started to see smoke behind me so I stopped shut it off and fired it back up and put it in drive and had nothing then tried reverse and still nothing.I tried everything and nothing took over drive off and tried all gears and still nothing put over drive back on and it finally caught after a few minutes and I only had first gear I got back on road and started hearing a noise coming fron tranny made it home and pulled into driveway and could smell fluid burning and could hear the fluid in pan boiling I touched the pan and it was really hot. I looked under truck and seen a little fluid dripping from the front of tranny where it bolts to the rear of motor not alot of fluid but a steady leak so I pulled back out to road and let it sit for like an hour to cool off.I went back out to move it and was able to move it back into drive way and had reverse gear again.Hopefully yall can help me out with what the issue is. Could the water that was in it burn up the tranny or cause it to not shift right I would guess so.Could it be a bad torque convertor or shift solenoid? what would cause the fluid to get really hot just from the slipping? I guess its not totally blown because I was able to move it back into driveway and I still have reverse..Does it sound saveable? I also wonder if a bad "TPS" would cause it to slip to where the fluid got so hot to where it wouldnt engage.I dunno what to do any suggestions on where to begin? thanks yall for any and all help I cant afford a rebuild or new tranny right now.
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Old 10-21-2011, 05:58 PM
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nope no tps sounds like the pump over heated and burnt out sorry to say it might be game over on that one. did you make sure that the trans cooler was not clogged after you got stuck? I mean internaly like sand or mud that might have snuck in?
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Old 10-21-2011, 06:06 PM
Gen1dak Gen1dak is offline
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Agreed, not the TPS. Yeah, water in the transmission would be a bad thing. Bad enough on older models, but yours has electronic shift solenoids which would be more sensitive to water. Also, you also must look at the transmission cooler line that returns 'cooled' fluid from the radiator to the transmission. There's an anti-drainback valve in that line. It's notorious for corroding shut and causing a transmission to burn up. Toss water on it and it can only aggravate that issue. You need to drop the pan, change fluid and filter, adjust the bands, and splice that line to remove the valve. I'm not sure just what year they started with that valve, but it was at least mid-90's-ish, maybe longer. Don't run it any more til you do this. If it is still functional, you'll just kill it. Realize it may be essentially dead, but unless you plan on disassembling it for an inspection, your options are to do the maintenance and see if it helps, or not.
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Old 10-21-2011, 06:52 PM
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"RamFam" to tell you the truth no I did'nt check trans cooler after I got the truck out Like I said the water only came up to bottom of my door by only a couple inches. Don't think the cooler was even in the water the water never went abouve the bumper which is where about the cooler sits.Now it may have gotten clogged somewhere else not to say that it didnt,How do I go about checking the cooler? is there a way to take it off and flush it out? "Gen1Dak" I just went out to truck fired it up and it went into reverse and drive with no noise. I checked fluid and it is still milky from water which sucks because I just changed fluid,filter 2 weeks ago but apparently didnt get all the water out.Looks like i'm doing it again this weekend. would I be able to get to the band adjustments when I drop the pan and would you know the correct way how to adjust them I'm not a master mechanic but I take directions well and a quick learner.Ive seen it done but never myself.Also you mentioned the shift solenoids being electric I would like to get them changed out when I drop the pan have you changed them out before and could you give me a quick run down on it and a rough estimate on what you spent on them if you have ever done it? I hope "RamFam" is'nt right about the pump being burned out I just dont have the money to drop on a rebuilt or brand new tranny. The last time I changed fluid there was hardly no metal shavings in pan or on the magnet which was good to see just this black sludge which I thought was weird but cleaned the pan really well and after reinstalling and adding fresh fluid it was shifting fine up until today. I think the bands need adjusting,fresh fluid,filter maybe new solenoids and hopefully thats all it needs..hopefully !

Last edited by DodgeGuy85; 10-21-2011 at 07:01 PM. Reason: forgot to mention something.
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Old 10-21-2011, 07:53 PM
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these may give you idea of how to clean or flush the Transmission, not a Dodge, but ..

quick flush, not a full flush

full flush i believe


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Old 10-22-2011, 12:07 AM
Gen1dak Gen1dak is offline
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I was looking over your initial post. Wouldn't go into 5th? Is that a typo? I was thinking you had the RE version of the A500 or A518, but they are 4 speeds. Do you mean when the converter locks up? That's sorta like a 5th gear. I hope the powers that be don't mind if I link to a site that details band adjustment.
http://www.dodgeram.org/tech/transmi...T_band_adj.htm
Honestly, with your mileage, it's probably about done. However, it sounds like your OD was cooking. I checked and Dodge started using that checkball valve in 1993, so you do have it and it should be removed. Slippage would definitely generate a lotta heat. With water in your fluid, the friction coefficients are off, cooling suffers. The water boils and restricts oil flow by turning into high pressure steam, compounding the problem. The solenoids are controlled by pressure readings. Diluted fluid throws this off, then steam causes wild swings in readings. When changing fluid, be sure to run the gear selector through each detent while running, especially neutral (this flushes the torque converter when in neutral). I really think the water has killed that valve in the fluid return line. It has forward and reverse when cool, but gets so hot fluid leaks out the front from the pressure. I wouldn't fool with solenoids til you get this basic stuff done. Also, new solenoids are a waste if the guts are toast. The front band can be adjusted externally, aka known as the low/reverse band. Hmmm, no forward or reverse when hot, eh? The rear band is internal, have to drop the pan for that one. Specs on the link. Not hard to do. Solenoids aren't that hard either, but you're looking at valve body removal and again, it's a waste if you're fried. You can get through these jobs with a book from the ATSG website, maybe even a decent bookstore. Good luck.

Last edited by Gen1dak; 10-22-2011 at 01:15 AM.
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Old 10-22-2011, 01:55 AM
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Thanks "Gen1Dak" you've been really helpful with the info you've posted ! I'm getting the whole idea of what water can and will do to these trannys now and I state now when I shouldve know then ! lol to tell ya the truth I'm not sure exactly what tranny I have never really needed to know until now but I swear it's a 5 speed I could be counting the converter locking in and thinking its a gear so you may be right. I plan on going to the auto store tomorrow to get fluid and filter and some hose to do a flushing to get all the old fluid and water out and some of that lucas tranny additive to see what it does.I think it was just slipping so bad that it got way too hot and just wasnt grabbing gears until it cooled down so Im hoping a flush and fluid change and band tightening is what it will need. If not I talked to a buddy who has a buddy that knows how to fix trannys, so it will be going to him if I cant fix it doing what I stated above.This check valve you mentioned if I cut the line to get it out got any ideas of how to get the line back together could a piece of hose and clamps fix the splice or am I way off ? where abouts on the line would the valve be located on the line middle or either end ? also you mentioned the front band is externally located could you give me a heads up on where it is? if not I have a haynes book somewhere maybe it will show it. Thank you again so much for your help your info just may end up saving my butt a bunch of money If I can get this thing right.
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Old 10-22-2011, 04:42 AM
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The check valve is in the outlet flow from the cooler. Typically it's right close to the radiator. One end is threaded, the other flared. Should otherwise be rubber hose. I'd just replace it with a standard threaded outlet on the radiator side and then use rubber tubing and a screw clamp on the flared end. You may have enough tubing to just cut at the valve and connect it to the non-valves outlet. You could also just get a replacement valve. I prefer removal. You wanna control converter drainback? Have a TransGo, Fairbanks, or Superior valve body kit installed. Best thing you can do for these transmissions. With the kit you don't need the valve. It also allows torque converter charge in Park, which allows you to check fluid in Park, instead of neutral. Safer that way. Much better performance too. The front band is externally adjustable. It's on the driver side. It's just forward of the shifter rod, sticks out of the case at a slight upward angle, about 4 inches above the transmission pan seal. It'll be the only one with the locknut/adjuster screw combo. Just remember when adjusting, be sure to do complete turns on the adjuster, not half turns, or think of it this way. Three turns would be six half turns. It's kinda clumsy to do full turns in one smooth fluid move.
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Old 10-22-2011, 08:44 AM
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Sounds like when you changed your fluid, you only dropped the pan and refilled. You definitely need to flush the system, otherwise you won't get the fluid (and water) from the torque converter.

While your at it, you should check your differential fluid for water.
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Old 10-22-2011, 01:30 PM
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Trust me I hope im wrong too. All the problem that they can have I don't like automatic transmission's
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