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  #1  
Old 11-21-2011, 12:40 AM
muzik36 muzik36 is offline
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Default Transmission issue!! Help please!

I have a 2005 1500 SLT 4.7L V8 4x4 QuadCab with 98,xxx miles and I just experienced a travesty! My truck has always ran great and I have only had minor issues such as an exhaust leak and a faulty instrument cluster, but today, after about 4 years of not engaging my 4x4 mode, I attempted to and the truck reacted and drove under complete stress. The initial shift into the 4H mode was smooth but after reaching 15 mph the car started to make a squealing noise and when I slowed down the noise intensified. I kept the truck in the 4H mode to the end of the street and when I attempted to make the left turn the front wheels felt like they were losing power and under extreme stress and then the truck began to jerk. At this point I tried putting it in 4L to see if the same would occur and it did. The truck runs perfect in 2H but now I am concerned that the transmission is going to give out at any second so are there any suggestions out there?
Also, I asked my uncle to look at it, and after he drove it he said it sounds like the 4x4 may be running dry and needs oil. We did not have any tools on us so we could not check at the moment but he was able to pull off some plug in the front of the car to check the transmission oil and he said it does not look good because the oil had black residue in it. Today was Sunday so all the transmission mechanics around me were closed so I am going to take it in some time this week for a diagnostic.
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Old 11-21-2011, 10:16 AM
TransEngineer TransEngineer is offline
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Muzik,

This is not a transmission problem, but rather a transfer case concern. The transfer case is the part (behind the transmission) that splits the transmission output between the front and rear driveshafts.

Have someone look under your truck (while you let it drive very slowly forward) and see whether the front driveshaft is turning (in both 2H and 4H modes). I'm not familiar with the driveline setup on these trucks, but some use a front axle disconnect (where the front driveshaft doesn't turn in 2H mode) while in some models the front shaft turns all the time.

It is normal to experience a buck / jerking / binding sensation when turning a corner (especially a tight corner) in 4WD mode, if the transfer case is "locked" (where the front and rear shafts are forced to rotate together). Do you have a separate 4 LOCK range? Is your transfer case called a "part-time" 4WD or "full-time" 4WD transfer case? Some have both a part-time (locked) mode and a full-time (unlocked) mode. Typically, the 4LO range is always "locked."

Do you have the same size tires on the front and rear axles? You cannot run different tire sizes (front vs rear) with a "locked" 4WD transfer case - you will experience binding, etc. even when going straight.

If you do have an issue, it is likely in the transfer case (in whatever clutching mechanism goes between the front and rear driveshafts). Talk to a mechanic who is familiar with 4WD systems, and he should be able to pinpoint the problem.
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Old 11-21-2011, 11:09 AM
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snrusnak snrusnak is offline
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^ I agree this sounds like a transfer case issue, not transmission issue. If it's running fine in 2wd this sort of confirms that. The first thing I'd do is check transmission and transfer case fluids, and replace if they look nasty (sound like you guys checked the transfer case fluid and it looks nasty). Like he said ^ you have to have the same size tires and gears on front and rear otherwise it'll bind up as well.
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Old 11-21-2011, 12:49 PM
muzik36 muzik36 is offline
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Sweet, thank you guys for the quick and informative responses. I just checked the 4x4 oil and its to the appropriate level but a light reddish brown so I may do another transmission flush. I did one about 30,000 miles ago but oh well. I am going to take it into the mechanics on Wednesday for the diagnostic and write what the outcome is going to be.

@TransEnginner, I have the same size tires, and I have seen the full-time and part-time gears on other vehicles but on mine the options are 4L, N, 2H, 4H. So to answer your question I am not sure.
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Old 11-22-2011, 12:20 PM
440Magnum 440Magnum is offline
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I'm not super familiar with the transfer case options on Rams, but it sounds like you have a PART TIME transfer case (only 4 positions on your selector) just like my 99 Jeep.

You just learned why you never engage 4 wheel drive on dry pavement with a part-time transfer case. ANY slight difference in tire diameter or ANY turn at all will cause driveline bind-up and screech the tires (or break something). You can briefly use 4H on wet or icy pavement (say when leaving a stop sign or climbing a slippery hill) if you are VERY careful to go back to 2H whenever you need to turn a corner, but that's the only time you can use a part-time 4x4 system on pavement. Never when turning under any conditions, and never at all on dry pavement.

Last edited by 440Magnum; 11-22-2011 at 12:23 PM.
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