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View Poll Results: If a new 1500 truck offered an auto trans option, which would you choose?
65RFE automatic (as standard) 3 5.08%
66RFE automatic (if it was a $250 option) 56 94.92%
Voters: 59. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 12-07-2011, 11:19 AM
TransEngineer TransEngineer is offline
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Default 66RFE vs 65RFE Trans

2500 (DJ) model trucks now (2012 MY) use the 66RFE automatic transmission, which has different ratios than the 65RFE (which is currently used in 1500 models).

How many of you would prefer the 66RFE over the current 65RFE (for the 1500 models)? Here are the ratios:

65RFE:
1st = 3.000
2nd = 1.667
2nd prime = 1.500
3rd = 1.000
4th = 0.750
5th = 0.667
Reverse = -3.000

66RFE:
1st = 3.231
2nd = 1.837
3rd = 1.410
4th = 1.000
5th = 0.816
6th = 0.625
Reverse = -4.444

The geartrain in the 66RFE costs significantly more than that in the 65RFE (it is much more durable), so a 66RFE trans would probably cost more (maybe $250, but that's just a wild guess). But given the option (65RFE as standard, or 66RFE as a $250 option), which would you choose?
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Old 12-07-2011, 11:33 AM
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First......

The 66rfe would be a terrific option for future rams IMO
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Old 12-07-2011, 11:35 AM
Willbrewer Willbrewer is offline
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Hi TransEngineer,

For a more durable transmission, I'm sure I'd spend the extra money and get the 66RFE if it were an option. I'm guessing the higher ratio on the 2nd overdrive would provide a little extra fuel economy at times too.

Would the 66RFE upshift and downshift through all 6 gears in normal driving?

Bill
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Old 12-07-2011, 11:50 AM
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Definitely the 66RFE. The lower ratios in the low gears would help get this heavy truck up and going much better.

Any thoughts on making this available as a "dealer swap" for our 2011 RAMs with full warranty conditions??? I would be in for that.
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Old 12-07-2011, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Any thoughts on making this available as a "dealer swap" for our 2011 RAMs with full warranty conditions??? I would be in for that.
Or 2010's ??? I'd even be willing to pay (a fair price) to make that trans work with my truck. I plan on keeping this truck a long time, I love it, so it would not be a bad investment.
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Old 12-07-2011, 12:38 PM
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Yes, the 66RFE does shift through all 6 gears in normal driving.

Swapping in a 66RFE (in a 2010-2011 truck) would require new PCM software to enable the correct shift pattern. And that creates a concern for keeping the software and hardware matched. Suppose you installed a 66RFE (with new PCM software). A year later, you go to your dealer for an oil change, and he "helpfully" updates your PCM to the latest level of software (for a 545RFE truck!!). So there are some issues with doing this.... but I'll see if any of my colleagues think it might be a possibility.
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Old 12-07-2011, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Swapping in a 66RFE (in a 2010-2011 truck) would require new PCM software to enable the correct shift pattern. And that creates a concern for keeping the software and hardware matched. Suppose you installed a 66RFE (with new PCM software). A year later, you go to your dealer for an oil change, and he "helpfully" updates your PCM to the latest level of software (for a 545RFE truck!!). So there are some issues with doing this.... but I'll see if any of my colleagues think it might be a possibility.
Thanks for the info and looking into it.
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Old 12-07-2011, 12:54 PM
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I would certainly hope that our Dealers would be fully aware of which tranny is in which 1500... Maybe a Big Yellow Sticker under the hood just for the less than sharp Service Techs.

I would hope we wouldn't have to rely on the competency of a given Tech vs the incompetency of said Tech in you guys making this decision...

Thanks for even giving this idea some legs...
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:40 PM
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i also plan to keep my truck a long long time. when my trans stops working , by then the upgrade software should be available for the upgraded trans.
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Old 12-07-2011, 03:14 PM
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Having thought some more about this (releasing a 66RFE trans with revised PCM software for 2011 and earlier trucks), I now realize it ain't gonna happen.

Obstacle #1 is the fact that (since the PCM software controls both engine and trans) there are myriad combinations and permutations of PCM software, depending on model year, engine, emissions package, fuel tank size, etc. So we would need to create MANY new sets of PCM software, not just one-size-fits-all.

Obstacle #2 is that anything we market would have to be certified as meeting emissions requirements. This is the big problem! There is no way we have the resources to go back and re-certify all the different combinations, with a 6-speed transmission with different ratios and a different shift schedule, especially figuring these would be low-volume sales.

So I'm sorry, but there is no chance (that I can see) of this actually being feasible for us to do. Maybe someone in the aftermarket could work up a package for this retrofit.

I should also note that 66RFE transmissions use an extension (or 4x4 adapter) that are not compatible with 1500 models. So those would have to be swapped out (which can be done, the parts will interchange). But changing the extension/adapter may also change the rear geartrain end play, and if the end play winds up out of spec, it would be necessary to tear the trans down and change a selective spacer to adjust it.

I should also note that the solenoid module used in the 2012 (66RFE) transmissions is NOT backwards-compatible with 2010 and earlier model years, so you'd also have to swap out the solenoid pack.

Also, the torque converter now being used with the 66RFE is different from that used in 2011 and prior years. This is not a big deal (the new one would probably work fine), but for anyone trying to keep emissions legal (not likely a huge concern for anyone undertaking this!), the new converter could change the emissions performance.

So I guess things are never as simple as they seem at first. Sorry.....
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