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Discussion Starter #1
Here's the run-down:
Yesterday (during my normal gas guzzling adventure to work) my truck decided that it didn't want to down-shift from 5th to 3rd, it just chugged under full throttle for a few seconds. I lifted off the pedal and smaked her in the tail a couple of times until she knocked down into what I assume to be 2nd gear at 65+ mph,WOT, 6300rpm, and the shifted back up to a reasonable 3rd gear blast off. The MIL came on, I said something like... YAY, it must be my birfday!... limped to work in 4th gear, and I pulled some codes with my tunner.
p0700 TCM
p0735
p0734
I reset the codes, same problems on the way home (limping). I did a tiny bit of homework and found that It wouldnt hurt to change the filters.
The pan was clean enough to eat out of... Regardless, I gave her a new set of filters and some fresh tranny blood. The problem got slightly better, but still slipping in 3rd 4th and 5th. Take out of O/D, and it does better but not normal.
Vehicle info:
2005 Dodge Ram Daytona
5.7L Hemi.
545RFE automatic 5 spd
3.92 9.25" rear.
oh yeah... CAI, Borla exhaust, Tunner, and some other stuff.
I know someone here can help me to determine if I'm rebuilding, or buying some new solonoids. Maybe my valve body is leaking.
HELP...
 

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Slipping in 3rd, 4th, and 5th means a bad OD clutch. So you are likely gonna need to pull the trans and tear it partway down to inspect / repair the OD clutch.

Could be a blown piston seal (causing the clutch to lose capacity). Could also be some debris that got stuck under the ball in the OD solenoid. Hard to say. But even if the problem is in the solenoid module (which is on top of the valve body assy), you have likely burned the OD clutch (due to slippage), so it would be best to tear it down and inspect the clutch pack.

Nevertheless, you said the pan was clean (which is a good sign), so if you want to try the simplest repair first, then drop the VB again and replace the solenoid module. While you have the VB out, air check the OD clutch (blowing shop air into the OD clutch port on the bottom face of the case) to see if the piston seals are leaking. Note that all the RFE clutches have small air bleed orifices in them, so you will get a small amount of air leakage, but it shouldn't be blatant. Also note that the orifice for OD is actually in the piston between it and the Reverse clutch, so when you blow air in the OD port, you will have some air coming out the Reverse port (and vice versa). This is normal.

It sounds like this was a sudden failure (worked fine, and then all of a sudden it was blatantly bad). That would at least be consistent with a jammed solenoid ball, so I'm hoping you're lucky and a new solenoid will fix it (and your OD clutch hasn't been too badly damaged).

If you find a big air leak (blown seal) on the OD clutch, or if it still slips after you replace the solenoid, then you'll have to pull it and work on the OD clutch itself.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks a million.

Thanks for the info, TransEngineer. After reading a few of your responses to other tranny questions... Well, I knew that you would have the answer I was looking for. You ROCK! I'll be tearing it down soon, so what is the book hrs. for solenoid vs. complete clutch r&r (so I can plan my time wisely)?
 

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Standard labor time for solenoid replacement (including pan removal and reinstallation) is 1.2 hours. Trans remove and replace (no including teardown) is about 3 hours, plus an additional hour for 4x4s. Time to partially tear down (and reassemble) the trans (to inspect and repair the input clutches) is 3.5 hours.

If I were you, I'd figure on double those times. Good luck, and let me know if you have any questions....
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well I finally had the time to tear into it this week, and it looks like I'm searching for a #4799550 "OD Hub Shaft". $160 new is a semi reasonable price, but I wonder if anyone in the RamForumz may have a nice used piece for sale? @TransEngineer ;)
 

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Well I finally had the time to tear into it this week, and it looks like I'm searching for a #4799550 "OD Hub Shaft". $160 new is a semi reasonable price, but I wonder if anyone in the RamForumz may have a nice used piece for sale? @TransEngineer ;)
Wow! So did you break the weld between the clutch hub and the shaft? That's a pretty unusual failure.

Consider yourself blessed if you can get the part for $160. The list price for that part is $227. And sorry, I don't have any I could sell you!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Nah. I didn't break it, I just wore it out real good. It has wear groves on all of the high teeth from the fiber plates (I'd love to post some pics, but my anti virus doesn't like to share anything with forumz site). I can't find anything else wrong with the tranny, other than the nut on top of the gas pedal. I found a very nice new looking OD hub shaft on eBay for $11.50 shipped and guaranteed. I figured what the hey, for $11.50 I'll take a little chance, but we'll see what I get. Thanks for all your help once again. BTW: if you can't slide your OD hub out of the clutch pack with ease... You probably need an OD hub.
 

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Hmmmm... worn out (grooved) teeth on the OD hub should not cause slippage (or ratio errors). How did the clutch itself look? Burned? Did it air check OK? If so, I would replace the solenoid module just in case you have debris in it that's causing a leak into or out of the OD clutch passage.

You should also check the Solenoid Switch Valve (SSV) in the main valve body, for a worn bore. That can also cause leakage in or out of OD, and it's pretty common at high mileage (90K+). On top of the valve body is a sliding code plate (that moves when you run the shift lever back and forth). Inside the center “chunk” of the valve body, underneath this sliding plate, are two valves - the manual valve (which has a pin that engages the slot in the code plate - this is the valve that moves when you move the shift lever) and the SSV. The SSV is retained by a rectangular plastic retainer, and it has three (3) barrel-shaped plugs at the outer end of its bore. You want to check the size of the four (4) outer lands in this bore (where the plugs slide). The diameter should be 11.544 mm (0.454 inch) max. If any of the lands are worn oversize, replace the entire VB assy with a new Mopar VB ($414 list). The new Mopar VBs are all anodized to resist this wear, so your new VB should last much longer than the original one. All 2010 MY (and later) RFE transmissions already have an anodized VB. Note that Mopar uses a "reman" part number for the valve bodies. This is so we can get the old VB back for core. But the service VBs are all new (anodized) units now.

By the way, if you replace the VB assy, it includes a new solenoid module.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The OD piston air check showed a leak after all fluid was drained.
As for the OD clutch pack, it was fried and the wear was uneven due to the plates sticking in the hub groves. The outer discs were just worn, but the inner discs were worn down to the core plate and were warped from the heat.
My OD accumulator spring was cocked in the piston and caused a set of spring marks within the piston. (I plan to fix this with the TransGo kit.)
This is just a guess on my part, but do you think my accumulator was sticking closed and suddenly opening due to the offset spring issue? And could that have been the cause of my Downshift slamming? (I was very violent.) Does this sound feasible?
Regardless of the actual cause, I will be checking every piece and part fully. I have a limited amount of time in the evening to spend with her, but nothing is to good for my baby!
 

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I have never heard of (or seen) an accumulator spring cocking inside the piston. That is really wierd. I imagine it could have impacted your shift quality, if it inhibited or altered how the piston stroked.

I've seen BROKEN accum springs (which will definitely mess up your shifts and make them violent), but not cocked ones. But hope this takes care of you!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I received my $11.50 OD Hub Shaft today, and if it didn't have a light coat of ATF on it, I'd say that it was new. So, win for me! But, I'd like to know more about this OD/UD balance piston. The small screen/bleed hole was clogged with clutch dust (go figure), could this cause an issue? Also, I can check that sliding valve for wear, but my bore gages only go down to .500 and I'm not in the business of buying one use tools, so would this bore wear be blatantly evident, or should I just break down and buy the uni-tasker?
 

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There is no such thing as an OD/UD balance piston, so I'm not sure which part you're referring to. Probably the OD/Rev piston, which is the aluminum piston that is on the outside of the input clutch assy. It has a small plastic bleed orifice assy pressed into a bore that goes through the piston. This orifice has a tiny hole in its center. You should be able to see light (from a flashlight) through this orifice. If it's plugged, it could cause some problems (poor shift quality, or OD clutch dragging) at high engine RPM. Make sure also that the orifice isn't loose in its bore.

For the SSV, you can do a fairly simple check if you don't have a gauge. Place one of the barrel-shaped plugs in the outer end of the bore (the four outer lands), and see if it is loose or can wiggle (side to side) in the bore. Although the plugs should slide freely through the bore, there should be a very close fit between the plug and the bore. If the plug can wiggle side to side at all, then the bore is worn. You can also shine a light into the port openings (behind the plug) and see if you can see light around the edge of the plug.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Sorry for my confusion on the UD/OD balance piston, I miss understood the tech manual. I was actually refering to the UD piston with the screened bleed hole in it.
Here's what cornfused me:
**begin quote**
21 - 416 AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION - 45RFE/545RFE ____________ DR
INPUT CLUTCH ASSEMBLY (Continued)

Fig. 84 Input Clutch Assembly - Part 1

(9) Remove the number 2 thrust bearing (18) from
the input clutch hub (1).
(10) Remove the overdrive clutch wave snap-ring
(3) from the input clutch retainer (13).
(11) Remove the UD/OD reaction plate tapered
snap-ring (14) from the input clutch retainer (13).
(12) Remove the UD/OD reaction plate (15) from
the input clutch retainer (13).
(13) Remove the UD/OD reaction plate flat snapring
(16) from the input clutch retainer (13). (Fig. 83)
(14) Remove the underdrive clutch pack (11) from
the input clutch retainer (13). (Fig. 84)
(15) Using Spring Compressor 8251 (2) , compress
the UD/OD balance piston (3) and remove the snapring
from the input clutch hub (1). (Fig. 85)
(16) Remove the UD/OD balance piston (6) and
piston return spring (9) from the input clutch
retainer (13). (Fig. 84)
(17) Remove the underdrive piston (8) from the
input clutch retainer (13). (Fig. 84)
**end quote**
There were just way too many UD/OD's in there. :)
I am having a little problem pulling the input clutch retainer out of the OD/REV piston, is this normal? I know this is a simple sounding task, but I can't get them to budge (keep in mind... to prevent myself from breaking things, I've only tapped it with a dead blow a few times) I wont hold it against you if you think I'm a retard.
You've already helped me more than I can admit.
I am forever in your debt, just let me know if you ever need anything relating to a boat... I'm your man!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Disregard that last post TransEngineer. I got it. It was only stuck by clutch dust and the piston seal, but other than that I'd say it's still in great condition. I'll need to smooth out the clutch retainer notches just a tiny bit from the clutch steels banging around.
The OD/REV piston bleed hole was plugged also, but everything else checked out with little wear at all. In fact, everything besides the input clutch looked new. Regardless, Its filled with all new goodies, and I couldn't have done it without TransEngineers tips and guidance. Thanks again!
 
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