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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, so I have a 3rd gen 4x4.


Once in a while while on the highway 5th gear would start fluttering or slip until I lost it. If I turned the truck off and back on it would operate at 100% again. This was maybe once a month or two where this would happen. I believe p0735 came up as a fault code.


Yesterday after gassing up it started slipping (not sure which gear but one of the lower ones). I was able to drive it in the 1st two gears a few miles in order to get it home. I was able to get it to shift into third after revving up high and letting off the gas but that was only once where I was able to do that. So I am stuck with only 1st and 2nd now. It will still try to shift into third but just rev up. The other thing I noticed that is different is when I switch from park to reverse or drive it clunks pretty hard and when I was driving it and the transmission was warm it was delayed in switching gears (would take a couple seconds before it clunked into gear). Codes P0731-34 were present along with of course p0700.



Things I tried: unplugging the battery, checked fluid, checked electrical connections and lines, dropped the pan (tranny fluid is clean and smells like tranny fluid with just a small amount of metal shavings/sparkles in the pan). I checked the input and output speed sensors with a meter and they read 532, 531 ohms, took the accumulator cover off and found no broken springs or rings.



The truck has 155k miles on it and the transmission was rebuilt around 3 years ago. The previous owner kept receipts however I somehow lost it and am looking for it to see if there is a list of what was replaced! I hope I didn't forget anything, thanks for the help!
 

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Sounds like you definitely have a bad OD clutch, plus maybe UD as well.

Do 1st and 2nd still work OK? Or is the trans slipping in those gears also (which P0731 and P0732 would seem to indicate)? If it slips in 1st or 2nd, then UD is also probably bad.

Time for a rebuild or replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
1st and 2nd is working (what seems like fine) even though it threw the codes for those gears. I heard you could possibly get some extra info by using superchips instead of a regular code reader. I'm going to have to hook that up and see just in case. Also the codes are from a short drive. (I made the mistake of not looking after I got home after driving a few miles and had unplugged the battery after I got it on ramps). Perhaps I'll fill it back up and put the pan back on. Drive it a couple miles and check the codes again. I really appreciate your response. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I was able to put it back together - thought I had enough fluid. Ended up having a little more than 5.5 quarts. Fluid was at the lower part of the dipstick just above cold when it was warm. All the auto stores had closed at this point so I figured give it a test drive. This time things were a little different. It looked as it all gears were selected, I cycled through gears and nothing changed on the dash but the truck went into gear. I turned the truck off and back on. Same thing. However this time when I went into R the selection showed just R as it should. I took off for a drive and it would go 1st and into 2nd then would open rev as it should be going into 3rd. (as it was doing) Then 2nd started to feel weak and let go and went into 1st. 2nd was gone.

Turned the truck off and back on and had 1st and 2nd again. The same thing ended up happening after 2-3 decent shifts between 1st and 2nd it lost 2nd completely. If I switched the shifter into 2 I would get 2nd back and it would stay only in second and not downshift to 1st. Codes this time p0733 p0732.
 

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I was able to put it back together - thought I had enough fluid. Ended up having a little more than 5.5 quarts. Fluid was at the lower part of the dipstick just above cold when it was warm. All the auto stores had closed at this point so I figured give it a test drive. This time things were a little different. It looked as it all gears were selected, I cycled through gears and nothing changed on the dash but the truck went into gear. I turned the truck off and back on. Same thing. However this time when I went into R the selection showed just R as it should. I took off for a drive and it would go 1st and into 2nd then would open rev as it should be going into 3rd. (as it was doing) Then 2nd started to feel weak and let go and went into 1st. 2nd was gone.

Turned the truck off and back on and had 1st and 2nd again. The same thing ended up happening after 2-3 decent shifts between 1st and 2nd it lost 2nd completely. If I switched the shifter into 2 I would get 2nd back and it would stay only in second and now downshift to 1st. Codes this time p0733 p0732.
OK, then you definitely have a bad OD clutch. When you "lose 2nd" I'm thinking it's likely because you're in limp-in, which should be 3rd gear but since your OD clutch is gone it feels like 1st instead.

Time to tear it down and inspect / replace the OD clutch pack, and any others that look bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I don't think there's any avoiding rebuilding/replacing but is there any way I can test third/od clutch? Unplugging the transmission and driving it maybe? See if I get anything besides 1st or 2nd?

Also in doing research for this problem I came across a few different guys having problems before and after rebuilds. Is there a reman company/guy that most ram owners seem to trust? Is throwing a used transmission up there such a bad idea for a few hundred bucks? I'm pretty sure I could tear the 545rfe down but not sure how well I will put it all back together.

Anyway thank you transengineer and anyone else that might chime in.
 

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I don't think there's any avoiding rebuilding/replacing but is there any way I can test third/od clutch? Unplugging the transmission and driving it maybe? See if I get anything besides 1st or 2nd?
If you unplug the trans (or pull the trans relay in the Power Distribution Center, assuming it's removable), you should get 3rd gear. If you instead get only "1st" gear, then OD is definitely gone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If you unplug the trans (or pull the trans relay in the Power Distribution Center, assuming it's removable), you should get 3rd gear. If you instead get only "1st" gear, then OD is definitely gone.
Did this and only had 1st. Might throw a junkyard transmission in there to get me going again. I could take it to another shop to have it rebuilt but I rather not after this one only lasting a couple of years. The good thing about that is I can tear it down afterward and see what was actually wrong. I want to check out the OD clutch pack!

Not sure what this is but when I had the relay out and the truck was moving in reverse I would hear a clicking noise coming from the front of the transmission. It went away with the relay plugged back in.

Thanks again
 

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Did this and only had 1st. Might throw a junkyard transmission in there to get me going again. I could take it to another shop to have it rebuilt but I rather not after this one only lasting a couple of years. The good thing about that is I can tear it down afterward and see what was actually wrong. I want to check out the OD clutch pack!

Not sure what this is but when I had the relay out and the truck was moving in reverse I would hear a clicking noise coming from the front of the transmission. It went away with the relay plugged back in.

Thanks again
Was the noise like a rapid buzz? If so, that's normal. Line pressure is uncontrolled (maxed out) in limp-in (with relay pulled), so it's common for the main regulator valve to buzz.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It sounded like it could have been park prawl (did it 3 times in a row before I shut it off). maybe the 4wd? :thk: I'll be looking for a rainy day to tear it down! Perhaps a snowy day to attempt my 1st rebuild. But for now there are loads of junkyards with low mileage/tested transmissions around me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Finally got done putting in the junkyard trans last night. It took 11 quarts of fluid. I thought I'd be going for a test drive but it didn't move off the ramps. It's not engaging in any gear. It makes a grind before it goes back into park. Doesn't make a grind noise for any other gear. Any idea what's going on here? What to look for?
 

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Finally got done putting in the junkyard trans last night. It took 11 quarts of fluid. I thought I'd be going for a test drive but it didn't move off the ramps. It's not engaging in any gear. It makes a grind before it goes back into park. Doesn't make a grind noise for any other gear. Any idea what's going on here? What to look for?
If it's a 4x4, your transfer case is in Neutral. Either that, or your rear driveshaft or rear axle is failed. See if your driveshaft is spinning (when in gear, and the truck's not going anywhere). If so, rear axle is failed. If not, transfer case in Neutral.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If it's a 4x4, your transfer case is in Neutral. Either that, or your rear driveshaft or rear axle is failed. See if your driveshaft is spinning (when in gear, and the truck's not going anywhere). If so, rear axle is failed. If not, transfer case in Neutral.
TransEngineer I had the 4x4 in neutral! I was so worn out by the time I was finished I couldn't think straight. I should have known right away because the linkage was one of the things I reinstalled last. It was when having coffee the morning after when it hit me. We're back in business now! I haven't used the truck too much yet but some of the downshifts when slowing down seem only a little rough, could even be normal I just never felt them with my previous transmission. It also doesn't do that every time and seems to be smoothing over if that's possible. Either way, I'm happy. Thank you very much for the help!
 
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