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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently had my transmission replaced at 117K miles on my 97 Ram 1500 Ext. cab 4x4.
Two days after this, while driving on the highway, my trans temp light came on and it kicked out of overdrive. After about 10 minutes out of overdrive, the temp light went off. I took it back to the shop that did the work and told them what happened. They said they couldn't figure it out, but changed my fluid and filter again, they said maybe the filter got clogged(?). After this I was checking my fluids at home and found that the tranny fluid stick came up dry. At this point I was getting a little irked so I took it back and they topped off the fluid. Then I started wondering whether they put enough fluid in the first time, and if not, maybe that caused the overheating. If it's not that, then I'm really puzzled 'cause they put an external cooler in and it was supposed to do a better job than the stock cooler. I'm not sure what to do at this point and it's making me a little nervous, to say the least. Are there some external coolers out there that are crap, or do you guys think they just put too little fluid in the first time?
 

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i would definately keep a close eye on the fluid level. if they added the cooler and then used the book to reference how many quarts the tranny holds, they would have put too little fluid in, especially if they are using both coolers. watch the level for a few days and then if it shows that it was their error of not enough fluid, i would have them rebuild it, because who knows what could have happened in that time. dont back down and let them tell you nothing happened, because heat is bad inside a trans.
 

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IIRC, that light doesn't come on until the tranny is well into the "TOO HOT" range.

Minimum, they should (or pay to have someone else) drain/refill the tranny fluid. Once it gets really hot, it gets burnt, and the fluid will need replacing.

I'd take it to a reputable place that uses the machines that can swap the old for the new, using the cooler line hookups.

Valvoline is one place that does it.
 

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Make sure it was +3 or +4 fluid as well. I have some personal experience with running the wrong fluid. 2200 dollar mistake... But who doesn't have a tranny horror story about their dodge??
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
They did replace the fluid + filter after this incident, and they said they use Dextron III (I assume this is +3?).
 

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I assume you mean Dexron III? That is the wrong stuff. Should be ATF+3. WIll kill your tranny. Grab a cold beer and read the info at this site.

http://www.allpar.com/fix/trans.html

They pretty much lay out what the non-chrysler dexron stuff will do to your tranny.

Good luck..
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Holy sh**! Thanks for the info, NJBT4.56. I will definitely have the fluid replaced again. Okay, what brand of +3 or +4 fluid do you recommend?
 

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I use havoline but as long as it is ATF +3 or +4 you should be good to go. Train that crap and have them recheck your clutches, etc... You may want to get your money back and just take it to another shop. Sounds like they do not know what they are doing. Post them in the places not to go in the forum menu...
 

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I would check around that tranny pan cause some those ppl have no idea what a torque wrench is and they might have stripped out the bolts and you could be leaking fluid down the highway when that pressure gets up high. I know when the guy that owned my truck before me said he had gotten the tranny worked on the instant I bought it i took it home and checked those bolts and all 14 were stripped so i had to helicoil them. Now is works fine. Oh yeah and my truck was doing to same thing jumping out and stuff.
Tell me how it goes, Good Luck.
 

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Well, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but the tranny will need a good inspection INTERNALLY after overheating like that. The only reason I say this, is after doing all the research on how these tranny's act, it is almost FATAL for the tranny to overheat even for 5 minutes, especially the 46RH and 46RE's. If that tranny temp light comes on and it drops out of O/D, it is almost already too late. Trust me, overheating is what murdered my tranny, and it overheated due to a clogged tranny cooler line. I would just about demand that they inspect the transmission for internal problems after they didn't fill it properly, which is what it sounds like to me. It takes 14 qts. of fluid to fill that tranny, conservatively. Dexron III is okay to use for the 46RH's, but the tranny perfers ATF+3. ATF+4 is good to use, but unecessary, it is pretty expensive coming in at about $10 a quart or so. There is a TSB out that says to refill the 46RE's with the ATF+4, and that is for 98 and above trucks. This is just some advice, I know what kills these things, as it has happened to me...
 

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14 qts?? When I rebuilt the vavle body on mine I ended up putting in 9 qts and that was almost too much. Where did you get the 14 qts number?
 

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That is total capacity, including the Torque Converter, cooler, cooler lines, etc. It takes a flush to get all the fluid out, or just take the pan off, and let gravity empty the tranny for a week or so.
 

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Also, from what I have read Dexron III is most definatley not OK for any chrysler transmission except some early model jeeps. What am I missing?
 

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If you have a 1998 and above year truck, then it is a 46RE, if it is 1997 and below, then it is 46RH. Unless you have a 3/4 ton or above, then just substitue the number 47 in the 46 place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well then I guess I have a 46RH. After reading the page that NJBT4 posted, I think I will still replace the Dexron III with an ATF +3 fluid. But I still worry about whether they will do a complete flush. Assume I am completely stupid when it comes to this (which I am), should I trust the shop to do it right, or is it easy enough to do myself?
 

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I would insist on another tranny,one that has not had any Dextron ATF in it,Running Dextron in a late model Chrysler tranny is like waiting for a bomb to explode,which it almost did in your case,get another tranny or ask for an extended warranty,you don't know what damage the Dextron has already done.
 

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Falcon,

At a minimum I would make them take that trans apart for inspection if not replace it with another one. There is no way that that transmission is still healthy if it overheated like that.
The wrong fluid will just make things worse.
I ram Amsoil in the 46re that was in my 2001 before I got rid of it.

Bill
 

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not about transmissions but a good place to post this. falcon, i hope that this is going to work out for you. i just wanted to surface the power of everyone’s credit card company. anytime that i do a transaction – especially for “services rendered”, i use my credit card to pay. your credit card company has a great deal of power and leverage. upon your request, they can flag and suspend payment to a company if you feel like you did not receive something you paid for. for example; if you have your motor rebuilt and 3 weeks later you start having problems with it and the shop that did the rebuild is not assisting your or backing up their work, your credit card company can jump and assist. all you need to do is prove that you did not receive the services you paid for. if I paid to have my motor rebuilt and I am having problems 3 weeks later - i obviously did not get what i paid for. a few months ago i had $1,000 bucks in incorrect tires delivered to my home from 4wheel parts com. when i called the company and told them that they sent me the incorrect tires, they told me that it was my responsibility to pay the $130 in freight to have them returned. i contacted my credit card company and was required to submit a letter stating the circumstances. a week later, the card blocked the entire payment and i had the company sucking up to me on the phone in no time trying to get their tires sent back – at their expense. these are just a few examples. bottom line is that any time you order merchandise or pay for services, use your credit card and take advantage of their protection and power. they will require you to submit your case in writing and if they determine that you have been unfairly treated, they will block all payments. keep in mind that these companies have multiple transactions weekly and it can be a month after the fact and the credit card can still block payment... the bigger the credit card, the more power that they have. contact the customer service department of you card and ask them to provide you with details.

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95 RAM, 1500 SLT 4x4. 5.9L Motor. 3in body and 3in suspension lift. Running 36x14.5x16 PJ Dirt Grips on 16x10 Stone Crushers with 4:56 Gears
 
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