1998 Dodge Ram Is it a bad tranny?

Tiny
PROMEDIC92
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 DODGE RAM
Transmission problem
1998 Dodge Ram Four Wheel Drive Automatic

I have a 1998 Dodge 4x4 with a 5.2 l motor and around 135000 miles. I have heard many many stories of the tranny going out on these trucks and feel somewhat confident that this is what has happened here. It started with it slipping at highway speed in overdrive or dropping into 3rd irratically. I kept driving it until one day it just lost drive power and came to a stop. I towed it home and let it sit for a month or so then restarted it (to keep seals lubed). It actually moved again, maybe 25 ft then I put it into reverse backed up 5 ft and it then stopped. I tried forward and it would roll on flat ground at 4500 rpm but not enough to pull itself over a small bump. I can't afford to to just take it to a tranny guy and write him a check and would like to just buy a used a tranny and replace it but i'm scared it may be a computer issue or clutch issue instead. Can you help diagnose this. Thank You.
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Monday, August 9th, 2010 AT 11:03 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
HI there,

Thank you for the donation,

Unfortunately to do a complete diagnostic test on a suspect transmission problem you will require specialist equipment that is not the norm for home mechanics, even general mechanics often don't have this equipment as it is so expensive, so we often hand transmission problems directly to the transmission specialists, but what you can do and it may give some insight into your problem is that you can do a scan and check for any unresolved transmission faults, this may give you a better idea as to what has failed, but with what you have posted I do feel that it will be an internal transmission fault, what is the level and condition of the oil? Clean and red or dark and smelly?

Mark (mhpautos)
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Monday, August 9th, 2010 AT 11:25 PM
Tiny
PROMEDIC92
  • MEMBER
Transmission fluid is red and appears clean. I had changed it at 100000 miles and made sure the pan bolts were torqued properly. It has remained full since that time. I, however, did not purge the lines. I allowed it to drain for about 15 minutes but didn't specifically blow the lines out. Would you suggest someone with "shade tree" mechanic knowledge to change out such a transmission? I have changed transmissions before but it was many years ago on older " all mechanical " vehicles. Should I change the torque converter also? Any other suggestions? Thanks
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Monday, August 9th, 2010 AT 11:36 PM
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
Hi here.

You should always do the torque converter, my only concern about doing this at home is that it is very heavy and it is not a job to be done alone, personally I would not be doing this at home.

Mark (mhpautos)
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Monday, August 9th, 2010 AT 11:48 PM

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