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Dodge transmissions & drivetrains repair questions and answers

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  • GerryB
    GerryB - 1999 Dodge Ram 3500 - Transmissions & Drivetrains - 3/6/2014
    I need a rear pinion seal (you guys diagnosed it for me). Supposed to be an easy job,but what about the squash ring?
    Mechanic made me worry, said you can only squash it once.
    • HouseCallAuto
      3/6/2014 HouseCallAuto
      Here is tip from a mechanic doing this for 38 years and this is what I do in this situation. Put a white mark on the pinion nut that is indexed to the pinion. Sometimes I even use my high speed die grinder to make a tiny grind mark that hits the nut and shaft ever so slightly and will not cause any problem. The white out sometimes rubs off while handling the nut and the grind mark does not go away. After replacing the seal, put back the pinion nut and tighten the nut back to the same place as before and then add about 1/32" tighter. No more than that. I did not say 1/32th of a turn on the nut. I mean make the reference marks pass each other by 1/32" . When threading the nut back on, I am assuming that you will know by feel of the driveshaft flange when you have reached the final pinion nut position. You can also count how many turns it takes for the pinion nut to come off and then that number will be the same when you reassemble. The 1/32" still applies. If you were to accidentally go more than 1/32" do not back up. I hope I have not confused you. The crush collar can crush tighter but once crushed it cannot rebound, hence why I want you to go to the original position exactly and then go 1/32" past. It will be fine. The crush collar is what sets the inner and outer pinion bearings preload. The idea here is to simply go past the original mating marks by the smallest amount possible which is why I give you the smallest measurement that you can still see on a tape measure index. If it went 1/16" it would not cause an issue but I want you to use a smaller number as a target because at this point even the slightest turn of the nut increases pinion bearing preload exponentially. If you want to confirm that you have not overtightened it, then before you take it apart, use an inch pounds torque wrench that can measure inch pounds like down low like 0 to 50 inch pounds. Measure how many inch pounds of torque it takes to turn the flange at the pinion nut. After you reassemble it should not be more than 10% tighter.
      3/8/2014 GerryB
      Thanks for the detailed answer. Sounds like the important thing is marking the pinion nut. I will be having a professional do the job, either the dealer or my mechanic.
      3/8/2014 HouseCallAuto
      Don't assume that they will do it correct. This is a big gray area among mechanics from what I have seen. Some of them just tighten up the pinion nut way too tight and then a few weeks later (more or less) the rear blows up.
  • AutoMD Member
    AutoMD Member - 1993 Dodge W250 - Transmissions & Drivetrains - 3/2/2014
    We just put in a new tranny. how many quarts of fluid does it take to properly fill w/o going over?
    Please and Thank You very much!!!
    • CVO
      3/2/2014 CVO
      1993 Dodge Truck W250 3/4 ton P/U 4WD 5.2L FI 8cyl
      To find the correct specification, we need additional information about your 1993 Dodge Truck W250 3/4 ton P/U 4WD 5.2L FI 8cyl .

      Please select one of the following:
      A518/46RH Transmission model
      A999/32RH Transmission model
      Transmission model A500 (14 bolt fluid pan)
      Transmission model A998(31RH)

      See this url
  • GerryB
    GerryB - 1999 Dodge Ram 3500 - Transmissions & Drivetrains - 2/25/2014
    Is it ok to let the oil change place (Valvoline) change my differential fluid. They vac it out and put in the new
    They don't remove the cover and replace the gasket
    • Jimm
      2/25/2014 Jimm
      Should be OK - just recognize that all the old fluid will not be removed from the axle housing. The residual amount that remains should not affect anything.
      Be sure the fluid that is replaced is the recommended viscosity and grade; GL-5 hypoid 90 weight gear oil - with 3 quarts capacity of the rear axle (when completely empty).
  • larry
    larry - 1998 Dodge B2500 - Transmissions & Drivetrains - 2/15/2014
    98 dodge van speedometer won't move until about 45 mph
    • HouseCallAuto
      2/14/2014 HouseCallAuto
      The instrument cluster needs to be replaced
    • Jimm
      2/15/2014 Jimm
      Try these sources for the instrument cluster / speedometer repair;,, ‎ (they list a remanufactured instrument cluster (Dorman part #599-534) for around $245.00 for your vehicle.
  • GerryB
    GerryB - 1999 Dodge Ram 3500 - Transmissions & Drivetrains - 2/14/2014
    Oil like fluid leaking from rear end universal
    just got this used vehicle and just noticed this after running around town, after heated up, no engine light, looks like where the driveshaft goes into the big round thing, not leaking much
    • John's Auto Repair
      2/13/2014 John's Auto Repair
      See your other post for my answer.
    • Jimm
      2/13/2014 Jimm
      Most likely the differential pinion seal is leaking. This is an easy repair - first step is mark the driveshaft at the u-joint and the corresponding yoke - with an index mark (dab of paint or permanent (visible color) marker. This is to insure correct indexing of the driveshaft during the re-installation to maintain the balance. Then, remove the driveshaft.
      Next, remove the yoke from the center of the differential. Once the yoke is removed from the spline, then remove the pinion seal using a seal puller or large flat blade screwdriver. Be sure to place an oil drain pan to capture any leaking fluid while the seal is out.

      The seal is simply lubed on the outside edges - with a thin layer of gear oil - and tapped (carefully) into place. The new seal should not cost more than $5.00 - $8.00 for the Dana 60 rear axle - from any local part store. Add to this cost the price of a pint or two of the correct rear axle lubricant for the refill - and you should have a leak-free rear axle for many miles.
      The parts are readily available from these many on-line sources,,,,, - to list only a few possibilities.
      In fact, they (RockAuto) list the differential pinion seal from around $4.70 for your vehicle. SKF part # 25140 or equivalent.
      2/13/2014 GerryB
      Thanks Jimm. Do you think there could be any damage to the gears? I checked the fluid and it was low
    • Jimm
      2/14/2014 Jimm
      Any damge to the gear set due to a low fluid level is unknown; you will not be able to determine until the seal is repaired and the fluid level is refilled. Then you will be able listen for any adverse sounds from the center differential such as; growling or a dull roar at certain speeds or conditions - where there was none before.
      Not to say that if there is no noise then no damage - just that one of the main and early indications is excess noise.
    • John's Auto Repair
      2/14/2014 John's Auto Repair
      Before loosening pinion nut, you should mark the pinion and the nut with a chisel mark. This is
      done to make sure you put the nut in the same possition when tightening.
      DO NOT overtighten nut! Overtightening will cause the pinion bearing sleeve to crush, causing
      damage to both pinion bearings.
  • GerryB
    GerryB - 1999 Dodge Ram 3500 - Transmissions & Drivetrains - 2/13/2014
    Oil like fluid leaking in rear at driveshaft
    I think it is where the driveshaft or universal enters into the big round thing. After running around town when it was heated up. No engine light on. not leaking much. Just got this vehicle.
    • John's Auto Repair
      2/12/2014 John's Auto Repair
      Sounds like you're pinion seal that's leaking. It's the only thing around there.
      John's Auto Repair
      2/12/2014 GerryB
      Thanks John, doesn't sound to bad. What does a repair like that cost? This is my first time on this site so don't know the rules if you can answer or if you are a repair shop in my area.
    • John's Auto Repair
      2/13/2014 John's Auto Repair
      The seal is around $10.00. Labor should be no more than an hour. So Labor Rates range from
      70 to 85 Dollars per hour. I'm located in Maple Shade, N.J. I only charge $50.00 per hour.
      John's Auto Repair
      2/13/2014 GerryB
      I watched a video DIY to change the seal and if I had a garage maybe I would try it. I was able to check the fluid and it seems pretty low, I had to stick my finger in all the way to get some, so it was about 1&1/4 " below the nut. Hopefully The gears are ok. I'm not going to drive till I put some fluid in and then I'll check it till I get it fixed. Yeah that's a good labor rate you have, I'm an electrician here in Ct. and I charge $75 hr. (If you have any electrical questions feel free to ask).
  • AutoMD Member
    AutoMD Member - 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan - Transmissions & Drivetrains - 2/8/2014
    My gear shift is stuck between drive and neutral. it wont move or engage when it seems to be in drive position.
    sat for a few months changed the starter took it out on the road put gas in it came back home would only move down to reverse. tried to put it back in drive big resistance. it stopped between neutral and drive. it has a newer transmission in it
    • Jimm
      2/8/2014 Jimm
      Here is what I would do to isolate the problem. Remove the shift cable from the lever on the transmission. Then with key on and block the wheels so the van will not roll. Move the lever at the transmission, do all the squares / indicators line up? If they do, check the cable adjustment. If they don't then start looking at the connector at the TRS (transmission range selector) and the connectors under the battery.

      The parts are readily available from these many on-line sources,,,,, - to list only a few possibilities.
      In fact, they (RockAuto) list the transmission range selector / neutral position switch from around $21.00 for your vehicle.

  • AutoMD Member
    AutoMD Member - 2000 Dodge Ram 2500 - Transmissions & Drivetrains - 1/29/2014
    What is causing the vibration? It happens only under acceleration and starts around 30 MPH and is really bad over 60 MPH
    The truck has 160000 miles on it. The vibration is felt in the floor and gas peddle and stops when I let off the gas no matter how fast I'm going. It feels like its coming from the rear of the truck. It vibrates the whole cab and the dash.
    • Jimm
      1/29/2014 Jimm
      More than likely, the u-joint or driveshaft balance is faulty. The other possibility is the rear wheels are out-of-balance.
      I'd focus on the u-joint as the first step - and testing is simple. Go underneath the truck and using a large screwdriver, at both the front and rear u-joints - try to pry the u-joint up / down to determine if any discernable play or movement - there should be none.
      If the u-joint is determined to have excess play / bearings worn out - the replacement and repair is fairly simple. Use the 'How-To-Guides' feature on the AutoMD website for the specific steps to replace.

      The parts are readily available from these many on-line sources,,,,, - to list only a few possibilities. For example, they (RockAuto) list the driveshaft u-joints from around $8.10 (each) for your vehicle. Be sure the u-joints are replaced in pairs; both front and rear at the same time - due to age / mileage / wear considerations.
  • Schwann
    Schwann - 2002 Dodge Grand Caravan - Transmissions & Drivetrains - 1/19/2014
    Won't move in drive or reverse made loud noise
    2002 Dodge Grand Caravan I Drove It To The Store Got Out Came Back Started It Back Up Put In Reverse Was Backing Heard A Loud Pop Or I Thought I Hit Something I Tried To precede it Would Not Move Put it In Drive it Will Not Move Started Making A Crackling Sound Or ...
  • Schwann
    Schwann - 2002 Dodge Grand Caravan - Transmissions & Drivetrains - 1/19/2014
    2002 Dodge Grand Caravan I Drove It To The Store Got Out Came Back Started It Back Up Put In Reverse Was Backing Heard A Loud Pop Or I Thought I Hit Something I Tried To precede it Would Not Move Put it In Drive it Will Not Move Started Making A Crackling Sound Or ...
    • alex
      1/19/2014 alex
      sounds like you had a half axle pop out. there is a snap ring that holds them in and with some wear i have seen them pop out . with it in park jack it up try to spin the tires. or grab the inside cv joint it should be pretty tight if one wobbles its out. could also be in the diff spinning the tires is where to start.
      1/19/2014 Schwann
      took it to the shop and they are trying to tell me that when they went to check the transmission he claim my shaft fell out and that I will need a new transmission. Have you ever heard of that and if so does that mean I will need a new shaft and transmission or does the shaft come in side the transmission if it was broke into pieces and how much will something like that cost if that is the problem. thanks a lot for answering my Questions !!!!
      1/19/2014 alex
      the shaft slides in or over a shaft the snapring has a groove it goes every once in a while i have seen the groove wore out to the point where the snapring can no longer grab it good enough to stay but that is rare. it looks like the ransmission is about 1000 dollars and about 8 hours laber. alot of shops it might not need the trans but a the dealer i work at if its questionable we replace it be cause if we don't we could have to replace the trans on warranty.
  • AutoMD Member
    AutoMD Member - 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 - Transmissions & Drivetrains - 1/12/2014
    My truck won't disengage from 4 wheel drive to 2 wheel drive until I come to a complete stop and put it in park.
    I have no problem engaging 4 wd. The 4x4 light works.i can here the transfer case motor when I turn the selector from 2wd to 4wd and back . Please point me in the right direction. Thank you.
    0 answer
  • AutoMD Member
    AutoMD Member - 1995 Dodge Dakota - Transmissions & Drivetrains - 1/10/2014
    Why does my 95 Dakota grind like mad when I try to engage 4h... it sounds like im trying to shift a stick with out using
    any time I try to engage 4x4
    0 answer
  • Chelsea
    Chelsea - 2004 Dodge Ram 1500 - Transmissions & Drivetrains - 1/5/2014
    Why does my truck shut off when I put it into reverse?
    Every time I put my truck into reverse, it shuts off. It works fine in any other gear that I put it into. but automatically will shut off when I try to use it in reverse. I have a small transmission leak, but there is more then enough transmission fluid in my truck.
    • CVO
      1/5/2014 CVO
      Idle air control valve ? ( reverse use more power than forward ).

      Check the vehicle for fault codes to see if there are any sensors were involved to the malfunction of the engine.

      1.Local auto parts stores such as Autozone ( not in California) or Advance Auto parts will scan and retrieve any diagnostic trouble codes ( dtc ) stored in the powertrain control module for free of charge..

      2. has the code reader for less than $ 20.21 dollars + shipping
      Autel MaxiScan MS300 CAN Diagnostic Scan Tool for OBDII Vehicles

      3.Re-post the dtc's in here " answer question " for further assistance.

      Note: we need the dtc's to identify the sensor, there are a dozen different sensors to operate the car.

      Visit this site and see all the different sensors.
  • AutoMD Member
    AutoMD Member - 1999 Dodge Ram 1500 - Transmissions & Drivetrains - 1/1/2014
    Rear-end making a whinning sound.
    152k mi.trans belts adj.rear-end lube unknown.just bought.noise is constant.
  • AutoMD Member
    AutoMD Member - 1996 Dodge Caravan - Transmissions & Drivetrains - 12/30/2013
    Transmission is not shifting
    its stuck in 2 doent slip
    • Jimm
      12/30/2013 Jimm
      First step, check the transmission fluid level and refill as necessary.

      Next, check the transmission shift linkages for any looseness, if it appeared it is in order, then the forward planetary gear set may be damaged or broken. There are two planetary gear sets, the forward and the reverse. The transmission will need to be rebuilt or exchanged with remanufactured unit.

      The parts are readily available; try these on-line sources;,,,, - to list only a few possibilities. In fact (they) Rock Auto list a remanufactured transmission assembly from around $800.00 (minus core exchange) for your vehicle.

      The transmission can often be rebuilt for a fraction of the cost of a new or remanufactured unit - depending upon the exact damage / issue with the old transmission.
    • aj
      12/30/2013 aj
      Several things can cause this and it happens for a reason. The computer puts the transmission in 2nd gear (limp home) so as not to damage anything more than it has already. The check engine light should also be on which will give you a code as to why the transmission is stuck in 2nd gear. I can help you with this problem but need the code number. After I have the number I can give you specific directions on how to repair it. You will need to go to for the information though as I can't post it here