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Dodge Pickups and transmissions

Posted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 5:44 pm
by Freak
Ok, heres the deal, Ive been looking trucks the past cuple of months and I found something, problem is that the output shaft housing on the transmision seems to be leaking whare it bolts upto the transmission, this is a 1994 4x4 so im wondering how hard this is to fix, anybody have any sugestions?

Posted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 10:28 pm
by jeepinbandtrider
Auto or Maunal. Either one won't be to hard to fix if you have decent mechanical knowldege you can fix it the 4x4 model will reqire removal of the Transfer Case. Dodge/Chrysler Autos don't have the greatest reputation in the relibility department so I would avoid. The manuals are dependable. What size engine?

Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 12:15 am
by Steev
The output on the transmission is leaking where it bolts up to the transmission?

Do you mean the rear main engine seal is leaking oil where the transmission bolts up to the engine or the transmission is leaking out where it bolts up to the transfercase/tail cone?

Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 1:10 am
by AwPhuch
if its a rear main seal its a bizatch...if a rear seal in tranny no biggie

Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 7:50 am
by Freak
sorry, poor wording, whare the tail bolts upto the transmission, not a rear main, automatic transmission and I have a signifigant amount mechanical knowladge, just never delt with christler. the engin is a 360 also.

if worst comes to worst I know a guy that will help me rebuild the transmission, the engin is mechaniclly sound and the transmision shifts good, the only problems I can see on the truck is the oil pan gaskit leaks a little and the transmission tail seal leaks a little. According to auto zone once you have the transfercase off the tail shaft will just slide clear.

as far as reliability.... what does one expect in a 94 pickup? been looking at a lot of trucks and for $2500 this will be a steal, and if it pisses me off too much it will wind up with a manual transmission :twisted: slight modifications like that are nothing new to me.

The dodge transmission reliability issues came up when they started using aluminum transmission houseings that would warp at exposure to heat or people cooking them trying to tow in over drive.

ok, now that said the transmission is a huge thought in my mind when purchasing this truck, driving my cadilac for 4 months and having the trans start to slip has given me a special hate for autos, but try finding a manual 4 wheel drive truck, 2 out of the 70 or so Ive looked at, and the evil of the front wheel drive.... finding a used transmission from $1000 on down to $500 marked as "Tested good" and about 4 hours of work to install it isnt that bad of a deal to me, just the question of it out weighing the worth of the vehical.

thanks for the input guys... I only asked because I have never delt with a christler or a 4 wheel drive :)

Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 10:44 am
by cougar
tHE COMPANY i USED TO WORK FOR HAD AN ARRAY OF WORK TRUCKS. tHE ONLY BRAND THAT EVER HAD STEADY TRANSMission and rearend problems were the chryslers. Im a Ford guy myself, so my opinion is biased, but, As a former mechanic the chryler trans has had some reliability issues. My .02 cents

Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 1:29 pm
by thorian
Ill pass on the same advise that was passed on to me when I bought my ram put a bigger tranny cooler on it and you will be fine.

Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 3:49 pm
by cougar
thorian wrote:Ill pass on the same advise that was passed on to me when I bought my ram put a bigger tranny cooler on it and you will be fine.
Now that is some of the best advice ever!!

Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 4:44 pm
by Freak
hm, yes, might be worth dooing... I havent bought it yet but the price is right... used trans run from $1000 to $500 depending on what you get... $1000 beging a rebuilt with roughly 1K on it $500 being "Tested ok" with 120K...

I feel weird... pricing out parts for a vehical I am thinking about buying....

but extra trans cooler is definitlly a good idea...

Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 9:03 pm
by Steev
If it is just the real seal in the tail it is very simple...

Pull the shaft, remove the cone.. replace the sael.. reinstall..

1 hour or less...

Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 7:50 am
by Freak
sounds good guys, thanks for the advice.... going to buy the truck :) it will get the seal right away and a oil/filter change in the tranny right away but will wait till spring to add another cooler for the trans, heat wont be much of a concearn over the winter here, looks like it may need an oil pan gaskit too eventully but its not leaking as bad my current or previous verhical.... the fun has only begun....

Posted: Wed Nov 15, 2006 6:13 pm
by Freak
OK, so I bought it...


BAD Big Ass Dodge

Posted: Thu Nov 16, 2006 1:05 am
by jeepinbandtrider
Tranny coolers are pretty cheap. What ever store you get the seal from will have them. Took me about an hr to install mine including plumbing it into the existing in rad cooler. It was easier that way and I plumbed it on the OUT side of the rad cooler.

Posted: Thu Nov 16, 2006 2:09 am
by Steev
Nice Score...

Now from what I've seen and read you should run the auxillary cooler before the rad cooler so the fluid comes from the tranny and is then cooled by the aux cooler nd then is warmed to operating temperature through the rad cooler.

Automatic transmissions need the fluid to be warm to a point to operate properly and to last.

I would get that cooler done as soon as you have the time as I have not seen dodge auto trans to have a good record without an aux cooler and if they are used for what they were built for...

Good luck with your new purchase..

Posted: Thu Nov 16, 2006 8:58 pm
by Freak
good news, the truck already has an aux cooler with the towing package.....

good news, pumped 2 quorts of fluid out of the trans mission and it stoped foaming, instantlly...

Bad news... saw fluid under the front end, turned out to be coolent...

good news replaced the cap and it stoped leaking....

bad news started runing hot....

good news new thermostat fixed that nice and quick....
well... maybe not so quick.... but its fixed... not supoed to replace a thermostat by removing the alternator first....

looks like without all the excess fluid the trans has stoped leaking also..

and I filled up the gas tank today for the first time... and scraped by under $50 ($49.23) so its got a 26 galon tank, miss my fords 35 galon capasity... but hey... this truck is 6 years newer and has a nice V8...

Posted: Thu Nov 16, 2006 9:17 pm
by cougar
give it a oil change using a good quality oil (I prefer castrol) and dont forget about the differential oil. While you are playing with the axle, find the pressure relief valve for the diff and give it a twist and clean off any mud or rust. This valve allows the built up air pressure of the oil heating to vent off without blowing out an axle seal and you driving down the road grinding the gears to powder. Nice truck by the way 8)

Posted: Thu Nov 16, 2006 10:03 pm
by Blasphemous
Use a good transmission fluid, put on a good sized cooler and if it does go out, have a performance rebuild done to it.

Posted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 6:28 pm
by Freak
well, the trans looks like its good, the engin will be giving me the headachs...

the price seemed too good, now I know why...

aparentlly it has a bad head (or both)....

Using coolant
Oil in the coolant
Air in the coolant
eratic tempature

thing that bites me is the exhaust isnt white... the major thing I always look at when looking at a truck is the tail pipe, how black it is, what the exhaust looks like, the amount of condinsation comeing out of it, this showed no signs... Noticed a white film on the thermostat the other night when I changed that then on the inside of the radiator cap today when I checked the coolant, and if you listen real good you can hear air bubbels in the heater core.... I just paid $3000 for a good looking lemon....

good news on this is, I do happen to have an extra car loling about so that I can drive, I know of a machine shop (will be gitting an estimate next week) but Im guessing $125 to rebuild each head (I know, it can be a gaskit, but If I am going to waste all the time pulling the head Its going to be rebuilt. factor in the price of gaskits, and fluids, and we have a new top end for about $350... wish me luck, I am going to need it.

Posted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 12:19 pm
by Freak
looks like I just cant win with this truck...

I pulled the cylinder heads the other day, found out today that one is cracked, and apparently in several places.

Why me?

any suggestions on finding new cylinder heads?

apparently the Magnum V8's are infamous for cracking heads...

looking at junk yards but for the cost of finding out if they are cracked its a risk...

Posted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 1:31 pm
by Valarius
Heh. While you've got the engine where it's at, you could go over to and try cutting some of those engine grooves they keep raving about. Of course you also have to increase the cylinder compression ration to like 10-to-1 as well.

I'm interested in trying it on my Toyota except I lack the money right now. May as well convince you to be a guinea pig. :twisted:

Otherwise, you'd be better off shelling out for brand new cylinder heads.

EDIT: Once your transmission goes over 75,000 miles, switch to Valvoline MaxLife transmission fluid. It's in a red bottle with a red cap. You can buy it at any NAPA or Autozone or the automotive section of places like Wal-Mart. It seriously works well, apparently plugs up leaks in the seals and whatnot. It's all I use anymore.

Posted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 3:04 pm
by mr. right-wing
i think autos work well on the gassers, even the 5.7, but if your getting the Cummins, you better get a manual and still beef it up.

Posted: Thu Dec 28, 2006 6:41 pm
by Freak
Ok, after much anger, sorrow and frustration the deed if finally done!

one warped head
one cracked head
one head gasket set
one gallon antifreeze
one cap & roter
one set of spark plugs
one set of spark plug wires
one set of exhaust manifold bolts
5 quarts of oil
one oil filter
100 phone calls

and a tank of gas for the 500 trips to the local parts store

one hell of a way to spend Christmas

Ill never own another magnum engine, ever.

although I do have to say now that its back together it runs rather swell, just need to replace the doughnut gaskets to quite it back down, I guess it wasn't happy with me pushing the manifolds about with a pry bar...

oh, and always double check your lifters, after that intake goes back on its not fun to re torque one.

took 2 days off and 2 days on, with a total of waiting for one head in the mail for 6 days... so I started the afternoon of the 17th and finished about an hour ago today the 28th... took too dang long if you ask me. But then I replaced the head gasket on my Ford 4.9 in one day.

only time will tell if this was worth it...

also, this engine has had major work done on it at one time, the cracked head was also welded above the exhaust manifold for some reason, I don't know why though, will always be a mystery to me.

Edited to add...

For all your cylinder head needs I suggest these fine people.
the did a fine job shipping my head COD over the holidays and they took my cracked core and paid for return shipping, the head looked good and was packed extreamly well, it bolted up no problems... had I known about this sight I would have ordered my heads ahead of time and shipped the old ones out when I was done making for a lot less wait time in the middle, they even do better than most machine shops were quoting me for time (a week or more).

Posted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 1:04 pm
by thorian
since you did your own labor how much did the parts run you total?

And do you know if the 6 has the same problems?

Posted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 5:44 pm
by Freak
its kinda hard to track the total with all the bits and peaces but in the area of $500-$600 No clue if the 6 has the same problem. I still have to fix the radiator and need to put yet another thermostat in, Radiator will run me $160 or so and thermostat for a good one about $5

to tank and magnaflux both heads it was $70, to rebuild the one it was another $100, Head gasket set was about $80, and the head shipped in was $200 total, odds and ends like bolts and oil and oil filter antifreeze is about another $30.

just a rough guess, I figured a garage would charge about $2,000 for a job like this, and I still need to get the codes read in the computer because I have a sensor causing aggravation.