Sunday, June 1, 2014

Doddgy Dodge Transmission

After our trip down to Hampton, New Hampshire on the 17th, the transmission in the pickup truck started to act up a bit. Seems it does not always want to up-shift out of second gear. It takes releasing the gas pedal completely to get it to shift and sometimes even that is not enough. Then in order to make it shift in to third I must put the shifter in to Neutral and back in to Drive to get it to shift. So a bit of exploratory surgery was in order.
So I cleared the garage work bench of sundry Toyota parts, bought six quarts of ATF-4, a filter and gasket kit.
Put the truck up on the ramps and gathered my courage to undo the transmission pan bolts. Thank you Dodge, you could have put a damn drain plug on the thing.
A look in the oil pan confirms my fears.
The magnet is covered by metal filings that are, I understand, a sign of normal wear for a vehicle with 146 thousand miles.
A considerable amount of sludge with signs of something a bit more troubling.
Chunks . . . . mostly copper about the size of fingernail clippings.
A look into the pan I drained the transmission fluid in to shows more copper.
Copper chunks.
More chunks.
 The filter.
More copper and aluminum filings.
Transmission looks deceivingly clean.
Cleaned out pan with a new gasket ready to go back on.

I replaced the filter with a new one, buttoned the pan back on and refilled it with fresh ATF.
Clearly a rebuild is in order. This one goes beyond my ability to repair. So it's time to make some calls to AAMCO and see what they can do for it.


  1. ¡Que habilidoso eres Mike! O como diría mi pariente vasco, 'eres un manitas'.

    1. Habilidoso nada, es que era la única opción. No le veo mucho sentido pagarle a alguien 200$ para que me de las malas noticias. Mejor ahorrarme ese dinero. Ahora el lio es encontrar alguien que me lo repare sin cobrarme un ojo de la cara.

  2. Wow! You definately need a rebuild. Like your shop, nice work table. Good luck

    1. Yes the bench is my own creation. The whole bench is on casters so I can move it around if I need to. The top is a heavy 1/2 inch thick stainless steel plate that was left in the garage by the last owner of the house.