Dodge Ram or Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee Transmission Repair

The Dodge Ram, Durango, and Pickup and the Jeep Grand Cherokee utilize the A500 and A518 transmissions. The A518 transmission is a heavier duty transmission. The choice of transmissions varies depending on vehicle, engine size, and model year. An exception is the 2000 through 2002 Durango with the 4.7L engine, which has the 45RFE transmission. Others are the 2003-2007 Durango with the 4.7L and 5.7L engines which use the 5-45RFE, and the 2004-2007 Durango with the 3.7L engine with the 42RLE transmission. These Dodge transmissions are of a completely different variety.

Dodge and Jeep Solenoid and Sensor Code

The Dodge and Jeep A500 and A518 transmissions share 3 common failure areas that often product a solenoid or sensor code. The first, and least expensive problem we will discuss, is the failure of the Governor Pressure Solenoid and/or the Governor Pressure Sensor. The failure of either of these components will result in a failure to shift properly. These problems can be inconsistent in nature and can occur when cold (The vehicle hasn’t been driven for at least a couple hours), hot, or both. Often the failure does not create a solenoid or sensor code, but it can be verified if driven by a qualified technician using a real time diagnostic scanner. If a problem is found, the solenoids and sensor are usually replaced as a set, with the repair usually not exceeding $550.00.

Dodge and Jeep Torque Converter Clutch

Another area is the Torque Converter Clutch. The switching circuit that controls the application and release of the Torque Converter Clutch is deficient in its operational abilities. Over time, this can lead to failure. When rebuilding the transmission, we replace the Torque Converter Clutch valve with a new redesigned valve, manufactured by Sonnax. This new valve prevents failure and provides proper operation, even under rigorous use.

Transmission Cooler and Lube System on Trucks

The next area of concern is the lubrication system. To lubricate the internal rotating components of the transmission, fluid is pumped out of the transmission, through a one-way check valve, through a transmission cooler in the engine radiator, and sometimes through another cooler, external of the engine radiator. It is then routed back to the rear of the transmission where it is pumped into the Intermediate Shaft. The fluid travels throughout this shaft and exits at crucial locations to lubricate gears and other components. Research has found that fluid flow is not adequate and this issue can overheat and destroy Planetary Gears, particularly the Overdrive Planetary Gear Set. Insufficient lube flow can also destroy the Low Drum.

Transmission Cooler Lines

The two bottlenecks in the lube system are the one-way check valve and the Intermediate Shaft. The check valve prevents Torque Converter drain back, which causes very sluggish performance after the vehicle has been sitting for many hours (we call it morning sickness), but only lasts for about 20 seconds. This condition plagued Dodge, Plymouth, and Chrysler owners since the original Torqueflight transmissions were introduced in the sixties, but the issue does not harm the transmissions, and for this reason wasn’t addressed until the 1990’s. For over 25 years, TransGo has supplied a redesigned valve to correct this issue. It worked superbly on the old Torqueflights and it works just as well on the new overdrives. By installing this internal valve, we can eliminate the check valve in the cooler lines without causing drainback. The omission of this check valve improves fluid flow considerably. The Intermediate Shafts on the Jeep Cherokee and the Dodge Durango have small lube holes that can restrict fluid flow. The shafts on heavier Dodge Ram trucks, especially diesels, have larger lube holes. All shafts are now available with large lube holes that improve flow and eliminate failure. These are used on all Suburban Transmission overhauls.