TRANSMISSION PROBLEMS WITH 1996 DODGE RAM 1500 4X4 5.9 L

DODGEMAKESMECRAZY
600

Asked by Nov 06, 2011 at 07:45 PM about the 1996 Dodge Ram 1500 2 Dr Laramie SLT 4WD Extended Cab LB

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

OK,  I need serious help.  I have a 1996 ram 4x4 5.9 l ext cab 1500.  We bought the truck and thee reverse didnt work.  Then we looked for a replacement tranny at a junkyard and couldnt find one.  From what i understand now a 97, 98 or 99 tranny will fit in the 96 as long as its a 4x4 5.9 liter?  I tried to trust a friend of mine who said he could rebuild the transmission. I dished out $400 for rebuilt kit, revere band, tranny fiuld, and paying him.  WELL NOW IM IN THE WORST SHAPE POSSIBLE.  I thought a first it was fixed.  But we took it out several times for test driving and sometimes it wont shift into overdrive getting up to 50 mph.  Then sometimes it doesnt move at all.  But then other times it will drive.  Now,  we then proceeded to replace the pressure solenoid and the pressure sensor.  Still having problems.  Sometimes it will go and sometimes iit wont.  I NEED REAL HELP HERE BECAUSE IVE GOT OVER $500-$600 INTO IT AND DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO NEXT !!!   PLEASE HELP  SOS!!!   Tim

43 Answers

Trevor Yost
995

do you know the model of the tranny? your dodge came factory with a torqueflite 46re transmission. and the ecm/tcm are coded for that model only. so anything else would cause issues...

13 out of 13 people think this is helpful.
DODGEMAKESMECRAZY
600

A518 TRANNY IM 99.9 % SURE ON THAT. I DONT REALLY UNDERSTAND WHAT THE PROBLEM IS. I NEED HELP ON THIS SO ANYONE OUT THERE THAT KNOWS THESE ISSUES PLEASE RESPOND!!! THANKS!!

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.
Dan Connell
10,165

the transmission in the truck is a 46RE, remove and clean all electrical connections on the transmission, this means the external ones, and dropping the pan to get at the ones inside. while you have the pan down, id do a complete fluid flush and filter change as well. also make sure the shifting linkage is adjusted properly, i had a problem after rebuilding the transmission in my old 1500 where the shift cable some how got stretched, which made me have to fumble with my shifter to get it into gears.

11 out of 11 people think this is helpful.
DODGEMAKESMECRAZY
600

thanks dan. we did all that and cleaned everything, put in new pressure sensor and solenoid. we replaced the filter and did the fluid flush. were using atf +4? is that right? And will any tranny from 97-99 5.9l 4x4 fit in that truck.. this is what i was told. its still screwed up and will shift sometimes, then it wont do anything. i think the guy who did this screwed up the gears inside. he wasnt an expert on trannys but he said he could rebuild it. i dont know whatelse to do. im out of money and $500-$600 into it and its still not right. i think the shift linkage is screwed up from what your explaining.

10 out of 10 people think this is helpful.
Dan Connell
10,165

from 94-01 any transmission will work in the truck, just make sure your getting it out of a truck with the 5.9/360 V8 the 5.2/318 V8s use the same transmission but they have a different lighter duty torque converter. if he screwed up putting the actual planetary set back or the sprag clutches back it would be very noticable, youd get grinding and popping, believe me youd really know it if some thing like that happend. how about the valve body? was it clean, free of debris, and were all of the check valve balls put back into their correct spots? it could be tons of different problems.

10 out of 10 people think this is helpful.
DODGEMAKESMECRAZY
600

DAN. I JUST WENT OUT TO THE TRUCK. STARTED IT UP. AND IT WENT IN REVERSE AND IN DRIVE. WENT UP AND DOWN THE DRIVEWAY A COUPLE TIMES. BUT IT DID THIS BEFORE AND THEN IT WONT JUST MOVE AT TIMES. SO IT SHIFTS SOMETIMES. NOW, WHEN IT WAS WORKING I TOOK IT OUT ON THE HIGHWAY AND TRIED GETTING UP TO 55MPH AND SOMETIMES IT WOULD GO INTO OVERDRIVE AND OTHER TIMES IT WOULD REV TO 3000 RPMS WITHOUT GETTING OUT OF 25-30 MPH.

15 out of 15 people think this is helpful.
Dan Connell
10,165

see that sounds like the bands arent adjusted properly

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.
DODGEMAKESMECRAZY
600

DAN, SO LET ME ASK YOU. IS IT THE TORQUE CONVERTER? I DONT KNOW MUCH ABOUT TORQUE CONVERTERS> I DO KNOW WHEN WE DROPPED THE PAN THERE WASNT MUCH DEBRIS IN THERE AT ALL. SHOULD I JUST GET AN A-RATED TRANNY FROM A JUNKYARD AND HAVE AN TRANNY GUY PUT IT IN, OR HAVE A GUY WHO IS A TRANNY EXPERT GET IN THERE AND RE ADJUST THE BANDS AND WHATEVER ELSE NEEDS ADJUSTING?

10 out of 10 people think this is helpful.
DODGEMAKESMECRAZY
600

DAN.,WHEN I SHIFT IT INTO DRIVE IT DOESNT TAKE RIGHT OFF. IT MOVES SLOWLY TO GET GOING WHEN IN DRIVE.

8 out of 8 people think this is helpful.
Dan Connell
10,165

an A rated trans will easily run you another $400, id take it to a professional and see if he can diagnose it. from what youve told me though, it sounds like your shifting linkage could be out of adjustment, and your bands deffinitely need to be adjusted. also have you made sure theirs enough fluid in the transmission? you need to get the truck to operating temp, put it in neutral and pull the dip stick to check it.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
DODGEMAKESMECRAZY
600

yes dan, we made sure about the fluid in tranmission. we put on almost 12 quarts after he tried to rebuild it. when we dropped the pan the same thing, new filter and more fluid. ( can you reuse fluid from the pan or always use new fluid everythime?) we constantly checking the tran levels to make sure it was up to temp. everything was good on the levels everytime, and fluid was clear as well.

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.
DODGEMAKESMECRAZY
600

DAN, SO WHAT IS THE BEST THING TO DO HERE. HAVE SOMEONE GET BACK INTO THE TRANNY AND ADJUST THE SHIFT LINKAGE THE RIGHT WAY, AND ADJUST THE BANDS CORRECTLY? OR JUST OUT ANOTHER A-RATED TRANNY IN IT...?

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
Wont1500Ram
100

Dan, I'm new to this conversation, I've has the same issue with the not shifting problem. replaced govner and solenoid and filter. shifts up normal for the first 5-15 minutes. then it starts to slip, 25-3500rpm at 25mph. I adjusted the bands according to chiltons repair manual. should the truck be in nutural when adjusting

10 out of 10 people think this is helpful.
Steve Lott
260

I just started having a similar problem with my 1996 3500 van - everything was fine when I stopped at a red light, after the light turned green, the van would barely move, so I pulled the shifter to "1" position and the tranny shifted down and went up the road - I then shifted the Lever to "2" and there was no shift, I went on to "d" and it shifted again, but will not shift into OD, and will not shift into low when I stop. I put the van in a professional repair shop - they diagnosed the problem as a failed electronic governor, they replaced both governors which did nothing for the problem. I took the van back the following day, and they said the problem must be in the Valve body since the governors didnt rectify it. The mechanics at the shop R&R'd the valve body 4 times, cleaning and inspecting it each time, but again, that did not fix the problem. The shop owner ran a diagnostic on the TCM (tranny control module) and said the codex indicated that the TCM (or TCU) was working fine, Im as baffled as they are. When they analyzed the governor, they said that it was requiring 62 psi to activate the governor, and that reading should be 0psi. Neither the owner or his several mechanics had ever seen a 62psi requirement before, and have no idea why they are getting that. Any suggestions?

18 out of 18 people think this is helpful.
Steve Lott
260

PS - the problem in my transmission does not come and go, it is constant - started last F riday for no apparent reason, and has persisted ever since, even though I have had it in the shop for 3 whole days with the experts working on it.

8 out of 8 people think this is helpful.
BPoffroad
500

i got a 1999 dodge 1500 4x4. ive had problems with the tranny ever scince i bout it. just today we install a rebuilt tranny, new sensors and wiring, new converter, new tranny cooler and the factory cooler is also backing it up. the tranny temp light comes on as soon as you start the truck and the over drive light is stuck on the off position. any suggestions on what it may be?

50 out of 50 people think this is helpful.
imacntryboy26
215

I have a 96 dodge ram 1500 4x4 5.9 automatic when I go to put it in drive I have to shift all the way down and come back up to drive and if the shifter isn't set right the truck will not crank up ????? anybody know what this cold be? could the steering colum be bad from wear and tear over the years, im thinking a linkage problem?

21 out of 21 people think this is helpful.
larry9972003
440

well I have a 1994 dodge ram that I had the transmission rebuilt on and it still shift sometimes and not at all other times. Ive had the transmission removed and re-inspected and a new torque converter put in? seems hard to take off and other times wont move at all? seems like a shifting signal not getting there? two vacuum lines come from the front? do these help it shift? not really sure what tells it to shift and when. tired of rebuiding trans with same results???? help

37 out of 37 people think this is helpful.
Paullee782000
270

I have a 97 dodge ram. The radiator started squirting antifreeze out the side then the transmission started acting up, I replaced the radiator, ( I thought it was strange no transmission fluid came out of the line when I discontented the old radiator so we replaced the line thinking their may be a clog. No luck, The first day it started acting up the speedometer stuck at 30 mph and it didn't want to shift, it will shift if I put her in neutral and give it a little gas then put it in gear. The strange thing is if I take off from home it shifts fine for about 2 miles then it doesn't want to leave first gear. I know it sounds crazy but the transmission sounds good it's like it doesn't know it needs to shift could it be a sensor? The fluid is not dark but I am going to change the fluid and filter but someone told me there is a sensor in the transmission pan that could be causing my problems. does anyone know the name of the sensor? I'm open to any advice.

27 out of 27 people think this is helpful.
larry9972003
440

I wish I knew what to tell you, I think were in the same sinking boat, had mine rebuilt, and just reinstalled and ran one day and same issue.. revs to like 3-4000 rpm and hardly moving at times and then will move.. guess were not finding a solution here?? find out anything, let nme know? Im at larry9972003@yahoo.com

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.
Tom Murden
310

my daughter has a 1996 dodge 1500 last night it blew the bottom transmission hose to the radiator off. I put it back on filled transmission back up now it will move in Reverse but wont move in 3 forward gears. ?

31 out of 31 people think this is helpful.
brantman70
60

Paullee782000 I recently had the same issue and replaced two speed sensors, One one the transmission and there is also one in the top of the rear end. The one in the rear end of the truck was the one causing the problem on mine. Wish you luck!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
brantman70
60

You can also get on you tube and type in speed sensor replacement and the video will show you location and step by step replacement.

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.
Jtmckellar
40

Paullee 782000: I think the sensor you're referring to is the governor pressure solenoid or the governor pressure transducer. Also check your band adjustments. I also had a similar issue at one point that was caused by my band anchor wedge falling out of position. That will cause the trans to not want to shift out of first, but will shift if you feather the accelerator.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
brock77willie
200

i have a 99 dodge 1500 4x4 and just driving along overdrive all the way down to second went out, leaving me with only first gear and reverse. 4x4 still works no fluid leaking anywhere. Any ideas?

20 out of 20 people think this is helpful.
ponchas
240

I had a v6 three speed and had the trans rebuilt twice then sold it cause it was still having problems. I love dodge vans and want another was reading your blog and then seach for Dodge van transmission problems and came up with this below. SERVICE ALERT FOR MOPAR TRANSMISSIONS BETWEEN 1990 AND 1999: It has been determined that in over 91% of the transmission problem cases reported (limp mode) that the problem is due, not to mechanical problems within the transmission, but is due instead to a faulty inline wiring harness splice from the factory. The wire from the TCM, the second wire from the solenoid pack and the third wire from the ECU was wired together at the factory when it was determined that there was a communications error to the ECU which is a factory/design flaw. So on the production floor, a last minut repair was approved to correct the problem. This three wire splice is located in the wiring harness just on top of the transmission down by the three wires that connect to the three plugs located between the radiator and the tranny (or in the region about 12 inches under the battery). Follow the three wires from the front of the tranny and you'll see them disappear into a plastic wireing harness cover about a foot away from where they plug into the tranny. This wireing harness goes into a T junction with another wireing harness. Peel off the entire outer plastic conduit harness covering the T junction about 8 inches in all three directions and you will be able to see the other three wires wired together in a makeshift splice under some factory electrical tape. Peel that tape off and you will discover that the splice is corroded. Because of this corroded factory last minut splice which said corrosion appears about between 30,000 and 120,000 miles depending on how wet your geography is, the ECU cannot communicate with the selenoid pack that goes to the transmission so irregular shifting occurs, namely Limp Mode. Most certified mechanics only detect the fact that the selenoid pack is not getting a signal or the ECU is not sending a signal so they think that either the selenoid pack is bad or the ECU is bad. They are wrong in both cases. Un-splice the three wires, cut off the corroded wire ends, cut back the insulation to the three wires and RE-SPLICE THEM. Then cover them with new tape. Now the tranny coil pack can recieve messages from the ECU to shift the tranny. Its that simple! ! ! ! ! ! ! Your eternal problem has now been permanently solved and your tranny will shift like new! ! ! ! One other thing, on some Mopar vans this simple problem that causes real havoc in these beautiful vans is the ground wire to the tranny is corroded and must be cleaned or replaced as it causes that same exact simptom of limp mode due to a bad connection.

24 out of 24 people think this is helpful.
1997dogeramowner
40

I have 1997 4X4 5.2 318 which has been slow to shift into drive. Transmission was serviced by a transmission company and I asked then to check the bands. When they gave me the truck back they asked me if I knew that my truck wouldn't shift into overdrive. I actually never noticed that problem. They never did say if they checked the bands. Anyway 3 months later I can't get out of first gear. Almost feel like they did something just to get me to come back for more work. Anyone familiar with those symptoms?

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
ozfeind2
230

My 96 dodge ram 2500 4x4 stifts fine when you first take off then when you stop and take off again will shift to second but will not shift to third. Then if you stop shut it off the restart it will shift fine again till you stop then have to repeat any ideas?

23 out of 23 people think this is helpful.
Joseph Coleman
20

I ve been working now two weeks on my 99 4x4 with the 318. 5.2 liter v- 8. the concludion I ve come to is the ecm just forgets how to to shift. Try disconecting your battery cables for an hour, to clear the memory the start it up let it idol for five mins. If you've done this correctly your engin will idol poorly, then you will see it run better, its suposto be learning. thats resting the ecm computer correct? Doest anyone know how to re program the ecm computer

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Rammer81
0

Yo dan when it wants to shift it will if it doesn't wanna go into over drive that's just the rammer telling you it want to be loud lol when it does shift it wants to take it easy. Prolly low on trans fluid . I don't ever check in neutral I always have someone sit in the truck and shift through the gears going from park to neutral and filling to safe level on dipstick while the truck is in drive. U want it at safe level while it's in operation not in park or neutral and forget about the cold mark,Means nothing! Always check Hot! Better to over fill then under fill ! A little extra pressure might help things spin and move. I have a 99 dodge 318. I was told to get the trans rebuild 5 years ago and the mofo still goes. That's dodge . Take a lickin and keeps goin

Rammer81
0

Yep that's my story and I'm sticking to it

Stan Still
0

the bands in the transmission are to be adjusted every 10 to 15k miles it is because they cant keep up with the puter if thats not the issue then have it scanned to make sure the factory governor isnt faulty this is the same issue i HAD with my 1997 1500 4x4 ext cab 5.9

sasquatch4by4
70

i have a simmilar problem. tranny wouldnt shift into 3rd. pulled the pan and found the little wedge piece to the rear band adjustment. put it back and reset the bands to spec. trying to put the valve body back in and cant get the shift linkage to line up in the tranny. any tips on how to get that done?

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.
sasquatch4by4
70

its in a 96 dodge 2500 5.9 liter 4 wheel drive btw

Robert Brown
30

What is the purpose of the sprag gear in a 46rh transmission

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
ranman376
80

always make sure you clean out the trans cooler lines and the rad. auto hate heat. from what i gather it works fine at first then slips this is 99% sure the trans is getting hot could be dirty lines or torque converter drain back valve plugged it is located in the radiator pressure side remove it and check flow a hot trans will warp your clutches in a short amount of time. no reverse is caused by 2end gear servo slip bad design from fac. undercut grove for seal new kit should have told you that they post it inside instructions 2end gear servo operates reverse

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Soldier32
0

Tim, do you still have that 1996 Dodge truck? What state? I had one and 125,000 miles the OD was holding it back from performing. So I took it into Danny Transmission in Killeen, Texas where I lived. I don't know exactly what he did, but it was just like having a racing transmission afterwards. It shifted hard, but at 30 mph I kicked it down and the rear end was going back and forth. The posi rear end did it's job. They can be rebuilt to last. I wish I'd never listened to my ex. Yes I know. I wish I could find another one. Those motors are great to have. Lance

chell71
50

I have a 1999 Dodge Ram 1500 that just quit shifting once it gets warm. We bought it last year and it worked just fine up til 2 months ago. When the truck is cold it shifts just fine, but once it warms up you can't get it out of first gear. I don't know what happened, can anyone tell me where my problem may lie with this transmission problem.

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.
Erick Brengle
0

I have same issue lost trop trans hose to radiator leaked about 7 qrts was able to get home a street over from house at 5 miles an hour fixed hose put new fluid and a week later trans through a governor code so i replaced new governor silenoid and shift silenoid and still having trouble shifting sometimes works sometimes doesnt please help 520-912-5674 Erick

Anthony Cryer
30

I have a 96 dodge 5.9 4x4 and all gears are forward even reverse goes forward what could it be?

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
Danny Chapman
10

I was driving my 1996 Dodge Ram 1500 today and I heard a reall loud boom like I ran over a big rock or pothole, when the stoplight turned green the truck wouldn't go, heard som clacking coming from under neath had to have a tow truck take it home what could be wrong? Will I need a whole new transmission! Would it be cheaper just to junk the truck?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
FalconD1499
0

ME AND MY SON AND FRIEND OF MINE REPLACED A 1996 DODGE RAM 1500 5.2L TRANY WITH A SAME YEAR MAKE AND MODEL BUT 5.9L-5.2L WAS SLIPPING ON ME THE MECHANIC THAT PUT MY ENGINE IN SAID MY TRANY DIDNT HAVE A FIRST GEAR. BUT ANOTHER MAN TOLD ME IF IT DIDNT HAVE 1ST GEAR IT WOULDNT GO INTO REVERSE SO ANY HOW WE CHANGED IT OUT ONE WITH THE OTHER AND GO IT ALL DONE FEW BUMPS AND BRUSES AND A FEW BUDWEISERS GOTER DONE BUT NOW DAMN TRUCK WILL START BUT LIKE MOTOR WONT CATCH AND RUN JUST TURNS AND TURNS CHECKED EVERYTHING COMPUTER CODE READER #0443 CAME UP BUT I DONT KNOW ANY THOUGHTS THAT COULD HELP THANKS.

EPPERSON93
20

I have 1 question. Just got done rebuilding a transmission for a 1998 dodge ram 1500 4x4 sport with a v8 magnum automatic. Put it back in runs great only problem is it won't go in park. What do I need to try and make it go back into park

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

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