View Full Version : Cummins w/ auto. trans.

Travis Followell
12-18-2004, 02:42 PM
Do any of you that have Dodges with Cummins diesels have auto transmissions? I have heard plenty of bad things about Dodge auto. transmissions and was wondering how well they hold up with the Diesel engines.

12-18-2004, 07:48 PM
I don't know much about the cummins but I just ordered a 5 speed in my 05 ram with a hemi. I did this for the same reasoning as you.

12-18-2004, 09:12 PM
When we used to plow, there were two brands of trucks in the transmission shop lots after a heavy wet one. Ford, and Dodge. Along with the transmission woes, Dodge also has frames that cracked through in front of the drivers door, and the worst brakes in history, they are the same front calipers as the GM vehicle from '88-'99 For every rear set of shoes you replace, you will have replaced 4 sets of front pads and a rotor or two, which, due to the small size of the caliper, would warp from all the heat and give you foot massages while stopping.

I have heard Dodge is supposed to be working on some kind of deal with Sunstrand, who makes class 6,7, and 8 truck automatic trannies. Weather it materializes or not is another story. Dodge uses an overdrive that has a wiring harness that is integrated into the OD unit. (no way to ever replace it) By running the wires through the middle of the transmission instead of outside the case, when the tranny heats up and cooks, the wires get wasted in the process. Even though there is nothing wrong with thier OD, the wires cannot be replaced, so, you just get doinked for another $450.00 for an OD unit that needs replacing.

I love the Cummins engine. They just need a good mate for a automatic tranny.

Travis Followell
12-18-2004, 10:51 PM
Yea, i'm the same way. I love Cummins engines and Dodge trucks but the trans. is the weakset link.

Metro Lawn
12-19-2004, 12:32 AM
We run a number of pre-1993 Cummins/auto combo Dodge trucks. Pre-O/D trans days. These units still ran the old style 3 spd auto. Never had problems with the transmissions in these units.

12-19-2004, 12:54 AM
I bought my second Cummins, it has the auto in it and is going to be used to plow snow. The previous owner pulled a fiver with it all over the country. Truck has a 136k on it and the previous owner had all the sevice records and has never had any trouble with the trucks transmission. Keep it serviced and you shouldn't have any trouble.

Want to know more about the transmission issue go to www.turbodiselregister.com.

12-19-2004, 02:10 AM
Pre '93...727 torqueflight, the best transmission anyone ever made, except the 2 speed power glide. Hook one of thiose bad boys up to a 6000 HP nitro burning Hemi and run 330 mph quarters all day.

The only weak spot on a 727 is reverse.Make sure you are idled all the way down and full stop before shifting or you may just hear that famous pop when the mainshaft would snap.

12-19-2004, 01:46 PM
Truck has a 136k on it and the previous owner had all the sevice records and has never had any trouble with the trucks transmission. Keep it serviced and you shouldn't have any trouble.].

Same here. 130,000 miles. Zero problems. Maintenance is always key.

12-19-2004, 03:34 PM
i had a 2001 dodge with a cummins ho 6 speed great truck sold it with 200,000 miles on it .it was an 3500 4/4 and all it did was pull only reason i sold was to find a dump truck since i have a 2005 hemi 5 speed 3/4 ton as my light truck its doing well around 15 to 16 mpg not to bad for a gasser i also had 3 powerstrokes no tranny isues all autos and pulled way more than i ever should of

12-19-2004, 04:39 PM

You live in Iowa, right? No hills or mountains? Mostly highway driving? And the 6 speed was stick right? That is why you have not lost any trannies. Do you plow snow, and does that snow get wet?

If you plow alot in a snow belt, and if you pull down the road that has hills and grades, the two trannies you don't want are Ford or Dodge.

If you got 200,000 out of a plow truck, or out of a truck that pulled loads in and out of mountains, I would open my eyes. I'm not criticising here, just trying to place perspective on applications.

12-19-2004, 05:24 PM
with my dodge i pulled my skidloader and atachments on a 14,000 pound trailer loaded to the limit mostly on 2 lane black top and gravil roads in and out of fields with the fords i pulled a lot of wagons in and out of filds and to coop but the wagons im talking about are brent 640s loaded wiegh 40,000 lbs my nighbor pulls them with his dodge wich has a auto ans cummins he has replaced 1 tranny in 7 years

12-19-2004, 05:37 PM
But the ground is flat right?

12-19-2004, 06:19 PM
main black tops are fairly flat a lot of gravel is not we live by river valleys a lot of the miles from the dodge came from delivering trailers to west coast i had 190,000 on it 2 years ago

12-19-2004, 06:45 PM
Ok. And your truck had the manual shift? The reason I ask, I have never seen a Dodge/Cummins with the new OD automatic ever get 100,000 miles. Many are lucky to hit 30,000, just like Ford. Of the ones that did hit high miles, they are used for highway driving, little to no snow plowing, and not a great deal of stop and start. It takes very litttle to hang together after the intial load has been removed from the start process. Mountain driving is hell on trannies. And, there is a large difference between driving through them and driving in and out of them every day. You can't kill that Cummins motor, and if dodge ever made a tranny as dependable as the 727 torqueflight, they would have it all. Let me ask, how bad were the brakes on the Dodge? I ran a '94 GMC 454 with a L80E automatic 4x4. The first tranny went after 157,000 miles, and it plowed every year in the midwest. The brakes were the same fronts as Dodge used, and, they SUCKED! 15,000 miles, you were lucky to get out of them in normal stop/start driving.

12-19-2004, 09:20 PM
yes it was a ho in 2001 all you could get was a manual tranny with that motor i hear that the new ones with the 4re8 autos are working well with the new 600 there is no way i would buy an older cummins with an 4re7 trany unless it had been built but i still like sticks better my brakes lasted well but it was a duelly and had very good trailer brakes but ive never had any problems with a ford tranny either but i did have one go out of an 1/2 ton 90 chevy and the motor went out at 65,000 it was an lemmon .....but you also have to be wary of the 5 speed dodge trany also because of the 5 th gear nut that loosens up
now as far as abuse goes farming is just as hard on them as anyting else is alll you do is stop and go and always pulling somthing you shouldnt and hauling way to much

12-22-2004, 02:56 PM
100,000 on mine with the 47re
The electronic lock up on the torque converter is the killer for these things when you're towing heavy. It makes it harder to pull a long hill in top gear and the tranny downshifts under load.
A new auto is in the works for daimler-chrysler in the next year or so.

12-23-2004, 09:57 AM
Havent been hearing a lot of references to types of trannies. The dodge went to the 48re mid year in 03. Tranny people I have talked to say it looks like a good one, but havent heard for sure yet. The people with 47re's (autos pre 03, and some 03's) have a proven poor tranny.

I have an 02 standard, no problems with brakes, though I havent looked, I'm pretty sure they are 4 wheel disc, no drums/shoes.

Anyone wanting to know about dodge trucks with cummins, go to www.turbodieselregister.com or www.dieseltruckresource.com , there are a lot of people really knowledgeable in all aspect of these trucks.


Randy J
12-23-2004, 10:31 AM
If I were going to do a lot of HEAVY pulling, I wouldn't want an automatic in any vehicle. I did a relatively small amount of pulling with my '98 Dodge 2500 4X4 quad cab, long bed, but did drive it hard. I didn't have to put front brake pads on untill 120,000 miles, and never touched the rear brakes - other than to manually adjust. As for the transmission, I had over 160,000 miles on it when I sold it, without even a hiccup from the 47re. I did run Amsoil, and changed it regulary, in addition to having a Mag-Hytec double deep transmission pan. The mighty Cummins puts a lot of torque through any transmission, Dodge even had problems with the 5 speed manuals, but if it's taken proper care of, chances are an auto will last you a fairly long time.

12-24-2004, 10:09 AM
Well said Randy, maintenance and sensibility will go a long way. Even the mighty Allison is having problems from people using it for things it wasnt designed for.


12-24-2004, 02:50 PM
KLC, what year is your truck? You might want to install a T/C lockup switch. It keeps the T/C in OD when you are towing uphills.

12-26-2004, 03:13 AM
yeah i had a dodge key word being had
brakes pulled in either direction when applied
lost oil pressure on topside of motor, cracked ear in oil pump,cracked plunger in inj pump, fuel shut off went bad, dash fell apart, weak weak weak, sending unit in tank went bad, roof leaked,door leaked, throttle linkage springs broke all the time, couldnt keep tires on it no matter how it was driven,starter failed, seats ripped at sewing seams, 3 sets of calipers and still had problems, that cummings motor was so weak it wouldnt even get out if its own way. mind you this truck was babied all the time and routine maint. was done as called for. i will never own another dodge as long as i live! i own a ford now and i havent had any trouble at all and i have 3 times the power and 10 times the truck.

save yourself before its too late. get anything but a dodge. it will save you time and money in the long run. ......sorry i cant mow your lawn today my crappy ole dodge is in the shop again........

Randy J
12-26-2004, 11:40 AM
scabyscapes, sorry to hear about your troubles with your Dodge. I know quite a few people had the problems you described, although I don't know of anyone that had all of them on the same truck like you. Yours must have been a late 90's. I will say though, if you're ever in need of another truck, you may want to give Dodge another chance. While yours was obviously a "weaker link", the vast majority of them are great trucks. The Cummins motors have simplicity and reliability far over the competition, not to mention power and potential power. I've owned 2, my father has owned 2, and a friend of mine has owned at least 5. I had absolutely no problems with mine. Neither did my father. My friend had a problem with his 5 speed transmission, but he was turning far more than stock horsepower through his engine.

12-26-2004, 02:36 PM
the cummins motor is one of the best motors you can get i even have a few friends that have ripped out there powerstokes and repaced them with cummins ive had fords with powerstokes and have had no problems with them they are very good motors but i still think the cummins is better an inline 6 will always be a better motor in a diesel than a v8 motor ive been looking for a older crewcab ford with a bad motor to do a cummins swap

Travis Followell
12-26-2004, 06:42 PM
Thank you guys for all the info.

12-26-2004, 08:18 PM
well all I know is I work on all kinds of veichles, and the main ones comming in with tranny problems is gm's and dodge. More chevy than dodge

12-27-2004, 03:29 AM
i loved my dodge until i started having all of those problems. i know dodge has made alot of changes scince i have had mine but it left me with bad feelings for them. i might later on in the future but it would take alot of talking big time. the cummings is a good motor but each to his own. my dad swears by dodge as well does my brother in law but i out pull them everytime.

my dodge was stock and i still had those problems..go figure just my luck and a lemon i guess

12-28-2004, 06:36 PM
I hear ya on Dodge being junk i had a 99 3500 dually and what a pos it was , you name it it went wrong .....rodbearings.. water pump.. oil pump... timing chain... crankshaft...brokenbolts in rocker arms...broken push rods ... battery.. and every freaking sensor that was on the truck I had had it with that truck and always went to my backup 1996 3500 chevy 454 that never had a problem so i finally went and dumped the dodge for a 01 chevy 3500 hd so i have now 2 chevy 3500s in the stable never again on a dodge never never and never ..... Can you say


12-28-2004, 07:28 PM
smoke your duramax? come on thats a little to easy. haha. yeah i dont think i will ever go with another dodge

12-28-2004, 08:47 PM
stroke not smoke lol it would take alot to smoke a duramax !!! lol

12-28-2004, 11:21 PM
oh geez here we go again. stock duramax hp is 305 and the new psd is at 325hp do we really want to go down this road? lol

earthwerks unlimited
12-31-2004, 06:59 PM
I have an '03 Ram with the High Output Cummins--have 30,000 miles on it and not one problem. Dealer said when you buy the diesel option the factory automatically up grades critical parts in the trans. including the transfer case. I tow my backhoe, my large LS180 skidsteer and a 5-yd dump trailer loade with wet fill--- in overdrive--and up hills (one at a time of course) Total weights are around 15,000 - 17,000 lb.

I plow(ed) with both trucks and have had no problems with the new one (the '99 went through 2 complete sets of front end parts due to the heavy BOSS v-plow plow)

My '99 Ram w/o the H.O. diesel pulled the same loads with no problems and it had 140,000 miles on it at trade in. The difference between the HO and a non-HO is like nite and day from a noise and power standpoint (305 HP and 555 lb.ft torque).

As far as brakes go, Dodge has come a long way on brakes. My '03 has 4-wheel discs and stops on a dime even when fully loaded or pulling a trailer.

And about frames cracking with the diesels, yes, there were problems but there have been many design changes to the frame since those problems happened. In fact, the '03 -up trucks are completely different design-wise---even the frames are different--they are hyfro-formed meaning a metal tube is bent/formed under hydraulic presssure to create a four-sided structural member vs. a formed frame which looks like a C-channel from the end.

The front axle on 2500 and 3500 Rams are very similar in design to the ones been used since 1994. However the new 4x4 1500's use independent suspension.