Dodge Diesel Trans Probs?

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by Rick Danger, Oct 15, 2003.

  1. Rick Danger

    Rick Danger LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 20

    I want to buy used a Dodge 2500 with the Cummins diesel. I've been told to avoid the automatic trans because they can be troublesome and cost major $ to fix. I don't mind buying a truck with manual trans, but most of the trucks out there are auto and selection of trucks with the manual trans is really limited.
    I just want to know what you guys think, and if anyone as had any problems.
  2. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,697

    119,000 miles and no problems (so far). Make sure you change the tranny fluid and filter according to owners manual.
  3. Lawncareguy

    Lawncareguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    Rick, the auto transmissions need to have the adapter plate added if you intend on doing any heavy hauling. If not, (Under 5k) then you should be fine with just normal tranny maintenance. I have never owned an auto tranny but you can do a search on the web for a site called Turbo Diesel Register and find all kinds of info on auto Cummins applications. I just prefer a stick for hauling anything. Easier on the brake system also because you can control the load a little better. There are more used autos than sticks available.

    Good luck.
  4. Randy J

    Randy J LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,124

    Look hard enough Rick, and you'll find a stick. However, if you'd rather have an auto, you most likely won't have any problems with it - if you treat it right. I ran synthetic in mine and serviced it every 30,000 miles. I had 160000 miles on my '98 4X4 when I traded it in. There are 3 major manufacturer's of aftermarket parts for the transmission, and a bunch of others. A good torque converter and valve body can do wonders for it, and cost anywhere from $2000 - $3600. I certainly wouldn't let an auto scare me away from a Dodge/Cummins.

  5. Rick Danger

    Rick Danger LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 20

    Thanks guys!
  6. blafleur

    blafleur LawnSite Member
    Messages: 229

    Tranny preferences must be localized. In my area, sticks outnumber auto 3-1. I have a 5 speed and love it, but wish I had got a 6 speed. The standard is very strong, has more HP, and I also use to slow the trailer to save on brake use.

    I have heard the 03 and 04 auto are supposed to be better. But even the 02 problems I think are mainly from towing very heavy.
    As Randy said, the Turbo Diesel Register is more than a wealth of info on dodge diesels, I think you have to pay to be able to do a search though. There is another site that is free and will also answer any of your questions, it is, go under forums.

    Good luck.

  7. NYRookie

    NYRookie LawnSite Member
    Messages: 240

    Had a 2001 w/a 318, put 2 trannies in it in under 36,000 miles. The best part was I did not tow anything with it. Traded it in on a real truck 2 years ago when I got into the bussiness. I would not accept a Dodge for a gift. A local LCO has 2 Dodge/Cummins rigs, both have had trannies. 1 stick, 1 auto. I hope you have better luck.
  8. mag360

    mag360 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,445

    NY rookie---Any chance you were running dextron III mercon tranny fluid? That is what older dodge transmissions used but I have been told it will kill a newer one.
  9. NYRookie

    NYRookie LawnSite Member
    Messages: 240

    KLC99, I bought the truck with 3 miles on it. Got rid of it with 41,000 on it. The first time the tranny went it only had 19,000 on it, not even time for the first scheduled service. The second was around 33,000. I do not know what fluid it used except that it came in the truck originally.

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