Dodge Transmission Question

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by kps2389, Apr 11, 2009.

  1. kps2389

    kps2389 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 346

    I have a 97 Dodge Ram 1500 and while towing sometimes the tranny gets real hot. So my question is would putting a deeper tranny pan to allow more fluid capacity help keep it cooler? Also is there any other modifications that would need to be done or just bolt on the pan and go. Thanks for any help.
  2. Herrick

    Herrick LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 506

    Do you have a factory external transmission cooler on it? If not, get an aftermarket one, best way to cool down a trany. Also, those Dodges have a check valve of sorts that likes to stick as they get dirty... find a good transmission shop and they can help you out. It'll save you a $2000 rebuild... trust me...
  3. kps2389

    kps2389 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 346

    Ya It has the factory tranny cooler but still heats up thats why Im looking for something else to try to keep it cool. Like you said I dont want a $2000 build for a rebuild.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    What you want to do is drain the fluid and replace the filter once a year,
    it's a bit messier but not really much harder than doing an oil change.
    Don't forget to add fresh fluid.
    That's what I do, once a year, fluid and filter change.

    Then, maybe an oil cooler?

    Or just back off the gas a little when towing, take it a bit easier accelerating.
  5. nosparkplugs

    nosparkplugs LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,444

    If your working the crap out of that 1500 the A518 46RH will be junk soon. The fact it's already getting hot with the factory tow package means you need a bigger truck, the aftermarket trasnmission cooler will not stop the inevitable.

    The other option drive it till the 46RH blows, and rebuild it heavy duty or upgrade to a 2500

  6. 44DCNF

    44DCNF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,506

    Check your fan clutch, to make sure it's not on it's way out.
  7. mag360

    mag360 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,446

    Definitely do the deeper pan for more capacity---this will lower your temps.

    Also check to be sure your fan is working---do your coolant temps rise with the tranny temps?

    You can install an electric pusher fan on the front of your tranny cooler---this will also lower temps---especially when climbing a hill at slow speeds.

    Change the fluid and filter when you install the pan---heat is a real killer for an auto trans.
  8. Herrick

    Herrick LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 506

    You should really head over to or for some expert advise (not that what others have said aren't good ideas). 2nd gen dodge transmissions are a quirky beast. with the right maintenance/parts they will do every bit as well as any other manufacturer's transmission, if not better.

    I spent over $1600 to have my 97 Ram 1500's rebuilt after I overheated it, only to find the sites above and read up on what could have saved me a bundle.

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