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1dodgewrench, Dodge Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 158
Experience:  20+ years Dodge Dealer experience, ASE Master Certified and Viper Certified & Diesel Certified
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I have a 1997 dodge ram 3500 camper van with about 56,00 km

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I have a 1997 dodge ram 3500 camper van with about 56,00 km on it. Three times now when climbing a hill the transmission seems to 'disconnect'. It actuall roars but does not engage.

I have to slow down and get the vehicle get back into the proper mode for the tranny before the situation is resolved. The problem is intermittent but is very worrisome.

Comments or advice please?

Hello and welcome to Just Answer.

I can try and give you some guidance here. The first thing to do is properly check the transmission fluid. This transmission must be in neutral engine running for a proper reading. Is it full and what does the fluid smell like.

Thanks and look forward to you reply!

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Have done the above after the first incident. The situations was checked into by mechanics (in Dodge dealerships) in both Sandpoint Idaho and Calgary, Alberta.


They both thought it might be the fluid level. I presume it was corrected as ..

.. The mechanic in Idaho thought th elevel was too High


.. Th mechanic in Alberta thought the level was Ok.


Based upon these helpful contradictions we then went on another trip only to have the 'surge' or 'roar' happen again under the same circumstances.

OK when this occurs, is it always in high gear? WHat happens if you shut off the OD switch when this happens. Also which engine do you have? It may help with doing some checks. But we do need to narrow this down a bit so I can give you good sound advise.

Thanks and Look forward to your reply!

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

1. Believe it is in always in high gear.


2. Have not tried the OD switch. Shall I ONLY DO THIS WHEN CLIMBING A HILL or just keep the OD OFF all the time?


3. The engine is a 3500.


Note: I am the most UN-mechanical person on earth so be a little patient as i give lessons in dumb.



Ok well the next step is to see what happens with the OD switch. Also just for our knowledge assume the fluid level is correct, do me a favor and open your hood and pull the trans dipstick and smell the fluid, see if there is a burnt odor to it. Don't worry if it smeels burnt you will be able to tell.

I look forward to your reply.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.



Will have to suspend our conversation as the vehicle inn question is my camper van and it is parked about 2 miles from here in a compund. I shall attempt to get there in the next day or so and perfrom the duties you suggest.


I will get back to you A.S.A.P. W have a major trip planned and are reluctant to set out until this situation is resolved.


Thank you for your patience.


Best regards,


Reg Peters


[email protected] Telephone XXX-XXX-XXXX Days. Res. XXX-XXX-XXXX

I look forward to your reply. Have a good day!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Relist: I still need help.
It is not your mans' fault for the delay. My vehicle is in a storage compound about 2 miles away. I need to access it to answer some of his questions in order to assist me. This may take 48 - 72 hours.

Thanks for your patience.

[email protected]
Hello, were you able to check the things I aske or would you rather speak to another expert? Thanks!
Absolutley, not a problem. Take care and talk to you soon!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Cannot locate the ACCEPT AREA ON THE MEMO.


Can you asssist me.

Hi, we never did get to a point of giving you an answer yet. If the fluid smells burnt this is beginning to sound like a bad torque converter. They do usually make a humming noise when they are having internal problems. But this could easily also be an issue with the internal seal or valves. If there is any internal slippage the fluid should have a burnt odor to it, even if it looks red.

You can feel free to continue asking any questions as you get access to this vehicle to do further tests.

Have a good weekend!

1dodgewrench and other Dodge Specialists are ready to help you

Thanks for the accept, I will leave you a good feedback, please consider doing the same for me.

Have a great day!

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
OK for now . Will have a local mechanic follow up physically.