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Richard, Dodge Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 4141
Experience:  Over 26 years of experience as lead tech and shop foreman.
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1998 Dodge Ram 3500: The automatic transmission is not shifting

Resolved Question:

I own a 1998 Dodge Ram 3500 Diesel. The automatic transmission is not shifting when it should. The shifting is delayed. This occurs more frequently when it is cold outside. It is now doing the same thing even in warmer temperatures. This has been happening for sveral years.
What is causing the problem?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  Richard replied 8 years ago.

Hello there!

The delayed upshifts will be caused by either to much throttle pressure or not enough governor pressure.

This could be caused by a few different things. Your upshifts are controlled by governor pressure and your downshifts are controlled by throttle pressure and here are the things you should check!

1-Check your throttle valve cable on the driver front side of the transmission. It connects to a throttle valve lever. When the gas pedal is up the lever should be all the way forward and when you start pressing the pedal it should start moving rearward, The lever has a return spring on it to return the lever to the front. Check this for binding/sticking and make sure it works freely!

2-Your governor pressure has to be monitored with a scan tool. In drive stopped the governor pressure should be 0psi and as you start acceling the pressure should rise. I use a scan tool along with a pressure gauge hooked to the governor pressure port on the right side of the transmision then I compare to make sure the sensor is working properly. Governor solenoids are the most common part that fails with these 47/48re transmissions. I always replace the solenoid along with the sensor if found faulty. They are easy to replace you just have to pull the pan off to replace.

3-Another thing it could be is a sticking valve in the valve body and the only way to repair it is to replace the valve body or have it rebuilt by a professional. I have special tools to clean up the bores and valves so they float freely.

4.Another thing you could check is to see if the output speed sensor is broken or loose on the driver rear of the transmission. It is normal for it to feel a little loose.

I hope this helps! It is hard for me to say for sure what is causing this because I have run into all those problems. Thankls, Richard

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Since this has been going on for a few years, would that eliminate any of the above possibilities?
Expert:  Richard replied 8 years ago.

No not really! They should all be checked for proper operation.

Are the shifts delayed from 1st to 2nd, 2nd to 3rd or 3rd to o/d or all the shift points

Customer: replied 8 years ago.


It is mostly from 1st to 2nd, but occurs with all shift points.

Expert:  Richard replied 8 years ago.

What speed does it shift into second at light throttle?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
RPM is at 3500 to 4000 and it often still doesn't shift unless I back off the gas.
Expert:  Richard replied 8 years ago.

That sounds like it is missing second gear and shifting from first into third. This is a common problem that I have seen and if it is shifting from 1st to 3rd and missing second the front band linkage fell apart or is way out of adjustment. The front bands on these transmissions are a weak spot and if they don't get adjusted every 50,000k they won't last long if pulling loads. The best way to find out if it is missing second is after it shifts from first floor it and see if you can get up to 100k without it shifting again, and if you can you will know it missed second because second will not go that high.

If you pull the pan off you will probably find a piece that applies the band laying in the bottom of the pan. Let me know, thanks! Richard

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