85 Dodge trans problem


Old 01-29-04, 06:16 PM
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85 Dodge trans problem

Hello to all: I recently bought a 1985 Dodge van, B250, 318(or 5.2 L), auto trans. Motor was rebuilt 2 years ago, runs fine, trans was rebuilt 5 months ago, looks new from outside, BUT when I first crank the vehicle and drive, trans slips- after driving and warming up for about 5-10 minutes, it shifts like normal-What's going on? I always thought that a trans would slip AFTER warming up, if it was bad-not while it was still cold. Anybody have any ideas? Have only had vehicle about a week, it's in good enough shape that I wouldn't mind putting in a new trans, if necessary-but hope it's not neccessary right now. Any ideas would be appreciated.
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Old 01-29-04, 08:24 PM
mike from nj
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first, no trans should be acting up within 5 months of a rebuild, regardless of miles. you might have some recourse with the original rebuilder if you have the reciept and your name matches the name on that reciept(hint, hint).

outward cleanliness has NO bearing of what was done inside, i can tell you i almost never clean the outside of the case except for wet oil, the grit stays there(and they last plenty long too)

second, if it slips once, and only once, then you might have a torque converter drainback issue. if it slips repeatedly when cold, then a seal somewhere wasn't replaced. if it won't upshift when cold (appearing to be a slipping issue) then you have a governor/valve body/seal issue.

your best bet is to take it back to the rebuilder, if not, then you might want to get a free checkout from somewhere, and with an estimate. there's no need to drop the pan to inspect anything, a test drive and at the most an oil pressure gauge is the most they will need(and don't expect the pressure test for free). then you can decide if that's what you want to do.

i can recommend you don't pay the guy who rebuilt it the first time, who says he'll do it right this time?

if there's one trans that ANY shop can rebuild, it's this one. i'm sure any 'competent' shop can do it with their eyes closed

if you want to check the basics first, check the trans fluid with a warm engine, idling and in neutral, level ground too. next thing to check is the linkage from the carburetor to the trans. it should move rearward (at the trans)smoothly as someone presses the gas pedal. it should also return all the way forward when the gas pedal is lifted. if it returns all but a 1/4 inch, it will cause problems. there should also be at least one spring on this linkage, sometimes two. with the engine cover off, you should be able to move the linkage with your hand too, and watch it return all the way.

let us know what you do.
Old 02-03-04, 06:35 PM
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Thanks to Mike from NJ

Thanks for your response to my trans problem. I make it a policy to NEVER take a vehicle back to the guy who didn't do it right the first time! I don't squawk about the price they quote, but I expect it done right(even though I did'nt pay for this rebuild). I haven't checked anything on the vehicle yet(too cold outside), but I did notice a left-over gallon of Dex III in the vehicle. I thought Chrysler products use ATF 3 or 7176 or something like that. Is it possible the wrong trans fluid was put in?
Old 02-03-04, 11:55 PM
mike from nj
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atf+3 or dex III wasn't invented back when this trans was built.
i think it used just atf+ back then. i couldn't see the fluid mismatch causing this problem, unless it was leaking, and ran too low, and caused another problem. i would assume since you have it in the van, that it was used.

it also depends on what type of parts the rebuilder put into the trans when he had it apart. assuming it's the newest stuff, you would want to now use the atf+3 (or even the +4, that stuff is too expensive though)

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