Acting up gears

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Old 02-04-19, 07:08 PM
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Acting up gears

Ok, so I have one for you.
2 Dodge RAM forums stay silent on this.

2005 Dodge RAM, 4x4, auto. 166K miles.
4.7L V8
Driven few days a week, commute. Very light truck use, occasional hauls. Bought used.

As of about a month now, after started, R - car is always parked nose in in garage - takes about 10 seconds to engage.
If shifter moved back to P then back to R, it engages faster.
Does not engage as in - nothing happens, then thump follows and truck starts rolling back. If gassed during this delay, engine roars, but no response from transmission.
D does same, only much shorter, almost right away roll.
ATF and both transmission filters were changed not so long ago. Level checked and is good. Dodge ATF.
NO LEAKS. I have cardboard underneath, it's dry.
Otherwise, outside of being slow and gas guzzler, everything else operates fine.

Here's caveat. If started in Neutral, then shifted to either R or D, both engage right away.

Did torque converter stall speed test, pegs at 2000 RPM. Can't find spec for TC, no idea if it's right or wrong.

Also, after warmed up, no issues. Everything runs as it should. Let it sit for some time - it may have a little thump or kick, but nothing major.

NO noises shifting gears manually. Transmission shifts better than my Lexus NX200. Very smooth.
What makes me believe that it's not, actually, trannie.

Any ideas?
 
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Old 02-04-19, 08:31 PM
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seals leaking internally, low on fluid, sticking valve body.
 
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Old 02-04-19, 10:22 PM
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It's a Dodge?

Sorry, not helpful, but I agree with Iceman. Likely just needs a rebuild or swap for rebuilt. Not a lot you can do externally except maybe a flush and I avoid those at all costs. Loosens up too much junk that they may not get out.

You suspect other than trans, but what? And why?

Also, you say after it warms up. To full op temp? Or just 30 sec?
 
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Old 02-05-19, 06:10 AM
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Do you know how frequently the transmission fluid was changed throughout the life of the vehicle? I have heard of problems caused when changing the transmission fluid on a vehicle that has gone too long on the old fluid.

The other thing I would check is the adjustment of the shift linkage. Maybe it is slightly out. You can test by instead of simply moving it to R or D you can wiggle the lever or move it slightly out of the detent position to see if that helps the shifting.
 
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Old 02-05-19, 10:08 AM
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1. no idea how well it was serviced but when drained, ATF was not overly too bad.
2. my gut tells me it's torque converter. Simply because when engaged, transmission operates very nicely. Very. Slipping bands, interior leaks - I'd presume, will result in jerks shifting, noises, etc.
3. linkage is under consideration
4. "warms up" as in - give it some time driving and it all works fine. More than 30 sec but less than few minutes. It behaves like as if it built up pressure inside the transmission system and then it all runs well.
5. reason I start in Neutral is simple. Someone online said that when you start in Neutral, TC activates ATF pump right away hence, ATF pressure goes up and gears engage as they should. So I tried it and it does work. That's another reason I am leaning towards torque converter issue. Unfortunately, there is not much ways to check it from the outside and pulling DIY that transmission with transfer case is way beyond me. My car lift is not set for trucks and it's 19 degrees outside.
That's why I am trying to narrow it down to the most plausible cause. If it's transmission, I'll sell the truck (yes, I know, don't shame me) as it's not worth transmission change or even rebuild. If it's TC, I'll do it, will cost me around $700 total. But that's as far as I shall go with more money spent on it.
I literally need to get by next 2 weeks... It's the only car I have with 4x4 and winter tires in next averaging temps in 20s, snow, ice and 33 mile one way commute. When it warms up, I can anchor it to decide what to do with it...
 
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Old 02-05-19, 11:45 AM
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sounds like a valve body or solenoid problem would lean toward valve body since it doesn't occur in neutral.
 
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Old 02-05-19, 11:57 AM
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What are the symptoms of "valve body" when driving? And what exactly is it?
 
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Old 02-05-19, 12:11 PM
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OK, I read up on valve body and failure symptoms. I have none of them. As far as D engages, transmission works like a charm.
 
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Old 02-05-19, 12:50 PM
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common symptom would be slow to engage in gear but once it does engage it usually drives fine, the valve body bolts to the bottom of the transmission and is what directs the fluid to the correct clutch to make it work.
would probably contact a few transmission shops describe the problem exactly as you have here telling them about the difference in park and neutral and see what they recommend as they have probably seen the issue before.
the tc is always engaged to the pump so if the engine is running it should have pressure available.
 
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Old 02-05-19, 06:02 PM
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I added some Lucas for now. I need 2 weeks... Crap for weather coming. I'll deal with it later. Not replacing transmission. It's Dodge. Already had blown head gasket last year. Starts showing money pit pattern.
 
 

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