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2000 Durango Transmission & Charging problems

Discussion in 'Repairs, Maintenance, Help' started by russ300h, May 29, 2020.

  1. russ300h

    russ300h Active Member

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    I have owned a 2000 Durango R/T for about ten years The odometer is just shy of 200K It was a California/Texas vehicle before it came to New England so corrosion wise it is still in wonderful shape. A few months ago I found another exactly like it for sale about 30 miles away. This one had 150K on it but has more corrosion - although still not bad. I bought it for less than the cost of the almost brand new 17" tires that were on it The nose of my original truck was previously hit and the paint is fading badly. I was going to strip down the parts truck and swap them. The parts truck was sidelined because of the transmission. It just didn't like to upshift. I drove it home and it ran better than my old truck. To get it to upshift, I really had to "boot it" and finally it would upshift. I brought it to a tranny shop who is the best in the area. They replaced a "transducer and a solenoid". It was working great until recently it started to do the similar problem It was a little easier to "boot it" and get it to upshift. I had it towed to the transmission shop and they said the "line pressure" was OK so there must be something else causing the problem. I'm thinking they just want to charge me again as if the original problem came back it was covered under their warranty. I only drove the truck like 5000 miles in seven months. What else could it be?? As to Durango number one, the problem is the alternator computer is not regulating. It goes over to full charge and stays there. I added a normal voltage regulator according the the instructions I was given and it is doing the same thing - overcharging. I'm told I can't swap computers even though the vehicles are exactly the same SO, my basic questions are how do I get my original truck to regulate the charge? What else could be wrong with the transmission that would cause the delayed shifts? Thanks in advance, everyone here has always been wonderful
     
  2. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    I'm assuming the second one is also an R/T so it has the 46RE transmission like the original. Check the TV cable adjustment. TV=throttle valve. You should be able to find videos or instructions online. If the cable is out of adjustment, it can result in a hesitancy to upshift.

    If the 2000 uses a standard black key (not the gray SKIM key then:
    You probably can swap computers as long as they are truly identical - the biggest things to make sure is that both vehicles have (or don't have) the factory security system and 2 vs. 4 wheel ABS. Yes, the VINs don't match but it won't shut you down.
    If it has a gray SKIM key, I wouldn't try the swap.
     
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  3. KOG

    KOG KOG

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    The charging problem can also be the alternator itself. Won't be that hard to swap them the check that possibility.
     
  4. ImperialCrown

    ImperialCrown Moderator
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    The 46RE has an electronic governor transducer and solenoid. They used to fail. Using a scan tool, the governor should increment ATF pressure 1 psi per mph.
    Worn or leaky clutch seals can also cause late upshifts. Has the pan been down for inspection and fluid/filter change? I would recommend the Walmart SuperTech ATF+4 meeting MS-9602. The Castrol Transmax ATF+4 does not meet MS-9602, but can still call itself ATF+4.

    Does the overcharge still occur with the regulator unplugged? If so, it may be the wiring or alternator grounded out. Are there charging system or transmission fault codes stored in the PCM?
     
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  5. russ300h

    russ300h Active Member

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    Thank YOU You guys are invaluable Imp C - Yes the pan was down. They charged for fluid. filter and gasket.($60) I have no idea what brand the shop uses. As I said, they have the best reputation in the area. I am also invoiced for a Solenoid ($96) and a transducer ($125) When these were replaced five thousand miles ago, it fixed the problem. I wouldn't suspect the clutch seals would deteriorate within that amount of mileage and time??? I am getting no fault codes for either problem. I did not try and disconnect the regulator I will try that.

    Valiant - 67 The vehicles are SO identical it is mind boggling!.Both R/T's, same silver grey color. The previous owner on the latter one had a custom exhaust installed with dual pipes coming from a single muffler.. Under the hood, the previous owner also installed a K&N filter assembly. Those alone cost twice (when new) what I paid for the entire vehicle. Plus, there were four almost new 17" Continental tires I "think" there is a slight difference in the controls of the radio, but even that I am not sure of as I haven't had them side by side. They are both CD/cassette radios. I bought it so inexpensively because of the transmission problem I'd be happy making one good one out of two, but I really don't have the facilities to change the engine and/or transmission. (PS) The vehicle in my avatar ('39 DeSoto) was out first family car(that was my bicycle! LOL) A lot simpler than these new versions! LOL!!!!
     
  6. russ300h

    russ300h Active Member

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    The shop just called and they say they cannot duplicate the problem How can that be?? It was driving me nuts the other day ??
     
  7. chuzz

    chuzz Well-Known Member

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    I can't explain any of what's happening to your vehicle, Russ. I think Walt and Mark have done a fine job, though. If I were you, I'd at least call the shop and inquire as to what type fluid they put in the Mopars. If they come back with, "We use Dexron with an additive", you might want to do a fluid flush and refill with the Walmart ATF+4 that Walt mentioned. It might just be a fluke that you experience it and the shop can't duplicate it. IDK, just speculating.
     
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  8. russ300h

    russ300h Active Member

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    Thanks MUCH I appreciate any input you can provide. They have a top notch reputation, but that doesn't mean they might not take some short cuts.
     
  9. Adventurer55

    Adventurer55 Well-Known Member

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    Russ, I have yet to find many so-called transmission shops that are or were specialists on these units. When they were newer most issues could be solved with either a solenoid/transducer replacement or TV cable adjustments. As they age wiring deteriorates and voltage begins to play a factor as well. If you've fixed all the obvious things and it's ok mechanically then this problem is about the only thing left.
     
  10. AllanC

    AllanC Well-Known Member

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    Attached images show wiring between the PCM, generator and battery. The DB wire provides system voltage to the generator field. The DG wire is the return or ground side of the generator field coil to the PCM. The PCM pulses the DG wire circuit on and off very quickly to regulate the charging rate. Check the DG wire for short to ground. Inspect the connectors on the DG and DB wire at each end for debris, shorts, corrosion, etc.

    The vehicle uses a battery temperature sensor which is located on the underneath side of the battery tray. It presses against the bottom part of the battery case and senses battery temperature. The PCM uses this along with battery voltage and electrical system load to determine the appropriate charging rate for the generator.

    Durango 2000 8W 20 2.gif Durango 2000 8W 20 3.gif Durango 2000 8W 20 4.gif
     
  11. Gerry G

    Gerry G Well-Known Member

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    What is the condition of the battery? Mopars are sensitive/temperamental when it comes to low voltages and will cause all sorts of weird/unrelated behaviors. That you report alternator issues tells me to check the battery; it should read 12.4+ volts without the motor running and around 14 volts (13.8-14.2) with the motor running.

    Also, give the grounds a good going over. Charging issues can be caused by poor/corroded grounds.

    The voltage regulator in the PCM has been shown to be very reliable so I would put put it down on my list of suspects, after the battery, alternator, and grounds. Once the charging issue has been worked out, I would then visit the trans issues.
     
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  12. chuzz

    chuzz Well-Known Member

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    This is true. I had a 94 New Yorker and took it to a "reputable" shop in the neighboring county and had them check the CVI's for me. I figured why I was there, I'd inquire about the costs of a fluid and filter change. He told me it'd be $45 and I asked him if he used ATF+4 and he said that they used Dexron with an additive for the Mopars. I noticed he had a LOT of Mopars waiting for rebuilds. I told him that was probably why he had so many Mopars sitting around, because he was destroying the transmissions by not putting the correct fluid in them. He got pissed off at me and I told him thanks for the CVI indexes, but I'd take a pass on him changing the fluid in ANY of my Mopars. At the time, I had 3. I miss those days..
     
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  13. Adventurer55

    Adventurer55 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the old we use dexron with an additive for Mopar. How many times have we heard that one.
     
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  14. russ300h

    russ300h Active Member

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    I just picked the truck up. Contrary to what I was told, It STILL shows the problem It took five miles to start acting up. The shop uses those "protective paper mats" to save the carpet. His are from "OILZUM" !. When I got home, I checked their website and they do not show an ATF+4 OILZUM !!! The shop is closed until Monday I will contact them then. I have a feeling they are going to try and say there is another problem so they can charge me a second time. Imperial Crown mentioned clutch seals. My question is: Is there a way to tell the difference in symptoms between clutch seals and the solenoid/transducer, or anything else
    ? THANKS! to ALL of you! You are lifesavers!!
     
  15. ImperialCrown

    ImperialCrown Moderator
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    Leaky clutch seals would show up as low line & clutch pressures with a pressure gauge attached to the outside case pressure test taps (with fully warmed fluid).
    It would make sense that after 5 miles the fluid would be nice and warm. ATF thins as it warms, which would make the symptoms of an internal leak worse the longer it is driven.
    If it was driven cold or just down the street and back, they may not have been able to duplicate the issue.
    Change and try the correct (ATF+4) fluid first. OILZUM may be too thin?
     
  16. russ300h

    russ300h Active Member

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    Thanks Very Much! OILZUM doesn't even make a +4 transmission fluid !! I'm buying some of your recommended +4 tomorrow and will get it changed I assume they don't make 20-50 Trans fluid!! (LOL) :-(
     
  17. chuzz

    chuzz Well-Known Member

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    You might want to get a full case, Russ. Just to make sure you've flushed out as much of the other stuff as possible. If you're just dropping the pan, you're only going to get about 4 quarts or so out. I don't know how much the torque converter holds but suspect it's probably around another 4 quarts or so. If you do a flush with all 12 quarts of ATF+4, THEORETICALLY, most of the old crap should have been flushed out and you'll be running mostly ATF+4. I'm sure IC or one of the other mechanics can verify or deny this. I'm NOT a mechanic and have never worked as one. Just my own cars for 50 years or so.
     
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  18. AC TC

    AC TC Well-Known Member

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    Dont bother so much about the oil, the 46RE and its cousins arent particulary fuzzy about oil, they run just fine on dex.
    - remember these are just an old 727 with an od and an electronically contrilled valve and transducer to mimic the old governor.
    - shifts themselfes are just hydraulic, only wich speed it shifts at is electronically controlled.
    You need to find someone who can scan the thing to se whats happening or its just throwing parts. ( will solve the problem but its kinda expensive method.) Find a shop with a drb3 or perhaps a star scan work.
     
  19. russ300h

    russ300h Active Member

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    I'm like you. I haven't been a mechanic for a very long time. As a kid in the 60's I worked on milk trucks, everything from Divcos (the ones where you stood up and drove them) to F750's. After the Navy, I just worked on my own cars. Automatic transmissions weren't in trucks then and I never had occasion to work on one. I took one apart once an little steel balls went everywhere. That was it for me!! . I always thought the oil in the T/C stayed there. I didn't think it circulated. I bought six quarts of +4 at Wally yesterday, they didn't have any more. I had to drive the truck yesterday and it was just as bad if not worse then when I first gave it to them. On the highway, it went into neutral twice, It never did that before. I checked the dipstick and the fluid looked more "yellowish" than "redish". It also "seemed" fairly thin. It is going back today, unless I have to file a consumer protection complaint against them, My main question is: - Outside of the Governor, Transducer and possibly the wrong fluid, is there anything else that can cause this terrible shifting?? THANKS AGAIN TO EVERYBODY FOR THEIR INPUT !!!
     
  20. chuzz

    chuzz Well-Known Member

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    I can't answer any more of your questions, Russ. All I know is back in the 60's and early 70's, Mopar had drain plugs in the torque converters where you could actually do a complete fluid change yourself. If your fluid is more of a yellowish color, there is something definitely wrong. I don't know what, but maybe IC or AllanC can answer it because they're mechanics.
     
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