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New Owner of Ram Van 1500

Discussion in 'Vans' started by ArianaDaddy, Apr 6, 2014.

  1. ArianaDaddy

    ArianaDaddy Member

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    Hello All

    I am the new owner of a Ram Van 1500. It is a 2000 model with the 5.9 and 46RE transmission. Has 91,000 miles on it.

    Have most of the maintenance receipts from the previous owner, and am looking over them.

    Is there anything special to look out for on this model year of the van as far as maintenance goes?

    I am planning to do the shock absorbers soon, since that is one of the things that appears to not have been done based on the receipts, and maybe have the back brakes checked. It looks like the van has had regular oil changes, transmission fluid changed at least twice, at 20,000 and again at about 70,000.

    Last major expense was changing the sparkplugs and a leaks on the timing cover and a serpentine belt. The work order said the tranmission had to be pulled to change the sparkplugs. Has anybody ever heard of that? The dealer charged her $1300 labor, this was at 84,000 miles.

    Anyway I am glad that I am a member of Allpar, since this is the best forum of knowledge that I have found.

    Thanks!
     
  2. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    No, the transmission does not have to be pulled to change the spark plugs. Something is off there.

    One failure point to watch out for is the intake plenum gasket. If the van develops an appetite for oil, this is often the reason.
     
  3. Jerry Simcik

    Jerry Simcik Well-Known Member

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    The doghouse has to be pulled - perhaps they call that a transmission cover??? No idea other than that...

    If it hasn't been done, at your next transfluid change, you should check and adjust the bands on the 46RE. That'll keep it shifting nice and smooth.
     
  4. ArianaDaddy

    ArianaDaddy Member

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    I was just looking over the receipts that the son in law gave me. His mother in law was 84 years old and took it to the dealer for nearly everything. The last service had plugs replaces and stated transmission R+R to reach two plugs. Labor was $1320. This included the serpentine belt and a timing cover gasket.

    Maybe this dealer just took advantage of this older widow.

    If so that is really sad.

    I will keep track of oil usage. We used to have an old truck with a 318 and two barrel, this is our family's first 360. I may take it to the transmission shop for that band adjustment with an fluid change.

    Would you recommend a transmission cooler? Or just change each 30,000 miles or so.

    Thanks for your comments on what to watch out for with the new to us van.
     
  5. Jerry Simcik

    Jerry Simcik Well-Known Member

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    Every 30,000? Not even. You could easily run longer intervals than that. Just make sure you use the correct ATF fluid. No Dexron/Mercon B.S.

    Unless you plan on towing all the time, you shouldn't need an aux trans cooler. In fact, you'll get better economy and better shifts if the trans temp stays at about 195°F. It usually takes a while to get there, and a cooler would just slow that down. (That higher temp is a big reason why the Mopar ATF fluid is required.)

    The plugs are below the manifolds on these magnum engines. It is possible that the transmission might have to be slid backward on the Vans to get access to the two rearmost plugs due to the tight packaging, though I'd sure think there would be another way to get to them...
     
  6. ArianaDaddy

    ArianaDaddy Member

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    Yes you would think that replacing plugs would be considered in packaging the engine transmission. When I pull the dog house I will take a look at that. If we tow with the van it will be an about 3000-3500 lbs max trailer. But first will check out the oil consumption and other things to be ready for a trip on Memorial day I hope.

    Thanks
     
  7. MoparNorm

    MoparNorm Active Jeeper
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    Pull the doghouse, the plugs are right there. The B vans were pretty easy to work on.
     
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  8. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    If the van has the 5.9 it may already be equipped with a trans cooler from the factory. Have you checked yet? It may be hard to see as the radiator, trans cooler and ac condenser are all sandwiched together.

    I would be VERY careful where you have the transmission serviced. You'll still find many places using a generic fluid plus an additive instead of the Mopar designed ATF+4. When the transmission was serviced before was the filter ever changed? I'd alternate between a flush one time and a filter change the next but doubt it really needs it every 30k miles.
     
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  9. ArianaDaddy

    ArianaDaddy Member

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    Hello, sorry for the delay checking back in

    Been busy at work, just started a new job. Looked over the receipts, and transmission fluid and filter done at dealer at 21,000 and again at 71,000 miles. Said 7 quarts ATF-4 on the 71,000 mile job.

    I will look for a transmission cooler on the front of the van tomorrow, told my wife we need to get it out and drive it some to see if anything else might need attention. Hope to take the family on a sunday picnic.

    Thanks
     
  10. vipergg

    vipergg Well-Known Member

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    Wow they screwed that person over. If the the 5.9 is like the 5.2 then all you have to do is pull the doghouse which was like 8 screws or bolts inside the cab. Shouldn't take more than 20 minutes to do that . On the 5.2 once you had that cover off they were easy to get at . I would change the wires while you are in there . Shocks are a good idea as they will make a huge difference in ride and control . These big vans get squirrely in heavy crosswinds, just an fyi .
     
  11. DrDan68108

    DrDan68108 Well-Known Member

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    Indeed. The mechanic was either incompetent (and failed to ask for help) or just found a way to get more money out of the ol' lady.

    I changed four of the plugs on my '02 B1500 3.9-liter. Which brings me to my plug-related question which seems to fit here: What do you folks use for getting at those in the front. They're easy to see, but I couldn't see a way to get my socket extension in there. I'm sure it's just a matter of getting the ideal fitting between the socket and the ratchet handle. Remove the transmission? Uh, no.
     

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