Main Cause of failure of the 68rfe and how to prevent it? - Dodge Cummins Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 57 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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Main Cause of failure of the 68rfe and how to prevent it?

I've known that the Chrysler trans isn't necessarily the most reliable transmission, so I was wondering for our 2017 Ram 2500, what should I do(or not do), in order to make sure the transmission lasts as long as possible? Obviously follow the maintenance manual for fluid and filter changes, but any driving style techniques and what I shouldn't do with it? Apparently the most common case for failure is overheating, so what temp do I get, when I should pull over and cool it down? Is there any other reason for failure? I've dug around these forums and can't quite get these questions answered, otherwise I apologize for beating a dead horse.


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post #2 of 57 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 10:45 PM
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How many failures in the last couple of model years have you seen reported that weren't on modded and tuned trucks?

They have been continually upgrading weak points in them.

And, I tow heavy a lot, and have never seen trans temps go much higher than normal even under high load.

Simple maintenance and no abuse is all it takes. 263,650 miles so far.

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post #3 of 57 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 11:32 PM
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If I remember right, below 220 degrees F is preferred. Around 240 is time for a fluid and filter change and add a cooler.

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post #4 of 57 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 11:42 PM
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A while back I watched a 68RFE being broken down to be rebuilt on YouTube. It was from a tow truck that had submerged the tranny. The tech said the 68RFE is a good tranny, just don't get it wet inside as the water causes delamination of the disks.

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post #5 of 57 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 11:59 PM
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What I learned is if towing heavy, lock it out of 5th and 6th gear, they are both overdriven and the od clutch pack tends to slip under heavy loads and burn out. It happened on my 07.5, at around 107k miles, towed to much in 5 and 6 because the cummins had plenty of power to pull my 12,000 lb 5th wheel. On my 13, I definitely keep it out of 6 and will run only in 5th on flat ground cruising steady speeds. Temperatures run 170* empty or loaded on flat ground. I will hit 210-220 on 7-10% grades that require me to run in 2nd and 3rd gear because of tight switch back curves that I run with trailer 1 or 2 times a year.

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post #6 of 57 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 12:04 AM
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99.9% of the failures are from people that delete/tune the truck. If you are stock you shouldn't have anything to worry about.



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post #7 of 57 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 12:07 AM
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I only know of one failure on a stock truck (Jared), and otherwise they are pretty solid. As Ltngdrvr said, he has 263,000 on his and he delivers 5th wheel rvs for a living, so at least 50% of his miles are towing trailers in the 10,000 lb plus range.

I had a valve body fail in mine, but it was a random casting flaw. Nothing about the design at fault.
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post #8 of 57 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 12:12 AM
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Dodgenutfarmer is spot on. Your over drive clutches with fry, 5 and 6. I just fried mine I am lifted with 37s and tow often. They made it 70k miles tuned and deleted on 100hp most of the time. Replacing the clutches isn't a big task but you can tell when they are shot... Make sure you do a nice break in before towing. My dad's 2017 has been in the shop 4 times now for tranny issues... We just can't get it figured out...


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post #9 of 57 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 12:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodgenutfarmer View Post
What I learned is if towing heavy, lock it out of 5th and 6th gear, they are both overdriven and the od clutch pack tends to slip under heavy loads and burn out. It happened on my 07.5, at around 107k miles, towed to much in 5 and 6 because the cummins had plenty of power to pull my 12,000 lb 5th wheel. On my 13, I definitely keep it out of 6 and will run only in 5th on flat ground cruising steady speeds. Temperatures run 170* empty or loaded on flat ground. I will hit 210-220 on 7-10% grades that require me to run in 2nd and 3rd gear because of tight switch back curves that I run with trailer 1 or 2 times a year.
I've always tow in 6th when practical, when the load is not too great, speeds near 70 or above.

Lock out 6th when lots of hills or when towing at 65 or slower.

So far, so good.

Like I posted, continuous upgrades and improvements have been made to the 68RFE, much better now than a few years ago, TONS BETTER than when first introduced.

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Last edited by Ltngdrvr; 06-16-2017 at 12:14 AM.
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post #10 of 57 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 12:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VictorD View Post
Dodgenutfarmer is spot on. Your over drive clutches with fry, 5 and 6. I just fried mine I am lifted with 37s and tow often. They made it 70k miles tuned and deleted on 100hp most of the time. Replacing the clutches isn't a big task but you can tell when they are shot... Make sure you do a nice break in before towing. My dad's 2017 has been in the shop 4 times now for tranny issues... We just can't get it figured out...


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Mine weren't fried that bad, but I was also stock

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post #11 of 57 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 12:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodgenutfarmer View Post
Mine weren't fried that bad, but I was also stock
They were smooth as glass haha! I have a revmax 850 in my truck now, gonna bash on that and see how it goes! Got some major power coming soon!

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post #12 of 57 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 12:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ltngdrvr View Post
I've always tow in 6th when practical, when the load is not too great, speeds near 70 or above.

Lock out 6th when lots of hills or when towing at 65 or slower.

So far, so good.

Like I posted, continuous upgrades and improvements have been made to the 68RFE, much better now than a few years ago, TONS BETTER than when first introduced.
Here in Cali., we are limited to 55 mph legally while towing. Running at 70 you have more rpm's which gives more line pressure to the clutch pack, maybe thats enough of a difference to keep clutches from slipping

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