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Discussion Starter #1
While driving around town going up a slight grade all of a sudden the rpm went from 1200ish to 2500 and felt like the trans slipped into neutral. I though maybe my leg or the dog bumped the transfer case shifter on the floor but alas. I pulled over to the side with the little momentum I had left and started to do the little troubleshooting I could on the side of the road in the cold and dark...

I have a TRE Diesel Performance transmission with around 11K since being installed. It's their "Base, RM1" build; I'm hoping to hear from the builder the exact internals but all I have for now to go off of is "billet components, upgraded clutches, billet input shaft and heavy duty torque converter". It has a Sonnax Performance accumulator piston installed as well as a BD Diesel Dodge Pressure Transducer Upgrade Kit.

I purchased the truck around 500 miles ago, it has 97K. The only recent maintenance has been an oil, oil filter, and fuel filter changed 1,000 miles ago. The trans was serviced after 1,000 miles on it. I also cleaned up the battery terminals and oiled them to prevent corrosion (I losing battle here in Alaska).

So far I've check the fluid level, it is satisfactory (on level ground with truck running in Neutral). Checked the shift linkage connections. Cleaned and reseated all electrical connectors going to the trans. I had one trouble code, P0700 that I noticed after one restart while troubleshooting (not sure if it was there when the problem first occurred). I reset it and hasn't come back after 10+ restarts and an hour more of idling time. I also unplugged the 8 pin connector and tried getting any forward gear to work with no luck. Reverse works just fine, N, D, 1, & 2 all feel like Neutral and don't grab at all. In Park I can rev the engine all the way to the rev limiter, but in D,1,2 I can't get it much above 2,000rpm.

Any help or diagnostic tips are greatly appreciated. It's dark and cold currently here in Alaska and I don't have a shop or garage to be able to work in. There are no 'Dodge' shops here that I know of who know the 48RE. I hope to do some more simple things to hopefully pinpoint the problem before I drain the fluid. The FSM points towards the Rear Clutch as the culprit possibly, but don't want to jump to that conclusion quite yet.
 

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Sounds like valve body failure or blown seal in the rear clutch to me. Best way forward would be a call to TRE, they’ll probably tell you to get a trans pressure gauge on one of the ports.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
No luck getting ahold of TRE today. Hopefully Mon/Tues. It's cold and dark here so tough to get motivated to hop under the truck. Will work on finding space or a shop to do the diagnostics and work. Will advise with findings, I picked up a NAPA pressure test gauge but still need another with a 0-100psi gauge on it to conduct the rear servo pressure test accurately.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Due to the foot of snow we got, won’t be crawling under the dodge anytime soon. Thankful the Tacoma is almost finished being painted.

Spoke with TRE and we think it’s the Bellville spring or the lip seal in the Rear (forward) Clutch housing. So when I’m able we’ll pull the trans in the drive way.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Been starting the truck up while i keep uncovering her from all the snow we've been getting. She finally threw some codes: P0700, P1763, P0713, P0753.

Anybody have any experience with this combo? The most recent mod in the transmission was done by the previous owner, installing a BD Power Valvebody Electronics Kit. Maybe something came loose in there, hopefully I'll have a break in weather when I'm off work and can drop the pan. The trans temp high code seems out of place to me but maybe there's another reason it throws the code.

Also, does reverse rely on the governor solenoid or pressure solenoid in the valve body?
 

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Any resolution on this?
I have a TRE built transmission as well and I have the exact same problem.
No mods other than running smarty level 3.
Never tow.
Fluid is clean and level is good.
Reverse is solid.
Truck drove fine earlier in the day.
Backed out of the driveway and when I put it in D nothing. No noise. No grab at all just feels like its still in neutral.
Low 1 and 2 have the same neutral feel.
Engine starts in ONLY neutral and park like FSM says it should if linkage is adjusted correctly.
I have not opened up the pan yet.
No codes but I'm not sure my alfaOBD tool can see everything. It has an engine interface but appears to be missing anything for the tranny. Should there be a separate transmission controller interface?
I've emailed TRE but no response yet.

Thanks,
Tim M
 

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Any resolution on this?
I have a TRE built transmission as well and I have the exact same problem.
No mods other than running smarty level 3.
Never tow.
Fluid is clean and level is good.
Reverse is solid.
Truck drove fine earlier in the day.
Backed out of the driveway and when I put it in D nothing. No noise. No grab at all just feels like its still in neutral.
Low 1 and 2 have the same neutral feel.
Engine starts in ONLY neutral and park like FSM says it should if linkage is adjusted correctly.
I have not opened up the pan yet.
No codes but I'm not sure my alfaOBD tool can see everything. It has an engine interface but appears to be missing anything for the tranny. Should there be a separate transmission controller interface?
I've emailed TRE but no response yet.

Thanks,
Tim M
You have a forward clutch problem, too. I'd be curious to see how TRE is setting them up.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Still haven’t had the chance to open it up yet, hopefully this weekend or next week. Hasn’t been above freezing and I’ve been out of town...

I did order a new solenoid and pressure transducer kit, that was the last thing that was messed with a few thousand miles ago. But I don’t suspect that’s the problem. Still thinking it is the spring or lip seal on the forward clutch.

Looks like you are close, it has a warranty to the original owner if you can pull the tranny and haul it up to TRE they’d fix it. I’ve had the best luck calling to get ahold of him.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Finally got one side of the truck dug out from the 50+ inches of snow we’ve had, was able to drain the fluid before it started snowing again. Has less than 1000 miles since last fluid change. This weekend may be promising to drop the pan and see what’s inside.
 

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I got a chance to pull the tranny and get things apart. I will echo what others have said: the hardest part is getting the tranny out of the truck.

The belleville spring was not cracked. I compared mine to a brand new oem spring. When I lay the old one on top of the new one (bowl down) , the dog ears have about 1/16 “ gap indicating it was starting to fatigue/deform.

The direct and rear clutches were pretty damn nice shape. Slightly darkened direct steels. That fits with what I mentioned in my original post about the fluid being clean and minimal material in the pan. My drain plug looked identical to haywire’s.

Smoking gun: the teeth on the rear clutch retainer were deformed where they sit on the input shaft drum. The clutch retainer along with the belleville spring moved rearward far enough that the belleville spring couldn’t adequately hold the forward piston, allowing it to move out of the input shaft drum enough that it deformed/tore the seal as it moved back in.

I suspect the harder teeth and maybe sharper edges on the TCS input shaft drum combined with higher pressure caused the deformation. Not sure. Interestingly TCS also makes a billet rear clutch retainer. I went ahead and got one.
I also found a billet belleville spring which I decided to go with.

I’ve got a rebuild kit from TRE with the following:

new direct steels
both direct and forward frictions
the usual gasket, etc…
new intermediate band

Picked these up as well:
Billet rear clutch drum
billet belleville

Tranny had about 35k(7 years long past warranty) and was working great up until I lost all forward gears so I will assume I should not go further into the tranny?
Anything else I should be checking/replacing?

Going forward my plan is to add pressure/temp monitoring. Any tips here are appreciated.

Thanks,
Tim
 

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You bent the Belleville, which allowed your forward piston to over travel. I can see by looking at it in the background of the picture of your forward drum that it's bent. How much line pressure are you running? Anything over about 180 with a stock Belleville an you're on pretty thin ice, especially with a late model piston/Belleville combo.

BTW, the TCS input shaft had nothing to do with it.
 

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Thanks for the response.

4 frictions in the forward.

Not sure the pressure. What is a good setup to monitor it?

When I lay the old belleville on top of the new one (bowl down) , the dog ears have the gap shown in the pic. So yes its bent. However, when I reassemble with the brand new belleville, the rear clutch retainer is actually loose and there is about 1/8" gap between the piston and belleville (the same amount the input drum teeth dug into the rear clutch retainer allowing it to move reward). Is this not the problem?

I also posted a picture of the input drum(front clutch hub) teeth. They only protrude about 50 thousandths.
 

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Two more pictures of the rear clutch retainer deformation. You can see the input drum teeth almost made it all the way through in the first pic. The second picture the teeth made it less than half way. So the piston was able to push further on one side. (i.e the side with deformed seal.) This combined with an aged (slightly bent) belleville?
 

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OK. Four frictions is good. I still see some companies trying to run a 5 disc setup in the forward. For one, it is totally unnecessary, and two, 5 frictions don't fit on the ring gear well at all. It's easy to walk one off the end of the splines.

You've definitely got some damage to the drum there. That's not typical. I really don't see that much. Replacing that is a good move.

Make sure you've got a late model forward piston in there. The part number cast into it should end in letters, like "AA", or "AB". If there are no letters at the end, you've got an early 47 piston in there. The early 47's had a thicker Belleville and a different piston.
 

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Thanks. I see two numbers one ending in AA and one ending in AB.
 

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You should be in good shape then. Just put it together with the new parts and you should be fine. A little play when it's all back together is fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Got the trans pulled yesterday and torn apart today. Found the rear (forward) clutch drum broke in two pieces. The outer lip seal was torn as well, but I’m guessing that was the result of the drum failure. Parts (billet clutch drum, billet belleville spring, new frictions and gaskets) on order and then back together in a week or so...
 

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Discussion Starter #19
So I found out this transmission has had warranty work for the exact same failure before, any one have any ideas on what could cause it? It looks like I’ll have to do a full inspection/rebuild to find what is wrong but any pointers are appreciated, thanks.
 
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