Dodge Cummins Diesel Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The "How many miles" thread got me to thinkin' -- and I know the answer is going to be "That depends", but I have to ask anyway:

How long did your stock tranny last, and under what conditions (modifications, use, what have you)?

Here's why I ask: My '94 47RH is new to me. I've had it about a year. It only had 94k on the ticker when I got it, and the transmission feels solid. I've heard lots of horror stories about what the CTD will do Dodge transmissions, though.

In the "stock trannys weak?" thread in the General Discussion forum, there were a few guys who chimed in that Dodge trannys aren't nearly as bad as they've been rumored to be. My mechanic holds the same opinion: If you take care of it properly (he runs a 12-valve and a 24-valve on his farm and changes fluid/filter in his transmissions twice a year), and if you don't try to do the work of a 2-ton truck with a one-ton, your transmission will be fine.

I'd love to get to half a million miles without any transmission work. I bought a 1-ton dually, knowing I'd seldom use it to its full potential. It's going to get toolboxes down both sides -- and they'll stay full of tools and material (I'm an electrician) -- but I'll seldom haul or pull heavy loads. Mostly I'll be running around lightly loaded. Logic tells me a heavier-than-needed truck will last longer under those conditions than a lighter truck.

Any modifications I undertake, then, will be with longevity and fuel-efficiency in mind: rework the intake from the airbox to the manifold, exhaust manifold then turbo-back, 40-50hp injectors, mild shot of propane, maybe swap ring and pinion gears for 3.73's, maybe a secondary overdrive, etc.

But all that still leaves the transmission question (which is really the first question I need to answer before I attack the other stuff): Will throwing $3k-$5k at my transmission give me a trouble-free tranny for the next 350k-400k miles, or will I still be reworking it somewhere down the road?

If I'm going to have to rework transmissions, it just doesn't pay to put an aftermarket-built transmission in there. Same goes for just a TC/VB ugrade: If I'm going to have to rework clutch packs, apply bands, input shaft, whatever else, it's cheaper to do a factory rebuild kit -- UNLESS the aftermarket doubles or triples the life expectancy of the transmission.

I know that's a long-a$$ed post, but all you CTD Old-Timers know a bunch more than I can ever hope to know. I gotta pick your collective brain when I can. Thanks.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
19,810 Posts
i had my tranny 265,000 miles before i had to touch it. i always ran the stock fluid and changed the oil regular. also my tranny was stock and so was the truck. i would maybe invest in a torque converter and a shift kit and or built valve body. as long as you don't go crazy with power you shouldn't have problems with weight. i had 3 boxes with tools and 150 gallon fuel tank and much abuse on mine but like i said stock and well maintained. eagle makes a good rebuild kit too check into transmission web sites on line like sun coast. don't blow thousands if you don't need too keep the money because it looks like you may have better things to spend it on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
i had 3 boxes with tools and 150 gallon fuel tank and much abuse on mine but like i said stock and well maintained.
Sounds like you're running pretty close the the max weight I'd be running. And you're right: I do have better things to spend money on. I just want to spend just enough money on my truck that I can say I've got a 1-ton/250hp truck that'll run 500k-750k miles at 20+ mpg with little more than routine maintenance.
 

·
AlGores worst nightmare
Joined
·
2,006 Posts
I have about 118k on mine. I put a Transgo kit in it about 2 years ago, which helped, but the Sonnax kit is supposed to be better.
VB and TC upgrade are great, but since you have to drop the trans to put the TC in, at that mileage you might as well do an O/H. I got the TC(single disc) and VB from Dunrite for about $1200, and my trans guy says about a grand to R&R with a stock rebuild, plus parts. I'm upgrading a couple other items while in there, so I should be around $2k.
The oem TC loses so much power, and causes so much heat that just replacing it is a big improvement.
Of course you could just run it, do the regular maintenence, and see how long it lasts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
I have a kind-of horror story? well i bought the truck with 78,000 miles on it from Worthington Ford (I had a buddy that got me a good deal) and they had put a brand new clutch in for me. Of course after all the mods i have, the clutch went out so i put in the southbend just before getting the smarty. and then, at around 90,000-something miles, my tranny just locked up while i was driving on a curvy road on the side of a mountain...no good. Couldnt tow the truck cause the rear tires were locked up, so we had to call a flatbed. I checked the rear diff. and the transfer case first, but they were both good. so i fired up the truck, without front or rear drivelines, and without the transfer case, and in gear, it still put a load on the motor, so i shut it right off. long story short, Worthington ford gave me a truck with barely any oil in the transmission and the input shaft bearing completely and totally fried, ill try to get a picture, its pretty bad. now ive got a reman NV5600 for $2300+$390 shipping ready to install. not something i ever wanna do again.:$: Im sure with the proper lubrication it would have lasted twice as long, ive seen many guys that run 1000hp+ on stock NV5600's with a BIG clutch haha and they last forever.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Sorry 'bout all that, Catalina. Sounds like a rough deal. I'm looking for info on 94-98 trannys, though, specifically autos. That's why I posted in "94-98 Powertrain". :thumbsup
 

·
AlGores worst nightmare
Joined
·
2,006 Posts
The auto's have gotten a bum rap. People don't service them, abuse the heck out of them, and then they break and it's "all the tranny's fault"!!
As long as you're at stock power, keep up with the maintenence, and don't abuse it, it'll last.
But when you do get a good TC, and VB, you'll be kicking yourself for not doing it sooner.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
The auto's have gotten a bum rap. People don't service them, abuse the heck out of them, and then they break and it's "all the tranny's fault"!!
That's what I'm starting to think.

As long as you're at stock power,
Well, I am now, but doncha think I'll probably end up 75-100hp over stock, by the time I install a stage 1 intake, intercooler, intake manifold, exhaust manifold, turbo back 4", mild propane injection, and 40-50hp injectors? The point of all that is incremental gain in fuel mileage for each element, but I understand that each element also adds a bit of power.

But when you do get a good TC, and VB, you'll be kicking yourself for not doing it sooner.
So, how much are we talking, ballpark, to install a solid TC/VB combo (maybe w/ 2nd gear TC lockup option)? $1500?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
555 Posts
good at 140k till i cut the plate to #100 with the mods in my sig. now its pretty much done hahahaha
 

·
AlGores worst nightmare
Joined
·
2,006 Posts
I don't know how much you'll spend. Only the trans guy you go to can give you a price.
Heres some of the ones mainly chosen by those on these sites;
Diesel Transmission Technology - DTT Performance Diesel Transmission and Power Accessories
Goerend Transmission Incorporated
Dunrite Converters :: Welcome!
Sun Coast Converters Diesel Transmissions, Fort Walton Beach FL
Call them, tell them what you need, and they'll give you a quote.
Or you could look around locally for someone who's trusted in the performance arena, and talk to him.
Good luck, I've been saving to get mine done for 3 years. I bought the TC/VB last year, and now can get the rest done, FINALLY!!!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,221 Posts
My stocker had a flawless 235k on it before I went to a Suncoast.
Only reason I replaced it was because I had the money, otherwise it probably had many more miles left on it.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top