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Old 04-18-2009, 05:44 PM   #1
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Tranny guru's out there? OD slipping?

Well, my trusty '94 Dodge B350 (1 ton van) has starting making a "rubbing" type sound (sounds almost like a heavy belt slipping ..... low frequency noise + vibration) anytime the van's in OD, and torque is asked of it (going up a hill, accelerating firmly) from 45+ mph.....

At first I thought I had a loose tranny mount (it feels like the vibration is coming from right between the front seats), but I am noticing that it doesn't happen when the van's in 3rd, out of OD. I also wondered about my u-joints.. but both the tranny mount and u-joint would show itself in all gears, right? I don't get any drivetrain "thunks" from start, or on/off the throttle...

So is my OD slipping? Is this an "easy" (read 'cheap') fix? Is it the torque converter and not the tranny? And lastly, I need to leave in a month or so for our first rally, if I tow out of OD (like I always do), will the tranny survive the trip? Is it just an OD thing?

Anybody got a ballpark repair cost?
Thanks!
Marc
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Old 04-18-2009, 07:22 PM   #2
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If your truck has a tack drive at a steady speed, 50 or so, up a straight hill. While watching the tack give it a little throttle, not enough to kick it down a gear. If the tack moves at all ahead of your road speed the converter is slipping.

How many miles on the trans? This should not happen with less than 100,000.

If the converter is slipping you should be able to install another one without a complete trans job. I would drop the trans pan and make sure there is no junk in there. Also if you can get someone to put a pressure gage on the trans to make sure the pump is putting out enough pressure to hold the converter lock on.
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Old 04-18-2009, 09:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Ms75Argosy View Post
Well, my trusty '94 Dodge B350 (1 ton van) has starting making a "rubbing" type sound (sounds almost like a heavy belt slipping ..... low frequency noise + vibration) anytime the van's in OD, and torque is asked of it (going up a hill, accelerating firmly) from 45+ mph.....

At first I thought I had a loose tranny mount (it feels like the vibration is coming from right between the front seats), but I am noticing that it doesn't happen when the van's in 3rd, out of OD. I also wondered about my u-joints.. but both the tranny mount and u-joint would show itself in all gears, right? I don't get any drivetrain "thunks" from start, or on/off the throttle...

So is my OD slipping? Is this an "easy" (read 'cheap') fix? Is it the torque converter and not the tranny? And lastly, I need to leave in a month or so for our first rally, if I tow out of OD (like I always do), will the tranny survive the trip? Is it just an OD thing?

Anybody got a ballpark repair cost?
Thanks!
Marc
Marc,

The OD gear itself won't slip (unless it's broken). Most likely the problem is the torque converter. However, it could also be the clutch pack, plugged valve body, or a bad bearing. Your best bet would be to take it to a good and trusted tranny shop. Don't take it to Aamco.

If this tranny has more than 80,000 miles on it, then I would suspect you are going to need a rebuilt trans.

If you have a large gas engine or the diesel in front of this tranny, then I would suggest a heavy duty valve body, torque converter and clutch pack.

Price is going to be determined by how much work you do. Are you going to pull it out yourself? Are you going to have the shop do all the work?

If you pull the tranny and take it in, you could get a rebuilt unit for $800 to $1200. Double that if you have the shop pull it out and put it back. If you want some heavy duty parts, then the price goes up more and quickly.

Good luck,

Woody
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Old 04-18-2009, 10:57 PM   #4
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Marc, I'm sure you know you have a 518 transmission in your van, which is a 727 with an overdrive unit hanging on the back of it. The torque converter SHOULD lock in 3rd gear, with the overdrive off. If it does, try what Howie suggested to confirm it's in the torque converter. You should feel a kind of high-pitched shudder if the torque converter is slipping. If it only does this when the transmission is in overdrive, it is possible it has a bad bearing in the overdrive unit. This happened to our Dakota (also 518 transmission), as well as a fellow Club member with a newer Ram 2500 pickup.
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Old 04-19-2009, 01:56 AM   #5
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Hi, Ford had some chattering torque converters and the fix was fresh trans fluid. Change all of the fluid and replace the trans filter. Give it 500 miles to stop; And if it doesn't stop chattering you will have to replace the torque converter. Trans service is vital. Could be the same with other brands.
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Old 04-19-2009, 11:29 PM   #6
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Thanks guys... well... the van's a '94, and it does have 127,000 miles on it... so I can't complain too much... so I think I'll try changing the fluid and giving it a go... but I'm not so sure it will go away.

The van locks up fine in 3rd... it just "vibrates" or chatters in OD. I did notice a bunch of oil (old) that was sprayed up in a line just to the rear of the tranny, by the u-joint. I didn't think too much of it (just thought the rear seal might have leaked a tad on a towing trip)... and haven't noticed any oil on the ground. Maybe that's when the bearing went bad?

Anybody have some trusted tranny shops in the Seattle area they'd like to share with me?

I could pull the transmission... but don't have the time right now... I have been thinking of a new t.v. for some time too.... but the delimma is that my daughter will have a 20 mile drive to high school next year.. so I wanted a commuter car and keep the van (but it does need a new A/C compressor as well)..... need mpg and towing...

So... can I tow about 200 miles in a month with the tranny as is?
Marc
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Old 04-20-2009, 12:09 AM   #7
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So... can I tow about 200 miles in a month with the tranny as is?
Marc
I would not advise it. Your transmission will likely not fail within a mile of your house, but more likely about mile 98 on the way camping. A tow truck for both the van and trailer will be expensive.
The oil you found toward the rear of the transmission could be from the vent at the top of the transmission, it would have blown out the vent if the transmission overheated.
A used transmission might be an option.
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Old 04-20-2009, 07:03 AM   #8
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with that rear seal leak it might indicate one other possibility. the tailshaft bearing might be going bad. given the history of Chrysler's lock-up converters, the converter is the likely cause.

ask the transmission shop if disabling the lock-up feature is possible to buy you a little time.
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Old 04-20-2009, 08:17 AM   #9
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ask the transmission shop if disabling the lock-up feature is possible to buy you a little time.
Modern transmissions are designed for maximum cooling with the torque converter locked. It really would overheat in short order unlocked, and towing a trailer.
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Old 04-20-2009, 08:29 AM   #10
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Pac Trans in Yakima Wa fixed me up while on the road several years ago. I drove 250 miles to get there on a recommendation of a friend in Mt.
I would do it again. 509) 457-5005

They fixed the problem not created a bigger one.

That was over 100,000 miles ago
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Old 04-20-2009, 08:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Ms75Argosy View Post
Thanks guys... well... the van's a '94, and it does have 127,000 miles on it... so I can't complain too much... so I think I'll try changing the fluid and giving it a go... but I'm not so sure it will go away.
Marc

A reputable trans shop can "power flush" the system to remove all fluid from the cooler, lines and converter.
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Old 04-20-2009, 08:39 AM   #12
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guages?

Are you running a tranny guage? That would provide an inexpensive way to collect relevant data.
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Old 04-20-2009, 09:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Ms75Argosy View Post
Well, my trusty '94 Dodge B350 (1 ton van) has starting making a "rubbing" type sound ...so is my OD slipping? Is this an "easy" (read 'cheap') fix? Is it the torque converter and not the tranny? And lastly, I need to leave in a month or so for our first rally, if I tow out of OD (like I always do), will the tranny survive the trip? Is it just an OD thing?

Anybody got a ballpark repair cost?
I blew the tranny in the B-250 Dodge at about 90,000 miles – I purchased the Dodge with 35,000 miles on it. Almost all of the miles I put on it were towing some sort of trailer – after Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005 I made a round trip from Houston to New Orleans almost every weekend for about a year and a half. I was pulling a dual axle 18’ trailer about 60% of the time, a single axle 12’ trailer about 30% of the time, and no trailer the other 10%.

The Dodge has a 360 engine with a 3.73 rear end. Cost for a "heavy duty" rebuild (there are various grades of replacement parts) was $2500, including the installation of a temp gauge. The failure was quite sudden with no indication of impending problems. I had previously installed a tach just to look for tranny slippage, but there was none in this case - the actual cause for the failure was a seal leakage at the rear, causing all of the fluid to be lost. Again, this happened all of a sudden - no indication of a leak at all in the driveway prior to leaving for the trip.

Failure happened right at 60 miles into the trip - not a particularly hot day. First indication of a problem was smoke billowing out from the rear of the van - the result of the tranny fluid being thrown onto the exhaust system.

I had lost a Mark VIII tranny previously at 60,000 miles (gradual failure), a Lincoln Town car (company car, sudden failure, chewed up the clutches) left me high and dry in Venice, Lousiana at 45,000 miles, and a Taurus tranny (another company car) at 35,000 miles - oh, and the 345 MoHo - twice (http://www.airforums.com/forums/f156...saga-3428.html) - transmission failure can certainly occur at any time.
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Old 04-20-2009, 12:02 PM   #14
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Well, I found a shop that I think I like... I'll let everyone know the damage...$$.... hopefully not too much...
Marc
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