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Dodge transmissions: Manny vs. Auto for snowplowing?

Discussion in 'Ram Trucks' started by Sweetpete, Jun 23, 2006.

  1. Sweetpete

    Sweetpete Senior Member
    Messages: 325

    Title says it all: Which would you prefer for dependability? I'm contemplating getting a 3500 SRW for snowplowing, and was curious about this issue.

    I've heard that typically, the tranny is the weak link in the Dodge set up. BTW, it'll be the 5.7 HEMI. I don't want a diesel.

    Thanks for any input!!

  2. PLOWMAN45

    PLOWMAN45 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,951

    i had autos in like 3 trucks never had a problem changed the fluid and filter every year

    CARDOCTOR PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,312

    plowed 36hrs straight in a 1ton ford with a stick my leg was sore for a week.
    now i have a hemi auto wouldnt go back to stick.just dont overheat it and leave it idle in nuetral.

  4. DeereFarmer

    DeereFarmer PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,296

    CarDocotr: What is the advantage of letting a truck idle in nuetral? I have never heard of that before and am curios about it!
  5. fronig

    fronig Junior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 6

    when your tranny is in nuetral it allows the fluid to flow freely, so most of the fluid will circulate throughout the tranny. rather then just letting hot fluid sit in the gears
  6. Jay brown

    Jay brown PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,783

    if it's strictly dependability: you'll shell an auto tranny w/ the dodge. it might last a few years or so. i'd go with the manual if your stuck on mopar.

    CARDOCTOR PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,312

    for some reason mopar trans pumps only work in gear or neutral.
    that why you have to check the fluid in neutral with the engine running
  8. DaySpring Services

    DaySpring Services PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,065

    You cant get the hemi in a 3500 srw, just a dually.
  9. DeereFarmer

    DeereFarmer PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,296

    You learn something new everyday!:waving:
  10. DBL

    DBL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,310

    my 03's stick and i love it but an auto would be nice...my brothers 98 is auto and its fine and the 91's an auto too and we havent had any problems
  11. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    For plowing get the auto, Yes, for a couple of years there were problems with some of there trannys. Every MFG has some problems(ford, chev, dodge)

    You can plow with a stick Too, but it is a lot more work. There are parts to where out on a manual too. Clutch plates through out bearings and sincros (sp)wear out too.

    Ford and chev are the same way as dodge. You cheek the fluid in the auto the same way, with the engine running and the tranny in neutral.

    Get the auto. Change the fluid and filter EVERY year and adjust the front and rear bands too regardless of millage.
  12. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    Amen, Brother.

    Oh and a warranty if it's with-in your budget
  13. jax1013

    jax1013 Senior Member
    Messages: 114

    2001 Ram 2500

    I wanted to have the tranny looked at before the season started and 2 months before the warranty ended. Something didn't seem right. When the truck was cold, I would shift into drive to pull away from my house, and it wouldn't move for about 8-10 seconds. They kept the truck for a week and then came back and said they couldn't find anything wrong with it. Then the warranty expired and I traveled about 2,300 miles since the service the tranny crapped out. I broke down in the middle of the night during a wonderful 8-10 inch storm. Cost me $1600 for a new rebuilt...dealer wouldn't honor warranty...wrote letters to corporate HQ no help. All this with about 31-32,000 miles on it. Just for your info...IMO dodge tranny suck as well as customer service...Good luck
  14. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    When the truck was cold, I would shift into drive to pull away from my house, and it wouldn't move for about 8-10 seconds.
    The dealer was right.. there was nothing wrong with your tranny. It is common for Dodge trannys to have the fluid in the converter to drain down after they have sat for a while, my 68 charger does it, so does my 98-2500, 01 -2500 & 74-W200.

    It was that WONDERFUL 8-10 storm and your driving /shifting that killed it!!
    Dodge trannys will not take being shifted from R to D with out stooping first. COMPLETELY.... You can not use the tranny as a brake, it is not a slush-box...

    Not stooping before changing directions is the #1 killer of trannys..

    Do you have a tranny cooler?

    $1600 for a rebuild is cheep. was it installed or did you do it your self?

    I have replaced both trannys in the 98 & 01.. One the converter went out and the other one was my fault... not stopping before shifting from R to D and being in to much of a hurry to get the lot done. The tranny in the 74 was rebuilt once about 10yrs ago, they don't last for ever.

    Bottom line is every tranny (chev, ford, dodge, import) will fail in a short time if they are abused.
  15. Sweetpete

    Sweetpete Senior Member
    Messages: 325

    Thanks for the replies gentlemen. I appreciate it. I think I'll go with the auto if I move on a Dodge. Thanks again. Nice to see so many checking in despite being in June.
  16. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    yeah, auto is fine as long as you drive smart and change the fluid (adjust the bands EVERY YEAR TOO)

    Diesel's need some tranny work or gentle driving but the hemi is significantly weaker in the right rpm bands.

    you'll find the guys who go through trannys usually have poor driving habits, workers driving for them, or work the truck well beyond what it is designed to do. (like a 2500 carrying a 3 ton in bed spreader and a plow.....).

    Never shift ANY tranny from D to R without stopping completely- doesn;t matter what make it is- that alone is the number one destroyer of autos. fluid cooler and temps are the number 2 killer.
  17. bikeluver43

    bikeluver43 Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 84

    The auto trannies in the 02+ Ram's are different then those you've heard horror stories about which were the 1994-2001 Trannies. Although, IMO, Dodge's trannies are no worse than those from Ford, the E4OD was probably the worst ever produced.
  18. HD61CUIN

    HD61CUIN Senior Member
    Messages: 173

    That is nothing. In the winter of 03/04 I bought an 04 1500 QC/SB 4x4 brand new off the lot. I ran it 600 miles until a line pressure sensor in the transmission failed. The sensor told the transmission that it was overpressurized, therefore the transmission closed the inlet and opened the outlet, which starved the transmission of fluid and smoked it.

    Dodge Corp sent me a new truck outfitted as I wanted.

    RODHALL Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    depends on the tranmission
    727 3 speed automatic Yep
    46r/rh A518 4 speed automatic maybe, lock it out of over drive, yep
    np 435 or 445 4 and 5 speed manual Yep
    the A500 4 speed automatic and the 6 manual ( i dont know the code for it) NO stay far away from them... they have issues in trucks. in a plow truck you be rebuilding them yearly.
  20. ECS

    ECS Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    6 years on a stick plowing for mu old employer and this is my 3rd year on my own with an auto and love it. Would never go back to a stick. Both trucks are DODGE trucks and both are diesel. Stick is a 91 and mine with the automatic is a 2000. I have never had a problem yet with my truck.