Dodge Trucks?

We've got a newer Dodge 1500 Ram (Year 2000) - thinking about getting an older (mid 90s) Dodge too but I remember that they had real bad tranny and transfer case problems. Does anyone know what years and what exactly were those problems - I know they redesigned the tranny/transfer case for 2000 and beyond. Thanks in advance for the help.
I know for a fact 1994 was a bad year(75,000 miles).

We are having minor problems with a 97 model, but I am SURE it was abused during the December storm(35,000 miles).

2000 model has held up well so far(12,000 miles).

Hope this helps a little.

thelawnguy Addict
Central CT
Originally posted by Jason Pallas
thinking about getting an older (mid 90s) Dodge too but I remember that they had real bad tranny and transfer case problems

First Ive heard of transfer case probs in a Dodge. Please tell us what you mean so the rumor mill may start grinding away.

I know personally of no Dodge owners with transmission problems but if you would like to take a peek around the lot of the transmission shop down the road you will see the spaces filled with mid-to late-80s Ford F250 and 350 trucks.


North-West IL
I have 2 dodges 95 & 99 the 95 has had the trans rebuilt 4 times since I have own it it's been at the dealer for the last two weeks for front end problems.


Junior Member
I traded my 95 2500 for a 2000 2500, and never had any problems with the transmission or drive train . I changed all the fluids every fall and oil 2500 miles. Hope this one is as good.


Dodge Has Terrible Transmissions

Anyone that does not think that Dodge has bad trans is a fool. The manufactor has admitted to it and it shows in their trucks. I have three guys on my crew that own dodges all 2500.... one 97, one 95, and one 2000.... The 2000 tranny overheat light comes on about once an hour... the 97 is in the shop getting a new one right now and the 95 is on its third... so do not tell me dodge has good trans... I would not buy a dodge for that reason... If you plow the tranny is probably the most important part of the truck and out of all the lines of trucks dodge is the worse.

karl klein

Senior Member
i work at a trany shop we do see a lot that come in the main problem is dodge fluid must be changed every 15,000 miles and fords are every 30,000 miles with chevy every 50,000 we have found that most people dont change it till at least 30,000 and that is were there problem comes from. so if you change it as dodge tells you to most will be fine
I had heard from another guy that works at a tranny shop that prior to the 2000 model year, Chrysler re-engineered the whole tranny/transfer case. I know that they had been notorious for breakdowns (previous to 2000) but I just didn't know when the problems began. It appears from the postings so far that the problems began in the mid 90s. Thanks for the help - continue to post, this type of input is always good (and cathartic for those that have had tranny problems!).
Chrysler transmissions

A great source for most anything to do with Mopar stuff is the ALLPAR site. In there you will find a long list of repairs and solutions to problems related to their infamous transmissions. One of the biggest concerns has to do with using the correct fluid. Most recently (2000) they have gone to yet another fluid type 9096. For the mid '90's they used a type 7176+. I know from past experience that it says on the dipstick and the owners manual that you can use Dexron II. All I can say is DON'T!! The fluid is not completely compatible with Chryslers fluids and if you use it you will most likely wind up like I did with major bills. Also, this fluid is almost non existent in most stores I've been in (Pep Boys, Trak Auto etc.) so I've learned to go to the dealer for the correct fluid. Also, I believe after a fluid change or any major work done there is a reprogramming that needs to be done. You can find the process for that in the ALLPAR site also. I'm wondering if any of you other guys have had any major headaches after using Dexron in your vehicles. I only topped off my Intrepid's transmission with it, (maybe 3/4 qt) and had nothing but problems with it ever since. Never will I use anything but the type 7176+ that's supposed to be used.


Senior Member
In my truck
I have two 96 1500 and a 01 2500 Diesel; Only 4000 miles on the 01 so of course no issues; I have almost 60k miles on the 96 and no issues.

slplow Veteran
I have a friend with a 94 with a v10 in it and 190,ooo. on it. He has never been in a tranny shop with it. I own a 96 and 01 the 96 has 68,k with no tranny probs and the 01 no prob. All truck do plow. No over heat light has come on either.
We have or have had 11 dodges (95-2001),all diesel,all auto,all get plowed hard.One had a trans problem,which was rectified by a TPS adjustment.Most of these trucks now have 160-180,000 KM.Fluid and filter,plus band adj done every 20,000 KM,or annually.None of our Fords made it that far.Our chevy's have been just as good except for some planetary failures.

If your looking at a used one,94 and early 95,weren't that great,the 96 are OK,97 and early 98 (12 V Diesel) are the way to go.

There are also many good auto trans parts available to beef the chryco auto up if you wish.Aftermarket valve bodies and convertors are a big help.My personal truck (97 12 V diesel),has a valve body,TorqLoc and convertor from BD,and it handles the 275 HP,680 FtLbs of the modded Cummins no probs,pushing an 11 ft plow all winter.Now...if i could only keep driveshafts in it ....


DaveO Veteran
Dodge trannys

To my knowledge there has been no MAJOR redesign of the tranny/tcase from 94-01. There have been upgrades however to improve reliability of the tranny's, especially those behind the Cummins.

For '01, Dodge has made the 235hp Cummins available with the auto. Before that you could only get the 210/420 rated engine. Obviously they have improved the trans enough to handle the extra torque, or just want to throw $$$ away on warranty work. I believe the line pressure has been increased in the '01s.

As for the trans overheat light coming on when worked hard. You are correct, the Ford and Chevy overheat lights never come on...because they DON'T have one.


T-MAN Addict
I had a 98 1500 with a 7'6" blade on it ran it hard never any problems. I did and still due follow the severe duty maintence schedule, and dodge recomends every 12,000 miles for tranny and axle fluids. I now have a 2001 2500HD with the 360 gasser and have never had my trans light come on.
One point to remember you must come to a complete stop before shifting from reverse to drive. I dont care what kind of truck you own, no tranny will hold up. The only reason I mention this is because I see guys do it all the time. Maybe that could be a major factor for premature tranny failure? Also with an 8'6" western on the front of my truck I dont drag my plow frame across slight inclines into parking lots. Any chevy boys have this problem? :)

Western Michigan
1996, 2500,4x4, extended cab and 8 foot box. Turned 70,000 miles today, and only three trannys in it to date. This truck is not plowed. It is driven by only a couple of us, and not used too hard . It is almost always towing something though.

I remember Lazer mentioning one of his mid 90's Dodges with eight tranny replacements.

I love the truck, but I wouldn't buy one for a plow truck from those mid 90 years.
Thanks for all the great posts and good advice. I've now got some pretty good ideas on how to maintain the life of the 2000 Dodge 1500 we have.
Unfortunately, we ended up getting an '89 Ford F250 (used). The price was right $5000 - and most of the rest of the trucks we use are Fords - F250 and Rangers. I don't feel bad beating up on the Fords (work trucks).
I have an affinity for the Dodges - one of the first trucks I plowed with was the old 1979 Dodge Snow Commander/Adventurer - remember those (with the plow hydro-system that ran right off the engine!?!?). Maybe that's why I got the new Dodge as my personal truck. It has a plow on it, but I'm the only one that ever uses it! Ya know, the boss' truck. Thanks again all.


Senior Member
I must have got a good one...'94 2500 with 104,000 miles,this truck has towed since I bought it new in '94 and plowed this year for the first time,[not as much as most of you guys up north] No problems..knock on wood..JRB


Speaking of Problems

I warned you guys and now it is here.

The tranny has went pooped out.... on the Dodge, Not my Ford, not the Chevy, not the hydro pump on the Bobcat, but on the dodge 2000 2500 dodge.... Fluids are changed on it every 10,000 miles... so I rest my case...

Top Forums

Similar threads

Similar threads