44RE Front/Rear Band Adjustment With Pics - Dodge Durango Forum and Dodge Dakota Forums
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post #1 of Old 04-10-2009, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
Mt.Hoodlum
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44RE Front/Rear Band Adjustment With Pics

So for about the third time when my wife and I left the house this morning the truck flared when shifting from 2-3 gear. This was the worst so far this morning, RPM's jumping about 400 or so before it shifted. It only happens during the first shift when cold, but seems to be just fine after that when the car is warmed up a little. I had done a complete tune up on my Durango except changing the tranny fluid and adjusting the bands, the one thing I probably should have done first......So anyways its pretty straight forward with a Haynes manual, just follow the directions and make sure you use an IN. LB. torque wrench, not a FT. Lb.!!!! The hardest part was trying to fit a wratchet/wrench up above the pan to get to the front band adjusting screw lock nut. Finally found something that worked. This was done on a 99' Durango/5.2L/4wd/44re trans with 82k on it.

So here is the Front Band Adjusting Screw and Lock Nut. Its located on the drivers side of the transmission casing above the transmission pan. I simply removed that spring from the right side to gain easier access to it. You want to loosen the Lock nut about 4-5 turns, than tighten the adjusting screw to 72in. lbs. Then you back out the adjusting screw 2 1/4 turns, and then tighten the lock nut.


Here are the tools I used to loosen the lock nut and tighten the adjusting screw. No extentions would work with a wratchet as you have very little room to get in there. I finally found that a 1/2" breaker bar (my breaker bar is also bent and has a swivel head which made things easier) with a 2 inch extention and regular 3/4" socket (not a deep socket) fit perfectly in there and was long enough and had enough umph to break the lock nut as mine was very tight. For the adjusting screw I used my 1/4", inch lb. torque wrench with a swivel extension, and a 1/4" to 3/8" extension, to a 3/8" torx bit (the kind that are fixed to a socket), I believe T40 but I dont remember sorry. I was not able to hold the adjusting screw while tightening the lock nut as I used a socket to tighten the nut, so I just winged it and watched my mark I made with paint on the screw and it only moved about 1/8-maybe 1/4 turn or so while tightening the lock nut so I am not going to worry about it. Next time I will back it out an extra 1/4-1/2 turn and then by the time its tightened it should be just right.


The rear band was much easier, you have to remove the transmission pan and drain the fluid for this one as it is located on the valve body. You also have to remove the Transmission filter so this is a good time to throw a new filter on (filter is held on with 2 small torx bit screws). It is located on the rear passenger side of the valve body, its the nut/screw on the black thing (<i am not transmission expert by far....) there in the corner. Same thing with the rear band, loosen the lock nut 4-5 turns, tighten the adjusting screw to 72in. lbs., but on this one you back it out 4 turns, then tighten your lock nut.


Now the Rear Band locknut and screw are different sizes/types than the front band. The rear lock nut is 9/16" and I just used an open ended wrench for it, and the adjusting screw is that oddball square head bolt. I was told you had to have an 8point socket for it or the square head socket, but turns out a 1/4" 6point socket fit just perfect. This was so much easier as I put the 1/4" socket on a screwdriver and was able to hold the adjusting screw while I tightened the lock nut with the open ended wrench. Also I just marked the bottom of my screwdriver, instead of the screw like I did on the front, and used that to count while backing it out the required turns, much much easier.


This was the first time I have adjusted bands and it has always scared me, but in fact is a very very simple standard procedure you should be doing as routine maintence while changing your transmission fluid/filter. Hopefully this thread will help some people in the future as you can just go and grab the tools you need instead of trying 50 different socket and extension combinations like I did. The shifts seem smoother to me already, but we will have to see tomorrow morning when its cold to see if it really helped.

Last edited by Mt.Hoodlum; 04-10-2009 at 10:07 PM.
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post #2 of Old 04-11-2009, 01:40 PM
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Excellent write up man.

Chris
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post #3 of Old 04-11-2009, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by whitedak99 View Post
Excellent write up man.
Thanks.

Took it for a drive this morning and all shifts seemed to be just perfect, shifting around 1800/1900 rpms or so. All smooth and no flaring so far, hopefully I get a good amount of miles out of this tranny. If not, I will probably be doing my very first rebuild....that will be a fun write up.
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post #4 of Old 04-11-2009, 06:40 PM
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I call the dealership to my transmission oil change and they told me the bands are self ajusting, I dont know need to do that. I have 45RFE. True or not true?
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post #5 of Old 04-11-2009, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by project_dog View Post
I call the dealership to my transmission oil change and they told me the bands are self ajusting, I dont know need to do that. I have 45RFE. True or not true?
You have a totally (well mostly) different setup in ur tranny... Don't even have the same number of Plantarys.

Last edited by schusterjo; 04-11-2009 at 11:55 PM.
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post #6 of Old 04-11-2009, 11:18 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by project_dog View Post
I call the dealership to my transmission oil change and they told me the bands are self ajusting, I dont know need to do that. I have 45RFE. True or not true?
I have no idea. If you dont have a Haynes/Chilton manual go to any auto parts store and pick one up, it will tell you. I would look for you but mine is only for 98'-99' Durangos.
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post #7 of Old 04-12-2009, 12:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by project_dog View Post
I call the dealership to my transmission oil change and they told me the bands are self ajusting, I dont know need to do that. I have 45RFE. True or not true?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mt.Hoodlum View Post
I have no idea. If you dont have a Haynes/Chilton manual go to any auto parts store and pick one up, it will tell you. I would look for you but mine is only for 98'-99' Durangos.
45RFE

1999-UP

The 45RFE was originally used in the 1999 Jeep Cherokee. In 2000 it also started to be used in the Dodge Durango and Dakota.

This is a computer controlled rear wheel drive overdrive transmission.

There are no bands in this transmission. It's operation is very similar to the A604 and 42LE.
http://www.charlietranny.com/45RFE.htm


As I said the 45RFE is a totally different transmission from the RE versions.. (well almost totally different)
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post #8 of Old 04-12-2009, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by schusterjo View Post
45RFE

1999-UP

The 45RFE was originally used in the 1999 Jeep Cherokee. In 2000 it also started to be used in the Dodge Durango and Dakota.

This is a computer controlled rear wheel drive overdrive transmission.

There are no bands in this transmission. It's operation is very similar to the A604 and 42LE.
http://www.charlietranny.com/45RFE.htm


As I said the 45RFE is a totally different transmission from the RE versions.. (well almost totally different)
Not to be a smart ass, you did say that but you never answered Project Dogs question......

Thanks
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post #9 of Old 04-12-2009, 01:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by project_dog View Post
I call the dealership to my transmission oil change and they told me the bands are self ajusting, I dont know need to do that. I have 45RFE. True or not true?
i dont think your trans even has bands. its a hydralic clutch pack system...its a little more efficient than the older style re and rh series transmissions....

OP:
ive found this a while ago, and used this for mine. although im still having issues with it, i think my problem is in the VB itself.

http://dodgeram.org/tech/transmissio...T_band_adj.htm

nice right up though, with good pics.

1997 dakota, 5.2v8, msd wires, trans cooler, K&N cai, 1.6 rr's, stinger 1700 battery, updated big 3. aeroturbine 3030 muffler, high flow cat. conv
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post #10 of Old 04-12-2009, 02:38 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by realdeal7369 View Post
i dont think your trans even has bands. its a hydralic clutch pack system...its a little more efficient than the older style re and rh series transmissions....

OP:
ive found this a while ago, and used this for mine. although im still having issues with it, i think my problem is in the VB itself.

http://dodgeram.org/tech/transmissio...T_band_adj.htm

nice right up though, with good pics.
Thanks, good link. I hope it helps in the long run, that would be next guess to swap with a remanned vb.
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post #11 of Old 04-12-2009, 02:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitedak99 View Post
Excellent write up man.

I AGREE!!

"If it has wheels, tubes or boobs...... You're going to have problems with it"
D.O.G.S Member # 42 "TROPHY DOG"
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post #12 of Old 04-12-2009, 06:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mt.Hoodlum View Post
Not to be a smart ass, you did say that but you never answered Project Dogs question......

Thanks
Ya man I didn't mean it that way, just sounded like that to ya I guess. Not the first time its happened to me nor probably the last, I am just a strait froward type of person, don't mean anything negative by it.

Far as the RFE it is all computer controlled where the RE is a little of both mechanical/computer. This is why no bands and only clutch
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post #13 of Old 05-04-2009, 05:18 PM
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Great write up.

I am experiencing similar problems with my 98' Durango. I am going to try this first and see what happens. I'm fairly certain this is the issue.

Knowing what tools to use and the procedure is half the battle. Knowledge is power!
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post #14 of Old 05-05-2009, 05:15 PM Thread Starter
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I meant to update a while back but I have been so busy with moving.....It started acting up again shortly after adjusting the bands, but the issue seemed to be due to low fluid. When I checked the fluid after the job I did not have the Dango in Neutral, I had it in park. I checked it a few days later in Neutral at op temp as you are supposed to and it was about 1 1/2 quarts low. Have not had any flaring issues even in the cold since I topped off the fluid. I was gearing up for a new VB and rebuild so hopefully I dont have to go that route.
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post #15 of Old 05-06-2009, 03:10 AM
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great write up could this also cause wierd shifting from 1st to 2nd, and a unpredictable downshift at times?
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