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.