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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone, thank you for taking time to read through this if you can help.
I picked up a 98 dakota sport 3.9 2wd at for good deal. 253,000 miles yikes!!

It has a different engine in it & possibly trans. I put a new pcm that had to be flashed with vin and mileage all that stuff....this was somebody's project/labor of love car that became too much to handle. The overdrive did not work until I got a new computer in it.
Now it slips, I think 2nd to 3rd...well it has since I got it, but if you're easy on the gas it's not bad or noticeable. The wrong pcm that was in there was from a 2000. I somewhat assume the engine and trans may be as well.

***there is no check engine light...now for 200miles***

I assume it has the 42re trans, and I was going to do the band adjustment soon. The fluid looks pristine, like too good. So, I notice there are slight differences where I have checked about the band adjustment. Most are 72 in lbs tight and 3 or 4 turns out.****** So I need to find out what year the transmission is from to do this, this is where I'm having a time?
I have also seen a YouTube video where a guy was able to tell by the play in the band. I think this may be more applicable in my situation. Like, can you measure the band slack with a feeler gauge or precision ruler?

I have read many posts...even on other forums about the band adjustments, and I'm wandering if this has fixed people's problems or do they just need a new tranny 2 weeks down the road.

It seems that slips when accelerating are directly related to band adjustments from what I have searched. Guess that's why any sensible person would try that before just getting a rebuilt.
 

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eric,
Sounds like you're just a few months behind me on the Dakota. I had similar issues with mine. Yes, it's a 42RE if the correct swap was done.
1. If you don't know how long it's been since fluid, filter, and bands - good idea to just plan on it now. Clean pan magnet too.
2. Are you setting the fluid level correctly? Needs to be checked in neutral at idle at operating temperature. Being a lifelong GM guy, that was completely foreign to me. Done in park will underfill by at least a quart.
3. Is the radiator cooler bypassed? Dead giveaway that the trans has been replaced - for some reason, Chrysler required that when replacing trannys on these vehicles.

If you pull the valve body, make sure you replace the controls screen - little thimble like thing. Consider a shift kit like the TFODjr that will help with larger fills for the 1-2 and 2-3 and also lube in park.

Good luck getting her shifting right....
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Wow, thanks for responding so fast. I think this was more like a junkyard swap. The tranny lines go into the radiator, there was no bypassing. Thanks for the tip about checking level at neutral.
I was not planning on removing the valve body. Guess ill have to see how bad things are when I get in there.
 

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If you do pull the valve body, the number 1 trick to getting it out is to put the transmission in park and make sure the pawl is fully engaged. Then the park rod just falls out with the valve body. FSM says to put it in neutral, but never mentions putting it in park to get the rod out.

You're probably going to be OK with a proper band adjustment and fluid level setting. Try the level first, then do the bands if the problems don't clear up.

Another thought - people have been known to put the wrong fluid in these transmissions, or the 'universal' fluid with additive. Based on how good Dex VI is to older GM transmissions, I would only recommend ATF+4 for these....no universal+snake oil.
 
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