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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going blind from reading other threads. 馃槅
So here's my deal. I have a 99 dakota 3.9 2wd. Engine is new. Trans is now dead. Its a long way from home, I have a 46re. Dakota should have a 42re.
So my questions are simple, I think......
I want to put the 46re in the dakota. From what I read they are similar to the 42re as far as dimensions and bolt pattern on bell.
My 46re comes from a 98 1500 with 5.9.
So if I understand correctly what I've read, I need to use MY v6 flexplate (for timing) and a 46re torque converter for a 5.2 (due to balance? 5.9 may be balanced vs 3.9/5.2 neutral?)
So bellhousing bolt pattern should be same, possibly the 3.9 lower brackets may not have a spot to attach to the ram version of the 46re? I can live without the brackets if that's all it is.
From a part search, it seems the TQ diameter is same on 3.9, 5.2 & 5.9 with 10" bolt circle, so I'm thinking my dakota starter should work and the TQ should bolt up to the 3.9 flex plate.
A couple things I think I need verification on is the shift linkage bracket, I understand the 42re bracket might not fit the 46re correctly? And I am unclear about whether my drives haft yoke from 42re will fit the 46re? From what I've researched, the output seal is same for both trans but I've seen comments in forums that yoke could be different, but not sure if thats fact, or a computer jockey assuming....
It looks like wiring harness plugs are same. Can anyone tell me if the transmission mount is same position on both trans? The way the trans crossmember is put in this dakota its best to leave it where it is. Hoping it's in good spot for the mount.
Sorry for the long post, just wanting to let you know where I'm at. And hopefully if anyone has done this, if I am on right track with fitment info.
Thank you for your help!

1988 Dodge Dakota LWB RC 3.9V6 3 speed auto
1,610 Posts
The same linkage was used in 1996 between the 42RE and the 46RE; so I doubt that's different.

Yoke on the driveshaft MAY - and I say MAY - be different.

Biggest problem you'll have - well, the two biggest problems - are 1) First gear isn't as stiff in the 46Rx over the 42Rx/44Rx transmissions; so it'll feel more like a slug coming off a stop sign. 2) There's more internal losses in the 46Rx family, so gas mileage will droop a bit.

Any big reason you don't just get the 42RE rebuilt? Or find a clean one in the boneyard?


3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Only reason I'm not building the one thats in the truck is that is is a long way from home. Cheaper for me to buy and build another one and send it. My brother will be doing the install, I found a deal on this 46re so I thought about trying it. I'm sure it will fit after all I've read but I think for the sake of a smooth install and my brother's sanity (if he has any left haha), I should get the 42re to rebuild and be done with it. I don't mind making square pegs fit in round holes but I know he's not crazy about this whole deal so I don't need to make it any harder than it needs to be.
I have another lead on a 42re so I think that's the route to take. The original trans was working fine, TC had issues with lockup. I replaced that with a new advance auto unit. Worked great at first. Then once trans got warmed up would go into neutral and feel as if it is between gears or something. You'd have to rev it pretty hard to get it moving forward or reverse. The TC issue must have been a symptom of other things getting ready to pop. Fresh fluid and filter in new tranny myth might really be true. My brother put new pressure control solenoid in it but it no longer moves. I question the TC but at this point I'm just starting over with a total rebuild. Engine is new and custom. Paint on the truck. New tranny will finish it off so its reliable.
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