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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've been trying to resurrect a hand me down '98 Dakota. Truck has 108,000 on the clock. Pretty sure the transmission has been rebuilt. When it shifts it shifts fine, but when it gets hot, it won't shift out of first. I put a new governor solenoid and sensor in and it didn't help.
So...I pulled the valve body off this week and found this little screen sticking out of the valve body....so I know why the solenoid screens were full of trash.

Anybody else blow this screen open? Were you able to get by with just cleaning the VB and putting in a new one?

I'm praying that a TFOD jr will put enough lube in this thing to get some life out of it before I have to rebuild it. Who in their right mind would cut off lube in park? Pretty sure that's one of the main reasons these transmissions fail so early. Also hoping I still have valve body assembly skills...

I have 1,000,000 miles in GM product - my first Chrysler product ever...
 

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You can try a VB clean and new screen. Were any of the check balls sticky or dirty? I've only had my VB apart once but I believe there are 2 under that plate the screen is affixed to. Sometimes these tranny's can be repaired and given a lease on life, sometimes you're just better off rebuilding it, but I'd try to fix it before rebuilding.
 

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The steel balls have hammered the separator plate pretty well. Shows why they have an aftermarket for hardened separator plates. None of the others were bad, but the solenoid screens were pretty loaded up. Valves and plastic check balls were OK, but some of the valves were a little sticky. Brake kleen is great stuff....
This truck sat for 3 years. I'm hoping that the clutches didn't dry out enough to be damaged at startup. Worse come to worse, I spent 7 years working on HD automatics, so this little guy shouldn't be that big a deal. Need to get it running as the 299,970 mile S10 is on its last legs. Seriously considered a powerplant swap into the Dodge for the gas mileage improvement. The Iron Duke probably has another 100,000 left in it...
 

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lol holy crap you can't kill those little motors, or the 2.8's, mine had 350k on it, truck started falling apart, engine still ran fine lol. But I wouldn't swap an iron duke into a Dakota, they're a bit heavier than S10's, idk if you'd see much of a mileage increase.
Yeah I don't understand the no lube in park either, before I did the trans-go I would put my truck in neutral before I started it if it had been sitting for 2-3 days.
Just make sure you get all the brake cleaner out or dried before reassembling, it will wreak havoc on all the rubber seals and cause you bigger problems. No, these tranny's are pretty easy to rebuild, you don't HAVE to have the special tools to reman one, but if you have access to them it does make life much easier.
You mentioned GM and motor swap, prepare to be most hated and no one respond to your questions, these guys are very touchy about Mopar purity. They have a very hard time admitting any other vehicle could be better in any sort of way than a Mopar. I've never said GM makes an all around superior vehicle just commented I prefer a GM engine because it's easier and cheaper to make power and it gets a bit wild. But in Dodge's defense my Dakota handles WAY BETTER than my S10 ever thought about and doesn't constantly wander all over the place cause it needs a new frontend piece of some sort. May wanna edit your post and apologize profusely lol. I kid.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Taking 91sonomast's advice, I apologize profusely for offending anybody with my comments about the other brands I own.....I'm trying to learn Dodge as quickly as possible.
My S10 had it's 27th birthday yesterday. I hope I see the Dakota to it's 27th birthday as well. If I don't give the S10 away to some needy soul, I'll probably put the engine in my old Farmall Cub just for giggles. It's been a trooper for the last 27 years and I hate to see all 92 ground pounding horsepower go to the scrapyard (maybe 60 hp at it's current age)
 

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Don't scrap the Iron Duke! I'm in Wisconsin with a weather eye out for a spare one for my CJ7, and for the right price I'll come pick it up. They don't make engines that good anymore.

And yes, that motor came stock in my Jeep. (A CJ7 that gets 25MPG? Yes please!)

Add the 4.3 to the list of bulletproof S10 motors. My old '91 S10 was my first vehicle, never let me down. Plenty of power and fuel economy in the mid-20s with the auto transmission that I never had to touch or worry about when I did reverse drops. Scrapped it, still running. Huge mistake.

I bought my Dakota for $300, and I love it. I like tinkering with stuff, I'm actually looking forward to rebuilding the spare transmission I bought for it. But it will never have the reliability that my Chevy had. What it will have is the strong emotional bond that only comes from spending hours underneath it on a creeper. Same as my old Grand Cherokee.

Back on topic, here's a link to an excellent re-assembly walk-through. http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f13/46re-tutorial-911009/

It's for a 46RE, but I'm studying it repetitively as I'm preparing to rebuild my spare 42RH with better clutches and a shift kit. So you might wanna bookmark it for when you have to rebuild yours. Best of luck!

Ivan
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Great lead on the pictoral tutorial. I put a TFOD jr in the VB today and between the tutorial and the Transgo instructions, I'm hoping I got something right. Took me about an hour to find where the extra screw and spring went (switch valve, as it's not shown on schematics and the OD separator plate under the governor plugs)

I find there are as many ways to mod a chrysler VB as there are folks modding. On the switch valve - the Sonnax method is to cut the exhaust bigger in the separator plate and make the 0.042 feedback orifice 0.062. The Transgo method was to drill the tombstone in the exhaust land. I went with the Sonnax method on that. I also noticed that about half the modders leave out the reverse accumulator check ball, but Transgo called for it to stay in. I left it out as Sonnax leaves it out on all builds and Transgo on some builds. Both instructions call for bigger 1-2 feeds and 2-3 feeds- I liked that. I was in there doing it for the lube in park mod mainly, but if it firms it up a little, great.

As far as the Iron Duke....If I don't give the truck away to a needy family (the Dakota was given to me) or use the motor in my tractor, you would be more than welcome to it....probably for a price you couldn't pass up..
 
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