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1999 Ram 46RE HELP!!!

OH71RRunner

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Location
Fulton, Ohio
1999 Ram 1500 360 4x4 Auto

TL/DR
Truck is constantly going back to 1st gear when applying throttle.

This is gonna be long, but here is the background:
Bought the truck a few years ago. Transmission had been out of the truck at some point, previous owner knew nothing about it as he'd only had it a short time.

Had to do a bunch of work to it - front steering/ suspension rebuilt, rear end rebuilt, intake, tune up, brakes, tires.

Last year, hit a huge hole on the interstate and it fried the computer. Found another at a junkyard that got me home. Bought a couple others that worked until they got hot. Always kept several in the truck to swap when needed. Everything was fine for couple months.

One day OD light came on. Went off after stopping. Few days later, light came on again this time followed by Trans Temp light. Stopped the truck. Light went off after restart. After doing some searching, eliminated the check ball valve thing by radiator and installed temperature sensor and guage so I can get an actual reading of transmission temperature. Light kept coming on but temps were normal.

Driving home one day, after stopping at a stop sign, truck didn't downshift to 1st. Had to put it in 1st manually. OK for a couple minutes. Lights came on and it was bucking and not shifting right. Swapped computers. It was OK for about 30 seconds. Had it towed home.

Bought new computer. Truck acted like it wasn't shifting out of 1st. RPMs would just climb. No shift. Put in new sensors. Fine for about a mile.
Borrowed a Snap On scan tool. Truck DOES actually shift out of 1st once I'm off the gas but immediately returns to 1st when back on the gas. Could hear sensors clicking when running tests. Scan tool showed pressure going up with speed.

Changed harness in transmission. Screens were clogged on sensors. Cleaned and tried again. Drive for about a mile and things were fine. Problem returns. Unplugged transmission harness to manually shift gears. Did OK for a couple minutes. Then back to wanting to stay in 1st gear.

Took valve body off and apart. Screens were clogged again. Cleaned valve body and screens, and new filter again.

When trying this time, after a few minutes, there's a loose scraping sound. Very faint but I could hear it. Went away after shifting to neutral. Returns after being in gear for a few seconds. It did this once before after fluid change but went away quickly.

There has been no slipping at all even the couple times times everything was working properly. Most of my test driving is under a mile and under 35MPH unless things feel good enough to go higher or farther.

The drums above the bands have no visible marks. No scratches, scuffs, or marks that I can see. The throttle valve cable moves when gas peddle is pressed. It is adjusted according to different videos.

I'm thinking the transmission needs rebuilt or replaced. I'm hoping not though. I don't have the money to keep throwing at this with the same results. Maybe somebody here can shed some light on what I'm running into.

Thanks
 
If the material clogging the screens is a light red or gray material it is most likely the lining from the lock up in the convertor. That is the weakness of this tranny from my experience, material clogs the screens people keep driving and then it burns up the rest of the transmission. Never had one that wanted to downshift into low like you describe. Governor pressure has to overcome throttle pressure to shift. Governor pressure is created by a solenoid, scan tool should say commanded pressure, then you look at what the computer thinks the pressure is a sensor, and then you put a gauge on it and see if they all three agree. If the solenoid or sensor is bad they will not.
 
If the material clogging the screens is a light red or gray material it is most likely the lining from the lock up in the convertor. That is the weakness of this tranny from my experience, material clogs the screens people keep driving and then it burns up the rest of the transmission. Never had one that wanted to downshift into low like you describe. Governor pressure has to overcome throttle pressure to shift. Governor pressure is created by a solenoid, scan tool should say commanded pressure, then you look at what the computer thinks the pressure is a sensor, and then you put a gauge on it and see if they all three agree. If the solenoid or sensor is bad they will not.
The stuff clogging the screens of the thing with the wire harness (can't remember what it's called) looked like stuff from a heater core or radiator when you clean them. Except it was smaller pieces. The screens on the solenoid was much smaller, almost like fiber. But larger than the fuzzy stuff the magnet in the pan would catch.

Here's a picture of the screens from the harness piece. Ignore the junk on the gasket, I pulled it out of the trash after I saw the screens from the solenoid. Notice the one side is completely clogged.
20240127_200146.jpg


After noticing this is when I decided to tear apart and clean the valve body. I was thinking that I messed up when I took out that check ball valve thing and allowed more flow from the coolers and put debris in the valve body.
 
TV cable adjustment?
Mine was out of wack after a rebuild and it smoked it shortly, nice dude that rebuilt it told me to pound sand.
 
TV cable adjustment?
Mine was out of wack after a rebuild and it smoked it shortly, nice dude that rebuilt it told me to pound sand.

It does move when throttle is pressed. I cannot say it is 100% correct as I'm going by YouTube videos. I tried to move it to different positions and didn't notice much of a change.
Also, I can't imagine it would come out of adjustment out of nowhere.
 
If second gear has a mechanical fault the trans will initially shift but then default back to first.... How is the adjustment of the front band?
 
If second gear has a mechanical fault the trans will initially shift but then default back to first.... How is the adjustment of the front band?
I think I adjusted the bands correctly. Both tightened to 72 inch pounds. One is backed off 2 turns. Other is backed off 2 3/4.
I did not try to move the bands too much but moved the metal bars and pulled the band out a little too see material on the bands. There is material there and the drum looked OK.
 
The stuff clogging the screens of the thing with the wire harness (can't remember what it's called) looked like stuff from a heater core or radiator when you clean them. Except it was smaller pieces. The screens on the solenoid was much smaller, almost like fiber. But larger than the fuzzy stuff the magnet in the pan would catch.

Here's a picture of the screens from the harness piece. Ignore the junk on the gasket, I pulled it out of the trash after I saw the screens from the solenoid. Notice the one side is completely clogged.
View attachment 1609330

After noticing this is when I decided to tear apart and clean the valve body. I was thinking that I messed up when I took out that check ball valve thing and allowed more flow from the coolers and put debris in the valve body.
Again the only way I know of to check it right is with a scan tool and pressure gauge. Computer commands the governor solenoid to make pressure the sensor then tells the computer if that pressure was made. Hook up a manual pressure gauge and run it on jackstands, the scan tool pressures should agree with a gauge within a couple lbs. With debris like that I would almost guarantee it would flunk the test. Aways replace the governor and pressure sensors as a pair no way to really determine which one would be defective.
And the material has to be coming from somewhere, my best guess is the converter. Does seem odd that the filter did not do a better job of keeping it out of the valvebody. If I was building this unit, valvebody needs to come out and completely apart for cleaning.
And if you pull a trailer for example and have to rebuild this unit, they are expensive, but a double clutch towing converter is well worth the money to keep it together.
 
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