Question about 1999 Dodge Ram

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1st gear wont shift till 3k rpm. If I let off the throttle it will shift earlier. Also when on throttle a little harder or downshift into second, it will slip. Shifts into other gears fine. No slipping in other gears yet. I dont know anything about this truck. Bought it with a blown motor. Just fixed and drove for the 1st time. It is 2wd if that matters. Trans fluid is full w/ ATF 4 and I just installed a new speed sensor cause the old one was leaking.

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  • motorhead091 Aug 07, 2010

    Yes the solution was helpful. Pointed me in the right direction and everything worked out. Thanks again for the help. I greatly appriciate it.

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  • Dodge Master
  • 6,982 Answers

Here's a few items you could try. First, change the kickdown adjustment (linkage or cable from the throttle lever to the trans. That will change shift points. Next, inside the trans pan on the drivers side about a third of the way back, you should see a small allen screw. If you tighten that just a bit it will change internal line pressure. Also, if the engine failed from overheat, often the trans fluid will burn which can harm the clutches in the unit. Many times adding Lucas trans conditioner will help with the slipping, especially if it's minor.
Be aware though that no adjustment or chemical will fix worn parts completely and your transmission may just be worn out and in need of a rebuild.

Posted on Aug 06, 2010

  • 1 more comment 
  • motorhead091 Aug 06, 2010

    I had read somewhere else online that if you remove and clean the shift/pressure solenoid screens and adjust the bands, it would help with this situation. One band adj. is in the pan, and one is outside the pan. This was on a 98 model, so I am not sure if they are the same. Do you know anything about this? I tried to adjust the kickdown cable, but nothing really seemed to adj. Maybe Im doing it wrong. How exactly do you do it?

  • Richard Scordino Aug 06, 2010

    Band adjustment will help with a harsh shift by taking up the slack between the band and drum but it won't change a delay. Kickdown cable I'd need to look at to know right off which way to go with it. Usually to get it to shift out of first sooner you want to shorten up the rod so the trans thinks you are deeper into the throttle. As I mentioned before though, if you have internal wear (seals etc) no amount of messing with it will fix the problem.




  • motorhead091 Aug 07, 2010

    Well my problem is now fixed. I took the pan down to change the filter and adjust the bands. There was a piece of metal in the pan. Didnt look broken off of anything. Looked around to find where it came from. The kickdown(front) band was very loose and no adjusting the adjuster would have taken up the slack. Figured out the piece of metal was a spacer between the band and adjuster. Took a lot of time, but got it back in place and adj. the band. I took your advice and adj. the line pressure a lil bit and added lucas. I also installed an external trans cooler. Took it out for a spin and man what a different truck. Shifts strong and at a proper RPM and no more slipping. I found out the procedure for adj. the throttle cable. Will do that tomorrow. Thanks for all your help.

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