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Hi All,

I have found a ton of info on these forums, and I did my own heater core replacement (among other things) with the help from these forums.

I am now running into a problem that started "around the time" that I jump-started another vehicle, but I can't say that they are related for sure.

My transmission will downshift, into the redline if it has to, when I apply much more than half throttle, while driving. If I'm really easy on it, I can get up to 60mph or so (I live in the Mountains, I could probably get faster on a long flat. I can be driving at about 40 MPH at 2k or so, and push it even a tiny bit, and it will jump to 5k RPMS and just scream until I let the throttle back off and gently try again.

I have checked my trans fluid level (added a bit), the trans output speed sensor (cleaned it off and I have a new one on the way). I have no codes with my OBDII scanner, and I have moved the transmission/throttle cable linkage in either direction, up to about 1/4 inch and not seen any difference. We just got a foot of snow, and this "random" downshifting makes it really hard to drive in the slick, and almost impossible for me to get up the mountain at 7, 8, 9% grades, essentially without being able to press the gas in more than 1/2 way. I can also get it "stuck" choosing the low gear sometimes, and it will jump back and fourth 1k or 1.5k RPM while my foot is stationary on the gas at about 30-35MPH.

I have also cleaned the TB, TPS, MAP, and IAB, but that was after this issue started (about 5 days ago).

Anyone have any ideas for me? I need to make it to work (and back) on Monday.

130,000 miles.

Thanks, in advance!

Justin
:D
 

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Check your throttle valve cable adjustment, spring, cable, etc
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Check your throttle valve cable adjustment, spring, cable, etc
Thans Tom, that's where I kind of started... but I seem to be back there again.

Well, I adjusted it back/forward all over the place, but the transmission doesn't really seem to behave differently at all. I have read several posts about the TV cable that seem to indicate that it has a large affect on daily driving, and that moving it even an 1/8th of an inch might be "too much". I've used both "as tight as it goes" and "as loose as it goes", as well as about 20 positions in between. I also replaced the output speed sensor with a new one, and again, no CEL, car acts like nothing is wrong until it gets a little throttle and then boom, to redline for I think both 1st and 2nd gears. Where is a good place to access the throttle lever ON the transmission? I'm in the snow and mostly on hilly dirt roads, so even getting under the truck can be a challenge. I was under it this morning to change out the speed sensor, but it was an awkward spot for me to see anything else, including the transmission end of the TV cable. I have also done the "adjust to within 2mm of the connector", and again, didn't seem to do much.

I also watched a youtube video of it being done, and it was about a 10 second job to adjust the cable to spec (or so they claimed).

Edit to add: When I disconnect the cable end at the bracket, I can pull it and feel the arm pulling and returning smoothly under spring pressure. It doesn't seem to stick or hang up on anything and the spring pressure seems "typical".

Any ideas? Thanks!
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Also, the specs that I've seen say to watch the transmission throttle lever AND the throttle cable/adjustment at the same time, and make sure that they move together. Is that possible for one person to see, easily? I've looked to where it looks like the cable goes, but I have no idea how I could see both at once, since honestly I can't even see the tranny end of the cable/lever.
 

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hm. Very strange. No OBD codes?

Could be a governor pressure problem, but I'd expect that to pop a code..

...tom
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
hm. Very strange. No OBD codes?

Could be a governor pressure problem, but I'd expect that to pop a code..

...tom
Hi Tom,

Thanks for the replies. I just checked again with my scan tool and found nothing (key-on only and engine-on). It's an Innova 3100f that claims it can read "some enhanced codes from Chrysler/Jeep". Basically, it's one of the cheapest around, but it has worked really well in the past. I am considering the solenoid and its buddy, but I know that involves dropping the pan, which would also mean transmission fluid and a filter, plus those parts, plus my labor. So, that's close to $400, for a problem that it might fix, or just the fluid change might "fix for a few weeks" until it REALLY breaks.

As someone who hasn't taken his car to a dealership or mechanic in about... eleven years, is that something that I should consider? Would a specialty transmission shop be "more reasonable" than the dealer? I'm at least an hour away from just about any shop, except for the basics (goes for parts too), but I can get to Denver, where there should be anything that I need.

Any other ideas for a reasonable fix? I'm guessing that it would "like" to be hooked up to the dealerships computer, and since this is my first Dodge ever, and I've only had it a few months, I don't have any dealers who owe me favors. :/

Thanks again!
Justin
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
people here have DIYd the solenoid/sensor assembly.. it isn't that bad of a job, other than the mess you get when dropping the pan.

maybe start from here: http://www.dodgedurango.net/forums/...nor-pressure-solenoid-sensor-replacement.html
Quite honestly, it looks easy. I watched a youtube on a pulled tranny (on a workbench) and it was in and out very quickly. I just get nervous when I think that even just the fluid and filter is close to $100... plus the parts that I don't know are bad for another $150-200. If it were summer, OR if I had a garage at my house, it would have already been done. ...assuming, of course, that it seems like a reasonable fix for the suspected problem. :) How do most people get the fluid out? No drain plug in tranny, but the hole for the output speed sensor is full of fluid, can I get a bunch out there? Should I just get the kit to "add a drain hole" while I'm at it?

Thanks again,
Justin
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm still having this issue, but I haven't had much time to work/look at it lately. I was talking to a friend who has the exact same Rango ('99 5.2 4x4), and he said that his PCM had been replaced three or four times over the life of his truck. I know that I have a loose ground at G207.

When I did my heater core, I had to remove that nut, and the entire bolt (which was welded on) broke off as soon as I gave it a few inch lbs of torque. I replaced the ground with a new screw, right next to the old one, ground the metal down to get a good contact, and put it all back together. Well, now my interior lights are intermittent, the blower fan sometimes stops/starts, etc. So, I guess that I need to do more work to that ground, which I will probably do today.

The reason that I mention these two components (G207 and PCM), is that I don't know what the transmission uses for a "brain" on the electrical side. The truck starts right up, no OBDII codes, and appears to drive fine, until you give it more than about 20% gas. Then, it downshifts like originally mentioned, making it essentially impossible to get up our 13+ percent grades at any speed over about 25 MPH.

What does the PCM have to do with the 99 5.2's transmission shifting, and what else is affected by the loose ground? Could the loose ground be causing either the actual tranny issues, or the lack of any good, diagnostic OBDII codes from being stored? I know that it's connected to several of the warning lights/chimes, and I just have no idea if it has its paws in the OBD systems.
 

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I know this may be dumb, but you did mention it started 'around the time' you jumped a friend's car. Possible you weakened the battery somehow, maybe shorted a cell or something? I know it's corny but the gen 1's were extremely picky about battery health. Have you had it tested?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I know this may be dumb, but you did mention it started 'around the time' you jumped a friend's car. Possible you weakened the battery somehow, maybe shorted a cell or something? I know it's corny but the gen 1's were extremely picky about battery health. Have you had it tested?
I haven't actually tested it, but the battery is only 3 months oid. Normal driving shows the volts at 13, but I know that it's not a substitute for testing and isolating the battery itself. Thanks!
 
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