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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My name is Randy and I need some suggestions or ideas as to what is wrong with my son's 2004 Durango. It seems as though the e-brake is sticking when backing up. Something binds up to the point that the 3.7 can't get it to move. All four brakes have been serviced as well as the e-brake and still binds up. Just noticed last night that when trying to back up and it wouldn't move anymore, I put it in park and felt that it was still bound up. When I shut the engine off everything freed up and it would roll easily with no binding. So the binding is when the truck is running and trying to back up but when the engine is shut off everything frees up. Any ideas or thoughts would be greatly appreciated. I'm out of ideas and frustrated. Please help.
 

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This only happens when trying to backup? I would suggest driving to a place with a hill and see if you can back down the hill with engine running, I’d also see if it will move with the engine engine running, but in neutral. Just try multiple scenario’s to see what works and what doesn’t.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Have tried all those things. Lately it has been dragging going forward a little. In reverse it will go a few feet then completely lock up. I put it in park and it still stays locked, even in neutral. If I put in drive it drags for a second then releases. It only truly releases after the engine has been shut off, then it's completely free. Going to change trans filter and fluid and see if that helps. Otherwise I am at a total loss for ideas.
 

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Change the rear diff fluid too and look for metal in the oil. If you have 4 wheel drive be sure it's not engaged. It could also be a bad torque converter since everything unloads when you turn the engine off. If it was the brakes it would remain mechanically locked up.
 

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Randy:
Welcome to DDN. If I recall correctly, the 3.7L engine was not available with AWD/4WD, so your son's D is rear wheel drive correct? The 3.7L also came with the 42RLE 4 speed auto trans, unlike the V8 models which got the 545RFE 4 speed unit.

How many miles on it, and have the bands in the trans ever been adjusted?

Don
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, it is rear wheel drive. As for the bands, not since he's had it. He's had it for about 3 yrs. I'm changing the trans filter right now (literally, as I'm typing this) and the magnet in the pan has no shavings on it. To the other reply, I changed the diff. fluid already and it made no difference. Just getting ready to put tranny pan back on and try driving it. Really hope it's not the converter. Appreciate your suggestions guys and could still use some more ideas.
 

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I forget: does the '04 have a conventional mechanical e-brake or an electric e-brake?
 

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Tom:
All of the Gen 2's I have been in, use the old school cable.

@ Randy:
Good on the trans fluid/filter change, and not much metal on the magnet. When you did the diff, did you siphon the old gear oil, or remove the inspection cover? Have you tried elevating both rear wheels, and try to run it to see if the wheels will move freely?

Don
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The differential was low. I added an entire quart to fill it. No, I have not elevated the rear wheels and tried running it in reverse. Thanks for the idea. I'll let you know what it does.
 

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Randy:
Be aware that the Gen 2 Durango differentials are filled by spec, and not just topped up to the bottom of the fill hole. I found this out the hard way, when I serviced the 8.25 inch rearend on my '04 SLT. If memory serves, the 8.25 calls for 70 ounces, and the 9.25 is 72-73. If you fill it up old school, you'll have more like 96 ounces in there, The result, will eventually be gear oil leaking out behind the rotors where the parking brake shoes are located. I thought I had a leaking axle seal which I did, but because I had overfilled.

😲 😲 😲

Don
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Was not aware of that so thanks for the info. I had put the quart in because I felt no fluid as far down as I could reach. My buddy is lead mechanic at Midas and I'm taking it in there Sunday so I'll have him check that out. Someone had mentioned the torque converter and what he said made sense and actually corelated to what this thing is doing. Everything is bound up and stays that way until the engine is turned off, then everything is freed up and it rolls easily. Still looking for ideas and looking for other things that can cause this before I totally commit to replacing the converter because I know that it's going to be a bitch to replace. All your thoughts and ideas are appreciated by me and my son both. Any other ideas? If not I'll be going on with the converter this Sunday.
 

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As you known, the trans has to be dropped to R and R the convertor. My recollection of failed convertors, is that the vehicle won't move at all. When a convertor fails, pieces/parts from it will sometimes circulate into the trans, and do fatal damage at some point, if not right away. Hopefully this is not the case.
Keep us posted please. How many miles on the Durango?

Don
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Still hoping to avoid R and R of the torque converter if possible. Someone mentioned the converter clutch solenoid, any thoughts on that? also, the truck has 184,000 miles on it. Still open for and hoping for some more ideas. looked up symptoms of failed converter and nothing nailed that down as the problem. Would hate to go thru all of that and it not be the fix. Almost forgot, Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
 

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Randy:
Happy Thanksgiving right back your way! I suppose the convertor clutch could be involved, but if it were activated at idle, I'd expect the engine to die, like forgetting to push in the clutch on a manual trans car at the stoplight.
I would think a good trans shop could hook up diagnostic equipment, and access information to assess the internal workings of the trans. Again, at 180k+, the trans may have given up the ghost.

Don
 
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