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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-30-2012, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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Sad Transmission Rebuild Questions

As many of you know, my transmission kicked the bucket and completely locked up @ 80mph this past weekend.

So Ihave it in the shop, and the guy took it out yesterday. Hes taking it apart today, but he said its probably going to need tobe rebuilt/replaced from the symptoms/sounds he was hearing. Hes estimating cost to be around $1600-1800 (also changing the oil and replacing my lower control arm) Turns out the lower control arm is bent from something, explaining the knocking noise ive heard in the suspension lately.

So my question are these: Is the transmission worth rebuilding? If so, which kit is the best and the most complete?
At $1500 (transmission stuff only) would it be cheaper to just get a factory rebuilt transmission and put that in instead? That way im not paying labor on the rebuild (a vast majority of the cost since the Mopar Master rebuild kit is only $400ish)?


I know many are going to say go get a cheap SE transmission and put it in myself.
But with school I simply dont have time to take it apart and check the itnernals, and then if something were to ever happen then id have to pay labor again. While with a rebuild/factory replacement if anything were to happen it wouldnt be any additional cost to myself.

Need some info fast. Ill update this thread with exactly what happened to the transmission as soon as he takes it apart and lets me know.

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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-30-2012, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by PredatoryTrep View Post
While with a rebuild/factory replacement if anything were to happen it wouldnt be any additional cost to myself.
Are you sure if something happens, they would cover your labor also? I'd double check that. A rebuild/factory replacement is probably going to be expensive.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-30-2012, 03:00 PM
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I would have them throw a used tranny in, have them service it prior to installation.
Would be the most inexpensive route.
If they are going to rebuild, you might as well do it right, get parts from Sonnax (if possible)
-Updated Valve Body
-High Stall Torque Converter
-Kevlar clutches
-upgraded external trans cooler
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-30-2012, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, just got off the phone with him. Heres the run down from whats hes seeing. Ill be posting up pics later of the parts involved and posting them up when I go there.

His best guess (almost completely sure):
Clutch plates in an older transmission tend to lose material over time. We all know that. turns out a sizable chunk of material (perspectively) clogged up the check valve for the transmission cooler. This in turn made the planetary gears overheat and he said they looked like they almost literally started melting down. They then literally came apart inside the transmission. This all happened within about 5minutes, explaining why I didnt have a check engine light. I think Im saying this right, but correct me if it sounds wrong.

Basically I didnt have any check engine light b/c it happened in such a short period of time. I believe he said our system is a "two-check" system during each driving period. If it doesnt see it twice in the same driving cycle, then it will create an event (underlying code) but not a CEL. And thats what happened. He said I had various underlying codes related to transmission failure and such.




So now that I know what happened, I guess my next question is to choose:
Should I rebuild with a master rebuild kit, and if so which one should I use?
Or should I get a manf. refurbished transmission (dont know if thats even available anymore)
and have him put that in?

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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-30-2012, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
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Are you sure if something happens, they would cover your labor also? I'd double check that. A rebuild/factory replacement is probably going to be expensive.
Yeah. He said that if anything were to happen within the next two years, that his contract with his supplier makes them pay for the labor and parts if anything were to happen again. And since the whole internals of the tranny are getting replaced, if anything were to happen, itd be because their part failed.

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Originally Posted by shadowvox6 View Post
I would have them throw a used tranny in, have them service it prior to installation.
Would be the most inexpensive route.
If they are going to rebuild, you might as well do it right, get parts from Sonnax (if possible)
-Updated Valve Body
-High Stall Torque Converter
-Kevlar clutches
-upgraded external trans cooler

I thought about that, but then if anything happens to that one (probably would with my luck) id have to pay labor again. I saw a couple SE transmissions w/ less than 75,000 miles for only about $400-$600 in a yard in south GA.

Also I can understand everything else beefing up the transmission, but isnt a high stall torque converter harder on a transmission? Im not wanting to go all that fast anymore.....

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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-30-2012, 03:17 PM
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As a question for Tom, since I have a trans I can get serviced sitting around (actually, 3 really) whats the cost of the high stall and Kevlar clutches?
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-30-2012, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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Getting a whole reman transmission is out of the picture.
Cheapest I found was $1790 shipped for either R5097984AG (SE) or R5097862AG (ES).
Im sure the mechanic's prices would be a little cheaper, but Id still pay more after labor than a rebuild.

So now its which rebuild kit do I use? Ive read on some using one from Transtar, Tom mentioned Sonnex, theres also Transtec, and Im not sure who makes the Master Rebuild Kit straight from Mopar....
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-30-2012, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PredatoryTrep View Post
Getting a whole reman transmission is out of the picture.
Cheapest I found was $1790 shipped for either R5097984AG (SE) or R5097862AG (ES).
Im sure the mechanic's prices would be a little cheaper, but Id still pay more after labor than a rebuild.

So now its which rebuild kit do I use? Ive read on some using one from Transtar, Tom mentioned Sonnex, theres also Transtec, and Im not sure who makes the Master Rebuild Kit straight from Mopar....
The Mopar kits now are made by Tracy or, at least sold by them 'round here. I have used a few of them and noted there is a lot of quality parts.
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-30-2012, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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I think Im going to go with the Mopar kit. It has the updated heavy duty parts, and all the gaskets/seals/clutch plates,etc. Also adding an external tranny cooler.

total is going to be $1900 with everything.
Going to be sending off another sample of my engine oil. My last one from Blackstone said I had 92ppb of lead, extremely high. So that could be leading on to a whole nother issue.

turns out that popping noise fromte suspension is not just the bent lower control arm: My front driver strut piston is almost completely shot. Its tapping like a whiny b**** when going over bumps. so thatll need to get done soon....
all at once, and all while Im broke as f***. damn

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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-30-2012, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
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turns out that popping noise fromte suspension is not just the bent lower control arm: My front driver strut piston is almost completely shot. Its tapping like a whiny b**** when going over bumps. so thatll need to get done soon....
all at once, and all while Im broke as f***. damn
How would the strut tap over bumps? It doesn't even approach the ends of its travel. I'd suspect the sway bar end links first.

How many miles again?
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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-30-2012, 10:45 PM
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My dad was a trany. mechanic for 40 years and even a factory rebuild will not out last or preform and properly done rebuild! $1500.00 sounds to cheep to me $2200.00 is the price around me for a good rebuild!
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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-31-2012, 08:47 AM
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Missed something

I'm not clear on why you decided against installing a used trans? I did that on my 02 RT and it has worked out great. Total cost was $1700 two and a half years ago, and no issues since.
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-31-2012, 09:17 AM
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I snagged a used transmission for IIRC $75 a couple years ago. I had no intention to install it anytime soon, but that was too good to pass up just for the inevitable day something like this happens.

How much are labor costs for swapping a used transmission? It seems like it shouldn't be that much relative to a rebuild.
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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-31-2012, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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I'm not clear on why you decided against installing a used trans? I did that on my 02 RT and it has worked out great. Total cost was $1700 two and a half years ago, and no issues since.
If I had him install a used transmission, then theres no warranty on the labor or the tranny itself, so if anything happens, im screwed. And I dont have time to install it myself nor inspect that used transmission.

Also the rebuild kit has all the upgraded/revised/heavy duty pieces that a used transmission wouldnt have necessarily. Ill try to get the part numbers for those upgraded pieces later when I go to get the old destroyed pieces. Yall wont believe the damage these things got.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainMorgan View Post
I snagged a used transmission for IIRC $75 a couple years ago. I had no intention to install it anytime soon, but that was too good to pass up just for the inevitable day something like this happens.

How much are labor costs for swapping a used transmission? It seems like it shouldn't be that much relative to a rebuild.
Same problem as above when it comes to aused transmission. I would love to, but if anything went wrong, im fucked.


Yall are seriously not going to believe the damage to the planetary gears. They were literally melted in some places and had resolidified. its ridiculous.

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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-31-2012, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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Car is ready btw. He had some Mopar Master Rebuild kits laying around, so he worked on it most of the day yesterday and get it done. Going to go pick it up tonight.
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