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1996 Dodge Transmission - Progression of Bad Behavior - Recovery Plan?

From : ddt

Q: i had those shifting symptons at 200000 mi and a lube of the downshift cable at the trans fixed my problem. still shifting fine at 245000! 97 but i think yours is beyond that fix. dakota 4x4 5.2. -- dick 1996 dodge maxi van 3500 series 1 ton 15-passenger bus. 158000 miles. 5.9 liter 360 ci v-8 automatic. for a few weeks it was slow to shift out of first gear. you could let off on the accelerator and encourage it to upshift but it tended to stay in lower gear a little too long otherwise. then it stopped shifting out of first at all. fluid wasnt really low but i tried very slightly overfilling it and this cleared up the problem - temporarily. next day it once again wouldnt shift out of first. then it stopped pulling in first gear and now only has reverse. this progression from sluggish to inoperable occured over about a two-day period. pulled the pan and filter. it looked as if it had never been taken off. lots of sludge stuck to magnet total of about 1/4 teaspoon of aluminum filings recovered from pan. maybe thats normal for 12 years and 160k miles i dont know. this is my first auto transmission problem. 1996 dodge maxi van 3500 series 1 ton 15-passenger bus. 158000 miles. 5.9 liter 360 ci v-8 automatic. for a few weeks it was slow to shift out of first gear. you could let off on the accelerator and encourage it to upshift but it tended to stay in lower gear a little too long otherwise. then it stopped shifting out of first at all. fluid wasnt really low but i tried very slightly overfilling it and this cleared up the problem - temporarily. next day it once again wouldnt shift out of first. then it stopped pulling in first gear and now only has reverse. this progression from sluggish to inoperable occured over about a two-day period. pulled the pan and filter. it looked as if it had never been taken off. lots of sludge stuck to magnet total of about 1/4 teaspoon of aluminum filings recovered from pan. maybe thats normal for 12 years and 160k miles i dont know. this is my first auto transmission problem. friend advised me to clean it up good replace filter put in 1 qt of k&w trans-x with clean fluid and see what happens. plan to do this on my day off. any comments or other ideas thanks martin $2400.00 took care of all those problems for me at 100k miles. this after 3 trips to the shop for quick-fixes. at 160k youre way ahead of me. but i have a feeling youre due for a rebuild. wolfie .