- Learn about common Dodge Dakota transmission problems
- Everything you need to know when shopping for a Dodge Dakota transmission for sale
- How and when to buy a remanufactured Dodge Dakota transmission
Dodge Dakota Transmission Problems & Solutions
In the 1970’s, rising gas prices prompted American automakers to import small Japanese pickup trucks and sell them under their own name. That’s how Mazda was able to gave us the Ford Courier, Isuzu brought the pint-sized Chevy Luv, and Mitsubishi provided the handy Dodge D50. These little haulers were a big success, so GM and Ford began making their own compact trucks in the early 80’s. Dodge on the other hand, decided to make a midsize truck that was more capable than an S-10 or Ranger, yet small enough to be easier to drive and more fuel efficient than a fullsize truck. The Dodge Dakota proved popular, and V8 equipped models got upgraded to the heavy duty Dodge 46RE transmission in 1995. This gearbox remained in use until 2003, and has since helped countless owners to get their jobs done. However time and mileage can take their toll. So let’s look at some common Dodge Dakota transmission problems, and see if we can’t find some solutions.
Common Problems with the Dodge Dakota 46RE Transmission
Slipping and/or No Gear Engagement
One of the biggest Dodge Dakota transmission problems is slipping in-and-out of gear, and/or no gear engagement. Factory design flaws are the most common cause of these problems, and Street Smart Transmission has taken steps to correct all of them. To that end, every remanufactured Dodge Dakota transmission gets a modified valve body, a remanufactured and enhanced pump, an upgraded pressure regulator valve, custom-spec (see: Stronger) bushings, an upgraded 8-plate OD direct clutch, 4-plate OD clutch, and a much stronger 5-pinion OD planetary assembly.
Besides all of the OE design flaws, many common Dodge Dakota transmission problems can also be linked to overheating. The ATF is designed to absorb heat from all of the moving parts, then expel said heat as it passes through a cooling chamber at the bottom of the radiator. However towing, hauling, and constant up-down shifting (i.e. crawling through traffic) can increase this heat and overwhelm the stock cooling system. That’s why every SST remanufactured Dodge Dakota V8 transmission is shipped with an external transmission cooler, which can keep the ATF cool and prevent internal heat damage.
Yet another complaint about the Dodge Dakota 46RE transmission is no reverse engagement. In some cases, this issue can be linked to the above problems. But Street Smart Transmission has also upgraded each remanufactured 46RE transmission to address this specific problem. So each one gets an oversized Low/Reverse brake band strut which is designed to prevent drum slippage and no-reverse engagement.
How to Solve Dodge Dakota Transmission Problems
Solution A: Buy a Used Dodge Dakota 46RE transmission
Dodge trucks are plentiful, so finding an affordable used Dodge Dakota 46RE transmission at a salvage yard shouldn’t be hard. But stop and think; that old Ram or Dakota sitting in the junkyard had problems built in at the factory, and it’s highly unlikely that they have been dealt with. So you could eventually have the same problems that you’re trying to fix now. And that 30-day junkyard warranty only covers a replacement 46RE transmission, not the labor charges to install it.
Solution B: Buy a Rebuilt Dodge Dakota 46RE transmission
A better idea would be to get a rebuilt Dodge Dakota 46RE transmission. These are typically assembled by a mechanic using an OE master rebuild kit, so all of the factory issues will eventually reappear. Plus the average rebuilder’s 1-2 year warranty is only good at that shop, or a small chain of shops. So if transmission trouble strikes when you’re out of town, you’ll be paying to fix a transmission that you already had fixed.
Solution C: Buy a Remanufactured Dodge Dakota 46RE transmission
To fix your Dodge Dakota transmission problems and keep them fixed, you’re going to need a remanufactured Dodge Dakota 46RE transmission from Street Smart Transmission. Each one is upgraded to address all of the design flaws, and it’s fully dyno tested to ensure that everything works properly before it leaves factory. The hot & cold dyno testing also breaks in all of the new components, that way you won’t have to experience a break in period. In addition, each reman transmission comes with a 3-year/Unlimited Mile Nationwide Warranty (18-months/100,000 miles for commercial and heavy duty applications). This transferable coverage will pay parts and labor on transmission repairs that are performed by any licensed repair shop in the country. So you get a 46RE transmission that will outlast the OE unit, and a warranty that will outlast the OE warranty.
To get your Dakota back on the road fast, give us a call at 1-866-812-7560. Or you can click here to check on the price and availability of a remanufactured Dodge Dakota 46RE transmission.