Another happy DTT story... (long)

Discussion in 'Tow Rigs and Trailers' started by Rich, Jan 23, 2006.

  1. Rich

    Rich Asshole at large

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    Central PA
    Ever since I got my DTT trans installed (about 20k miles and a year ago), occasionally, it's gone into pseudo-limp home mode when sitting at a light.. it drops into third gear, but will manually shift, and still has lockup and O/D, so it's not full-on limp-home mode. Not a BIG deal, just pull the lever down, and go, and just cycle the key when it's convenient, and you're good to go.

    With my upcoming texas trip, I wanted to get it looked at to figure out why, once and for all. So, on a Thursday, I talk to DTT. 10 minutes later, I get a call from Tim B. (from the shop who built it).. He asked me to check a few things (TPS voltage, TV cable, etc), and verify a regulator voltage, simple stuff (Though setting the TPS voltage was a pain).. (If I was close, he'd just have me bring the truck, but he's in VA Beach)

    2 days later, it goes into full-on limp-home mode. No overdrive, no TC (torque converter) lockup, manual shifting only. This means a top speed of 50-55mph. Check the fuses.. hey..the tranny fuse is blown! replace the fuse, still no-go. We(he) now suspect a solenoid/sensor combo that is not unheard of to go bad in Dodge trannies. (Govenor pressure sensor & solenoid) I am able to pick one up locally.. Drain, drop the pan, R&R, easy enough. He's on the phone several times and the entire time I'm swapping these parts. Doesn't fix the problem.

    Meanwhile, DTT 2nd day air's a new torque converter, frictions, master rebuild kit, and pump assembly from Canada to Tim. Tim then overnights me a new part which contains every other piece of electronics in the trans - a solenoid pack, and all the wiring.. Drain, drop the pan, pull the valve body, R&R, ok... still nothing. We're convinced it's electrical - pinched/broken wire maybe? ECU?

    I had been visiting Advance auto to have the codes pulled and cleared several times.. The last time I go in, in addition to a bunch of tranny pressure codes, I've got a TPS voltage code. WTF? I just set that! Go home, check it again, it's spot on. OK, that solves it... The ECU (PCM in dodge speak) has lost its damn mind.
    Get a PCM from the boneyard, and viola! it's shifting again... So here's what we figure happened. Solenoid in trans sticks occasionally, causing limp mode. Solenoid finally sticks, heats up, draws a bunch of current through the PCM, melting a circuit trace, which then pops the fuse.

    Tim still wants to see the truck.. He and DTT are concerned that all the 3rd gear starts may have worn the 3rd gear clutches, and a bad sensor may have been letting lower than DTT specified pressures go through the trans..
    Saturday evening, around 5pm, we start the teardown.
    Trans is apart on the bench by 6.
    (As a testament to the quality of their build, after 20k miles and countless 3rd gear starts, every friction in the trans still has the part number still readable on the friction surface, and was within spec for a new friction disc.)
    Without cutting the TC open, you can't see if the TC clutch had slipped at all, so a new TC goes in, and the trans is basically built again from the ground up. Everything is checked, measured, adjusted, and re-checked.
    Test drive by noon on Sunday, everything is working great.
    Home by 6pm.

    My cost? If you don't count the billet input shaft I had installed during the repair, (totally my choice, and free installation since the trans was apart), $0.00!! :D

    Not to mention, through this entire ordeal, which included right at $200 in shipping costs (DTT/Tim ate it all), both Tim and Bill K. (owner of DTT) were available at all hours, 7 days a week, with many calls being to Bill's house as early as 6am, and as late as 10pm.

    THAT is what you call customer service, and certainly the COMPLETE opposite from what happened with ATS, who would barely return my phone calls, let alone honor a warranty.
     
  2. bigassedredjeep

    bigassedredjeep Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Middlesex, NC
    glad to hear of the great customer service.

    sucks that it happened, but atleast you weren't in texas..
     
  3. cumminsdzl

    cumminsdzl Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Location:
    Wake Forest
    Thats great to hear. Its awesome when a company stands by there work.

    On a side note, now that you have that billet output shaft, you should be able to build some boost off the line without worry. The SS might have something to worry about next time at rockingham.:flipoff2:
     
  4. BIGWOODY

    BIGWOODY Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Location:
    Thomasville
    I give up on autos...I'm putting a 5spd in my dually..the worry isn't worth it for me. Good service though.
     
  5. BRUISER

    BRUISER silent.. but deadly Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    Raleigh
    I agree Great service.. I love to hear these stories..
     
  6. LARRY SMITH

    LARRY SMITH Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Location:
    Gastonia
    trans

    I agree, manual all the way.
     
  7. Rich

    Rich Asshole at large

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    Central PA
    At the power I will be running, clutches ain't cheap if you want to tow with it, and the input shafts on the NV4500's have been known to pop. Not to mention it's no fun racing - those 4500's don't shift too quickly.. :D

    Yes, a manual is a simple device and a solenoid won't take it down, but they are far from bulletproof.

    Kyle - I got the billet INPUT, not output. I can still build boost, but not too much (10-15). I can shift with the TC locked now though... :) Should be enough to get me close to 14's as I am now, but there's 6 little somethin somethins coming soon that will really liven things up, but will still be towable.
     
  8. LARRY SMITH

    LARRY SMITH Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Location:
    Gastonia
    trans

    Don't plan on racing, and I've got more power than I need now.
     
  9. Rich

    Rich Asshole at large

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    Central PA
    [Dr. Phil Voice]It's not about youuuuuuuu[/Phil] :flipoff2:

    This thread is directed more at those who don't like stock, want more, but want their auto to hold it.

    I enjoy having some fun with my truck, it's not just a tool. And since I won't be carving corners with an 8000 lb. truck, the motivation for a manual trans is not there for me.
     
  10. yager

    yager Better Faster Stronger

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    Wake Forest, NC
    glad you got it all fixed..
     
  11. RufusTheRam

    RufusTheRam New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Location:
    Raleigh
    i'm surprised the pcm wasn't suspected earlier. somewhat common scenario with dodge truck autos.
     
  12. Ron

    Ron Dum Spiro Spero Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2005
    Location:
    Sharon, SC
    WOW
    I agree 100% Rich, that is customer service!
    Companies that value their customer that much are way too few and far between the days IMHO...
    Glad to hear of a winner... One that will get my business inthe near future...
     

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