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99' Durango Transmussion slipping

I have a 99 Durango with 154,000 miles on it. During the winter, the transmission slips, during the summer it does not. It slips when it is the engine is cold and trying to shift into 3rd gear. Basically;y, when shifting into 3rd the RPM’s rev up, but it won’t shift into gear. If I let it come back down to idle it will usually shift into gear and be fine.

The gear shifter on this truck has always been a bit off. When selecting Drive, the shifter has never clicked into the selected gear, and if you bump the selector while in Drive, it will shift into neutral.

So do I need a new transmission? Or does it sound more like a linkage adjustment?

Have the fluid and filter been changed? Cold fluid doesn’t flow as well as warm fluid. Combine that with partially clogged filter and you have the recipe for shifting problems. Also be sure the fluid is at the proper level.

The linkage is probably okay. What’s out of whack is the indicator in the dash. This is adjustable. I had the exact same situation with my '99 Dakota (same setup as the Durango) when I bought it a year ago. Easy fix under the dash, but you should get a service manual before you DIY.

I changed the fluid and filter about 2 months ago (or 1200 miles). It was acting the same way before the fluild/filter change.

The reason I bring up the shifter, is it doesn’t feel like it goes into gear quite right.

I have also read there is a ‘band’ adjustment that can be made. Have you heard of this?

It depends on wich trans you have if a band adj. is required 45rfe dose not have a band adj. And the outher trans option for that truck trans the bands effect 2nd and low.only

Band adjustment is not going to affect your 2-3 shift. Considering the fact you have 154k miles and that the cold weather affects it this tells me that you are most likely having issues with the clutch piston seals in the front (Direct) clutch assy. Piston seals that are old and with high mileage tend to harden which causes loss of hydraulic pressure to apply the clutch, the cold weather only makes the leaking worse. As the transmission warms up, the seals soften and will hold hydraulic pressure and allow the clutch to apply.

You are looking at an overhaul.


That’s what I was afraid of, but I kind of figured it needed the overhaul. Hopefully it will make it through the summer and then it’s time to get something newer and more gas friendly.

Pour a can of Berrymans B-12 Chemtool in the trans. I use it all the time and have my customers with problems like yours do the same. The Berrymans will soften the seals and also help keep the transmission clean inside.

This is what it looks like:


I will give it a try and report back.

Thanks for all the help.

Did that help at all?

Basically, I have the exact same problem. I have a 2000 Durango - BTW - My shift has also been off a bit just like yours, since the day I bought it brand new.

If you found anything that helped - please let me know…

It did help. It no longer slips when cold.It has many other issues now, non-transmission related though…