Hey there, I have a 1991 DODGE Dakota V6 3.9L FI with a TorqueFlite TF-6 A-500 4 speed RWD Automatic Transmission. Now, this truck is amazing and so is this transmission. It’s been going for 22 years and about 400,000 miles and the bands in the tranny have never been replaced…EVER. The fluid filter has been replaced, once. Anyway…it’s amazing, I mean the thing is still going strong after all this time and such low maintenance.
Anyway, I noticed a slight lack of acceleration, so as usual for an old automatic, I figured the bands might be slipping a bit. So I dug up the torque specs for it and performed the adjustments. Now, this is the funny part and I was not at all surprised to discover this. In fact, I’d had the hunch the entire time. I discovered that the bands are so old that they no longer respond properly to the recommended torque specs, so I had to guess work them. I did a bit of careful fiddling as I know just about everything there is to know about automatics and I understand perfectly the damage that can be caused when under/overtightening bands.
Anyway, I did some fiddling and got some interesting results that actually made me laugh to be honest, but I knew at first I wasn’t quite doing it right. First gear was all right, but second kicked in a little late, and I felt a slip when third came around. So, I decided it was time for a moment of truth. What I ultimately ended up doing was tightening the bands to the recommended torque (in this case 72 inch lbs) and then slowly backing them off until I felt them let go, Then I put the proper torque on the locknuts (in this case 30 ft lbs).
Now, this tranny has two bands and a clutch pack, it has the low-reverse (rear) band, and the Kickdown(forward) band, and I believe the clutch pack is used to engage 3rd gear, because the rear band gives you 1st and rev, and the kickdown band gives you 2nd. After my ultimate adjustments, the kickdown band DID drag just a little for about a minute, but she quickly worked herself into a state where she’s shifting better and accelerating better than she ever has before.
I’m amazed by this thing, but anyhow, I do have a question. Not sure if anyone knows these old trannys here, but this is the one thing I was unable to figure out myself. I’m wondering if the kickdown band lets off when you hit 3rd gear? Does anyone know? I know that when I feel the first kick, it’s the KD band grabbing the front drum, which gives me second, but I’m wondering if it pulls simultaneously as third gear kicks in, or whether it stays tight against the drum?