We figured out where the little transmission part went. Now another question

My favorite (and most honest) transmission shop, a guy I’ve known and done business with for 35 years, scanned this 1998 Dodge D1500 pickup for me and told me that it needed a governor pressure sensor and a governor pressure solenoid. It is a 46RE transmission. He told me to drop the pan and filter, unscrew four 11MM bolts that hold the keeper of the sensors in, disconnect the wiring, and put in the new parts. He sold me the parts.

With some amount of fear and trepidation, I did as instructed.

Then I went to clean the pan. Clinging to the circular magnet, along with a bunch of FINE metal shavings, was a small cast metal part about 1" X 7/8". It has circular hole in one end and tapers from 1/4" down to about 1/8". It didn’t fall off the bottom of the transmission recently as it was covered with shavings too.

I’m very lost, as automatic transmissions are not my thing.

"An online transmission help guy said “Just need to reinsert it on the band adjustment stud , and retighten band. Spec for the band is 72 inch lbs , and 2.5 turns out”.

I have been looking for a place to stick this part, with transmission fluid dripping in my face and hair. For the life of me, I can’t see where it should go. Where is the BAND ADJUSTMENT STUD he mentioned? I do not have access to an exploded view of the transmission until (possibly) the local library opens Monday morning. They might have a book on it. Same with my favorite shop.

Can someone please help me before Monday morning?

I hope the picture attaches right. I had to get a kid to help me.

That looks like the 2nd gear band anchor. I’m guessing 2nd gear doesn’t work and that is why replacing the governor pressure sensor was suggested.

Either someone unwittingly loosened the band adjusting screw too far and that piece fell out or the band is broken/burned.

Actually 2nd gear does work, but the tranny’s shifting is not as it should be. I can count all four gears, but sometimes it’s slow going into 2nd, holding onto first until too high an RPM. No slipping.

That part sure looks like the one though. If that picture is right, I guess I’ll have to drop the valve body to get to it. I’m not looking forward to THAT.

Second gear won’t work without that part so it must not be from that transmission. Perhaps it stuck to the magnet during the last transmission service while the pan was in the wash tank.

Does that part appear broken off from a larger part? Or does that uneven edge appear to be just from the original casting?

A friend of mine did something similar to what you are doing, thinking it would be a simple fix, and found half of a broken snap ring in the bottom of the pan. A total rebuild ensued. I’m not suggesting you should give up, indeed, go ahead and see if you can see where that part goes. I guess what I’m saying, good idea to be realistic about your expectations. I think you may be looking at more than just the sensor and solenoid. I hope you can prove me wrong though! Best of luck.


That’s definitely the part. Thanks @Tester and @Nevada_545. There is no substitute for knowing what you’re talking about. There are no breaks or cracks in it @GeorgeSanJose .

There is no way to see where it goes with the valve body in the way.

Maybe it’s shifting from 1st to third, then fourth, and locking the torque converter, accounting for my perceived drop in RPM. Does it even HAVE a lock up torque converter?

Oh well, Monday is another day.

I can’t figure out where a keyboard fits into your transmission.

If you have a library card you should be able to log in to your library website and access Chilton Library to see a diagram of the band adjustment.

What @BillRussell, you’ve never heard of a computerized transmission? Most of them are these days.

Keep in mind I’m not a transmission guy, I’m old, and I hate transmission fluid in my face. I looked at a You Tube video. Then I crawled back under it to try and drop the valve body. Maybe I gave up too early, but I took it back to my friend’s transmission shop. Let someone who knows what they’re doing do it. They removed the valve body, and concurred with @Nevada_545. (Right as usual.) The 2nd gear band is shot. It IS shifting from 1st to 3rd, then 4th and lockup. It works sort of OK as long as I drive it easy. The only time it acted like it went into neutral instead of 1st to 3rd I was riding it very hard. Unfortunately the owner can’t afford a good used tranny, much less an overhaul. Back to square one.

Sorry to hear you are in limp mode, too many people are. You are a great assett to the board, it hurts to see a friend in need.

I have found a used transmission that the truck’s owner is willing to buy. I can get it installed for him for $250+ new seals and fluid. It has 105K miles, 72K less than the truck. Costs $600. They will give him a 30/1000 warranty on the tranny, but not the labor.

The salvage yard selling the transmission says that the warranty is void unless the buyer also installs a NEW radiator. He drove the van it’s in. The trans is fine, but the engine is bad. The labor of putting an engine in a van makes that a bad idea. I’ve bought salvage parts from him before, and found them to be good.

He says there is thermostatic valve in the radiator for the transmission’s fluid cooler that will trap metal particles in the cooling system from the failed transmission. Those particles will cause the “new” transmission to fail. I’ve never heard of that, although I am aware that the transmission cooler and lines have to be cleaned out.

Here’s the question: Is he right?

Yes there are some vehicles that use a thermostat in the trans cooler that controls flow based on temperature. I’m not sure if yours is one of them but they do exist.

Given that you’re talking about a used trans with little or no warranty in an old truck why not just bypass the radiator cooler altogether and strap on an external cooler?

Yep. I don’t know about the thermostat deal, but when I’ve blown a transmission, they insisted on a new after-market cooler in front of the radiator because it would not be effective to try to clean all the particles out.

If a new radiator is what they want, I guess if you want the warranty, you have no choice but to install a new one. I don’t think their goal is to sell radiators, or give you grief, but b/c of their prior experience, that’s the best path. Not sure what a radiator costs for this vehicle, but I installed an aftermarket on my Corolla a few years ago, cost about $90, took about 30 minutes to complete the job. Works great.

There is no thermostat in that one, they are rarely equipped with a thermostat but his policy is correct. We have a cooler flushing machine to clean transmission oil coolers, warranty won’t pay for a new radiator or separate cooler. I have seen some guys replace transmissions two or three times before a team leader shower them how to use the flushing machine or that it was necessary.

Installing a new aftermarket radiator is more practical than trying to clean the debris from the old radiator, they are very inexpensive for this truck.