Are Dodge / Chrysler Transmissions Reliable?

Vehicle:   Chrysler
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We often get asked  "Are Dodge and Chrysler transmission bad?" or "How reliable are Dodge and Chrysler transmissions?"

To answer these questions we decided to get feedback from several Chrysler/Dodge experts and here is what we found. Let's take a look at several Dodge and Chrysler transmission from 1960 to the present.

1960-2002

Are Dodge Chrysler Transmissions bad A904

The TorqueFlite Chrysler A904 and A727 ( Torque-Command) transmissions were introduced in early 1960.

They were extremely reliable and bulletproof. They were installed in Dodge, Jeep and Chrysler cars, vans, trucks, and even race cars. These transmissions were used for over 40 years with slight modifications. They were reliable and had very few problems.

The TorqueFlite is considered one of the best Dodge/Chrysler transmissions. It was used by a number of other manufacturers such as Studebaker, American Motors, International Harvester, etc.

Applications

  • 1960-1976 170, 198, 225 slant-six
  • 1964-1969 273 LA V8
  • 1967-1978 318 LA V8
  • 1975-1978 360 LA V8 with a two-barrel carburetor
  • 1972-1977 AMC Hornet
  • 1972-1978 AMC Gremlin, AMC Matador with six-cylinder engines
  • 1976-1980 AMC Pacer
  • 1978-1983 AMC Concord
  • 1979-1983 AMC Spirit
  • 1980-1983 Jeep CJ, AMC Eagle with GM Iron Duke engine
  • 1983-1984 Jeep DJ-5M with AMC 2.5 L
  • 1984-1986, 1994-2000 Jeep Cherokee (XJ) with GM 2.8 L LR2 V6, AMC 2.5 L I4
  • 1986 Jeep Comanche (MJ) with GM 2.8 L V6, AMC 2.5 L I4
  • 1994-1995 Jeep Wrangler (YJ) with a four-cylinder engine
  • 1997-2002 Jeep Wrangler (TJ) with a four-cylinder engine
  • 1984-1989 Chrysler M platform vehicles with AHB 318 4bbl police option (Dodge Diplomat, Plymouth Gran Fury)
  • 1994-2003 Dodge Ram Van B150 with Magnum 3.9L V6 engine
  • 1994-2003 Dodge Dakota with Magnum 3.9L V6 engine
  • 1987-1995 Jeep Wrangler YJ with a 6-cylinder engine.
  • 1997-2002 Jeep Wrangler TJ with a 6-cylinder engine.

1980-2003

A518 46RE transmssions bad

As Chrysler moved into the eighties they introduced the A518 or 46RH/46RE transmissions. These transmissions had a number of changes compared to the A-series transmissions. For example, they added a 4th overdrive gear.

Chrysler started utilizing electronics in the valve body so these were not hydraulic only transmissions. Overall they are reliable and well built like the A727.

Applications

  • Dodge Ram pickup and vans 150/250/350 V8 and diesel engines (DGT)
  • Dodge Ramcharger SUV 1988-1993 5.2L & 5.9L V8
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee 1993 5.2L, 1998 5.9L
  • 1996 Dodge Dakota V8 (Also 98-03 Dakota 5.9L R/T)
  • 1998-2003 Dodge Durango 5.9L V8 (4WD or 2WD)
  • 1998–2003 Dodge Dakota R/T
  • 1994-1995 Dodge Ram 2500/3500 V8
  • 1995 Dodge Dakota 5.2l magnum v-8
  • - -1995 Dodge Ram Van 2500 5.2L Magnum V8

1990-2010

A604 (41TE) Automatic Transmission

In the 90s Dodge / Chrysler introduced the A604 transmission. This is the Dodge / Chrysler transmission that had the most problems.

They had many applications and were installed in many cars, SUVs, and minivans from 1989 to 2010.

These light-duty transmissions were known to have issues or fail on vehicles with over 100,000 but in some cases even less. These transmissions were typically mounted in transverse and longitudinal setups.

There were a few versions for this transmission known as 41TE was the most common moel, 41AE was used in all-wheel-drive minivans and SUVs, 40TE used mainly in four-cylinder cars. 

Applications

  • 1989-1993 Chrysler New Yorker
  • 1989-1995 Chrysler LeBaron
  • 1989-2007 Dodge Caravan (China 2008–2010)
  • 1989-1993 Dodge Daytona IROC
  • 1992-1993 Chrysler Daytona IROC (EU)
  • 1989-1993 Dodge Dynasty
  • 1989-1994 Dodge Shadow
  • 1989-1994 Chrysler Saratoga (EU)
  • 1989-1994 Plymouth Sundance
  • 1989-1994 Dodge Spirit
  • 1989-1994 Plymouth Acclaim
  • 1989-2000 Plymouth Voyager
  • 1990-1993 Chrysler Imperial
  • 1990-1993 Chrysler New Yorker Fifth Avenue
  • 1990-2010 Chrysler Town and Country
  • 1992-1994 Plymouth Duster
  • 1995-2000 Chrysler Cirrus
  • 1995-2006 Chrysler Sebring
  • 1995-2006 Chrysler Stratus (EU)
  • 1995-2000 Dodge Avenger
  • 1995-2006 Dodge Stratus
  • 1995-2006 Chrysler Sebring (EU)
  • 1996-2000 Plymouth Breeze
  • 2000-2003 Chrysler Voyager (US)
  • 1989-2007 Chrysler Voyager (intl.)
  • 2001-2010 Chrysler PT Cruiser
  • 2002-2003 Dodge Neon
  • 2004-2008 Chrysler Pacifica
  • 1995-1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse Non-turbo
  • 2008-2010 Volga Siber
  • 1991-2004 Chrysler Town and Country
  • 1991-2004 Chrysler Voyager (intl.)
  • 1991-2004 Dodge Caravan
  • 1991-2000 Plymouth Voyager
  • 2004-2008 Chrysler Pacifica
  • 2003-2010 Chrysler PT Cruiser
  • 2003-2006 Chrysler Sebring
  • 2003-2007 Dodge Caravan
  • 2003-2005 Dodge Neon
  • 2003-2006 Dodge Stratus

2010-Present

Dodge Chrysler ZF Transmissions

The current Chrysler 8 and 9-speed automatics are built by the company ZF. 

ZF is a company headquartered in Friedrichshafen, Germany, and supplies transmissions not only to Dodge and Chrysler but also to a number of other manufacturers including  BMW, Audi, Jaguar, Jeep, Lamborghini, Maserati, Land Rover, Toyota to name a few.

They are extremely reliable and well build. Not only can they handle the high horsepower and torque loads but they are also more efficient than any other transmission Dodge/Chrysler manufactured in the past.

Overall the ZF 8HP transmission is known to go over well over 150,000 miles without any major problem. 

Applications  (ZF 8HP)

  • Chrysler 300 V6 (2012+), V8 (2015+)
    • 3.6 (845RE)
    • 5.7 (8HP70)
  • Dodge Challenger (2015+)
    • 3.6 (845RE)
    • 5.7, 6.4 (8HP70)
    • 6.2 (8HP90)
  • Dodge Charger
    • 3.6, 2012+ - 845RE
    • V8 (2015+; 5.7, 6.4 8HP70; 6.2 8HP90)
  • Dodge Durango (2014+)
    • 3.6 (845RE 2014-2017, 850RE 2018+)
    • 5.7 (8HP70)

Conclusion 

Contrary to what a few people believe Dodge and Chrysler's transmission are reliable, with the exception of the A604 transmission. 

A Dodge / Chrysler transmission that is serviced regularly with fresh transmission fluid and filter can easily go over 150,000 miles. These transmissions can fail prematurely if the wrong transmission fluid type is used.

It is important to use the OEM Chrysler Transmission fluid and not use a substitute such as Dexron. Dexron doesn't have the proper characteristics so the clutches don't apply and release in a way that the Transmission Control Module (TCM) expects. This leads to erratic shifting which not only can reduce transmission life but the vehicle owner may complain that the vehicle has developed hard shifts.

In rare cases, Transmission Control Module (TCM) may place the transmission in “limp-in” or “emergency home” mode when it detects delayed shifting, hard shifts, shifting at high RPMs in an attempt to limit further damage to the transmission. 

If you want to buy a Dodge or Chrysler vehicle, make sure the transmission has been regularly serviced as recommended by the OEM. Also, when buying a used Dodge or Chrysler car, SUV, van, or pickup truck it is worth considering purchase a powertrain warranty through a third party.

List of Chrysler transmissions

  • 1954–1961 PowerFlite — 2-speed automatic
  • 1956–2007 TorqueFlite
    • 1956–1961 A488 — 3-speed automatic
    • 1962–1994 A727 (36RH/37RH) — 3-speed automatic
    • 1960–2002 A904 (30RH) — 3-speed automatic
    • A998/A999 (31RH/32RH) — 3-speed automatic
    • 1988–2004 A500 (40RH/42RH/40RE/42RE/44RE) — 4-speed automatic
    • 1992–2003 A518 (46RH/46RE) — 4-speed automatic
    • 1994–2003 A618 (47RH/47RE) — 4-speed heavy-duty automatic
    • 2003–2007 A818 (48RE) — 4-speed heavy-duty automatic
  • 1978–1983 A404 — 3-speed front-wheel-drive transaxle
    • 1981–2001 A413 (31TH)
    • 1981–1987 A470
    • 1987–2000 A670
  • 1989–present Ultradrive
    • 1989–2010 A604 (40TE/41TE) — 4-speed transverse front-wheel-drive automatic
    • 1991–2004 A604 (41AE) — 4-speed transverse all-wheel-drive automatic
    • 1993–2004 A606 (42LE) — 4-speed longitudinal front-wheel-drive automatic
    • 2003–2012 42RLE — 4-speed longitudinal rear-wheel drive automatic
    • 2007–present 40TES/41TES — 4-speed transverse front-wheel-drive automatic
    • 2007–present 62TE — 6-speed transverse front-wheel-drive automatic
    • 2007–present 62TEA — 6-speed transverse all-wheel-drive automatic
  • 1999–present RFE — longitudinal rear-wheel drive
    • 1999–2003 45RFE — 4-speed (5 gear) automatic
    • 2001–2011 545RFE — 5-speed (6 gear) automatic
    • 2012–2017 65RFE — 6-speed automatic
    • 2012–present 66RFE — 6-speed heavy-duty automatic
    • 2007–present 68RFE — 6-speed heavy-duty automatic
    • 2005-2019 Chrysler W5A580, 5-speed automatic. This was a Chrysler adaptation of the  Mercedes-Benz 5G-Tronic 722.6, which was first labelled as the NAG1. Found in the 300, Magnum, Charger, Challenger, Wrangler, and some Dodge Ram pickups, the A580 was last used in the 2019 Dodge Charger Pursuit models.
  • ZF 8HP (also branded as TorqueFlite 8 by Chrysler) — 8-speed longitudinal
    • 8HP45 (replaced by 845RE)
      • 2011–2013 Chrysler 300 V6
      • 2011–2013 Dodge Charger (LD) V6 Retail
      • 2013 Ram 1500 (3.6L V6)
    • 845RE (Chrysler-built version of 8HP45)
      • 2013–present Chrysler 300 V6
      • 2013–present Dodge Charger (LD) V6 Retail through 2019, including Pursuit beginning in 2020
      • 2014–present Dodge Durango V6
      • 2015–present Dodge Challenger V6
      • 2014–present Ram 1500 (3.6L V6)
      • 2014–2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee (WK2) (3.6L V6)
    • 850RE (Chrysler-built version of 8HP50)
      • 2017–present Jeep Grand Cherokee (WK2) (3.6L V6)
      • 2018–present Jeep Wrangler (JL)
    • 8HP70
      • 2013–present Ram 1500 (5.7L V8, 3.0L V6 diesel)
      • 2014–present Dodge Durango V8 Retail
      • 2015–present Dodge Charger (5.7L & 6.4L V8) Retail, Pursuit models beginning in 2020
      • 2015–present Dodge Challenger (5.7L & 6.4L V8)
      • 2014–present Jeep Grand Cherokee (WK2) (5.7L & 6.4L V8, 3.0L V6 diesel)
      • 2015–present Chrysler 300 V8
    • 8HP90
      • 2015–present Dodge Challenger (6.2L V8 s/c)
      • 2015–present Dodge Charger (LX) (6.2L V8 s/c)
    • 8HP95
      • 2018–present Jeep Grand Cherokee (WK2) (6.2L V8 s/c)
  • ZF 9HP — 9-speed transverse
    • 9HP48
      • 2015–2017 Chrysler 200 (3.6L V6)
      • 2017–present Jeep Compass
    • 948TE (Chrysler-built version of 9HP48)
      • 2014–present Jeep Cherokee (KL)
      • 2014–present Jeep Renegade
      • 2015–2017 Chrysler 200 (2.4L)
      • 2015–present Ram ProMaster City
      • 2017–present Chrysler Pacifica
By YOUCANIC Automotive Experts
Jun 2020