Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Colorado Springs
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When I bought mine, everything looked fine too. Fluid was new, shifted great, nothing seemed wrong either. Mine went out after hauling a heavy load up a really steep rocky trail. Had I not taken that camping trip, would my trans have been ok - probably, but did I think a little heavy hauling on steep terrain would cause a complete trans overhaul - no.
My advice to you would be this. If you plan to tow or haul heavy loads very often, or do off-road driving recreationally, you might consider something else (just to be on the safe side). If you only drive around on the street, and your biggest load is a few 2x4's from home depot, you would probably be ok, but I would still consider an extended warranty if it is offered. And, if you do get a Ram, be very diligent about your transmission maintenance (like fluid change, meaning full system flush, not just draining the pan, is recommneded every 24,000 miles).
I realize I will probably get slammed now by all the forum members who have put 150,000 on the same original transmission, while off-roading every day and hauling gigantic loads. That is fine, but the truth is, the auto trans on Dodge Rams is a known weekness, and I think you (Paul G) are smart to be cautious.