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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2002 Durango R/T that i purchased new May of 02. Ever since the day i bought it, i have complained about the sloppy 2nd to 3rd gear shift. It seems to shift in two parts, and the engagement on full throttle seems to take too long. Its not firm at all. I have tried to explain this but it is difficult. The best way i can describe it, is it hits 3rd gear, then the rpm slowly drop, then it fully engages. This last about 1-2 seconds. The first to second gear shift is firm and quick. When it hits, you feel the kick. When it goes to third, it's like I am driving a Cadillac.

I have been told the two part shift i described above is the torque converter lockup. I have always felt like I'm losing acceleration performance because of this sloppy shift.

I complained to Perkins Dodge in Colorado springs immediately after buying it. They mechanic checked it out, said it was normal and said it needed to break in.

At 10,000 miles, I took it back to the same dealer. This time, they had me drive them down the highway to explain what i was talking about. The mechanic said he understood, and said it should be firmer.

He tore down the trans, replaced some parts and increased the line pressure. This resulted in the durango shifting the same, but holding the rpm's too long. It would hit the rev limiter and you would have to let off the gas on the 1-2 shift. the 2-3 remained the same.

I took it back, he reduced the line pressure and said there was nothing he could do.

At 29K miles (last September), I took it to a different dealer in Colorado Springs (Carlin). I took the mechanic for a ride and he said it was normal, told me that my R/T is much different with different heads and much more power than the other Durangos. He said that due to the increased power, the trans was modified so it would not burn up. :huh: I knew this was B/S of course, but in the end nothing changed.

My question is, is this normal? Is there a shift kit that does not void the warranty out there. Is there a programmer that controlls the shifts like Hypertech does on Chevy models. From what i read, the Dodge Hypertech does not make any transmission changes.

Thanks!

Scott
 

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I don't know if it is normal, but mine is kind of like you describe... The 2nd to 3rd shift is odd, but not worrisome to me... It is kind of like a double shift or a 2nd, 3rd, N 3rd shift... I too was told that it is normal.... my 1st to 2nd shift is a pretty hard shift, that is new after my last dealer tranny work...
 

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I think I've got the same problem. It sucks, it feels like my transmission just has no idea what gear it's supposed to be in sometimes.
 

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Mine double shifts. From a stop going into 2nd gear. I hate it. It does it sometimes and sometimes it doesnt do it. I dont know why.
 

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I've also had issues with 2-3. Most of the time, until it warmed up it would rev high before it would shift from 2-3, and the shift shift it would be slow and the rpms would climb in between gears. After driving, 2-3 would improve and it would shift when it was supposed to, and faster but rpms still would go up before third gear would engage. This all began a few years ago, maybe 30k ago. I had the bands adjusted, the system flushed and Red Line synthetic added but it did not correct anything. One potential thing was the electronics (governor pressure solenoid, and regulator). It was a good enough excuse to get a Martin Saine valve body, with new electronics. I recently had it installed, bands adjusted and new Red Line. With the valve body, all gears shift really fast and hard. 2-3 is very quick now and you can tell that there is a tad more time between 2-3 compared to 1-2 and the tiniest rpm blip. Nothing like it was before and the high revs before it would try to 2-3 shift have gone. Obviously I had several things done all at once so I can't say what improved it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think you all have the same issue then. The 1-2 shift is great, hits hard. I want the 2-3 shift to feel like the 1-2. I think 0-60 times suffer a lot from this problem. Anyone know if there is a programmer or shift kit to correct it? If i have one performance complaint about my R/T, thats it. You stomp on it and it feels like a rocket, but by the time I reach third i feel like im driving my grandmas car.
 

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The programmer or PCM change is only going to affect the shift point, not how it shifts. You can also fool with the linkage but that has the potential for making things worse. There are shift kits available and valve bodies from Martin Saine and APS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My understanding is on the Dodge, Hypertech does nothing for the transmission. My brother in law has an H2, and when i programmed the Hypertech for him, it has an option to firm up the shifts as well as an option to change the shift points. It made a huge difference in his Hummer. He gets 13.5 avg in city, and about 17 on hwy with that thing, and it has more power. Thanks for the help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
He had the Hummer for about 9 months before he did the Hypertech and put about 10,000 miles on it. His average city mileage was around 11, give or take 1. His highway was around 14-15. Now when he takes the program out to get service done, he says the truck is sluggish and unresponsive.

I have another friend that has a 2002 Silverado 4-door longbed (tank) single rear wheel 4x4 with the 6.0 motor (same as the Hummer). He is the one that helped me talk my brother in law into getting one. He drives this truck about 300-400 miles a day, and already has 110,000 miles on it (purchased it new 11/02). He sells Catapillar tractors and drives all over Colorado to jobsites. He said his mileage jumpted about 4mph on the highway from the programmer and the truck is much more responsive. He gets around 18 on the highway, but cannot give a good city number because all he does is drive mostly on the highway. His worst tanks now are in the mid teens. Keep in mind this is a huge truck with 285/75/16 tires.

I have hesitated because of the transmission issue. I am skeptical that a programmer can make a seat of the pants change in engine performance without making adjustments to the shiftpoints and firmness in the transmission, like the Chevy model does.
 
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