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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a '03 ram with cummins diesel, and I'm hoping someone could tell me the proper procedure for changing the oil in the 48re transmission..do you just drop the pan and let the oil fly? I couldn't see a drain plug for the tranny, but maybe i'm not looking in the right place, and is there a way to get most of the oil out of the tranny? From what they told me at the garage it's basically a partial change unless you get the tranny flushed to remove most of the old oil...I got the atf+4 oil and the tranny filter sitting here, any help to point me in the right direction would be much appreciated. :WHT:
 

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There is no drain plug on the pan of the 48RE. I believe B&M does offer one if you're interested in installing one. There's also a few companies that offer replacement "deep" transmission pans (they offer additional fluid capacity) that do have drain plugs. A fluid & filter change is a great start....a flush in addition to the fluid & filter change would be the best scenario. You'll probably only change about 40% to 50% of the fluid by dropping the pan and doing the "filter only" change....with the flush, you'll get around 95% of the old fluid exchanged. If you opted for the drain plug install, you could always do a drain & re-fill say, every 15,000 or 20,000 miles or so if you wanted to think about that.
Greg
 

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I like to do the pan drop twice as often and skip the flush. Unless the fluid is burned or contaminated, it's not really necessary. Last time I did mine in my '03 Cummins powered Ram, I let it sit from Fri to Sunday afternoon before I dropped the pan. I got right at 2 gallons out. Changed the filter, drilled and installed my drain plug from B&M at Autozone and put it all back together. The gasket is re-useable so that makes it a breeze. Don't overtighten the pan bolts. Just snug 'em up good. Definately don't over tighten the filter screws. It will distort the filter inlet and can distort the valve body enough to cause trouble. Just snug them up good too. Not to scare but most of us have a tendency to over tighten everything for fear it'll come loose. It's an easy task and you won't dread it after the first time. Remove the last four corner bolts slowly and let the pan bleed out until you can remove it without oil going everywhere. The pan won't be stuck. It'll bleed out easily. When you're done, don't over fill it. That's as bad as low oil. Over filling will put the planetaries in the oil and foam up causing overheating and erratic shifting. If you're like me you care more about your truck than any garage mechanic.
One more thing. A common problem with the 47RE is the wire harness to the governor pressure sensor in the valve body. It rubs against the corner of the valve body and can short causing all kinds of weird shifts. Check for it when you have the pan off and bend the wires down enough to clear it if it's touching the sharp edge. I know yours is a 48 but it's physically the same down there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
thanks for all the info, it all sounds pretty straight forward to me now, i'll stick with the partial oil change and do it more frequently. I was just under my truck ready to drop the pan and realized that the oil level would be above the pan a good ways, so I'm siphoning out as much as i can with a thin clear plastic hose i slid down the tranny dipstick tube, just to avoid making a big slimy mess in my pit...it seems to be working quite well. That drain plug sounds like a good idea, I'll have to check into that, it's annoying they don't build the drain plugs into them right at the factory, it seems that such a thing should be mandatory. Anyways I'd better get back at'her...thanks for the tips.
 
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