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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I recently purchased a 06 Limited, AWD with the Hemi and just got back from my first towing trip... I'm towing a 24' v-nose enclosed car hauler with a total weight of about 8000#'s... The Durango tows this setup great except for one problem! When I push the tow/haul mode it "will not keep 5 gear locked out" for a very long period of time... Lets say I'm coming up on a hill and I push the tow/haul button, I proceed to pull the hill with a steady throttle / load all is well until I let up on the throttle just a bit and it will go back into 5th and start to "lug" so I either have to push the button off and back on again to get back into 4th (my preferred method) or put my foot in it which usually drops it down into 3rd and screams... Is anyone else having this problem? My manual says that the tow/haul mode disables 5th gear and this is certainly not happening for me for any length of time anyway... If I could just get this thing to stay in 4th and just drive with out working the button like a mad man I would be one happy guy!

Any info is greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Dave
 

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The tow/haul button changes the shift points as well. I hadn't heard of that particular problem before. What gearing does your D have, because if it's got 3.55 gears you're way over the max towing capacity.
 

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I've got the same issue when I tow with the D. Actually it doesn't go back into 5th, watch the RPMs. When you first hit the tow/haul button it will drop to 3rd for about 30 seconds or so, then drop into 4th. Watch the revs next time. It's aggravating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Mine is going back into 5th... To clarify further what is happing lets say I'm rolling along about 70mph / 2200 RPM and I'm approaching a hill... I push the tow/haul button, The torque converter unlocks and it shifts into 4th = about 3100 RPM once in 4th the converter will stay unlooked for say 5-15 seconds depending on throttle angle and the grade I'm pulling then once the converter locks up the rpm will drop about 200 = 2900 RPM (this is normal) at this point everything is perfect and pulls great
but the problem is that if I lift off the throttle even a slight amount it will drop back into 5th and the RPM's drops back into the 2000 range and then I have to turn the button off and back on again and go through whole procedure over and over again to maintain my speed... If the transmission was functioning properly I believe that it should "never go into 5th when the tow/haul button on" and I should just be able to drive in 4th the whole time and occasionally have the torque converter unlock on the bigger grades...

Dave
 

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I have an '06 also, but have not had a chance to pull with it yet, but the '05 Hemi limited AWD with 3.55's that I had before did the same thing. When in tow/haul it would go into 5th gear once set speed was reached. My parents have a 2004 with the same set up and theirs does the same. My understanding of the Tow/Haul, is it changes the shift points, and if the need for power does drop to a certain point, it will shift into 5th. I never looked in my manual's to see what it stated.
 

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I thought my 2004 Durango was doing the same thing but it isn't. The gear ratio difference between 4th and 5th is very slight. 4th is still OD. At 60mph there is only about a 100rpm difference between 4th and 5th. So tow/haul is keeping it out of 5th but is hardly noticiable.

I drove with the dealerships computer monitor plugged it. It clearly showed what gear the transmission was in and the RPM's of each shift.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the info! You are 100% correct... The last few days I have read all about the 545RFE tranny and I also came across one of your old post about this subject... Sure enough what I'm missing is a way to keep it in 3rd gear! I can't believe Dodge brags about the 8900# tow rating and then gives you no way to keep the motor in the sweet spot... There is no excuse for this! I'm going to write Dodge a long letter about this subject and hopefully other will as well and they wake up and fix this issue on the 08 models...

I love everything about this truck except for this problem... I have a contact at SCT and I'm going to see if he is willing to help design either a multi program chip or a programmer that allows you to lock out 3rd and 4th via flipping a switch or pushing a button...

If get anywhere with this I will post a new topic about it...

Dave
 

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Your D is not going into 5th, all the tow/haul button does is not lock up the converter. They say its a 5 speed but really a 4 with lock up. Without your trailer take it on the highway till about 65 and watch the tach, it will go into 4th at about 2400 and drop 200rpm to 2200 and thats considered 5th gear.
 

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I got a 06 5 speed Auto with the tow package 4.7L AWD, I used it to pull a 16ft trailer with my toy 04 TJ/Wrangler lifted and other stuff and I guess around 5000-6000K mark maybe little more,

I push the tow haul botton before I even put it in D, Not when I am about to go up a hill or Mt. , To me wont that cause the trans to have issue's or break???? sort like my 94 Chevy keeping it in OD and not D letting the Trans to keep shifting up and down??

On another note, I push the Tow Haul button before I put it in D and with the trailer and jeep at 65mph I am at 2K rpms on flat ground then when I am going up a steep hill it will down shift and then running about 2500rpms at 65. I got Ok MPG running from Houston up to East Tx 2 weeks ago pulling the jeep.
 

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The tow/haul button does not stop the torque converter from locking up. That would make the transmission run MUCH hotter and would further hurt your fuel economy. The tow/haul locks out 5th gear and changes the shift map between gears. It allows 4th gear operation because of the significant fuel economy penalty you would pay by only allowing 3rd gear. FYI.....I've found, especially with the HEMI, that running in cruise control while towing will typically allow for more efficient operation of the system than manually controlling the throttle. Only on the very steep grades does it require the last bit of throttle travel (cruise control pulls to 85-90% throttle) or the manual downshifts when going down hills. The temperatures of the oil, transmission, coolant and rear axle run much cooler.
 

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LeftWing said:
The tow/haul button does not stop the torque converter from locking up. That would make the transmission run MUCH hotter and would further hurt your fuel economy. The tow/haul locks out 5th gear and changes the shift map between gears. It allows 4th gear operation because of the significant fuel economy penalty you would pay by only allowing 3rd gear. FYI.....I've found, especially with the HEMI, that running in cruise control while towing will typically allow for more efficient operation of the system than manually controlling the throttle. Only on the very steep grades does it require the last bit of throttle travel (cruise control pulls to 85-90% throttle) or the manual downshifts when going down hills. The temperatures of the oil, transmission, coolant and rear axle run much cooler.
How much are you towing??
I've got a 2004 5.7HEMI and I tow about 6500lbs regularly about once a month. The tranmssion HUNTS for gears and doesn't want to stay in the sweet spot. I've already gotten the tow/haul TSB done and it still does it. It does it in cruise control MORE than running with your foot. Funny...but we've learned to manipulate the tranny by bumping the cruise up or down pending what we want it to do. It's aprogramming issue...
 

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LeftWing said:
The tow/haul button does not stop the torque converter from locking up. That would make the transmission run MUCH hotter and would further hurt your fuel economy. The tow/haul locks out 5th gear and changes the shift map between gears. It allows 4th gear operation because of the significant fuel economy penalty you would pay by only allowing 3rd gear. FYI.....I've found, especially with the HEMI, that running in cruise control while towing will typically allow for more efficient operation of the system than manually controlling the throttle. Only on the very steep grades does it require the last bit of throttle travel (cruise control pulls to 85-90% throttle) or the manual downshifts when going down hills. The temperatures of the oil, transmission, coolant and rear axle run much cooler.
agree, I put my 4.7 on Cruise while pulling it seem to pull much better even on slight hills
 
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