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Dear Forum ,

I thought I might mention my experience in order to help.
I drove my 2014 promaster gas for my repair business mostly highway and rarely exceeding 65 miles an hour. Never accelerated quickly, yet I still carried some weight but I would guess it would be equivalent to a built out camper or maybe a little more??

Still at 85,000 miles the transmission let loose.
Took a few photos of transmission apart, looks like it just yielded.
In retrospect I was noticing poorer gas milage before it just let go.
Ram policy is something like if more than 70% of the internal components are bad - replacement, if less just clean and rebuild. I would think that a fair guess is that most all just get a cleaning and rebuild. So if it broke once it's going to brake a gain.I traded it into a dealer and purchased an new diesel. Same van but different color. Liking the diesel so far, but if I can help identify any design flaws (like putting a minivan transmission into a 1 ton vehicle) or help out, would like to do so.

joseph
 

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Thanks. I don’t understand why properly rebuilding that transmission would not have been fine. They are rebuilt all the time and available from rebuilders with quite long warrantees. However I too have lost faith in vehicles and just wanted them gone. I hope the diesel and ATM serve you well. Mostly highway and reasonable acceleration is similar to mine and so far so good. I probably have only 500-700 lbs in my conversion so you are loaded more than me.
 

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I would like to know what failed. The fact is that this is a transmission, not a mini van transmission! They have torque ratings and calculations that have been gone thru to determine that it was up to the task of motivating the ProMaster at full load. The engineers gave it a much higher 3.8:1 final drive than the minivan and a trans cooler that is more than twice the size of the minivan. We have seen very few failures and I personally know of 3 with close to 200k on them and no transmission problems. I had this same transmission in my old minivan and had over 360k on it with nothing but the solenoid pack being replaced (which are very cheap)...and fluid of course. Calling it a minivan transmission just bugs me...it was used in many Dodge and Chrysler products. Also, how did you buy a diesel? They aren't for sale now because of the EPA investigation.
 

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Isn't a "minivan" the heaviest and most demanding use of this transmission prior to the ProMaster? I'm under the impression that other applications were generally in even lighter vehicles, so referring to it as a minivan transmission shouldn't be considered derogatory.

The real problem from my perspective is that these kinds of decisions are no longer in the hands of engineers in the US like it use to be. Even if engineers thought that there were going to be too many failures, senior management could still override their wish for a HD transmission; assuming one even existed for a heavy FWD van. And I'm certain PM volume doesn't justify an all-new dedicated transmission.

I'm not aware of any FWD transmissions for transverse engine applications designed for heavy vans. VW will have an 8-speed automatic for FWD vans up to 4.0 tonnes GVWR next year, but power is limited to a 2.0 liter turbodiesel.

At one point I thought the ZF 9-speed would be the logical replacement, but I'm not sure that will happen unless it can be modified considerably.
 

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My trans went out at 48K miles. There's a post in this section. I had only been driving it about three weeks, after doing the build out for a few months. My first trip was to New Mexico for a week then I had spent two weeks in Utah and Colorado paragliding when it went out on my way back home. I think the mountain passes and steep grades are a little bit of a struggle for the Promaster. Maybe when I get it back with a new trans, I might have have a different experience and opinion, or it may just not be built for living in the mountains. On that trip I also got to drive two Sprinters (one was a 4x4) and those things are built solid. The 4x4 was a mountain goat and we were taking it up mountain roads that I would never take my Promaster up. I was jealous by the end of the trip. Of course it's twice as expensive but it felt like it was built more like a truck, much tougher than the Promaster, and the suspension floated over rough terrain. Of course it may break down too, who knows. Just my opinion.
 

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Do you use it in tow-haul mod in the mountains? I live and work in the Colorado mountains and have 95k + on mine and thankfully no problems. I do use tow-haul when driving in the mountains but I'm also always loaded.
 

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For sure people should use tow mode whenever transmission is even slightly working hard.

I smoked two GM transmissions by not using tow mode in empty trucks pulling a trailer that only weighed 700 lbs. One truck blew transmission fuild all over the engine bay when it got hot. It came flying out the dip stick tube. Another time it blew out the vent underneath. I was young and dumb at the time.

If you ever hear your engine reving (making more noise) that is normal for a given speed, it likely means the transmission has overheated and is slipping. I lived where we drove on the beach and often saw overheated transmissions on the beach in 90 degree weather.
 
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