How Do I Rebuild My Dodge Transmission?


A slipping or grinding transmission is a sign of a failure waiting to happen to your Dodge. It is better to replace the transmission ahead of time rather than to wait for it to go out and be stranded roadside. According to the Cost Helper website, new transmission replacements are priced between $1,800 to $3,500, which, depending on the vehicle, can be more than the car is worth. Rebuilding a transmission yourself can save you money and, while slightly complicated, it is not impossible for most home mechanics. Once the transmission has been removed, begin the rebuild.

Disassemble Transmission

  • To begin rebuilding your Dodge transmission, you must disassemble the main components of the transmission body so you can access the internals. Use a socket wrench to remove the bolts on the bottom of the transmission oil pan and remove the pan. Examine the transmission fluid filter, as metal shavings in the filter may indicate more extensive damage than simply needing a rebuild. Remove the valve body, gaskets and separator plate on the top portion of the transmission, which will allow you to access the transfer case. Thoroughly scrape off any old gaskets mounted between the valve body and the separator plates.

Transfer Case Disassembly

  • Remove the shift selector pin from the bottom of the transfer case and then remove the transmission oil pump. Disconnect the snap rings on each “layer” of transmission gears and carefully remove them. As you are pulling each piece of the transmission apart, be sure to either video the process or lay out your parts in the order in which they were removed. This prevents confusion later on and speeds up reassembly. Replace the snap rings, gaskets and any transfer plates with ones from the rebuild kit. Also, replace the variety of seals that you will come upon as you disassemble each component. Install new friction plates as well as any internal components that you identify as showing wear. The rebuild kit will come with a basic variety of internal components for the rebuild, but all the internals of a transmission are under load and may need replaced.

Rebuild Valve Body and Reassembly

  • Use the bearings and valve seals provided in the rebuild kit to replace those in the valve body. Be careful to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer’s rebuild manual with regards to disassembly and replacement. Each transmission model is different and will have slightly different rebuild requirements. Begin reassembly once you have replaced all the seals, bearings and friction plates. Start by replacing all the snap rings on the transfer case pinion gears, then slide the transfer case back onto the transmission housing and reconnect the bolts. Reattach the housings and reinstall the fluid filter and pan. You can then replace the transmission on the vehicle and refill it with transmission fluid.

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