2nd Gen Ram Tech1994-2001 Rams: This section is for TECHNICAL discussions only, that involve the 1994 through 2001 Rams. For any non-tech discussions, please direct your attention to the "General discussion/NON-tech" sub sections.
I know theres a lot of info on this here, didnít see a specific write up with pics on this fairly easy procedure, so here goes.
* This procedure was done on a 1996 Ram 1500, may or may not be similar or identical for other years/models.
Tools needed: 7/16 socket, T-25 torx bit, needle nose pliers
Preparations: Youíll of course want to have the parts on hand. Prices can vary drastically, so shop around.
You can sometimes find them on ebay reasonably priced, but your best bet is call around to local tranny shops, look in the yellow pages under ďtransmissionĒ, not the auto parts section.
I found mine here http://tinyurl.com/p7t4vg for $110 for both [I doubt if they do mail order, call em and see if you can't find anything in your area], glad I called because I was considering NAPA, the only parts store that seemed to stock these, and they wanted $114 for the pressure sensor and $98 for the solenoid.
I didn't jack my truck up at all for pan removal, as I prefer it somewhat level for this unavoidably messy procedure.
After I had the pan out, I did jack in up on the frame rail just for a few extra inches, after knocking my head on the tranny mount a few times. Wheels not off the ground, just a lift off the suspension is enough.
Youíll need to drop the pan of course, I let mine drip dry for a couple hours, but if you donít mind getting a coat of tranny fluid on your arms, you donít need to wait that long. Remove filter.
Both sensors are contained in an aluminum block, this whole block drops right down with the sensors once the bolts are removed.
First youíll need to disconnect them from the harness, these connections use the typical snap in style, where you have to pry up a little plastic lip to free the connection.
Take out the 2 torx screws using the T25 bit [same one that drops the filter screws]. Then loosen up all 4 7/16 bolts, then remove them.
You may have to jiggle the block around a bit to break any suction, but once the bolts are removed, there is nothing holding it in.
This pics shows the space where the aluminum block housing the sensors was.
I would have snapped a pic with the housing in place, but it did not strike me to do a DIY write-up until after I had it out.
You can see the two hanging connectors, and the gasket for the block.
I opted not to replace the gasket, as it looked perfectly good, but use your discretion, and definitely replace if you notice any cracks or signs of wear.
Here we have the solenoid on top, with a formed housing that locks it in when the bolts are in. It is free to be set aside with the bolts out.
Here it is again without the housing, new parts ready to install.
Old on top, new on bottom.
Removal is simple, with the solenoid on top, once its housing is removed there is nothing holding it in but suction from the O-ring, just twist and pull it up Ė Helps to use a dry rag.
Can take some doing to get it out, for a while I was convinced that there was some fiendishly clever, hidden locking device holding it in.
On the pressure sensor, there is an M clip holding it in, which you can see [after removal] just to the left of the old parts below. Use the needle nosed pliers to pry in on the exposed arms, which will allow you to slide the nozzle out.
This clip has somewhat of a memory, you will need to put pressure back on the arms opposite of which you pried in on to close them up again, so that it snaps on tight in place once the new one is inserted.
If you don't, you'll notice that it pops off with ease, not the best thing to be floating around in your trannys innards.
The magnet would likely snag it right up, but then you are left with a non secured sensor - So tighten that clip up so that you get a good snap when placed on the new component !
New units installed, top of the M clip visible just to the left of the gold colored sensor.
The bottom of the solenoid is protruding more than it will be once its housing is snapped back in place and bolted in, don't worry about that now, it can only fit together one way, then it will be locked at its correct position when properly bolted in with housing [nearly, or perhaps actually, flush].
Same with the sensor, it can spin to any position, but its correct final position will be the only one which allows mating back up to the harness when bolted in.
Back in place, ready to bolt back up. If you need torque specs, search around. I just snugged them all up criss cross, then tightened them up firmly one by one.
Obviously, anything using a gasket you donít want to kill it with tightness. I sprayed the harness contacts with electrical cleaning fluid, and snapped them right in.
Install filter, job done.
Once the pan is dropped, you could easily do this in half an hour to an hour.
I didnít time it because I was doing other things, I let it drip over night, I was debating if I was going to mess with the bands ect.
So I bolted the pan back up with 3 finger tight bolts to protect the tranny innards over night, Iíd advise that you do the same if its going to be exposed for any length of time, especially our doors.
I opted to install a drain plug, to make the next pan drop a whole lot easier, so this is the time for you to consider if youíd like to do the same.
DIY drain plug is available from just about any parts store, from $3 to $5.
I have seen a variety of locations used for the plug, take a good look and use your best judgment to place it where the inner bolt is going to be the least intrusive.
I opted for right next to, and slightly behind the magnet - Just before where the curvature of the pan starts. Diagonal corner from the magnet also worthy of consideration. Have also seen them installed in the lower side, to ease any worries about the bottom getting snagged by something on the road.
However, the tranny mount is a good 2-3 inches lower, as is the rear differential, and parts of the exhaust ,,, So you'd have larger problems if any road object got past those to snag the pan bolt.
Only advice here is obvious - With a wood block under the pan, start drilling with a small bit, after making a punch mark in the center of your desired location, then work your way up with successively larger bits until the drain bolt threads right in.
If in doubt about whether or not a bit might be too large, drill a test hole in some scrap sheet metal and check the fit, you don't want to drill too big where the drain bolt won't thread.
You can see that I have a little cleanup to do in the pan and Iím good to go. I used a little high temp red RTV on the edges of the nut, and some high temp lock tight on the threads.
Will probably put on another thin bead tomorrow, let cure a couple of hours then slap the pan back in.
May not be necessary, as it threaded in very tightly and there is a sealing washer on the other side, but I'd rather be safe than sorry. If you've got 1 drip, or if you go to turn the release on the bottom and the whole thing spins, you've failed and will have to drop the pan again.
BTW, its a good idea to check and retorque the pan bolts after a week or so of driving, they often work themselves lose and need to be snugged back in. Once will usually suffice. Failure to do so will result in a blown gasket.
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There was dispute in the filter changing thread about what size the torx bit need is.
I just double checked on a valvebody out back and all of the torx heads are 25. Ill note this in the filter changing thread.
BTW, incase anyone wanted to know, the torque values for the small torx head bolts are 50inlbs. I torque the 7/16 bolts to 130inlbs. While you are there, retorque all of the 7/16 valvebody bolts to 130inlbs.
Professional Transmission Technician