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TSB 21-10-98

Loss of fifth gear

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Date: Sep 25, 1998 - Loss of fifth gear

This TSB supersedes TSB 21-10-98, which should be removed from files. New revisions are highlighted with **asterisks** and includes adding the 1999 model year and a new procedure to install the fifth gear nut..

Models: Models: 1994-1999 BR/BE  Ram trucks



Transmission operates normally through all ranges  EXCEPT fifth gear


If the vehicle will move or attempt to move from a standing start in 5th gear, the vehicle will have to be road tested.  If the vehicle does NOT move or engine rpm drop as clutch is engaged, perform the Repair Procedure.

Road test on a road that will allow operation safely in 5th gear.  If the transmission pops out of 5th gear or 5th cannot be obtained, perform the Repair procedure.


TSB 21-10-98a figures and instructions.

NOTE: Instructions run for 12 pages. I have posted the instructions and figures so people can see the special tools required and the scope of the procedure. The file with figures is about 335k, and will take some time to load. Don't try to look at it when the network is busy or if you have a slow connection!    If people can't get this large file to load, email me and I will break it into 4 smaller pieces.


From Bob Bergevin:
 The repair procedure involves removal of the transfer case and the extension/adapter housing of the transmission and the drive shafts as well.  The procedure requires several special tools (#'s 6743, 6993 or 6984 [4X2 or 4X4]) and the 5th gear nut has been assembled at 300ft/lbs torque AND Loctite!  However, it may have been damaged enough to be already loose!  Puller tool set # 6444 will be needed to go further.  In addition #'s 6444-1 and rods 6444-3 or 6444-4 to pull are needed and then tool # 6820 to pull 5th gear off the splines.  Had enough?  Remember after this is done, it all has to go back together again!!

The procedure requires several tools not usually found in a watchmakers tool box.  It would be rather difficult to perform in your driveway or on the kitchen table.  My suggestion would be to contact your dealer and work with him if this is your problem.  I suspect that his would be covered in the "policy" portion of the Service Managers responsibilities in that he can provide warranty coverage as a "policy" if the vehicle is out of warranty.  He needs to work with his CC rep in this instance.  You need to work WITH both of them to get what you want.  Be nice, EVEN IF IT HURTS!

The CC time allowance is 2.5 hours for 4X2 and 3.4 hours for 4X4 plus another 0.2 hours if it has a skid plate.  Not being a mechanic, I would still advise that this appears not to be a driveway job!!  The job is reimbursable to the dealer "...within provisions of the warranty".  TSB's are often "loosely" interpreted and if the problem was a problem in the warranty period, it will be carried out later.  BE NICE TO YOUR DEALER IF YOU ARE OVER TIME AND/OR MILEAGE.


From comments made by Dave Fritz  my email address and by Joe Donnelly  Drdonnelly]a[aol_com:

MOST FIFTH GEAR NUT PROBLEMS WITH A DIESEL ENGINE ARE DUE TO ENGINE LUGGING WHILE IN OD.  Vibration induced by the engine power pulses at low RPM can pound the 5th gear retaining nut loose.  Keep the engine speed above 1500 RPM while in OD.  If the engine is pulling hard and engine speed is below 1600 rpm, SHIFT INTO 4th GEAR!

Thanks to Bob Bergevin for providing this TSB information

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This page was edited on: May 3, 2004