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Old 02-12-2012, 08:59 PM   #1
Jeff in N.Tx.
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2002 Dodge 6spd trans. Reverse too fast - Any fix??

I acquired a 2002 Dodge 3500 flatbed last year. It has the 5.9 Cummins and a 6 spd manual trans. I use the truck for hauling a gooseneck trailer loaded with firewood. The truck, trailer and load are grossing out at just under 30,000 lbs.
The 6 speed works great and handles the load well, except for the reverse gear. I have to do a lot of backing with the loaded trailer and reverse is way too fast, even at idle. To back up requires slipping the clutch, a lot. The clutch was replaced shortly before I got it, and after just 3000 miles, I think it is going out again, probably due to having to engage and disengage the clutch so much during backup moves. You can always smell hot clutch after a backup move.
Is there any fix for this "high speed" reverse gear? Does anyone offer a kit for this transmission that would allow for a slower speed in reverse?
All suggestions appreciated.
Jeff
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:10 PM   #2
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I don't believe there is any fix.

Is this truck a 4X4? If so, low range?

What is the axle ratio?
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:35 PM   #3
Jeff in N.Tx.
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No, it is not a 4x4.
I do not know what the axle ratio is. The axle ratio works great for the forward gears though, as 1st is a creaper, and it cruises easily at 75 MPH in
6th gear. From a stop, with no trailer, I can take off in 2nd with no problem at all.
Jeff
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Old 02-13-2012, 11:23 PM   #4
Ron in Indiana
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Jeff it sounds like you have a 3:54 gear like my '01. I've never had the problem of backing up but if I did I would use low range. Unfortunately you don't have that option. If you do end up with a new clutch go for a heavy duty custom job. I had the option when I replaced mine a 158,000 but went for the stock clutch. It was $700 vs $350 for the stock clutch. So far I don't regret the choice I made. You may be a bit heavy at 30,000 too. I been at 26,750 GVW and although I could pull it I wouldn't want to do it every day.
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Old 02-14-2012, 06:51 AM   #5
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I believe it's either a 3.55 or a 4.10. Those were the choices.
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Old 02-14-2012, 12:57 PM   #6
Jeff in N.Tx.
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Thanks for the info. I would bet the previous owner had a cheap clutch installed and did no work on resurfacing the flywheel. I am going to buy the heaviest duty clutch I can get, and probably replace the flywheel at the same time. I know I am probably pushing the limits at 30,000 GVW, but this is the truck I have, and another one is not in the plans for a year or two. I am hauling a load like this twice/month, for a distance of 104 miles, loaded. The terrain is pretty hilly too. Never had to drop below 5th gear yet, but getting really close to going into 4th a few times.
Jeff
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Old 02-14-2012, 01:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff in N.Tx. View Post
Thanks for the info. I would bet the previous owner had a cheap clutch installed and did no work on resurfacing the flywheel. I am going to buy the heaviest duty clutch I can get, and probably replace the flywheel at the same time. I know I am probably pushing the limits at 30,000 GVW, but this is the truck I have, and another one is not in the plans for a year or two. I am hauling a load like this twice/month, for a distance of 104 miles, loaded. The terrain is pretty hilly too. Never had to drop below 5th gear yet, but getting really close to going into 4th a few times.
Jeff
Be careful on the most heavy duty clutch part. Some of the highest performance clutches are quite grabby, and are specifically discouraged for trailers, especially backing up. They are not capable of smooth engagement.

It might help your clutch if you did downshift more. That Cummins can apply a huge amount of torque and your clutch has to transmit it.
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Old 02-14-2012, 04:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon Maney View Post
Be careful on the most heavy duty clutch part. Some of the highest performance clutches are quite grabby, and are specifically discouraged for trailers, especially backing up. They are not capable of smooth engagement.

It might help your clutch if you did downshift more. That Cummins can apply a huge amount of torque and your clutch has to transmit it.

Hi Jeff
Hope All Is Well.
Gordon brings up a good point about performance clutches.
The Ford F550 company truck I drive weighs consistently at 19,600 lbs
My daily driver you might say,lol

Anyway I replaced the stock clutch early on, not because it was slipping,but the opposite .It wouldn't release properly, and had trouble getting into gear. It has the 6 speed trans. Anyway I chose the LUK clutch kit.

http://www.carolinaclutch.com/ListIt...FUbc4Aod2xKbcA

Tremendous improvement in pedal (hyd) effort and derivability.
However it does not liked to be slipped AT ALL!
It has a ceramic disk and slips quickly.

Also if you try to tease the clutch to inch forward or back it will start "hopping" much like a large truck with a double clutch will, if you know what I mean.

I'm not sure what will help you here. The mentioned Clutch is a great improvement and well worth the money,but in your situation I'm sure it will make things worse.
TGP
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Old 02-14-2012, 07:01 PM   #9
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I used the term grabby, and Tom used the term hopping. The better, technical term I would use is chatter, as in clutch chatter.

Here is some useful comment on choosing a clutch:

Link
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Old 02-14-2012, 09:16 PM   #10
Jeff in N.Tx.
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Thanks to all, for the info on the possible problems when towing with a real heavy duty clutch. That is something I would never have thought of, until it was too late.
That website has great info. on the correct clutch for most any anticipated use. I will call them for advice before ordering. I also need to talk to a guy I know, who has the best transmission shop in this area. He has helped me out a lot in the past on my various Powerwagon rebuilds.
Tom,
All is well down here. We have had no winter weather to speak of, and spring is just around the corner.
Jeff
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Old 02-15-2012, 04:03 AM   #11
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Jeff,
I'm glad all is well.
We had our first real snow of the season yesterday. 2 to 3",ha
Almost all gone now.(40deg's)
No winter here either.

Your only real option to help your situation is to pursue a gear ratio change.
I think I would look into that.
With your truck a two wheel drive,it's not that big a deal.
TGP
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Old 02-15-2012, 07:19 AM   #12
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This is a situation where a 2-speed rear would come in handy. Unfortunately I've only seen them in medium duty axle configurations.

Could a different reverse gear-set be machined for the tranny? I know probably expensive if even possible.

Yes Jeff, this has been a wonderful Winter here.

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Old 02-15-2012, 08:59 PM   #13
Bruce in BC
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So toss in a transfer case !!!

some 2 wheel drive transmissions will take a transfer case , all you do is pull the yoke the rear of the trans has the 6 bolt flange for the transfer case .
Or you could toss in a seperate NP205 . Not that hard to do . Just need to figure out the yokes for 2 drive shafts .
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Old 03-25-2012, 03:55 PM   #14
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Unfortunately an NV5600 requires a new mainshaft to be converted to a 4x4 tailhousing.
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