Accessories To Make Your Customers’ 46RE Transmission More Durable

Posted by on Monday, June 24th, 2013

The 46RE is an automatic transmission made by Dodge.  It has four forward speeds and is very similar in design to the 46RH, which uses a hydraulically controlled governor. The 46RE differs in that it uses an electronically controlled governor.  The 46RE is a heavy duty transmission based on the older heavy duty three speed A727 transmissions. It was used exclusively in Dodge trucks and Jeeps, including the Ram pickup truck, The Ramcharger, the Dakota, the Durango and the Jeep Cherokee. While the 46RE is a heavy duty transmission, there are accessories that you can add to your customer’s transmission to make it more durable. Here are a few of my recommendations.

The Dodge / Jeep 46RE transmission

Add a shift kit. Although shift kits are often associated with performance (think racing), they are also beneficial to everyday vehicles.  The benefits of installing a shift kit include increased line pressure. This helps provide more holding power to the bands and clutches. A shift kit will also work to reduce the time (in fractions of a second) that it takes for the bands and clutches to apply. This will reduce both excessive wear and heat. Most shift kits come with up to three modes and you must decide which mode you plan to choose during the installation phase. For everyday use, I recommend going with the towing settings.

A shift kit is an excellent item to upsell to your customer

Install an aftermarket transmission cooler. I’ve mentioned this many times in the past, but it warrants mentioning again; excessive heat is by far the number one killer of automatic transmissions. This is even more true for transmissions used in trucks, such as is the case of the 46RE transmission.  To combat excessive heat, nothing works better than a good quality aftermarket transmission cooler. Compare it to going barefoot, which can lead to problems, or using a product to keep your feet cool and fresh. For the best cooling efficiency, consider buying a cooler with a built in fan.  You will want to mount the aftermarket transmission cooler in between the line leaving the factory cooler and the port going back into the transmission. Remember, you want to keep the transmission temperature at no more than a maximum of 200 degrees.

To keep an eye on the transmission temperature, install an aftermarket transmission temperature gauge. For the most accurate readings, install the temperature sending into the transmission pan.

Upgrade to a synthetic transmission fluid. Synthetic fluids have better properties than organic, oil based fluids. They hold up much better under higher temperatures and they have better lubrication benefits. While synthetic fluid usually costs more money, the extra money spent is well worth it in the long run.

Synthetic transmission fluid is well worth the extra cost


If the 46RE transmission in your customer’s Dodge or Jeep vehicle has made its last shift, and they’re faced with a decision to replace it, please consider recommending that they do so with a re-manufactured transmission over one that was simple rebuilt.

Re-manufactured transmissions come with alterations and upgrades designed to make them more durable and last longer. You won’t find these in a rebuilt transmission.  A re-manufactured transmission also comes with a much better warranty; usually three years compared to an average 90 days for a rebuilt transmission. And in the rare case you have to replace the re-manufactured transmission under the warranty period, they will pay your labor cost to R&R your customer’s transmission.  You will definitely not get this benefit with a rebuilt transmission.

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