Off Roading the Dunes: Is Your Ram’s A727 Transmission Up to the Task?

Posted by on Monday, November 17th, 2014

The A727 is a three-speed automatic transmission designed by the Chrysler Corporation. It is mainly found in two-wheel drive vehicles, although it can be used in four-wheel drive applications in conjunction with a transfer case. Internally to Chrysler, the A727 is also referred to as the 36H or the 37HR. Chrysler eventually replaced it with the four-speed A518 and A618 transmissions. Most A727 are purely mechanical transmissions, although some of the later versions incorporated a lockup torque converter that required the use of an electrical solenoid. The A727 is considered a very heavy duty transmission. It was built alongside the A904 transmission, which was a weaker version of the A727. Compared to modern multiple speed transmissions, the A727 comes equipped with a poor first gear ratio choice of 2.45:1. This helps neither mileage nor low-speed take off. The very early A727 transmissions were heavy cast iron units. Starting in 1962, Chrysler started producing the transmission with a lightweight, but strong, aluminum case. Chrysler continued to produce the A727 through 1991, when it was finally replaced because engineers needed a transmission with more gears to meet new strict CAFE mileage laws. The A727 was used widely throughout the many Chrysler brands, and could be found in vehicles like the Hemi-powered Road Runner, the Plymouth Fury station wagon, the big block Dodge Darts, the high speed Dodge Daytona’s and the 340 six-pak Dodge Challengers. Chrysler also used them in Dodge Ram trucks.

The Dodge Ram Turck came with the A727 transmission


The first generation of Dodge trucks to officially use the Ram name were built from 1981 through 1993. For most, Chrysler used the A727 transmission. Engine options include a small, but durable slant-six and the following V8 engines–the 318, the 360, the 400 and the 440 engine. Cab configurations included the two-door regular cab, the two-door extended cab and the four-door crew cab. Two bed options were available–a 6.5′ and 8′ bed. For some reason, the Ram pickup trucks were not nearly as popular as the GM or Ford trucks.

Over the years, the limited production of the Dodge trucks has made them somewhat collectible. If maintained properly, they can last a very long time. Often, modified Ram trucks can be found off roading and plowing through the many sand dune locations found in North America. Although not a uniquely America pastime, it remains popular for those in close proximity to accessible sand-dune locations. Taking your Dodge Ram off roading and through the dunes can actually be very hard on its transmission. Without proper preparation, the A727 can be damaged or destroyed.  Here are a couple things you can do to your A727 transmission that will give it a higher chance of survival.

Install a deep sump aluminum transmission pan.

Most deep sump pans will add two to three quarts of fluid capacity to the A727 cooling and lubrication system. This is especially important when climbing deep sand dunes. The angle of the dunes can cause the fluid to slide away from the pickup tube located in the pan. Using a deep sump pan eliminates this potential problem. Aluminum pans are much more rigid than the factory stamped steel pans, and their rigidity can actually help strengthen the transmission case.

Install a shift kit.

A shift kit will offer a number of benefits for off-road use. First, a shift kit gives you more manual control of the transmission, allowing you to downshift at almost any speed. Second, it also allows you to hold the transmission in one gear longer before it automatically up-shifts to the next gear. Third, a shift kit will also increase the transmission’s line pressure. This in turn will provide more gripping power for the bands and clutches, aiding in preventing them from slipping.

If you’re looking for a quality remanufactured transmission, then you won’t do better than ETE REMAN. That’s why we offer a three-year/unlimited mileage warranty on all our products. Browse our online catalog and contact us today.

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