Clint Cannon from ATS and Matt Chambers from Alligator dig into the failures and fixes of the Dodge Ram 68rfe Transmission valve body
Dodge Chrysler introduced the 68rfe transmission into the Dodge Ram platform in 2007, and ever since then, it has been the Achilles heel of the drivetrain. The 68rfe transmission was never designed to hold more power over stock and was only designed to tow so much, but in the real world we pretty much all add a little extra power or tow heavy which will push that transmission out of its comfort zone. This is where the transmission will start to slip and will need a little extra help. With the factory transmission only making 160psi, and it is actually limited to only make 160psi clamping force, two areas need to be addressed. First is the actual valve body so the transmission has the ability to go over 160psi, and because the 68rfe is a closed loop line pressure system, meaning the computer is demanding the pressure and it never goes above 160psi, an external brain box is needed to ramp up the signal.
So to fix these areas ATS Diesel offers a few kits. If the transmission is a low mileage transmission, it can get away with the co-pilot and pressure plate kit. The factory valve body design is just a poor engineered design to start with, they used cheap cast aluminum with no gasket material which creates warping and in turn will bleed off pressure. Bleeding off pressure can wipe out a transmission because it does not have the proper pressure or clamping force between the clutched and steels. The fix from ATS is a thick, steel pressure plate, sandwiched by two gaskets. This will not only rigid up the valve body and prevent warping after so many heat cycles, but the gasket material will prevent pressures from bleeding off from one vein to another.
The Co-Pilot is not a standard pressure box, it’s a true transmission controller. The Co-Pilot reads different parameters of the engine, and sends signals to the TCM to increase the best drivability for the situation it is in. The Co-Pilot will monitor boost and engine load then will increase the pressures of the transmission, so in a heavy towing scenario, it will read higher boost and engine load and has the ability to increase line pressure up to 300psi.
For more information, check out the video between Matt and Clint or check out the 68rfe products on AlligatorPerformance.com
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