RAM Transfer Case Fluid

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I wasn’t saying you were wrong just posting again about what it takes. TeamZero and I are both dealer techs he’s in Canada and I’m in USA. It’s a discussion not a final answer and no one else can post
Cool beans... Just look at the previous pages. I posted all the relevant information, including a video showcasing how 4WD Lock is not really 4WD Lock.

So, wanna talk about cam and lifter issues?

I'd be interested to know why my ZF 8HP70 does a hard shift from 1st to 2nd gear with the engine almost revving on its own every time I leave home, or if the truck's been off for a few hours. Sometimes it does it after I stop to get gas, or it's off for only a few minutes.

Another transmission annoyance is that when I come to a stop, and it downshifts, just before I come to a complete stop, it feels like something just kicked me from behind and wants to push me forward.

Oh, and my favorite transmission issue: when I go up a slight incline in a curve at moderate speed, say I turn left or right on the street that's going up, it does a hard shift that feels like it's jerking the entire truck.

The transmission did this on the Mopar 8&9 Speed fluid (which is really ZF Lifeguard 8 fluid made by Shell for ZF), and it does it on AMSOIL ATL. I installed a bigger aluminum oil pan that holds two extra quarts of fluid. I drained and filled it three times to ensure there wasn't old fluid left, I reset the transmission, and it still behaves the same.

Or how about the fact that my BW44-44 case was half a quart of fluid short? I know from another Chrysler tech that it's a common issue. Sometimes even the diffs are half a quart low. That's either some quality vehicle assembly right there, FCA's way of ensuring that these trucks don't last too long, or my favorite, they're just trying to save money on fluids.

I conclude that upgrading the mediocre fluids that these trucks ship with can only improve things. However, it can't change the poor programming they ship with from the factory.

So if you want to have a real discussion about the issues I mentioned above, I'm more than open to it.
 
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Fwiw i used delvac 1 atf in my bw 44-45 and it operates much smoother but i think the reason is the fact my tcase was only half full from the factory
 
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Cool beans... Just look at the previous pages. I posted all the relevant information, including a video showcasing how 4WD Lock is not really 4WD Lock.

So, wanna talk about cam and lifter issues?

I'd be interested to know why my ZF 8HP70 does a hard shift from 1st to 2nd gear with the engine almost revving on its own every time I leave home, or if the truck's been off for a few hours. Sometimes it does it after I stop to get gas, or it's off for only a few minutes.

Another transmission annoyance is that when I come to a stop, and it downshifts, just before I come to a complete stop, it feels like something just kicked me from behind and wants to push me forward.

Oh, and my favorite transmission issue: when I go up a slight incline in a curve at moderate speed, say I turn left or right on the street that's going up, it does a hard shift that feels like it's jerking the entire truck.

The transmission did this on the Mopar 8&9 Speed fluid (which is really ZF Lifeguard 8 fluid made by Shell for ZF), and it does it on AMSOIL ATL. I installed a bigger aluminum oil pan that holds two extra quarts of fluid. I drained and filled it three times to ensure there wasn't old fluid left, I reset the transmission, and it still behaves the same.

Or how about the fact that my BW44-44 case was half a quart of fluid short? I know from another Chrysler tech that it's a common issue. Sometimes even the diffs are half a quart low. That's either some quality vehicle assembly right there, FCA's way of ensuring that these trucks don't last too long, or my favorite, they're just trying to save money on fluids.

I conclude that upgrading the mediocre fluids that these trucks ship with can only improve things. However, it can't change the poor programming they ship with from the factory.

So if you want to have a real discussion about the issues I mentioned above, I'm more than open to it.
We didn’t build them, break them or buy them. We just have to try to keep them on the road or get them back on the road.

I know people that don’t do this for a living think it’s easy but we got a spot for you roll your box in and be a hero with your golden wrench
 
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We didn’t build them, break them or buy them.
That's all good, but it doesn't answer any of the questions I've raised. As a tech, you should answer at least one of these.

We just have to try to keep them on the road or get them back on the road.
You guys do a phenomenal job from what I'm reading on the RAM forums.

I know people that don’t do this for a living think it’s easy but we got a spot for you roll your box in and be a hero with your golden wrench
I don't think it's easy at all. Do you see the cars in my signature? I work on all of them, and I don't just oil changes. All were purchased brand new, and the warranty on all of them sucks. Some of the issues I faced with the engine in that 2017 Santa Fe showed me how inept dealership techs are. That engine had a lousy startup rattle, and they wanted to take the engine apart to look in it without knowing what was wrong. Well, it turns out that it has an undersized battery, and the CVVT solenoids need more power at a cold startup than the battery can supply. So I replaced the battery with a brand new AGM battery, which was fixed. When I went back to them to share the issue, they acted like they didn't care. And I'm sure they don't. Suffice to say that the only reason to buy a brand new vehicle is so that you know it wasn't abused or improperly maintained, but otherwise, the warranty is a worthless promise. Another time, on the 2018 Santa Fe Sport, it took five, yes, five dealership visits to correct a steering-related manufacturing defect because, in the process of removing the steering column, they managed to scratch and break a bunch of interior plastics. I got them to replace them, but I will never get that wasted time back. I learned my lesson with dealerships and dealership tech. They're not touching any of my vehicles ever again, for sure.

Two RAM dealerships ran me away repeatedly when I tried to get them to fix my passenger side exhaust leak and a clearcoat-related defect. I'm lucky that in 2016 I only paid $36K+tax+fees for my truck. Now a similar truck is almost $60K. I would never pay that kind of money for this bucket of bolts and non-existent warranty, cam & lifter issues notwithstanding.

But hey, try to fix them and keep them on the road, even if the customer has to come back ten times for the same issue, or until they grow grey hair. And no, I'm not lumping everyone together, as I know a few good mechanics. However, many of today's techs are far from what they used to be. It's like truck drivers that have become steering wheel holders if you know what I mean.
 
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Ok but these are all questions for higher up engineer, product development, third party vendors etc

We aren’t re-engineering much of anything at our level
I'm sorry, I wasn't trying to be hard on you or give you a hard time. I was rather venting my frustration with FCA/Stelantis (yes, FCA LLC still exists).

I agree with what you are saying. However, I would word your statement a bit differently:

Ok, but these are all questions for the Cost Accounting Department, followed by higher-up engineers, product development, third-party vendors, etc.
 
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Gee I wonder why I wont bother to help.....lol....gtfo
I dropped the vehicle off and told them to take their time with it. Over a week went by, and ten days after I dropped it off, I got a phone call. They tell me that they don't know what's wrong with the engine. However, they said it took them this long to replicate the issue (the startup rattle). They said they might want to start taking apart the engine, starting with the valve covers and then proceeding to the front cover. I tell them to wait. I'll be there in ten minutes. So I get to the dealership and ask them to explain why they want to open up the engine and anything specific they're looking for. They say no, there isn't. And they also hint at the fact that they don't want to do it. They admit that Hyundai doesn't know what's wrong with it, and they don't know what's wrong with it. I have a friend over there, a tech that's been working there for more than two decades, and I've known him for fifteen years. He tells me that about 25% of these engines have faulty tensioners and that Hyundai doesn't want to replace them, so even if the other guys (he wasn't the one working on it) open everything up, nothing will get replaced. I told him that I'd keep quiet and take my vehicle home. I also said that I doubt it's a faulty tensioner because the rattle starts after the engine fires up. So I took it home. First, I tried a few different lubes and flushed the engine, but that didn't help. I noticed that the battery was undersized compared to my 2018 Santa Fe Sport because that's the biggest battery they could fit with the big 3.3L engine under the hood. So I hooked up an H7 battery to my wife's car, and surprise, no startup rattle.

I went out, bought an AGM battery (124R, smaller than H7, is what fits), and the problem went away for good. If Hyundai could have been bothered to route the intake around the battery, they could have installed an H7 battery from the beginning and avoided this issue altogether. I went back to the dealership and informed the service advisor, the tech that worked on the car, and the service manager of my findings, but they couldn't care less. If the CVVT solenoids don't have enough power at startup (undersized battery), then the CVVTs will rattle. I also told my friend who works there, and he listened and thanked me. It would have been nice if his colleagues could have cared enough, especially since the vehicle is still under warranty, to check what's going on with the CVVTs, and maybe try to hook up either a fresh or bigger battery. But they didn't, hence my comment on their ineptitude. The fact that we didn't have the vehicle (or a loaner) for almost two weeks complicated our lives further.

So, I am not lumping all technicians together, but many couldn't care less. I don't know whether it's the pay, lack of motivation, poor management, or lack of training. Some of the things I went through with technicians over the years are just scary and enough for me to make me want to stay away, especially from dealerships.

As for you bothering to help me, I didn't ask for your help. It would have been nice, though, if, at the very least, you helped the OP. I popped on here to help the OP with some well-researched advice, not to argue with anyone. Comments like "u will for sure want to use the right stuff unless you want to be rebuilding the clutch in it" aren't helpful. If you want to get involved in this thread and genuinely want to help, why not do the research and provide the OP with some options for the correct fluids that he may use in his transfer case? Or the comment you just made above? This is a family-friendly place, where people come to learn and get help with their vehicles, maintenance, etc. Cordial and friendly discussions are encouraged. If you want to make a counterargument to prove that my statements are wrong, then please frame it properly. While sensational and dramatic, snide comments aren't welcome here. As such, please respond accordingly. Thank you.
 
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You also gotta understand from a dealer tech level, good or bad tech, that we have had many occasions where the wrong/incorrect whatver you want to call it fluid is used and there is an issue. Which is why dealer techs will typically recommend oem fluids. It may not be the best fluid out there but it’s a known good useable fluid for the service interval

The niche specialty fluid companies are trying to get peoples $ sometimes making better fluids that actually are compatible and some are just looking to make a buck and use the term “recommended “ for with no approvals or certifications
 
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From all descriptions I can find OP's full-time 4WD transfer case uses a clutch instead of a mechanically-lockable center differential. Why on earth would they evolve to that?
I get the desire to modulate lockup between front and rear axles but I can't see how frequently that would be useful. You now need a clutch-friendly oil plus have the possibility of that wearing out or overheating.
My anciently-designed 2016 Suzuki 4x4 does all this with a lockable center diff including low range and only needs a conventional gear oil. I can lock the center diff on the fly up to 60 mph, pretty fast for a dirt road.

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This reminds me I am behind on my Ram Limited's transfer case, transmission and diffs.....by 108k miles lol
 
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From all descriptions I can find OP's full-time 4WD transfer case uses a clutch instead of a mechanically-lockable center differential. Why on earth would they evolve to that?
I get the desire to modulate lockup between front and rear axles but I can't see how frequently that would be useful. You now need a clutch-friendly oil plus have the possibility of that wearing out or overheating.
My anciently-designed 2016 Suzuki 4x4 does all this with a lockable center diff including low range and only needs a conventional gear oil. I can lock the center diff on the fly up to 60 mph, pretty fast for a dirt road.

View attachment 84052 View attachment 84053 View attachment 84054
Its done this way, so they can control how much power goes to front. This is for control under the ESP system. .....which is a good idea for 700hp. You can't control it, if its locked solid.
 
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  1. It would be nice to have an interaxial locking differential. However, it's cheaper to install an electronically actuated clutch that is guaranteed to wear out with use, no matter what.
  2. Did I mention that it was cheap?
What nonsense......its more expensive , to add all the extra parts, and control it, instead of just a locking collar/diff. How are you going to have an active stability system, when front and rear is locked together?? Post some more nonsense.
 
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Its done this way, so they can control how much power goes to front. This is for control under the ESP system. .....which is a good idea for 700hp. You can't control it, if its locked solid.
I'd like you to explain how exactly that BorgWarner transfer case can control how much power goes to the front wheels.

What nonsense......its more expensive , to add all the extra parts, and control it, instead of just a locking collar/diff. How are you going to have an active stability system, when front and rear is locked together?? Post some more nonsense.
Do you know what a torque vectoring differential is, what it does, and how it works? Yes, an on-off clutch is cheaper than a torque vectoring system that adjusts power on demand between the front and the rear, not to mention more durable. Back to my first question, please go ahead and explain how the BW48-13 does torque vectoring. Thank you.
 
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I'd like you to explain how exactly that BorgWarner transfer case can control how much power goes to the front wheels.


Do you know what a torque vectoring differential is, what it does, and how it works? Yes, an on-off clutch is cheaper than a torque vectoring system that adjusts power on demand between the front and the rear, not to mention more durable. Back to my first question, please go ahead and explain how the BW48-13 does torque vectoring. Thank you.
Yes I know what what a TV diff is. And this discussion is a waste of my time, im done. If you hate your truck that much, sell it and buy something else. That Chrysler picked that Tcase because it was "cheap" is laughable.
 
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Yes I know what what a TV diff is. And this discussion is a waste of my time, im done. If you hate your truck that much, sell it and buy something else. That Chrysler picked that Tcase because it was "cheap" is laughable.
First of all, you took the answer I gave @Kiwi_ME out of context. I briefly gave him my opinion on why they did a clutch design for on-demand transfer cases. Due to cost, everyone went to a similar design, other than high-end luxury vehicles or supercars, and most are BorgWarner customers. Heck, FCA LLC couldn't build a RAM truck without ZF these days, as they make more than just the transmission for the truck. If you want to have a cordial discussion, you're more than welcome to point out where I'm wrong and correct me. I welcome that. One-upmanship, not so much.

I never said or implied that I hate my truck. I love my truck. Otherwise, I wouldn't have learned as much as I did about it by working on it.

Yes, Chrysler has Cost Accounting departments, like every other large corporation. They want to turn a profit, not give away the very best technology for peanuts. Corners have to be cut, and compromises have to be made. The transfer case isn't the only consideration. The TRX is built on the 1500 design. As such, a costly redesign needed to be implemented to build it with a high-end all-wheel-drive system, with proper torque vectoring between the front and rear axle. So yes, the design and manufacturing cost is everything.

You evaded answering my questions, and that's okay. I don't see any valuable contribution on your part to this thread, so if you feel that it's a waste of time, I kindly invite you to move along and vent your frustrations somewhere else, as this isn't the right place to do it.
 
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With further research I see that the clutch is not directly controlled but through a mechanical ball and ramp servo, much like clutches in many FWD-based AWD systems. The end result is that (a) it must slip slightly to provide a clamping force that can be modulated, and (b) it can't have nearly the bandwidth and response as the ABS system does on the brakes.
That might explain the description "compatible with and compliments" I found in the press video.

I suspect the primary motivation is to avoid the practical issue of lockup being misused by drivers who don't understand the appropriate usage. With a mechanically locked center diff I'd assume all you can do is provide a warning notice and hope the driver reads and understands it, and remembers to unlock it when no longer needed.

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T-REX 702

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So I took Crowley's advice and reached out to Ravenol about their BW-44 synthetic fluid. Their fluid is an exact match (spec on the bottle) for the transfer case that's in my TRX. The spec on the bottle 68049954AA / 68049954AC (original and updated spec) both match the Mopar spec for my transfer case.

And coincidentally, when I drained the original fluid, it was about 1/2 quart short. And the drain and fill plugs were only about finger tight.

I drained and filled the front and rear axles with Amsoil Severe Gear oil as well. The front axles was also about 1/2 quart short.

Thanks Crowley for the info. I plan on keeping this beast for a long time and wanted to use the best fluids available.
 
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