In This Guide
- Vehicle Compatibility – Makes & Models
- 48RE Transmission Overview
- Common Problems with the 48RE
- Upgrades to Remanufactured 48RE Transmission
- What’s Included
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Replacement 48RE Transmission Prices:
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Vehicle Compatibility – Makes & Models
- 1994-2002 Dodge Ram 2500/3500 Diesel/V10
- 2003-2004 Dodge Ram 2500/3500 ISB Diesel
- 2004-2007 Dodge Ram 2500/3500 600/610 Diesel
- 2004-2006 Dodge Ram SRT-10
48RE Transmission Overview
Measurements for the 48RE’s torque input rating come between 560 and 570 pound-feet of torque. Meanwhile, the turbodiesel engine with which it was paired was rated up to 610 pound-feet. Therefore, the engine tended to keep itself detuned to enhance the working lifespan of the transmission.
Situations that called for the full 610-pound load include heavy towing or extreme acceleration, which is when the transmission would work its hardest. Although the 48RE is more heavy duty than its predecessor, it does have limits that become obvious when paired with an engine that is too powerful.
One feature that the 48RE retains from the previous 47RE design is the tow/haul switch. Mounted on the gear shift lever, this feature, while not as sophisticated as later iterations on modern transmissions, does have its uses.
For example, it engages the torque converter lockup and does not allow overdrive. This is to prevent excessive speed when towing heavy loads and to conserve fuel. It’s generally not a good idea to have a lot of towing weight with overdrive enabled because the torque on the drive wheel does not translate well to the transmission. It can significantly reduce the working lifespan.
You can safely operate the 48RE with fluid temperatures up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. If you tow in overdrive, you can see the temperature rise beyond this point quite easily. If it gets up to 260 degrees it doesn’t matter whether you have the tow-haul switch enabled or not, the transmission will automatically downshift to prevent burnout and reduce the working load. You will not be able to shift back into overdrive until the transmission fluid cools.
Another preventative measure that occurs is that the torque converter clutch will not allow shifts to overdrive in cold temperatures. The fluid temperature has to be at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This security measure reduces the warm-up time necessary for the engine and prevents issues when towing in cold weather. One way to prevent fluid temperatures that are too cold or hot is to install an aftermarket cooler, as well as a deep pan.
The 48RE transmission reads the engine load and current vehicle speed to determine whether it should trigger an upshift or a downshift. It has four shift schedules, or governor pressure curves, which are all controlled by electrical solenoids.
Common Problems with the 48RE
Most vehicles that use the 48RE are heavy-duty work vehicles. Owners tend to underestimate the wear and tear that transmissions undergo in work vehicles, even though they do have a limit for tow weight. Going over this limit causes problems with overheating. Always check the vehicle’s tow rating and stay within recommended limits.
Another thing to do is to ease off the gas pedal when going up a hill. Consult your vehicle’s manual for information about how to navigate steep terrain while towing. Engage the tow-haul switch as necessary. Abuse of your transmission can lead to overheating and in turn reduce the amount of time it is serviceable in your vehicle.
The 48RE, in particular, doesn’t work well if it goes outside its normal operating temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Whenever you exceed the temperature by 20 degrees and sustain that setting, the lifespan of your transmission is halved.
You can also have problems with the pressure sensor and the output shaft speed sensor. Aftermarket modifications may be necessary to alleviate miscalibrated or malfunctioning sensors.
Because the 48RE is an electrical transmission, it is controlled by electric solenoids that can break or lose their power over time. The basic form of a solenoid is a wire coil that forms an electromagnet and moves a plunger.
It’s usually a very fine wire that does not stand up well to excess heat or deformation. Either the wire itself might break and open the circuit or the insulative covering will break and allow the bare wire to create a short circuit. If you test them with a multimeter, you should get a reading of about 25 to 30 ohms under optimal conditions.
Upgrades to Remanufactured 48RE Transmission
- Updated valve body, which includes pressure regulator valve, switch valve, throttle, and manual valve. These provide more responsive shifting and lubrication.
- Valve body modification so torque converter can charge while the vehicle is parked, making for more effective engagement of gears.
- Refurbished pump brings consistency to internal fluid pressure to reduce the likelihood of gear slipping and increase the responsiveness of shifting
- Direct overdrive clutch switched to eight plate variety for increased durability
- Standard overdrive clutch traded for four plate clutch to add to the transmission’s durability
- Planetary gear assembly switched for gears with five pinions, reducing the wear placed on individual gears
- New brake band strut added, sized large enough to maintain clearance so there is little to no play in the drum.
- Remanufactured output shaft designed to work with late and early yokes for the driveshaft.
- Additional cooler mounted on exterior of transmission to filter and provide extra cooling
- New sets of bushings added to improve the quality of fluid control
- Rust prevention via meticulous polishing of all metal surfaces and bushings
- Refurbished torque converter installed and tested for leaks, balance and other factors. This causes the transmission to perform beyond the original specifications and reduce the likelihood leaks, wear, and vibration. Heavy-duty models have lockup lining for diesel.
- Full virtual simulation test for transmission under both idle and working conditions using a proprietary software prior to shipment.
How to Buy a Remanufactured Transmission
1) Buying Locally
When you go to your local repair shop, they’ll order a remanufactured transmission, then mark up the price. So at the end of the day, you’ll be paying 15% to 30% more than the actual cost of the unit.
2) Buying Online
Buying a reman transmission through a company like Street Smart Transmission will save you a considerable amount of money because you pay the wholesale price (avoiding a repair shop’s 15% to 30% markup), they’ll ship the unit to the shop of your choice free of charge, and returning your old transmission is free as well. Then all you have to pay for is the labor to install the unit (usually $400 to $800), and you’re on your way.
How Does it Work?
To order a remanufactured transmission from a company like Street Smart Transmission, all you need to do is provide your vehicle’s VIN number, the mileage, and the address of the repair shop that you want it shipped to.
Replacing a transmission can be expensive, so Street Smart Transmission offers financing through PayPal. Depending on your credit, you’ll be able to order a new transmission, get back on the road, then pay for it over time. You may have to pay labor charges for the installation up front, but you won’t have to shell out for the transmission all at once.
When it comes to shipping, a transmission is quite heavy. So you’re going to pay quite a bit of money, unless the reman transmission company offers free shipping. Street Smart offers free shipping to a business address, which is usually the repair shop that you’ve chosen to install the unit.
What is a Core Charge (Core Deposit)?
Every remanufactured transmission originally came from somebody else’s car. Therefore, they need your broken transmission in order to refurbish it for another customer.
Your old/damaged transmission is called a “core”, and many companies will collect a core charge (usually $500 to $1500), which will be refunded once they receive your old transmission. However, if the transmission case, or other key components are damaged beyond repair, you may not get all of your core charge back. Make sure to ask for the core return policy, so you’ll know what to expect.
We recommend Street Smart Transmission. We have found Street Smart to be of the highest quality. Their transmissions carry a 3 year / unlimited miles warranty that covers both parts and labor. Their warranty is nationwide and attached to the VIN so it is transferable with ownership if you decide to sell the vehicle. It also covers both parts and labor for the installation of the replacement transmission.
Watch the Remanufacturing Process
How it Works
Finding a Shop to Install the Remanufactured 48RE Transmission
For warranty purposes, you need to find a reliable repair shop. That way, if the replacement transmission doesn’t work properly, the warranty will cover it.
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