Chrysler Corporation and the 46RE Transmission: What You Need to Know

Chrysler Corporation has used many different types of transmissions for their Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram vehicles. They range from semi-automatic, automatic, and manual transmissions. This article is going to discuss in particular the 46RE transmission and its successors. 

It is the main opinion of those in the automotive community that the 46RE transmission was one of the worst transmissions, with regard to longevity and reliability that Dodge has used in a vehicle. What are the most common issues Dodge customers have dealt with over the years with the 46RE? Here is a list:

  • Fluid levels inconsistent
  • Gear slippage
  • Harsh engagement from neutral to drive or reverse
  • Delayed engagement from neutral to drive or reverse
  • No drive range – reverse ok
  • No drive or reverse – vehicle will not move
  • Shifting is delayed or erratic – shifts harsh sometimes
  • No reverse at all – D ranges ok
  • Has first/reverse only – no 1-2 or 2-3 upshift
  • Moves in 2nd or 3rd gear then abruptly downshifts to low
  • No low gear – moves in 2nd or 3rd gear only
  • No normal downshift or kickdown
  • Stuck in low gear – will not upshift
  • Creeps in neutral
  • Buzzing noise
  • Slips in reverse only
  • Slips in forward drive ranges
  • Slips in low gear D only – but not in manual 1 position
  • Scraping, growling, or grating noises
  • Locks up or drags

Most of the problems listed above are major problems that will shortly lead to a failed transmission. If you need to replace the Chrysler 46RE transmission in your ride visit for the best remanufactured 46RE’s on the market. The 46RE transmission was used in the following vehicles:

  • 1998-2003 Dodge Dakota R/T
  • 1998-2003 Dodge Durango 5.9L V8 – 4WD or 2WD
  • 1996 Dodge Dakota V8 
  • 1998-2003 Dodge Dakota 5.9 L R/T
  • 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.2L
  • 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.9L
  • 1988-1993 Dodge Ramcharger SUV 5.2L and 5.9L V8
  • Dodge vans 150/250/350 V8
  • Dodge Ram pickup and diesel engines (DGT)

The 47RE and 48RE transmissions were successors to the 46RE. 

Here are some differences between them.

  • The transfer case is better on the 47RE and 48RE in comparison to the 46RE.
  • The 47RE and 48RE use a larger torque converter.
  • The 46RE OD clutch has four discs.
  • The 47RE and 48RE have five discs.
  • The 46RE direct clutch uses eight discs.
  •  The 47RE and 48RE have ten discs.
  • The 46RE has three discs in the front clutch.
  • The 47RE and 48RE use four discs in the front clutch.

It is possible and common to purchase a used 46RE transmission as a replacement, but not advisable. If the used 46RE transmission unit fails to work correctly after installation, you will pay additional money for the labor to remove it and reinstall an alternative 46RE transmission replacement. Plus, you could even end up having to pay for freight to return the unit to the salvage yard. A remanufactured or rebuilt transmission will save you money in the long-term by not only being more reliable than a used 46RE transmission, but more cost efficient.

In comparison to the 46RE Transmission, the 48RE transmission, made in-house by Chrysler, is a much more sound transmission. This transmission is made more robust, says the experts. The 48RE has most of the upgrades done in the 47RE and but also has the six-pin planetary gears and extra clutches.

The 46RE, 47RE, and 48RE transmissions are all considered “performance” transmissions. The A618, which was renamed later to the 47RE, is a heavier duty version of the A518 or 46RE. To increase durability, there were internal changes made. For example, they decided to steel coat the planetary carriers and use additional clutch plates on some models for extra longevity of the internal assembly.

The 48RE was introduced in 2003, a more vigorous successor yet. These transmissions are available in heavy-duty and super duty style, having a higher torque and horsepower rating than its predecessors.

If you are having problems with your 46RE, 47RE, or 48RE transmission, your best option is to consider a remanufactured or rebuilt transmission. What is the difference between “rebuilt” and “remanufactured” transmissions?

  • A rebuilt transmission is one where the mechanic fixes only the problematic or worn-out components of the transmission.
  • A remanufactured transmission or reman is considered new because all of the original equipment and components are either worked on or entirely replaced.

A rebuilt transmission will be less expensive because it will take less mechanic time to do the repairs. But in the long run, it may be more cost effective to purchase a remanufactured transmission.

Some transmission experts have shared that the 47RE and 48RE transmission are interchangeable. But the jury is still out on the 46RE and whether or not it can be replaced with either a 47RE or 48RE transmission.

In the end, if you have a Chrysler Motor Corporation-made vehicle that needs a quality 46RE, 47RE, or 48RE transmission replacement, consider a remanufactured one. If a cheap budget is the only concern, just have the broken parts fixed and addressed with a simple A518/ A618 transmission rebuild. 

For information on the Chevrolet Corvette and it’s 4L60E transmission, read this.