Buying a new Chrysler van, and the salesman was tauting a new "alloy"
that he said Daimler developed. He called it an alloy, but the
description seems to indicate a laminate, plastic on steel. I am
assuming it is a single layer of each. He said it provides both
corrosion resistance and sound deadening.
I have never heard of such a material, though I know that they have
been putting a plastic, adhesive backed film on lower external panels
for some time. That is not new. Is there something really new now?
If it's a laminate, plastic/steel laminates of various kinds have been used
as sound-deadening materials for decades. The first time I encountered it
was when I had to write an article about a (then) new Swedish three-layer,
steel-and-viscoelastic plastic material called "Antifon." That was in 1978.
I'm unfamiliar with it, but plastics have long been mixed with powdered
metal for extra hardness or density, an example being the body of the
original Polaroid SX-70 cameras from the early 1970s.
One rule to remember about Chrysler and American cars: They tend to be
deficient in the areas touted most by the marketing department.
Get a different van so you won't end up with the Chrysler 4-speed
automatic, which still remains one of the least reliable transmissions
made, despite all the extensive changes, including 3-4 upgrades to the
fluid. Some Chrysler vehicles have a much more reliable
Damlier-designed automatic, but I believe it's a 5-speed.
. This level of cluelessness pretty much goes with the rest of
the post, though, so I shouldn't be surprised.
Incorrect. It appears to actually be doing considerably better than
Toyota and Honda minivan transmissions these days, thanks to years of
including 3-4 upgrades to the
ONE fluid change- full-synthetic ATF+4 in place of ATF+3. And its
The Charger, Magnum, and 300 have a modified Daimler design
transmission, built at Chrysler's Kokomo transmission plant- but ONLY
behind the 5.7L Hemi. The v6 versions of those cars get a rear-drive
version of the Chrysler 42LE that was used in the 300M, Intrepid, and
LHS. The jury is still out on whether the 5-speed piece of Teutonic
over-complication will even MATCH the Chrysler 4-speed in reliability,
let alone exceed it. I wish you could get the Hemi with the same
transmission the Ram trucks use.
When mine failed, I found that the "years of development" included
changing the name of the transmission twice, while not changing the,
what, 5 fatal flaws causing distinct failure modes. When mine failed,
3000 miles out of warranty, it was leaking at the fittings _and_
preparing to grenade the differential pin. Have they actually fixed or
replaced the design, or do they keep adding band-aids to the existing
That's a scary statement. Maybe a Ford next time. After Chrysler
stiffed us for the barely-out-of-warranty repair bill (but the dealer
made it good), I'll buy from that dealer, but not another Chrysler.
Good thing he sells other brands...
All automakers revised their transmission designations in the mid '90s to
conform to the new SAE nomenclature. This occurred ONCE, not twice.
Right. Good luck getting increased reliability out of a Ford. For that
matter, good luck getting out alive when it catches fire.
OK, if you say so. Question and statement still stands, but I notice
you snipped the part where I asked if they've actually fixed those
widely known failure modes?
Well, it damn sure won't be Chrysler, after the way they responded when
I asked what they were going to do about the known failure mode that
caused my tranny to dump. Contrast this with Saab's response when I
lost third gear in my 900 Turbo years ago - at 97,000 miles, well well
out of warranty. Their response, unsolicited by me, was "We're really
sorry, it never should have done that, we'd like to replace that for you
so we can analyze the parts to see what went wrong".
Too bad GM screwed _their_ engineering, or the next choice would be
obvious. So, who doesn't suck these days?
And what did this gesture that Saab made get them? You bought a
Chrysler sometime after that and haven't mentioned Saab in either of
your postings about considerations for a new car.
Chrysler sells a vehicle with a warranty. Chrysler sells an extended
warranty that covers the vehicle outside of the standard warranty
period. If you choose not to buy the extended warranty and your
vehicle breaks outside of warranty why would the manufacturer help you
out? They are in the business of making money and obviously helping
with a failure out of warranty doesn't get them any added customer
Personally I agree with you that Chryslers transmissions still aren't
where they could be. I see this as more of a sign of the times
though. Manufacturers are forced to make things lighter and lighter
to meet EPA and public demand for better mileage. Honda and Toyota
have had recent transmission problems. The junk yard is full of Ford
Tauri with the "biodegradable transmission". GM's 4 speed
transmissions give out somewhere in the 150k range and have done so
since the mid 80's. On the other hand my '59 Imperial just got a
rebuilt cast iron torqueflite after 46 years and only got it now
because the rubber seals inside had finally deteriorated to the point
of no hope.
That car was an '88 Saab 900 Turbo. I replaced it with a '99 Saab 9-5.
What was your point exactly?
If they wanted to sell me another vehicle (see above example) they would
have taken care of a known defect when it happened, regardless of the
On the contrary. It took it from being a "when I replace this, I'll get
a new one just like it", to "I'll replace this with anything _but_ a
chrysler, but from the dealer who agreed with me and helped pay for the
failure". He didn't have to shell out for some of the repair, but he
did. He knows that when it's time to replace that vehicle, I'll give
You keep not answering my question about the 4-speed chrysler tranny.
Have they really fixed the fatal flaws, or redesigned it entirely, or do
they just keep adding bandaids?
Sorry, that's a weak excuse. A freaking snapring in a groove to keep
the differential pin in place doesn't weigh very much...but it adds
probably two dollars to the cost, so I'm guessing that's the real
reason. As long as it holds long enough to pass the warranty, they have
a _negative_ incentive to perform proper engineering to fix the problem.
Short term gain, long term consequences. Educated consumers will avoid
makers who do stupid stuff like that.
150 is a _lot_ more than 33. And, they've known about those failure
modes for _years_.
The point is you bought a Chrysler in the meantime and are now
considering another car and haven't mentioned Saab as one of your
cosiderations. If their free fix was such a wonderful thing to do for
you as a customer and earned your loyalty why would you be buying
other makers cars?
If fixing a problem for free gets one person to buy one car every 11
years I think they would be better off putting that money in savings
bond and waiting.If you didn't want to take the risk of the car
breaking at 33k miles you could have bought an extended warranty. If
you choose not to insure the car and a tree falls on it should the
manufacturer fix that for free as well? After all they could have
made it with thicker metal and then it might not have dented.
That was a nice gesture by the dealer. Hopefully you will follow
through and buy more vehicles from them. I sure hope he sells Saab
How can I "keep not answering" when the last post was my only post to
this thread? I purposely didn't answer that because I have no idea if
they fixed any real or imagined flaws in the product.
I almost agree. If it's a real problem then they ought to fix it.
Other side would be what piece of the car could you not make better
for an additional $2? If that $2 part caused a high number of trans
failures during the warranty period (exteneded or regular) they would
True but very few Chrysler transmissions fail at 33k. A bunch of GM
transmissions (and many other manufacturers as well) are gone by 150k.
"Ultradrive" was a short-lived marketing term, intended to be like
"Torqueflite" but it never caught on. The transmission was called the
A-604 from the start, but that was a Chrysler internal designation like
A-727 or A-518. When the SAE adopted a naming convention, all the
carmakers switched to conform. The GM 700R4 derivatives became the
4L80E, the Chrysler A-518 became the 47RH, and the A-604 became the 41TE
(transverse applications) and its cousin the 43LE (longitudinal engine
front-drive cars- the LH family) appeared.
As for design changes- other folks here have enumerated the hardware and
software changes over the years. But most of them really weren't
necessary- my first-flight (1993) unmodified 42LE went 150,000 miles
because I a) kept the right fluid in it, and b) didn't let anyone
rebuild it when a $30 sensor failed (the actual cause of 99% of the the
alleged "failures" of the 41TE/42LE family).
OK, I see that as 3 names, which I thought was my original point, but
Riiiiight, because, dammit, differential pins _should_ be expected to
grenade. It's a _feature_, not a problem. I see.
The dealer did all the upkeep on it. So, one would expect that this was
the case with mine - and the failed ones of my coworkers.
Can you provide a cite for your 99% figure? It looks to me to be,
what's the term? Oh yeah, "pulled out of your ass". A breakdown of the
failure modes, since you seem to have the statistics, would be oh ever
Are you one of the engineers responsible for this abomination, or why
are you defending the heap of shit in question so vehemently, please?
_not_spam firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
How can the switch from Dexron to ATF+ to ATF+3 (was there an AT+2?) to
ATF+4 be considered just one change?
Regarding the reliability of Chrysler, Toyota, and Honda transmissions,
here's how Consumer Reports says they've stacked up in 2WD minivans,
along with the track record for transmissions in general:
Ave. Chrysler Honda Toyota
Wow, they sure aren't doing a good job of making them lighter. I think
our old '94 van weighs in at around 3500 pounds. We ARE buying the new
one- pick it up tomorrow- and it weighs 3900 pounds! Heaviest car I
ever will have owned. And this is still the short wheelbase version- we
are not moving up to long wheelbase. Handling didn't seem bad- I always
liked the way the Mopar minivans handled- but was a bit disappointed to
see the wieght increase. I assume much of that is that it now has four
doors instead of the three on our old van.