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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
*FIXED* 08 Charger R/T Transmission lost drive yesterday, won't shift into any gear

Hi all,

Sorry in advance for the length, I’m trying to make sure I include all the details, and so that hopefully anyone with a similar situation can find this post in the future, assuming there’s a solution.

TL;DR Version: While driving, my ‘08 Charger R/T’s lost drive. Will not shift into Park, Reverse or Drive, it feels like the car is in Neutral. Autostick stopped working. Multiple restarts didn’t clear up the issue. Flashing my tune back to Stock didn’t clear up the issue. No error codes or CEL. Loud “ratchet” sound from right in front of the dash when shifting from D or R into Park.
Long Version:

I have a 2008 Dodge Charger R/T, 70K Miles, don't know when last Trans service was. About 2 weeks ago I got a Predator U7135 v9r29 and installed the 91 Octane Tune, with Increased Shift Firmness. I also reset the TCM Adaptives. The car has been running like a dream. I don’t know if the Predator is related to the problem, but that’s worth noting. I drive 400-500 miles a month, usually surface streets. I would consider my typical driving style as slightly spirited.

This morning I was driving to work, pretty casually, not spirited or aggressive by any means, I get a few blocks away from home and come to a right hand turn that’s just a bit beyond 90 degrees, so I slow quite a bit. After completing the turn, I get back on the gas to accelerate, but the car doesn’t respond. I hear the revs go up, but there’s no drive. I check the stick to make sure it’s in Drive, rev again with no response, then try bumping it with the Auto-stick, which says I’m in 2nd, but will not shift up or down and will not accelerate. It feels like it’s stuck in Neutral, but the dash indicator accurately reflects what gear I’ve moved the stick into.

I pull over to the side of the road and shut off the car. I wait a few seconds, start it again, and put it in Drive. Still revs fine, but no forward movement or any indication it’s engaging a gear. I stick it in Neutral, then Reverse, still no engagement or movement beyond the car rolling backwards down a slight incline. I put it in Park and let off the brake, and the car starts rolling back down the incline, so Park isn’t engaging either. I put on the parking brake and shut the car back off.

I still have the Predator in my car, so I check for Error Codes but don’t get any. I have no CEL or other indicator of a problem.

I wait another minute, start up the car, and try the gears again. No change. When I try to use the Auto-stick, the little Gear indicator on the dash doesn’t show up anymore (the square with the gear number in it, indicating the auto-stick is in use).

This time I put it into Park and hear a pretty loud ratcheting sound from in front of the dash board area. It lasts until for several seconds until I shut the car off and it goes away (the frequency of the ratcheting clicks reduces as the engine slows). I get the same sound if I shift from Reverse to Park as well, just not as severe. This sound may have occurred earlier, but this is when I first noticed it. It was rather loud, though, and not a grinding or other mechanical stress sound, but a pretty clear ratchet/clicking sound, like putting a baseball card in your bike spokes.

When the car is running, if I rev up to 2K-3K RPM there is a moment of roughness at maybe 2500(?), almost like a stumbling.

I contact my Roadside Assistance people for a tow.

While waiting, I decide to see if maybe the Tune is causing a problem. I go in and turn off the Increased Firmness for my shifts, and reset the TCM again. No change. Since I had some time, I flashed the car back to Stock. No change.

Still no error codes on my Predator or on my ScanGaugeII.

Nothing happened that indicated that I was in a Limp mode, either. There was no forward movement or gear engagement whatsoever.

That’s pretty much where I am right now. The transmission has not previously given me any issues whatsoever, no weird behavior or anything that suggested an impending problem.

If anyone has any suggestions, I’d be eternally grateful. Let me know if I need to clarify any points. I did search a bit and maybe it’s a unique issue or maybe I’m just not coming up with the proper terms, but I couldn’t find anything similar enough.

Thanks!
 

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I don't know if you've checked yet, but low transmission fluid is the first place I would start. If it's low it will cause the tranny not to shift into gears at all sometimes. Also smell it, if it smells burnt or if it's brown/black instead of red or pink, it might be a sign of bigger issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Between not wanting to work on my car in the Texas heat and realizing I spent good money for a service contract when I bought the car, I decided to have it towed to a local Dodge dealership and have them look it over.

First thing to note was that I misread the symptoms. The transmission was shifting, but nothing was being transmitted through the driveline. The transmission shifts so quietly and smoothly at idle that it plain didn't sound like it was doing anything at all. In addition, the fact that Autostick wouldn't let me select a gear in Drive threw me. I'm still not sure what caused that but it went away when they fixed the real issue.

The good news is, nothing was broken. The nut that holds the yoke on the output spline (rear pinion nut, I believe?) had come loose and the yoke slipped off the spline, disconnecting the drive shaft from the transmission entirely.

The clicking sound was the parking pawl failing to engage and clacking over whatever mechanism it engages. With no resistance from the rear wheels, the transmission spins even in neutral/park unless engaged by the pawl. I only did it a few times so I'm hoping there's no damage to the pawl, but I set my parking brake rather religiously anyhow.

So, $230 for the dealer to put it on a lift, take off the exhaust and look everything over, tighten the nut to the proper torque and check the spline and threads for damage. Not bad considering I was stressing over having to get a whole new trans, warranty or not.

The tech was a little surprised that this was the problem, they haven't seen it except on vehicles that had recent transmission work, but I've had the car for a couple years now. During the winter, when it got cold, I did notice a little bit of a thunk during gear changes until the car was warmed up, which I understand may be a symptom of the nut being a bit loose. I'm wondering if the Predator tune with the firmer shifts finally worked the nut the rest of the way off, or just the more spirited manner in which I was driving after the tune.

*SHRUG*
 

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Glad to hear it was fixed and not too hard on the wallet. Hope they put a little blue locktite on it. Shouldn't happen again if it's not common. Cars are all mass produced, S**t happens.
 

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I have a 2011 Dodge charger police model 5.7 hemi, I was going down the interstate and I saw steam coming from under hood, at the same time my car stopped pulling but the engine rpms went higher, my heater core hose with the T broke, it never ran hot. I replaced the hose but car still won't engage gears, shifter moves to proper gears but no engagement and when trying to place it in park it makes a loud clacking noise. Maybe both things happened as coincidence or not, any advice? No codes at all
 

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Sounds like the transmission went into Limp-In mode when the hose/fitting busted. Did the engine overheat after the hose/fitting busted? The steam spray may have affected the wiring harness, sensors, etc... if the spray was directed onto any of these components. Any of these conditions could have caused the TCM (transmission control module) to put the transmission into Limp-In mode.
Plug a OBD2/CAN scanner into the car's OBD2 port and see if any diagnostic codes are logged.
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It shows no codes, and I checked water and transmission temperatures as soon as I pulled to the side of the road and they were normal.
 

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The easier items to check are the transmission fluid level and the shift cable. If the problem is not either of these then it's most likely an internal transmission problem.
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I found the problem with my transmission, the drive shaft had come out of the transmission tail shaft exposing the transmission tail shaft splines, thanks.
 

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I found the problem with my transmission, the drive shaft had come out of the transmission tail shaft exposing the transmission tail shaft splines, thanks.
How did that happen without creating a ton of noise? did one of the rubber couplers (guibo) fail?
 

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The rubber was fine, the piece that goes into the transmission tail shaft came out that the drive shaft rubber bolted to, it was just sitting at the end of the transmission shaft, never made in noise. Like it just slid off the shaft.
 

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I found the problem with my transmission, the drive shaft had come out of the transmission tail shaft exposing the transmission tail shaft splines, thanks.
this is some pictures of the yoke on the tail shaft of the transmission and the nut that came off allowing the yoke with drive shaft attached to slide out of the transmission. Craziest thing I have ever seen.
 

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