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Registered
2004 GTX
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32 Posts
I'm going with a Coan 8 in, their 7in in is still in testing phase, I had 3 Martin trans in my 87 Dak, with a 408 w5 headed SBM, he stood by the 1st 2, but wouldn't return my calls or emails on the 3rd, switched that over to a A500(42rh) that was done by a local guy, OD unit took a crap, but the 1st 3gears held up.... then I went to a 904 when I went track only with the DAK, don't need more then 3 gears @ 2500lbs, most of the time I only used 2nd and hi, when I finally went G3 power in the Dak it ended up with a power glide.
 

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Greg
Joined
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20,040 Posts
Redtruck is a street truck so OD is important for cruise. Around town I use 2nd and 3rd or often just 3rd.. the truck has good street manners..
 

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Registered
2004 GTX
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32 Posts
Well ya. Wouldn't use an ATS 545rfe trans on track truck. Just a daily driver street truck that plays at the track every once in a while.
see that's been the problem, my daily driver's have always been high 11s low 12s type rides ever since the late 70s graduated HS in 77, I bought myself a 78 Lil Red, got it home dropped in a 370ci W2 headed 340 that my late father and I built ,and next thing you know low 12s on crap pump gas, beat the truck to death over the next 21 years never once touched that 727 , other then a big cooler, shift kit and a J convertor, leave it in D truck ran 12'20s on a good cool day, shift it , the Lil Red went in to the 11s .... bought 98sst dropped it off at Shady Dell, let Ryan work his SBM magic...and Boom 2 months later 408ci running high 11s .loved that truck, same deal with that 46RE just some simple hot-rodding mods got 5 years out of it before some dim-witt crossed lanes at Beaver springs Dragway. ........bought an 03 Ram....that was the end of my Daily Dodge truck in the low 12s streak...traded it in on a 04 Roush F150. built the 87 Dak to fill the dodge void(LOL)
the 545 lack of holding any real power is why the 04X is more of track truck, and honestly when I bought the truck it was more of a track truck, I tried to make it a daily fun truck....I just hate shifting all the time..... , I hate having to shift an "Auto" in traffic, my current daily commute is just under 35 miles round trip , all rural roads with a 15% grade and a 12 % grade going to work ....the 545 for lo power daily grinder, it's good trans, don't get me wrong I think 50% of the failures is people thinking it's as strong as an old 727. My wife's 03 2500 ram had 223k on it when the truck got totaled , never an issue with the trans, her 09 has about 195k(ish) same deal not one trans issue, bunch of heater cores, but driveline has been flawless
I bought Clint's bull of "we can make a 545 hold 600hp"..LOL joke was on me.
 

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Stu
Joined
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21,383 Posts
Actually, a 545rfe trans can hold up to 600+hp/tq. Just don't do any wot downshift into 2nd prime...
My 03 with a modded Sharadon stage III trans with a Smart Tech od hub. Still daily driving with this trans every day.

 

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Registered
2004 GTX
Joined
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32 Posts
the 468 shredded a few SharaDon's, when I bought the truck back in June 2020, I bought it from the son, and he wanted all of the parts that were associated with the GTX gone, it came with 2 spare alum 6.1 blocks, ten sets of heads 4 of those are Thiket and the rest are 6.1 drag pak, a pair of OCP and XV's intakes plus few drag pak intakes, a custom wilsons Intake (a modified RO7 intake) an ArtFiberglass front clip(ugly as F---) and thirteen 545's, and oddly enough No rears, Rick Gehring(aka ric3xrt) built the 9.25 in this thing back in 2009..
Seven of the 545's are SharaDon's plus 30 printed out emails between Don and the late owner, about lets try this, how did that one hold up... if there was only a way to remove one of the OD clutch packs,... in the end even Don couldn't build a 545 that could deal with that 468.
When this GTX was finished in 2010/11 it's 1st run was [email protected] @ 4950lbs , MPH was crazy for the ET, when you break it all down, it was running at 80% efficiency. according to the MPH it was making roughly 660-680 flywheel HP. it eat that 1st SharaDon in that pass.
In the end the last Email from Don, He said, Can't help you , go T56 I am ......or if you can work it out go 727base.

Don built the 426MW that was in my 64 Dodge 330 that I ran in SS/A , that MW engine and a Cope Built 904 put me at or under the class recorded a few times when I ran that 330... Don knows his stuff.
 

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Mark G Senior Member
03Ram Stock & 05 Ram 5.7 Turbo Charged
Joined
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2,048 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1,549 ·
see that's been the problem, my daily driver's have always been high 11s low 12s type rides ever since the late 70s graduated HS in 77, I bought myself a 78 Lil Red, got it home dropped in a 370ci W2 headed 340 that my late father and I built ,and next thing you know low 12s on crap pump gas, beat the truck to death over the next 21 years never once touched that 727 , other then a big cooler, shift kit and a J convertor, leave it in D truck ran 12'20s on a good cool day, shift it , the Lil Red went in to the 11s .... bought 98sst dropped it off at Shady Dell, let Ryan work his SBM magic...and Boom 2 months later 408ci running high 11s .loved that truck, same deal with that 46RE just some simple hot-rodding mods got 5 years out of it before some dim-witt crossed lanes at Beaver springs Dragway. ........bought an 03 Ram....that was the end of my Daily Dodge truck in the low 12s streak...traded it in on a 04 Roush F150. built the 87 Dak to fill the dodge void(LOL)
the 545 lack of holding any real power is why the 04X is more of track truck, and honestly when I bought the truck it was more of a track truck, I tried to make it a daily fun truck....I just hate shifting all the time..... , I hate having to shift an "Auto" in traffic, my current daily commute is just under 35 miles round trip , all rural roads with a 15% grade and a 12 % grade going to work ....the 545 for lo power daily grinder, it's good trans, don't get me wrong I think 50% of the failures is people thinking it's as strong as an old 727. My wife's 03 2500 ram had 223k on it when the truck got totaled , never an issue with the trans, her 09 has about 195k(ish) same deal not one trans issue, bunch of heater cores, but driveline has been flawless
I bought Clint's bull of "we can make a 545 hold 600hp"..LOL joke was on me.
All l can say there has been a lot of advancement with the 545 /68 over the last year.. Clint and his team discovered that the TCM does not supply enough voltage to open and close the solenoids in the valve body under high pressure. So now the new co-pilot is going to have a nano delay switch built in it to lower the oil pressure back to factory then push it back to 260 PSI. And a new billet front pump to support the higher pressure along with a very highly upgraded valve body.. plus all the clutches are now built in house. Along with a custom stall converter 3000 RPM. He will be releasing a video on the new transmission very soon they were filming it last week, and will go in my truck.
 

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Registered
2004 GTX
Joined
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32 Posts
All l can say there has been a lot of advancement with the 545 /68 over the last year.. Clint and his team discovered that the TCM does not supply enough voltage to open and close the solenoids in the valve body under high pressure. So now the new co-pilot is going to have a nano delay switch built in it to lower the oil pressure back to factory then push it back to 260 PSI. And a new billet front pump to support the higher pressure along with a very highly upgraded valve body.. plus all the clutches are now built in house. Along with a custom stall converter 3000 RPM. He will be releasing a video on the new transmission very soon they were filming it last week, and will go in my truck.

I hope it works for you and the other 545 guys, I can tell you this from the guy who lead the team on building the then RFE45 and I've know Eric since we were At UMICH , as long as it has 2 clutches where 1 should be it'll never last in High HP/heavy situations., Eric and the team knew it, and wanted to use the od unit from 42/46rh program....but the Diamler guys wanted some thing that could be completely controlled by a TCM. the older OD units is on or off , the idea with the 45 Units was to be able to apply it in a gradual manner, softer shift less jarring to the consumer.
Fiat realized it right from the start as long as the trans is in 4.5K lbs+ trucks they were going to need to dump the 45 based trans and with Daimler only gave them a 4 year lease on the nag1, Fiat decided to go and get some ZF trans instead of band aiding the ole 45 platform, or using the nag1 in the 1500/2500 series trucks.

It's not just the power that kills the 45 based trans it's the weight it has to pull, one of the guys at Roush has a Hellcat with 4.2 Kennbell and 3.5 pulley it's 26lbs of boost Hellcat going thru a 545 in a 97 Dakota , that Dak has been running around on the streets Livonia, Michigan since 2016 with..... Ironically it's SharaDon built 545 , truck weighs 2600 and runs single digits in the 1/4 and has dipped below 5.70s in the 1/8 ...it's some where in the mid 800hp .....but it's also moving around 1500lbs less weight.

Weight Kills period,
 

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Mark G Senior Member
03Ram Stock & 05 Ram 5.7 Turbo Charged
Joined
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2,048 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1,551 ·
I hope it works for you and the other 545 guys, I can tell you this from the guy who lead the team on building the then RFE45 and I've know Eric since we were At UMICH , as long as it has 2 clutches where 1 should be it'll never last in High HP/heavy situations., Eric and the team knew it, and wanted to use the od unit from 42/46rh program....but the Diamler guys wanted some thing that could be completely controlled by a TCM. the older OD units is on or off , the idea with the 45 Units was to be able to apply it in a gradual manner, softer shift less jarring to the consumer.
Fiat realized it right from the start as long as the trans is in 4.5K lbs+ trucks they were going to need to dump the 45 based trans and with Daimler only gave them a 4 year lease on the nag1, Fiat decided to go and get some ZF trans instead of band aiding the ole 45 platform, or using the nag1 in the 1500/2500 series trucks.

It's not just the power that kills the 45 based trans it's the weight it has to pull, one of the guys at Roush has a Hellcat with 4.2 Kennbell and 3.5 pulley it's 26lbs of boost Hellcat going thru a 545 in a 97 Dakota , that Dak has been running around on the streets Livonia, Michigan since 2016 with..... Ironically it's SharaDon built 545 , truck weighs 2600 and runs single digits in the 1/4 and has dipped below 5.70s in the 1/8 ...it's some where in the mid 800hp .....but it's also moving around 1500lbs less weight.

Weight Kills period,
Yes I agree weight does kill, but the best way to overcome weight is with gearing. A lot of the guys running the 545s are also running 456 gears and having some success keeping their transmissions alive in stock form. This package that Clint at ATS and his team are putting together should hopefully address the issues this transmission has. I think the low voltage to the solenoid pack in the valve bodies is probably where the problem lies. The new co-pilot should address that issue and could very well be a game changer. Fingers crossed! Clint has spent a lot of time and money trying to make this transmission work for his sake and all of ours I hope it does.
 

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Stu
Joined
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21,383 Posts
Yes, 4.56 gears help keep the 545rfe trans alive longer. Less stress on the 545 trans. Still running 4.56 gears, 31" tall tires, and 20" wheels on my heavy 03 qc. My 05 rc has 4.10 gears with 31" tires and SRT10 wheels. It still spins the tires in 1st and 2nd gears with just 6psi boost even with 45lb weights in the spare tire. Don't think it would be a good idea to go 4.56 gears on my 05 just yet. Would have to add more weight to the back of the truck...
 

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Mark G Senior Member
03Ram Stock & 05 Ram 5.7 Turbo Charged
Joined
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2,048 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1,553 ·
Just got a message back from Clint, he is creating me a stall converter and he almost has it finished......
 

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Stu
Joined
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21,383 Posts
Hope Clint builds you a 2800 stall for the street. It's a great combo for the street and track with a turbo. Acts like a stock tc on the street. 2800rpm stall at the track. You would be very pleased with it. Better 60ft time as well.
IMPORTANT Note: 2800rpm stall tc allows the pump to raise up the trans fluid pressure for better clutch engagement off the line.
 
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