What Transmission is in My 97 Dodge Ram 1500


The 1997 Dodge Ram 1500 is equipped with a 4-speed automatic transmission. The 97 Dodge Ram 1500 has a 4-speed automatic transmission that efficiently transfers power from the engine to the wheels.

The transmission provides smooth shifting and improved fuel efficiency, enhancing the driving experience. Whether hauling heavy loads or cruising on the highway, this transmission ensures reliable performance and optimal power delivery.

With its durable construction and advanced design, the 4-speed automatic transmission in the 97 Dodge Ram 1500 offers a combination of strength, efficiency, and convenience.

So, you can confidently tackle various driving conditions and enjoy a comfortable ride in this iconic pickup truck.

Understanding the Transmission in Your 97 Dodge Ram 1500

The transmission in your 97 Dodge Ram 1500 is essential to understand. Knowing your vehicle’s transmission model can help with maintenance, repairs, and finding the correct parts.

The transmission system transfers power from the engine to the wheels and is a critical component of your 97 Dodge Ram 1500. Understanding the transmission type in your vehicle is essential for proper maintenance and optimal performance.

Let’s explore why knowing your 97 Dodge Ram 1500 transmission is necessary.

Brief Overview of the Transmission System in the 97 Dodge Ram 1500

  • The 97 Dodge Ram 1500 comes with two Automatic and manual transmission options.
  • The automatic transmission, commonly known as the “TorqueFlite,” offers smooth gear shifts without requiring manual clutch engagement.
  • The manual transmission, also known as the “NV-series,” requires the operator to shift gears manually using a clutch pedal.

Importance of Knowing the Type of Transmission in Your Vehicle

It’s crucial to possess knowledge about the transmission in your 97 Dodge Ram 1500 for several reasons:

  • Maintenance: Different transmission types have unique maintenance requirements. Knowing which type you have allows you to follow the correct maintenance schedule and ensure your transmission’s longevity.
  • Troubleshooting: If you encounter any transmission-related issues, it helps to identify the type as it aids in troubleshooting and finding potential solutions more efficiently.
  • Replacements: Understanding your transmission type becomes crucial when considering replacing or upgrading the components. Whether it’s a specific part or an entire transmission system, knowing the kind ensures compatibility and better decision-making.

Factors to Consider When Identifying the Transmission in Your 97 Dodge Ram 1500

Identifying the transmission in your 97 Dodge Ram 1500 involves considering various factors. Here are some key points to look out for:

  • Vehicle documentation: The owner’s manual, maintenance records, or any official documents related to your truck may provide insights into the transmission type.
  • Visual cues: Different transmissions may have distinctive appearances or external features that can aid identification. Observe your vehicle’s transmission housing and components for any recognizable signs.
  • Transmission pan: Checking the transmission pan can reveal valuable information. Automatic transmissions usually have a more expansive, rectangular-shaped pan, while manual transmissions have a narrower, rectangular, or square-shaped pan.
  • Shifting method: The way gears are shifted can be an indicator. Automatic transmissions utilize a gear shift lever or a rotary dial, while manual transmissions have a gear stick and a clutch pedal.
  • Professional assistance: If you’re still unsure about the transmission type, consulting a trusted mechanic or contacting the manufacturer can provide accurate identification.

Understanding the transmission in your 97 Dodge Ram 1500 empowers you as an owner, enabling informed decisions regarding maintenance, troubleshooting, and potential upgrades.

Considering the abovementioned factors, you can confidently identify the transmission type and stay well-informed about your vehicle’s essential system.

Differentiating Between Automatic and Manual Transmissions

Differentiating between automatic and manual transmissions is crucial when determining the transmission type in a 97 Dodge Ram 1500. Knowing whether it’s an automatic or manual transmission will help with maintenance and repairs.

Explanation of the Difference Between Automatic and Manual Transmissions

When understanding the difference between automatic and manual vehicle transmissions, it’s essential to grasp the fundamental dissimilarities. Below, we’ll explore each type’s key features and components, helping you determine which transmission your 97 Dodge Ram 1500 has.

Key Features and Components of Each Transmission Type

Automatic transmissions:

  • Smooth and convenient: Automatic transmissions shift gears automatically, eliminating the driver’s need for manual manual shifting.
  • Torque converter: This device connects the engine to the transmission, allowing the vehicle to change gears smoothly.
  • Planetary gear sets: These gear sets consist of multiple gears working together to provide different speed ratios.
  • Hydraulic system: Automatic transmissions utilize a hydraulic system to control the application of clutches and the shifting of gears.
  • Computer-controlled: Modern automatic transmissions are often electronically controlled, ensuring precise and efficient gear shifts.

Manual transmissions:

  • Driver-controlled: Manual transmissions require the driver to manually engage and disengage the clutch and shift gears using a gear shifter.
  • Clutch pedal: This pedal is located to the left of the brake pedal and is used to engage and disengage the clutch, allowing for gear changes.
  • Gear shifter: Manual transmissions have a gear shifter to select the desired gear, usually positioned in the center console or on the steering column.
  • Flywheel: The flywheel connects the engine to the clutch, providing the necessary rotational energy to engage the clutch and transfer power to the transmission.
  • Synchronizers: These components synchronize the rotation speeds of different gears, enabling smooth gear changes.

How to Determine If Your 97 Dodge Ram 1500 Has An Automatic or Manual Transmission

  • Gear shifter: Check for a gear shifter in the center console or steering column. If present, it indicates a manual transmission.
  • Clutch pedal: Look for a third pedal to the left of the brake pedal. If you have a clutch pedal, your truck has a manual transmission.
  • Lack of clutch pedal and gear shifter: If you don’t have a clutch pedal or a gear shifter, your Dodge Ram 1500 has an automatic transmission.
  • Vehicle history: If you can access the vehicle’s service records or previous owner information, it may specify the transmission type.

By understanding the difference between automatic and manual transmissions and identifying the features of each, you can confidently determine the type of transmission in your 97 Dodge Ram 1500.

Whether you enjoy the convenience of automatic shifting or prefer the control of manual gear changes, knowing your vehicle’s transmission type is crucial for maintenance and troubleshooting.

Identifying the Transmission Model and Type in Your 97 Dodge Ram 1500

Learn to quickly identify the transmission model and type in your 97 Dodge Ram 1500. Gain valuable insights into understanding what transmission is installed in your vehicle for a smoother driving experience.

If you are a proud owner of a 97 Dodge Ram 1500 and are wondering about your vehicle’s transmission model and type, you’ve come to the right place.

Identifying the transmission model and type is crucial for maintenance and repair, ensuring you have the correct information to keep your truck running smoothly.

This section will discuss the steps to locate and identify the transmission model and type and highlight some standard transmission models and types found in the 97 Dodge Ram 1500.

Steps to Locate and Identify the Transmission Model and Type

  • Start by locating the transmission identification tag, usually found on the driver’s side of the transmission case. A metal plate or sticker provides vital information about the transmission.
  • Clean the area around the transmission identification tag to ensure clear visibility of the information.
  • Note down the identification numbers and codes on the transmission identification tag. These numbers and codes are typically a combination of letters and numbers.
  • Cross-reference the identification numbers and codes with a reliable source, such as the vehicle’s owner’s manual or a reputable online database, to determine the transmission model and type specific to your 97 Dodge Ram 1500.

Standard Transmission Models and Types Found in the 97 Dodge Ram 1500

The 97 Dodge Ram 1500 was equipped with several transmission options, including:

  • 46RE: This four-speed automatic transmission is commonly found in the 97 Dodge Ram 1500, known for its durability and smooth shifting.
  • 47RE: Another popular option, the 47RE, is a four-speed automatic transmission known for its towing capabilities and durability.
  • NV3500: This five-speed manual transmission offers a more engaging driving experience for those who prefer manual shifting.
  • NV4500: Also a five-speed manual transmission, the NV4500 is known for its robustness and ability to handle heavy loads.
  • 32RH: This three-speed automatic transmission commonly found in the 97 Dodge Ram 1500 offers simplicity and reliability.

Understanding the Significance of the Transmission Model and Type for Maintenance and Repair Purposes

Knowing the transmission model and type in your 97 Dodge Ram 1500 is essential for maintenance and repair. Here’s why:

  • Proper identification allows you to source the correct parts for repairs and replacements, ensuring compatibility and optimal performance.
  • It enables you to follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule and procedures for your transmission type.
  • Understanding your transmission model and type can help you accurately diagnose issues, saving time and money on unnecessary repairs.
  • It allows you to access relevant technical information, guides, and resources specific to your transmission, aiding in DIY repairs or discussions with professional technicians.

Identifying the transmission model and type in your 97 Dodge Ram 1500 empowers you to better care for and maintain your vehicle’s crucial components, ensuring years of reliable performance on and off the road.

Standard Transmission Issues in the 97 Dodge Ram 1500

The 97 Dodge Ram 1500 has a standard transmission issue that owners should know. Identifying which transmission is in your specific vehicle model is essential to address any potential concerns effectively.

Overview of Common Transmission Problems Experienced in the 97 Dodge Ram 1500

  • Slipping transmission: This is a common issue where the transmission fails to engage properly, causing a loss of power and difficulty in acceleration.
  • Rough shifting: You may experience a bumpy ride with the transmission not smoothly transitioning between gears. Worn-out clutch plates or a faulty solenoid can cause this.
  • Torque converter problems: The torque converter transfers power from the engine to the transmission. Issues such as leaks, overheating, or worn-out components can result in poor performance and decreased fuel efficiency.
  • Transmission fluid leaks: Leaking fluid can indicate various problems, from damaged seals or gaskets to a cracked transmission pan. It is crucial to address these leaks promptly to prevent further damage to the transmission system.
  • Failure to engage or disengage: Sometimes, the transmission may fail to engage when shifting into Drive or Reverse or struggle to disengage when going to Park. This could be due to a faulty valve body or turn solenoid.

Symptoms and Warning Signs of Transmission Issues

  • Warning lights: Monitor the dashboard for any illuminated warning lights, such as the Check Engine or Transmission Overheat light. These lights can indicate potential transmission problems.
  • Gear slipping: If you notice the engine revving without a corresponding increase in speed or abrupt gear changes, it could be a sign of a slipping transmission.
  • Delayed engagement: A delay in gear engagement when shifting from Park to Drive or Reverse could be a symptom of transmission trouble.
  • Fluid leakage: Any red fluid leaking underneath your vehicle could signify a transmission fluid leak.
  • Burning smell: A burnt odor emanating from your vehicle, especially when the transmission is overheating, should not be ignored.
  • Whining or grinding noises: Unusual noises during gear changes, such as whining or grinding, can indicate mechanical issues within the transmission system.
  • Frequent stalling: If your vehicle frequently stalls while driving, it could result in transmission problems.
  • Jerking or shuddering: A jerking or shaking sensation while accelerating or decelerating could indicate transmission issues.

Importance of Regular Maintenance and Timely Repairs To Prevent Transmission Problems

  • Regular fluid checks and changes: Regularly checking transmission fluid levels and changing the fluid at recommended intervals will help maintain optimal transmission performance and prevent issues caused by dirty or low fluid levels.
  • Prompt repairs: Addressing transmission issues as soon as they arise can prevent further damage and save on costly repairs.
  • Regular inspections: Inspecting and servicing the transmission system periodically, especially if you notice any warning signs or symptoms, can catch potential problems early and save you from unexpected breakdowns.
  • Professional assistance: Seek help from a qualified mechanic or technician specializing in transmissions to ensure proper diagnosis, repairs, and maintenance.
  • Driving habits: Practicing good driving habits, such as avoiding hard acceleration or abrupt gear changes, can reduce unnecessary stress on the transmission and improve its longevity.
  • Avoiding excessive towing or hauling: If your vehicle is regularly used for towing heavy loads, it must stay within the manufacturer-recommended limits. Overloading the car can strain the transmission and lead to premature wear and failure.

Remember, proactively addressing transmission issues and adhering to regular maintenance will help keep your 97 Dodge Ram 1500 running smoothly and prolong its lifespan.

Maintaining and Repairing the Transmission in Your 97 Dodge Ram 1500

The 1997 Dodge Ram 1500 is equipped with a 4-speed automatic transmission. Proper maintenance and timely repairs are vital to ensure the transmission’s longevity and smooth performance.

Regular check-ups and fluid changes are recommended to keep your vehicle running efficiently.

The transmission is an essential component of your 97 Dodge Ram 1500, responsible for shifting gears and transferring power from the engine to the wheels.

Proper maintenance and timely repairs can help prolong the lifespan of your transmission and keep your vehicle running smoothly.

In this section, we’ll discuss the recommended maintenance schedule for your transmission, tips for prolonging its lifespan, and when to consider DIY repairs or seek professional help.

Recommended Maintenance Schedule for the Transmission

  • Regular fluid checks: Ensure you check the transmission fluid regularly, following the manufacturer’s recommendations. Dirty or low fluid levels can lead to transmission problems.
  • Fluid flush and filter replacement: Generally, it’s a good idea to have a fluid flush and filter replacement every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. This helps remove debris and contaminants, ensuring optimal performance.
  • Seal inspections: Check the seals for any signs of leakage. Damaged seals could lead to fluid loss and subsequent transmission issues.
  • Cooler and radiator maintenance: Keep the transmission cooler and radiator clean and in good condition. A clogged or damaged cooler or radiator can cause overheating and damage to the transmission.

Tips for Prolonging the Lifespan of Your Transmission

  • Avoid aggressive driving: Frequent hard accelerations and sudden braking can strain your transmission unnecessarily. Drive smoothly and avoid excessive strain.
  • Allow warm-up time: Give your vehicle time before putting it into gear, especially during cold weather. This allows the transmission fluid to circulate and reach optimal operating temperature.
  • Tow within recommended limits: If you’re towing with your Dodge Ram 1500, stay within the recommended weight limits. Overloading can strain the transmission and lead to premature wear.
  • Use the correct fluid: Use the recommended transmission fluid specified by the manufacturer. Using the wrong fluid can lead to performance issues and potential damage.

A Guide To Diy Transmission Repairs and When To Seek Professional Help

  • Simple maintenance tasks: Some maintenance tasks, like checking fluid levels and conditions, can be done quickly at home. Refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual or reliable online sources for step-by-step instructions.
  • Minor repairs: If you have some experience and proper tools, you may be able to tackle minor repairs, such as replacing a faulty sensor or solenoid. However, always exercise caution and only attempt repairs within your skill level.
  • Complex repairs or major issues: In cases of significant transmission problems or complex repairs, it’s best to rely on professional help. Certified mechanics have the expertise and specialized tools to accurately diagnose and repair transmission issues.

Remember, regular maintenance and promptly addressing transmission problems can help extend the lifespan of your 97 Dodge Ram 1500’s transmission and keep your vehicle running smoothly.

Upgrading or Swapping the Transmission in Your 97 Dodge Ram 1500

The 1997 Dodge Ram 1500 has various transmission options, including the 4-speed automatic and 5-speed manual. Upgrading or swapping the transmission can enhance the performance of your truck.

Explore your options to find the right one for your needs.

Thinking of upgrading or swapping the transmission in your 97 Dodge Ram 1500? Whether you’re looking for improved performance or addressing a transmission issue, it’s essential to consider a few factors before deciding.

This section will discuss the factors to consider, the benefits and drawbacks of upgrading to a different transmission, and the steps and precautions to take when replacing the transmission in your truck.

Factors to Consider When Upgrading or Swapping the Transmission

When it comes to upgrading or swapping the transmission in your 97 Dodge Ram 1500, there are several factors you should take into account. These factors include:

  • Power and torque requirements: Determine whether you need a transmission to handle increased power and torque, significantly if you’ve modified your engine.
  • Transmission compatibility: Ensure that the transmission you’re considering is compatible with your truck’s make and model, engine, and drivetrain.
  • Budget: Set a budget for your transmission upgrade or swap, as costs can vary significantly based on the type of transmission and any additional modifications required.
  • Future goals: Consider your long-term goals for your truck. Are you planning to use it for towing or off-roading? Will you be making further modifications in the future? These factors can influence your choice of transmission.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Upgrading to a Different Transmission

Upgrading to a different transmission in your 97 Dodge Ram 1500 can offer several benefits, but it’s also essential to consider the drawbacks. Here are some points to keep in mind:


  • Improved performance and acceleration
  • Increased towing capacity
  • Enhanced fuel efficiency
  • More outstanding durability and reliability for heavy-duty usage


  • Higher upfront cost
  • Potential compatibility issues requiring additional modifications
  • Additional maintenance and servicing requirements

Steps and Precautions to Take When Replacing the Transmission in Your 97 Dodge Ram 1500

Replacing the transmission in your 97 Dodge Ram 1500 may seem daunting, but you can do it successfully with the proper steps and precautions. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Research and preparation: Understand the process and gather all the necessary information about your truck model and the transmission you plan to install.
  • Safety first: Ensure you have the proper safety equipment, including gloves and eye protection, before starting the job.
  • Drain the fluid: Begin by draining the transmission fluid completely, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Disconnect components: Disconnect any components connected to the transmission, such as the driveshaft, more fantastic lines, and electrical connections.
  • Remove the transmission: Use a transmission jack to support the transmission, then remove the bolts securing it to the engine block. Carefully lower it using the jack.
  • Install the new transmission: Reverse the steps to install the new transmission, referring to the manufacturer’s instructions for torque specifications and any additional steps.
  • Refill the fluid: Once the new transmission is installed, refill it with the recommended fluid.
  • Test and inspect: Start your truck and test the new transmission’s functionality. Listen and feel for any unusual noises or vibrations. Inspect for any leaks.
  • Final adjustments: Make necessary adjustments to ensure proper shifting and smooth operation.
  • Routine maintenance: Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule for your new transmission to prolong its lifespan.

Remember, if you don’t have the necessary experience or tools, it’s best to consult a professional mechanic to ensure the job is done correctly and safely.

With the factors to consider, benefits and drawbacks, and the step-by-step precautions, you now understand what it takes to upgrade or swap the transmission in your 97 Dodge Ram 1500. Make an informed decision based on your truck’s specific needs and your desired performance goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Know What Transmission is in My Dodge Ram 1500?

To determine the transmission in your Dodge Ram 1500, check the vehicle identification number (VIN) or consult the owner’s manual.

How Do I Identify My Ram Transmission?

Check the identification tag on the transmission case to identify your Ram transmission. Look for codes and compare them to a reference guide.

What Vehicles Have a 46Re Transmission?

Vehicles with a 46RE transmission include Dodge Durango, Dodge Ram, and Jeep Grand Cherokee.

What Transmissions Come in the Ram 1500?

The Ram 1500 has a variety of transmissions to choose from.

What Type of Transmission Does a 97 Dodge Ram 1500 Have?

The 1997 Dodge Ram 1500 typically comes with a 4-speed automatic transmission called the 46RE.


To sum it up, determining the transmission type in your 97 Dodge Ram 1500 is essential for proper maintenance and troubleshooting.

By understanding the characteristics and specifications of your truck’s transmission, you can ensure it operates smoothly and efficiently.

Whether you have the 42RE, the 46RE, or the manual NV3500 transmission, knowing the specific model will help you identify the appropriate fluid type and capacity for regular servicing.

Moreover, being aware of your transmission type can assist you in diagnosing and resolving any issues effectively, saving time and money in the long run.

So, don’t hesitate to consult your owner’s manual, contact Dodge or a trusted mechanic, or perform research using the VIN to discover the exact transmission in your 97 Dodge Ram 1500.

Muktadir risan is the driving force behind RoadRoverz. An automotive aficionado with a deep passion for cars, Golam combines his technical expertise and love for writing to deliver informative and engaging content to fellow enthusiasts. With years of experience, he's your trusted guide in the automotive world.