August 16, 2005.
Two weeks before vacation I had an additional gauge for the transmission temperature installed by Dually Depot in Elkhart, IN. Their installation comprised of cutting a metal/tube hose combination line from the transmission to the sump. This is the best location for instant temp changes. The pressure in this line can be upwards of 300 psi during full throttle applications. After returning from vacation I was under a load to San Marcos in southern CA. Within 10 miles of my destination I noticed the transmission acting up. It was abruptly popping in and out of gear and occasionally slipping some 200 rpm. When I arrived there was transmission fluid all over the bottom of the vehicle and dripping onto the ground! I climbed underneath and saw how they installed the temp gauge sensor. They cut the high pressure hose and installed various barbed hardware. The hose was not all the way up the barbs and one of the hose clamps was a bit loose. I tightened it with a small 5/16th box end wrench about a half turn. I feared the clamp would break however it didn't and the leaking stopped. I put in a total of 9 quarts to bring the level to normal. I have an after market deep sump aluminum finned pan which holds an additional 5 quarts over stock.
I was gun shy at this installation and decide to go back to Dually Depot directly from CA empty. All went well during the return trip.
After arriving at Dually Depot and their fix done it was mentioned to me that they could not get the hose to go up further onto the barb because it was hitting metal but they did install an additional clamp double clamping it. I was not confident of the fix and couldn't think how they could fit another clamp on...I had bought extra clamps in CA and couldn't find enough room to install them. As I left I mentioned that if this leaked then the fix would be to replace the complete hose/pipe. I muttered it would probably be a $200 item and the service manager said it was probably much less. This was on Saturday.
I am now in Morris, IL where the truck finally broke down with transmission fluid pouring out of the clamped hose. I barely got off the Interstate. I called Dodge to tow me to a dealer that was only 3 miles away. But is was to late, service was closed. Monday the part was ordered and today, Tuesday I should be on my way.
Dually Depot agreed to pay for the repair but refused my $178 motel bill and hasn't mentioned anything about the $85 tow to say nothing of over 3 days down time.
Because their fix was more damaging I feel they should pay at least all my expenses plus the tow and fix.
I found on the Internet a hose/pipe that has a fitting installed for a sensor for $90 provided by massdiesel.com. This is what Dually Depot should be aware of.
Do you think I should go to small claims court and try for the motel, tow, loss of wages, etc.?
There is one of their mechanics that I will not let work on my truck. I prefer people that do at least a 100 percent job, not less!
August 28, 2005
Today I am in Pendleton, OR!
After Dodge replaced the transmission oil line in IL, I had no overdrive. I called Dually Depot to keep their blunder involved. I drove without overdrive back to them and they led me to the local Dodge dealer. After 1 week of removing and replacing various parts they finally remove the transmission and completely had it rebuilt by a local contractor. It's back to normal, however when I pickup the truck after hours I noticed a small puddle of ATF under the truck. It turned out to be nothing but I did check the ATF level several times going down the road. It was overfilled! I stopped at a Dodge dealer in IA per the instructions of the dealer that just rebuilt the transmission. They said they pumped out about 2 qts!
I'll drop this trailer tomorrow in Pasco, WA, 60 miles from here and come back here for a trailer to Missoula, MT. Then I'll head for Goshen for another turn around so I can get some money back in the bank. It cost me over five hundred dollars out of pocket while broken down plus over thirty five hundred dollars in lost wages...Dually Depot didn't even pay for the tow! It ain't over yet with DD, I can promise you that!
Check out these pictures of the oil line before it was removed for replacement. This was what Dually Depot did as a fix during the second visit to them after losing ATF in California.
Transmission line before replacement. This was what was the result of the second fix by Dually Depot. The pointer shows where they crimped the line, and said nothing about it! The black hose is where due to back pressure from the crimp and an additional clamp miss-positioned the hose ruptured after only 170 miles.
Here are a few pictures that were taken while waiting for the tow truck as well as the tow truck.
Hooked to the tow truck.