Join Date: Jun 2009
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The good news is that it's fixed. The bad news is I'm not sure what it was. I'll go ahead and speculate on what it was:
I picked up a genuine Mopar filter just to eliminate any doubt there. Dropped the pan and filter. Nothing looked unusual and after comparing the old filter to the new one there wasn't much difference. So I proceeded to reassemble. Here's where it gets (a little) interesting -
1) there appeared to be some holes that the filter mounting holes would have lined up with but not lined the hole in the filter up with the pickup. I didn't actually try it since I already had all three bolts started... but wondered if it was possible to mount it in the wrong place!
2) I noticed a pair of wires under the filter, loosened it up and moved them out from underneath. Guessing these could be the wires that control locking of the torque convertor? I didn't see any nicks in the insulation but if there was one and the old filter was pinching them maybe it was causing the convertor to lock. Or the wires could have been preventing the filter from seating, but I don't think that would cause the symptoms I had.
Finished reassembly, topped it off, working perfect. AND! It got rid of the shudder that I was out to fix in the first place!
Thanks for the help,
PS: Takes about 4 quarts to top-off after dropping the pan.