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357 Posts
Re: how to make the "6 speed" transmission in 2012 Hemi actually work as a 6 speed?

It's all Marketing. Plain and simple.

Shifting from 2nd (1.67) to 2nd Prime (1.50) is pointless. When the 45RFE was designed (As a 4 speed), 2nd prime was intended as a kick down gear only and was never intended to be used as a normal upshift gear. Through some clever programming, they gained a 5th gear when they put it behind the Hemi trucks in 03 and renamed it to a 545RFE. They then started allowing you to use the ERS mode to select 2nd prime as an upshift gear and the marketing guys ran the idea and started calling it a 6 speed. Technically, yes it is, but not really...

1. Ignore the numbers on the dash. They don't accurately represent what gear you are in. You'll hit the same final gear either way. I've listed the ratios and the corresponding "Gears" below in both normal and ERS/Tow/Haul mode.

2. Same as above.

3. I don't agree with calling the old trans a 6 speed. As a die-hard Mopar guy, this kind of irritates me. I have the 66RFE (not 65RFE) in my 2012 2500 Hemi Ram and like it a lot. It has 6 normal gears that are properly spaced out. They should have put this trans into the 1500 Rams and Jeeps rather than trying to squeeze a couple more years out of an almost 15 year old transmission. I feel bad for those that were sold on a new Jeep or Ram because it had a "new" 6 speed transmission.

4. Because this mode has zero value and is pointless.

Normal Drive mode:
1=1st – 3.00:1
2=2nd – 1.67:1
3=3rd – 1.00:1
4=4th – 0.75:1
5=5th – 0.67:1

ERS or Tow/Haul mode:
1=1st – 3.00:1
2=2nd – 1.67:1
3=2nd Prime – 1.50:1
4=3rd – 1.00:1
5=4th – 0.75:1
6=5th – 0.67:1

Short answer, just drive it in normal drive mode and don't worry about the mysterious "6th" gear.
 

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Premium Member
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357 Posts
Re: how to make the "6 speed" transmission in 2012 Hemi actually work as a 6 speed?

Thanks for the reply. I really am somewhat ticked by this, it's somewhat my own fault for not researching it in advance but I got the whole song and dance at the dealership about how the 6-speed in the 2012 was all new and different (compared to the 2011) and I didn't think to ask "uhh, does it really have 6 usable well spaced gears?". I probably would have been told "yes" anyway, had I asked.

I guess the 8-speed in the 2014 will be a quantum leap forward and explains why the MPG didn't change from 2011->2012 but does change in 2014.
You salesman telling you that it's an all new transmission doesn't surprise me at all. I doubt he even knows the difference but if he did it wouldn't have mattered. There are some good car salesmen out there, but most of them will tell you whatever you want to hear to get you to leave in a new vehicle.

I don't have a lot of drive time in a Jeep with the 5 speed, just took a 5 minute test drive in a 2013 Hemi when we started considering a new vehicle. I have however had two 545RFE transmissions in two Rams, one 4.7L (04) and one Hemi (2010) with a combined 100k miles of service over about 4 years. They could be better, mainly the ratios, but they aren't terrible transmissions. The are however really starting to show their 15 years of age... The 8 speed is a welcomed upgrade...
 
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