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Dodge Dakota rear-end noise



  • I have some questions on this topic as well. I have a 9.25 limited slip rear in my 02 Dakota 4x4 4.7L 5 spd. manual.

    I just had the gear oil changed 3 days ago, Mobil 1 synthetic 75-90 and the friction modifier was added. I was watching them change it, and there where no pieces of metal in it, except tiny, tiny little pieces, they said that was normal. I also had them change the transfer case fluid, added was Valvoline ATF+4 synthetic.

    Immediately after leaving the garage a noise started. Now, I can't tell if the noise is coming from the rear end or the transfer case. But while shifting through the gears, when I hit 3rd gear the noise starts. It sound like an "air noise". You know how some cars will make an "air noise" out the exhaust, I had a 73 Torino that did it.
    It sounds exactly like that. I know that sounds kind of weird, but I can't possibly explain it any other way.
    Do you have any clue of what might be causing that??

    The only other noise it started after having the fluids changed, is when making a u-turn on damp grass (in my front yard) it clunks and jerks. This I know is coming from the rear end. I don't understand, because I know they added the friction modifier, I watched them put it in as well as the Mobil 1.

    There is no noises while turning sharply on asphalt.

    I would surely appreciate any help. I am so worried about this 9.25 lsd problem. This is my only vehicle and it is my daily driver.

    Thank you so much, Lu
  • One more question. (Continued from question above)

    What is the ultimate fix for this rear end problem?

    I really don't want to get rid of this truck. But I'm nervous as heck driving it, waiting for something to happen.

    Is it only the limited slip diferentials that are having the problem? If so I wouldn't mind having someone put open gears in it.

    Is it everything concerning the 9.25 rears? Earlier Dusty I believe mentioned the rear pinion bearing. I wouldn't mind having someone put in a 8.25 open rear end.
    What exactly is the 8.25 rear meant for, 4 cyl, V6? Would it be okay to put an 8.25 rear in the 4.7?

    Thank you, please respond.
  • On my 01 Dakota Motorsports Limited Edition, with an anti slip differential, I have a noise that appears to be coming from the right rear that sounds like there is a snow tire on the right rear wheel. It accentuates when turning to the left. The dealer tells me that it's caused by bad bearings in the rear differential. At the price they want to repair it, I want to be sure before committing.
  • I've had similar problems with my '99 Dodge Ram QC 1500 2WD 5.9. The noise symptoms were exactly as Dustyk described it:

    "45-60 mph noticeable whining/ringing only when gas pedal is pushed, when engine is not under any load, noise ceases. "

    Eventually the noise became worse until it was a horrible grinding last time.

    I've had the back end completely rebuilt now TWICE in the last 10k miles (17 mos). It's now making the same noise again. I'm not paying for another bad repair again, but have no idea what to do this time if I'm just going to get another bad diagnosis.
  • mags3mags3 Posts: 1
    just got done reading the post about the noise everyone had. i have a 2000 dakota club cab 4x2 with a 8.25 rear with 76000 miles. i just spun the pinion bearing race, caused all the lub to leak out in witch the bearing then froze and chewed up the housing and pinion. the whining noise lasted for 5 min be for all the above damage happened. at lease i see i wasnt the only one that had problems with the rear end.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Punky differentials have been an issue on Dakotas for some time. I recently talked to my Dodge tech. who insists that the 9.25 axle is made by Dana. Could be, but I'm pretty sure the 8.25 axle is or at least was made by American Axle. In any event they are both Chrysler designs. The technician says that the number of premature problems are a lot less than they use to be. But he said 2000-2003s were the most trouble.

    The 8.25 is more than adequate strength wise behind a 4.7 motor. The critical working limit is load and these axles are used on Dakotas under 6000 GVW and with smaller wheels and tires.

    The 9.25 is used on Daks above 6000 GVW and with larger wheels and tires.

    My son's '91 Dak is still going on the original 8.25 at 315K miles. I know when he had it he maintenance the differential every 50K.

    On my 2003 3.55 LSD 9.25 I've drained, flushed, and installed new lubricant every 25K. So far so good, but at my 100K I found one of the small curled ends of the steel end tabs clung to the magnet. Just lucky that the ring gear didn't pick it up. I looked at the ring and pinion and there is no signs of any damage.

    One thing that should be looked at more closely is the rear U-joint on older or higher mileage Dakotas. Vibration from a bad U-joint can take out a front pinion bearing and race.

    Holding my breath a little at 108,000 miles!

  • My Dakota rear wheel(s?) makes a rubbing noise when turning the wheel while moving. Have had it to the shop numerous times, and it still continues to do it. Any thoughts on this?
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    What axle do you have? Limited Slip or conventional?

  • it's a 4 wheel drive -- does that help? If not, I'll have to check on that.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    The limited slip differentials (LSD) used on Dodge trucks contain sets of friction clutches. These allow for distributed driving force to each wheel and still allow for one wheel slippage on turns and severe traction differences.

    The lubricant used in LSDs contains a friction modifier which permits lubrication of the clutches while providing for a controlled rate of slippage. As miles accumulate the rear axle lubricant wears down, so to speak, the slippage of the clutches can sometimes cause a chattering between the separate cluch surfaces that sounds like a groan. I'm thinking this might be the cause of your symptom.

    Resolution is very simple. A drain and refill of the correct rear axle lubricant and a 4 ounces of friction modifier. For Mopar LSD differentials the LSD additive (friction modifier) is part number 04318060AB.

  • Wow. thanks for the info. NO ONE has done this in the three times I've taken it to a mechanic. I guess I'll take this post to the dealer and tell them to do this (I'm sure they won't appreciate it, but hey...they had their chance.) Thanks so much for the reply!
  • I had the same problems in my 1992 Dakota LE ext cab 4x4 5.2 well was a 5.2 until it got the 340 in a rebuild . I had taken it in several times early in its lifespan and Dodge replaced the ring and pinion twice and by the third time it was determined that it was the setup and shimming of carrier and pinion was at fault . The dealership said it didnt have the corerect tools to accomplish this and that they wouldnt even think of replacing the rear diff with a new from ma mopar. So i ate the cost onit myself and bought an 83/4 out of a buddies old 340 duster that was his drag car , did the approprate work to it mounts etc, and put it in there ourselves , and now have not had any problems since ..It is a bit of work but it is worth it in the long run.. Just some advice from a hillbilly missourian ...
  • sorry im jumping on ur post and asking a new quetion but im new and really need some help. i have a 98 dodge ram quad cab short box sport. it has the 9.25 rear axle. when i shift my truck into gear thier is a heavy clunk and its even worse going from revers to drive or vise versa. i have got down and tryed to move the drive shaft to see if its the u joints but thier not moving at all. its been doing this for quite a while now. also its just recently got really bad. when im driving the truck thier is a bad shake. wich is not normale for my truck at all. it drives very smooth ussaly. all my friends hjave the smae truck and mine drives so much smoother. so i can really tell thats thier is a problem when im getting a bad shake like that. also now thiers is a clunking noise when im coasting like up to a corner to stop and time im slowing down i hear a clunking. any ideas what this could be?
  • does any one know of a link or have the right procedure to set the back lash on 9.25 diff :confuse:
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    You could have excessive pinion gear play or a worn pinion bearing.

    I recommend getting someone you trust well and perform the following:

    1. Place wheel chocks on the front wheels to prevent vehicle movement in either direction.

    2. Start the engine and apply the parking brake.

    3. Get underneath the vehicle in a position that allows you to listen and observe both ends of the driveshaft.

    4. Have someone move the transmission in to a forward and a reverse gear intermittently.

    5. Listen for the source of the noise. Watch the pinion shaft at the rear end for excessive movement when the transmission is engaged. Listen and watch at the tailshaft of the transmission for excessive movement or noise. Check for a broken transmission mount.

  • i drained the rear end and found the lsd clips broken so i got a replacement for it i installed the gears and got as far as no bearing play but kinda got lost after that i did check the pinion shaft and had to replace the bearings and race's
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    No bearing play? Which bearing are you referring too?

  • oh sorry the side bearings which are by the adjuster
    Apply Mopar® Door Ease, or equivalent, stick lubricant to outside surface of bearing cup.
    Install the pinion rear bearing cup with Installer C-4310 and Driver Handle C - 4171.
    Ensure cup is correctly seated.
    Apply Mopar® Door Ease, or equivalent, stick lubricant to outside surface of bearing cup.
    Install the pinion front bearing cup with Installer D - 129 and Handle C - 4171.
    Install pinion front bearing, and oil slinger, if equipped.
    Apply a light coating of gear lubricant on the lip of pinion seal.
    Install seal with Installer C-3860-A and Handle C-4171
    NOTE: Pinion depth shims are placed between the rear pinion bearing cone and pinion gear to achieve proper ring and pinion gear mesh. If the factory installed ring and pinion gears are reused, the pinion depth shim should not require replacement. If required, refer to Pinion Gear Depth to select the proper thickness shim before installing rear pinion bearing.

    Place the proper thickness depth shim on the pinion gear.
    Install the rear bearing and slinger, if equipped, on the pinion gear with Installer C-3095.
    Install a new collapsible preload spacer on pinion shaft and install pinion gear in housing
    Install pinion gear in housing.
    Install yoke with Installer C-3718 and Yoke Holder 6719.
    Install the yoke washer and a new nut on the pinion gear and tighten the pinion nut until there is zero bearing end-play. It will not be possible at this point to achieve zero bearing end-play if a new collapsible spacer was installed.
    Tighten the nut to 285 N·m (210 ft. lbs.)
    CAUTION: Never loosen pinion gear nut to decrease pinion gear bearing rotating torque and never exceed specified preload torque. If preload torque or rotating torque is exceeded a new collapsible spacer must be installed. The torque sequence will then have to be repeated.

    Using Yoke Holder 6719, crush collapsible spacer until bearing end play is taken up.
    Slowly tighten the nut in 6.8 N·m (5 ft. lbs.) increments until the desired rotating torque is achieved. Measure the rotating torque frequently to avoid over crushing the collapsible spacer
    Check bearing rotating torque with an inch pound torque wrench The torque necessary to rotate the pinion gear should be:
    Original Bearings - 1 to 3 N·m (10 to 20 in. lbs.)
    New Bearings - 2 to 5 N·m (15 to 35 in. lbs.)
    Install propeller shaft.
    Apply a coating of hypoid gear lubricant to the differential bearings, bearing cups, and threaded adjusters. A dab of grease can be used to keep the adjusters in position. Carefully position the assembled differential case in the housing.
    Observe the reference marks and install the differential bearing caps at their original locations
    Install bearing cap bolts and tighten the upper bolts to 14 N·m (10 ft. lbs.) Tighten the lower bolts finger-tight until the bolt head is seated.
    The following must be considered when adjusting bearing preload and gear backlash:

    The maximum ring gear backlash variation is 0.003 inch (0.076 mm)
    Mark the gears so the same teeth are meshed during all backlash measurements.
    Maintain the torque while adjusting the bearing preload and ring gear backlash.
    Excessive adjuster torque will introduce a high bearing load and cause premature bearing failure. Insufficient adjuster torque can result in excessive differential case free-play and ring gear noise.
    Insufficient adjuster torque will not support the ring gear correctly and can cause excessive differential case free-play and ring gear noise.
    NOTE: The differential bearing cups will not always immediately follow the threaded adjusters as they are moved during adjustment. To ensure accurate bearing cup responses to the adjustments:

    Maintain the gear teeth engaged (meshed) as marked.

    The bearings must be seated by rapidly rotating the pinion gear a half turn back and forth.

    Do this five to ten times each time the threaded adjusters are adjusted.

    Use Wrench C-4164 to adjust each threaded adjuster inward until the differential bearing free-play is eliminated Allow some ring gear backlash (approximately 0.01 inch/0.25 mm) between the ring and pinion gear. Seat the bearing cups with the procedure described above.
    Install dial indicator and position the plunger against the drive side of a ring gear tooth Measure the backlash at 4 positions (90 degrees apart) around the ring gear. Locate and mark the area of minimum backlash.
    Rotate the ring gear to the position of the least backlash. Mark the gear so that all future backlash measurements will be taken with the same gear teeth meshed.
    Loosen the right-side, tighten the left-side threaded adjuster. Obtain backlash of 0.003 to 0.004 inch (0.076 to 0.102 mm) with each adjuster tightened to 14 N·m (10 ft. lbs.) Seat the bearing cups with the procedure described above.
    Tighten the differential bearing cap bolts to 136 N·m (100 ft. lbs.);
    Tighten the right-side threaded adjuster to 102 N·m (75 ft. lbs.) Seat the bearing cups with the procedure described above. Continue to tighten the right-side adjuster and seat bearing cups until the torque remains constant at 102 N·m (75 ft. lbs.)
    Measure the ring gear backlash. The range of backlash is 0.006 to 0.008 inch (0.15 to 0.203 mm)
    Continue increasing the torque at the right-side threaded adjuster until the specified backlash is obtained
    NOTE: The left-side threaded adjuster torque should have approximately 102 N·m (75 ft. lbs.) If the torque is considerably less, the complete adjustment procedure must be repeated.

    Tighten the left-side threaded adjuster until 102 N·m (75 ft. lbs.) torque is indicated. Seat the bearing rollers with the procedure described above. Do this until the torque remains constant.
    Install the threaded adjuster locks and tighten the lock screws to 10 N·m (90 in. lbs.)
    After the proper backlash is achieved, perform the Gear Contact Analysis procedure.

    The ring and pinion gear teeth contact patterns will show if the pinion gear depth is correct in the axle housing. It will also show if the ring gear backlash has been adjusted correctly. The backlash can be adjusted within specifications to achieve desired tooth contact patterns.

    Apply a thin coat of hydrated ferric oxide, or equivalent, to the drive and coast side of the ring gear teeth.
    Wrap, twist, and hold a shop towel around the pinion yoke to increase the turning resistance of the pinion gear. This will provide a more distinct contact pattern.
    Using a boxed end wrench on a ring gear bolt, Rotate the differential case one complete revolution in both directions while a load is being applied from shop towel.
    The areas on the ring gear teeth with the greatest degree of contact against the pinion gear teeth will squeegee the compound to the areas with the least amount of contact.

    Scrape the residual sealant from the housing
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I'm not sure where you are in the reassembly process, but you need a special tool (C-4164) you adjust the bearings. This is a long bar which is inserted through the opening at the end of the axle housing (axles removed) and rotates an adjuster plate that has a hexagon center inside the carrier. I'm thinking you have just replaced the differential bearings and may not be aware of how they are adjusted.

    Our good friend Greasesister has provided a detail instruction on the reassembly and adjustment process.

    Best regards,

    P.S. Thanks Greasesister. That was a lot of good information. You must be an avid typist!
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