Dodge Dakota rear-end noise

miswhi3miswhi3 Member Posts: 1
edited July 2014 in Dodge
any one have problems with the rear-end of their 2003 dakota. i have had the rear end replace twice in 14 months and now the service dept says the noise isnt the rear end its wind noise. exactly what the he^^ is a wind noise coming from the rear end for?


  • dakotahpdakotahp Member Posts: 2
    My dakota r/t has a noise coming from my rear end when I go about 40mph it makes a thump noise as if I hit somthing.It does not do it all the time.Do you have a answer
  • dakotahpdakotahp Member Posts: 2
  • dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    Well, without more information it is possible that your truck has a U-joint that is begining to seize.

  • dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    Do you know which differential assembly you have, either 8 1/4 or 9 1/4, limited slip?

    The axle type is listed on the equipment sticker located on the inside of the glove box door.

  • blk4x4blk4x4 Member Posts: 43
    jack up your rear at the pumpkin and put it in gear like you driven and listen.....if you here it then it's not wind noise...and there full of [non-permissible content removed]!!!!!!!!
  • cguycguy Member Posts: 7
    My 02 Dakota makes a similar noise, sounds like a belt almost but comes from the rear end. I'm curious what you find.
  • viking8viking8 Member Posts: 1
    02 Dakota 4x4 had left front wheel bearing assy replaced.still whines,sounds like it is coming from under front end not rear. push the clutch un an let 'er coast and it still whines. what the??
  • dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    If the whine never changes with engine load or speed, don't get nervous yet, it could be your tires.

    If not the tires, whine is usually caused by the (front) differential. Especially if it's one of those AAM (GM) axle assemblies.

    Best regards,
  • flipper9flipper9 Member Posts: 1
    Long time reader first time user. Got a similar problem with my 03' Dak 4X4 with 4.7L. Purchased the truck used & it has only 24K miles on it. From the rear of the truck there is a whine noise that is constant, the dealership didn't care to examine. The noise is quite prevelent and "sometimes" it sycronizes with the turn signal and headlamps turned on. Any suggestions as to what is causing the noise would be appreciated. Flipper
  • fawlrudfawlrud Member Posts: 3
    I have been trying to figure out what is wrong with the rear-end of my 03 Dakota 4.7L 4x4 QuadCab for 4 years.

    3 years ago - took in to dealer and they replaced rear-diff pinion gears and ring gear after hearing the noise; that fixed the problem for a while

    2 years ago - same drill, same result

    1 year ago - jackass technician told me a TSB was out calling for owners to drown out the sound with radio to determine if noise is just normal = BS

    now, the noise occurs as usual. Here is a description:

    Audible from driver's seat and while sitting in the rear passengers' part of the cab

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

    as best i can tell, the noise does come from the rear end
    guesses as to what it is:
    1. ring gear, pinion gear in rear diff
    2. driveshaft and rear axle, esp. rear diff housing, are not set up in line
    3. u-joint has been suggested but i know very little about u-joints except that they creak when going bad
    4. wheel bearing
    5. fuel pump
    6. it's not the damn tires
    7. ghosts
    8. Dodge's infamous transmission

    anyone have any ideas as to how to diagnose the problem? short of making a long stethoscope, i am certain that if i take the truck in, the dealer will say something to the effect of "duh..." and attempt a fix. I'm at 68400 mi, with a 100k mi/2009 extended warranty that covers these sorts of things when the 7/70 powertrain goes out.

    If anybody knows how to fix the problem and can outline how and I can get a dealer to fix it using your guidelines, I will send you $50; that is how annoying the whine/ring is, and, most importantly, I know that this ringing/whinging is a harbinger for impending mechanical doom/wallet rape.

    thank you
  • dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    It's probably a pinion bearing.

  • snotrag16snotrag16 Member Posts: 1
    My 94 Dakota has a whirrling sound that is coming from a bad bearing in the rear diff. Even though the sound is coming from the rear diff, it does sound like its coming from the front diff.
  • 99dktaguy99dktaguy Member Posts: 2
    i have a 99 dakota 3.9 and online specs it says 175 hp @ 4800 rpm but it redlines at 4700. and i seen that in more than 4 diff websites.
  • davec5davec5 Member Posts: 2
    :sick: The 9.25” limited-slip differential in my wife’s 2002 Dodge Dakota crew cab failed after components of the differential disintegrated at about 75,000 miles. It’s a daily driver and my wife has never abused this truck.

    This failure could have resulted in a catastrophic failure if a very slight noise had not developed during parking lot turns. A quick Google of this problem resulted in numerous antidotal reports of this problem including catastrophic failures at highway speeds.

    I am having the dodge components replaced with an Auburn unit so this doesn’t happen again.
  • sirbiginssirbigins Member Posts: 3
    I had a whining noise took truck it was the rear pinion bearing cost 250.00 for the bearing and 200.00 labor
  • dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    Did you ever drain and refill the differential lubricant and add the friction modifier additive?

  • davec5davec5 Member Posts: 2
    The rear end has been serviced as recommended by Dodge. I've got great pictures of parts in the bottom of the rear end when the rear cover was pulled.

    PS: Dodge would not pay one cent of the costs.
  • dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    Yeah, unfortunately not an uncommon problem with the American Axle supplied rears. Usually the proper maintenance prevents failure prior to 125,000 miles or so. I've seen them go much longer though, in fact an acquaintance has a 2000 with 166K and still fine.

    The somewhat common complete failure is the C-clips breaking (or C-locks as Chrysler calls them) and the pieces chewing up a gear, or noise caused by pinion bearings wearing prematurely.

    Noise complaints are the most common. I'm not sure but my guess is poor assembly at American Axle. More seem to go forever without making noise so I suspect it's not a component quality issue.

    Chrysler finally got tired or got the point regarding their differential assemblies and is building a new facility dedicated to making their own axles once again. It will also be their own design and reported to be quieter and less friction than current designs. I think they'll be available on the 2008 RAMs. Hopefully the Daks will get the new rears.

    Best regards,
  • paul86paul86 Member Posts: 3
    i have an 01 qc 4.7 auto 2wd with t&h package and my posi unit went at 65000 miles which i only found when oil was dripping out of the rear drum. metal chips wore out the seal.1,300 dollars later after new posi unit was put in the rear was whining when i took my foot off the gas, i was told to much back lash , after several tries to fix ,it ended up needing a new crush collar, and problem solved
  • dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    ...which sounds to me like the pinion deepth wasn't set correctly, the pinion shaft wasn't torqued properly, or they tried to get away with using the old crush washer.

  • 02dakota02dakota Member Posts: 2
    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
  • 02dakota02dakota Member Posts: 2
    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.
  • retired1sgretired1sg Member Posts: 1
    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.
  • jhughe90jhughe90 Member Posts: 1
    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 Member 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 Member 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!

  • buffalo3buffalo3 Member Posts: 3
    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 Member Posts: 2,926
    What axle do you have? Limited Slip or conventional?

  • buffalo3buffalo3 Member Posts: 3
    it's a 4 wheel drive -- does that help? If not, I'll have to check on that.
  • dustykdustyk Member 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.

  • buffalo3buffalo3 Member Posts: 3
    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!
  • matt65matt65 Member Posts: 1
    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 ...
  • buddyayresbuddyayres Member Posts: 1
    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?
  • greasesistergreasesister Member Posts: 6
    does any one know of a link or have the right procedure to set the back lash on 9.25 diff :confuse:
  • dustykdustyk Member 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.

  • greasesistergreasesister Member Posts: 6
    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 Member Posts: 2,926
    No bearing play? Which bearing are you referring too?

  • greasesistergreasesister Member Posts: 6
    oh sorry the side bearings which are by the adjuster
  • greasesistergreasesister Member Posts: 6
    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 Member 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!
  • greasesistergreasesister Member Posts: 6
    no dusty iam not a very good typist at all i used the copy thing on the mouse yes you are right at where iam at ok got a good idea now on the next step might need your advice again have a great day
  • dakota28dakota28 Member Posts: 1
    Is that why on 2008 dakota there's a lifetime, unlimited miles warranty on their powertrain? I noticed it's not there anymore, probably too expensive. I wonder if they'd even honor that now with troubles and Fiat taking over. Maybe Dodge will get on board with a small deisel or gas saving engine by 2012. If not they'll be left behind. The Ram is awesome now for 2009, but those of us that want a true smaller body on frame truck or SUV to tow with get the shaft after 2010. No pun intended.
  • dbusterdbuster Member Posts: 1

  • flap10flap10 Member Posts: 1
    Hi all

    I have a 2wd 97 dakota sport with a 3.9L and 105000 kms. I got a code P0171 and I can to repair the problem is to clean the maf sensor and check for vacuum leaks. My truck does't have a maf sensor and I can't find any leaks. The truck runs rough and there seems like theres gas getting into my oil pan. Any ideas?
  • eddie79eddie79 Member Posts: 3
    Hi all,
    I have a '00 Dodge Dakota 5.9 w/4wd. Bought it about 2 months ago and was very satisfied. Has everything I was looking for. About a week ago, I noticed a whinning sound coming from the rear end, especially when maintaining a certain speed (between 45-50 mph). And as I come to a stop, it will make a slight grinding noise. So for the moment, it's now "resting" til I can figure out what the problem is. I've been given some options as to what could be the cause...

    1.Spider gears going bad
    2.U-joint needle bearings
    3.Bad LSD clips

    That's to name a few, I'm sure. I don't mind working on any vehicle but transmissions and related components are my weakness. If there are any other options or ideas, it would be greatly appreciated. I fear if I take it into a shop first, it's gonna cost me way too much for them to even look at it and then just suggest what it could be. Thanks again.

  • eddie79eddie79 Member Posts: 3
    P.S. It only has 86,xxx miles
  • fawlrudfawlrud Member Posts: 3
    edited June 2010
    i posted an inquiry like yours years ago, and nobody has a die hard remedy. while it was under warranty, i had the ring and pinion gears in my 2003 Dakota (4x4, 4.8L, 9.25 rear) changed out three times... the problem was briefly silenced, but 2k mi later, more obnoxious banshee wailing. as long as you make sure to keep your diff fluid changed at the proper intervals, check often for water invasion (if your diff ingests water, the gear oil will be a nasty, grey milk with the consistency of pottery slip), you're good to go. there are no less than 5 reasons the diff starts to make that damn noise - drive axle-to-diff yoke connection angle is off (a [non-permissible content removed] to set properly), ring/pinion gear offset not 100% correct (another [non-permissible content removed] to set properly), diff fluid degraded (if you tow a lot or hard launch often), diff full of water (if you wash your undercarriage vigourously or drive through flooded streets), diff fluid level incorrect (check vehicle manual for proper spec) - and, unless you find a whole lot of metal flakes or bits stuck in the diff when you do a fluid change or notice grinding/slipping/banging from that end of your truck, you're fine. Apparently, there's even a TSB floating out there that states "if technician can turn up the radio to a sensible level and drown out the whining, no service required." The Chrysler 9.25 is a really solid piece of hardware, and the 8.25 isn't far behind. Yes, you could be OCD about this and have a reputable mechanic check everything listed above, but, to be brutally frank, it's just a Dodge that sings under load at 40-55 mph. I agree that this is a retarded problem to have to put up with, but you're in no real danger of a costly repair as a general rule. hope that helps in spite of the grin and bear it reality of German-American engineering (thanks a lot, Dr. Z)...
  • eddie79eddie79 Member Posts: 3
    Ha!! It's funny you mentioned turning up the radio. My wife told me to do that. The fluid will be the first thing I check. I crawled under it yesterday and noticed off the bat that there's a leak coming from behind the propeller joint. It's not enough of a leak that it's "pouring" out, but enough to make me want to check it out. And I don't have the symptoms you mentioned about the slipping and banging. In fact, it shifts just fine. I don't tow hardly anything other than my boat, which is just a 14 1/2 ft. john boat. I wouln't think that the 'kota couldn't handle that. I appreciate your insight. Thanks!

  • fawlrudfawlrud Member Posts: 3
    At 45k mi, i also had a leak between the prop U-joint and diff housing. Exactly the same as what you described. Chrysler paid to fix that - extended warranty paid for itself several times. Again, not a serious issue, and it may be leaking because of gear oil overfilling. There's a digital version of the early 2000s Ram factory technician's manual floating around online (almost all specs are identical to Dakota). Greatest free download ever, especially if you're handy at mechanic's work.
This discussion has been closed.