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Dodge Dakota rear-end noise

miswhi3miswhi3 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?


  • 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
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Well, without more information it is possible that your truck has a U-joint that is begining to seize.

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

  • snotrag16snotrag16 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 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 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.
  • I had a whining noise took truck it was the rear pinion bearing cost 250.00 for the bearing and 200.00 labor
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Did you ever drain and refill the differential lubricant and add the friction modifier additive?

  • 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 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,
  • 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 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.

  • 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.

This discussion has been closed.