Dodge Ram Axles and Suspension

amanwhocaresamanwhocares Member Posts: 5
edited July 2014 in Dodge
Went through hell rying to replace the lower ball joints in my 1994 Dodge Ram 1500. Originals were tack welded in. Could not press new ones in using ball joint press c clamp. Sleeves that came with it were too long and were not the right diameter for the new part. Had to remove the lower control arms and press in. Tired to get the parts in one time and ruined them after one week because they were not all the way in. Then since the dealer only sells the entire control arm with the lower ball joint in place, and since the Haynes manual and others did not mention about the originals being welded in, I tack welded in the new ones after being sure they were flush against the control arm.


  • dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    What brand of ball joints were you using? Haven't done one in a while, but Moog units permit drilling and mounting with bolts.

  • amanwhocaresamanwhocares Member Posts: 5
    I used a Moog on one side and a Duralast (Autozone)on the other. Each had nothing to assure placement other than pressing in and a distantly placed circlip, just like the apparent originals, except the originals were also tack welded once on each side. Did I say that the machine shop recommended re welding them new ones?
  • dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    Don't know what to tell you on this one, not having done a RAM in a long time. The factory ball joints being pre-assembled on to the control arms is not unusual. Ford, GMs, and others are the same way. Maybe it wasn't a Moog I used, but I was pretty sure it was.

  • gwen1961rgwen1961r Member Posts: 2
    I just went to a mechanic to have my ball joints fixed. Upper and lower. They then informed me that my hub was froze. They would have to try and get it opened. Well they did not and ended up braking it. I am wondering if any of this was a recall? Has anyone else had issues with thier hubs?
  • gwen1961rgwen1961r Member Posts: 2
  • murdochmurdoch Member Posts: 1
    Hello ,I have a 94 1500 Ram in which both back wheels move in and out about 1/8 inch ,there is no adjustment at the wheel end (as far as I can see)
    Problem is I live in NE Scotland where Rams are few and far between so advice is not easy to get.
    Any help would be greatefully appreciated
    Thanks Nick
  • rockwood84rockwood84 Member Posts: 2
    i noticed that the wire going to a sensor in the top of the rear punkin on my neighbors ''''96 dodge ram 1500 4x4 with a 5.9[ guzzler] was broke and hanging down by the left rear shock. he said his trans had started to act funny on shifting 2nd to 3rd shift. does this sensor have any thing to do with the trans shifting. i called a dodge dealer and the parts guy told me it was an abs sensor.thanks
  • rockwood84rockwood84 Member Posts: 2
  • gworleygworley Member Posts: 4
    1998 dodge4by4 noticed a roaring noise while driving low speeds hard to here on interstate here it good sounds like atire hum had tranny rebuilt not ayear ago dont think thats it hope not transfer case any ideas
  • thomascoronathomascorona Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2004 dodge ram 1500 with 34000 miles that has just been diagnosed with ball joints that need to be replaced. How long should ball joints last and what causes them to go bad?
  • jfrazier23jfrazier23 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1997 Dodge RAM 1500. I hav ea a medium to high pitched roaring sound. The truck drives fine but I am concerned about this sound. It is not a grinding or a bab sound. Does anyone know what this might be?
  • gearhead05gearhead05 Member Posts: 2
    Hey everybody. I'm sure you all know with Ford and Chevy having A arms in the front end you can crank on the tortion bars to bring up the front end a couple of inches. Is there anything to crank on or adjust on my Ram 1500 front end to bring it up, or is a lift/leveling kit the only option? Thanks for the help.
  • magnumpowermagnumpower Member Posts: 2
    You will need to purchase a leveling kit or torsion keys. Ram Cam is the torsion key system you will need, I purchased mine for around $250, and the results are excellent. I retain almost factory ride condition with the ability to easily clear 33x12.50 tires. My truck is a 2002, so many of the leveling kits were discontinued. If your truck is newer you may find one , but the price will be similar. As to chevy and ford owners simply cranking their torsion bars, that is not the preferred method. They will need to adjust their camber by buying a camber kit, so money will still be spent. If they don't readjust the camber their their tires will wear unevenly and end up costing them money in tire replacement. Unfortunately there is not a cheap solution. Hope this will help you.
  • gearhead05gearhead05 Member Posts: 2
    Thanks Man.
  • rand63rand63 Member Posts: 3
    I have recently been experiencing a howling noise coming from either the
    front or rear end of my truck. About six months ago I replaced all four
    rotors and brake pads and did not have any trouble, a few months after I
    started getting a howl whenever I took off from a stop. I thought "brakes?"
    I put the truck up on stands and had someone apply the brakes and then
    release them. I tried turning the wheels after the release to check for
    drag, all was fine. I took the truck to the dealer to have them check it.
    They thought maybe drive shaft, if it was a two piece shaft. I told them it
    was a one piece. I left the truck with them. A short time later I got a call
    that they needed to replace parts in the rear-end. After I picked up the
    truck and started home the noise was still there. Not only am I getting the
    noise from a take off, but now even more so I am getting it when I back up
    and turn the wheel to the left. It is really loud in 4-wheel drive. Any help
    would be greatly appreciated.
  • trostorfertrostorfer Member Posts: 1

  • dodge3500dodge3500 Member Posts: 1
    I just bought a '02 3500 5.9L V8 1-ton extended van in which to transport equipment. I just realized, after the fact, that the rear axle ratio is 4.10. Is this going to hurt me in gas mileage? Most of my driving will be on the highway. If so, how much? Would it make sense to try and swap out the axles or gears in order to get better gas mileage? I am not planning on pulling a trailer with it at all.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJMember Posts: 3,516
    You may want to look through the Conversion and Full-Sized Vans group in the Vans message board. This discussion is intended for the Ram pickup, and while many components are the same,. the fuel economy concerns you have won't compare very well between a full size van and a full size pickup..

    kcram - Pickups Host
  • justins79justins79 Member Posts: 5
    '05 Ram 1500 4dr, 4x4 w/ Hemi, just under 50k

    Early last week my ABS and Brake indicators kicked on. I'd been meaning to get my truck serviced anyway because I had a loose tie-rod end and my rack & pinion was leaking on my driveway. I made my appointment for dropping off my truck today at the dealer I bought it from. After I called and prior to the drop-off my speedo started going wacko on me, staying at 0 until I hit 20mph or so and then jumping up. It would occasionally kick me out of cruise, downshift, or it would downshift twice real hard as I was coming to a stop. Basically it wasn't sure how fast I was going and it was jacking up my shift pattern. That's expected when you lose a speed sensor and the truck can't consistently determine your speed.

    I got a call from my dealer about an hour ago. They're claiming that there's water in my rear diff. I have never had that lightweight piece of junk in high water, ever. It only ever had maybe 200 miles of non-paved roads put under it (and I had to replace the factory tires just to get a decent set of rubber for our gravel roads). For a country guy now living in the city this truck has lived the high life (minus the garage). The only things I can think of is that the vent tube was off of the rear diff or the filter on the end of the vent line was jacked up. They're saying that there's nothing wrong with either. I asked them to check the front diff because if I was in high-water in the rear it would be highly likely that I was in the front as well. He balked at that and said something about having to charge for full diagnostics and all that jazz if they crack open the front diff. He then tried to say that if the seals on the front diff weren't leaking then there wouldn't be any water in their. I caught him on this and spun it back on it. I asked that if leaking seals could cause a water problem in a diff then why couldn't that be a possible cause for my rear diff and if a seal is leaking then why would that not be covered under warranty? He couldn't answer that question. To cover the parts and labor they quoted me $990.

    They also want me to pay $185 for the diagnostics, labor, and parts for a damaged speed sensor which is jacking up my ABS. He said that it is not covered under my power-train warranty.

    They also want me to pay a $100 deductible to Chrysler to replace a transfer-case output seal which they say is leaking. I have one oil slick in my driveway and that's caused by the leaking power rack and pinion. I don't know how this seal could be leaking noticeably without leaking a grease spot on my driveway. It could have just started leaking of course but I would expect something on my drive in most cases.

    They want me to pay another $100 deductible to Olympi-Care which covers my rack & pinion. They're replacing the whole steering rack, both outer tie-rod ends, and the power-steering coolant lines. And of course they're going to align the front-end again. Why wouldn't this be covered under my Chrysler warranty?
    They recommended I replace the fluids in the front & rear diff as well as the transfer case for a total of $325. That's a lot of $$$ for 90-weight and ATF.

    In total they asked for $1375 plus another $325 if I do the fluids in the diff and transfer case. Now I made sure to mention that my father was a mechanic (+30 years but he doesn't do warranty work and he's now out of auto and the aircraft industry) and that he made the initial diagnose on the tie-rod end and rack & pinion. I also told him that I'd be checking with the service tech I knew at another Chrysler dealership down the road. I put in calls to both of them. They both called BS on this, saying that 1) the prices were outlandish and 2) that there should not be water in the rear diff if I've never drive in high water (which I don't) and 3) that warranty should cover all of that. I called the guy back with some pointed questions about the vent tube & filter, why they cracked open the rear diff to get to the sensor (which I've been told is removable from the outside), and for contact info for both Chrysler Customer Care and the Olympi-Care people. I also asked him to save the fluid from the rear diff. My friend from another dealer said that the axle seals are a lip seal and are good at keeping fluids in but not so good at keeping them out. Still I've never been in high water so I don't think that's a problem.

    About 15 minutes later he called back again. He said that he and his service manager checked everything over again and said they thought they could work something out with me. He asked if I bought the truck with them which I had and that I was the only owner. He said that they'd eat the $990 since I was a customer. That seems like a pretty dramatic reversal to me. He said there wasn't much of the oil/water left from the rear diff, that they'd already dumped most of it. Convenient.

    Now I'm mechanically inclined (I'll tackle just about anything with good directions) but I'm not a mechanic. I'm a computer engineer. My father is the mechanic. I'd like to think that I'm nobody's fool though. Frankly this sounds like they're trying to put a good one over on me, seeing a nice shiny pickup with a clean interior, thinking I'm a city guy that wouldn't know a dip stick from rectal thermometer (had I pulled up in a flatbed with a feeder on the back I wouldn't elicit this kind of response I don't think).

    I feel confident in siding with my other mechanics and calling BS. Does anyone feel differently? Should a power-train warranty have covered all of this? This is a fairly large regional dealer and their radio ads claim to have been rated to have the #1 service dept in the country (though don't all dealer claim that?). I'm putting in calls to Chrysler and Olympi-Care tomorrow to find out exactly what my coverage should be.

  • corkscrewcorkscrew Member Posts: 254
    Have you talked to the owner of the dealership?
  • justins79justins79 Member Posts: 5
    Thanks for the reply. I haven't escalated the matter yet. I'm going to call Chrysler and the Olymi-Care folks today to find out exactly what my warranty is and what it covers. Beyond that I haven't gone any further.

    Cutting out $990 worth of charges, a reduction by 72% does not feel right to me. My Chrysler mechanic friend suggested that perhaps when I started asking for all the info to check the warranty myself that the dealer may have decided to also check it for themselves (assuming they hadn't and just guessed that water in the rear-diff wouldn't be covered). Then when they called back 15m later they played the hero and said they'd just eliminate the $990 out of the goodness of their hearts, rather than say that sure enough it really is a warranty repair. So now my goal is to see if Chrysler will say that it should be warranty to begin with. In which case the $185 for the wheel sensor to fix my ABS should have also been covered and all I should owe on that would be the $100 deductible. Then I need to tackle the rack & pinion part of the problem to see if it too should have been covered. Fun stuff.
  • justins79justins79 Member Posts: 5
    The dealer called today to see if they could go ahead and order the parts for the items covered by the Power Train warranty. I couldn't remember which item was covered so I asked him what the items were. He said the transfer case output seal and the components for the rear differential. I didn't react to this and told him that I'd call him back this afternoon. He actually said that the rear diff was covered under warranty. I could think of a number of reasons both good and bad but that's what he let slip.

    Chrysler confirmed today that the speed sensor wouldn't be covered even though the dealer was now saying that the rear diff was a warranty job and caused the speed sensor to go bad. They said is was consequential damage caused by the rear diff and not a failure of the sensor itself. They also said that rear diff oil wouldn't be included in the price because it was regarded as a maintenance item, even though you have to drain and refill it to do the warrantied seals and bearings.

    The Ethos people (Olympi-Care) said that the sensor wouldn't be covered because the cause for the failure (as listed by the dealer) was water damage in the rear-diff. Had it been listed a simple failed item it would have been covered.

    I made a list of everything and called the dealer back to authorize the repairs. I read it off to the guy with the prices. $100 deductible to Chrysler for the power train repair items (and i listed transfer-case seal, rear-diff seals, bearings, oil and labor (I said oil on the phone)). He said yes. $185 for the parts and labor for the speed sensor. Yes again. $100 for the rack and pinion parts and labor. Again yes. $10 for the oil change (my materials their labor) and $15 for the shop fee plus tax on everything. Yes to all. I didn't record it but hopefully it won't matter. In a few days I should have it back. I'll do the fluids in the front diff and transfer case myself for a lot less $$ when I move into my new garage next month.

    So I think this is where it ends. I'm not exactly sure whether this was carelessness or malicious intent. I think I've reached a decent resolution though. The ABS thing still annoys me. Next time I will get the GM that I wanted instead.
  • kbawikbawi Member Posts: 2
  • kbawikbawi Member Posts: 2

    Recently in the past few weeks have heard a whining noise coming from the rear end of my 97 Dodge Ram Sport with 85K. I first thought it was tire noise and rotated the tires and topped off the rear fluid with LSD type fluid.

    The noise has not disappeared, however, is only persistent below 20 MPH during acceleration/ deceleration. It is dependent on speed with each rotation of the axle. The noise is constant either driving straight or during cornering.

    I plan on changing the oil and changing the U-Joints for the drive shaft tomorrow evening with hopes of finding the cause. Does anyone have any ideas what else it may be? I am not convinced that it is the clutch or bearings due to the steady whine below 20 MPH…. I could be wrong. I have been proven wrong many times before!

  • corkscrewcorkscrew Member Posts: 254
    Correct me if I am wrong. I thought that if a warranted part failed and caused a non warranted part to fail then the non warranted part would be replaced free of charge. Do you have a new owners warranty booklet?
  • justins79justins79 Member Posts: 5
    Well, that's what I thought too. I argued that point with Chrysler and the dealer and got no where. Consequential damage is what they called it. The oil for the rear-end surprised me too. I figured that it would be part of the standard parts list for warranty repair on a rear-end. Chrysler said that it wasn't included, though the dealer may just give it to us if they want.

    Anyway, the truck should be finished today or tomorrow. My family is not very happy with Dodge quality though. My mother's Durango has given them problems from day 1. My father's 96 Ram is a gutless wonder and the steering is constantly loose (replaced the steering sector and surrounding components repeatedly). We've never had a really good Dodge. I'm going to pony up the extra $$$ for a GM next time.
  • corkscrewcorkscrew Member Posts: 254
    I agree with your assesment of Dodge quality. My last one was an 02 Ram 1500 with the sport package. After four and a half years and 40k miles I gave up.
  • justins79justins79 Member Posts: 5
  • inkraminkram Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1995 ram 1500 pick-up. It has 237,000 miles and still running strong, my only problem is I started to develope a really bad death wobble a few months back.
    I checked it out and it looks like it's a sway bar or trac bar. it looks like it connects the to the chassis on one side and the axle on the other. what is the name of this part. i need to price it and get it fixed.

    Thanks Bryan
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJMember Posts: 3,516
    I went through 2 trac bars on my 96 Ram 3500 4x4 in 9 years. You also want to check the ball joints - they also contribute to DW.

    kcram - Pickups Host
  • rascal5rascal5 Member Posts: 1
    I am reinstalling the front carrier and need to know the carrier bearing cap bolt torque spec?
  • ct_russct_russ Member Posts: 1
    im looking to lift my truck on the cheap .. yes i know it will give me a harsher ride and ill still only have 1/2 ton brakes .. just want to know if thay will fit , if i will get any lift other than reduced sag and aprox how much lift i would get .... just seems to me i can get comp lift with out spending 4 5 hundred dollars ..... thanks russ
  • bud08rambud08ram Member Posts: 2
    Got a Ram Sport 1500, has anyone added after market sway bars? Is there any benefit?
  • bud08rambud08ram Member Posts: 2
    Has anyone bought anything from I am planning on installing a airade cold air intake, flow master exhaust and a super chip programmer, later plan on a leveling kit, and 35's....just wondering where to get the best deals...
  • sammytorchsammytorch Member Posts: 6
    Can some one please tell me what this part is? I can not identify it in any of the axel diagrams.

    I have a 2001 Dodge Ram 1500 4X2 5.9L(360) w/ a 9.25" Chrysler Trac-Lock Differential and 3.55 Gear.

    The bottom of the case was wet with oil so I cracked her open to have a look and . . . this is what I found:

    click here for photos

    What the heck is this part?

    The truck drives great, I only opened the differential because it looked like it was leaking from the fill plug.

    Thanks for taking a look.

    - Sam
  • sammytorchsammytorch Member Posts: 6
    All right - after many hours of internet research - I found out that these are retaining clips for the clutch packs (for the limited slip diff) on either side of the spider gears. It looks like I can get replacement kit for about $50-60 but I am a little concerned about my ability to install. Has anybody actually rebuilt these clutch assemblies or should I just get a replacement LSD carrier - and if I am going to throw $400 in parts is there a better option - I will be moving to Colorado where I expect plenty of ice and snow so I do not think a full blown locker is a good idea. Any ideas?
  • mbeckleymbeckley Member Posts: 2
    sammytorch did you ever find out anything about replacing the clips. I have tried to find a diagram or something to tell about replacing but to no avail. Any info is appreciated.
    Thanks, mbeckley
  • mbeckleymbeckley Member Posts: 2
    I have an 02 Dodge Ram 1500 with Limited Slip Differential and was wanting to know is there a diagram or manual to show the replacement procedure for the retaining clips? I am located in WVa.
  • sammytorchsammytorch Member Posts: 6

    here are some very useful links - i have not done the install yet - let me know if you do and have any tips

    - sammytorch
  • rontacrontac Member Posts: 7
    I have a (99) 1500 dodge ram, and i would like to use a rear end out of (99) 2500 dodge ram with a Dana 70 in it. Any ideas? I had my trans rebuilt with a shift, and towing package in it, so i would like to use a stronger rear end for towing more weight.
  • bharvey1bharvey1 Member Posts: 1
    On a recent trip across country my 1999 Dodge Ram 2500 4X4 started to vent differential fluid from the front differential from the vent under the hood. The dodge dealer instructed me to have the fluid changed in the front differential, which I did but this did not stop the problem. It does not vent fluid all the time, but did on 4 different occations during my trip. No one seems to know what the problem is.
  • fathernsonfathernson Member Posts: 1
    My son & I are starting a project truck. We are starting with a 3 to 4" lift kit. Skyjacker looks like the way to go, I have never attempted to tackle a project like this I would appreciate any input. The truck will be used for highway and occasional surf fishing on the beach.
  • dodge94dodge94 Member Posts: 1
    The axles on my 1994 Dodge Ram 3500 do not dis-engage or disconnect when it's taken out of 4 wheel drive. Does anyone have any ideas on how to fix this or what to look at?

  • 1Kaz11Kaz1 Member Posts: 1
    I'm trying to replace the u joint on my front drive shaft going from my front differential to my transfer case. (hoping this will fix the clicking sound i hear every time i put my truck in 4 wheel drive) my problem is that once i get the 4 bolts off the mounting plate by the u joint my exhaust pipe is right below the drive shaft preventing me from being able to get it out. please help!
  • my03RAMisJUNKmy03RAMisJUNK Member Posts: 1
    Sorry to hear about your problems... I'm on my fourth PS rack, 46,000 mi on my 03.The dealer is not acknowledging that there is a problem somewhere... the service manager said it "might be" because it is driven so infrequently... or maybe it is junk! I'll keep watching to see if you get any satisfaction from your dealer. You aren't in the Milwaukee WI area, are you?
  • hpp1hpp1 Member Posts: 1
    I have 04' 3500 5.9 cummins 4x4 with automatic trans. When shifting on the fly,from 4 w,to 2 w,or from 2 w into 4 w the light on the switch continues to flash and engagement or disengagement does not occur. When the truck comes to a stop it works fine.Anyone with simlar problems? :confuse:
  • joeybagadonutzjoeybagadonutz Member Posts: 2
    I have a 1998 dodge ram 1500. I hear this squeeking noise every time I go to park. like when I turn the wheel to back up and get close to the curb. I am not sure what it is I needed sway bar links so I replaced them so it can't be that. Anyone know what else it could be?
  • phillrecophillreco Member Posts: 4
    i too have a 97 ramm 1500 350 limited slip. as time goes on it will get louder and youll know rite where it's coming from. you can get a rear axle at the junkyard pull and save around 100 $. make sure you get some kid of agreement/warrenty that the bearings are all good which is whats the matter now and the brake cylenders and emrgency brake hook ups are good. i got screwed on mine i had to put axle bearings and wheele cylinders on mine now i want to get 410 gears
  • greasesistergreasesister Member Posts: 6
    hi i was wondering could some one tell me the procedure to set the back lash on the diff ring gear :confuse:
  • phillrecophillreco Member Posts: 4
    i too have 97 ram. that roarin sound got worse till i had to get another rear end. the new one makes noise too, when you put on brakes or turn abbruptly. i'm trying to find a good complete rear end with 4to 1 gears my old one and the i pu in have 350 gears does any one know where i can get a 4 to 1 gear complete. it don't have to be new.
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