1996 Dodge Ram rear axle noise....

Anyone know what would cause a mild grinding noise only at low speed from the center of the rear-end on a '96 Ram 1500? From inside the cab the sound
seems to be coming from all directions but upon riding in the bed of the truck going down the road(at 20 degress outside) it's clear the noise is originating from the center of the rearend but once you hit about 40mph(with a nasty windchill) it's harder to hear it. Once back into city driving, wow! Loud & clear! Checked fluid in the pumpkin and it was fine, no leaks, so I pulled the cover and don't see anything visibly amiss with any gears. Re-filled with new fluid & conditioner and it seemed a little quieter but is still there. Hate things that aren't obvious:( TIA for any pointers!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
My 2000 dakota had the same hard to find noise. I thought something was rattling in the bed. 45mph was the loudiest. Ended up being the universals on the drive shafe, they were bone dry and dust was in them instead of the neddle bearings. I hate those bloody sealed units.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
This is usually caused by bad pinion bearings in the rear axle. $$$$$$$
--
If at first you don't succeed, you're not cut out for skydiving
"Robbo" < snipped-for-privacy@usadatanet.net> wrote in message
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@nc.rr.com says...

Yep, sounds right, a friend's '98 just had to have them replaced. He says the next big money expense, it's gone. He worked for a company that made driveline parts and knew what to look for, and they ended up replacing nearly the entire guts of the axle. Fun second day of his vacation, spent riding in a tow truck, then the dealership, and then overnight in a motel, then waiting for it to get finished. Lost two days. Good thing he's retired. His wife drove him up the wall. He said when he got to Cleveland, it suddenly got louder, but he figured he could make it to his son's in CT, where his son, a mechanic could do it, but not long later, it was screaming to the point he had to stop. There was little lube left at that point, the Pinion was leaking like hell. It was ok before he left, slightly whiny, but not bad. I rode in it about the same time, and it surprised me when he called me to email his son and let him know what was going on.
He had to replace the AC compressor this last summer, it blew up in Albany NY, and took out the radiator when the pulley came off at 75 mph. My old Camaro did the same thing, except the battery got nailed instead. What a mess. I was right down the street from the shop I had my work done then and was actually able to coast up to the driveway. We had a hose in it washing the acid off everything within 2 minutes of it happening. The exhaust drop pipe rusted bright orange with a week though. It was OEM trash anyway, so it was a great excuse to yank it out and replace it with something that actually flowed.
The Ram looks amazing for nearly 10 years old with nearly 200K on it. He long ago replaced the original U-joints, and the front end had been redone with a major upgrade at 150K, but something tells me by this summer, he's going to be in a new one, a QC hemi 4x4. I don't think his wife is going to want to take any trips in the old one.
BDK
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

"$$$$$$$"?!....Uh-Oh!!!!!!!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I had the pinion seal go out on my Dakota. I got a low-mileage rear-end from a salvage yard for about 1/4 of the cost of fixing the old one.
Ken
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Robbo wrote:

Hey there....I have a 2002 with 87000 and am being told by a trans specialist that the pinion bearing is causing my noise. Loud at 40 to 55, then a bit quieter at 70. I only hear mine while loaded on the gas a bit. Let off the gas, and it goes away.....$500 to $600 to fix. Is this what yours is doing?
--
Message posted via http://www.carkb.com


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

specialist
the
doing?
Kinda, it definitely sounds like a bearing but is tough to decipher exactly where and when I grab onto the driveshaft I can't really move it in any abnormal direction. Had the truck on a lift and put it in gear and really couldn't hear it that much but once on the ground with weight on it going down the road the noise was quite obvious. Wondering if I should just try to locate a rearend out of a junkyard as opposed to fixing this one, from the sounds of some of the replies here, it could get pricey for a re-build:(
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The only real down side of a junk yard unit is that it could have the same problem as this is a fairly common problem for these rears.
--
If at first you don't succeed, you're not cut out for skydiving
"Robbo" < snipped-for-privacy@usadatanet.net> wrote in message
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Robbo wrote:

Like others have said, most likely pinion bearings. I've had two dodge trucks. Both needed differential rebuild after 60K miles.
--
.boB
2006 FXDI hot rod
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

yes, the truck does have 106,000 on the clock but that doesn't seem like a lot for a pickup(lots of highway use). I have a 1987 Toyota with 200K on it and aside from oil changes & a timing chain tensioner problem, it is still going strong even though it rides like a tank and the body rots off of it. The Dodge has a nice ride and is great in the snow but some of the problems I've had(and numerous amounts of downtime) with it is making me question the reliability of the make.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.