2006 dakota driveline noise

I have a 06 dakota quad cab slt 4x4 with 4.7l engine with 3.55 limited slip rearend. Whenever the truck is warmed up there is a very noticeable clunk
whenever the truck is shifted into neutral or park from any gear any ideas? Also when going into reverse there is a slight clunk and then a whirring type whine. About 60-80 km/h there is a howling noise comes and goes with throttle position coasting- howl stops ease on the gas howl comes back. The truck was in at the dealer and they reprogrammed the transmission, the dealer said that the noise(clunking and reverse engagement) are normal! They said the howling is tire noise, but yet the howling doesn't change with changes in road surface. Should I get a 2nd opinion from a driveline shop or qustion the dealer more?? Any ideas or answers are appreciated!!
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snipped-for-privacy@shaw.ca wrote:

Those are usually symptoms of a bad differential.
Park the truck on a flat surface. Put it in neutral, and set the parking brake. Now put it in park. Crawl under the truck and grab the drive shaft. Try and turn it with your hand. Differential end play is measured in thousands of an inch. If you can move the drive shaft a noticable amount, the diff is toast.
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.boB
2006 FXDI hot rod
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.boB wrote:

Or it's just loose universal joints.
--
Ken



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Most likely it is in tat area. I know of several differential rebuilds from myself and friends. The pinion bearing has gone out in each case. You don't need the entire rear end rebuilt as we did (we didn't know). I told the dealership that if they didn't save all the parts for me I was not going to pay. The parts are all fine except the pinion bearing - shot. That cost me $1,300 for being stupid and in a hurry. I know now that I could have 1.) done it myself; or 2.) had another "reputable" place do the work for much less. I talked to this place after the fact and he said it was common for dealerships to do this - lots of hours = lots of $$$
wrote:

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In response to Abby.Normal 's post. I thought everyone should know:

if you are tearing all the way to the pinion bearing then why not replace the other bearings? its no more labor time as you have already taken that stuff apart. and pitting on the gears because of bearing shavings from the failed bearings? that will make noise for sure. so a gear set is in order in that case. axle bearings have been exposed to shavings in the fluid also, heck they probably need attention too. plus its a prime time to replace those axle seals (you have the axles out so why not? your already there) i got news for ya dude, unless the tech/shop is crooked as hell when your all the way to the pinion bearings you are already paying full rebuild price for labor. so the only question is what parts do you need and what parts are you willing to pay for as a PM thing while your there, remember if you don't replace the axle seals for example and 2 weeks later they start leaking its not the tech's fault they leak. you decided not to do them when you had stuff apart, when it wouldn't have cost you anything but the part. NOW you have to pay labor again, or should in my opinion because its not his fault or the shop's fault that you didn't want to replace the seal, because you believed you were going to get charged "extra" for it.
--
Chris

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it's not just the bearings - it's the gears and axles - every moving part. There is also a lot of difference between $1,300 and $300. Especially when you pour that kind of money into an old vehicle as I did.

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It's common for dearlerships to do that because they have to stand behind their work. If the failed pinion bearing allows the pinion to move around in relation to the ring gear it can cause an abnormal wear pattern. In some cases you actually hear the ring and pinion howling, because of poor gear tooth contact, not the bad bearing. If you just replace the bearings and re-use the ring and pinion it will be noisy. Now you have to take everything apart again to replace the ring and pinion.
When any bearing in a differential fails it usually sends metal particles through the entire axle housing. If you look closely at the bearing surfaces you will see the metal particles embedded in the bearing races and rollers. It is not uncommon to see particles of the failed bearing embedded in the ring and pinion gear teeth also. That is the reason why most "reputable" shops will replace everything. At the very least you MUST replace ALL the bearings and flush out the axle housing if you want the job done right.
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In response to Mike 's post. I thought everyone should know:

in complete agreement here.
--
Chris

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I agree with you both had my truck been a newer one. However, with 90k miles on it, I only wanted a few more miles from it - not have the rear end out last the rest of the truck. I also failed to mention that the dealership failed to put the drive shaft back on correctly and in a very short time (2-3 days) ended up doing the work again because the new pinion bearing and drive shaft both failed from the vibration. That was dangerous.

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Thanks for all the info, the truck goes into a shop on Monday, I will try some of the suggestions and I will let you know the outcome of the shop and my tests!!
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My Ram 1500 ('95 4x4) is going in tomorrow because I found the rear u-joint was bad and I also found that the pinion nut had backed off. I have no leakage of any fluid from the housing so I will just hope I caught it early enough. It is old, but paid for......:-). It is newly painted and in great shape even with over 170,000 tough miles so I will fix it and keep it going. It just had it's first tranny rebuild and all but the now bad u-joint were replaced then..... I had thought they had done them all. I had no noise except the 'clank' going into reverse from drive and vice-versa that pointed me to the u-joint. One little tidbit of info that some have had problems with Brake and ABS lights staying on............. I had replaced the rear wheel speed sensor and it corrected my problem for a couple of weeks and then the lights came back on. The problem turned out to be the brake light switch of all things. I didn't even know that my brake lights were intermittingly going out, and it would send a code and keep the dash lights on constantly until power was reset. A simple fix for a strange issue.
Ed
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Be prepared for news of the rear end. I suspect the pinion nut has not backed off - rather it is the bearing gone bad and the pinion is loose as a result. let us know.

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Yea.....I am prepared......:-(. The play in the rear end was not up-down-side to side but actual end-play, but I do know if this had been going on for very long that it could very well damage the pinion gear and more. I will post the findings once they shop gets to the truck. I use a local, small town 4x4 shop that is very well known for their Jeep off-road and rock climbing teams and they have a very good reputation for their good, honest work and reasonable pricing. They said they should be able to get it done this week.
Ed
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Put the rear end up on jack stands and run it. Of course chock the front wheels. You'll eliminate the "tire noise" issue. As Ken said it could be "U" joints or you could have more than one thing causing the noise.
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