'98 Ram Rear Axle Howl -Solutions??

Is there a common problem with rear axle failure on these beasts??? I have a 1998 QC 1500 with the chrysler 9.25 rear axle and it started a howl about a month ago. I can only turn the radio up so far!
Took it to the tire shop and had the tiresbalanced and rotated (for free, Thank you Discount Tire!) and it still howls.
Jacked it up and ran it in the air (with jackstands, of course) and it howls. Removed wheels and brake drums and it howls. Removed the drive shaft, tried turning the pinion and it jerks. Obviously a bad pinion bearing. No leaks, though. Fluid is full on flat surface (checked it tonight).
I replaced the rear speed sensor about 2-3 months ago, that can't have caused this.
Anyone repaired these and successfully solved this issue? My fear is the ring and pinion are shot also (they're 3.5, according to the tags).
This truck only has 84k miles on it, due to mostly city driving. I am competent at rebuilding axle assemblies as I have an inch pound torque wrench,regular torque wrench, bearing press and pullers. I've built quite a few ford 8.8 and 9" carrier assemblies but not a Dodge.
Any gotcha's? Pointers? Source for good prices (I'm in Houston, Tx) Source for a good, moderate priced LSD unit to swap in while I'm doing this?
Thank you for your replies.
Curtis, in Houston, with a howling Ram (would like it to be quiet)
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howl
have
this?
yes its common for the rears to start howling. as far as prices maybe someone else who has rebuilt thiers can tell you. now as far as suprises i dont remember any on the last one i did. pritty standard rear i believe.
--
-Chris
05 CTD
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On Wed, 28 Jun 2006 01:09:49 -0400, "Christopher Thompson"
Maybe if you never service them. A LOT of rear axle suffer from neglect as few even check the lube level let alone change it. To late for this rear axle but do change it regulalry after you get it fixed and within the first 1500 miles or so after rebuild and ever 20 or 30K after that depending on usage. ----------------- The SnoMan www.thesnoman.com
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You'll need one "special" tool - that's the rear adjuster tool. Instead of shims, the Chrysler 9.25" uses a threaded adjuster nut on each side to set backlash and carrier bearing preload. I made mine from a 4' piece of 3/4" pipe, a 1/2"-drive socket, and a spindle nut. The adjusters can be backed off with a punch (they have holes in them that you can engage and lever against), but you need the tool to tighten to specific torque values. If you have the means to make your own (just need the listed components, and a welder), you can remove the diff, remove an adjuster, and find the proper-sized nut (about 1.5" or so) to fit in the hex opening of the adjuster. If not, you can buy this tool from a decent R&P shop (Randy's Ring and Pinion sells them, for example).

The 9.25" also uses a crush sleeve to set the pinion pre-load. You'll need a pretty powerful impact gun, or a BIG breaker bar to get the spacer to start collapsing. You'll also need to hold the yoke still while you do this. A big pipe wrench, and a length of pipe to fit over the wrench and wedge against the ground, will suffice. Once you overcome the initial torque and get the spacer to start collapsing, go nice and slow with torquing the pinion nut down, checking the rotational torque frequently. If you go too tight, you have to start over with a new crush sleeve. Make sure to get a few of these, just in case.
While you have the axle all apart, you should get new axle bearings as well. You'll need a slide hammer with internal puller legs to remove them. Measure their depth inside the axle (I seem to remember they're set in .600"), and drive the new ones in with a socket to the same depth (not super-critical on the depth - give or take .010" or so).
Some torque specs (should really have the factory service manual, though):
Bearing cap bolts - 100ft.lbs. (once backlash is set) Pinion nut - 210ft.lbs. (starting torque - continue to torque until proper rotating torque is achieved) Pinion rotating torque (new bearings) - 15 - 35 in.lbs. Ring gear bolts - 115 ft.lbs. Backlash - .005" - .008" Preload adjusters - 75ft.lbs.

I've done a few 9.25" axles for friends - Randy's R&P (http://www.ring-pinion.com ) is where I've always ordered the stuff. Decent prices, but more importantly, good quality gears and installation kits.

Auburn. About $350 or so
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The torsion bar from a "C" body Mopar works well as a tool for the carrier bearing adjusters.
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John Kunkel wrote:

Wouldn't the tool be cheaper to buy than a "C" body Mopar? ;^)
--
Ken



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of
a
need
If
sure
well.
Decent
What Tom said, plus...
Randy's Ring & Pinion 10411 Airport Road SE Everett, WA 98204-3540 Hours: M-F 5:30am - 5:00pm Pacific Time Orders: 1-800-819-6024 Tech line: 425-347-1199 Sales Fax: 425-347-1440
The crush sleeve used to set the pinion bearing preload has always been an issue with the 8.75 (tapered pinion gearset only) and 9.25" assemblies. Over time, they lose their crush, the nut holding the pinion flange loosens, and then the pinion starts backing up toward the differential. This is *very* common. You can't just retighten the nut, as the sleeve has already been crushed. But, the good news is, there's a permanent fix. Ratech makes a solid spacer that replaces the crush sleeve (the pinion bearing preload is then set using shims.) For the 9.25" axle, it's Ratech PN 4109 (Summit Racing handles it).
Bryan
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No one mentioned this: Lots of these rear axles have bearing failures. May be your only problem. Don't let it go. Get into it quick. The old stitch in time thing:)
Al
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Two things:
#1 - Check everything. I swore my 9.25" was dead once the howl was so unbearable. Ended up being a trashed u-joint - was jammed up tight enough the crawl-under-and-shake test didn't work, the only way I could find it was jacking the truck up and watching the drive shaft.
#2 - Houston is one big junkyard. You should be able to find a used axle dirt cheap, and they're not that hard to swap if its a dud. I was able to get a 21k mile flood-damage-total NV3500 for about the same as the dealer quoted for just the base overhaul parts.
If you plan to keep the truck forever I'd say overhaul it with the best parts you can afford but otherwise IMO its just not worth it...
JS
Curtis D wrote:

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Thanks to all that replied.. I've ordered the complete bearing set and am going to tackle it this weekend. I pulled the cover and checked the pattern on the gears and so far they appear fine. Thanks to Tom Lawrence for the detailed instructions. I'll build the tool also to make the job easier.
Thanks again....
Curtis

howl
free,
No
have
this?
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