Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi with open rear (non-posi or limited slip diff) can it be upgraded to a posi?

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I bought this loaded beauty recently, but it doesn't have a posi (the factory now calls it an Anti-Slip Differential). I want to put a posi in it but I've heard mixed info on this. One person told me I can't just swap out
the gears because the housing is different and the axles are slighty beefier, so it would require a complete housing swap. Someone else told me I can just swap out the guts or just go aftermarket.
Does anyone know the actual answer? Can I just swap out the diff or do I need to swap out the complete housing?
It's an AWD version with 3.92 gears and 20" wheels if that makes a difference. If you need any otehr info, let me know.
It sux that if ordered new the option is only $285.00. Oh well...
Thanks,
Ace
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I am unaware of Dodge ever putting an AWD transfer case in a Ram 1500. Do you mean a 4WD? Either way, it really shouldn't make any difference. Since your truck should be using the POS DC 9 1/4 rear, the limited slip unit is the same size as the open unit and will fit in the existing case and that is the good news. The bad news is that it is not all that easy to change it.
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TBone wrote:

I thought the same thing TBone. I was surprised when I was looking at the truck prior to buying it that the dash had a button with 3 settings: AWD, 4HI and 4LO. I didn't think they offered that in the trucks. I know they offer it in the new Durangos.
How hard is it to change the guts? Are you positive the unit will mount in the existing housing? Does the limited slip unit have any special mounting brackets internally for the clutches or is the mounting points the exact same as the current open unit? Are the axles the same too?
I'm actually looking for the whole rear housing from a junk yard ('02 - '05), disc to disc based on what one guy at the dealer told me. Now if that's wrong, I'll just order the limited slip unit from Dodge parts and have it swapped out, if it's that easy as you say.
Ace
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I think that the guy at the Dodge dealer was lying because he didn't want to or was unable to swap the two units. Actually, what I said was that is NOT all that easy. Now don't get me wrong, it is not impossible but you need to be careful. Removing the old one is the easy part. It is really just a matter of pulling the axles out (which is no big deal and then 4 bolts later, you have the carrier in your hands but that is where the easy part ends. Putting the new one in can be a real PITA. As suggested by others, I would replace the carrier bearings with high quality AFTER MARKET ones because the ones DC uses SUCK!!!! The new carrier will not come with them so they will need to be ordered anyway so you might as well use good ones. They will also need to be pressed on and you will have to be careful when doing that. It will also not come with a ring gear or exciter ring and these will have to be removed from the old one (as I'm sure that you expected) and sometimes they come off easy but other times... You will also need to order new ring gear bolts. The hard part come when you put the new assembly back in. If the ring is not aligned properly with the pinion, it is going to howl and will soon fail. You also have to set the carrier preload and backlash correctly and this is also part of the ring / pinion alignment. If you have not done this before it can be tricky and time consuming and will require a threaded adjuster tool, a dial indicator with mount, and gear pattern compound. You really can't even put the carrier back into the housing with out the threaded adjuster tool. If you really want to do this, I would suggest calling one of the rear end companies and talk to them about what you will need and what is involved. I would also suggest using an aftermarket carrier such as an Auburn unit since it is simply a better design. http://www.peytonperformance.com/item--Auburn-542070--542070.html
Remember that if you do this work yourself, it may void the warranty on the rear axle.
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TBone wrote:

Thanks TBone for the very informative post. I think I'll get the Auburn diff and have the dealer install it. This way it won't void the warranty and they'll be responsible for it. I know it will be a couple extra bucks, but with what's involved, I think I'll let them do it. Besides, it's been many years since I had a diff apart and and this point, I would rather not do it. I put my Detroit Locker in and had another guy helping who did one before and I remember that wasn't easy. They were the days when I had time to do that kind of stuff. I don't have all the tools needed anymore anyway.
That Auburn diff looks like a nice piece.
Just to make sure, if I go with the Auburn, I'll also need to get a ring a pinion set along aftermarket bearings. What brand do you recommend for these?
Thanks!
Ace
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Yep - I installed one for a friend with a '00 Durango. Decent unit, and pretty simple to install.

No - you leave your pinion alone, and re-use the ring gear. When you buy the LSD, also order a "master install kit". This is a complete set of bearings (both carrier bearings, and pinion bearings, which you won't use), shims (again, which won't be used), new ring gear bolts (which should be used), and marking compound. It will run around $100. Give this to your installer, along with the LSD unit, and he should have everything he needs to complete the job.
Whoever you have do the job, make sure they understand what they're doing. Another friend had a "professional" driveline shop install a new set of gears for him, and they obviously over-torqued all the ring gear bolts (probably just ran them down with an impact wrench), because more than half of them wound up shearing off inside the housing. That made for quite a mess to clean up.
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Tom Lawrence wrote:

Thanks Tom, appreciate the detailed info. Between your detailed post, Tbone's detailed post, and the other responses, they are all helping me understand this differential mess that even the dealers don't know 100%. Glad I posted. Gotta love the newsgroups!
Anyway, I checked out that website posted earlier. I didn't see where to order the master install kit. I emailed them for instructions and price for the kit. I assume it doesn't matter for the ratio since that's based on my own ring and pinion gears.
Also, you're saying I won't need the carrier and pinion bearings? I thought everyone was saying I should replace them with aftermarket bearings, unless that meant just the axle bearings? I'll be getting the dealer where I bought it to do the work. I think that will be better to keep it in the truck's records.
Is there an LSD for the front or should I just leave that alone?
The truck has the electronic AWD option and figure that doesn't mean anything anyway other than the transfer case keeping all 4 (well, almost 4) going all the time. What bugs me is what's the difference between AWD and 4HI (which are the selectable options on the dash)?
Ace
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This is correct.

Actually what he is saying is that you will not need the pinion bearings if the pinion is not touched but you will need the carrier bearings. The master install kit will have all of the bearings needed as well as some parts that you will not need. If the installer knows what he is doing, you may want to ask him what it will cost to replace the pinion bearings with the high quality ones included in the install kit since DC used shit bearings there as well.

You can ge them but unless you are doing some serious off-roading, I would leave the front diff alone.

A transfer case that has AWD capability has a diff inside of the transfer case to allow the front and rear axles to turn at different speeds (which they do when you are turning). In AWD this diff is operational but when you put it into 4HI, the transfer case diff is locked, locking the axles together like a part time unit does for maximum traction. IOW, don't use 4HI on dry roads.
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No - you'll use the carrier bearings. You won't use the pinion bearings. But it's still easier (and cheaper) to buy the whole install kit, even though you won't use some pieces, than to try and piece together what you need individually.

Unless you're going full-time off-road rock crawling, leave it alone.

4HI locks the front and rear driveshafts together, which means something has to slip when making a turn (that being the tire's traction to the ground). AWD allows the front and rear driveshafts to turn at different speeds, using something very similar to the differential in question here (just as your rear differential allows your rear axles to turn at different rates).
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Tom Lawrence wrote:

Thanks Tom and TBone for the explanation. I didn't realize the transfer case acts like an open rear in AWD, but locks with 4HI.
Cool!
Ace
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I know what you mean.

I think so as well and have heard good things about it.

You can and should use the ring gear and exciter ring from the factory unit, no need to buy a new set. What you should do is order a new set of ring gear bolts. They may come in the master install kit that Tom mentioned but if not, make sure that you get them separately. Tom also mentioned a rebuild where half of the ring gear bolts snapped and reusing the old ones can cause that type of failure. As for the bearings, Timken makes a good bearing. If you order a master install kit, see if they have options as to what bearings they use and go with the best (whatever they recomend). If they are selling an Auburn rear, they will probably be selling a quality install kit with good bearings as well.

You're welcome and good luck.
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TBone wrote:

They were the days when I had serious fun! :-)

Thanks again TBone. I forgot to hit send for the email to peytonperformance.com with my questions. Glad I didn't send it yet because I added what you mentioned here about the ring bolts and bearings. Good to know.

Thanks. This rear should bite nicely once I get this unit installed. Waiting on a check to put this order in. I have to find out what they'll charge me at the dealer. I have a good report with them and will more than likely get a discount. I used to sell cars 15 years ago, and their manager knows me and my old manager, and the truck is the 4th vehicle I've bought/leased from them in the past 6 years. So I hope it won't be too bad. I have no idea what kind of time they give service for this sort of swap. I guess I'll find out.
I appreciate your time and effort TBone, along with everyone else in this thread. Maybe one day I can return the favor. I'm usually helping out folks in the Microsoft public newsgroups (DNS and Active Directory) with computer related stuff. If I can help anyone out here, please ask and I'll try my best.
Thanks again, Ace
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keep in mind that the anti-slip factory option is _not_ positive ("posi") traction. positive traction refers to a locker and limited slip is _not_ the same as a locker. the new power wagon has real lockers, anything less is _only_ limited slip and while its a bit better than an open differential, its still only limited slip.
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I have the "factory anti-slip" in my 05 Ram 1500 Hemi & it sucks in snow while in 4X4 or 4X2
But! driving in snow sucks with just about any vehicle.
Seriously, I am not impressed with the anti-spin on the Dodge, but I do love the locker my Son has in his 04 Blazer!
On Sat, 21 May 2005 18:12:15 -0600, "Nathan W. Collier"

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I had the same problem with my '03. It's the tires (if you have the 20" wheels.) The tread pattern and width on the tires that come stock really suck in the snow. I put BF Goodrich all terrain KO's on and they are 200% better in the snow here in Wisconsin.

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Yup! I have the 20" tires & I plan on buying the BF Goodrich all terrain TKO's. I had then on a 1994 Jimmy & a 1999 Jimmy & they will really bite in the snow.
Thanks for the reply!
Kurt
On Sat, 04 Jun 2005 12:30:43 GMT, "Todd Riegel"

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In stated, and I replied below:

I have a feeling these 20 inchers ain't going to do it in the snow as well as the BFG AT tires.
Kurt, how do you like the locker on your son's Blazer? It's been a long time since I drove a car with a locker, but that was a Torino based body '70 429CJ. I'm not sure what it'll be like on a 1500. The docs say the locker runs open by default, but locks on torque. I never drove the CJ in snow, so I'm not sure what it's like. Coming out of a parking spot in deep snow, does the rear lock for you if it slips or do you have to tap the brake to induce torque for it to lock?
Ace
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In stated, and I replied below:

My bad, the locker is always locked unless in a turn. The TrueTrac is open by default.
Sorry!
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MS Networking Dude wrote:

The Ram uses the same corporate 9.??" rear that my dakota has. No big deal. Limited Slip Differential (LSD) is a factory option, and has been just about forever. Adding LSD is a pretty simple operation for a competent diff shop. If you're using it mostly for street, snow, Boat ramps, fire roads, etc, the LSD will be your best choice. If you do serious off roading and never see snow/ice covered roadways, you should consider something stronger.
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.boB wrote:

So it is the exact same? Interesting. One guy at the dealer was the one that told me the whole housing needs to be changed due to the axles being different, etc. Now if that's not really needed, I'll just order it from parts and have it swapped out.
No serious off roading. If I was going to do that, I think I would have gone for the Power Wagon (I think that's their beefy off-road truck). I just wanted the limited slip for snow/ice etc driving, maybe even putting a plow on it. I used to snow plow years ago for a company I worked for. The truck had a limited slip in it and never got stuck once.
Funny, I did get stuck once with another truck while plowing. It was my own fault. I rammed a snow pile trying to shave the pile and move it, but I went too fast and wound up on top of the pile with all 4 wheels in the air. LOL. I wish I had a pic of that. Luckily I had a winch on that thing and pulled it out.
So you're saying it's that easy? TBone in his response says that same thing.
Ace
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