Ram 2500 Front Axle Installation

I have a '96 Dodge Ram 2500 4X4 with an axle lying in my driveway.
I removed the axle on the passenger side to install new U-Joints, this all went surprisingly well. My problem is that I can't slide the axle back in
the way it came out. It will go in to within an inch and a half or so, but there is something solid stopping it from going any further. I can feel the axle (it's 2 pieces by the way) go into what I think are the seals, then maybe an eighth of an inch more, but that's it. I thought maybe the spline was just not lining up correctly, but after roughly 478 attempts, I figured the odds would be in my favor of accidentally aligning them.
I don't want to beat on the axle because I don't want to damage the internal spline or the seals. What can I try?
Truck is a 1996 2500 4X4 with the heavy duty front end, gas powered V8. The axle slid out easily, and I marked the top of the axle and the relationship between the axle halves in the hopes that if done in reverse life would be good.
TIA Jim
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They usually just slide right in. Are you sure the U-joint section isn't getting hung up on the steering knuckle somewhere? Another dumb question - when it gets hung up, did you turn it back and forth while pushing on it a little bit?
Remove the CAD motor (four bolts), and you can see the axle as you slide it in. Maybe the locking collar is gumming up the works. Whatever's causing the problem (if it's on the spline end), you'll be able to see what's happening with the CAD removed. When putting the CAD back, make sure the shift fork properly engages the collar.
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"Tom Lawrence" wrote in message

Yes, it's all clear.

Yes, but I'm not sure that the inner section was necessarily turning. The axle is actually two pieces split at the second spline. I could be turning the outer section, but the inner section could remain stationary. I tried pulling it out of the seal all the way, rotating it slightly, then trying again, but I get that same solid feeling stop.

it
I will try this in the morning if the weather permits, my truck is outside.
As I read this a question comes to mind. If the shift fork must be engaged when I reinstall the motor, how does it engage by merely sliding the two piece axle back in the tube?
Thank you for taking the time to respond and offering your help. I am without a vehicle until I get this taken care of.
Regards, Jim
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"Tom Lawrence" wrote:

This is easy, been there and done that years ago. The problem is that the splined end on the axle shaft is resting in the axle tube and not lining up with the inner seal opening and allowing it to past through it to engage the splines in diff. All you need to do here is with axle resting in the tube after it has been inserted as far as possible with gentle pressure, is to place a downward force on the shaft still sticking out (and a little trial and error here) to "lever" the splined end of shaft off on the bottom of tube and into alignement with the inner seal bore and and allow the shaft to past through it and engage the diff splines. It is pretty easy once you get the feel for it.
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That Did It!!!
Thank you!!

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"BD" wrote:

You are more than welcome, I discovered that "trick" about 30 years ago on my own but I have not had to use it for a while.
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