What's with the Dodge rear ends in their trucks? I didn't even get 90k off
mine before it went south. Ring, pinion, and bearing set all went bad
(metal particles from the ring and pinion most likely caused the bearings to
go). I know of several other people with Dodge trucks and all have had rear
differential issues and all have cost up past $1,200 to get rebuilt. Mine
is $1,326 and the dealer has had it for over a week.
1998 Dodge Dakota Club Cab
Loaded with options
Truck is in near new condition inside and out. I am the only driver since
19k miles (bought it from dealer in 2000).
Well, I got the truck back after almost 10 days on the rack. The estimate
that was told to me was $1,364.62. When I went to pick it up they tried
telling me it was $1,996.87. Right then I knew they had real issues. I
only paid the smaller amount because I showed them the estimate on the back
of the invoice they handed me written by their services rep. The entire
rear end was rebuilt even though the only bad part I could find from the
original stuff was a bad pinion bearing. The rest of the stuff looks fine.
No obvious metal fatigue, wear, or particles in any of it except for the
pinion bearing. It has some worn/pitted rollers and looks like it would
have caused the noise I was hearing.
Now, I feel vibrations at 65 MPh and it feels like I'm pulling a small
trailer. My gas mileage has also dropped a little but can't say for sure
until the tank is almost done. At 1/2 tank of gas I get around 15.5 MPg
city/highway. I should reach 16.5 MPg by 1/4 tank - as it was before I
brought it in.
I called the Service Manager and left a voice mail. I will do that just one
more time then start climbing the food chain. When I hit a lawyer's office
there will be no further discussions with this dealership and the listening
public will be told who, where, phone numbers, addresses, etc.
I've bought 6 cars from these people in the past and have almost never had
to use their service on any of them.
I agree and thought that return business would be a good thing. It is in
most companies - not to mention "customer satisfaction." Advertising by
word of mouth can carry a lot of weight in "both" directions sometimes.
I know the problem is that the pinion is too tight and the same bearing is
causing the vibrations. But what it takes to fix that I am not too sure
about. I don't think loosening the yoke nut will do it. I'm thinking they
need to pull it all apart again and re-shim it. After all, the wrong or
lack of correct shims, was one thing they mentioned more than once. They
also told me they ordered new bearings and the pinion bearing came without a
shim. They had to reorder it too.
Just got the truck back from the dealers and it's fixed this time. It took
them all day to connect the drive shaft to the rear end yoke "properly" this
time. They said: "no charge" I should have said: "no SH** !!" but I
didn't. I thanked them properly and left.
I had a 1997 Ram 1500 that I bought new. Within a week I noticed a vibration
at about 42 mph and the truck felt exactly like it was pulling a trailer,
with a "buck-board" feel. The dealer did everything from balancing the
tires, replacing the cam in the engine, replacing the torque converter, and
then the entire transmission, all without success. They called in a factory
rep who verified the problem. After a conference with engineering in
Detroit, he told me they wanted to try one more thing, but he didn't think
it would fix it and I should pick out a new truck. I agreed to allow the
"one more thing" attempt and they replaced the entire rear end, axle, and
wheels. (They actually took it off a new, '98 truck the dealer had in
stock). The problem went away and the truck was fine thereafter.
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