Rear axle bearings - DodgeTalk : Dodge Car Forums, Dodge Truck Forums and Ram Forums
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post #1 of 16 Old 07-23-2007, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
w0rm
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Rear axle bearings

I've got a whine somewhere in the driveline. It sounds like a wheel bearing but almost sounds computerized. It's very loud, apparently when i'm coming down the road it's the first thing you can hear. What I'd like to know is how to find out what axle I have, what oil to use, and how to replace the bearing in the axle. I've got a garage with tools. I've been searching the forums but there's nothing for procedures or pictures. Just want an idea of what i'm getting into before i start tearing apart. Is it easier to remove the whole axle from the truck? Any links or pics would be a great help. info in sig. Thanks


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-Hughes Plenum Pan & Gasket
-Ported TB & Intake Manifold
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post #2 of 16 Old 07-23-2007, 09:45 PM
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I would check the wheel bearings first before replacing, as this is easy to do. Jack up the truck and grab the top and bottom of the wheel. Move forward and back. Repeat by grabbing on the sides and try to rock back and forth. Any significant movement indicates a worn bearing. Also spin the wheel listening for any grinding noises. Repeat for the other wheels. If everything is tight, then it could be the a number of other things such as the differential, drive shaft, or transmission.

As for your rear axle, it is a Chrysler 9 1/4" and uses 80W-90 oil + additive if you have the limited slip/anti-spin differential. There should be a sticker under the hood stating if it came with it or not. I assume you have 2WD, but if not the front alxe is a Dana 44 and uses the same oil. Changing the oil sometimes quiets whines. You can take the cover off to see if any thing in the diff looks worn or has excessive play.

Good luck.

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post #3 of 16 Old 07-24-2007, 10:11 AM Thread Starter
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I've heard if you hear the grinding and/or whinning noise during acceleration and/or deceleration, then it's more likely your pinion gear bearing. Or the pinion gear and ring themselves. Mine is a constant whine which should point to the axle bearings. I've had a mechanic at my work explain this to me.
You have to remove the differential cover and remove both wheels and drums. Looking into the pumpkin you should see a pin between both axle shaft, which has a bolt holding it in. Undo that bolt and you should be able to push the axles towards the pumpkin and a horseshoe clip will drop down, releasing the axle from the housing.
I should be able to figure it out from there. I was hoping i'd get some pictures to get an idea of what i'm getting into.
I think i will take my own when doing the work and do a write up for for this site. Seeing as this is a fairly simply job to do.


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post #4 of 16 Old 07-24-2007, 08:56 PM
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Yes, that's how you do it and it's not too bad. Be sure to get an axle bearing puller and you will need replacement axle seals. The bearing puller is a slide hammer with an attachment on the end. Most parts stores loan them for free. Good luck.

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post #5 of 16 Old 07-25-2007, 08:16 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Kent. You eased my mind


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post #6 of 16 Old 07-25-2007, 10:53 AM
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Thanks for the heads up on this thread, w0rm! Ill definitly be watching and monitoring to see how things go. Good luck with it all! Post what you can on here and ill be letting you know when i get to mine... maybe next couple of weeks. Its been raining everyday here for the last 30+ days. im not exaggerating either.

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post #7 of 16 Old 07-25-2007, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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We've needed the rain here if you want to send it over.
I'll drop a link to the write up i'm going to do on this thread. I've got a breakdown of the axle in my pocket, it's not pretty, but the pictures i'll post will be better than a breakdown.


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post #8 of 16 Old 08-10-2007, 08:14 AM Thread Starter
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I got started on the bearings last night. I did what kent0 asked and wiggled the tire and there was play in there. No grinding noises though. So i cracked the case and let the fluid drain out. Removed the tires and drums, then proceeded to remove the axle pin in the differential assembly. The axles came out rather easily.
The problem is, i wanted to replace the inner axle bearing on the carrier. When i removed the bearing caps, i expected the differential assembly to come right out, but it would only loosen out a bit and the pinion gear was keeping it from coming out. So i consulted the mitchell on demand site and found that there's a complicated procedure to re-installing the differential assembly. So I just put everything back where it was and I guess i'm only changing the outer bearings. Hopefully I didn't misalign anything in the process.


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post #9 of 16 Old 08-16-2007, 08:59 AM Thread Starter
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New update.
Replaced the outer bearings and no change. I put it up on axle stands and put it in drive to have a listen. It sounded like it was coming from the front of the driveshaft. So i assumed (hoping) it was u-joints. I thought this would be an easy find but apparently my truck has 2 different u-joints (rear has bigger caps at the differential yoke than attached to the driveshaft). That one i found at the parts shack, it was off a Dodge van (yikes). The front u-joint was the one they didn't have and i had to source from a local driveline shop.
Here's the kicker, they informed me that the drive shaft i have, which is aluminum with a fibreglass coating, will collect water and salt from the roads behind the fibreglass. I suppose it eats away at this and eventually the driveshaft will break in two. This could be the cause of the whine i'm having.
I'm bringing it to a friends place to put it up on a hoist to use a stethoscope and eliminate the possibility of a transmission/torque converter or diff. pot problem.
I'm willing to bet tactransman will be able to tell me if it's a transmission problem.


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-Hughes Plenum Pan & Gasket
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post #10 of 16 Old 08-16-2007, 12:40 PM
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w0rm,is it a 2X4 or 4X4? Automatic?

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post #11 of 16 Old 08-16-2007, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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2x4 automatic


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post #12 of 16 Old 08-16-2007, 01:26 PM
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There is a big bearing in the middle of the OD section that will make a noise like you are describing. It will get louder and louder the faster you go,it does not change in sound with each shift. Number 107 in this PDF file pic. It goes on the journal right above the #120 .
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File Type: pdf usa51804.pdf (193.8 KB, 33 views)

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post #13 of 16 Old 08-16-2007, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks tactransman, i should also mention that with the driveshaft removed, it no longer made the noise.


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post #14 of 16 Old 08-16-2007, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by w0rm
Thanks tactransman, i should also mention that with the driveshaft removed, it no longer made the noise.
That blows that theory then!

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post #15 of 16 Old 08-16-2007, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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It was worth it for the picture. It also makes me happy i won't have to crack into my transmission.


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post #16 of 16 Old 11-05-2007, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Finally an update and solution. I had the diff cover and driveshaft removed, while turning the pinion flange, felt like the gears were meshing. I thought the backlash might be out of adjustment, there are 2 side adjusters for the carrier, you can access them through holes on the diff cover surface using a screwdriver to turn them. That had no change, so i removed the pinion and noticed the front bearing had major damage. Peices missing from both the cone and race. I'm lucky to not have cause extensive damage while driving and be in a major accident.
I've got a repair kit on order, around $140. No big deal. The driveshaft though, was tested at a shop and apparently was out of balance, so I'll be keeping the new steel shaft in.
Any questions about this rear end, i'll be able to answer after this job is complete.

NOTE: The last few times I was driving, i had notice the noise would get louder when under load (accelerating or slowing), while coasting it was less loud. BUT at the beginning it sounded the same throughout. No play existed in the pinion either. If someone encounters the same problem, always check the things mentioned in this thread, any one of them could have been the problem (the noise resonated throughout the driveshaft making it impossible to pin-point where it was coming from).


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Last edited by w0rm; 11-05-2007 at 01:45 PM.
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