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Old 09-08-2012, 02:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Rattling Noise: 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 4X4

125K miles or so. Has developed a strange noise, it may have been around for awhile but not sure, when I take off from a stop it almost sounds like a metal ring rattling around something, for lack of a better description, nearly like bulldozer tracks clanking along.

It is loud enough to hear inside the cab, and others outside the vehicle to clearly hear it. If I take the vehicle out of gear and let it roll the clanking still continues, when I put the vehicle into 4 wheel drive the clanking does not occur. The sound is only in 2WD it is intermittent, not continual, but happens the same way each time I take off from a stop.

I don't know if it does it at higher speeds because at that point engine/highway/wind noise is too high.

I have turned the shaft that runs to the front wheels from the (i think it is called) transfer case and it spins free but is pretty rough while spinning it (truck off, in park).

Any ideas?
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Old 09-08-2012, 02:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Check the U-Joints on the drive shaft.
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Old 09-08-2012, 02:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Those trucks have the automatic hubs, and they are run by a vac accuator and the hubs inside have a tendacy to wear out and or strip. Does it act up in 4wd? Or it could be the front pinion bearing taking a shit on you.
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Old 09-08-2012, 05:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It only makes noise in 2WD, once you pop it into 4WD it stops. I am nearly starting to wonder if it could be low on fluid, I haven't had any opportunity to check it as of yet...
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Old 09-08-2012, 05:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote: Originally Posted by Advans View Post
Check the U-Joints on the drive shaft.

The drive shaft itself seems to be tight, no play at all... plus wouldn't that act up in 4WD too? It only does it in 2WD?
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Old 09-08-2012, 05:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Quote: Originally Posted by RTShadow View Post
The drive shaft itself seems to be tight, no play at all... plus wouldn't that act up in 4WD too? It only does it in 2WD?

I think it's something in the front end if it only makes the noise in 2wd, like the hub gears, if it's in 2wd then they are disengaged and there is no force on them, but in 4wd there is force on them,or whatever is loose in the front diff causing it not to make the noise.
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Old 09-08-2012, 06:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Okay, after examination (wife driving way too fast for me to hardly stay up with... ) I narrowed it down to the front end drive section, where the half axles are located.

When the vehicle is parked and in 4WD, I can't spin the shaft leading to the front differential because the splines are engaged (assuming how that works), when it is in 2WD I spin the shaft and it makes an awful racket.

I got under there on the right (pass) side, and the half axle is really loose, it appears that it hangs loose on that side as though something is broke on it. From the looks of things, when I hold that axle up in place where it should be, and spin the shaft to the front differential, it clears up most all of the noise.

Of course, this could be another thing... the axle leading up to the front differential from the transfer case is spinning when the truck is in 2 wheel drive. Is that even supposed to be happening, or is there supposed to be a lockout on this to keep it from spinning?
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I think I found it...

Quote:
Check out the joints where the front cv shafts meet the stubs shafts from the differential. These splines have been known to strip causing the exact problem you are having. check for signs of rust dust coming from these spline joints. If the splines are stripped you need to replace the affected cv shaft and the stub shaft from the differential.

When you are in two wheel drive the front wheels are actually turning the front differential. This in turn has to turn the weight of the front driveshaft going up to the transfer case. When the splines strip off, instead of turning all this dead weight of the differential and the front driveshaft, the splines simply spin against each other because they're worn off and can't grab each other anymore.

When you put the truck in four wheel drive the transfer case spins the front driveshaft, which spins the front differential. Since your front wheels are already moving because the truck is moving, the shafts turn at the same speed as the differential is being turned by the transfer case. The speed of the wheels is naturally matched to the speed of the differential, and you don't hear the noise. Try this-put it in four wheel drive on dry pavement and turn a very sharp corner, put the wheels all the way to the steering stop. Give it some throttle and it should make some racket as the splines spin on each other.

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Old 09-08-2012, 10:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Quote: Originally Posted by RTShadow View Post
Okay, after examination (wife driving way too fast for me to hardly stay up with... ) I narrowed it down to the front end drive section, where the half axles are located.

When the vehicle is parked and in 4WD, I can't spin the shaft leading to the front differential because the splines are engaged (assuming how that works), when it is in 2WD I spin the shaft and it makes an awful racket.

I got under there on the right (pass) side, and the half axle is really loose, it appears that it hangs loose on that side as though something is broke on it. From the looks of things, when I hold that axle up in place where it should be, and spin the shaft to the front differential, it clears up most all of the noise.

Of course, this could be another thing... the axle leading up to the front differential from the transfer case is spinning when the truck is in 2 wheel drive. Is that even supposed to be happening, or is there supposed to be a lockout on this to keep it from spinning?

Yes the front end spins all the time, and the bearing might be causing that half shaft to wobble, but glad you found it before it let loose while driving.
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Old 09-12-2012, 01:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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What all has to be replaced in situations like this? 4WD trucks are a little foreign to me...
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:21 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Wow, okay we got the front pass (right) side half axle off and the splines both on the input and output shaft splines were completely gone. Then we noticed the sway bar links were disconnected, BOTH sides. I'll get all the parts on Friday and replace them. Happy it wasn't super expensive.
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:31 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Quote: Originally Posted by RTShadow View Post
Wow, okay we got the front pass (right) side half axle off and the splines both on the input and output shaft splines were completely gone. Then we noticed the sway bar links were disconnected, BOTH sides. I'll get all the parts on Friday and replace them. Happy it wasn't super expensive.

Wow, not sure why BOTH sway bar links are not hooked up, is the truck lifted at all? And it's a pretty easy fix, just make sure all the seals are in good shape if your not replacing them.
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