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Old 10-02-2013, 01:33 AM
skrantdurant's Avatar
skrantdurant skrantdurant is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Peralta, NM USA
Posts: 6
Gender: Male
Vehicle: 1997 Dodge Ram 1500 Sport
Trim Level: Sport
Color: White
Engine: 1994-2001 318ci (5.2L) Magnum V8 220hp
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Default It's Alive-uh!! It was the transfer case...

I was getting ready to pull the transfer case cuzza being able to roll the truck in park even though I could feel the transmission doing it's thing as far as I could tell in all positions. The only way I could move the shifter into park without experiencing a sharp un-nerving gzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz was to turn off the engine which made me feel like the trans output shaft was still spinning free without the rest of the drive train holding it. Again, the symptom here was a sudden total loss of drive - forward or reverse. For the tow I had unbolted the rear driveshaft from the rear differential and had it hanging on a wire but still in the transfer case. I could spin it freely by hand regardless of shifter position, engine running or not. I drained the transfer case and smelled the culprit - friggin 90W gear oil, not ATF! Through the drain hole I could see the web chain not all wadded up like I had expected, so I worked the rear drive shaft back and forth and saw the chain following along just like it's supposed to. Hmmmm... What the...? Being a rocket scientist and all (OK, lawnmower mechanic technically) I started the truck just to do another check. Reverse - nothing. Neutral - nothing (duh!). Drive, 2, 1 - nothing. Stuck it in 4-High Range, same result. Low Range - BAM! the truck jumped back and in Drive it pulled back up. I heard the loose drive shaft flopping around in back, so it seems to have lost all high range operation 2 or 4 wheel drive but still has low range. Odd, but still, with over 230 thousand miles on it not too surprising. I opted to install a quality pre-owned and field-tested unit complete with a 90 day warranty I procured from Steve at South Coors Truck Salvage in Albuquerque. Today I threw the Torture Test at it. My work needed me to do a scrap metal run. We piled on lawnmower decks, engine cores and dead chain saws and topped it off with a couple of riding mower carcasses. It all squatted the half-ton shortbed down a little, but no problem hauling it 20-plus miles to the scrap yard. I was shocked to say the least when they handed me the receipt - 2260 pounds! A ton and an eighth! The 88 Chevy woulda just died. I am very proud of my Dodge tonight...
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