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Old 01-28-2011, 08:54 AM
GTR0419 GTR0419 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Atlanta
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Vehicle: 2001 Dodge Ram 1500
Trim Level: SLT Sport
Color: White
Engine: 1994-2001 318ci (5.2L) Magnum V8 220hp
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Default Help With "Whining" Noise From Rear???

Wow, that title is full of potential punch lines...

I have 2001 Dodge Ram 1500 2WD 5.2L Sport Club Cab with about 80k. Back around Thanksgiving I noticed a “whining” noise that seemed to be coming from the rear of the truck. At the time I couldn't be sure about the location because I could only hear it at highway speeds. I immediately started to freak because I’ve heard these trucks have inherent tranny issues. So, I took the truck to a local mechanic. He heard the noise when driving the vehicle, but once he put it in the air…no noise. He checked everything obvious that didn’t require taking things apart (at least he said he did and I have no reason to believe otherwise as he comes highly recommended) and could not find anything. He didn’t want to guess, didn’t charge me for his time, and said we’ll need to let it get worse/ louder and try again.

Now it’s worse.

Like I said, the noise is a “whine” similar to the sound some vehicles make in reverse, can’t really be heard until 20MPH (use to be highway speed, then 30MPH, so it’s definitely getting worse) and changes pitch with speed. Talked to tranny guy and he doesn’t think it’s the transmission since there are no slips, pops, hesitation, can only be heard under load, and fluid level is good and clean. Fluid, filter, flush have been done twice in 80k. Most of the research I’ve done online points to the pinion bearings. However, the noise does not go away when you let off the gas at speed. It is present throughout the speed range and as I said does change pitch according to speed.

So, what do I do? I don’t want to drive it and risk having to rebuild a rear end if one of the pinion bearings go, but don’t like guess work either. Should I just bite the bullet and pay $500~ to get the bearings replaced and see what happens?

Thoughts, advice, and opinions…Thanks!
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