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Old 04-08-2012, 06:24 PM
wayne76 wayne76 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Richlands
Age: 34
Posts: 16
Gender: Male
Vehicle: 2003 Dodge Ram
Trim Level: SLT Lonestar Edition
Color: Silver
Engine: 2003-2008 345ci (5.7L) Hemi V8 345hp 375lb/ft
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Default 03 2wd Rear diff failure

I bought my truck less than a month ago. I have already replaced upper and lower balljoints/shocks/tie rod ends and now the rear end is shot. I heard it whinning for about 15 miles and when we pulled into the driveway I felt a jerk. I smelled rear end fluid and saw it leaking from the front pinion seal. I pulled the cover and metal shaving were all in the oil. I have rebuilt GM 8.5 before and this seems to be the same setup minus the threaded adjusting nut for the carrier bearings. I looked down into the holes for the adjustable nuts and saw alot of damage. I still have to take it apart but it looks like one side has damage to the actual hole. It is elongated and something is ground off on wedged in there. I imagine the pre load was wrong and caused bearing failure. The bearing failure caused the carrier to rotate incorrectly causing the pinion to track wrong. This is what I think destroyed the pinion seal leading me to my epic discovery. There is no telling what I will find as I pull it apart. My concern is if the housing is damage from the adjusting screws I will not be able to use the housing to rebuild. That would mean I would have to get a junk yard housing (at least 500 to a 1000) before I even start buying parts.

I am weighing my options and wonder who has an opinion. I could clean the housing up and just replace bearings, seals and the clutch pack for the lsd. That is the cheapest but I imagine using the orignal stuff I am looking at failure 15 to 50 thousands miles down the road. I could sell it though. I could rebuild it proper with a Yukon Duragrip and 4.10 gears but that is going to cost 700 to 1500 depending on what has to get replaced. I could get a complete package but that will run 2500 dollars or more. It would be a quick swap and get me back on the road.

The thing is I have alway had GM but I needed a bigger truck for the kids. I bought the truck to have a daily driver I did not have to work on but I am always working on it. I like the truck alot but so far Chrysler is proving my original concerns about buying a Dodge correct.
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