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Suspension 4th Gen Dodge Ram Suspension Problems and Questions


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  #1  
Old 03-31-2013, 02:17 PM
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Default Left Front Bearing Noise

Just recently my 09 4WD Laramie developed what sounds to me like a bearing hum. It sounds like a wagawagawaga(I know I am opening myself up for some friendly criticism with that description). The noise gets faster as the truck speed increases and obviously decreases as speed decreases. Applying the brakes lightly makes no change. The tire pressure is correct. I am going to try rotating the original Goodyears to see if there is any change. The truck has about 38000 miles on it. Just trying to see if anyone else has had any problems similar to this. Thanks Tim C
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Old 04-01-2013, 11:21 PM
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Seems pretty early mileage wise but I think I might also have this issue at 62000
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:40 AM
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Check your unit bearings. Though not common it is not unheard of for them to go out in the 25-30k mileage range.
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Old 04-02-2013, 11:11 AM
Rocky Harbour Rocky Harbour is offline
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I had both front wheel bearings, front struts and tie rod ends replaced at 46,000 kms. It would be wise to check your tires as you suggested that could also be the culprit.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:19 PM
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I have been around cars my whole life and at almost 50yrs old I have never heard of a unit bearing. Where is it and how can I check it?
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjcin View Post
I have been around cars my whole life and at almost 50yrs old I have never heard of a unit bearing. Where is it and how can I check it?


The unit bearing bolts to the outer knuckle and supports the wheel and rotor and transfer the power of the stub shaft. 2 wheel drive works the same way less the stub shaft. Spindles as some of us older guys are used to are rarely used anymore. Manufacturers switched to the unit bearing in the late 80s early 90s. This was done not because unit bearings are better (actually there weaker in most cases) but because they improve cost return and are no maintenance. Since in most cases they will outlast the warranty and labor cost are about half of tearing down and rebuilding a spindle they make sense. For the vast majority that will only use their vehicle on road or light off-roading they are fine. They do tend to fail regularly though and at $200+ each they are not cheap, thankfully they are easy to replace (hence manufacturers switching to them).

If you remove your wheel and tire, unbolt the brake caliper and remove the rotor you have your unit bearing. They should have no play, little to no resistance to movement and make no noise. If they have any of the above they need to be replaced. They also house the reluctor wheel that feeds the abs sensor. On a better note they almost all come with a new sensor to ensure proper operation when installed.
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Last edited by battlerattle; 04-02-2013 at 10:48 PM.
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Old 04-04-2013, 05:10 AM
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Great explanation, thank you. The problem is in fact the unit bearing. The bearing began making a herendous noise Wed morning on the way to work. I pulled over anf had the truck towed to the dealer. The tech looked at it and determined the the right front(sounded like the noise was coming from the left front) wheel bearing was bad. Although the 3/36 warranty has expired by 6 months and the mileage is 38000, do you think Dodge will do anything for me? The service manager says the repair is not covered by the lifetime powertrain. Anyone ever have any success calling Dodge directly?
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:00 AM
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My son is a mechanic and has made me aware of this problem. Larger tires tend to have them go more often. You would think that the after market would have jumped all over this and build a heavy duty bearing with a life time warranty that would go the distance.
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjcin View Post
Great explanation, thank you. The problem is in fact the unit bearing. The bearing began making a herendous noise Wed morning on the way to work. I pulled over anf had the truck towed to the dealer. The tech looked at it and determined the the right front(sounded like the noise was coming from the left front) wheel bearing was bad. Although the 3/36 warranty has expired by 6 months and the mileage is 38000, do you think Dodge will do anything for me? The service manager says the repair is not covered by the lifetime powertrain. Anyone ever have any success calling Dodge directly?
If you have been using a dealership for maintenance regularly and have a relationship with one you can ask for them to request Ram does the replacement under "good faith" but it is pretty rare, they will surprise you sometimes though.

I have bought 3 vehicles in the last 5 years from my local dealership and take all my vehicles to them for maintenance (hey an oil change for $20 is pretty good!). I ended up having an electrics issue on a vehicle just out of warranty and they went to bat for me and got Chrysler to fix it under good faith.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JWM59 View Post
My son is a mechanic and has made me aware of this problem. Larger tires tend to have them go more often. You would think that the after market would have jumped all over this and build a heavy duty bearing with a life time warranty that would go the distance.

Counter productive to the manufacturer. How many "lifetime" tires do you make befor you have no demand for tires anymore? You want a reliable part with a reliabe failure rate at a reliable time to make money money.
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:40 AM
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My stomach always turns inside out whenever I have to go to a dealer. This experience was no different. Went to pick the truck up last night and only drove 100 yards and a loud constant scraping noise was present. To make matters worse, I told the service writer specifically not to do any other work to my truck. For example: Reflash of my computer, TieRod End replacement. He actually told me that the tie rod ends were not even availble yet from Dodge. Anyway, when I got there last night, my computer was reflashed and the tie rod fairy sprinkled two new ends behind my front wheels. Nowhere on the receipt was any mention of a front end alignment. Anyone ever hear of disassembling a front end and NOT aligning the front end? The truck is still there and will be at least until Monday, after lots and lots of non-pleasant conversation they gave me a new Hyundai to drive until then. Dealers earn their reputation everyday!
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