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  #1  
Old 04-15-2011, 03:58 PM
herc herc is offline
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Default Front Driveline Question

Hi all,

Not sure if this is the correct forum for my question, but forgive a newbie...

Anyway, I've got a new 2011 Laramie, and still have my last truck, a '98 Quad Cab. On my '98, there was no mechanism to disconnect the front wheels from the axels. I know that, for example, on older Chevys, they had manual hub locks that were later replaced by some sort of automatic units. On the old Ram, the front axels and front diff were always turning, but essentially free-wheeling into the transfer case and not really connected when in 2wd. On the positive side, stuff didn't freeze up, but on the negative, the extra drag cost fuel, and the front axel joints would wear out quicker.

I'm curious about how the new Ram works. I've searched around, but can't find anything definitive. Even my salesman couldn't tell me. He said I should have someone lay under the front and back up in 2wd to see if the front driveshaft was turning. I haven't been able to convince my wife to either go under there or be the driver with me under there .

So, do the new ones have hubs that disconnect, or is the whole front driveline still always connected?

Thanks!
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Old 04-15-2011, 10:15 PM
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Not sure about this one, I will have to see if someone with better knowledge on this will chime in.
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:47 AM
Bigboyky Bigboyky is offline
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On your 98 there was a Central axle disconnect. When you shifted into 4 wheel a vacuum motor, mounted on the passenger side, moves a fork the slides a collar to engage the front axle.... On the New ones this isn't the case. I was told by the dealer that the disconnect is located at the diff. I have not been under the truck since he told me this...
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Old 04-18-2011, 03:31 PM
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Thanks for the reply.

Most of what you said lines up with my understanding, except for the vacuum part. On at least MY '98, I have a manual floor shifter for selecting different transfer case options. I suppose there might still be a vacuum operated component there, but it still meant that everything between the transer case and the front wheels still turned when in 2WD, the front driveshaft, front diff, front axels including the CV joints.

If you're correct that on the new ones, the (only) disconnect occurs at the front diff, that would mean that everything was still turning up there.

Anyone else have any knowledge on the subject?

Thanks!
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Old 04-18-2011, 04:12 PM
Ben616 Ben616 is offline
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The older modles had a vacume motor that disconected the axels from the diff my 91. My new one 2011 dose the same thing only uses an electric motor. all that turns is the axels not the diff or drive shaft to the transfer case.
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Old 04-19-2011, 03:25 PM
Bigboyky Bigboyky is offline
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Your 98 utilized a central axle disconnect. With the transfer case in 2wd the front axle does not turn. Placed in 4wd one of the forks (can't remember which one) inside the transfer case activated a vacuum switch the operated the disconnect motor & locked the front in. On the new one it all done with an electric motor.
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Old 04-19-2011, 04:10 PM
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Ok, NOW I'm learning somthing. Stupid me was assuming that when you said "central axle" you meant front driveshaft, when you actually meant what you said. The internet is a great place to search for info about stuff. The problem is that you need good search terms in order to find anything useful.

Once I started searching for "Central Axel Disconnect" or CAD, I found all sorts of cool stuff. Thanks!

Anyway, my understanding of the operation on the '98 WAS way off. Still, there are no disconnectable "hubs" involved. As such, the axels on both sides DO turn all of the time, but the front driveshaft does not.
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Old 04-19-2011, 04:35 PM
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Not sure if there is one available for our trucks or not, but on older ones with a solid front axle, you could swap in different axle shafts, that didn't have the disconnect, plug up the hole, and add locking hubs. Does anyone know if there is something like this available for our trucks since they have IFS?
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