CRAZY grinding noise from front end! It sounds like the Apocalypse!
Hey everyone...brand new to these forums, but a big time poster over in Jeepforum.com. I've got a pretty decent automotive knowledge base, and my buddy owns a 2003 dodge ram 1500 4wd with the 5.7 hemi. He's asking for help. So the story goes....
He calls me and asks me to come listen to his truck, An almost bone stock 03 hemi 4wd. I go over and take a drive and I hear what sounds like rocks in a coffee can while rolling about 20-60 mph in 2wd. No accompanying vibration in the steering wheel, no vibes anywhere in the truck, and aside from the sound, no problems. It sounds like it's coming from the front end.
Which leads me to the next scenario. He puts the truck in 4wd and poof! the sound is gone. Truck rides nicely up from 20-60 mph. But when he turns in 4wd, there is no bucking that is usually felt with a truck turning in 4wd on pavement. He's also told me he's had the truck up to 80 mph on a snowy highway in 4wd quite a few times. Dumbass...
So the story has a question...Anyone have any idea where the noise is coming from? I have a good understanding how jeep 4wd systems work, but this is a little different. I pulled off the front differential cover and had a look, and the spider gears, pinion, and ring gear all look good. Normal wear patterns, no shavings, and the oil looked decent. So my next idea is the transfer case, and last resort pulling all the crap off to get a look at the front cv shafts out of the vehicle. So....any ideas?