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Old 10-20-2009, 09:57 AM
chewey chewey is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: New Hampshire
Age: 70
Posts: 3
Gender: Male
Vehicle: 1996 Dodge Ram 4x4
Color: Maroon and Silver
Engine: 1994-2001 318ci (5.2L) Magnum V8 220hp
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Default '96 1500 ram 4x4 front drivetrain binding

I'm a newbie and may have already screwed up.... I posted the following in a reply to my new member post. It appears it should have been posted here so here's my original post:

For starters, sometime early this summer the 4 wheel drive sensor light didn't go off when I shifted out of 4 wheel high to 2 wheel high. I slowed down, found some soft surface and shifted back into and then back out of the 4 wheel high, each time it felt like it had gone into 2 wheel high and I finally just assumed it was a malfunctioning sensor. Around August 1, my son moved back in to "get his act together" and while he worked to get his bills paid and save a little for a car, he borrowed the truck for his daily commute of about 60 miles, round trip, to work and back. No indication of problems with the drive train or suspension until a week or two ago. That's when I took the truck to help cut and haul some cord wood. Needed 4 wheel to get to the wood and back to 2 wheel when I transitioned to dry pavement. During the process of manuvering around in 4 wheel and taking some sharp turns (at a crawl) in both 2 and 4 wheel, it became apparent that something was binding up in the front drivetrain and then releasing with a bang and at times sounding like some gear lashing or mismatching which, as soon as I took my foot of the peddle, the sound and vibration would go away.

I took it over to my local mechanic (not a dealer or Dodge trained or certified) but a pretty good head and a straight shooter. He initially thought it was one or more u-joints but ultimately concluded it was a linkage problem and that I wasn't really getting all the way out of 4 wheel high when I shifted out, and it was hanging up just enough to cause the binding etc. Put the truck back to work this weekend but even though I stayed in 2 wheel at all times, it hung up and popped, initially not as much as before, but now after a couple of 20 to 40 mile rides, seems to be there loud and strongas usual.
end of original post.

After posting the above, I talked to my mechanic again and he suggests that it may be the vacuum unit on the front axel / differential, something he had initially suspected but he wanted to try the less expensive fixes first. So I'm going to take it back over and give him another shot.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks in advance.
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