Engine: 1998-2001 360ci (5.9L) Magnum V8 245hp(standard), 250hp(Sport package)
Rep Power: 0
I'd say front axle joints, but if you've got a Jack and a jackstand you can test all your LH components in a couple of minutes.
Set transfer case in 4h (with motor on) When CAD is engaged shut off the motor. Set your emergency brake, jack up your lh side of the axle and secure it with a stand. Safety first!
First check your hub bearings. Grab the tire at 12:00 and 6:00 (top and bottom) and try to move it. Any play or wobble is a bad hub bearing. May not be THE problem but will be a problem. There's no need to rotate the tire. so 4wd engaged is ok.
Nsxt, check your ball joints. Using a pry bar or appropriate tool, slip it between the axle and the hub or in such a way you can pry up on the hub. If the hub moves (the factory allows .060") your joints are worn.
Lastly check your u-joints. Since your axle is locked, rotate the tire and watch for movement between cup and cross. BTW, rusty looking dust around the caps or grease is a bad sign. There may be play from gear back lash which is why you want to observe carefully. You can also use your prybar to move the joint. Any play at all means replacement.
PS: I realize I posted what may be obvous information for many folks. I also know many inexperienced people also read these threads who may not be sure how to check these components. I apologise to anyone who feels I overstated the obvious.
Last edited by Okiespaniels; 09-21-2010 at 03:27 PM.