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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been working on my sons 95 1500 on and off for a few months. It's nothing special but it's his first ride. I recently took a 700 mile trip with it to make sure all the bugs were worked out of it before I gave it too him. I noticed a clacking in the front hubs so yesterday I took the front axles out to check the seals and differential. The dif looked fine, no shavings, the axles looked ok too but I noticed that niether of them was seating properly which is where the clacking must have been coming from. I put it all back together so the boy could take it for a spin, clacking and all, and about a half block up the street it blew the drivers side bearing and collapsed the wheel, buckled the swaybar and cracked the caliper!!! I have a Clymers for general 95 Chryslers but I need an exploded view of the front end. I'm going to take the whole front axle assembly off the truck and start from scratch. Any thoughts on how I couldve driven it 700 miles with no problem, except the clacking, but the boy takes it for 1/2 a block and the front buckles majorly?
Thanks ahead of time,
D
 

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Man, I hate to say it, as I do not know you at all, but it seems to me that only one of two things has happened.

1) Either you made a mistake during re-assembly (or possibly a freak accident occurred during reassembly that you were unaware of, such as debris / tool / rock insertion); or

2) You got EXTREMELY lucky on your 700 mile trip.

Either way, you will have a massive job on your hands rebuilding. If you can find a donor truck, the process will go a LOT smoother. Just make sure to put new u-joints, axle shaft seals, etc on the donor assembly.

I will look this evening and see if I have a digital copy of the exploded front end for your truck.
 

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I bought my 1997 Ram 1500 4x4 about a year ago. About 4 months ago, the same thing happened to me. I had some noise coming from the front drivers side wheel for awhile that I couldn't seem to pinpoint. I tried lubing the front end, checked the brakes, etc. but with no luck. The noise was not there once the truck had been moving for a bit unless it was a cold or rainy day, then the sound never went away. I was about to get it in the shop to tear it apart and try to figure it out once and for all when it happened. It sounded like a cross between a tire blowout and the sound of metal being crunched and ripped. I pulled over to see what was wrong and saw nothing. I started driving slowly again thinking I must have a BIG rock wedged somewhere. 5 seconds later the noise stopped. I gently increased my speed and after a minute or so the grinding crunching sound came back I stopped again, got out and saw chunks of metal by my wheel and on the road behind me. I had to get the truck off the road so I got in and pulled forward about 100 feet. Just as I was applying the brakes to stop completely, the truck seemed to just lay over to the left. I got out and the driver's side wheel was at about a 30 degree angle to the road. Apparently the the drivers side bearing gave out and collapsed the wheel. Somehow the swaybar was not damaged. I replaced the wheel bearings, u-joint, 1/2 of the axle shaft, and seal. It then ran great for about a month and now the wheel is making noises again. Sometimes it sounds like a sticking caliper, sometimes more like a slight grinding. Again I can't seem to find where it's coming from exactly. I don't think you did anything wrong necessarily, I just think that there may be a few issues with this area.
 

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Once those wheel bearings start to make the slightest noise you need to replace them ASAP! I caught mine right before a major failure was about to occur. If anyone is getting these odd noises from their front ends I highly recommend checking those bearings. If the trucks have a lot of miles on them, assume the bearings are junk. I replaced them on my 96 Ram 2500 at 194k miles. If you've got a 1500 and you're running bigger than stock tires, expect to change them sooner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Mud Bandit...you we're right...I got extremely lucky!!! Like Scvngr, somehow, my yoke shield bent and a rock jammed in the bearing. I think what made it buckle right by the house is that we have a steep driveway and the combination of that and turning at the bottom was the last straw for that bearing. That said, Mud Bandit was absolutely right...It is a real pain in the ass to rebuild a front end without having a fully stocked shop!! I didn't have all the right tools but I did research them online and adapted/made my own. I had to replace the hubs, seals, driver side knuckle, u-joints, tie rods and stabilizer links. I also replaced the shocks, track bar and rotors since I had it all apart anyway. It took me a while, mostly to wait for parts to arrive and the trial and error of the seal puller, case splitter and seal press that I made. All in all, I managed to fully rebuild the front end for right around $400. I've gotta say GearHd6, too soon old, too late smart...with that said, I just replace the bearings and seals AHEAD OF TIME on my Jeep last weekend!!! All's well that ends well...rides like a Cadillac now...sorta!!
 
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