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Old 06-07-2008, 03:39 AM   #1
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1979 23' Safari
1968 22' Safari
near Bridlington , East Yorkshire
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Dodge Ram 1500 Tow Vehicle

Hi
Has anyone had problem with their ram?
We are in the UK and our differential exploded yesterday, going through the outer casing and now needs a new rear axle at a cost of appx $5000 !!
We have a 2004 1500 4.7cc - watch out for this .... we had to have the diff rebuilt last year so don't know what has caused this as it has hardly done any miles since this happened. The rear wheels locked up and it was going nowhere! Luckily we were only going very slow but who knows what would have happened at speed.
Apparently this is a common fault? It is being checked out on Monday but has ruined our holiday coming up as it probably won't be ready and we were going on a trailer vacation with our 4 dogs... now I don't trust it!

We use ours to tow 2 Safari's (1979 and 1968) please be careful as this can happen and apparently the rebuild kits were sold out last year .... perhaps this is a big problem!
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Old 06-07-2008, 08:25 AM   #2
Van
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Must be just a fluke incident. I know a few people with Dodge trucks and havent heard of any rear end problems.
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Old 06-07-2008, 08:34 AM   #3
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I would be talking to the people who rebuilt the differential last year. If you did not have many miles since the rebuild, it may have been something they did or didn't do.
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Old 06-07-2008, 08:34 AM   #4
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Setting up the gears on a rear axle is something more than the usual mechanic is ready for. It can be a problem. But that sort of catastrophic failure is unlikely. I regularly read Dodge truck boards and have come away with other problem areas to be aware of, but not that one.
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Old 06-07-2008, 11:53 AM   #5
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Two rebuilds?! I suspect a faulty mechanic... where did the truck come from... was it a flood damaged vehicle from the US, or bought new in the UK? Why the first "rebuild?" It shouldn't have that many issues, especially a 2004. Are you still under warranty?

Marc
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Old 06-07-2008, 12:06 PM   #6
Yorkshire Airstreamers
 
1979 23' Safari
1968 22' Safari
near Bridlington , East Yorkshire
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It was a brand new build from Texas and imported from new to the UK in 2004 for us.
It has only done 40,000 miles in 4 years and already the diff was useless at 3 yrs old.
So the present problem was almost certainly borne out of the first failure introducing torsion weakness in the shaft going into the diff. between the 2 pinion bearings - it sheared exactly halfway. I have been stripping it down all day to find out why... there is no other option but to replace the rear axle... I was hoping for a miracle!
It is not something incorrectly done by the mechanic - his work is still intact.
Going onto the Dodge forum today I found this comment below... it is certainly something to look out for... Dodge are not interested in warranty when it is shipped new over the pond so it looks like we get to pick up the bill!
---- THAT PROBLEM WITH THE SHAVINGS AND CHUNKS OF METAL IN YOUR DIFF HOUSING IS REALLY BAD. YOU NEED A NEW DIFFERENTIAL. THIS IS TURNING OUT TO BE A VERY COMMON PROBLEM WITH THE DODGE RAM PICK-UPS. WHEN THEY REPLACED MINE, THERE WAS SUCH A BACKLOG, I HAD TO WAIT OVER A WEEK FOR PARTS AND REPAIRS. IF YOU LOOK INSIDE YOUR HOUSING, YOU WILL SEE THAT IT IS ALSO BADLY SCORED. WATCH OUT: IT CAN WEAR ALL THE WAY THROUGH.

Our problem started last year when the ABS light came on ... from then on it has been troubled - Please take care, if you suspect something, get it checked out immediately. This could have been a very different story with the airstream behind!
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1968 Safari 22'
1979 Safari 23'
Dodge Ram 1500
1938 Chevrolet Master Deluxe - Lovingly restored
Lotus Esprit S1 1979
1943 GMC 352 Troop Carrier
1967 Travco 210 Motorhome - restoration mode!
Saab 900 classic convertible
9 Dogs - 2 Ponies - 1 Parrot

"If it aint broke - don't fix it!"
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Old 06-07-2008, 01:54 PM   #7
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Just curious?

What exactly was the first failure?

What exactly was replaced then?

Pinion bearings and carrier bearings to a lesser extent are a common problem but generally obvious when still in the "noisy" stage. Repairs are pretty straight forward for a qualified technician.

I tend to agree with Marc. I expect this latest failure is most likelly related to the last repair.

Good luck.

Roger
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