2nd Gen Ram Tech1994-2001 Rams: This section is for TECHNICAL discussions only, that involve the 1994 through 2001 Rams. For any non-tech discussions, please direct your attention to the "General discussion/NON-tech" sub sections.
I went and looked at mine and it looks about the same. I can post pictures later. A reason it may look further out is the OEM seal had a dust boot attached to it that covered that section and for some reason replacement seals don't (or I never found one when I rebuilt my t-case).
i had recently bought the truck, a month to be exact. its not lifted, there is a receipt in the dash saying the t-case was rebuilt. so maybe thats why its missing the dust boot.
the reason im wondering is because the truck has a slight grinding noise when in gear (nv3500) its disappears when i press in the clutch. sometimes it noisier than usual, i usually pump the clutch a few times and it makes it less noticeable.
What gear is the grinding sound you are hearing? The dust boot is part of the seal. So you may have an aftermarket seal and that why it looks like it does. Have you checked the fluid level in your transmission? And is it the correct fluid?