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.
have a '01 1500 5.2L. I have been hearding some loose or knocking sound for the past week or so. Checked the other night and it's definitely the front passenger tire side u-joint. Does anyone have a writeup for replacing one of these or can someone point me in the right direction for one? Thanks
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I did a complete rebuild on the front end of my '99 1500 QC 4x4 about 4 months ago. It was a bit difficult. I don't have a writeup for it nor did I take pics because I'm an idiot, but there are a couple of pieces of advice I can tell you:
1. When you do the job, you need to have access to an impact gun or be Hercules.
2. When you remove the three bolts that hold the hub to the spindle, you can tap each of the 3 bolts to push it out once you've loosened them. Those !@#$% bolts are $10 a piece (ask how I know), so either be prepared to pay $30 for new bolts because you are going to waste the heads on them, or waste just one of the bolts by moving it from one hole to the next.
3. Get regreaseable u-joints. The grease joints that you will see require a needle type grease fitting that you push inside the joint.
4. Have patience because it's time consuming.
If you have any other questions, ask. I'm sorry I cannot be of more help. I did the u-joints, all four ball joints, and all of the tie rods and ends as once. Total cost of parts: $400. The labor would've been over $1200 if I brought it somewhere. I wouldn't recommend EVER doing ball joints on a 4x4. I hate them.
thanks for the response, now that i've been doing some research this morning, I'm not as positive as I was earlier about what the problem is. Since you've done it maybe you can help me diagnose my noise. I'll do my best to describe it. It usually begins after I hit a pothole or bump in the road. I'll hear a clunking or loose rattling sound coming from the passenger side front tire. If I come to a stop or slow down the noise all but disappears but when I hit another pothole or bump in the road it comes right back. After having a friend of mine who is a little more car repair savy than I am take a look under the front end it appeared that when we spun the wheel the top and bottom of the u-joint right next to the tire was splitting to the point where I could see the metal under the bushing. The thing that has thrown me off a little is a post on dodgeram.org referring to the balljoint/trackbar/steering shaft:
* Whistle while truck is moving (not turbo noise) - loose radio antenna
* Chirp or clunk from front end when driving over bumps
o bad lower ball joint, track bar, and/or intermediate steering shaft
o loose lower shock bolt
* Hissing from front of truck after engine turned off - normal; a result of pressure in AC condenser bleeding off. NOTE: AC runs in many positions of the selector switch.
* Grinding or "Impact wrench" sound that gets louder with engine load - Transfer case output shaft snap ring broken allows shaft assembly to move backward and grind into the case.
* Squeak from steering column or front end while turning steering wheel - Lube the U-joint in the steering shaft (under the hood).
* Flapping sound from front of truck
o Rubber baffle (radiator protector) under/behind bumper loose
o Diesel: Air intake snorkle from fender to air filter collapsing - remove it
I would turn the wheel a little to the right and go underneath the front passenger side. You should be able to grab the u-joint and try to shake it. It is has any sort of play it needs to be replaced. If you drive next to a building with the passenger side of the truck towards the building and window down at a low speed you would hear a clicking sound. That's another clue as to the u-joint being bad.
both of those methods are exactly what we did, we jacked the front end up and when I spun the passenger side wheel we could hear the clicking, obviously the faster I spun the lounder/faster the clicking. When we got under there we could see the u-joint and the bushings on top/bottom had play in them and we could see the metal under the bushing. We were pretty convinced that it was the ujoint but I just wanted to do some more research and make sure. Thanks for the input. I'll definitely do the rotors and pads while we're in there as well as the other ujoint, it seems worth it.