Question about 1995 Dodge Dakota

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I hear a light clang in the back. I also notice I have more backlash in my ring and pinion gears then I think I should have. As an auto mechanic graduate back in the 60's we would install shims around the pinion gear, behind the rear driveshaft yoke. Is that correct? IT's been so many years ago,I forgot. anyway thank so much for your time and your response.

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  • garybigred Aug 02, 2009

    yes I guess there is much more to it. way to go chrysler Like you say just change the fluid. The truck has 265000 miles and still runs good. this clang noise accompanies a humming sound you hear as you drive down the road. Anyway thank you so much Thundergod. I'm well satisfied with your answer Thank you

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  • Dodge Master
  • 6,982 Answers

That's part of it...setting pinion depth, using either shims or a crush collar, you also need to set gear lash by positioning carrier with either shims or screw type side adjusters.Gear mesh pattern must also be checked. as well as backlash. For reasons unknown, Chrysler rears are and have been factory set really loose to the point that many may be mistaken as having wear. Take a good look inside yours before trying to do anything to it. If teeth are sharpened or there is any metal in the lube then it needs work, including bearings all around.
Todays gears are not deep hardened as older ones were...hardening is almost "painted on"...making wear critical and anything but a full rebuild pretty much a waste of time. (far less $ and time): Before embarking on a project such as this, consider the overall cost as opposed to just finding another used unit in a scrapyard that is set up right. On 4x4's you need to match ratio to front diff exactly.(counting gear teeth is better than relying on tags) Just change the lube and install it and pretty likely it will far outlast your needs. Also...check driveshaft universals for play...often mistaken for gearlash if not looked at carefully.
Good Luck!!

Posted on Aug 02, 2009

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