Ram front end

The front end has been making more noise recently, so I decided to do the rebuild I’ve been planning for a long while.

I had a look at the axle U-joints. I didn’t notice any damage to the driver’s side axle U-joint, but that one was making a more pronounced noise when I would move the wheel back and forth.

The passenger side axle U-joint has physical damage; one of the U-joint caps has a big chunk broken out of it.

And when I put it in four-wheel drive, even on dirt, it makes horrible noises up front. So it’s time to do something about it.

I did some basic testing and concluded there wasn’t a problem with the ball joints or the tie rod ends, so I decided not to replace those. That saves about $400.

I got the well-known Harbor Freight 20-ton H-frame hydraulic press, #60603, for $160 with a 20% off coupon. It took Kevin and me about an hour to assemble.

As for the parts, I got:

Sway/stabilizer bar link: Qty 2, Mevotech MK80467

Sway/stabilizer bar-to-frame bushings (33mm) Mevotech MK7383

Track/torsion bar bushings: Moog K80777

Passenger side unit hub/bearing: Timken HA590032 (same model as the driver’s side one, which I replaced in April 2015)

Shocks: Front, Bilstein 24186070. Rear: Bilstein 24176094.

U-joints:

Rear driveshaft, qty. 3, Moog 351A

Front driveshaft, CV at transfer case, qty. 2, Moog 354

Front driveshaft at front axle, qty. 1, Moog 534G

Front axle half shafts: qty. 2, Moog 464

Transfer case position switch: Airtex 1S4129

 

We drove to John F. Kennedy campground — 20-or-so miles of rough road — on Sunday, and now that the truck is back on pavement, the driver’s side wheel has suddenly ceased to make an occasional clicking and is now making a constant one. I decided it was time to park the truck until I can get it fixed.

Since I have to take the driveshafts off to take the transfer case apart (I’m finally going to disassemble it, clean it, and properly seal it back together so it won’t leak anymore, and also replace the position switch so my 4×4 light will actually work), the first order of business will be to take off the front and rear driveshafts and remove the transfer case.

Then I can use the press to get the six U-joints out of the two driveshafts and get them ready for new U-joints, and work on the transfer case in the garage.

 

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