Ram finished

It turned out that because of an assumption the driveshaft shop had made, they told me to order the wrong half of the driver’s side axle shaft. When I took my part in last Wednesday, I learned that the actual bent part was the long side (referred to as the driver’s side inner axle shaft), not the shorter, outer half.

I asked the shop to find one locally if they could. They were unable to find one in Albuquerque and contacted Dana/Spicer to get the right part and ordered it on Thursday. Unfortunately, they didn’t specify faster shipping, so the part didn’t arrive until yesterday.

It turns out that they ended up using all of the U-joints I provided, so every single one has a grease zerk. That also means I don’t have to go through the hassle of returning any to Amazon, nor did I need to pay the shop for their own U-joints.

Also, the shop replaced the center driveshaft bearing, which was shot.

I didn’t get a receipt of any kind, so I don’t know exactly what they charged me for various things. I’m also curious about what, if any, warranty I can expect. But the total was $885. They offered to not charge tax if I paid cash, but we didn’t have enough cash on hand (Thursday is payday) so I decided to use a card. Then their card machine wasn’t printing, so I had to leave my card info with them. The total, according to Citi, was $946.60.

So I got all the parts home last night and worked from about 6 pm to 11:30 putting everything back together. It was pretty uneventful.

Two things I want to remember are:

  • The transfer case is still leaking, but not as badly as before. It seems to be weeping both from the case seal itself on the bottom and also, possibly, from the drain plug. The bottom plug is damaged, so I haven’t been able to tighten it as much as perhaps it should be. I’ll take another look at it and see if maybe I can tighten it a bit more.
  • I was unable to properly torque the front driveshaft’s Torx bolts at the front axle due to clearance issues with the Torx sockets I bought. They are not long enough to get the torque wrench straight on the bolts, and so I can’t apply proper torque. I got them as tight as I could. Since that shaft rotates counterclockwise when the truck is moving forward, I don’t anticipate the bolts will loosen — but I ought to check after a couple hundred miles to be on the safe side.

The ride is considerably firmer with the new shocks, and the steering and handling feel tighter. The most noticeable thing is a lack of vibration at any speed, though. I can pick whatever speed is suitable on the freeway and everything is smooth.

Also, I briefly tested the 4wd last night on dirt. Even at full articulation, the front end no longer makes any noise. Excellent.