major problem with truck.

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by ztr24, Apr 28, 2008.

  1. ztr24

    ztr24 LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 14

    I have a 1997 Dodge Ram 1500 4wd. I noticed today i may need some major work done to it. Before I even pay someone to look at it, I was hoping you guys may know what is broken here. Thanks..

    The first picture is the passenger side which looks normal. The second picture is the driver side which is clearly not attached..

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    DSC08290.JPG
     
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Not sure what that's called but it looks like your 4wd's front drive axle, some kinda U or CV type of joint and it's probably a shaft of some kind... Several hundred dollars for someone else to do it, probably 1-200 in parts, now I'm just guessing based on 20-some years of dealing with my own vehicles and it might be more but probably 4-5-6-700'ish (I am guessing) for a shop to do it. Could also run into 1-2 g's but I just don't know... DIY it looks like more than a few hours and a boat load of fun, might not be bad at all but there's definitely taking the wheel off and the brake system out of the way, just from the look of things probably an afternoon.

    Either way that part is broken and has to be replaced, whole, I'm pretty sure of that.

    You MIGHT be all right just disconnect your 4wd and run that truck on Rwd from here on out and take it real nice and easy (but I can't tell you if that's going to work, how, or whether it will get worse or not), still this might be worth a shot. Unless that's actually the REAR I'm looking at heh
     
  3. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Posts: 7,053

    you need a complete axle on the driver side and a new u-joint on the passenger side. Jack it up and check the ball joints before you take it somewhere, that way you know what your up against. You shouldn't have any up down movement in the ball joints. If the b-joints are tight, thats good. Whoever does the axles will not need to remove the ball joints to do it. The axles are a pain to do, I've done a bunch. The worst part is getting the center spindle housing off. Thats the part that the wheel bearings ride on. They use 6 bolts to hold it to the steering knuckle and they get rusted in place. good luck
     
  4. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Posts: 7,053

    Your looking at about a grand to do it total. This is if I did it. I've been in the auto industry for 30 years. You might find someone to do it for less.
     
  5. ztr24

    ztr24 LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 14

    Thanks for the good advise guys..i figured about a grand total. If I could do the work, I would, but thats not my area of expertise. So is it safe to drive with this problem for a while?
     
  6. SIWEL

    SIWEL LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 508

    safe... reasonably... just dont use 4wd. recommended ... no.
    get it fixed. you do need a complete axle
     
  7. ffemtlawnboy

    ffemtlawnboy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 34

    to help you out a little, i have a '99 dodge ram 1500, and about 3 years ago it took my buddy and i 4 hours to do both sides, only replacing the u-joints. the dodge front axle has half shafts in the front, meaning the axle is not a solid front axle. from the looks of your pic you are going to need a new half shaft on that side. imo i would hit up local junk yards and try to find one and do the work myself. after you take that tire off, take the caliper off, then take the rotor off. from there if i recall correctly there are three or four bolts that hold the spindle and half shaft in place. in your cas since it is broke the spindle will come right off. as for the half shaft take a rubber mallet and gingerly beat out of the axle. once you get the new/used one go ahead and put the new u-joint in before you put the half shaft back in. this will make that portion of the job much easier. also be sure to grease the half shaft and be careful to line up the splines when you put it back in.

    i hope this helped you somewhat decide if you could diy. let me know if you have any other ?'s
     
  8. ztr24

    ztr24 LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 14

    Definately helps guys. So from the sounds of it, I need to replace the entire front axle, not just the U "clamp". I will definitely have the work done, it pains me to spend this kind of money this time of year, but better than wrecking i guess.
     
  9. jkitterman

    jkitterman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    If one side went, the other will be soon to follow. You need to fix the broken side with new axle shafts and replace the universal joint on the other.
     
  10. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Posts: 7,053

    I believe the joint was bad enough and caused the axle yoke to break. The other is just a u-joint replacement.
     

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