Re: The Ram 4x4 saga continues - ideas requested. :-)

From: Don Rey (
Date: Tue Mar 02 2010 - 13:32:43 EST

Hey Jon, it could be the collar like you suggested... how did you shim
it? If those shims came loose or something and the collar got
misaligned, it would probably grind on the end of the splines until it
freed itself. On my Dak, I left the whole fork assembly in there and
just shimmed the fork in the "engaged" position. It took a little work
to make sure it was centered between the shafts. I don't know what a
92 Ram CAD box looks like. But I'd say if a quick look behind the CAD
cover doesn't tell you anything, you'll have to crack open the diff
cover. Sounds like something's broke if you've got the driveshaft
spinning but not the wheels. Obviously not what you want to hear
considering the snowbank you're stuck in.

Don in CT... all the snow's melted here :)

On Mon, Mar 1, 2010 at 7:30 PM, Jon <> wrote:
> Hi Folks,
>    I've been having a problem with the 4x4 system in my '92 Ram for a
> while now.  Basically what would happen is when the system was in 4hi
> or 4lo, I would occasionally hear a "snap" noise, and at the same
> time, the 4wd indicator light would briefly flash on and off.  The
> heavier the load on the engine, the louder the snap.  This started way
> back when it was still under warranty, and the dealership supposedly
> fixed it.  I don't know what they did, but what actually happened was
> the problem went away for a little while but then came back, after it
> was out of warranty of course.
>    Working under the assumption that the CAD system wasn't fully
> engaging, at the BBQ last year, Tom and I shimmed the CAD so that it
> was engaged 100% of the time, thus locking the left front wheel to the
> left axle, and making the only 4wd disconnect being the transfer case
> itself.  Unfortunately, this did not fix the problem, and while
> walking alongside, Mike was able to determine that the snapping noise
> seemed to be coming from the left front area - a bad u-joint was
> suspected.  The snapping noise seemed to be able to be created at will
> by turning.
>    I haven't done anything with the truck in that time, but today
> dug it out of a snowbank because I wanted to use it to pick up some
> building supplies, and its the only truck I have with a prayer of
> making it out of my stupid driveway.  Even though the 4wd system has
> been wonky for a while, it did basically work, and all I needed was it
> to work well enough to get out of the driveway.
>    Unfortunately, that did not happen as it is now doing something
> new...  The front wheels don't seem to be contributing any effort and
> I am now getting a grinding noise.  Its hard to pin down from inside
> the truck, but it sounds like the grinding is coming from the front
> left axle area.  The noise sounds like gears slipping on each other,
> kinda like that "ticking" noise a couple of misaligned gears will make just
> before slipping into place.  Since the truck was not moving (just
> spinning in its own ice ruts), I was able to let it idle in drive and
> jump out to have a look.  One of my rear tires was spinning (open rear
> diff), and I could see the front driveshaft spinning, however neither
> front tire was spinning.  How is that even possible?  The front diff
> is open, but shouldn't at least one of the tires be spinning if the
> CAD is engaged?  As far as I know, there are no hubs with any sort of
> disconnecting ability, isn't everything solidly connected?  If so, it
> seems like shearing a u-joint would be the only way that could happen,
> but both joints look to be OK.
>    Its weird that the problem is different now, and 4wd doesn't seem
> to work at all.  I never got that grinding/slipping noise before, just
> that occasional, much louder snapping noise.  I dunno if the cold
> could have brought something on or what.  The only thing I can think
> of is perhaps the noise is the collar in the CAD slipping on the end
> of the axle, but that should not be the case since the CAD was shimmed
> to be on all the time.  Unless someone comes up with something more
> obvious, I suppose I will have to open up the CAD to have a look
> inside and satisfy my curiosity.  I just wish I didn't have to do it
> in the middle of a snowbank.  ;-)
>    Anyhoo...  That's where things are right now - if anyone has any
> suggestions or ideas, I am all ears.
>    Thanks!!
> --
>                                          -Jon-
>  .- Jon Steiger -- or -.
>  | '96 Kolb Firefly, '96 Suzuki Intruder, Miscellaneous Mopars |
>  `-------------------------------- --'

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Apr 01 2010 - 00:17:53 EDT