Don't be &quot;That Guy&quot;
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Marysville O - H - I - O
Vehicle: 98 Dakota Clubcab 7.2L
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not only is your mechanic blowing smoke, but he's flat out retarded, and/or trying to scam you out of your money.
probably nothing wrong with the bearing, and he'll just spray paint your axle to make it look new and charge you $800
rotational play in the yoke/driveshaft is NOT a problem. that's normal. if you can grab the yoke where the driveshaft attaches, and move it up and down, or left to right, then you do have a problem. if it doesn't move at all with the exception of rotating like it does under normal operation, then stop worrying, and just get the front seal replaced.
FYI...your axle housing is NOT aluminum. it's cast iron. thats why axles weigh so fucking much!
FYI...bearings have races that the rollers ride in. the housing does NOT wear out. the race does--that's why it's there. swap the bearings and races in a set like you SHOULD, and it's as good as new.
FYI...you need to find a new mechanic.