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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all.
As well as my '96 daily driver, I have an '89 4x4 that I use as my yard plow truck (sadly too far gone to go back on the road) in the winter months. I think this winter may be its last as the frame is real bad and the cab mounts are non-existant now so I'm waiting for it to fold up on me at some point. I've had a few winters out of it so I'm not complaining -runs great and only paid $100 for it! Anyway, the mechanical issue I have is a rattling/clanking from the front end passenger side in 4wd - as soon as it engages. It has always had rattles around this area but seems louder now and goes in time to the wheel rotating. It is stiff to get into 4H and you can feel the vibration up the transfer shifter as the noise happens. I can't get it down to 4L at all (not sure about N). I'm thinking one of the joints (CV or UJ) at that side. As this is a yard truck probably on its last legs I don't think it's worth spending money on new parts but wondered if there's anything I can do to prolong the life of it to see me through the winter. I only plow my yard - and I'm gentle with the truck as she's an old girl. I've heard these things can go on for a while just being noisy - and I'm also aware they can fail at any time, which will likely see me looking for another old Dakota as the plow rig is a custom fit for them as it is. Plus I just like them! Any thoughts or suggestions appreciated - thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If it's a regular axle with U joints, I bet a bad U-joint . Could be a bad Hub Bearing too.
I did get under it (luckily I have an oil pit in my barn - one of the reasons I bought our place!) and tugged on the UJs with it in 4H and couldn't feel any play like I've seen in prop shaft UJs that go bad. That would be best way of telling..? It was sitting with wheels on the floor so I couldn't check hub bearing - but wouldn't that make a noise in 2wd as well? I'll jack it up on that side and see how the wheel spins and if there's any play in it at all. The sound it makes when it's in 4wd is like a train rattling on the track - kind of similar to the plow gear components clanking around (it's an old rig) which is why it doesn't notice so much in the snow with the windows up I guess. Could it be that the linkage is not putting the drive into the front end fully as I have trouble shifting the transfer case lever and 4L won't engage at all? I would have thought that would make both sides rattle, though.
I'll check the wheel for play and try the UJs again for now. Have had the grease gun under there but will check the levels in the transfer case and front diff, too, just in case..
Thanks!
 

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1 Timothy 6:6-16
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It sounds like you got a few different issues . I would address the linkage issue for sure , it could possibly be a root of noise. If it's the cause and it's due to engagement then it may be ugly inside the front pumpkin.If the front has a differential cover pull it and see what it looks like in there. What's that got for hubs? Auto locking or Manual, or are the front axles turning all the time? If it's got auto or manual locking hubs maybe that's why it don't make noise in 2wd. How's the uj's on the front drive shaft?
 
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