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Discussion Starter #1
2004.5 2500 Cummins 4WD 285 tires and K&N cold Air kit otherwise stock:
I've been searching the threads and have seen similar issues but no exact match to what I am experiencing. A month ago I used 4 wheel drive in the first snow. While doing anywhere from 45-55 MPH I noticed a knocking sound under the truck. It seems louder if i lean my head back between the seats. Almost as if it were under neath me. I took it to my local guy and he said the front drive drive shaft needed all new joints. The truck has 99,000 miles on it and the front shaft had not been apart yet so I agreed that was a good place to start. After the shaft rebuild we drove it and the knock is still there. He took the truck back in the shop and put it on the alignment rack and raised it by the axles. They ran it up to 45-50 on the lift in 4 high and he says with a stethoscope the noise is the loudest right at the front pumpkin. I now noise can travel so I am not sure what to think. I have pulled the front cover and no metal shavings in the oil. Seems to be a fair amount of backlash but i don't have the means to measure it. I was hoping someone might have run across this before taking it back to him and spending more money on fixing things that are not broken. There also seems to be a low speed growl in 2wd or 4wd but I think that is just my tires as they are fairly aggressive and about half worn down. There doesn't seem to be any play up and down in the pinion gear or the front carrier assembly. Front wheel bearings were both done around 50K and replaced with Timken. Front axle joints were done around the same time. Thanks for any help
 

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Thanks but as I stated in my original post, I had the entire front driveshaft rebuilt that included the double cardigan joint.
Did he only replace the ujoints or that centering joint as well?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
He also replaced the centering ball. He basically rebuilt the entire front shaft. Also pulled it apart and greased the slip yoke portion of it. I personally removed both front axle shafts this past weekend and can verify the axle joints are in great shape. They were replaced about 45k miles ago with good spicer joints. Both front hubs were replaced around that time also and seemed to still be in good shape when I took them off as well. There are however some scratch marks on my carrier assembly. They give the impression that the pinion may be contacting the carrier at those speeds I listed. The noise honestly sounds like it's coming from under neath me when I am driving but as I stated in the original post my mechanic swears the knock is coming from the front pig. He ran the truck up on the alignment rack and lifted it off the rack by the axles then had another tech run the truck up to 50 MPH while he listened to everything under the truck with a stethoscope. According to him the Transfer case wasn't making any knocking sounds but he heard it in the front pumpkin and it was loudest in the center not out by the wheels. This is just a very strange problem. I was really hoping someone on here had run into this before and could shed some light on the situation.
 

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Check front axle U-joints - they can make a clicking noise when they wear out. Jack up front end and turn wheel to lock. Inspect with a flashlight and try to manipulate U-joints by hand or with a pry bar. Check for excessive rust, play, broken caps, dry bearings, missing needle bearings. If that's not it, pull the front differential cover and check for metal filings or damage.
 

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Well I'm still no closer to a solution. Front Carrier and pinion bearing are now all new and gear back lash has been set. Still has a knocking in 4 high at 45-60. Gonna borrow a buddies truck and swap rims and tires to illuminate that before dumping $2000 into a transfer case rebuild. Stinking transfer case is stuck to the transmission tail shaft and they cracked the tail shaft trying to separate it before so we will be replacing the tail shaft this time after they split the units. I sure hope we find something inside the transfer case to be the culprit. Everyone keeps saying keep your old truck don't buy a new one but this is starting to make me go crazy. I just want the thing fixed so I can use it if I need it. It's been at the shop for 3 weeks now.
 

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Stinking transfer case is stuck to the transmission tail shaft and they cracked the tail shaft trying to separate it before so we will be replacing the tail shaft this time after they split the units.
You're going to use the same shop after that?!?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Call me crazy buy yes. I've known this guy since high school and he is one of few shops in my area that will dive this deep into something. He is very good at repairs and they do good work. This has just been very difficult to diagnose. Noises are so hard to find sometimes, I wish I could strap myself under the truck while it's being driven to listen to everything under there while it's going down the road but I can't. Believe me I'm very frustrated with him as I blamed the transfer case for this problem since day one. However we have found reason to justify making every repair he has made so far. It's just the repairs have not been the cause of the knocking sound yet. I have found one other shop in the area that gets good remarks as far as being a good Diesel shop when it comes to engine work but when I talked to him he did not give the impression they were real strong with axles and such so I decided to stay with what I know. That may or may not have been a good idea but it seemed right at the time. I hate change and I have a hard time trusting someone new. Just me.
 

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How high of speed is 4HI rated for? (Aside from “Boosted” launches?)

When above 50 MPH, I thought 2WD was the recommended mode...?
 

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How high of speed is 4HI rated for? (Aside from “Boosted” launches?)

When above 50 MPH, I thought 2WD was the recommended mode...?
I’ve been over a 100mph in many 3rd gens...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
owners manual just says not to engage above 50 or 55. I took that to mean not to shift into 4 Hi above that speed not that it couldn't be driven above that speed in 4 high. I have always driven my 4 wheel drives trucks up to highway speeds on winter roads in Michigan including this one and it's never been a problem.
 

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:agree2:
I've run mine at interstate speeds for 100s of miles in 4Hi over the years.
 
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Discussion Starter #16
Well my buddies tires and rims made no difference so it's not related to a tire issue. There does seem to be more play in my front and rear outputs of my transfer case than his truck but it is a minor difference. The truck is going back out to the shop this Wednesday and we are having the transfer case rebuilt. Hopefully we will soon know the cause of this noise.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
There doesn’t seem to be a way to attach photos on here from my phone. They finally got the t case separated from the trans. What an absolute mess. The corrosion between the two pieces was unreal. On top of that the ring on the front of the t case is broken with a crack just over half way around the entire piece. Had to replace the entire front half of the t case. The chain had enough slack in it that appears to have been walking up the gear teeth and then slapping back down. This truck has not been abused at all and is rarely driven in the winter to keep it out of the salt. Hopefully it’s all back together next week and I can have it back with no more knocking in 4 high.
 

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How many miles??
Not common issue.
OEM, POS castings not protected (also on trans should check it) need to maintain exterior ie powerwash, then fluid film or equivlent.

At some point new will be cheaper, can get brand new for 1400-1700 depending options/shaft sizes
https://torqueking.com/category/2003-2018-transfer-case-ram-2500-5500/


Since your shop botched diagnoses, should give you a break on labor:wink2:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
99500 miles bought it from my Grandfather in 2009 when it was 5 years old and at the time had 44000 miles on it. i put around 5000 a year on Ol' Bessie. Only used for pulling my 5th wheel or when i just need it like fishing trips or hunting season. It has not spent much time as a daily driver. I am really hoping the knocking sound is gone after all of this.
 
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