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96 CAD Axle issues


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Ok gang...Time to pick your brain a bit. My 1996 dodge Ram 1500 has a CAD axle under it. This morning heading towards Donnelly, ID it was only 15*F and slick. So climbing Goose Creek grade I figured I'd lock the 4WD and be safe. Once it locked and the 4WD light came on it just whined the whole way. :wow: So Near the top I push the stick back 2WD and the CAD remain locked for a bit long but still whined... The POP! CAD released and whine is gone...I remember I checked the gear oil last month and it was full and clean and the Transfer case was full and clean too. So my thought is u-joints??? :shrug:CAD axle are new to me... Haven't played with them much yet... :rolleyes:

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Well there really isn't that many places to check for the problem since its only when in 4wd. Places to check would be right at the cad (which I doubt), one of the front drive shaft U-joints, or the t-case itself. Since you say its coming from up front my best guess would be once of the U joints on the drive shaft, since as long as the CAD is locked in the front drive-shaft is turning and when the CAD is unlocked the front drive-shaft doesn't turn.

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I don't see how it popped like that. It is just a piece of crap coupling with vacuum pressure driving it, not a high pressure turbo booster. It's like there was a difference of speed between either side of the coupling, like you have 2 different sized tires on it or something causing the stress that would make it bang when it finally unlocked. The whining was the open differential going nuts. Thing is, I doubt you have different sizes on the front.

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  • Administrator

I was climbing Goose Creek grade (7%).

All the same size tires 235/85 R16's (wore out)

I guess I can fire it up this morning and take a little ride with a video camera. :wink:

--- Update to the previous post...

Ok... So a slid under the truck today with my creeper and check the u-joint and there is just a small amount of movement in the driveshaft in one direction but not in the other direction (90* worth of turn). So I'm going to assume this is my whine I'm hearing... I check the differential oil and its full and golden color yet.

I guess its time to hit the part store again... :spend:

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't know how you are making out. My 01.5... limited slip axles under it. I went into 5 high to bump up onto the town green where we were setting up a historical exhibit. Thought the extra traction would prevent tearing up the grass. I unloaded, pulled the truck over next to the pavement.... backed up, packed up, pulled out. I guess I didn't go straight enough. No way could I get it out of 4 high, bound up tight. I could not turn & the truck hopped like a big bunny. Eventually I relieved the stress & it came right out of 4 wd. Really freaky! Do you suppose it could be bound up?

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  • Administrator

Well as for the noise its the slip joint in the shaft is going south. I managed to change the u-joints yesterday and made a few runs with the 4WD locked and it would only start howling about 55 MPH and above. But I got fresh tight U-joints now so I know its not that but the slip joint was just a tick loose. :rolleyes:Well since its a CAD system and I normally don't run 4WD I'll get some use from that shaft yet... Maybe get luck and find another shaft... Who knows...:shrug:@ Russ as for the binding up that typical for both of the trucks... Usually I get them unbound by either feather out the throttle to get slack or roll forward and backwards a bit and it usually releases. As for release under load the 96 still makes quite a thump when the CAD releases...

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