1988 Dodge Dakota 6 cyl Two Wheel Drive Automatic 135000 miles
I have a noise which sounded like a bad wheel bearing, it is like a clunking sound which increases in frequency as you speed up. I pulled the rear wheel hubs, rotated the axel and I didn't seem to be the wheel bearing. I brought it in to a shop and they looked at the front wheel bearings as well and concluded that wans't the problem either. They thought it was in the differential. I had the cover off and turned the axel slowley and couldn't see anything wrong. When the shop looked at it, they had it up on the rack and looked in the filler hole while the wheels were spinning and said the gears inside seemed to move or shift up and down. Any suggestions on what I should look at.
What I suggest is to first, check the u-joints. Make sure they are tight. If they are, see if there is any play in the pinion bearing. With the parking brake on and no tension in the drive shaft, see if there is any up and down play. Finally, if the sound doesn't change when you make turns, then chances are it has nothing to do with a wheel bearing. At that point, I would remove the differential cover and check for play. Check the ring gear to make sure there is no play and the spider gears.