Front drive shaft CV joint

Tiny
BUBBANS99
  • MEMBER
  • 2006 DODGE DAKOTA
  • 3.7L
  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 135,000 MILES
I have been going through front drive shafts on my truck. I replaced the drive shaft twice in the last year and it only lasts about 30 days before it the CV joint bearing overheats taking out the rubber seal to keep the grease in. The bearings then blows apart. I have no vibrations but it seems that the transfer case is heating up to the point the grease seals melt and grease then burns off and then seizes the bearings and shaft. When I first install the drive shaft I make sure it has grease I torque the bolts properly. I have not double checked the fluid level in the transfer case. I am curious to know if low fluid level could cause this issue.
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Monday, February 1st, 2021 AT 4:13 PM

11 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

Are you driving in 4wd on surfaces where the vehicle can get a lot of traction? As far as the transfer case, yes, you need to check it to make sure it is full.

If you look at the pic below, I highlighted the check / fill plug on the transfer case. Remove that plug. Fluid should be to the top of the lower portion of the threads where the plug fits. If it is low, fill it until it reaches that point.

The fluid needed is Mopar ATF +4.

Let me know what you find or if you have other questions.

Take care and God bless,

Joe
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Monday, February 1st, 2021 AT 6:09 PM
Tiny
BUBBANS99
  • MEMBER
Hi Joe,

Thanks for the response. As for traction I only use the 4 wheel drive in the snow and I've only had to use it once, when it happens to go out both times. I drive in 2 wheel on road ways to work and bringing my kids to sports. As soon as I get a chance hopefully tonight or tomorrow I will check that fluid as the truck is my second vehicle not my main car.
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Wednesday, February 3rd, 2021 AT 4:01 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Let me know what you find. Let's hope it is something simple like low fluid.

Take care,
Joe
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Wednesday, February 3rd, 2021 AT 3:57 PM
Tiny
BUBBANS99
  • MEMBER
Hi Joe,

So I checked the transfer fluid and it was maybe 1/2 qt low. I did check the drain. Plug just to see how the fluid looks. It doesn't look burnt or smell burnt and looks relatively clean. I checked for play in the output flange on the transfer case and it seems pretty tight has some backlash play when I spin it in forward and reverse. The front differential flange is tight as well. Again some backlash in it. I did engage and disengage the transfer case and it does lock up like is should to engage and disengages properly. So I know that it not like it's hanging up. Here's a couple photos I took before I took the driveshaft off you can actually see the bearing sitting on the cross member. And how the end of the drive shaft look after I took it apart. And I never saw the photo of the fill and drain plug on the transfer case but I'm pretty sure I checked the correct one.
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Friday, February 5th, 2021 AT 3:03 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
I attached one of your pics and circled what looks like grease. Is that the grease from the CV joint?

Let me know.

Joe
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Friday, February 5th, 2021 AT 3:21 PM
Tiny
BUBBANS99
  • MEMBER
Yes it is. The driveshaft actually had a rubber boot on that end that came off and flung the grease under the truck everywhere. I'm not sure when the boot actually came off because it was only on the truck for less than 3 weeks before it went out.
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Friday, February 5th, 2021 AT 3:24 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
When you purchased the joint, was it a complete joint or was it a rebuild kit you got and rebuilt it? Something isn't making sense. Also, was the part a quality part or was it low priced?

Joe
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Friday, February 5th, 2021 AT 5:33 PM
Tiny
BUBBANS99
  • MEMBER
I purchased a complete driveshaft from bodeman. Completely assembly with grease on it. It was just under $200.00. I'm think about trying to upgrade the driveshaft which I will change the yoke on the transfer case. Picture below is what I'm looking to purchase. I'm not sure how difficult it is to change the yoke on the transfer case though.
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Friday, February 5th, 2021 AT 7:20 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
When you say yoke, are you referring to the female end on the driveshaft? Also, was the vehicle ever in an accident or did you check to make sure transmission mounts are good? I'm starting to question if something isn't properly aligned.

Joe
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Friday, February 5th, 2021 AT 8:16 PM
Tiny
BUBBANS99
  • MEMBER
When I said yoke I meant output flange on the transfer case. I would have to change it to replace it so that I can put an actual u joint to the transfer case. The mounts looked okay. I was actually looking at those today. I'm not sure if the truck was ever in an accident I'll have to see if I can pull up a carfax report to check.
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Friday, February 5th, 2021 AT 8:21 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Let me know what you find. Something isn't adding up.

Take care,
Joe
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Friday, February 5th, 2021 AT 8:23 PM

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