'06 2500 Front differential piled up. - Dodge Diesel - Diesel Truck Resource Forums

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'06 2500 Front differential piled up.

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Old 06-12-2018, 01:24 PM
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'06 2500 Front differential piled up.

So I was coming into town on the highway after dark a while back and started to hear a faint clicking that got louder, almost sounded like the serpentine belt was coming apart or something. Thought I better get under a street light and check stuff out but as I crept up to a stop light and 5mph or less the truck stopped kinda hard, like a break had stuck or something. When the light changed I couldn't move. you could smoke the back wheels in 2wd but the front wheels would not turn!

Ended up winching it onto a buddies tilt deck with the front wheels skidding the whole way. Drug the truck off with a tractor when I got home.

Thinking maybe something piled up in the transfer case I removed the front driveshaft, transfer case turns fine. But you cannot turn the pinion yoke to save your life,.

Pulled the front diff cover this morning expecting to find smashed gears and carnage. It was full of oil or atleast close to it, oil looked fine, no chunks and I can't see anything wrong. With the front wheels off the ground I can turn either wheel and of course the other rotates the opposite way.

What on earth is wrong with this thing?

Pinion bearing I guess?

Anybody have one of these apart?

I could really use some help with this one.
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Old 06-12-2018, 01:54 PM
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I know this sounds obvious, but did you check if the front pinion would spin with the front axle jacked up off the ground?

If the pinion does spin then likely what you heard was the front driveshaft double cardan joint. They make all kinds of noise when they go bad, but usually explode if you dont catch them in time. So either thats not what the problem was or you got lucky and caught it before things went haywire under there.
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Old 06-12-2018, 01:59 PM
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The front driveshaft is fine. Its the pinion that won't turn at all.
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Old 06-12-2018, 02:08 PM
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Well I cant imagine that your front pinion bearing seized up solid...but with no signs of metallic debris in the fluid. Even if the pinion bearing(s) were starved of fluid, it still would have showered some remains in the housing.
Do you have any pictures or video?
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:33 PM
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There really isn't anything to video of a pinion that won't turn I wouldn't say? It would just be a video of something not moving?

I can attach some pictures from inside the diff housing.
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Old 06-13-2018, 10:56 AM
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Are you able to turn the ring gear with a large screwdriver, if not check for broken toot on r/p gear, then u need to pull the pumpkin and tear it down, if bearings are frozen up{ be sure to break the pinion nut loose while it is in the housing, easier than on the bench} you need to check R/P gears for wear, Google A A M dodge diff. for a breakdown and parts, if u turn wheels while up off the ground, u are turning the internal's only in the pumpkin, hope it helps,,;;;
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Old 06-24-2018, 12:10 AM
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My front diff gave up the ghost 2 springs ago while hauling a couple of sleds down the highway for a caribou hunt. Ended up on a flatbed for a 200 mile ride home.

Pinion bearings were toast as well as the R&P. Best I could tell is that the oil in the fronts get used up much faster since they are always spinning even in 2WD unless you put a set of lockout hubs on them.

Pull the Ring out and see what it looks like in there.
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Old 06-24-2018, 02:42 PM
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Any update tool?
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Old 09-03-2018, 09:26 AM
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Sorry for not updating this, not much has happened with the truck all summer.
I loaded it up on my semi by lifting the front end off the ground with a tractor and pushing it onto my 53' beavertail. Somewhere in that process of working it back and forth the pinion broke loose and everything started to turn again.
I took it to the closest garage and had them "diagnose" it.

They pulled the diff cover off (which just had two bolts to hold the cover on since I'd already had it and the front driveshaft off) had a look inside and said "yep you need a whole new axle, we can get you one from a wrecker with 160,000 miles on it and swap it out for you at a cost of $4,000..... Needless to say I declined that offer. So the thing sat there until I finished haying a couple weeks ago, pulled the cover back off and it seemed to be turning just fine. I don't see any bearing debris or shrapnel. Filled it back full of oil and I've driven it 300 miles or so on short trips around here just to see what happens. No noises or bad vibrations. I still can't find any significant play in the pinion from the yoke end.
So I can only surmise that some piece of crud must have found it's way between the pinion and the ring gear and jammed them. Where that came from remains to be seen. I'm going to pull the drain plug today and see if there is anything stuck to the magnet, if not run it a few more miles and then drain the oil again and see if there is any shrapnel or bearing material showing up.

It's very odd to say the least.
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Old 09-03-2018, 11:36 AM
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Well that is certainly not normal... Maybe it simply needed some time off and was on strike.
Do you happen to have any pictures of what it looked like in there?
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Old 09-03-2018, 06:44 PM
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I'm not very good at posting pictures on here but I will try to get some up.

It looked perfectly normal from my estimation.
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Old 09-04-2018, 06:47 AM
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Get a good pencil magnet and go fishing around what ever wedged is still in there some where, you don't want this to happen going 70 or so down the highway, what ever wedged is lurking waiting to happen again;;
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