How to Quiet the Rear Differential in a Dodge Truck

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A certain amount of differential noise has always been associated with Dodge trucks. The 1950's era Dodge Power Wagon could be heard a block away. In the 1970s and 1980s the four-wheel Ram had a distinctive rear-end whine. The difference between trucks of past eras and today is the level of comfort built into the ride. However, newer Dodge trucks are still prone to rear-end noise. The approach you take to quieting the rear differential on a Dodge truck depends on your mechanical expertise or confidence in your mechanic.

Things You'll Need

  • Allen wrench
  • Remove the differential drain plug with an Allen wrench. Check the condition of the differential oil by sticking a finger in the differential and observing the consistency of the oil. Driving in wet conditions or power washing the undercarriage of your truck on a regular basis can lead to water in the differential. A milky appearance indicates there is water in the unit. Reinstall the drain plug and have a service garage refill the differential with fresh gear oil.

  • Change the differential gear oil to a heavier viscosity. Most production trucks roll off the line with SAE 90 differential lubricant in the differential. A heavier viscosity SAE 110 is not particularly more expensive and is carried by most auto parts stores.

  • Enlist a truck mechanic to check the alignment of the drive shaft and differential U-joints. Improper alignment is not always visible but is often noted by subtle vibrations. Improper drive shaft alignment damages differential components over time, resulting in rear-end noise.

  • Take the differential apart and have it inspected. Damaged components, such as spider gears, sleeves and broken clips, can cause differential noise. The differential should at least be reassembled with new seals and axle clips installed.

  • Consider replacing the differential unit entirely. A qualified truck mechanic can recommend a compatible unit based on the use of your truck. Pulling trailers and hauling loads require a heavy-duty differential. Standard differentials are suitable for commuting and light-duty trucks.

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References

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