Dodge Ram 3500

This beautiful 3500 mega cab was brought to us from a new client with gear box issues and problems with the front lights. We carried out full service including re-balancing the prop shafts.

Dodge Ram 3500 mega cab 5.9 Cummins

All vehicles, from Mini Coopers to Dodge Ram’s are powered by the prop shaft. A failing prop shaft can cause problems controlling your vehicle. The prop shaft (also called the drive shaft) is a cylindrical shaft or rod that transmits torque from the engine to the rear differential to rotate the wheels. In order to move the wheels the prop shaft has to rotate at speed, to maintain this speed the shaft must be balanced correctly and weighed down.  On a 4×4 there are usually 2 prop shafts – like rear-wheel-drive cars there is a prop shaft connected to the rear differential, but in many 4wd vehicles there is an additional front prop shaft connected to the front differential and transfer case.

4×4 Prop shaft

When the prop shaft has an issue it can affect the driveability of your vehicle.  Due to the location of the drive shaft being under the vehicle and connected to the transmission it is a job most effectively undertaken by a professional.  Your vehicle needs to be raised parallel to the ground so that the vehicle can be started and the tyres and wheels can rotate freely so a thorough inspection can take place.

Common symptoms of prop shaft issues:

Intense vibrations or shuddering symptoms of prop shaft issues:

This is often the first sign that your prop shaft has issues.  Vibrations are usually a result of worn-out bushes, a bent or damaged prop shaft, an unstable u-joint due to misalignment, loose u-joint or failing carrier bearing.

Clunking or scraping sound

If you hear a clunking sound when you accelerate, reverse or drive, it is possibly a symptom of a u-joint problem effecting the prop shaft.

Squeaking sound

If your drive shaft is unbalanced or a component part has worn down your vehicle may omit squeaking noises and require investigation.

Turning resistance

If you experience a lack of response when turning, if there is overall resistance or a delayed response there may be an issue with the propeller shaft.

Universal Joint Movement

When the U-joint rotates too quickly or not at all, then this is indicates a prop shaft issue.

When balancing a prop shaft it is important to match the tension between left and right.  Improper stiffness matching can result in a larger torque transmitted to the either spline and lead to drive shaft failure. Your driveshaft should be professionally balanced to promote safe operation and prevent torsional fatigue which puts stress on the shaft. 

If you experience any of the above problems we advise that you have the vehicle inspected as soon as possible. Get in touch with the Alton 4×4 team to book an appointment on 01420 259015