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Driveshaft support bearing

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by TheBean, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. TheBean

    TheBean Member

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    I think the center support bearing on my '06 Ram is starting to go. Noticed it pulling my camper last week. Occasionally when starting from a complete stop I got a short shudder. U-joints seem ok. Never happens when the truck is unloaded and not a constant issue. Do they go bad slowly? It looks ok- no visible tears in the rubber surrounding the bearing. From what I can see I could unbolt the rear section of the driveshaft to change out the bearing assembly. Anyone have experience or advice? Any tricks or special tools needed? TIA

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  2. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Could be the carrier bearing, but it could also be the transmission.

    I have the same thing happen when my F-150 is squatting hard. For me, getting the weight moving isn't an issue...more to do with a lot of squat in the truck....flutters a bit after shifting into second gear with a huge load in the bed. I don't feel it when pulling a heavy trailer with the proper tongue weight.

    How much does the camper squat down the truck? The reason I ask is because if it is an overall weight-driven issue it could be you are feeling some transmission slippage...if it a "squat-driven" issue it could be something in the drive-line that is effected by the angle (carrier bearing, u-joint, suspension, etc).

    Are you all stock suspension-wise (no lift)?
  3. TheBean

    TheBean Member

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    It's all stock but it's a 2006 Ram 1500 Megacab. The running gear is very similar to a 2500 (8 lug wheels, solid front axle). Sort of a heavy duty 1/2 ton. This is a new trailer with more tongue weight than the old so it does squat a bit more but not extreme with the WD hitch. Is the carrier bearing the same as the center support bearing? Mine has a two piece drive shaft with the bearing at the connection. What bothers me is this rarely happens. I would think if that bearing failed at highway speed it would be very bad :(
  4. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    A camper, in most parts of the world, is a slide in RV that sits in the bed of your truck. You have a trailer and that's a good thing since only a fool would haul a standard camper with a half ton.

    That carrier bearing is the same thing as a center support bearing. It is usually pressed on to the driveshaft so you can't just swap it out by dropping the rear end, you'll need to take the whole driveshaft to the shop and they will press a new one on if you decide it is toast. Your megacab is not old and these bearings do not go bad quickly.

    Probably your half ton transmission doing a little rumble/slip. How heavy is the trailer? I tow an 8000 lb trailer as well and love the time in our RV.
  5. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    I don't think you are in danger of the carrier (center support) bearing having a catastrophic failure with that few miles on the truck. If it were going bad you'd probably have a high speed vibration rather than a low speed shudder.
  6. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    Usually when that bearing goes, it's a seizure and then either the bearing comes apart, or it tears the rubber mount out of the bracket. Never seen one gradually get bad, though I guess it probably happens. Lots of vibration and noise. Never had one in a pickup though, only big trucks. A quick visual inspection should tell you if there is a problem.

    I did have one go once, and I wouldn't have known except that it was almost dark and I could see smoke in the headlights behind me. No vibration at all, only smoke from the rubber mount burning. I suppose it would have started hammering in a few more miles. IIRC, that truck had maybe 70k on it. We had a couple of trucks with 300k+ and the original carrier bearing.
  7. TheBean

    TheBean Member

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    Highbeam, you are correct it is a 6500# travel trailer. We too enjoy it very much. Just got back from a trip to the Maine coast (more Striper fishin' too). The bearing looks ok to me, the tranny doesn't seem to slip, u-joints seem tight. Maybe flush the tranny? Can you lube the bearing with anything? Any other ideas? Am I just being paranoid? The truck has just under 55k on it, but I bought it used and it looks as though it had been worked a bit.
  8. Beetle-Kill

    Beetle-Kill Minister of Fire

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    For what it's worth, I grenaded a carrier bearing in a fairly new truck once. Fully loaded welding truck going down Vail Pass and BOOM- almost shoot the truck apart before I could get it stopped. There was no indication anything was wrong, it happened fast.
  9. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Might be worth googling to see if carrier bearing failures are common on the '06 quad cab...it could be a "thing" with them.
  10. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Never seen one that could be lubed. Jeff_t says you can visually see if it is bad. What do you look for?
  11. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, usually if something "can" be lubed it "should" be lubed and will show up somewhere on the maintenance schedule. Just about every modern piece of equipment with high speed bearings has gone sealed (no lubing required)...I expect the carrier bearing falls into that category.
  12. smoke show

    smoke show Guest

    Might be cheaper taking it to the shop and having it diagnosed, instead of throwing parts at it. just sayin.
  13. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    I'm with this guy. FWIW- I owned an '05 dodge 1/2 ton. Chances are, tranny problem. I went thru 2 tranny's. No towing either. Usually centerbearing will vibrate on the deceleration.
    smoke show likes this.
  14. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    You could jack up the rear wheels (with jackstands please) and put it in gear and put a mechanics stethoscope on the bearing to see if its going bad.
  15. TheBean

    TheBean Member

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    Thanks for all the input. Think it's worth flushing the tranny? Been driving it around the last few days (pushing the pedal on the right pretty hard) and no issues at all. Not loaded tho. If it's the tranny that extended warranty will pay off for sure>>.
  16. jeromehdmc

    jeromehdmc Member

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    Do you have a "posi" rear end in your truck if so it may be the clutches.
    I have an 07 and I would get a shudder sometimes when turning after coming to a stop.
    I checked into Ram rear end issues and found the clips for the clutches wear and break off in 1/2 tons.
    I removed them, changed fluid and put in additive for posi's, it helped, but I still get a small shudder every now and then. Not enough to worry me though.
    Anyone who has a 1/2 ton Ram should check into this as it seems to be a common problem with our generation of trucks.
  17. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    I've had luck periodically doing figure 8's in a parking lot from time to time to keep limited slip chatter down. Doing the tight figure 8's slowly forces slippage and allows the friction modifier to do it's jub on the clutches.

    pen
    smoke show likes this.
  18. TheBean

    TheBean Member

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    Hmmm... Very interesting. I know of the perfect parking lot to do figure 8's. The Mega cab needs about 50 ft. to turn itself around!
  19. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    I don't know much about the 1/2 tons, but I know on the 3/4-1 tons there was an issue with the bearing making the driveline at the wrong angle with the truck loaded down. Wonder if maybe that is an issue on your truck as well?? I think the fix was just a shim to lower the bearing a bit.
  20. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

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    Step 1: Make sure you don't have a slight engine miss under load. This will show up as a shudder.
    Step 2: Drop drive shaft out as one piece including the carrier & turn everything by hand to check for stiff u joints or carrier brg.
    Step 3: Pull tranny pan & change filter & replace only the fluid lost. Look close for foreign material, esp. clutch material.
    Step 4: Fill tank with higher octane fuel & see if prob is solved. Octane is not often the problem, but if you get some spark knock the ecm will retard the timing rather quickly & can cause a slight shudder. A C
  21. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Pretty sure the Mega Cabs are diesels. Least all the ones I have drove were.

  22. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Not in a half ton package.
  23. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Tho that would be suh-weeet!
  24. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    There are a couple 1500 pickups with 5.9's in them running around here....not stock though.
  25. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    After daily driving a half ton and now a one ton, I see no benefit to a half ton that is the same size as a one ton. Modern one tons ride very nicely. The one ton weighs a bit more but power is not a problem. Why on earth would you prefer half ton running gear?

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