1987 Dakota PU Rear End Vibration


Old 12-26-06, 08:06 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
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Question 1987 Dakota PU Rear End Vibration

My Dakota has served me well for 175,000 miles. It has recently developed a rear end vibration that I am unable to determine the cause. She runs smooth up to 40 mph and then has a noticeable vibration from 40-50 mph and then subsides somewhat. Additionally, I feel the engagement in the rear end at start up speed between 0-5 mph. This is more noticeable when I have placed added weight in the bed. It also seems that it comes from the rear drivers side. I have made a number of changes already: tires, brakes & rotors, carrier, transmission fluid and filter, U-Joints, to name a lot. I have driven her for several months without an incident...yet. I liked to keep her rolling.
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Old 12-26-06, 08:34 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
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rear end...

You have driveline slack... a bad sign. First, balance driveline at driveline shop and balance tires. You already did the ujoints. If that doesn't do the trick, it probably your rear end. Jack up the rear end and bring it up to 50mph stationary. Confirm your suspicion.

If yes, most likely your gears/locker/rear end is going south. You can crack the cover and look for metallic shavings if you wish. If you see major shavings, somethings going amiss in there. Furthermore, your driveline slack is either rear end or transmission, and by your additional vibrartion symptoms, I would lean towards the rear end.

Re-gearing is $700-900 with labor and something you can't do yourself without specialized training and tools. Even most mechanics outsource gears. With a truck of this vintage, a complete axle from a junkyard is your cheapest and best bet, and can be swapped by yourself. $200 plus I hope you have a heated garage! http://car-part.com
Old 12-26-06, 08:36 PM
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Next thing I would check is your drive shaft. It "may" be bent. If not that, then maybe your pumpkin gearing is broke.
Old 12-27-06, 04:58 AM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: North Texas
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check out her rear end

It is possible that the axle shaft is bent or the rear end bearing is going out.
Like said before remove diff cover and drain fluid into a large pan and look for chunks of metal. If you find some go to junk yard and have them pull entire assy axles and all of a low mileage truck and install on your truck.( cheapest). Not a very hard job to do if you have proper tools like jack stands and a good floor jack and maybe a strong helper.R+R it only if you find the gears are shot if axle is bent that would be even more easy.

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