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2014 PM3500 159 EXT high roof, 3.6L Gasser
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all. Last winter I rebuild my front end with new ball joints, struts, lift kit. Tie rods were new, and, though the CV axle was on its way out, the part was unobtainable. All went well, drove great for a few thousand miles.

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago. Finally got the CV axles installed, but by a shop this time. Seemed ok, no issues for 100 miles or so. Then it starts clunking when starting from a stop under load after shifting out of P, D, or N.

Took it back to the shop, they are saying tranny. Having just driven the fully loaded camper 1500miles on road trip with no slipping, grindign etc, I am doubtful. The shop wants me to take it to a tranny place to get a second opinion, and said that they would only work on hubs or cv if they had the parts.

I watched under the vehicle while they shifted and placed the engine under load. Noticeable movement from motor and tranny, but also the clunk definitely coming from hubs. CV axles confirmed by myself and Mechanix to be correct part and fitment.

Thoughts? Any experience with this?
 

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2016 3500 ext-ht
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974 Posts
Hey all. Last winter I rebuild my front end with new ball joints, struts, lift kit. Tie rods were new, and, though the CV axle was on its way out, the part was unobtainable. All went well, drove great for a few thousand miles.

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago. Finally got the CV axles installed, but by a shop this time. Seemed ok, no issues for 100 miles or so. Then it starts clunking when starting from a stop under load after shifting out of P, D, or N.

Took it back to the shop, they are saying tranny. Having just driven the fully loaded camper 1500miles on road trip with no slipping, grindign etc, I am doubtful. The shop wants me to take it to a tranny place to get a second opinion, and said that they would only work on hubs or cv if they had the parts.

I watched under the vehicle while they shifted and placed the engine under load. Noticeable movement from motor and tranny, but also the clunk definitely coming from hubs. CV axles confirmed by myself and Mechanix to be correct part and fitment.

Thoughts? Any experience with this?
Other than "lift kit", installer error. From what I have surmised from experiences of others online, the lift kit does not play well with the front suspension and driveline. Test engineering was probably optimized with the stock suspension and driveline.
 

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2014 PM3500 159 EXT high roof, 3.6L Gasser
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Other than "lift kit", installer error.
Installer error such as? I haven't done the cv axles on a promaster b4 but I was under the assumption that it is a relatively simple replacement. Any quirks I should mention next time I speak with shop?

Lift is 1.5" van compass, and has been problem free for 2k miles. No movement visible from the lift plate or noise from strut mount/lift area
 

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2016 3500 ext-ht
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Installer error such as? I haven't done the cv axles on a promaster b4 but I was under the assumption that it is a relatively simple replacement. Any quirks I should mention next time I speak with shop?

Lift is 1.5" van compass, and has been problem free for 2k miles. No movement visible from the lift plate or noise from strut mount/lift area
The 1.5 lift is probably beyond what the suspension/drivetrain was tested for and deemed within parameters. Or, as I said before, installer error.

I would bet that if your diagnosing mechanic realizes the lift was installed, they might be suspect.
 

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2014 PM3500 159 EXT high roof, 3.6L Gasser
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Right, so a lift I installed over 6 months ago and have been driving around on since then without issues decides to give up the ghost immediately after having a new cv axle installed? And this defective lift/suspension geometry is making noise right at the hub? And definitely is causing motor to move on shifting?

The mechanic who installed the CV axle knew there was a lift plate, commented that he liked the look with less forward rake.

I know this forum is anti lift but cmon guy.
 

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2016 3500 ext-ht
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Right, so a lift I installed over 6 months ago and have been driving around on since then without issues decides to give up the ghost immediately after having a new cv axle installed? And this defective lift/suspension geometry is making noise right at the hub? And definitely is causing motor to move on shifting?

The mechanic who installed the CV axle knew there was a lift plate, commented that he liked the look with less forward rake.

I know this forum is anti lift but cmon guy.
Why don't you consult the company who installed the lift kit or sold you the kit?

I don't think this particular forum is against lift kits, rather I think a lot of us have heard about the problems associated with such.

Another point, if you came here for advice, considering your opinion/apparent knowledge that this forum was against lift kits, why are you coming here to seek advice on your issue?
 

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2014 PM3500 159 EXT high roof, 3.6L Gasser
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Because I'm asking about cv axles, motor movement, hub noise, and possible tranny involvement from a cv axle replacement, NOT a lift. Which is why I'm confused, because it seems like you're saying all my issues resulted from me putting in a lift and rebuilding most of the front end last year rather than these mechanics improperly installing a cv axle and then blaming it on an unrelated transmission issue....

Again this is why I'm asking if anyone has any experience replacing these cv axles, and if there is anything to be aware of or any quirks to this vehicle that a mechanic who mainly works on domestic vehicles may miss?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
We carefully measured the CV joint and rear control arm bushing limitations. If you lift anymore the CV joint will bind when the suspension drops out and the rear control arm bushing will bind in the mount. Our lift will give you the same wheel travel as stock and 1.5" of true lift.
Why don't you consult the company who installed the lift kit or sold you the kit?
That is a quote from the manufacturer in a thread explaining how they have done their due diligence to avoid cv bind due to excessive lift
 

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In my opinion, the replacement CV axles are sub-par. I have a diesel. I ran the stock axles with a lift for 3 years without issue. One of the axle boots tore on passenger side, axle was replaced with aftermarket, lasted 1000 miles and had massive clunking and noise when turning. Replaced again, inside boot had a hole and let the grease go after 2000 miles and the axle was replaced again!!! The part had a “lifetime” warranty, but the shop is having to eat the labor… not a good situation.


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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
In my opinion, the replacement CV axles are sub-par. I have a diesel. I ran the stock axles with a lift for 3 years without issue. One of the axle boots tore on passenger side, axle was replaced with aftermarket, lasted 1000 miles and had massive clunking and noise when turning. Replaced again, inside boot had a hole and let the grease go after 2000 miles and the axle was replaced again!!! The part had a “lifetime” warranty, but the shop is having to eat the labor… not a good situation.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Thanks for the response. I actually had a retired mechanic as a patient today and picked his brain about it. He basically said what you did: that aftermarket is subpar. Interestingly enough he poo pooed rockauto as a supplier of subpar parts, even though I swore I bought their premium part.
 

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‘20 159 HT window van NH Seacoast
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Mechanics, retired or not, have the same built in biases we all have. I would take your "retired mechanics" opinion with a big grain of salt. Rock Auto also sell many parts from OEM manufactures (some even have the OEM logo still visible if you look closely. Usually, but not always, you get what you pay for.
The reality is lift kits destroy axels sooner or later!
 

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2016 3500 ext-ht
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Mechanics, retired or not, have the same built in biases we all have. I would take your "retired mechanics" opinion with a big grain of salt. Rock Auto also sell many parts from OEM manufactures (some even have the OEM logo still visible if you look closely. Usually, but not always, you get what you pay for.
The reality is lift kits destroy axels sooner or later!
Biases like an employee at Barnes&Noble told me to never buy books from Amazon years ago: "Books from Amazon are seconds, they have missing pages." As Paul Harvey would say, "Now, for the rest of the story."
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
In my opinion, the replacement CV axles are sub-par. I have a diesel. I ran the stock axles with a lift for 3 years without issue. One of the axle boots tore on passenger side, axle was replaced with aftermarket, lasted 1000 miles and had massive clunking and noise when turning. Replaced again, inside boot had a hole and let the grease go after 2000 miles and the axle was replaced again!!! The part had a “lifetime” warranty, but the shop is having to eat the labor… not a good situation.


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So, after some fiddling, you have the correct answer: the trakmotive axles i ordered from rockauto are not the correct part. There is a up to a 2mm discrepancy in spline alignment and the spline shaft does not run thru the full hub. This is from a different mechanic than the installer. Looks like I'll be splurging on the OEM mopar axles and doing the work myself. Also, 2nd mechanic said no issue with the lift as it is within range of motion of CV joints in the part.... beyond me just relaying what guy said.

Price difference: trakmotive $75 mopar $450... cost to install bad axles $375.... go OEM where you can folks
 

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2014 PM3500 159 EXT high roof, 3.6L Gasser
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Just another quick update in this saga of woe: after purchasing and installing new oem cv axles per 2nd mechanic recommendations ($400 ea), turns out the clunk is because somehow both hub/rotor alignment dowels on both sides have sheared (or been cut) off. The clunk is the rotor hitting the lug when changing between P,D,R.

The true moral of the story: not worth paying a mechanic to F things up when you could do it yourself, despite the blood sweat and tears required to free the steering knucle from the control arm. At least I have oem cv axles now :cautious:
 

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2018 136 HR Ont.
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Just another quick update in this saga of woe: after purchasing and installing new oem cv axles per 2nd mechanic recommendations ($400 ea), turns out the clunk is because somehow both hub/rotor alignment dowels on both sides have sheared (or been cut) off. The clunk is the rotor hitting the lug when changing between P,D,R.

The true moral of the story: not worth paying a mechanic to F things up when you could do it yourself, despite the blood sweat and tears required to free the steering knucle from the control arm. At least I have oem cv axles now :cautious:
Can you share pics of the problem?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I just got it all buttoned up finally... sorry i didnt take any pics. I end up mangling my phone everytime i have it too close to the work area.

I improvised a couple locating dowels by tapping the hub and screwing in some appropriately sized all thread. No more clunk!
 

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2020 PM 2500 159"
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As a long time mechanic, my experience has been that if an OEM CV boot starts leaking and the CV joint is still good. I replace the boot. Yes this is labor, buy I've had the best results doing this. Unless the CV joint is trashed due to dirt getting in then a reman is installed. All of my own vehicles have well over 200k on the OEM CV joints. Just have to keep an eye on them. As soon as they leak, replace the boot with an aftermarket boot kit.
 

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2016 3500 ext-ht
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Thanks for the response. I actually had a retired mechanic as a patient today and picked his brain about it. He basically said what you did: that aftermarket is subpar. Interestingly enough he poo pooed rockauto as a supplier of subpar parts, even though I swore I bought their premium part.
Considering RockAuto does not manufacture their own parts, I think your "retired mechanic" is way off base on his prejudice against RockAuto. This supplier sells many different brands to choose from. I was once told by a bookstore manager to never purchase books from Amazon because their books are seconds, missing pages.

Next time your retired patient shows up for treatment, he may benefit from a psychological treatment referral.?
 

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Just to be certain, are you saying that the rotor was moving on the hub because it didn't have the alignment pins? Wouldn't the rim, via the lug nuts, hold the rotor tight to the hub?

Would you think that when you brake, the alignment pins keep the rotor in place so that it doesn't touch the lug nut and then clunk? So then, the entire braking force is actually on the alignment pins? So with hard braking you might sheer the pins?
 
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