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U-joints, wheel bearings, tie rod ends?

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by fms, Jan 12, 2006.

  1. fms

    fms Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 209

    Dodge. Weak front ends?

    03' 2500 w/ 5.7 Hemi, 54,000 miles, 8'6" V and 1.6 yard spreader.
    Dropped it off at the dealership this morning because the pinion seal was leaking and the U-joints were making a clicking noise. Dealer agreed that the items were warranty work. Dealer called me two hours after I dropped the truck off and informed me that one tie rod end was shot and both front wheel bearings were gone.
    Maintenance work + replace side view mirror + front end work = $1,700.00.
    Dealer implied that it was "normal". A friend had the same thing happen with his Dodge.
    Should I expect to spend $1,700.00 every couple of years?
    Should my next truck be a Ford/Chevy?
     
  2. fms

    fms Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 209

    I posted this in the Dodge section:
    03' 2500 w/ 5.7 Hemi, 54,000 miles, 8'6" V and 1.6 yard spreader.
    Dropped it off at the dealership this morning because the pinion seal was leaking and the U-joints were making a clicking noise. Dealer agreed that the items were warranty work. Dealer called me two hours after I dropped the truck off and informed me that one tie rod end was shot and both front wheel bearings were gone.
    Maintenance work + replace side view mirror + front end work = $1,700.00.
    Dealer implied that it was "normal". A friend had the same thing happen with his Dodge.
    Should I expect to spend $1,700.00 every couple of years?
    Should my next truck be a Ford/Chevy?
     
  3. PremierLand

    PremierLand PlowSite.com Addict
    from detroit
    Messages: 1,572

    That sucks that all that happened at once. However it is a plow truck and no matter what brand it is, stuff is going to break, wether its 10k miles, 54k miles, or 100k miles.

    IMO though, next time its time to buy a truck, get whatever's the cheapest that you like, that is one of the big three. No matter the brand of truck, it'll have something malfunction.
     
  4. ticki2

    ticki2 Senior Member
    from NH
    Messages: 175

    Don't know if this will apply to you or not , but here goes. When I first got my '94 used(48000) I put new tires up front and headed for dealer for an alignment . They called back and said the front end was trash , $1600 estimate . Picked up the truck and brought it to a tire shop and told them to align it , and they did . That was 5 years ago , and since then I put 2 tie rod ends in ,thats it. My advice is get a second opinion . Good luck
     
  5. Sawboy

    Sawboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,591

    Plowing = Front end damage.

    I managed a GoodYear and other facilities for years. NOTHING is abusive to a front end as plowing is. Ford / Dodge / Chevy doesn't make a difference. Plowing breaks trucks.

    Of course FORD is still the best though :cool:
     
  6. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,557

    You need to be half mechanic to make it in this business $1700 here $1500 there. Most of the expense is shop time not parts. You can replace all of those components your self. Then take it to have an alignment for $50 To $75 But if it is warranty work who cares how much they charge... lol.

    You will find that all trucks will need these parts replaced every few years if not sooner on a hard working plow truck..
     
  7. echovalley

    echovalley Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 456

    Also I think the biggest problem is guys ridding around a few days after the storm with 800lbs hanging on the front end.The plow package for the front is usually a little heavier front spring not HD tie rods,ball joints,wheel bearings,u-joints etc.Take the plows off after the storm they go back on pretty quick
     
  8. norrod

    norrod Senior Member
    Messages: 113

    I'll second that.


    $1,700.00 seems high for tie-rod end and bearings.

    Outside of warranty work, I've never let a dealership work on my truck. Well once, I took it to the Dodge dealer that built the new "TRUCK CENTER", only to find that they farmed out the work to a shop across the street. They tried to sell me a lot of stuff that I didn't need. That's when I found a guy just down the street that owns the only full service gas station in the country (I think). He has turned out to be the best mechanic I've ever known.
     
  9. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,202

    I have a 2000, 3500 dually. I have had to replace most of this stuff too. Last year I took it in to have the tranny serviced as I do every year. This guy is great and honest. I told him that the truck is all over the road and I am constantly correcting the steering. His replay was, it is a Dodge live with it. He said he could replace all the parts and in a year it would be back to the same. All my tires wear even, I have to take it in for annual certification that it always passes so they may be worn a little but not to the point that they are worn out.
     
  10. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Well, kinda. It's got 54K miles and hauls a spreader and plows- the more work it does the faster the front wears out.
    Once you are out of warranty have greasable ujoints put it and grease them regularly- they'll outlast the sealed ones IF you grease them. If you don't grease them they'll fail in half the time.
     
  11. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Dodge front bearings are unit construction- hub with sealed bearings- they are Expensive ($400+ each side). Figure it's 3 hours or so per side to change. Rotora have to be removed and reinstalled on new (removeing wheel studs...) speed sencors add to the cost and must be protected.... It's not like working on an 80's truck. Tie rods are easy to change, but remember that requires alignment, which runs average $80......

    My guess-timate- $800 bearings + 6 hours@$60/hour (conservative for a dealership) which is $360 plus rod end at $75 (close to that at Autozone), plus hour labor ($60), plus alignment ($say 100) runs about $1400.

    All plow trucks suffer front end wear fast- depends on what you want to drive and who you want to pay.
     
  12. Groove

    Groove Junior Member
    from Boston
    Messages: 20

    I agree. All three are great trucks these days. Get the best deal.

    Here is a tip on rebuildable Dodge stearing parts. http://www.lukeslink.com/
     
  13. LB Landscaping

    LB Landscaping Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 324

    My 03 Chevy 1 ton needed some front end work this year, 32k if I remember. I just chalk it up to the nature of the business. The truck is worked year round. Funny you mentioned it I was thinking of looking into a Dodge or Ford for my next truck!!!! I like GM's but everyone I have owned seems to have stupid electrical problems that can't seemed to be fixed right. I guess they all have bugs in them smoewhere!!!
     
  14. DBL

    DBL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,310

    i dont know if it was just on diesel but my truck has a 70,000 mile warrenty on the drivetrain and 100,000 on engine but my u joints in the front and rear and a hib assembly were fixed last monday and it was all covered
     
  15. fms

    fms Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 209

    My U-joints were covered under warranty. The tie rod and ball joints weren't.

    I'm surprised that no one has come up with more rugged after market repair parts. Especially if a plow truck is typically only going to get two or three years out of a front end.
     
  16. DBL

    DBL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,310

    i love all my dodges but my 03 has had driveline problems since the beginning
     
  17. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Lukes link is good, but NOT for tierod ends. It needs to be adjusted periodically. Go to a parts dealer that carries TRW- lifetime warranty and really good stuff.. They also own Moog which has lifetime too, but not as good IMHO.
    The Lukes link is a cheap repair for the track bar in the pre 01 Rams and works well there, as long as you don;t mind adjusting it every couple of months.

    There are way more rugged aftermarket parts available, but they are $$$$$ and semi custom stuff. Search for a "DT track bar" and you'll see some of what I mean.
     
  18. fms

    fms Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 209

    Thanks for the info.
     
  19. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    If you got 54k out of the front end you did good with all that plow/spreader weight . My Trucks and my Dad's have averaged 30->35k between front end rebuilds. If you have the time,skill and tools you can do it for about 1/3 to 1/2 of the cost of a shop job.Don't be cheap on replacement parts it's pays in the end to use quality parts and fluids.