Rebuilding rear diff on 1999 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 5.9

Asked by Feb 24, 2014 at 10:53 AM about the 1999 Dodge Ram 1500 4 Dr Laramie SLT 4WD Extended Cab SB

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I rebuilt the rear differential on my 1999 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 5.9L, added posi, upgraded to 4.56 gears, and installed with a master rebuild kit. I have everything installed, I did not shim the carrier because I was able to use the adjusting sleeves on each side of the carrier to make everything tight enough. Once I install the brackets that go on each side of the carrier around the bearing races and tighten the bolts all the way down (100 ft lbs as per my chiltons manual), I cannot turn the differential at all. If I loosen the bolts a little bit then I can turn it just fine. I've watched multiple youtube videos and read a couple books on how to rebuild the differential because this is my first time doing this and they all said/showed you being able to move the differential with everything fully installed. Am I missing something here or is that how it's supposed to be?

7 Answers

10,805

Is it binding on the bearings or on the pinion. Check the backlash as you tighten.

I checked the backlash before installing the side brackets and it was perfect, once I tighten the bracket bolts all the way I cannot turn the differential at all.

10,805

You should be able to turn it by hand when complete. Check for backlash, turn the pinion. If the pinion still turns a bit there is an issue with the bearings or an allignment issue somewhere. If the pinon doesn't move at all verify your pinion depth and maybe move the carrier over and retry the torque procedure. There were no issues with the original part? The diff was good before the swap?

I bought all new parts. I can't move the pinion, diff, or tires at all if I have the bracket bolts tightened all the way

10,805

The gears are binding. The carrier must be moving as you torque it, negating your backlash. Try adjusting the sleeves to give you more clearance.

So loosen both sleeves or loosen the driver side sleeve and tighten the passenger side to make the carrier move over towards the driver side to give more clearance for the ring and pinion?

10,805

Keep it square. Yes the later. Just make sure you inspect all the parts if you get it to turn and make sure it's good. I'd apply the paste to the crown and verify the gear mesh too. Hate to damage your new parts.

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