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Old 10-12-2017, 10:53 AM
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Default 2006 Dodge 3500 Cummins/6-speed 4WD shudders upon accel. What do you think?

In another post I mentioned a rescue mission for an enclosed car hauler trailer (28'). I'll update that "successful" endeavor soon. This question involves the tow unit, a 2006 Dodge 3500 Cummins/6-speed 4WD. I think it has around 300k on the clock.

On our way to the trailer, the truck had a minor shuddering when letting the clutch out from a stop from 2nd and also going into 3rd gear (1 is granny gear). Once the empty trailer was attached, this shuddering was exacerbated. Put a car in there (which we did) and I was very uneasy about my feet down near the tranny tunnel! Once underway, the rig drove smoothly for the most part.

Now he is complaining about the shuddering being almost constant and a squeaking coming from the clutch area. We ended up at his house last night, had spaghetti dinner, I drove my car home with the promise of delivery of the other car later today. But that is an hour away so diagnosis is complicated especially with a non-mechanic.

My gut says clutch issue and he did mention slippage if he pushed it at higher speeds. We did not experience that as he definitely "babied" the rig. I see that OE these came with a dual-mass clutch and the symptoms sound like a loose damper in the flywheel.

What do you think? I think it is time for a clutch. I regret not climbing underneath while I was there to look at the driveshafts although it doesn't "feel" like a u-joint but maybe a CSB?

What about the conversion "kits" to convert from dual-mass to single-mass? Comments? Good or not-so-good?
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Old 10-12-2017, 10:55 AM
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A broken engine mount ?

keeping your hands off the stick, how much does it move side to side
when your starting out.

BTW when do you use "granny gear" ?

Never ?

You were towing a trailer and starting in 2nd gear ?
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Old 10-12-2017, 11:32 AM
JBFab JBFab is offline
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The aforementioned trailer does not warrant starting in 1st. Crawling over rough terrain or starting out with a load is the only time you need to use 1st on those beasts.
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Old 10-12-2017, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBFab View Post
The aforementioned trailer does not warrant starting in 1st. Crawling over rough terrain or starting out with a load is the only time you need to use 1st on those beasts.
Right.....I drove stick for many years and most of the time started in first.

Never did I wear out a clutch, some trucks I pulled my 14k gooseneck
with, and went over 200k before I sold those trucks.

Most people driving stick are lazy, and abuse the clutch.
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Old 10-12-2017, 01:06 PM
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The third gen (2003+) rams have a dual mass flywheel that is prone to spectacular failure. Either that or they have a failure with the flywheel or the clutch. Dodge warrantied the clutches for 50k miles so they are well outside the warranty period

Get a solid flywheel and decent single disc clutch (valair or southbend) and go another 300k
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Old 10-12-2017, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBFab View Post
The aforementioned trailer does not warrant starting in 1st.
He started in 1st to show me how tall it was and I think it got up to 5mph or so... I witnessed no "lugging" when he started from 2nd, just shuddering of the body of the truck and the shifter was also shaking. Even though the tach was inop , I doubt he ever had it over 2000rpm.

I'd estimate the trailer at about 4000lbs and the car being hauled at around 3500lbs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokinDodge View Post
Get a solid flywheel and decent single disc clutch (valair or southbend) and go another 300k
How about this kit at the top: https://www.partsgeek.com/catalog/20...rsion_kit.html

I had initially thought about the DM at the top of this page: https://www.partsgeek.com/catalog/20...lutch_kit.html but the Valeo above includes all sorts of extra goodies!

I would just stick a fork in it and it would be done (literally) .

It is looking like I am going to have to take a ride and check this thing out... Now he is saying the tranny is leaking... I thought I might just drive the guy below--rated at 6000lbs tow rating--think it would tow the trailer?
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TA Arcmaster 185 w/tig/stick kit
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Lincoln Patriot autodark (freebie)
45ACP Black Talons for those stubborn jobs...

Last edited by mccutter; 10-12-2017 at 04:13 PM. Reason: picture
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Old 10-12-2017, 06:19 PM
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I would use either a southbend or valair clutch.

Here's the very first hit on google with free shipping. https://www.dieselpowerproducts.com/...SABEgIGtvD_BwE

Important question, is reverse away from the driver or towards the driver?
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Old 10-14-2017, 04:41 PM
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Question UPDATE: and confusion sets in... ;-)

He drove the truck to my shop yesterday as he had practice nearby which gave me a chance to take a good look at it. I looked at everything I could think of that would cause the symptoms described above but clarified below.

Here is the symptom: from about 5-9mph in 2nd gear (no trailer) at a lowish engine speed (tach does not work) there is a definite speed-based thumpy vibration with the clutch fully out. This vibration re-presents itself at the same speed coming to a stop IN NEUTRAL AND WITH THE CLUTCH IN!

I tried letting the clutch out with a slightly higher engine speed and this seemed to delay the start of the vibration as did starting from "L" (1st gear) and bringing it up to a higher engine speed. But the vibe is always there. It does not exist at higher speeds and higher gears. I put about a mile on this thing at speeds under 15mph trying to definitely nail down the exact symptoms. I didn't really "feel" it in the clutch pedal per se... but it is noticable in the shifter. Clutch didn't seem grabby at all.

This is a Mexican Mercedes tranny BTW, as is the truck. Reverse is to left, then down.

I checked the following: jacked up and spun front wheels with wheels turned about 30* off center with no binding, noise or tire ply separation or cupping. No looseness/tightness was noted in front end, engine/trans mounts, CSB, U-joints, etc. Overall the truck seemed pretty tight. There are no gear noises or grinding at all. Trans fluid was full.

About the only thing I noticed was a catalyst-looking device resting on the crossmember almost as if it was designed that way. There wasn't much clearance on top of it... I replaced a rotted 4" clamp while I was there.

So what is it? Transfer case issue? NP 278? (I forget) It almost feels like an engine vibe from a "misfire" or something. Keep in mind there is no tach...

I know there are many diesel savants here that may have come across this issue and I have described it much better than it was described to me...

PS: and because of this "issue", my car is still sitting in the trailer at his house so the sooner I can get it figgered out, the sooner I can get the car (and take pictures to close out the "trailer" tale)...
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MillerMatic 252 w/3rd gen 30A
MM140 w/o AS, w/CO2
Hobart (Miller) 625 plasma
Hobart 250ci plasma
Victor O/A (always ready, but bored)
Lincoln Patriot autodark (freebie)
45ACP Black Talons for those stubborn jobs...

Last edited by mccutter; 10-14-2017 at 04:56 PM.
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  #9  
Old 10-14-2017, 06:10 PM
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Take it out of four-wheel-drive


I would pull the front driveshaft and drive it If that didnt change the vibration I would pull the rear drive shaft install the front and drive it If the problem persists with both shaftd removed I would say it's the transfer case chain

I'll bet it's a u joint
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Old 10-14-2017, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokinDodge View Post
Take it out of four-wheel-drive


I would pull the front driveshaft and drive it If that didnt change the vibration I would pull the rear drive shaft install the front and drive it If the problem persists with both shaftd removed I would say it's the transfer case chain

I'll bet it's a u joint
I was thinking that same thing (ie: in 4WD) but it coasts/rolls VERY easily and you don't feel it in the steering wheel.

I spun the driveshaft by hand with the rear axle up off the ground and it spun easily with no slop in the joints. I thought of removing the front driveshaft but ran out of time...

I'm going to have him find a field to drive the thing in the various flavors of 4WD forward and backward then take it out of 4WD and see if it is any better or worse. I neglected to check the TC fluid levels but I also did not see any leaks or evidence of leaks...

PS: I'll have him bring somewhere like Auto Zone and have them scan for codes just for S+Gs. Remember, this truck is an hour away and I'm trying to avoid a diag. trip.
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TA Arcmaster 185 w/tig/stick kit
MillerMatic 252 w/3rd gen 30A
MM140 w/o AS, w/CO2
Hobart (Miller) 625 plasma
Hobart 250ci plasma
Victor O/A (always ready, but bored)
Lincoln Patriot autodark (freebie)
45ACP Black Talons for those stubborn jobs...
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