Drivetrain clunk and when to do something

cdover73

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As most of you know I just had a new trans installed. I have put about 400 miles on it since I got it back, including a 250 mile round trip, and everything seems fine. I was driving the other day with the top up, which I seldom do, and I noticed noises I hadn't heard before. One was the rattle, which I fixed by tightening the underbody pan bolts that were loose. The other was a clunk every time I shifted. It may have been because it was town driving and lugging the car, but it was there. I would shift from 2nd to 3rd and it would clunk. 3 to 4...clunk. Rpm's were low, so that may have been why...idk It sounded like it could be either a u-joint or the ring/pinion. I'm thinking ring/pinion because I checked the u-joints not long ago and they were fine. Or, it could be normal and just more noticeable with the top up??:dunno:

When does the clunk get bad enough that you need to do something before catastrophic failure? I know most cars have it with stock gears. But when is it too bad? What's the rule of thumb?? I am going to do the 3.55 swap when I do it, but I'm not quite ready due to my upcoming travels. I would rather change it out early before any failure than have it fail and possibly tear up the entire unit.

Thoughts???
 

Mopar Steve

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A clunk would indicate wear, these cars make enough torque to break good parts, worn-out clunky parts are just asking for trouble. Address any noises right away.
 

broomrider

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As most of you know I just had a new trans installed. I have put about 400 miles on it since I got it back, including a 250 mile round trip, and everything seems fine. I was driving the other day with the top up, which I seldom do, and I noticed noises I hadn't heard before. One was the rattle, which I fixed by tightening the underbody pan bolts that were loose. The other was a clunk every time I shifted. It may have been because it was town driving and lugging the car, but it was there. I would shift from 2nd to 3rd and it would clunk. 3 to 4...clunk. Rpm's were low, so that may have been why...idk It sounded like it could be either a u-joint or the ring/pinion. I'm thinking ring/pinion because I checked the u-joints not long ago and they were fine. Or, it could be normal and just more noticeable with the top up??:dunno:

When does the clunk get bad enough that you need to do something before catastrophic failure? I know most cars have it with stock gears. But when is it too bad? What's the rule of thumb?? I am going to do the 3.55 swap when I do it, but I'm not quite ready due to my upcoming travels. I would rather change it out early before any failure than have it fail and possibly tear up the entire unit.

Thoughts???
I would start by asking your transmission guy. I will put it out there that I know very little about that gen . We have bikes and my road king has always had a clunk
when shifted others that same year don't. I have always had it serviced and maintained through dealer and never anything wrong. Course remember my
knowledge is limited but I'm still learning.
 
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cdover73

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There has always been slack in the gears. With the car on jacks you can turn the drive shaft back and forth and hear the backlash. I always thought it was excessive, but I also hear these cars are famous for clunky drivelines. Oh well... that gives me an excuse to do the work as soon as I get back from Saudi. How much should I expect for a complete gear job if I buy the parts and have someone install them?
 

broomrider

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There has always been slack in the gears. With the car on jacks you can turn the drive shaft back and forth and hear the backlash. I always thought it was excessive, but I also hear these cars are famous for clunky drivelines. Oh well... that gives me an excuse to do the work as soon as I get back from Saudi. How much should I expect for a complete gear job if I buy the parts and have someone install them?
I hear there is a rule of thumb that great mechanic work is cheap compared to the repairs of bad mechanic work. Lol. I have several mechanics in my family. Just not Viper mechanics
 

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