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Discussion Starter #1
I bought a 2003 Dodge Ram 3500 a couple of years ago. I am not a mechanic and so did not check the rear axle to see if it was damaged or broken. About a year after I bought it, I heard this terrible grinding noise coming from the rear end and so I stopped driving it immediately. I had a mechanic friend of mine come over and look at it. Much to my dismay, my friend told me that the rear axle was broken and someone had put orange epoxy on it so it would not leak. To make a long story short, the three spot welds that hold the tube to the differential had been broken. The tube had slid out enough for the axle shaft to enter the positrack differential at an angle causing the positrack and the axle shaft to eat each other up. The truck has now sat for over a year because I cannot afford to buy a new axle. I am a 100% disabled combat veteran and I am living on a VERY fixed income. When I can find an axle, the stupid thing is like $1700 and that is $1600 more than I have.

I did find a Dana 80 that come out of a Dodge 3500 for $350. I know that what I have is an American Axle 11.5" with 3:73 gear ratio and positrack. I also know that the American Axle is disc brakes and the Dana 80 is drum brakes. What I don't know is is if it is possible to adapt the Dana 80 so it has disc brakes. Just before the American Axle came apart, I had the brake discs turned all the way around. Can I mount the parts off of the American onto the Dana? Or am I stuck trying to find a replacement axle that is not gold platted? I am very frustrated as I have waited to finally be able to get a Dodge 3500 with a Cummins for about 15 years and now my dream truck is just a lawn decoration. Thoughts? I need to go get firewood and my little 84 Ford F150 is not up to hauling very much and it runs like crap. I was forced to trade one of my pistols for the Ford just so I had something to drive. I could really use some help here. Thanks...
 

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Late 01 and 02 2500&3500 manual and also dually Cummins came with d80 w/disk brakes. Not sure what would be involved with swapping them over but I believe they only came with 3.54's or 4.10. You would have to regear either way.. sorry man no real easy way around it :/ If it were me id keep looking around for a used complete 11.5
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Late 01 and 02 2500&3500 manual and also dually Cummins came with d80 w/disk brakes. Not sure what would be involved with swapping them over but I believe they only came with 3.54's or 4.10. You would have to regear either way.. sorry man no real easy way around it :/ If it were me id keep looking around for a used complete 11.5
Ok. Thanks. I will keep looking.
 

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is the truck a dully? and is it 4 whell drive? if not grab and rear out of a 3/4 or 1 ton that has full foat axles and put it under the truck to get it back up and going. worrie about the gearing later. also you may be able to find one out of a ford ithink as they used dana's i dont know if they still do just anther thought
 

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Discussion Starter #5
is the truck a dully? and is it 4 whell drive? if not grab and rear out of a 3/4 or 1 ton that has full foat axles and put it under the truck to get it back up and going. worrie about the gearing later. also you may be able to find one out of a ford ithink as they used dana's i dont know if they still do just anther thought
It is a 4x4 dually. That is what I am having trouble with.
 

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Just to throw another wrench into the works, GM used the AAM 11.5 axles too! You may be able to find one of those and make it work.
 

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If it was me I'd make whatever I could find work. Find a dually rear out of any truck besides 99+ Ford and 11+ Chevy. Make sure the gears match. If it has drum brakes live with them. If you are unable to move the leaf spring perches or hook up the drum brakes, get in good with one of the local 4x4 clubs, there's bound to be a guy in the group that would do the work cheaply. If you were local to me I'd do it all no charge if you supplied the parts, just to thank you for the sacrifices you made for your country. Heck I'm almost close enough to work something out. Any body that knows what they are doing could knock it out in a few hours.

Personally I'd be looking for an older Chevy 14 bolt.
 

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damarble is right if you can find some one that can weld it is not hard at all to do. then you could find any dully rear with the right gears. and also a chevy 14 bolt is a vary good rear and i do think that the have 3.73 gears too. i think that they used them till like 2005?? someone may now better and they can have disc breaks too. you need a welder if you going cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If it was me I'd make whatever I could find work. Find a dually rear out of any truck besides 99+ Ford and 11+ Chevy. Make sure the gears match. If it has drum brakes live with them. If you are unable to move the leaf spring perches or hook up the drum brakes, get in good with one of the local 4x4 clubs, there's bound to be a guy in the group that would do the work cheaply. If you were local to me I'd do it all no charge if you supplied the parts, just to thank you for the sacrifices you made for your country. Heck I'm almost close enough to work something out. Any body that knows what they are doing could knock it out in a few hours.

Personally I'd be looking for an older Chevy 14 bolt.
Wow. Don't know what to say. I was not looking for charity, I was just venting. Seems like everything that I have is falling apart and I was just ticked off when I wrote that. Thank you for the offer!!!!! I really appreciate it!!!! It is good to see their are people out there that still appreciate what we vets have done. I deal with a lot of local vets that are real messed up and I try to get them the help they need. I had posted an ad in a local Craig's list asking for some used tires that someone may have laying around and I recieved all sorts of replies making fun of me and other disabled combat vets. I was pretty discouraged to recieve replies like that as I am not even 1/10th the man I used to be because of combat and those replies made me actually re-evaluate my time serving my country. It is a daily struggle not to give up and just call it quites because I am in constant pain and being made fun of was almost enough to make me give up. I so very much appreciate your response and the timing was perfect. Thank you....
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I found a heavy duty drw axle that the seller says will fit a 2001 to 2007 chevy or gm truck. It is 4:10. Will that fit my truck and what do I have to do to put in 3:73 gears in it or put 4:10 in the front? My understanding is that there is just a gear in the rear diff that would need to be swapped out. Is that all or am I completely in left field?
 

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I ran some nationwide craigslist searches to locate an axle for you and noticed something strange- There are several 2003 Cummins Dodge 3500 duallys with broken/unrepairable rear axles for sale throughout the country.

It looks like interchange is from 2003-2008

I did find this- http://victoriatx.craigslist.org/pts/3286081823.html

If you need any help LTL shipping let me know, happy to help anyway I can.

I served myself, thankful I landed on my feet and for what others have sacrificed.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Also, I was told that the computer in my truck was set up for disc brakes and I could not run drum brakes on it or it would mess up the computer. That is why I have been scouring the country side looking for disc brakes. I assume from everyone's posts that I did not need to worry about that? I found an 80's model Ford 1 ton parts truck that has a complete rear axle on it. Will that axle work?

I have to say that I am so thankful for all of the posts and attention that I am getting from this site. This was my last hope and you guys have done wonders just by taking a few minutes and responding to my problem. I cannot express how grateful I am for you taking the time to reply. Whether you know it or not, you have made a difference in my outlook on people in general and brought back hope for me. I see the bad side of how certain people treat others and I was just beat down to the point that, well let's just say it was not good. You all have given me a boost that I desperately needed and that boost came just at the right time. May not seem like much to you but it meant the world to me. Don't want to sound touchy feely so I will quit. I just wanted you all to know how much just a second or two of your time can change someone else's outlook so dramatically. Thank you again.....
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I ran some nationwide craigslist searches to locate an axle for you and noticed something strange- There are several 2003 Cummins Dodge 3500 duallys with broken/unrepairable rear axles for sale throughout the country.

It looks like interchange is from 2003-2008


If you need any help LTL shipping let me know, happy to help anyway I can.

I served myself, thankful I landed on my feet and for what others have sacrificed.
Thank YOU for your service. I am nothing special, just someone who ducked when I should have dodged!! I looked at the truck add you sent. My truck is a 4x4 and the truck in the add is a 4x2. Does that make a difference? I was told that it did but I am finding that a whole lot of what I have been told is not correct. Also, I don't mean to sound stupid but what does 'LTL' mean? Thanks for looking for me. I really do appreciate it. Feeling a little overwhelmed with all the help I am getting....
 

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LTL is Less Than Truckload shipping. Shipping done besides chartering a truck to haul your item straight from point A to point B is LTL.

I use a good freight broker regularly to ship parts nationwide. If the seller will put the axle on a pallet and drop it off at a freight terminal the cost is usually minimal for the freight class that used auto parts fit into. Pay with Paypal and you have some degree of protection if the seller is a scammer.

I would bet the 2wd and 4x4 trucks use the exact same rear axle, but don't know for sure.
 

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If you have 3.73s now you have to stick with them unless you want to shell out some good money. Even if you could do it yyourself it's still going to be $300+ in parts and not many guys can set up gears correctly.

I'm guessing the reasoning behind the computer only working with disc brakes is probably ABS related. That would take some effort to work around but not impossible.

4x4 and 4x2 axles should be identicle.
 

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you can try car-part.com to find a replacement. when it brings up the list, go to the bottom that shows all the pages, and click on the one with the asterisk. that will take you to the cheapest priced ones.
 

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Hang in there man! Something will workout for ya :beer:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Ok, so I am super excited!! The add that 69rambler put me onto is the exact axle I need!! The guy even said he would sell it to me for $700!!! Now I just need to sell my shotgun and arrange shipping and I am set!!! Rambler, you mentioned being willing to help me arrange shipping before? I do not know what I need to do as I have never done that before. How much should I budget for shipping? Is it going to be super expensive? I am waiting for the seller to send me pickup information but I don't have it yet. Thanks....
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Ok shotgun sold and now I just need to arrange shipping. I have an uShip auction going right now but I am not sure I am doing this right. Any insight that anyone has that will let me know I am not going to get hosed on shipping? Thanks.
 
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