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HD Video How-to: Rebuilding the Dodge Ram AAM 9.25" Front Axle!

 
 
The HD 1080P high resolution video follows the magazine's highly popular 11.5" AAM axle rebuild article that features 128 illustrated steps! If you want that kind of insight into rebuilding a 9.25" AAM axle—or changing out the ring-and-pinion gears after you lift your truck and install oversized tires—then take the time to watch this HD video!—Moses Ludel 
 
For those who have sufficient bandwidth, open this video to full-screen, 1080P viewing for maximum impact and detail! 
 
  For over a decade, the AAM 9.25" and 11.5" axles have been a mainstay for G.M. and Chrysler's Dodge Ram trucks. The magazine's comprehensive step-by-step rebuild of an 11.5" axle has proven to be a popular article, featuring 128 color-illustrated, captioned and tightly detailed steps!
 
Popular 9.25 Quick disassembly of tie-rod for access to differential 
 
Learn quick, safe methods for disassembling the front axle and removing the differential carrier. View the video at full-screen 1080P mode for detail! 
  
  The 11.5" coverage focused on the 4.56 ring-and-pinion gear changeout on the magazine's 2005 Dodge Ram 3500 4WD pickup. This HD video close-up is the same truck's front axle, undergoing a ring-and-pinion gear changeout. Follow the coverage and the high resolution video. Review the popular 11.5" AAM axle rebuild article—found exclusively here at the magazine!

Learn how to make exacting tools from old bearings! Brake hone used to increase original bearing bore size for trial fit of pinion and ring gear.

Improvising on tools can save cost and provide a high degree of accuracy during the setup of the ring-and-pinion gears and bearing preloads. Find out how the original bearings and crush sleeve, in good condition, can become useful "tools".

Removing old ring gear New ring gear installed on differential carrier

Removing and installing a ring gear takes care and orderly steps. At right, the new ring gear pulls readily onto the clean differential carrier after heat soaking the ring gear in the parts washing cabinet. The cabinet solution, pumped at 140-150 degrees F, heats the gear substantially in just ten minutes of wash time.

Improvised puller for the pinion gear and nose bearing Miller/SPX spanner tool 8883A for AAM axle work

At left, the old crush sleeve, pinion flange washer and modified old pinion nut serve as a "puller" for drawing the new pinion gear's shaft through the nose end of the new pinion bearing. At right is the Miller/SPX 8883A special spanner designed for rotating the adjuster rings on a 9.25" or 11.5" AAM differential carrier during fit-up. Bearing preload is generally 4-6 notches tighter than zero play. Carrier bearing preload is also measurable as pinion gear rotational resistance...See the video for details!

Learn about tooth contact patterns Get tips about ring gear backlash and dial indicator

Tooth contact patterns can indicate pinion gear depth in the housing, ring-and-pinion backlash, ring gear runout and gear alignment. For quick backlash checks, the dial indicator (at right) with magnetic stand is the professional tool of choice. Backlash on the 9.25" AAM axle is 0.005"-0.007". These ring-and-pinion gears have been set to 0.005"-0.0055"—after run-in, backlash should be 0.006". The axle will run quietly, without backlash noise, yet not run hot nor suffer from excessive friction.

Tie rod installation on Ram 3500 pickup Removal of the caliper anchor from the knuckle

One method for tie-rod end (left) tightening, according to the 2005 Dodge Ram 2500/3500 factory shop manual, is described in the video (top of page): Torque the nut to 40 ft-lbs then tighten the nut another 90-degrees. The flange base, Nylock nut feels very secure at this torque setting...If you detach the caliper adapters to remove the rotors, the two anchor bolts at each side require clean threads, Loctite 242 and a torque of 250 ft-lbs for HD truck models and 130 ft-lbs for LD truck models. This means time for accurate air impact tools on the HD models!

Differential cover installed on axle housing Mopar synthetic gear lube for an AAM axle 

Axle differential cover has been scoured thoroughly, then painted on the outside with a durable, corrosion resistant ceramic engine paint. Bolts are clean with Loctite 242 on threads, torqued to 30 ft-lbs. At right, 75W-140 synthetic Mopar axle lube is our gear lubricant of choice. 75W-90 Mopar synthetic lube would also be acceptable for most driving conditions. The 140-wt.* factor is for summer trailer pulling chores.

*Note: 75W-140 does not mean the oil "thickens" to 140 weight cold pour thickness when hot. It simply has the same viscosity or ability to lubricate as a 140 wt. at that higher heat. 75W-140 provides a wide range of protection yet pours like a 75W when cold to assure adequate lube and flow in temperatures that require a 75W. G.M. and Dodge-Ram do recommend 75W-90 for this gear assembly, so if you are more comfortable with that oil, make sure it is synthetic with high temperature tolerance. At severely high temperatures, 75W-90 offers less viscosity protection than 75W-140...See break-in details at the 11.5" AAM axle article.

Learn details about AAM axle building demands in the HD video (above) and the 11.5" AAM axle rebuilding how-to article at the magazine!