Dodge Repair Questions? Ask a Mechanic for Answers ASAP
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It's possible that you could have a bad wheel bearing but you've actually described the characteristics of a bad front axle u joint pretty well. Slide underneath and take a look at the right front axle joint and feel it to see if it's loose. Also look for any signs of rust dust coming from any of the bearing caps. You will likely see one or both of these things. If for some reason you don't, you can raise and support the front end of the truck, turn the wheel all the way in one direction and turn the tire by hand. If you feel any binding in certain spots in it's rotation that's a sign of a binding u joint.
Slide under the front of the truck and find the right front axle u joint. It's in the opening at the end of the axle tube behind the steering knuckle. Feel the joint by hand to see if it's loose. There should be no play in the joint. If there is play it will need to be replaced.
Also look for any rust dust coming from the joint. If there is rust dust then the joint has failed.
If you haven't seen anything wrong at this point then raise an support the front of the truck on jack stands. Turn the wheels all the way to one side or the other and rotate the right front tire by hand. If it binds in certain spots in it's rotation then the u joint is binding.
Do you have any idea how much u joints cost?
Ok and what kind would you reccomend?
You would need to support the front of the truck on a solid ground surface using jack stands.
It may be possible for you to do it depending on your skill level and what tools you have available to you. If you've done some intermediate level repairs in the past then you could probably get through this. You would need a jack and jack stands, a suitable place to work, a selection of hand tools to remove the caliper and wheel bearing bolts, a large breaker bar or ratchet to remove the axle nut (it's in the 300 foot pound range), a hub puller to remove the wheel bearing at the least. Air tools would speed the process and make it much, much easier. An impact would make removing the axle nut easier, and an air hammer along with the hub puller is the easiest way to remove the wheel bearing/hub.