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Dr. Hamman
Dr. Hamman, Dodge Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 6286
Experience:  I have 30 years of Dodge Technician experience. I know these cars in great detail.
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Dodge Ram Van 250 SE: 1986 dodge ram van 250 want to drive

Customer Question

1986 dodge ram van 250 want to drive to oceanshores Wa had my mechanic inspect for trip found manofold gasget leaking and differential not safe to drive probably could use a rebuilt where can i get a second opinion and reasonable pricing my mechanic wants $3000
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  Dr. Hamman replied 2 years ago.
Hi, I am a professional certified mechanic, with an engineering background, and 35+ years experience. I will do my best to assist you. Also keep in mind I don't know if you are a pro or a novice, so feel free to add any additional info at any time.
There are a lot of ways to approach this. One thought is that the average rear end in this model will outlive the vehicle so so many times. That makes installing a used rear end a very popular option. Even with those that don't normally use any used parts. So keep that in mind. A used rear end installed should cost between $400 to $600. The manifold gasket should cost between $200 to $400 depending on what little parts are changed. 3K for rebuilding the rear end, and replacing the manifold gasket is real high. It isn't that many shops wont charge like this. My concern is what you get for 3K, you could do a lot better, and still have an excellent repair. I will add that I have seen more problems through the years with rebuilt differentials, as opposed to used. The issues there is used rear ends are so reliable, and the precision required in rebuilding a differential is a skill that few professionals have mastered. The main issue is pinion depth. If it is off by the width of a human hair, it will fail prematurely. I have rebuilt dozens of differentials that had just been previously rebuilt by other shops.
As far as keeping your old Dodge. I know exactly what you are talking about. I have an 80 model CB300 Dodge van, with 400K on it, and a 90 model 3500 Cummins diesel Dodge pickup with 690K on it. They are like old friends. I pride myself in excellent repairs, you have to in order to keep these old gems alive. That said there is no need to spend more than you have to. That is why I brought up these points. Go over all of this and if you have any more questions at all, I am here to help. Good luck with it, have a great day, and Thanks for using Just Answer.
I do not get paid for my work unless you rate at 3 to 5 Smiley Faces or Stars, a bonus is always greatly appreciated. If the answer is not clear, let me know what additional help you need, and I will be happy to assist you further.