Question: I have a '95 Dodge Ram with four-wheel drive. Its transmission recently failed. I have 38x15.50-15 Ground Hawg tires on it. Do I need to reduce tire size to prevent the problem, or swap out gears? It still has the factory Dana axles and gears on the truck-someone told me they were 3.55s. Could that be my problem?
Answer: It's really impossible to say that the tires were the cause of your transmission failure, but with that high a gear ratio and 38-inch tires, there's a good chance that the combination helped your rig's trans to an early demise. The overall higher gearing that results from using taller tires puts an extra load on the drivetrain components and would have a tendency to cause higher transmission-fluid operational temperatures. High fluid temperature is the number-one cause of transmission failure. So do yourself a favor and really consider swapping the present gears out for something else-most likely in the 4.56 range.
Question: I recently bought new keys for my truck's torsion bars, had them installed and the torsion bars tightened on my '01 F-150 Supercrew. The problem I'm having now is that I keep blowing the passenger-side CV axle and/or blowing the inner boot, but only on the right side. I'm also hearing a popping sound when I make a sharp turn at slow speeds, as well as having trouble with the truck's front-wheel alignment. I really feel that the Ford garage is giving me a runaround telling me it's only a loose bolt or a bad clamp in the boot. I am currently deployed in Iraq and am trying to keep in touch with the dealership, but they just don't seem to know what's going on. I'm relying on that vehicle to get home when I return to the States, and just need to find some direction on this.
Answer: My guess is that the angle of the axleshaft is too great for the CV joint (the raised ride height and/or the steering angle is too tight). Either one of these issues can put the CV joint into a bind and cause the boot and joint to be damaged. The popping sound is most likely coming from the balls binding in the CV joint. If the joint ran very long with a damaged boot, the grease came out and most likely there was not enough lubrication on the joint. The alignment problem can also be the result of the higher ride height.
Question: Are throttle-body spacers all they are said to be? I am looking for cheap power additions for my '91 Ranger 4.0L. What do you think?
Answer: Some engines respond to throttle-body spacers better than others do. This variability in response has to do with manifold design. I have no idea if the addition of a spacer will help yours. In any case, any improvement you may get is generally not something you'll feel on a "seat-of-the-pants" basis.
Question: I purchased a '79 GMC 1/2-ton about a year ago. I think it has a full-time four-wheel-drive transfer case, as on the shifter knob it has Lo-Loc, Lo, N, Hi and Hi-Loc with locking hubs. To utilize four-wheel drive, it has to be in the Hi-Loc (or Lo-Loc) position, as in Hi with the hubs locked it is just in two-wheel drive. I was just wondering if I use Hi-Loc for four-wheeling, or is there something wrong here?
The truck came with a 3-inch body lift and blocks in the rear. It rides really rough and I was wondering if a suspension lift would be a good fix? Could I also just do a rear-shackle flip instead of spending money on a lift? The front springs are arched down, so could I have them re-arched and flip them (to arch up) and thus gain clearance?
Answer: Sounds to me like your truck has a full-time transfer case, and that someone, at one time in the truck's life, put in an aftermarket part-time kit. If that's so, you no longer have the full-time four-wheel-drive system. Most likely it was done with the anticipation of better fuel mileage. My guess is the reason your truck rides rough is that the front springs have pretty much lost their ability to support the vehicle after some 25 years, and you're banging on the bumpstops. I wouldn't recommend re-arching the present springs. Instead, buy one of the numerous lift kits that are available. I am also sure that a set of quality shocks will also help improve the ride quality. Yes, it is possible to flip the shackles on the rear springs to gain some ride height.