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Old 02-26-2017, 10:34 PM   #1
W_A_Watson_II
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Adding Spin Free Hubs to a Modern Dodge

My 2006 Dodge DRW 3500 MegaCab now has 130K miles on it and it's been a great truck. However a little over a week ago while traveling the ABS and Brake lights came on on the dash. A quick stop and check to verify I have brakes and nothing is leaking of falling off leads me to the common failure, ABS sensor.

So once home and with out the expensive Mother MoPar computer I can't read the code so I pick up a rear axle sensor as it's the most common one to fail. I replace it, and well it wasn't the cause. I then go pick up a front sensor, well it's expensive (compared to the rear) and in a sealed bag, so I wasn't going to just plug it in and test as if it wasn't the issue I could not return it.

Then I realize the front sensors are NOT an easy job, you have to pull the wheel (oh course), then the Dually Adapter, then the Brake Caliper and Bracket, then the Brake Rotor. Then you have the choice of either removing the unit-bearing (hub assembly) to get the brake shield off and out of the way, or bend the shield to get access to the sensor.

So I grab both of my multi meters to test the sensors. Well I could not get any resistance reading from any of the existing sensors, or even the new rear sensor. I could test the sensor on the 94 Dodge I have and get a reading, but the newer trucks use a different sensor. So I bite the bullet and pay a local shop to test for the cause of the failure. Their report, both front wheel sensors. Now when I dropped the truck off I told him I didn't think I had plugged the front sensors back in after my testing, but after the repair I'm guessing he didn't plug them in to test, and it turned out only one wheel sensor was out.

Since the sensors usually fail from the results of a failing unit-bearing or wire damage (I didn't find any of that in my diagnosing) I wasn't putting in new sensors to to have them just fail again as the bearing goes out. I had also found some play in a couple of ball joints while doing my diagnostics so they needed some attention.

So I have him give me a quote for new ball joints, Unit Bearings, and while they are out new Axle U-Joints. He gave me a fair and competitive quote of $1,900 using all Moog parts and also installing the new pinon seal I had on hand (it had a small leak). He said it would take a couple of days work and be just over a week before he could get to it.

So, I started looking at options. Do it my self and stay with the stock (****ty cheap *** design) unit-bearings with all parts being Moog, or going the route I'd always said I'd do if a bearing failed, install a free-spin kit.

After pricing the parts and looking through the top three conversion kits, I settled on doing it my self with the SpinTec Kit. The SpinTec kit had the added benefit of eliminating the dually hub adapters. The other companies required you to buy a 3rd party aftermarket adapter (an additional $400) that would fit the new hub, or find a Ford adapter and have it machined to fit. The Dodge adapter isn't built where it would fit or survive the modifications to fit.

So while the front is torn apart, and you are doing the work I ended up replacing a few more parts (preventative maintenance). Here is the list of new parts I ended up installing:

Wheel Hub Assemblies (SpinTec)
Front Axle U-Joints (Moog)
Upper and Lower Ball-Joints (Moog)
ABS Sensors (MoPar)
Brake Rotors (Bosch)
Brake Caliper (O'Reilly BrakeBest)
Brake Shoes (Wagner, Warranty exchange no cost)
Sway Bar Links (Moog)

While I was doing Maintenance/Repairs I also replaced the weakening Hood Struts, and the dripping Coolant Return Hose and Clamps (the little silicon one between the Turbo and Block that is a pain to replace).

I was able to borrow a Snap-On Ball-Joint tool that helped make the job easier than when I did the ball joints on the 94 Dodge with the O'Reilly borrowed tool. The job took a total of about 24 hours (working slow and sure to not make a mistake) and everything fit very well.

Based on my initial thoughts about the kit I would highly recommend it and SpinTec (an OH based company and part of Solid Axle Industries). I get the alignment checked tomorrow, but today's test drive looks like everything is good.

You see a lot of quotes about the kits giving you a 2-3 MPG increase, and while I don't expect it to be that I do look forward to seeing if there is any effect.

In the end the front axle portion of the work (including the brakes) cost me an additional $700 over paying a shop to put it back with unit-bearings, so I'm happy with that and look forward to many, many more great miles and use of my Dodge tuck.






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1946 WDX Power Wagon - "Missouri Mule"
1949 B-1PW Power Wagon - "The White One"
1953 M37 - "Frankenstein"
1993 Jeep YJ - "Will Power"
1994 2500 4WD Regular Cab - "Old Gray"
2006 3500 DRW 4WD Mega Cab - "Power Wagon Hauler"
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Old 02-26-2017, 10:35 PM   #2
W_A_Watson_II
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I drive a DODGE, not a ram!

Thanks,
Will
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1946 WDX Power Wagon - "Missouri Mule"
1949 B-1PW Power Wagon - "The White One"
1953 M37 - "Frankenstein"
1993 Jeep YJ - "Will Power"
1994 2500 4WD Regular Cab - "Old Gray"
2006 3500 DRW 4WD Mega Cab - "Power Wagon Hauler"
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Old 02-26-2017, 10:44 PM   #3
W_A_Watson_II
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This is the ABS Wheel Sensor that failed.


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I drive a DODGE, not a ram!

Thanks,
Will
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1946 WDX Power Wagon - "Missouri Mule"
1949 B-1PW Power Wagon - "The White One"
1953 M37 - "Frankenstein"
1993 Jeep YJ - "Will Power"
1994 2500 4WD Regular Cab - "Old Gray"
2006 3500 DRW 4WD Mega Cab - "Power Wagon Hauler"
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Old 02-27-2017, 12:00 AM   #4
gyman98
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Good plan on the spin tecs. When I had my 2006 3500 cummins mega cab I would carry a spare unit bearing with me. I went through 5 in 3yrs, I think the weight of the gooseneck trailer killed them

Other then that it was a great truck, my uncle owns it now. About a month ago I out injectors in it for him. It has 600k on the odometer now
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Old 02-27-2017, 08:13 AM   #5
W_A_Watson_II
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Thanks, yea with 4,800 pounds on the front axle when empty, it doesn't take a large load particularity from a goose neck or like me a load leveling hitch on a bumper pull to transfer more weight forward.

I've already had a 6 injectors and lift pump replaced back 51K miles (under warranty). trying to keep an eye on them as I worry about having to do it again.
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I drive a DODGE, not a ram!

Thanks,
Will
WAWII.com

1946 WDX Power Wagon - "Missouri Mule"
1949 B-1PW Power Wagon - "The White One"
1953 M37 - "Frankenstein"
1993 Jeep YJ - "Will Power"
1994 2500 4WD Regular Cab - "Old Gray"
2006 3500 DRW 4WD Mega Cab - "Power Wagon Hauler"
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Old 02-27-2017, 03:24 PM   #6
Matthew Welcher PWA
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I really like the way this turned out, I cannot wait to hear how they do in the long run as far as mileage, wear and such.
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Old 02-27-2017, 06:45 PM   #7
W_A_Watson_II
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I do as well. I'm also interested to see what it might do for fuel mileage. I have a log of every gallon of fuel I've put in the truck (6,644) for the 81,614 miles I've put on the truck. And yes that comes to 12.3 MPG with over 2/3's of it towing. My towing average is 11.2 and non-towing is 15.0. Of any my fuel cost average $3.05 per gallon.

As for wear, at least the parts that will ware out are off the self items like Spicer, Timken, Chicago Rawhide and Mile Marker.
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I drive a DODGE, not a ram!

Thanks,
Will
WAWII.com

1946 WDX Power Wagon - "Missouri Mule"
1949 B-1PW Power Wagon - "The White One"
1953 M37 - "Frankenstein"
1993 Jeep YJ - "Will Power"
1994 2500 4WD Regular Cab - "Old Gray"
2006 3500 DRW 4WD Mega Cab - "Power Wagon Hauler"
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Old 03-21-2017, 06:13 PM   #8
Jerry Henry
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Dyna Trac

There weren't a lot of choices when I bought my hub kit, as there apparently are today. I installed a Dyna Trac hub kit on my '06 2500 CTD within about 6 months of purchasing the truck new. The original parts were not painted or finished in any way and were severely rusted together, requiring a lot of work to remove. When we put the kit together and installed everything, it got coated with rust proofing. I now have 150k miles on the truck and have never had a problem with any parts of the kit. And, I have seen a definite increase of anywhere from 1 1/2 to 3 mpg, depending on local or long distance.
I am sure all have their pros and cons, strengths and weaknesses, but I am confident you will gain economy, and certainly reduce wear and tear on the other parts in the front end.
Jerry
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Old 03-21-2017, 06:57 PM   #9
W_A_Watson_II
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Jerry, that's good to here. So for the two trips, one empty and one hauling haven't shown any change in fuel mileage, but I'm hopping I see some, but mostly looking forward to a good dependable front axle.
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I drive a DODGE, not a ram!

Thanks,
Will
WAWII.com

1946 WDX Power Wagon - "Missouri Mule"
1949 B-1PW Power Wagon - "The White One"
1953 M37 - "Frankenstein"
1993 Jeep YJ - "Will Power"
1994 2500 4WD Regular Cab - "Old Gray"
2006 3500 DRW 4WD Mega Cab - "Power Wagon Hauler"
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Old 03-21-2017, 07:42 PM   #10
Jerry Henry
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Will, have you made any other modifications to the truck?
I have only done a few things, like Banks Intercooler and intake, AFE air intake filter system, Aeroturbine 5" muffler and exhaust, and Jake brake. I really think the biggest effect on mpg was the hub kit. Of course my engine is the 5.9, and I have heard they were easier on fuel than the new engines right from the factory.
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Old 03-21-2017, 08:06 PM   #11
W_A_Watson_II
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The installation of the Free Spin was stand alone. However I've already done: 5" Turbo Back Exhaust, Edge Attitude w/Juice Controller and S&B Cold Air Intake.
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I drive a DODGE, not a ram!

Thanks,
Will
WAWII.com

1946 WDX Power Wagon - "Missouri Mule"
1949 B-1PW Power Wagon - "The White One"
1953 M37 - "Frankenstein"
1993 Jeep YJ - "Will Power"
1994 2500 4WD Regular Cab - "Old Gray"
2006 3500 DRW 4WD Mega Cab - "Power Wagon Hauler"
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