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Any dodge experts here? I have a 96 dodge ram 2500 with the cummins diesel. Fun truck, I bought it from the police in Texas. It had been a drug runner. Long story but it had been used on both sides of the law. Ran hard but by the time I got it had tons of new parts and is generally a good truck.

Here is my issue. The vacuum actuator that slides the right axle together to activate 4wd is bent on the shaft that holds the shift fork. I had blown a big swamp tire on the interstate at 70 miles an hour. I ended up in the grass and mud in the center of the interstate. I thought "no problem put on the spare and 4wd to drive out. 4wd would not engage so my friend with a f250 ford pulled me to hard ground.

Trouble shooting found a bent shaft on the actuator. New part from NAPA at $110.00 and back in business. Now I have used 4wd about 4 times in mild enviroments and yesterday no activation. Troubleshooting found the new actuator shaft bent. Why???? The first time I blamed it on the 15 foot jump to the mud in the interstate. But why the second one? The unit goes together smoothly. No binding anywhere. The sleeve that is in the axle moves as easy as can be with one finger. The dealer and NAPA have never seen this before. It looks almost as if it is just made too weak. It bends at each groove for the snap ring that holds the shift fork. Forming an S so it binds in the housing. Any thoughts????? Napa gave me a new unit but am I going to ruin it? Am I looking at a cause or effect?
 

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That seems weird, my guess is the needle bearing that supports the inner shaft is worn which stops perfect line up of the 2 shafts.

Try posting on pavementsucks.com dodge section, many smart people there...
 
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