1997 Dodge Dakota 5.2l 5 speed manual 4wd

I drive a 1997 dodge dakota and recently it started making a really aggressive banging or popping noise while i was driving, it also made the truck bounce up and down a little bit and i could feel the shifter move up and down while this was happening. So i went underneath and discovered my transmission mount was out so i changed that and as well i changed a few u joints. One thing i noticed while i was replacing u joints was that when i had the front drive shaft off the whole problem was reduced to just a minor popping noise but once i slapped back on the front drive shaft it all came back. Another problem that is occurring because all of this is that when i tried to use the 4wd in 4 hi it just kicked it out of 4hi but in 4 lo it would stay in but all the problems were still there. The only time it doesnt do anything is when i am already rolling and i put the 4wd selector in neutral to disengage the drive shafts. I have asked a few different people their opinions and i get different answers, someone thought it could be something to do with the steering shaft or intermediate steering shaft but i think that is not the correct diagnostic. Another one of my buddies suggested that it might be a stretched chain or gear in the transfer case that is causing it. If someone can tell me whats going on here it would be greatly appreciated!


Did you grease up the slip yokes on the drive shafts prior to reinstalling them?

The slip yokes allow the drive shafts to change their lengths as the vehicle moves over bumps. If the slip yokes bind, this can cause a banging/popping noise.


Are you driving around in 4 wheel drive on dry roads ? It’s not designed for that unless they are dirt roads.

Not sure this is of any help OP, but fyi my 70’s Ford 4x4 truck has a problem of the xfer case shifting from 4 Lo to neutral under load and that is caused by a worn bushing in the shifting mechanism from what I can tell. Something needs replacing just at the top of the transfer case, where the shifter goes. I’ve never bothered to fix it b/c I don’t use 4 lo that much and when I do I can just hold it in gear with my hand. It might be something simple like that tho.

Yes i did grease them before i put them back on and no im not in 4 wheel drive im not stupid and no the truck isnt stuck in four wheel drive either. Most of the time I’m able to figure stuff out thats wrong with my truck but this is the only thing that has stumped me.

"Another one of my buddies suggested that it might be a stretched chain or gear in the transfer case that is causing it."

He’s probably right. If the transfer case output bearings and all the u-joints/cv joints are OK, it’s in the case.

Thank you “insightful” actually got something good out of putting this on here!