ransom UberDork
10/19/13 4:28 p.m.

How do I tell?

EDIT: It's a 2001 B2500, becuase I'm a dork and left the year out of a post asking for specifics about model variants... And it's got the 5.2L V8.

I settled in to do the ball joints, having picked up uppers (no, I don't recall a year later how I settled on the correct uppers), lowers, tie rod ends, and a spiffy $50 socket to do the threaded upper ball joints.

I get close to time to think about disassembling that stuff and trial fit the socket. Doesn't want to sit all the way down. Seems the crusty grease around the edge isn't letting it seat all the way. Man, this crusty grease is really hard. Let's try scraping it off... "tink tink".

(scrubbing with a toothbrush... disbelieving, scraping with file...)

Yep; DPO welded the threaded upper ball joints in , presumably after hosing the threads...

So, time to get reman upper A arms. But which ones? The numbers seem to float, with "normal" front axle being 3300, 3500, or 3600 lbs, and the HD axle fairly consistently 4000 lbs. Google has not yet found me an answer as to how to figure out which I've got. The closest thing is one HD A-arm entry on rockauto mentions 245-width tires. The van has 225s on it, which the doorjamb sticker agrees with. So that's about the firmest evidence I have of non-HD axle...

Anybody have a simple answer?

mtownneon New Reader
10/19/13 6:09 p.m.

Is it a work van or is it a conversion van?

ransom UberDork
10/19/13 6:29 p.m.

Work van.

Follow-up question: the front GAWR is 3880... While that doesn't align with any of the figures given, the HD front axle seems to be semi-consistently referred to as 4000 lb, while the non-HD seems to be listed as 3300, 3500, and 3600... In any case, they're not going to give a GAWR higher than the axle rating, so a GAWR of 3880 would pretty clearly be the HD axle, wouldn't it? (Where's the "confused" smiley?)

ransom UberDork
10/19/13 7:04 p.m.


That was tedious, and harder than it needed to be... For anyone who stumbles into this thread looking for the answer:

This site showed the part, but also made vague reference to codes DJB and DJE, associating the former with the 3500 lb axle and the latter with the 4000 lb axle. Googling found almost nothing, but a giant PDF that used those codes and the term "sales codes", which in turn led me here, and after that I went and found a sticker under the hood noting that I have front axle code DJE, and thus definitively a 4000 lb axle.

Whew. Now why the berk don't the retailers have this info? Not rockauto, not Carquest, not O'Reilly... I haven't made full rounds, but each of them could sell me the parts, and they could distinguish between the 3500 and 4000 lb axle parts, they just couldn't tell me how to determine which parts I needed...

Streetwiseguy UberDork
10/19/13 7:24 p.m.

The dealer could have told you based off the last 8 of the VIN. Sometimes the aftermarket pretends to decipher the VIN, but they generally lie...

Rob_Mopar SuperDork
10/19/13 9:27 p.m.

Is your 2500 the five lug wheel or the 8 lug?

ransom UberDork
10/20/13 1:11 a.m.

In reply to Rob_Mopar:

It is 8-lug.

Among the many things I read along the way to pinning down the front axle code was that sometime earlier than my 2001, all the 3/4-ton vans went 8-lug, regardless of whether they are std or HD. Not that a lot of what I read seemed necessarily definitive

ransom UberDork
10/20/13 1:37 p.m.

Thanks to Ditchdigger I got straightened out and ordered Moog arms, but nearly wound up with Dormans thanks to another obfuscation on the Rockauto website:

If you look up B2500 control arms, it lists several vendors' arms, some noting for 3500 lb axle, others noting 4000 lb axle (some noting other weird values for the non-HD axle, but I digress...). The Moog arms make no mention of what axle they're for...

If you look up B3500 arms, it lists the exact same part number, and says they're for a 4000 lb axle.

So if you're looking up parts for a van which will have a 4000 lb axle, it notes that this part is for a 4000 lb axle. If you're looking up parts for a van which may have either a 3500 or a 4000 lb axle, it doesn't say a darned thing...

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