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Rear Driveshaft Coupler - Grenaded? Most Likely

44071 Views 35 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  bruno
so let me lay the ground here.
vehicle is in shop for "squeking" left rear middle of last month.
Guys at DCX dealership couldn't find what was wrong so they are going to replace all of the rear bushings this coming Monday instead.
So I get the car back from them that night and put about 25 miles on it. As I'm driving home with my older daughter in the car, I get on it and as the car shifts from 1st to 2nd, it sounds like the rear end took a rpg hit from underneath. I hesitated for a second to see if I lost power and driveability. No problems. Called the dealership the next morning and let my service advisor know. He says no problem Chris, just bring it in when we replace the bushings if you are not leaking any fluids or can see anything. So 3 weeks go by and then this evening, I am driving same daughter again, and the rear end sounds like another rpg hits the car on the underside. Pull over and check again. Can't see anything. Feels ok. So I call dealership as it is happening and left message that I am having problem with rear end of vehicle. It is shimming bad and the back end has a serious vibration.

new info:
Got a call back this morning that they'll be expecting me in. Told him of syptoms again and the vibration and that I think it is the coupler attached to the driveshaft and that the driveshaft has rub marks on it. "Go ahead and bring it in". Not go and have it towed in, go ahead and bring it it as in drive it in.
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so now that bad part.
Chrylser is refusing to cover the warranty and replacement.
As the sub frame has been cleanly snapped right above the pumpkin and just to the left side of the bolt that attachs the pumpkin to the frame.
And the subframe also is torn on the top part of the frame on either side (outer towards fenders) of the braces/brackets that are welded on the subframe.
So how'd ya like to get that phone call on a Friday afternoon at 4:41pm.
And the saga begins.

There saying it is not covered by warranty.
I'm saying that the coupler failed, which caused the driveshaft to rotate out of balance or cavitate thus putting massive stress on the pumpkin which then transfered the stress to the frame which broke.

They are also saying that Chrysler's new way of handling major issues is to deny that they'll cover it and force you to call customer service and force them to fix it.
Guess what I'm going to be doing first thing Monday morning. Calling DCX and complaining!!!
Butler i still have my 5.7 subframe kickin around find out if you can use it
Now that is an awesome offer!
But this is going to be on their dime, not mine.
Will keep you informed though.
ok, here are some more pics from today.
Now in the light today, I could see that the underside of the flange/bracket on either side of the subframe is also cracked.
But something even bigger...
The half shafts have a rub spot on them and they touched the subframe. Not all the way around - so it was very quick. Touched in one spot.
That is why the dealership is refusing to submit to Chrysler - they said that I must have "jumped" the car to get the half shafts to rub. "as I have never seen this happen before."
"You mean to tell me that you also missed that the subframe is cracked in the middle of the subframe just to the left of the pumpkin bolting it to the subframe?"
"Oh, I didn't see that when I did the P&A on it. Hmmm, well, who knows what happened first."
Yeah ok, buddy.
So at least I am understanding their thinking here a little. They think I went out and either "jumped" the car or loaded it up so heavy in a drag race that I tore up the rear end.
No, to both. As my 10-year old daughter was in car during both issues noted above.
here are some pictures from today:
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I just firgured out the other site on how to post pics after 5 years...
now you want me to do this site too?
here's a couple to give you an idea of how bad...

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damn sorry to see your car damaged. But this is starting to be heard more now as we get some hard miles on these platforms.

Best of luck. One call to Customer Service and you should be golden.
Thanks Steve.
That is what I am thinking with regards to the mileage.
One of the guys over on LX says that the rear cradle was probably loose. Thus the squeaking sounds that I had it in for mid december and the rear cradle bushings that they were going to replace tomorrow.
I have sent an email Friday night outlining my discontent with the dealerships choice not to even attempt to work on the vehicle and submit it for warranty work because they said Chrysler will refuse it.
We'll see how this plays out.
As I am making sure everyone knows how Chrysler handles it.
This will be a good barometer for future car sales of existing car owners, don't you think?
Totally agreed.
I see a real opportunity for them to make a friend here. But I hear too many stories of how BAD customer service ruins the ownership experience.
The dealer is everything.
I see an opportunity to do what is right to start with. #2 - get it fixed so they can learn what is going on with a car that has 74,000+ miles and why. #3 - to help me out because of all of the "business" directed to their company over the last 5 years. #4 - the dealer has always been good to me. We'll see how well Chrysler handles this though.
i was about to get an extended warranty as my 3/36 is running out, and after reading this I am seriously thinking about not getting it now if it's going to be like pulling teeth in order for them to honor it.
I have to tell you that the warranty has paid itself over and over. After seeing the rub mark on the underside of the subframe due to touching the half shaft - I think that is why they are gun shy on this and saying that I had to have absolutely abused it. With my daughter in car. NEVER.
Get the warranty.

Sorry to hear about your troubles. I snapped the right axle shaft on my SRT8 several weeks ago and my car is stock, other than the Predator tune. My dealer service experience was horrible, but they did repair it under warranty. They gave me a lecture on "abuse" and I had a couple of uncomfortable conversations with the service technician. For a while, it was unclear if they would even cover it. They commented on the rubber in the wheel wells and on the mufflers. Always clean any burnt rubber up right away, even in the places you can't see such as the wheel wells and under the mufflers. They implied the burnt rubber showed "abuse". I'm not sure what will happen if I have more problems, but I'll be bringing mine to a different dealer from now on. Good luck with the repair. Keep us posted on your experience.
Now that is interesting to hear. Have you been dealing with this for a while?
This touches on what I am hearing is that the dealers are being much more critical on warranty items because Chrysler is not going to pay them.

Thanks to everyone for their comments.
Damn you snapped your rear cradle almost at the weld its funny i was talking to my friend whos a tech at my dealer and he said theres been 2 cars one magnum srt and a charger srt with busted rear cradles.......hmmmmm
Now there is a weld in the middle right there to the left of the omupkin bolting to the subframe.
As I cannot see that from down below.
BTW - did the 2 other cars that snapped have any mods to engine or suspension?
As I have neither.
update as of today.

Filed formal complaint with Chrysler through their 800#
The rep. could not believe how it has been handled so far.
Yeah, well can you tell the dealer to fix?
Um, no.
Ok, can you get me to someone who can?
So after taking statement and information I will be contacted by 3pm pst tomorrow by a senior customer service rep/manager after they contact dealership to get their side of story.
The car should be covered under warranty and I was instructed to drive said vehicle.
How about the fact you gave me the car back after inspecting for 2 days and couldn't find anything wrong and then putting me and my daughter in danger with a car that breaks that night? btw - same tech who missed that the frame was broken in half just the other day when he did the P&A.
See a pattern here?
And you want their story for what?
argumentative purposes?
send the district maintenance manager or whomever down from Irvine to inspect my car!!!


Wonder if this is the start of a major problem on the rear sub frame due to the horsepower and torque over 4-5 years and 70,000 miles...
As the rear end/diff. sure does hold up well on these things.
and I am just way ahead of the curve on the part breaking.
Kinda like when the auto stick contacts wore out from use at 44,000 miles.
kinda like when my high flow cats wore out at 70,000 miles.
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Well, the "service" experience with Chrysler ranks among the worst. They repaired my problem, but gave me lots of grief over it, and I'm not sure what will happen if I have more problems with the drivetrain. Please keep us posted. I hope they repair it for you. I'm really regretting paying for the extended warranty now. I get the feeling they will try and make excuses if anything else happens. When you buy a new car, you are supposed to feel confident about any problem that occurs being repaired. That's not the way I feel now.
hence my dilemma on the extended warranty.... what srt8man had to go through to get his car fixed, and now what you are going through has me really wondering what the hell is going on. You would think a failing company would try and hold on to their existing customers...

how they handle my issue will be a great indicator for a lot of people.
ok all,
here is the latest.

I did not hear from the customer service department by 3pm pst as promised - so I'm a little miffed about that.

In all fairness to Chrysler and the local dealer - (everyone needs to know this as it explains the dealer's stance). Chrysler DOES NOT warranty the frame. At least with the warranty that I bought from Chrysler - and one that is a Chrysler specific warranty sold by a Chrysler dealer.
That was news to me about this whole thing.

So break out your warranties and read the fine print. Bumper to bumper is not really everything in between as it seems.

With that being said, someone from Detroit called the dealer and spoke with my service advisor and the tech that did the P&A for 1/2 hour this afternoon.
I will be told if they (Chrysler) are going to cover this or not sometime tomorrow.

Hopefully Chrysler does the right thing here on this one.
Thanks for your support.

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What is the name of your extended warranty?
they are saying that the frame damage is due to consequential damage and is not covered.
No decision as of the morning.
Decision is actually with the service contracts group.
Frame is covered but not the consequential damage.
Dealer improperly worded that to me yesterday.
good news all.
Chrysler is covering the entire issue.
Thanks for all of the support and favorable comments.
alright folks,
here is the update.
Car was finished on Thursday. Picked it up and only really had a chance to check her out in a straight line a couple of times. Friday was full of work as well.
Saturday - took the kids to a birding event out in Ramona with their grandparents. I was able to shake the Vixen down and really see if there were any "issues". She performed admirably as she always has. She was stout in the corners and she handled the curves as well as the curves that she possesses.
Thanks for all of the support folks through the last month. Chrysler stepped up, honored the warranty, and came up with a differential when none existed. Cannot say enough good things about the company and the people along the way. Yes, they made it difficult, but in the end, they made it right.
Thanks again.

P.S. - check out the pics of the new subframe in the lxforum site. Major change from the 2006 version I had.
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