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It could also be the differential output bearings for the axle shafts. I've had them go before. No joy.
 

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MoldyOldy said:
You're not the first person I've heard mention the output bearings.....I'm guessing that's a job for the tranny shop and I'll get raked over the coals? Or is it within the realm of a good do-it-yourselfer, one of those jobes that's not neccessarily difficult, just an involved pain in the [I should have my mouth washed out with soap for using such terms]? I've been trying to find some pics of them on Google images, but can't .....
Leakage from the tranny output shaft seals might provide additional confirmation of a possible bearing failure.
This is pretty much a job that should be done by a tranny rebuilder. It may be possible to drop the assembly out the back, by lowering the cross member, removing the dif cover, both axles and both extension housings (driver's side is an inside housing and passenger side an outside housing). Be careful when removing the extension housings because the entire ring gear assembly will fall right out onto the ground! Then with special tools, the bearings can be pulled off and new pressed on (the cones in the housings should be replaced along with the seals). The problem here is that the bearings sit on selective shims which determine the spacing to the housing cones and the ring gear lash. That is the tricky part for proper setup and any error can soon cause catastrophic failure. Most chain store shops don't take the time to check this and they just re-use the original shims in the same way they came out. You might or might not be lucky with that approach. Ideally the tranny should come out and all measurements made on the bench to get the rear end set up properly per the manual. A few special tools are required and if you have gone that far, you might as well replace the internal clutches and seals (a not too difficult job).

Check this link out for some diagrams on a newer, but similar setup: http://www.justanswer.com/dodge/63yed-dodge-caravan-sport-hello-i-finally-determined.html
 

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I'd guess a grand. That includes pulling the tranny. Parts are probably $25 to $40 but most places mark them up a bit. That would include 2 bearings, 2 seals, and RTV for the housings and cover. Expect another couple hundred for clutches and seals which is a good idea on an old tranny (i.e. basically a rebuild).

I'd be be nice to confirm a possible bearing failure, but the growl could provide a good clue. To positively confirm by yourself, you need to pull the axle and the extension housing on one or both sides. The bearings are a common tapered variety and you would be looking for grooves and pitting in the cone (which is in the extension housings). If you opt to take the driver's side off, mark the top of the housing. It can just be squeezed in one way. RTV is used to seal it back to the tranny case.
 
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