It’s not news that oil and water don’t mix, but if it happens inside a driveline component and you are unaware, the results will eventually be catastrophic. The factory differential breathers on late-model Rams are raised slightly, to near the top of the tires, which is good enough for most folks. Hopefully that would be plenty for me too, as I’m not a fan of playing in deep water or soupy mud. However, it has happened before, including an unfortunate loss of forward progress that lasted hours. Being an ounce-of-prevention guy, I chose to be proactive regarding keeping the H2O out of my gearing lubricants.
For decades I have extended the breathers for driveline components using small, inexpensive air or fuel filters, but a few years ago ARB introduced a most tidy aftermarket solution that I’ve used since. Employing the same filter as their 12-volt air compressors, ARB makes a neat aluminum manifold into which their filter and extended vent lines attach. Vent tubing and fittings are also supplied, and the kit retails for $72.
For the 2017 Ram/Cummins 2500 Pack Mule with Hallmark flatbed camper, I mounted the ARB manifold at the top left of the engine compartment, similar to my 2014 Ram, but I drilled a new hole this time. Using the OE rubber vent hose as my start, the rear axle breather line was extended using ARB’s plastic vent tubing, first inside the Hillsboro flatbed frame, then along the truck frame under the cab and up into the engine compartment. The front differential vent was extended the short distance from near the left front shock, and the transfer-case breather was raised from atop that gearbox into the engine compartment. A trained eye might notice the ARB Differential Breather Kit as aftermarket, but it’s very tidy and clean.
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