Front Differential help please - Chevrolet Forum - Chevy Enthusiasts Forums

Front Differential help please

Old  November 21st, 2011, 2:18 PM
Front Differential help please


I'm new, but I did search for this answer before posting and didn't find anything. I have an 05 express cargo AWD, 5.3l. There was an awful grinding noise the other day coming from the front. I drained the diff. fluid in the front and sure enough, lots of metal flakes and even some larger pieces.

After wrestling with it for 1/2 a day I have it out of the vehicle and have taken off both sides. I found that the bearing on one side is destroyed but the rest of it looks good. I'm on a budget (who isn't), and would like to just order the broken parts and put it back together. From I can get the bearing for about $40. What am I missing? Do I need to test for backlash *** well? Is there any reason to have to shim it? Am I an idiot for even attempting this?

Here is the bearing:

The outer case where the bearing sits

Other there being some metal flakes to clean out, the rest of looks like it's fine. Any advise would be very helpful. I can post more photos if needed. Thank you!

Old  November 21st, 2011, 2:25 PM
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Had this on my vehicle a couple years ago. Broke about 1/2 mile from home. Besides cleaning out the metal. You're going to need to remove the old bearing race, and reinstall the new bearing. No backlash, shims nada. You will have to either use a bearing press or heat the new one up as the inner race, and shaft is an interfernce fit. I'd suggest take it to (if you have a pep boys) let them remove, and replace the bearing. I should add you need to replace the outer race also, the new bearing will come as an assymbly, replace the outer race also.

Last edited by kevinkpk; November 21st, 2011 at 2:30 PM.
Old  November 21st, 2011, 2:47 PM
Thanks for the quick reply. My next question was how to replace the bearing, it comes off easy when it's torn up, but I didn't see any way to get it off if it wasn't.

Is the outer race the part that has the bearing on it? The one in the photo with all the bolts? Or is it the part the bearing sits in?

From the diagram, I think I need #16 for the bearings (might as well do both right??. #4 and #34 for the seals (the original cause of the problem), anything else I'm missing? I really appreciate the help, this is looking like I might save the $2300 the dealer quoted me.

Old  November 21st, 2011, 3:06 PM
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The outer race is in the differential where the hub breaing goes into it part of 16 I think, yes the outer bearing race SHOULD BE REPLACED with the new bearing. I'd take a ball and peen hammer with a cold chisel to remove it.

Old  November 21st, 2011, 4:25 PM
Great thanks. I'll take your advise and get the bearing pressed in, there are 3 shops in walking distance from my house.

Do you or does anyone have any knowledge about part number 11? It's called the adjuster and runs $100 each. One side had bearings in it, while the other does not. Or did it? Here is a pic. I'm concerned about one missing bearings completely and how to "adjust" the adjuster when I do final assembly.

The one closest to camera was from the passenger side, and with bearings in it is from the drivers side.

Old  December 6th, 2011, 10:57 AM
I finally got my GM manual to load on my computer and have decided to answer my own questions.

1. Yes, you are a little crazy for trying this since you've never done a differential rebuild before.

2. Yes, you need to test backlash and torque. The backlash, measured from the pinion yoke with a dial indicator should be between .003" and .007" for new bearings. The torque of the pinion to the gears should be 30-55 in/lbs (INCH not FOOT).

3. The adjuster nuts are used to do exactly what it sounds like, adjust the torque and backlash of the gears. If you want the full explanation on how to adjust these please message me, it's fairly complicated.

I get my inch/lbs torque wrench today, if that checks out I'll be able to do the final install and hopefully be driving again by tomorrow. Wish me luck.

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