1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

question(s) about axle bearings (first post!)

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by JimO, Aug 14, 2003.

  1. JimO

    JimO Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    Hi Folks-
    First, great site! I'm happy to be here.

    Now business. I have a 93 Sonoma- got it a couple of months ago. 100,000 miles and needs some work. First on the list is rear axle bearings, which are grinding audibly.

    I've never pulled axles on a GM(C) and am tentative. I have a GMC shop manual for the truck and can follow the steps for the repair, but am fretting about the special tools that are called for. My experience has been that a hammer used judiciously will often substitute but, as I said, I've never done this.

    Lotsa questions? Will the bearings come out without a puller? Will the axles come out without an impact? (Can I flip the drum and use it as an impact- Ford trick?) Is there a point where I'll need to visit a machine shop? I saw in the archives where folks have had difficulty figuring out which bearing they need. Is there a trick to identifying what I have/need?

    Again, happy to be here. This truck is going to be a project so I will be asking a lot of questions.

    TIA-
    JimO
     
  2. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    It's pretty easy,you can do it yourself.Only special tool you will need is a slide hammer with a t-type bearing puller attachment.you can rent or borrow these from your local auto parts store.You will also need 2 bearings,2 axle seals,and a tube of good RTV silicone.2-3 quarts of gear oil will be needed to refill the diff.

    Pull the rear cover bolts,but leave the top one in place and loose.Be careful with the brake line,you may need to gently bend it out of the way to get a socket (13 MM) on the diff cover bolts.Use a screwdriver to pry the bottom of the cover loose,and drain the fluid into a suitable container,and dispose of accordingly.

    Next step is to remove the cross shaft retaining bolt.8mm wrench or small socket will do it,make sure it's a 6 point,or you may round off the head.Remove the bolt,and slide the pin out halfway so the axles will slide in.When you push the axles in the little "C" clips will fall out.Reinsert the cross shaft to keep the spyder gears aligned.The axles will now come out.Keep them in order,as they can be different from side to side.When removing the axle,use the end of the axle (and the groove for the c-clip) to pry out the old axle seal.

    Take a close look at the bearings.If they look worn and pitted,then you have found you problem.If not,then it may be something else in the diff causing the noise.If your replacing the bearings,use the slide hammer to pull out the bearing.Reinstall new bearing using a large socket,piece of pipe,or gently with a punch.Drive it in until it bottoms.Install your new seal gently with a hammer,just like the bearings.Take a bit of gear oil,and coat the new bearing and seal surface.

    Now take a close look at the axle shaft where the bearing rides.If it's all worn and pitted,or galled,you will need to get a couple new,or used shafts,or you will destroy your new bearings.If they are OK,slide them in,using you finger to support the shaft,and not damage the seal.Slide the cross shaft back out halfway.Push them in and turn gently until they engage the side gears,and then stop.You should now be able to set your c-clips in place,and pull the axle shafts back out slightly so you can reinsert the cross shaft.Put a drop of blue loctite on the retaining bolt and tighten it down.

    Now you just need to clean up the diff and cover sealing surfaces,and apply a thin bead of RTV to seal it.Reinstall cover,and start all bolts before tightening.If you see any silicone in the bolt holes,clean it out before putting the bolts in our it may break the bolt,or the case.Snug up all the bolts.

    Pull the fill plug (pass side,above center rib,behind driveshaft yoke) using a 3/8" socket extension.Fill with vehicle sitting on level ground,until it reaches fill hole.Put a small amount of liquid teflon sealer (or pipe tape) on the fill plug and tighten gently.That's it,your done !

    If you need any more info,just let me know.

    BTW Welcome to Plowsite :waving:
     
  3. JimO

    JimO Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    Wow! Thanks, Wyldman. I'm set. (Got any tricks for filling the rear while laying on the ground?)

    Now, about my heater core...:D

    Thanks again.
    JimO
     
  4. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    If you get the long skinny bottles of gear oil,with the little nozzle tip,it should go right it.If not,just use a small piece of hose to make an extension.The truck doesn't have to be on the ground,it just has tobe level.If you jack up all four corners,it will be level and give you enough room to get underneath it.Please,make sure the vehicle is supported properly on jack stands before you set foot underneath it.

    The heater core isn't too hard either.Has it got A\C ?
     
  5. JimO

    JimO Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    Thanks again, Chris. It went just as you said. Some wear on the bearings but not bad.

    Reassembled and took it for a ride and I still had the growl. Popped the front end up and spun the front wheels- it was the bearing on the right front. Changed both sides out this weekend and now have a quiet truck.

    Sure sounded like the rear...Got fresh gear oil and bearings back there now, and I learned something new. No loss there.

    On to the heater core. As I said, I have the shop manual and this looks pretty straightforward. Would appreciate a heads up if there are places where I'll need to pay special attention.

    Truck has A/C. Doesn't work- figure I'll tackle that after the heater core.

    Thanks again.
    JimO
     
  6. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    The heater core is pretty easy,unlike some newer models today.Just follow the instructions in the manual and you'll be fine.Watch your back when working under the dash.

    Wouldn't hurt to flush the cooling system while your at it,and install new anti-freeze.