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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have got a 2002 silverado 4x4 4.8L. I am in the process of fixing the leaky front differential. It has been leaking where the axles go in. I have the whole differential out of the truck and on the workbench.

I knocked out the passanger side axle shaft easy enough, (I hope thats the proper method), but the drivers side shaft is staying put. I am using a hammer and long punch to try and pop it out. I don't want to hit it to hard and harm the unit, is this the proper way to remove the shorter/drivers side axle?

Also, should I be replacing the bearings on these shafts?

The truck has 150,000 kms mostly highway, lots of towing, thanks, Pete.
 

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On the pass side you need to remove the extension housing.If you just pull out the axle there is a washer that will fall out.You did not need to pull the whole front fiff out also.As far as the drivers side.Just keep tapping it with a hammer.It will come out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply chevelle. I did just pull the pass side axle and pop it back in, actually I got it all back togeather in the truck tonight, before I checked this post..... I had no idea about the washer, I guess I'll have to pull the extension housing off tomorrow night and figure it out.

I pulled the diff out because it was such a greasy mess covered in dirt/gravel I wanted to clean it before I opened it up. Tight fit getting it in and out.

I also removed the cv axles, any idea on the torque for those bolts, and for the axle nuts? Thanks, Pete.
 

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its easiest to do the work in the truck while its on a hoist.

i just normally pop them out with a long pry bar, or in some cases like your doing with a long brass punch and a BFH.

right side you have to remove the extension housing bolts and then take out your extension housing by prying on the front diff, and then carefully sliding the housing from out of the truck.

but the way your doing it, they should just pop out. probably hard to do, because you have no weigh to absorb your hammering from the punch, so its lessening your blows, and also you cant pry on it because it isnt secure to anything. which is why i leave them in the truck when i do them
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well I got it all back together now, thanks guys.

Took the extension housing off with the front diff still in the truck, checked out that washer, and to my suprise it stayed put where it was supposed to, wouldn't have had to take off the extension housing. I bet 9 times out of ten it would have moved, so I checked it anyways. Now I just have to wait and see if it leaks.....:D Pete.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I am not sure what I did wrong but I got a leak still. Passanger side front axle. Drips while parked, worse leak now then when I started. I was carefull not to cut the gasket while reinstalling the axle, and I put a little grease on the seal once it was in. Drivers side sealed up fine. I checked the vent line and it's clear, and the fluid just barely comes out the top hole in the diff, I presume thats the right level?

Is it possible I drove the seal in too far? The axle was clean and smooth where the seal runs, didn't notice any groove/wear on it. I will try again with another new seal. Anyone have any ideas why the leak with a new seal?
 

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I have the same problem you have with my axle seals. It's not a terrible leak as it doesn't leave a puddle of oil underneath wherever you park. However there is oil buildup around the housing where the axle comes out.

From the research I've done on this site...sounds like I'm not the only one that has this problem with their truck.

I can't help with your problem because I've not tried to repair mine yet. I don't have the capability to do it.

I have a couple of questions about getting it fixed though.

1. Is this something that I need to have fixed right away? Someone told me to just keep checking the fluid level and don't worry about. However I'm afraid if I let it go it could cause further damage and cost more money.

2. How expensive of a job is this? I'm not going to a dealer. I have a local shop nearby that does great work. I just want to get an estimate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
A leak, especially heavy gear oil, is gonna make a mess. Of the truck, and wherever you park it. If the oil level gets low it's gonna cost you in worn out parts, and where is it going to break and leave you? Keep checking the level, ya, that will work, but each time you remove the plug you chance contamination of the oil inside with dirt/dust/grit and premeture wearout of parts, not to mention stripping out the plug/case. Here is a question, How come my 02 leaks, my dads 99 leaks, friends 2000 leaks, but my cousins 90 with what looks like the same front axle does not, and it's a diesel with 500 thousand plus km's?? Mind you he has his own problems, tried to start it on a warm day this winter without plugging it in and tore the starter off the block(stripped out one hole and broke out the other). We've used our truck but not abused it, not quite payed for time to trade in? I had a heavily used 80 silverado as a teenager, and I jumped it, smoked tires, mud bogged, hit sloughs, hauled bricks, gravel, car trailers, campers......axle seals didn't leak. Wife uses the 02 silverado for groceries. We hardly use the 4x4, only in winter when the snow covers the road. I don't use it much in town when there is snow because it still hops going around the corners, and I don't want to stress the axles or drivetrain. I guess what I am saying is i don't understand why this thing leaks.
 

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I'm with ya on that. I've taken exceptional care of my truck...it's not even got 100K miles on it yet. Course I wonder...If you read in the owner's manual...it says to start checking the axle seals for leaks well before the 100,000 mile point.

Have you got any idea how much this is going to cost to have done at my local shop...I just want to have a ball park figure before I go get it done..obviously I need to have it done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I don't know what it would cost at a shop, seals were 20 bucks each oil about another 20 but labour rates are at 70-80/hr I think and I'd peg it at 3.5 hours they'd bill you for, maybe 400 bucks but thats just a guess.
 

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axles were leaking. Cost is $226 for the rear and $425 for the right front axle seaI have 1999 Tahoe with 40,000 CA miles, garaged, and the right front left rear axle seals. Water pump went out also. -$521. Cooling System ( Dexcool) service $152. Replace all main hoses.$187. Complete Brake inspection $80. Temecula, CA.
 

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its easiest to do the work in the truck while its on a hoist.

i just normally pop them out with a long pry bar, or in some cases like your doing with a long brass punch and a BFH.

right side you have to remove the extension housing bolts and then take out your extension housing by prying on the front diff, and then carefully sliding the housing from out of the truck.

but the way your doing it, they should just pop out. probably hard to do, because you have no weigh to absorb your hammering from the punch, so its lessening your blows, and also you cant pry on it because it isnt secure to anything. which is why i leave them in the truck when i do them
So you do not actually take the whole diff assembly out of the truck? Just leave it on and tap the axles out?
 

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After much aggravation with my leak. Here is what I learned. I beat the shaft with a very large slide hammer (RECOMMENDED BY CHEVY). I ended by removing the differencial from the truck and cutting the flange off the left axle. This allowed the differencial to be removed out the right side of the case. Yep it was that bad. After removing the differencial side gears and spacer the snap ring came into view. The wire snap ring would not let the axle slide and a burr had formed on the axle as well as a worn snap ring. Now I am waiting for a new left axle and bearings. (beat the you know what out of the current set)

As far as the seal goes. Look close at the expensive replacement seal. The inner part stays attached to the axle and the outer half rotates. This is like a bearing. My guess is clean the axle with solvent to make sure the inner part of the seal to attaches/seats to the axle. Note the spot on the axle where the seal gripped. Look close at the seal and notice the inner part (race) is pre-greased.

Hope this helps the next poor back-yard guy attack his leak.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I have found the problem with my origional repair, it was the seals. I used jobber axle seals the first time, and it leaked worse. Buy new seals from GM!! They don't leak. I have preformed this repair a couple times since on other trucks with great success. Remove the skid plate and front plastic skid gaurd go to car wash and blast the front diff clean, don't remove the front diff that is a very long needless emotional nightmare) Drain oil from diff. Leave the front diff in the truck, before unbolting the pass side housing, pop the drivers side shaft out with a 2ft long block of wood at the best possible straight angle and a small sledge, 2 good blows ussually all it takes. (use wood in place of a punch like a dead blow, or a brass drift, who owns a brass drift?) Then remove the pass side axle tube, only after first cleaning the top of the case around where it splits to avoid grit falling in. pop the pass side axle out on the workbench after removing the loose gear/washers/spring and stuff on the inside end of the tube. carefully twist up a shop towel and insert it through the old seal to keep the inner bearing clean while removing the old seal. use a seal puller pry bar to remove the old seals, clean the end of the housing, remove the shop towel and replace with a clean one again, knock in the new seal using a flat piece of wood to help it go in even,(don't hit the seal with wood hahahaha, hold the wood to the seal and hit the wood with a hammer, just tap it in) untill flush with the housing, lube the seal with grease, clean the shafts and lube the splines and seal surface, remove the shop towels and pop the shafts back in. pass side i slide the shaft in, stand it on end and pop the gear on. when putting the pass axle tube back on i use anerobic sealant between the tube and the housing and add 75w90 full synthetic gear oil, about 1.75litres. anerobic sealant holds up to sythetic gear oil and gm seals don't seem to leak.
 
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