2002 Tahoe- Noise from rear differential

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Old 04-21-16, 07:51 AM
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2002 Tahoe- Noise from rear differential

2002 Tahoe - 195k miles. The rear diff is noisy. My mechanic looked at it on a lift and simply told me that the rear end needs replacing. He didn't actually open the rear. Is it possible that there is something less than a total rear end replacement needed? The truck is otherwise running strong. I have been shopping junkyards for rears.
 
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Old 04-21-16, 08:05 AM
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Sometimes you can replace what's called the Ham. It's the unit that holds the ring gear. The other part in the differential is the pinion gear. It looks like an ice cream cone but don't lick it. That's the piece that's directly behind the drive shaft.
 
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Old 04-21-16, 08:11 AM
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Thanks. I think at a minimum I need to have someone else take a closer look at it.
 
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Old 04-21-16, 09:16 AM
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Just went through a similar issue with my 2000 Suburban. Had a noise coming from the rear, most prominent above 35mph. my mechanic put it (me) on a lift and had me accelerate up to speed while he listened with a scope at various rear end components. figured it was something in the rear. He was very cautious about opening it up since it was very rusty (living in the rust belt, everything underneath is). I figured since it was paid for and it didn't have any other significant issues other than rust cancer so a year of car payments ($1800) would be a fair value so I told him to dig in. He tore the rear carrier open and found bad bearings inside. Since they spread metal shavings throughout, he replaced most all of the bearings in the back end and axle seals. We kept the axles instead of replacing them even though there was a small groove worn into them from the old bearing seals. Gears were fine so he flushed it all out, did the R&R on bearings and seals and put it back together. Sounds good so far. Will be taking on the road for 1000 at the end of may.

- Peter
 
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Old 04-21-16, 09:24 AM
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Out of curiosity - when was rear diff fluid replaced?
 
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Old 04-21-16, 10:44 AM
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One more thing about shopping the junk yards, you have no idea what the internals look like. If you plan to rebuild a junk yard replacement, then just rebuild the one you have. You can't know what it looks like inside and what the condition the bearings, races and seals are in without tearing it open. Buying based on mileage alone is risky. This is what my mechanic told me when it came up as an option.

- Peter
 
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