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tommytempest 05-01-2003 05:40 PM

Any rear end rebuild advice?
How tough is it to rebuild my 96 1/2 ton Chevy open rear? It currently howls and the pinion seal is out, so I'd like to put all new bearings and seals in it. Is that a do it yourself job? How do the inside bearing come out?
Thanks in advance!!

axle bastard 05-06-2003 04:16 AM

not tough, but very specific.
after you pull the cover,wheels, and brake drums,
remove the bolt and cross shaft from the ring gear carrier.(5/15" wrench) push axle shafts in and remove c clips (from inside the carrier) pull axle shafts out.
mark and remove 2 side bearing caps (thay are line bored, don't mix them up)
carrier should now drop out, may need a pry bar.
don't mix up the shims on either side of the side bearings (if your lucky, you can reuse them)
remove drive shaft and nut at pt pinion yoke.
drive pinion out (use a hunk of brass don't damage the threads)
heres the fun part.
once the bearings are changed and you are reassembling, the pinion nut must be tightened to achive a specific setting. (need a dial type inch pounds torque wrench for this)
it should take 10--20 inch lbs. to rotate the pinion . this is the pinion bearing pre load.
to much and they will burn up in no time flat.
reinstall carrier, those cast iron shims move the ring gear in and out of the pinion toget a back lash of .005"- .009".
gotta leave for work. i'll try to finnish this this evening if some one else doesn't beat me to it.

tommytempest 05-06-2003 08:02 AM

Great info! Any more specifics you think I need would be well recieved. I think I will go for it this weekend, the noise is driving me crazy! I either need a louder radio or to fix this! I checked it for heat after running it on the highway, and the pinion bearing feels like the culprit. It was not so hot you couldn't touch it, but fairly hot there. Obviously I will change all the bearings. Do I need to replace the crush sleeve in the pinion or can I reuse that? Are bearings and seals all I need to buy?

78novaman 05-06-2003 09:59 AM

It is always a good idea to replace the crush sleeve. If I remember correctly from my days at Reliable Truck Parts, the crush sleeve is on the pinion yoke and creates a smooth surfave for the seal. Now, what usually happens is a small groove is worn into that sleeve. This will prevent a new seal from sealing; the old groove will not line up with the new seal and it will have a small, but annoying leak.

Stuff you will need:

Pinion seal
Inspection cover gasket
Pinion bearing
Carrior bearings
Micrometer to set the backlash
(you should be OK if you use the shims that came from the factory, and you don't change the gears, instead of re-calibrating the backlash)

The above list is for if the pinion bearing is your culprit. Make sure you have another vehicle to drive in case you run into complications, such as bad spider gears or flaked ring and pinion.

Axle bastard knows what he's talking about and will probably find something I forgot to add to this list.

tommytempest 05-06-2003 10:28 AM

Thanks for the list! A guy probably ought to pull the outer bearings and seals at the same time huh? Is a slide hammer required to pull the outer bearings? I actually put a new pinion seal in it last weekend and it does still leak a bit but not near as much as it did. I need a sleeve to cover the old groove in the yoke to fix that. The crush sleeve is more of a spacer than a seal surface.

78novaman 05-06-2003 07:44 PM

Oh, good call, I forgot about the outer seals! I'm used to working on Semi rear diffs, so I might forget a few little things(no pun intended :D ). BTW, semi rears have no outer seals, they have gaskets where the axle bolts to the hub. It's been a year now since I've worked at reliable so my memory is a little fuzy....

Also, while you have it apart, you might want to check to make sure that the spider and axle gears are OK. If it's a posi unit, then you also might want to be sure that the clutch packs(most common) or cones(not so common) are good as well. If any of these go bad, it will generate the humming sound as well.

tommytempest 05-07-2003 03:56 AM

OK, sounds good. As far as measuring the preload for the pinion, is that with the entire rear put back together or just with the pinion itself in. My assumption would be with the entire rear together but no brakes or wheels on? As far as the gears go, is any wear at all acceptable or what am I looking for there other than the obvious cracks or busted teeth?
Really appreciate the help! I may have more questions once I get it tore apart.

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