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Music and Hot Rods
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy again, folks~! Finding out all kinds of things on my recent purchase.

This is a 2000 Sierra 2wd short box with a 5.3. It has a 5/7 drop, c-notched in the back with drop spindles in the front. Recently while working on running all new brake lines, my son noticed that I have 4x4 front hubs on it. Not being up on the new stuff, I thought that was a good thing, thinking maybe they were heavier duty with 6 lugs and such. He explained to me that they NEED the front drive axles to hold them together. He says ya can't run 4x4 hubs on a 4x2 truck. I contacted the previous owner to find out how long those 4x4 hubs have been on that 2wd truck and he said he never replaced them, and he'd put at least 20k miles on them.

Questions: Does someone make a wheel bearing for 2000 chevy that is interchangeable between 4x2 and 4x4? If not, why haven't these things flown apart?
 

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More for Less Racer
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20,926 Posts
The only difference between the 2wd hub and the 4wd hub is the 4x4 hub is finished machined through the center with the spline and corresponding flat surface for the CV axle retainer nut....the 2wd hub is just left solid metal through the center, no hole or spline.

You could put the 4wd splined hub on a 2wd and it wouldn't matter, the spline just goes unused.
The opposite however, could not be done....no spline on a 4wd means no fit.

The axle itself does nothing to hold the bearing or the hub together, your son is wrong about that.
 

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Old(s) Fart
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6,014 Posts
Your son is correct. The spindles are the same for 2WD and 4WD. The hub assemblies use the same bearings and outer housing. The wheel flange is pressed into the bearings. On the 4WD versions the outer part of the half shaft captures the wheel flange so that it can't ever come out of the bearings. On the 2WD versions, the wheel flange has a spindle that passes through the bearings and is retained on the backside, under that sheet metal cap. I've personally had a front wheel bearing come apart on my Chevy 4WD when the half shaft nut loosened up. Do not run the 4WD bearings in a 2WD application. You've been lucky so far. Don't press your luck.

 

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Music and Hot Rods
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Your son is correct. The spindles are the same for 2WD and 4WD. The hub assemblies use the same bearings and outer housing. The wheel flange is pressed into the bearings. On the 4WD versions the outer part of the half shaft captures the wheel flange so that it can't ever come out of the bearings. On the 2WD versions, the wheel flange has a spindle that passes through the bearings and is retained on the backside, under that sheet metal cap. I've personally had a front wheel bearing come apart on my Chevy 4WD when the half shaft nut loosened up. Do not run the 4WD bearings in a 2WD application. You've been lucky so far. Don't press your luck.

OMG! Thanx so much! I have no idea how the hell this guy got away with this. He's been drag racing this truck and taking very long trips with it. He even delivered it to me from 200 miles away. I guess I'll spring for new hubs. I'm still old school and not up to these newer things, so some of these 1/2 ton trucks are 6 lug?
 

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Music and Hot Rods
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
GMT800 platform all have 6. 8 for heavier duty. The 6 lug is also on other rides like the Envoy etc. Lots of rim choices available.
Okay, thanks much. I can just order a pair of 2000 Sierra front hub assemblies, then. The wheels and tires on the truck are nice, and are 6 lug. Although the previous owner COULD have gone with an 18" instead of a 17" front. The tie rods ends knocked off the wheel weights. LOL
 
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