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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Gang, on the road and starting to hear a noise in the rear, not sure if it is an axle bearing or the rear end going out. Is there any way to tell while driving? Won't be able to put it up on a hoist for several days. I would like figure it out to get parts ordered asap as I am back on the road in 5 days after I get back. The car is my 61 Impala with a stock rear end currently with 3:55 gears in an open configuration. No posi As always, thanks for the help
 

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"A noise" is not super descriptive. Harsh gear crunching or maybe a high pitched whine? Happens when turning in one direction or a constant?
 

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First thing I would do before ordering any parts is to see if the thing has low to no fluid in it.

A cover gasket should be able to be ordered anywhere(I have cut one out of cork and used gasket "maker" in a pinch).

Once that cover is off most of your questions will be answered. A bearing will (usually) make a sound when the weight is on it. If the sound "goes away" when your turning removing the weight from that bearing then that might be a bearing.

You dont need a lift to service a rear axle. A floor jack and some stands will let you service most rear axle issues. I find if I need to pull a rear axle it is easier on the floor as I can adjust the height more accurately with a floor jack to have the leaf spring bolts slide out. If you have a good lift it might hold position between stops long enough for you to get those bolts out. But it also may drop to the catch or have you hitting the button off and on while hitting the bolt to drive it out.
 

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First thing I would do before ordering any parts is to see if the thing has low to no fluid in it.

A cover gasket should be able to be ordered anywhere(I have cut one out of cork and used gasket "maker" in a pinch).

Once that cover is off most of your questions will be answered. A bearing will (usually) make a sound when the weight is on it. If the sound "goes away" when your turning removing the weight from that bearing then that might be a bearing.

You dont need a lift to service a rear axle. A floor jack and some stands will let you service most rear axle issues. I find if I need to pull a rear axle it is easier on the floor as I can adjust the height more accurately with a floor jack to have the leaf spring bolts slide out. If you have a good lift it might hold position between stops long enough for you to get those bolts out. But it also may drop to the catch or have you hitting the button off and on while hitting the bolt to drive it out.
'61 Chevy , no cover gasket , removable center section .
 

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Take it somewhere & get it up on stands or a lift ,mechanics stethoscope is usually pretty good at targeting the noise .
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah noise is definitely to general. The sound is growling, not whining. Haven't driven it in the last 2 days to test the for the sound when turning. I'm currently on the road. Started in Grass Valley (home) drove to Michigan (grandkids) then to Des Moines (Good Guys show) then the Black Hills Rod Run, La Grande Oregon (local show) now in Coeur d'Alene. Leave tomorrow for Leavenworth, Washington the GG Puyallup show. Then home for a week. I'll post after doing some turns. Thanks for all the thoughts. Much appreciated.
 

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Search for rear end noised on line and it may help you determine if it's a bearing or gears.

Have fun on the trip and be safe.
 

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Yeah noise is definitely to general. The sound is growling, not whining. Haven't driven it in the last 2 days to test the for the sound when turning. I'm currently on the road. Started in Grass Valley (home) drove to Michigan (grandkids) then to Des Moines (Good Guys show) then the Black Hills Rod Run, La Grande Oregon (local show) now in Coeur d'Alene. Leave tomorrow for Leavenworth, Washington the GG Puyallup show. Then home for a week. I'll post after doing some turns. Thanks for all the thoughts. Much appreciated.
I'd want to get it repaired before continuing , lock up / loose a whee/ catastrophic failure at highway speed could be messy
 

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Order a diff kit and 2 axle bearings---return what you don't need.
The axle bearings are unique and will not be commonly stocked.
Everything in the kit but one of the pinion bearings and the pinion seal and crush sleeve are very common parts. The diff bearings rotate same speed as wheels so they mimic axle bearings.
Doesn't that model use a driveshaft carrier bearing? If so check it too.
 

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Most likely an outboard wheel bearing, this harkens back to the GM ball bearing era, they were always troublesome front and rear.

I‘d get it fixed before driving all over the desert and up the mountains over to the coast, if that thing fails your in a world of hurt as you will lose that wheel and tire. Imagine that on Blewett or Snoqualmie Pass.

Bogie
 
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