Removal & Installation
- Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions section.
A new pinion shaft lockbolt should be installed whenever either of the axle shafts is removed.
- Place a catch pan under the differential, then remove the drain plug (if equipped) or rear axle cover and drain the fluid (discard the old fluid)
Remove or disconnect the following:
Rear wheel assemblies
Using a wire brush, clean the dirt/rust from around the rear axle cover.
WARNINGOn vehicles equipped with an Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) be careful not to damage the reluctor ring on the axle shaft or the speed sensor bolted to the backing plate, immediately adjacent to the shaft.
Rear pinion shaft lockbolt and the pinion shaft, at the differential
Clean the gasket mounting surfaces.
NOTEIt is recommended, when the axle shaft is removed, to replace the oil seal.
- To replace the oil seal use a medium prybar or, better yet, an inexpensive seal removal tool, to pry the oil seal from the end of the rear axle housing. DO NOT damage the housing oil seal surface. And again, on late-model ABS equipped vehicles, STAY CLEAR OF THE SPEED SENSOR.
Using the slide hammer and adapter, pull the bearing out of the axle tube.
If the wheel bearing was removed:
- Step 1: Using solvent, thoroughly clean the wheel bearing, then blow dry with compressed air. Inspect the wheel bearing for excessive wear or damage, then replace it, if necessary.
- Step 2: With a new or the reused bearing, thoroughly coat the bearing with gear lubricant.
Step 3: Using the Axle Shaft Bearing Installer tool No. J-34974, or equivalent, drive the bearing into the axle housing until it bottoms against the seat. Be sure the bearing installer does not contact and damage the speed sensor on ABS equipped vehicles.
If the axle shaft seal was removed:
- Step 1: Clean and inspect the axle tube housing.
- Step 2: Using the GM Axle Shaft Seal Installer tool No. J-33782, or an equivalent driver, seat the new seal into the housing until it is flush with the axle tube. Be sure the seal installer does not contact and damage the speed sensor on ABS equipped vehicles.
- Step 3: Using gear oil, lubricate the new seal lips.
Slide the axle shaft into the rear axle housing and engage the splines of the axle shaft with the splines of the rear axle side gear, then install the C-lock retainer on the axle shaft button end.
WARNINGBE CAREFUL not to damage the wheel bearing seal with the splines on the axle shaft.
- After the C-lock is installed, pull the axle shaft outward to seat the C-lock retainer in the counterbore of the side gears.
Install or connect the following:
Pinion shaft through the case and the pinions
- Refill the housing. REMEMBER that the vehicle must be completely level, meaning that if the rear is still raised and supported, the front should also be raised.